For 2012

December 11

A subdued update as I’ve been feeling rough for the past few days and feeling sweaty & drowsy isn’t conducive to writing content.

Something lurking? When someone told me there was a large water hole with crocs in it in Kai Bae, my first thought was discarded footwear.  But local rumour has it that there is a crocodile or two lurking in the pond pictured below.  So, I went to have a look and didn’t see anything.  This pool has been here for 7-8 years, and was dug as a source of landfill.  Whilst there is plenty of water in it, it isn’t used to supply water to any houses or businesses – it it were there would be pipes leading into it.  The steep sides and off the beaten track location mean that it would be a good place for someone to keep a pet crocodile.  So, whilst I didn’t see any signs of life in the water the one thing that made me think that there might be some truth to the story is that the one area where it would be possible to get into / out of the pit relatively easily is blocked with a metal fence and padlocked gate about 1.50m tall.   Something I’ve never seen on a water hole on Koh Chang before.  Someone doesn’t want anyone getting in or anything getting out.

And if you happen to be wandering around Kai Bae valley, you might also come across the wild pig farm – so now you know where your pork comes from. ( And quite possibly where crocodile food is produced.)

Staying in Kai Bae ( as it’s the centre of the universe) work on the partial bypass, which is looking  a weirder concept the more work progresses, is coming along.   There now appears to be a massive parking area at the northern end of the road – either that or a few football pitches could be laid  and access tracks from the bypass to the existing road have been cut.  One of which comes out directly opposite Kai Bae’s only gogo bar – which could be handy.

The Boxies are Back.  Last week a two year old girl on Koh Kood had a narrow escape when she was stung by a Box jellyfish.  And in mid November a young French child was stung by one off the beach close to Island Hut on Koh Mak.  Luckily there was a ‘vinegar station’  nearby and so the stingers could be neutralised quickly and no lasting damage was done.   The French girl was also lucky that she was stung off Koh Mak and  not Koh Chang, as here there aren’t any warnings about box jellyfish or vinegar stations and so the chances of her getting immediate help wouldn’t be so high if she were stung here.

The good news is that to date, there haven’t been any reported sightings of box jellyfish off Koh Chang.  But that was the case on Koh Mak too up until a few years ago when an Australian child was stung and almost died.  His father is now one of the leading advocates for Box jellyfish awareness in Thailand and elsewhere.   An increasing number of resorts on Koh Mak are now putting out nets to ensure safe swimming areas for their guests, as although the chances of being stung are slim, the consequences can be traumatic, extremely painful and in some cases fatal.  So, if you are planning on staying on Koh Mak it might be worth staying at one that does – just in case.

Facebook.com/ballkohmak – For info on Koh Mak and if you want to know which resorts actively want to help keep you safe on holiday.  ( Pic below from Ball via nurse at Koh Kood Hospital)

Facebook.com/thailand.boxjellyfish – Keep up to date with Box Jellyfish info and take a look at a few more photos of what they can do to your skin – if they don’t kill you.

New Year rooms.  Every day I receive a few emails from people looking for rooms over New Year.  I don’t know which places have availability but as there’s under 3 weeks to go until the busiest time of year on the island it is safe to say that anywhere that is either popular, well reviewed, good value or in a good location will have been booked up along time ago.   Agoda has 142 hotels listed for Koh Chang.  As of today four have availability.  One of which, Tropical Beach Resort seems to be taking the piss or is surprisingly optimistic about luring a gullible customer and so is advertising a bungalow that normally sells for nearer 2,000 Baht/night for 42,481 Baht ( but discounted around 50% from the original 82,838 Baht ) – which when you add on the tax etc comes out to a nice round 50,000 Baht/night.

The others that are available over New Year and which are thankfully more realistically priced are:

Vanalee Resort – By the sea in Bailan.  Ignore the description of the beach – there isn’t one but it’s a quiet place to stay and nice views from their small pier.   Small AC bungalow for around 2,000 Baht/night

Chaipura Resort – You wont find reviews of this anywhere as it has just opened.  Located on the lagoon at the rear of Klong Kloi Beach near Bangbao.  I had a quick look around last month and it seems nice enough.  Won’t be anyone’s first choice as it is a bit off the beaten track.  But if you need a comfortable AC room then this would probably do the job.  1 minute walk to the actual beach.  About 20 minutes or so walk to Bangbao village and the nearest shops.  Around 3,600 Baht/night

V.J. Island View – These are apartments located at the northern end of Klong Prao beach and have a lot of long stay residents.  Supermarket, restaurant and shops are all close by.  Nothing fancy but the beach is less than 5 minutes walk away and it’s fine if you just want a no frills AC room with cable TV in convenient location and for under 1,000 Baht/night over New Year.

Born to be Mild.  The local Tourist Police were out and about doing what they do best, i.e. something well intentioned yet superficial.  This week it was a motorbike convoy to promote the wearing of helmets.  Scooter riders plus a few guys on larger bikes were corralled at the temple in Klong Prao, given shiny new sponsors helmets and then rode behind a tourist police pick up truck in a procession that will won’t live long in the memory of anyone who saw it.   Haven’t noticed a drop in the number of people riding without a helmet yet.

 

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