Applications from 8 person teams for the ‘2nd Koh Chang International Fishing Cup Tournament â€“ Asia‘ are now open. The event, which also goes by the name, ‘2nd Asia Sustainable Fishing Tournament in Ko Chang‘ will be held between March 11-13, 2011, and organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Trat office in conjunction with Trat Provincial Office, Thai Trat Tourism Association, World Sport Federation (Asia), International Cultural Education Foundation (ICEF), Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration, Office of Tourism and Sports in Trat, Laem-Ngop District, the Weekendhobby.com website and numerous others. (So plenty of people to share the blame if no-one shows up for it.)
Complete the application form and sign to agree that ‘ In case there are casualties during the competition, we would not claim any damage from the organizers.‘, then send it to the Yahoo email address listed and see it go direct into the recipient’s Junk folder. My advice, attach a 8MB ,20 second video clip ripped from the net of a couple of cute kittens in a tumble drier, at least your email will then receive some attention.
Almost as exciting as the fishing competition is the Valentines Edition of the Lonely Beach Extravaganza. A dance party by the beach from dusk till dawn on the night of 14-15 February. Headlining is DJ Nakadia, Thailand ‘s top female DJ. Give her a Google and you will find she tours the world playing at clubs and festivals. And if your ‘Safe Search’ option is set to Off, you’ll find some photos of her in her former career, one that didn’t require any clothing.
Lord, from the Art Cafe in Lonely Beach has just started a project to help promote art from young artists currently studying at universities in Bangkok. His small gallery houses pieces from several students. Visitors are welcome to take a look and, if they see anything they like, all the pieces are for sale. The income from any sales is split between Lord and the artist, it is a way for the artist to exhibit their pictures for free and also, hopefully, raise funds to continue their studies. At the moment, it is rare that art students get the chance to show their work to foreign tourists. Usually any student exhibitions are held in university buildings or small galleries in Bangkok where the majority of visitors are other art students. A couple of photos are below. There are some pretty interesting pieces in there. Worth a look if you want a souvenir with a difference from Thailand.
That‘s most of the usual light reading out of the way. Now for something heavier . . . Dog poisoning.
I had already decided to write about dog poisoning in this update as in some areas of the island there have been a lot of dogs die after eating poisoned food in the past couple of months. It looks like someone had the bright idea to kill lots of dogs and other locals have copied it. Various poisons are used, often rat poison which fortunately most dogs will survive if they get treated quickly.
However, early last Saturday morning someone decided to put poison out to try to kill of the remainder of our neighbours dogs. Their dogs don’t affect us at all, but they do annoy guests and staff at some backpacker huts nearby and also the coconut pickers who are here every week. The dogs like to bark at passers by and sometimes chase motorbikes that drive close to the footbridge leading to their house. A couple of months ago, four of the dogs were poisoned and died but there were still a few left alive.
So, someone came back to finish the job early morning around 8-9am. Unfortunately, our dog, Santa, was outside at the time. He saw an old coconut shell filled with rice and meat lying on the ground and ate it. The poison used was Lannate, an insecticide that is either banned or restricted in Western countries due to its extreme oral toxicity. In Thailand people use it if they want to be as certain as they can be that any animal that ingests it will die a painful death, sometimes within minutes and in 90% of cases within a few hours at the most. ( It is also used for suicides here.)
I wasn‘t at home, but Mam was and she knew what to do to try to make him vomit and give egg whites to help line the stomach, before rushing him to the vet for more treatment. However, it took a long time for him to throw up and he ended up being in and out of the vets three times that day,. After one moment looking fine and then the next having shaking fits, losing the use of his legs, peeing uncontrollably, falling unconscious at various different times during the day and then developing a high fever and constant muscle twitching to top it all off. In the end he ended up staying the night in the vets where Mam stayed with him to cool him down with a damp towel to keep his fever in check.
After a night spent not knowing if he would live or die, he seemed to perk up the next morning and we took him home. But after a couple of hours it was clear that things weren’t right and so he was taken to Rayong for more specialist care. The vet in Klong Prao did her best, but she admitted she didn’t really know what to do as she hadn’t seen any dog survive so long. and therefore didn’t know what to expect or what to do next. Even then the Rayong vet couldn’t give any guarantees and one hour he looked fine, the next he was shaking and sneezing uncontrollably or had very shallow breathing.
