For 2012

January 11

Children’s Day & Relationship Day on Koh Mak.   If you happen to be down on Koh Mak this Saturday the island is holding it’s annual Children’s Day festivities plus a new even for friends of the island. Unless you have young children in tow, you’ll probably want to skip the kid’s stuff which takes place from 0800 – 1200 at the school and instead head to Ao Nid pier for the evening festivities, which start at 1800 and feature a mini sound and light extravaganza plus displays of Thai martial arts, Thai dancing and much more.   There’s also plenty of food and cocktails plus games to play.   I’m not sure what is happening on Koh Chang but no doubt there will be a big event over in Dan Mai on the east coast and no doubt there will be loads of guns for the kids to play with – some photos from the 2010 Children’s Day

Tired. This update is a bit earlier than planned, as I’m having a lazy day today after too much exercise in the midday sun over the past couple of days. Now up to around 50Km on the bicycle three times a week and then yesterday did 20Km in the kayak to check out Koh Klum, a big island south of Bangbao.   No particular reason why other than it seemed a good idea at the time.   You’ll find some photos of the island in what is probably the only Koh Klum photo gallery on the interwebz.

Read This.   If you plan on taking the government bus ‘999’ back to Bangkok from Koh Chang, as there is now only one service a day from Centrepoint & Ao Thammachat piers back to Ekkamai, at around 1400.   The good news is that there are more minibus services that leave from Ao Thammachat pier, on the mainland for Ekkamai Bus Station in the centre of Bangkok.   These depart every two hours from 0730 to 1530.   Ticket price is 300 Baht.   Coming to Koh Chang from Bangkok there are still two bus 999 services at 0745 & 0945 but minibuses now depart from Ekkamai too, leaving every two hours from 0600 to 1800 and they will drop you off at Ao Thammachat. ( A private company, Cherdchai also runs big buses from Ekkamai to the ferry piers and Trat town.)

Close encounter on Koh Chang

Martial Arts are also to the fore on Koh Chang this weekend when the empty bit of and in the centre of White Sands plays host to a few Muay Thai bouts.   Banners promoting the event are up island wide. Interesting to see the Thai language banners and posters make no mention of an entrance fee but the English language ones do. The English language ones also say things start at 3pm, the Thai language ones just give 8pm as the time to be there.   It’s probably just an oversight at the printers as surely the organisers wouldn’t want to give the impression that they expected tourists to come early, pay to get in and basically subsidise the event for the locals. ;-)

Not quite Nelly the Elephant, but several elephants with stories to tell have made their way to a retirement home on Koh Chang. Here’s How to Find Them.

Cocktails. If you want unique cocktails that you won’t find anywhere else on Koh Chang then Texas Steakhouse in Kai Bae is the place to go.   Though it may not appear so at first glance.   It’s definitely not a cocktail bar and the menu has a total of seven cocktails on it – just the usual ones that every restaurant sells.   The rest are hidden in the brain of the manager, a middle aged Thai woman called ‘Mook’.   So if you have wondered what cocktails containing blends of white wine & fresh tomatoes;   Asiatic penny wort; rose and orchid flowers, sweet basil etc taste like, just go there and ask her to make you something interesting. A few of her creations below, I don’t know the names of any of them. I just keep asking her to make something I haven’t tried before.   Save space for a dessert cocktail – a combination of ice cream, whipped cream and various types of alcohol. In the photo at the top of the page you will see our friend Pook, who drove down here from Bangkok, a 700Km round trip, for one day just to try these cocktails.   The least we could do was make sure she tried quite a few of them.   Thanks, Pookie. :-)

A quick plug for the Koh Mak Catamaran service.   Some info for people who prefer not to use speedboats to between the mainland & Koh Mak. The Koh Mak Catamaran departs from Laem Sok pier at 14:30 daily, arriving at Ao Nid pier, Koh Mak at 1600. ( From Koh Mak it departs at 1200 ) Passengers can take a free taxi to Laem Sok pier. This leaves from near the police box outside Trat market , in the centre of town, opposite Trat department store. Departure time is 13:30 – 13:45. For passengers arriving from Koh Mak, there is a free transfer from Laem Sok to Trat town or Trat bus station. Ticket price is 350 Baht. Child under 10 years free. WiFi available on the Catamaran and there is also an onboard coffeeshop.   Online booking at

The Battle of Koh Chang.   This WW2 naval battle between the Thai and French forces is commemorated on January 17th every year.   There will be a ceremony at the memorial on Hat Yuthanavy, way down in the south east of Koh Chang and a much larger ceremony at the mainland memorial near Krom Luang Pier, where the speedboat to Koh Mak depart.   If you miss the memorials then you won’t miss the sight of the Thai warships that will be sailed into the straight between Koh Chang and the mainland, these will be easily visible from the ferries.   A good summary of the battle plus some photos taken at the time can be found here.

Koh Chang has a new travel ambassador, spreading word of the island’s sheer awesomeness across the world wide web using the medium of Youtube. You want to know where to stay for US$20 a night, a place where you can connect not only to nature but with your inner primal being, a place where you can get in touch with yourself and find time to write articles which may impact humanity. Then check this out, schmucks.   For more of the same visit Doug’s Republic

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