Once in a while something comes along that makes life worth living, for some this is getting married or perhaps the birth of a child, for others it’s fulfilling a longheld ambition or achieving something you previously thought out of your reach. For me, it’s a slightly less lofty goal. Every week or so I have to think of something to write that is both slightly amusing and also offbeat or maybe just related to something weird and wonderful that has happened on Koh Chang recently. So, you can imagine my immense delight when this week the local authorities on the island made my life so much easier and did all the hard work for me.
The background is something like this, a meeting was held and a decision made to do something so dumb that it removes all doubt about how dumb the people in charge of erecting billboards on the island really are. It was one of those decisions where, you get the feeling, a vote was held on whether or not it’d be fun to do something really f*cked up and the majority agreed that it most definitely would be.
And so we get what we have below. Huge billboards featuring a dead child on the beach and the slogan ‘Have a nice trip on Koh Chang‘ – the only way this is going to help Koh Chang’s tourism industry is if visitors come here specially to see what signs they will come up with next, as it’s going to be hard to top.
There is a good reason for the signs – they are to warn of the perils of rip currents. Which is a good thing to warn people about. And I can understand using that photo for dramatic effect & impact – good idea too. But how about a slogan more along the lines of ‘Don’t be a Victim’ ? However, the slogan isn’t the only thing wrong, more important is the fact that the signs went up a few days ago, at the start of the High Season, yet there wont be any danger from rip currents until next rainy season.
There are no rip currents during High Season. By the time the rainy season rolls around the signs will have either fallen down or will have faded and won’t be of any use. So new ones are going to have to be put up anyway. All the signs serve to do at present is give visitors the impression they will drown if they go in the sea and, if they do, the authorities think that this equates to having an enjoyable holiday.
Back to reality . . . the Immigration Department will open an office on Koh Chang in the coming months, this will be in the Tourist Police office in Klong Prao. A photo op was held with officials from the mainland Immigration office at Laem Ngop who came all the way here to put up a sign, which was taken down when they left and take photos of each other in the office. My role in this was to pose for photos as a sweaty, middle aged guy with visa problems ( Luckily, not too much of a stretch. ) who’d stumbled into the office on the off chance that a friendly official might be able to help me out. No-one in uniform seemed to know when the office would open for real or what visa issues could or couldn’t be sorted out there. We will find out in the coming weeks.
Congrats to the Siam Royal View development on Koh Chang that won the award for ‘Best Villa Development on the Eastern Seaboard’ at the recent Thailand Property Awards – an annual event that is considered the equivalent of the Oscars by people who build nice houses for a living in Thailand.
Elsewhere in the property world on Koh Chang, the new Island Life Condos have just completed their show unit. These condos will be the only ones located on the busy beach areas of the island, making them ideal as holiday rentals. Around 40% of the units have already been sold. More info & photos here.
Business Opportunity. How many times have you returned home from work and thought to yourself ‘I wish I could be part owner of an Italian womenswear boutique catering to Russian tourists in the Chaichet area of Koh Chang?’. Well, now’s your chance. 400,000 Baht gets you 50% of the profits and a discount on bikinis. Contact me for more details. A couple of pics below to whet your appetite.
Here’s a very useful website for you to bookmark – www.kohchangferry.com – nothing fancy, just up to date ticket prices and schedules for the two ferry services to Koh Chang.
Equal Opportunities. For years pudgy little white boys have been complaining to their parents about how come they don’t get to play with firearms yet kids in undeveloped central African nations get a gun in their hand as soon as they can walk and are even allowed to shoot real bullets. How unfair is that? Thankfully, the shooting range on Koh Chang, which I’d never previously thought of as a family friendly day trip, now offers kids the chance to play with real guns. Under close supervision of course, as it would be irresponsible to put a semi-automatic in the hands of a 10 year old and then turn your back. “Stand closer son, you’ll hit the bottle this time.” Photos from facebook.com/shooting.kochang
P.S. It’s not just for kids, it’s for bikini clad Russian chicks too . . . hint . . .mouse over :-)
Go East. If you have time on your hands, take a scooter down the east coast. The roads are empty and at first glance there isn’t a whole load to see. Most people just race south to Salakphet & Salakkok bays without stopping. But take the time to head down the side roads and explore and you’ll be pleasantly surprised, there are some great views and you’ll get more of an idea of local life on the island.