Bit of a delayed update as I wanted to wait until all the Songkran festivities were over. Technically, it’s still High Season, but Koh Chang is quietening down now. There’s another couple of pretty busy weeks until after the May Day holidays and then Low Season will be up on us. Time to start planning my own holidays soon :-)
The official Songkran holiday was from 13-15 April. Koh Chang was packed during that weekend with cars having to wait 4 hours or more to get onto a ferry. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great and so aside form the first day, the water throwing wasn’t as widespread as normal. Chucking water in the rain is a bit pointless.
But by the time ‘Songkran 2’ ( when the locals get to celebrate ) rolled around on 19-20 April the sun was shining and everyone had their water guns out again. The 19th was more of a traditional day and the 20th was reserved for a parade of decorated floats plus water fights and big concert to end the night. The parade wasn’t as impressive as in previous years, where I remember far more floats. Many of the larger resorts didn’t take part for some reason. Even the Amari Emerald Cove and Panviman, who did take part look like their floats were done as an afterthought. So it was left to KC Grande, Aana Resort, Centara, Mac Resort and Baan Chang Thai elephant camp to show what can be done with nothing more than staff with time on their hands and an unlimited supply of fresh produce and leaves. The results looked as though the driver had ram-raided a fruit and vegetable shop and was then making a very orderly getaway.
As in previous years the ‘Songkran 2’ celebrations weren’t widely advertised in English anywhere and so events that I’d have thought visitors would like to see, such as the alms giving to the monks on the beach, went unnoticed. ( Well, not 100% true, I counted six tourists watching it. Two taking photos.) Likewise the fun kayak races and tug of war in the river weren’t known about – so fewer than last year attended. But on the plus side the MC’s at the night fair we’re doing announcements in both English & Thai. If they hadn’t then visitors in the crowd would never have known which hotel had won 1st prize in the afternoon’s ‘Nam Prik’ ( spicy, chili dip) cooking competition. It was Klong Prao Resort for anyone who’s interested.
This what you missed . . .
I almost forgot the Songkran temple fair, a traditional event, where funds are raised for the temple. This year Koh Chang’s troupe of ‘Chinese’ acrobats upped the ante and gave the crowd what they wanted – Baby Bungee jumping. If you’re going to try this, I’d advise using someone else’s child to practice with first.
Couple of panoramas of beaches. As April is one one the month’s where the tides are very low during the daytime:
Kai Bae Beach – as seen from KB Hut
Klong Prao beach – from Coconut Beach Resort