For 2012

July 3

The only viewpoint over Lonely Beach is at Siam Beach Resort, not the main resort but the old hillside bungalows, which may be showing their age a bit, but for 650 Baht/night you cant beat the views.  More info    

The  photo of the eerie corridor above was taken in Koh Chang’s tallest hotel building, a 7 floor floating hotel called The Galaxy, which is ‘well recognized as the most modern floating hotel in Thailand’ or ‘  straight out of a horror film’ depending on whether you believe hotel booking sites or guest reviews. I popped down to Aunchaleena Resort – the new name for Grand Lagoona Resort, to see whch description was the more accurate.  A couple of pics below and if you need more help making your mind up, yet more highlights from the ship-o-tel here.

Koh Chang beach views

Chantaburi is a town on the mainland, just over an hour’s drive from the mainland ferry pier for Koh Chang.  Anyone coming to Koh Chang from Bangkok or Pattaya will pass by it.  And that is what virtually everyone does, pass by it.  Chantaburi is one of those towns that should get more foreign visitors than it does.   The main reason being that in order to really appreciate it you have to get out of the town and explore the surroundings a little.  If you are staying on Koh Chang then it’s well worth a day trip.  You want beaches with cheap seafood restaurants,you’ve got them.  An aquarium? No problem,there’s one and it’s free to enter – even for foreigners.  Into a bit of history?  Go way back with a visit to the National Maritime Museum or King Taksin’s shipyard.  Or checkout some of the remnants of French colonial rule – various buildings & forts plus Thailand’s largest Catholic cathedral and the ‘old town’ where many homes remain the same as they were at the turn of the 20th Century.  ( If you want to do some shopping, Chantaburi is one of the centres for the gem trade in Thailand with buyers from around the world heading here. )

Sunny days during the rainy season are often the best times to see wild monkeys on the island.  They come down to the roadside to play & eat and most are happy to tolerate humans in relatively close proximity.  But take care with the adult males, if they take a disliking to you or think you are too close to their family then be prepared to back off quickly when they descend from the trees with their teeth bared.  Also not a good idea to feed them, even if you want to, it’ll just encourage them to assume all humans have food for them and before long they’ll be pulling kids arms out of their sockets and stealing the Iphone you were trying to take a photo of them with.

Sea View Resort in Kai Bae has been in the news for land encroachment and illegal construction work, which isn’t surprising to anyone who lives here.   Nothing in the English press but in a few Thai papers eg Thai Rath  

Click for large photoFinally, one of the most interesting things I saw in Chantaburi was on the wall of one of the homes in the old town.  A certificate issued by the French Vice Consulate in 1910 allowing the Great Great Grandmother of the current occupant of the house to run a clothing business.   The framed, tattered certificate was issued on 2 August 1910.  The owner found it only a couple of years ago apparently and it is now an attraction in itself for visitors to her small shop.

But a couple of things struck me as being a bit odd.  1) The photo in the bottom left seemed a bit out of place, it is printed on the paper- not a picture stuck on the form which is a typed template that was completed by hand.   2) The French left Chantaburi in 1904 and were out of Trat by 1906.  So either the French  bureaucrat  who completed the form made an error with the year and was out by at least 6 years or whoever produced the document forgot when the French left.

Fake or not?  The year appears to be made by a different pen to the rest of the document so did someone add that later to an original? Click the picture for the large version and get your CSI / Sherlock deducing caps on

1 Comment

  • Great article!

    Koh Chang is really an amazing island and I hope it will stay like this for decades and not be just another overrun and overpulluted island like Phuket and Koh Samui.

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