Yet another belated, rainy season update, due mainly to not much of interest happening here and partly due to me spending time going through the site updating it for the coming high season. A job that takes twice as long as it should due to me easily being distracted by forwarded emails containing links to amusing Youtube videos such as those of the Thai Tourist Police dancing to the latest Korean boy band hit.
During late August and early September Koh Chang’s fishermen set up their nets and get out on the sea to do battle with centimetre long shrimps. These mini-prawns, known as ‘Koi’, are fished at the end of the rainy season and form the main ingredient in ‘Kapi’ which is made from fermented, semi dried ‘koi’ mixed with chili. (It’s tastes as good as it sounds.) This time of year sees conditions which are perfect for the intrepid fishermen to head out on their boats, sometimes for a few hours at a time, and in conditions which can range from hot, sunny, dry and windless to hot, sunny, dry and a light southwesterly breeze, to engage in a battle of wits with schools of prawns.
Gaze out on the sea now and you’ll see the boats close to shore. The fishermen, with total disregard for their own safety, heroically scooping up prawns and knocking back a Beer Chang simultaneously.
I went to see some land for sale and Nong, the guy in the photo, was with the owner. He got hungry and went off to look for some food. After thrashing around in a mango tree for a few minutes, he returned with a bees nest, complete with a couple of hundred small bees which fortunately don’t sting. Not bad I thought to myself, a bit of fresh honey. So, I wasn’t too bothered when the honey comb was offered for me to take a bite. But by the time I realised that only part of it was honey and larvae lived in most of the wax cells it was too late and I was munching on it as I was more concerned with not getting a mouthful of the adult bees that were crawling over it. Fortunately it tasted pretty nice and I was told it gives me ‘power’.
I’m always a bit sceptical as to the properties of things like this for the simple reason that ‘giving you ‘power” ( nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more ) is the reason given by Thai blokes for eating all manner of wierd shit, from snake blood to tiger penis. I like to get my own back and explain that in Europe guys eat a lot of Pavlova to give them ‘power’, which is why they have no need for tiger privates when in South East Asia. But as a good dessert is far harder to find in Thailand than a shop full of entrails and dangly bits from endangered species then your average Thai male has to make do with these to give them ‘power’, rather than a properly baked meringue based sweet.
Back at home, that little green snake has been hanging around the mangroves at the back of our house recently. Seems harmless enough as none of the cats have gone missing yet. I’ve not got the urge to eat it either as I have no need for any additional ‘power’ at the moment.
There are very few swimming pools on Koh Chang that have great views from them. Sure, most beachfront resorts have a pool you can laze by and from where you can see the sea. But very few have a panoramic view, rather than merely glimpses between palm trees. Cliff Beach Resort has a cliff top pool with great views along Kai Bae beach but you don’t get a very wide angle of view from it. So I was surprised to discover that there is another resort in Kai Bae that has a pool with even better views. Where you can get an uninterrupted 180 degree view.
There is of course a downside, the pool is on the top of a hotel block which isn’t going to win any awards for architecture. It’s a pretty ugly structure. But if you can avert your gaze as you walk into the building then, once inside you’ll find perfectly good, new 2-3 star standard rooms. And even better, they can be booked for under 1,500 Baht/night in High Season.
So if you’re looking for rooms for high season and want value for money plus possibly the best poolside views on the island then contact Khun Patcharee at Mam Kai Bae Resort.
On the subject of rooms, it’s very quiet here on Koh Chang now. Cant be more than 10-15% occupancy at most resorts, although it does get busier at weekends when Thai groups visit. For example, 600 baht/night will get you an AC room with daily maid service on White Sand beach today and down on Koh Mak the occupancy rate was around 1.5% last week. ( Of 25 resorts, with approx 550 rooms, a friend visited there were 7 rooms occupied.)
Finally, a couple of billboards like the one in the last photo have gone up on Koh Chang recently. These commemorate the victory of the islanders over the Thai Navy. The government has sided with the locals and pushed the navy into rescinding it’s claim on 6,600 Rai ( over 1,000 Hectares ) of land on Koh Chang. The billboard does thank the Prime Minister for his support but also carries a warning, in red at the bottom, for the government not to try to cheat the islanders in the future. Not sure if it includes the equivalent of ‘Or Else’.