For 2011

August 24

There has been a fair bit of rain but on most days the sun has come out.   At this time of year the sky is very clear and it is the best time of year to see great sunsets.   For most of the High Season the sky is pretty hazy and more often than not the sun just fades away on the horizon with no strong glow.

Anyone who has taken the chance on visiting Koh Chang in the past couple of weeks will have had the good fortune to see some of the best sunsets of the year.   There’s a couple of pics above but probably the best of the year to date, was tonight. I will add a photo gallery of rainy season sunset pics in the next day or two. If you click on the photo below you will get the much bigger ‘screenful of awesomeness’ version

Click for large photo

I went to have a quick look at Klong Son fishing village – as I hadn’t been there for a few months.   Some big changes by the pier.   A large area has been dredged to make more boat moorings for locals.   The dirt has been used to fill in the area around half the houses , which were once on the water, so  now they have access by land.     Far more practical for sure, but bang goes the chances of the small pier ever becoming a nice spot for tourists.   Some Photos of Klong Son Pier

Good News . . . September 10-11 sees the   inaugural ‘Koh Chang Green Activity Race’ which features both individual and team kayaking events plus concerts by Som Ammara, Jui Jui, Cha-aim and Thak Mor Lekla.   Interesting time of year to be doing sea kayaking   – given the odds of having rough seas are pretty high. But the bad news is that so far there has been no sign of any type of publicity for it and the only info that has been made public is contained in the previous sentence in this paragraph. So, it looks like this will be one of those badly organized events that Koh Chang is famous for.

And good news for people using Centrepoint Ferry, one of their boats is currently being fitted with new engines which will cut the crossing time by 15 minutes or so. This coupled with lower ticket prices and the ferry running on ‘eco friendly’ natural gas, should help them get some business back from the faster and more popular Ferry Koh Chang.

And yet more good news.   Just a couple of weeks after the Avatara Condo project on White Sand Beach was scrapped, a new project will soon be launched on Kai Bae Beach.   One bedroom, sea view condos with a minimum size of 58sqm from just 2,500,000 Baht.   Use of resort facilities including a 200 metre long private beach.   This is the first phase of the redesign of the entire resort.    A show unit is being built now and the website should be up by the end of the month.   Freehold ownership is available for foreign buyers on a first come first served basis – as only 49% of the units can be held in this way.

Just to counter the optimistic tone above . . . One of the Thai language Koh Chang sites also had an interesting article about how a large number of the locally owned resorts are having a tough time with cash flow.   Apparently the number of foreign visitors to the island was down last High Season and this along with the resort owners having borrowed heavily from banks to build their resorts combined with them being reluctant to pay professional management and relying on family instead, means that the resorts are badly run and marketed.    Not surprising as I know a few local families  who just borrow huge amounts of money simply because the banks let them, and then they build something – without really thinking who will stay there or how the new buildings will fit in with their existing bungalows or rooms.

And as if to prove a point, I received this comment yesterday about a new resort in Bangbao that operates in Roswell mode i.e. apparently no-one knows it exists or if they do they aren’t telling for one reason or another.

‘Pity this resort is even allowed to advertise on Agoda for the unsuspecting tourist! Myself and two friends spent 7 hours trying to locate the place and after exhausting all avenues of appeal to anyone who may know in the locality, who all told us they had never heard of it or it didn’t exist and we weren’t helped by the fact they have no contact phone number we gave up and booked another 3 rooms at another resort.’

On a totally unrelated note, what you see below is the new Seaflower Resort on Lonely Beach.   The beachfront bungalows are open now and those on the second and third row, which will have roof terraces with sea views,  will be ready for next High Season.   Aside from the colour, they don’t look too bad. And it is a nice, quiet spot on a stretch of rocky shoreline just a few minutes’ walk from the nightlife.   (Eagle eyed obsessives will immediately notice that this is the location of the original Treehouse Huts that put Lonely Beach on the backpacker map all those years ago.)

Saving the best for last, I am not sure of the story behind this abandoned building.   It belongs to the National Park and I remember seeing it when it was being built and by the looks of things it was planned as a restaurant and visitor centre.   It was completed but never opened, for some reason.     Years of neglect, coupled with dodgy construction, have taken their toll with roof collapsing in a few areas.  The gravel road leading up to it is now overgrown and barely visible but there is a path you can easily follow and it looks like someone is sleeping up there.     Don’t know who, as there are three bungalows for Park staff nearby but they were preoccupied with a soap opera on TV, so didn’t seem to mind me wandering around.   (There is also another viewpoint in the same area as the park bungalows, which at one time had toilets and small restaurant – this was open for a short while several years ago but then closed for good.  And at the main viewpoint above Kai Bae you can see the concrete base of what was planned as a restaurant and, you guessed it,  never got completed either. )

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