For 2013

24 October

The photo above that probably caught your eye was the one of the two snakes.  One isn’t so obvious as its head is inside the other’s mouth.

At the bottom of the page you’ll find a link to some of the best snake photos you’ve ever seen.  These were taken by Alexander, a few days ago at Kai Bae Waterfall.  The black snake is a King Cobra.  It’s deadly.  If it bit you, you would almost certainly die within a very short time.  The other snake is a medium sized Python.  You’ll notice in the photos that people were standing a couple of metres away from the King Cobra.  They were lucky it didn’t get bored of battling the Python and turn in their direction.   Best to use your zoom lens with these snakes.

If you happen to be staying in Trat then the town’s museum is well worth a visit.  It’s located in the old City Hall, a restored 90 year old teak wood building.  There aren’t many artifacts on display but the museum does a good job of explaining the history of the province in both Thai and English plus there’s some pretty video presentations.  The museum is located near the police station and local government offices on the south-east of the town.  Entry is 30 Baht for cash rich foreigners and 10 Baht for hard up Thais.  Some pics below and I’ll add a page with more info next week.

The big event on the island recently was the Tak Bat Devo Merit Making Ceremony.  This is something that happens at temples across Thailand.  This year the temples on Koh Chang combined forces and pooled their monks in order to have one big ceremony at Klong Son Temple.  It was certainly the largest gathering of Koh Changers I’ve seen.  The temple grounds were packed and the procession of monks and people in odd costumes took over an hour to pass all the people patiently waiting to give alms, many of whom had been there for 3 -4 hours, having arrived early to grab a good spot.  More photos.

A new catamaran service is due to start in a week’s time running from Laem Sok, on the mainland, to Koh Mak and Koh Kood.  However, at present no-one seems to have a photo of the actual boat.  The service, run by Boonsiri Ferry, will be a high speed catamaran capable of seating 200 passengers.  The company will also provide transport from Bangkok, which entails passengers getting themselves to the Ikea parking lot on the southern outskirts of Bangkok by 5.30am in order to catch the bus. See the company website for more details:

Koh Chang ferry

One thing I’ve never understood is why boats to Koh Kood always leave the mainland before 1pm.  It’s obvious that the vast majority of foreign visitors aren’t going to get up at 5am in Bangkok and try to get a bus or private transfer to the pier.  They’ll have breakfast, then take a mid-morning bus to Trat, stay the night and ideally would love a 4pm boat, but instead have to stay overnight in Trat – ‘The City that never Wakes’  and the next day head to Koh Kood.  So,  either people who run boat services to Koh Kood haven’t figured this out or possibly the altruistic boat owners want to keep Koh Kood as a ‘hard to reach’ destination and reduce the negative impact caused by tourism to the island.  There again, could just be there’s some deal in place to prevent people running late afternoon, i.e. conveniently timed, boats from the mainland to Koh Kood in order to benefit hotels & businesses in Trat.  Wonder which it is?

Why do people remove their brains once they get  into the sunshine? I met a guy who ‘bought’ a small business for a stupid amount of money and now wants to sell it for an even more stupidly large amount of money. He owns the fixtures & fittings and pays rent to a landlord for the shop space:

“How long is the lease?”
“I pay rent every month.”
“Yes, but how long is the contract for?”
“As long as I want, I pay every month.”
“So, what does the contract actually say? 1 year?, 3 years?”
“What contract?”
“Your rental contract.”
“I don’t have one, but the landlord is a nice guy so it’s OK.”

Ho hum. “Caveat emptor” as they would say here if the Romans had ever colonised Thailand. They didn’t so there is no local equivalent.

Panviman Resort have just opened their new spa on the roadside in Klong Prao village.  It’s a very nice place indeed.  More so as they have an offer for one Hour’s Thai massage for 300 Baht.  Way nicer ambiance than any similarly priced places and the masseuses are those who work at the Panviman Resort – so they know their job.  They also have some fancier Spa treatments and private rooms with a jacuzzi, steam bath etc.  I mentioned this on Facebook and a reader wanted to know if  he could get a “happy ending” there.  I don’t know.  But, if you go, can you ask the staff and then let Andrew know whether or not he can get some relief there.  Thanks.

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OK.  Snake time.  80+ photos on Flickr of King Cobra Vs. Python at Kai Bae Waterfall.