The beaches of Koh Rang. You can take a boat trip to the small islands around Koh Rang and some trips also drop people off on Koh Rang itself either for lunch or to laze on the beach for a while. There are some lovely small beaches on the east coast of the island but to visit them all you need your own boat. ( Or, if like me you’re on a budget, you can take a kayak. ) Don’t forget your sunscreen and a few litres of water. If you get hungry just stop off at the restaurant at the National Park office on the island.
Hidden Gems. But it isn’t just Koh Rang that has some great, rarely visited beaches. So does Koh Mak. The best of these is Turtle Beach, located on the northernmost tip on the island. Not so easily accessible as getting there either involves walking along the beach from Koh Mak Resort and then along an overgrown path or riding a scooter along the path, which has a couple of trickier sections where you need to take care, for 2-3 kilometres. The beach is spotless. This isn’t a freak of nature, it’s down to the efforts of Eddie & Sue, a retired English couple who spend their winters on Koh Mak and who have become the unofficial guardians of the beach, taking it upon themselves to keep it clean and remove any garbage that is either left behind or, more often, washed up on the shore.
A quick look at the failed Koh Kham super luxury resort. A half finished project that could be yours for 1 Billion Baht or so. This was to be Ananya Hideaway, an exclusive enclave on this private island. The island may have been ruined now, but the beach still has the whitest, powderiest sand this side of the Maldives. More Koh Kham photos here.
Back on Koh Chang, you probably didn’t realise that you could paddle a kayak to see elephants. Our guests regularly do it and have a great time watching the elephants submersing themselves just a few metres from their boat and then getting sprayed with water when they emerge. No-one else does, but there’s no reason why you can’t if you are staying in the Klong Prao area and want an alternative to paddling along the beach. Location and more photos.
Up and coming arts events. On Koh Chang next week is the start of the mini improvisational dance festival at KP Hut & Tiger Hut. This is the second year that people from around the world, mainly Russians, have gathered to do some pretty weird dancing on the beach. Expect to see bodies rolling in the sand as though having a mass fit and frollicking in the water. If the following resonates with your inner being, then you might want to go along:
We will explore where is our awareness in the dance, in a duet and alone, what’s keeping us busy during improvisation?
We will practice the focus of awareness inward and the focus of awareness outward, we will be the whole room and a speck of dust..
We will meet ourselves through the meeting of others, what is the other person reflecting for me? What do I reflect for myself through the other?
Where am I letting go in order to meet the other? What prevents me from letting go when I feel resistance?
If you read that and thought “WTF???”, then you might still want to go along and just watch for a laugh.
Meanwhile down on Koh Mak, dancing of a different type as Ao Suan Yai beach becomes home to Thai Break. Several resorts in the area have decided to forget marketing Koh Mak as Thailand’s Family Island for 10 days and instead try to become Thailand’s Party Island and host a load of German ravers. Meanwhile a plan to hold a one day, one off, international jet ski competition around the island which would have attracted racers from around the world, their supporters and TV attention was rejected as it would make too much noise. ( i.e. wouldn’t make enough money for certain influential people.)
Back on Koh Chang there are two musical happenings. Firstly, DJ Nakadia at the old bar area adjacent to Mojito Bar in Kai Bae on 3 March. She’s a Thai woman who is famous for playing records. But she plays some records in a different order from men who play records and so she is worth going to see. And on 8 March, Sek Loso will be performing in the car park at Grand View Plaza, White Sand beach. He’s a Thai guy who plays a guitar and writes songs that are better than some other people who play the guitar & write songs, therefore he too is worth seeing, apparently. So, something for everyone who likes records and guitars.
Food. After trying three beach restaurants on White Sands for dinner since the last update, I’m surprised at how bad a lot of the food is now. It all looks acceptable enough but there’s no taste to it and if there is then it’s all wrong. Reminds me of eating in Phuket a decade ago. Adding a good place to eat every week is either going to cost me a lot or the Restaurant section is going to be pretty thin.
Finally . . . . There isn’t room to show this photo of a waterspout I took. Rare that you see these around here and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and saw this off the coast of Koh Kradat, north east of Koh Mak.