Anyone with more than passing interest in Koh Chang or with an attention span greater than a few milliseconds will have noticed that the one thing that the photos above all have in common is that none of them are from Koh Chang. This is because a) I’ve been away on holiday and b) there hasn’t been anything of interest happening here. So hopefully next update will contain more Koh Chang related pics. In the meantime, some more holiday photos are scattered below and also a few bits and pieces from Koh Chang.
A kick ass job. One thing that Koh Chang has lacked, despite there being a demand for, is a Muay Thai gym. Over the years I have met several people who have had this idea but never been able to get it off the ground. And every year I get numerous emails from people asking where they can train when they come here. This may well change in the ear future . . . Down in Lonely Beach, BB Divers are building a new gym that, along with Yoga, Pilates etc, will feature Muay Thai training, however, one thing is missing – a trainer. So, if you have Muay Thai skills and are looking for a fun job for the High Season get in touch with Kristel, the owner, and she will provide more details. Don’t expect sky high pay, but the right person will have freedom to design courses and classes and it is definitely something that could be expanded and become very lucrative if it proves successful. ( See the success of MT gyms on all other large Thai islands.) For more info: < firstname.lastname@example.org >
A few photos from Suanpheung & Amphawa, both located to the west of Bangkok and both popular with weekending Thais. Weekdays they are dead. To visit Suanpheung you really need your own transport, there aren’t any real attractions other than the chance to see real live sheep but it’s a nice area with rolling hillsides that lead to mountains on the Border with Myanmar. Amphawa is well worth a visit for a night and is only an hour from the centre of Bangkok. The floating night market is open on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Choose from a larger resort by the river a short boat ride from the market or a smaller place on the canal in an old waterfront house.
Another one bites the dust. As White sand Beach now has Navy rescue teams lurking beachside ready to save any tourist who gets into trouble, anyone planning to drown has to look further afield and this week the unfortunate victim was a 50 year old Aussie who was either called Henry or Harry depending on which of the Thai language reports you choose to believe. He drowned off Koh Yak whilst on a snorkelling trip to islands south of Koh Chang. His body was brought back to Koh Chang by the National Park speedboat, which was nice of them. The driver then lost all his good karma points by asking the companion of the deceased for petrol money. Adding that if they didn’t have cash on them then they could do a bank transfer later. The deceased’s Thai girlfriend handed over 2,000 Baht which was all she had on her as they hadn’t planned in advance for this eventuality. See this photo from kohchangnews.com of her handing over cash as the body bag is being zipped up a couple of metres away.
South of the Equator. We also popped over to Bali for a week. Airasia has some very good deals on flights and it’s well worth a trip, although the highlights for me were the natural attractions rather than the temples and markets. We had a couple of nights in Kuta and Sanur, where it was interesting to see the Aussie hordes at play. ( As far as tribe mentality goes, I thought the Russians in Pattaya or Brits in Benidorm were bad until I saw Aussies in Kuta.) But most of the trip was spent at a nice little guesthouse Puri Bayu in Ubud. we got a scooter and then went off on that every day, cheap to hire – around 120 Baht/day, 15 Baht / litre for fuel and no hassle from the police. With the help of the offline map on Travelfish’s Bali app we took back roads through small villages rather than the busier roads, which are very narrow and not a lot of fun to ride on, and met some very friendly folks enroute. Food-wise, there isn’t a lot of variation and choice when compared to Thai food, but we did have some very nice meals, the highlight of which was Naughty Nuri’s in Ubud where we made a pilgrimage – twice – to try the ribs and martinis ( which celeb chef Anthony Bourdain has rated as the best outside New York.)
Over on Youtube, several really good dive videos shot at sites south of Koh Chang, have just been uploaded by ‘Rems Production’ one is below: