Plenty of joyous New Year spirit in this update. Songkran has been and gone, but ‘Songkran 2’ is just around the corner. The main days for water throwing were the 13,14,15 April but on 27 & 28 April Koh Chang will have its own celebration. The build up to this has begun already and last night was the first day of the music festival is probably the biggest annual event on the island. Certainly more stalls and people around than at most fairs. There’s six nights of music from bands & singers you won’t have heard of, but that is irrelevant. This isn’t bland Thai pop, it is the far more fun, raunchier, northeastern style of entertainment where sequined backing dancers accompany (usually) female singers dressed in bikini tops & hot pants. Last night, as far as I could make out, one of the girls was singing about needing some help in the shower to get clean. (For an idea of what to expect watch this video, the band have never charted, the singer went from being no-one to a household name in the space of a couple of weeks last year. The song is about having an itchy ear and needing some help in scratching it and a small cotton bud not being up to the job, but apparently it was a euphemism. Polite Thai society was shocked & scandalised, so much so that over 17 million people checked out the video.)
I added photos taken on the three days of Songkran to the site, after missing the celebrations last year i thought I should make an effort this time around. A selection are below. But on 13 April there are some pics of watery mayhem taken from the dry, airconditioned safety of my pick up. On the 14th, I opted to get wet and test just how waterproof my phone really was. And on the 15th, I went to the temple in Klong Prao where some more traditional celebrations were taking place but still ended up soaked.
High Season is pretty much over for many businesses now. More ‘For Sale’ sings are going up outside small shops and bars and outside the long weekend holidays, of which there are a couple more to come, there are far fewer visitors around. I’ve been easing myself into running again, not done that for along time, so have been out on the beach early morning and it’s usually just me and a couple of Thai visitors on a kilometers long stretch of sand. Which means that it is a good time to visit the island, as the weather hasn’t turned yet. There’s some occasional rain overnight and the main complaint from our guests recently seems to be the sea is too hot to swim in, which immediately gets me thinking of how Basil Fawlty would handle the situation.
And for anyone thinking of ‘Investing in Paradise’, you might want to read ‘Your Investment Guide to Thailand‘ by Bruce Bickerstaff. Which covers not only the ins and outs of property & business ownership but covers legal advice and info on managing other financial investments here in Thailand. Far better advice that you’ll get from a mate who has a bar here or people with vested interests posting on discussion boards. Forewarned is forearmed as they say.
The polluted drainage ditch at the north end of White Sand beach, that allows all manner of crap to flow onto the beach near KC Grande Resort, made it into the Manager newspaper last week. Apparently waste water from the neighbouring 7-eleven flows straight into it and onto the sand. Nothing in English anywhere . . . except what you are reading now.
And after hearing how some of the locals were so worried about the threat posed by Cambodians on the island that they wouldn’t dare to venture into the areas with large Cambodian populations, I decided to risk life and limb and go for a wander around the ‘Little Phnom Penh’ slum village. I survived without being shot or mugged once, although I did get a few strange looks from people lazing in hammocks as I wandered past their combined living room / garage / shower area and a couple of kids did come up to say “Hello”. More photos here.