Koh Mak Villa, is under new management. And that’s as good of an excuse as I need to post this photo as I never get tired of seeing the view from the terrace, which is undoubtedly is one of the best from any resort or guesthouse in this corner of Thailand.
Not a lot of interest happening here right now plus I’ve been busy with other things recently so no time to update the site. Just over a month ago it looked like late April and May would be pretty dead but the volcano ash fiasco and troubles in Bangkok seem to be working our favour with people who would have left deciding to stay longer on Koh Chang and then those who were planning a couple of nights in Bangkok deciding to come to the island direct from Bangkok Airport. And as of a few days ago, when the British government lifted its advisory against travelling to areas outside Thailand, there seems to be quite a few people looking to escape from the UK for a holiday here. I’m pretty sure that some very cheap prices for flights also help too. So from looking like it would be a far quieter end to the High Season than last year it now looks like being the best ever, which is good but means I have to delay my plans for getting away for any holiday by a couple of weeks.
The Short and Winding Road. There was a meeting recently to discuss the road linking Bangbao to Salakphet. I’d been told a few months ago by someone in the know that the government had now given the go ahead for the budget for the road and this would be dished out in 2011, but the actual route hadn’t been agreed on. Looks like it has now. It is a little different from the original route as this one appears to skirt around Grand Lagoona Resort and then drop down to the coastline before heading inland. No doubt Bangbao locals will do their utmost to stop it going ahead, but hopefully it will be completed one day and will make the very scenic south east of the island easily accessible. Construction began and then stopped a few years ago with workers starting work from both ends of the road but the stretch between the two ‘X’s is still to be attempted. Poor quality phone pic of the route below. Click the map for a larger version.
How to Post a ‘For Sale’ Ad. With the end of the tourist season nigh, For Sale signs for (usually) unprofitable, yet overpriced bars and restaurants have started popping up on the roadside and online. One rule to remember when writing the copy for the advert is to try to give the impression that your business is thriving and successful. I.e. do not say ‘ Sale because I have to return to Belgium and try to recover some of my investment.‘ as a) It is hardly a ringing endorsement of the venture’s profitability and b) anyone who wants to return to Belgium rather than live on a Thai island must be desperate. Advert Here if you are interested.
Koh Chang on TV. A couple of weeks ago a Thai language site about Koh Chang had an article on some woman claiming she had a title deed for Hat Yuthanavy beach, the site of the naval memorial in the south east of Koh Chang. For some reason this had never come to light before – even when the adjacent land, a hillside that was illegally excavated and featured in a previous ‘dodgy land on Koh Chang’ TV program on iTV a few years ago. (A title deed for this land also turned up too eventually, no doubt found down the back of a sofa belonging to a well connected local businessman. You never know what you will find when you spring clean – car keys, that last jigsaw piece, someone’s left earring and title deeds for millions of baht worth of land you forgot you had.) Last week Channel 7 featured Koh Chang and its land problems including the Hat Yuthanavy plot. And you might remember that before Christmas the locals were planning to block the roads unless they go their untitled farmland upgraded to give them the right to develop and /or sell it for lots of money. But this seems to have been put on the back burner, no doubt to be revived once the tourist season is over. So, in summary – check the title deeds of any land you are interested in and don’t buy farmland.
Irony. Intentional or not? No idea, but it made me smile as the photo isn’t of Koh Chang. (Original here)
Jetskis vs Snorkellers. It appears that rich kids on jetskis have discovered the delights of Koh Rang and the small islands that are popular with snorkelling trips. Last week, during holiday weekend, a group of people on jetskis were racing around the islands doing their best to piss off the fish and the tourists trying to see them. Unfortunately, I doubt anything will be done about it as the people who own the jetskis are the sons of local resort owners and so can do pretty much what they want.
Sea Views of Lonely Beach. Finally, the last installment in the ‘Beaches from the Sea’ season. Here we have Lonely Beach in all its glory. As you’ll see the beach itself isn’t that long and the southern half has seen a lot of sand washed off it recently, thereby leaving Siam Beach Resort with a monopoly on having a great beach right outside the resort. I was going to add Bailan Bay too – but there isn’t much of interest to see and photographing the mess the Dusit Princess made when they attempted, and failed, to build a ‘nature identical’ artificial beach just depresses me. More photos.