After a couple of months of having nothing but a large open ditch by the side of the road, work has restarted on the White Sand beach drainage project. For 6 weeks or so it was just a 80cm wide gap between pavement and road, with nothing to stop people from falling down it. That caught a few people out. So now, as an added incentive not to fall into it, protruding rebar lies in wait for anyone who does. I heard that the same local construction company gets all the contracts for work of this type and so fits it around other, more lucrative, jobs. Which may explain the length of time it is taking to complete. And if having a new drainage ditch wasn’t exciting enough for islanders, Tesco is apparently coming to Koh Chang sooner rather than later. Vendors on the empty land by the 7-eleven in Klong Son have been told to move by the landlord as work on what will be a pretty small Tesco will begin soon. ( This according to Mrs ‘Chicken on a Stick’ who is a trusted source. )
Other, more serious news, a female tourist was apparently attacked & raped in Klong Prao last week whilst out on a very early morning ( 5am ) run. All the locals seem to know about it, people were asked not to talk about it – so naturally have been telling everyone who will listen. And then a couple of days ago a Cambodian guy was shot & killed whilst riding his motorbike by the main road in Klong Prao. This did merit a brief mention in the Thai press. But on the whole, stories like these aren’t going to make it into any of the official English language news outlets for fear of frightening away visitors. Not sure what would deter me more from visiting a place on holiday; knowing that it isn’t in fact paradise and does have a dark side – just as virtually everywhere does; or that if something bad happens it’s likely to get covered up if at all possible.
BUT there was also the story of the 83 year old guy who went for a swim in Bailan and ended up getting stuck on a cliff for the next two days until he was spotted and rescued. That made the Thai papers. Whilst he may be a bit foolish for allowing himself to get into a predicament like that, it’s good to see he still had some life in him and didn’t just spend his holiday sprawled in a deck chair by a resort pool, although perhaps he wished he had.
Something in the water? For some reason there seems to be far more people than usual suffering from stomach problems – the type associated with eating a bad meal. I doubt there is a single cause but last week a couple of our guests got it and spent a day or two in bed feeling rough. They hadn’t eaten in the same places. Then I had a couple of phone conversations with people staying elsewhere on the island as I was planning to met them, they also mentioned family members getting sick. A couple emailed me to say sorry for not coming round to see me with a bottle of wine – as they had planned, was because they had got food poisoning in Kai Bae. I bumped into one of our old guests on White Sand beach, his girlfriend had got sick the previous night but they had both eaten the same food at a good restaurant. A nearby restaurant was a bit chaotic the other night, reason our guests were told by the owner is that a couple of staff had got stomach problems. My partner Mam got the same thing, went to the clinic in Klong Prao where the doctor told her that they had noticed a big increase in the number of people getting what appears to be 24-48 hours food poisoning recently. It may well be coincidence, but it’s just odd hearing about so many cases all at once.
Congratulations to Amber Sands Beach Resort and Paradise Palms, who both made it into Tripadvisor’s list of ‘Top 25 small inns and B&Bâ€™s in Thailand‘ so they must be doing something right. Interestingly, whilst both are by the sea, neither is in what you’d call a prime location and neither are super luxurious where you are waited on hand and foot. It’s the customer service and attitude of the owners & staff that swings a good review into a great one. Meanwhile, none of Koh Chang’s resorts made it onto the list of the Top 25 Hotels in Thailand.
The new Islands section is coming along slowly, you will notice a new link in the top navigation bar on the site and quite a few new pages added below, one for each island. To be honest, most of the islands are pretty dull with no really good reason to visit them – which is probably why no-one does. But there are a few gems worth discovering.
Bit of Nature. It’s been a long time since I saw a monitor lizard around our house. But the maid spotted a family of them yesterday. She’s been instructed to find me so I can take a photo if she sees any strange or unusual animal in, under or around the house. Then I have final say on whether she can catch it or not. ( Which is why our eels are still alive and well.) I couldn’t get close enough for a good photo as it was easily spooked and quickly disappeared under the house into the river. But you can make out the head, mid section & tail below:. Looks to be around 90cm long.