Finally, after three days of round the clock attention he is on the mend and will come home tomorrow. Three of the neighbours dogs were not so lucky, they haven’t been seen since the poison was put out, so I guess they are decomposing in the coconut field somewhere.
So a quick guide to what to look out for and what to do if one of the nice locals tries to kill your dog.
1) It will be immediately obvious something is wrong. Regardless of the poison used, you will notice the dog shaking & staggering and also probably salivating a lot. They might have muscle spasms as the poison will affect their nervous system. And they might also be howling in agony. If the dog has problems breathing and has very bad breath then that is a sign it could be Lannate.
2) Make it vomit. Either a couple of tablespoons of Hydrogen Peroxide down their throat or the same amount of strong salty water should do the trick. To get it down the dogs throat without worrying about getting bitten, get a large syringe for about 10 Baht from any clinic and keep it handy. You can also try pouring dry salt into the back of their neck but can be hard to make them swallow it. However, too much salt can also be harmful.
3) Now you need to line its stomach. Use eggwhites, not the yolk. Depending on the size of the dog pour 2 to 8 of these down the dogs throat after they have vomited.
4) Take to the vet. The vet will give charcoal tablets to absorb the poison and also possibly a Vitamin K injection or, if you know Lannate was used, an Atropine Sulphate injection, which isn’t an antidote but will protect the heart and inhibit the effect of the poison. The dog will also probably need to be put on a saline drip for a while.
Unfortunately, the Atropine Sulphate needs to be injected as quickly as possible after the poisoning took place, so unless you find the source of the poison immediately you probably wont know what it is and it could be too late. If you see food tainted with a blue colour then it is Lannate.
The good news is that if you can get the dog to throw up and get its stomach lined and then to the vet, depending on the poison, the dog should then be running around again happily within a few hours. If, within a few hours, the dog isn’t better or dead, and the symptoms are ongoing, then take it to the mainland for specialist attention. This isn’t cheap, but you will do it if you want your dog to live.
When locals get bored of poisoning peoples pets or feel a just tiny twinge of guilt about doing so , their other tactic to get rid of unwanted animals is to just dump them somewhere in another part of the island. Two very mangy adult dogs and their two equally mangy puppies were dumped by the dirt track leading to KP Huts last week. Some of the workers around here and tourists have been leaving food and water for them, so they aren’t going hungry. The adults tend to disappear in the day time and leave one puppy on its own. . . .
Serious stuff over . . back to the pretty photos now.
I did a quick trip to the mainland and visited Koh Samae San, for no other reason than to see what was there. Not a lot as it turns out. A few Thai tourists, a very long deserted beach and a handful of navy personnel who look after the island. But if you are in the Sattahip area then bring a picnic along and spend a couple of hours here. It‘s a 5 minute boat ride by navy RIB to the island. Once there there are free bicycles you can use so you can get over to the other side and the main beach.
In Klong Prao village there are a couple of shop units available for a very reasonable price, ideal for a restaurant, bar or massage place. Nicely located, long frontage on the main road, with plenty of foot traffic, close to entrance to Tropicana Resort and near Tonsai & Kati Culinary – two of the best and busiest restaurants in the area. They are currently used by O & D Travel, but they will move to a larger plot of land on the opposite side of the road and so these units are now available for rent. 50,000 Baht key money plus 50,000 Baht annual rent and they are both yours. Set up a small business without breaking the bank. The only restrictions are that you can’t do a competing tour agent or scooter, car rental agency. Contact Dirk at < firstname.lastname@example.org > if you are interested.
I hadn’t been to Saffron on the Sea (on Pearl Beach – midway between Klong Prao and White Sand beaches.), one of the restaurants that I recommend everyone go to, for a couple of months so we went there last night to celebrate the dog not dying. Strong cocktails and excellent food that is presented in a more varied and unique way than you will see anywhere else. Take your camera, pretty much everyone there was snapping away when their dishes arrived. Bear in mind that it takes a while for your food to come, as everything is prepared from scratch for each dish – unlike in larger restaurants.
Finally, I also visited the new jewel in Trat Tourism Association’s crown – The Black Sand Beach. Sounds pretty cool, eh. (You are probably imagining a rival to Santorini – if you already know that Santorini has a beautiful black sand beach.) They have got the cool name, now just need a marketing guru who can attract people to see the beach, which I have to admit I didn’t take a photo of as I didn’t actually notice it when I visited it. More Photos.
(The next update will be in about 4 weeks as I am off on holiday soon.)