For 2013

June 25

Red flags flying, big waves but no lifeguards in sight. This time last year the tower on White Sand beach was manned by a couple of guys with all manner of safety and rescue equipment. This year it’s deserted.

Why? Possibly because within the space of a couple of weeks in late May & early June 2012 a few people had drowned off Koh Chang’s beaches and the island was rivalling Phuket for having the most dangerous beaches. So it was good PR to use some of the Navy personnel based on the island as lifeguards.

This year – no drownings. Which is good. It must mean Koh Chang is attracting a more sensible type of visitor.  But no drownings = no need for lifeguards. Want lifeguards? Wait for someone to drown. Catch 22.

On the plus side there is a shiny jetski parked permanently on Klong Prao beach, trailered behind a small tractor ready to be put into the sea.  Handy if you happen to be drowning off the north end of Klong Prao – which has proven to be a popular spot for novice swimmers testing their resilience to rip currents in the past.

White Sand beach, Koh Chang

The Weather.  There have been quite a few wet days this month and rainfall seems to have been higher than normal.  But there’s still been sunshine, especially in the first couple of weeks of the month.  People who had the travel gods on their side when they visited, saw weather like this:

Those who visited a week later got this:

Fruit season is in full swing now and the East of Thailand is one of the main fruit growing areas of the country.  Driving here from Bangkok you can’t miss seeing farmers pick up trucks piled high with all manner of seasonal goodies either parked by the roadside,  hogging the outside lane and swerving wildly as their axles buckle under the weight or U-turning in front of you without signalling.   Gas station forecourts become makeshift fruit markets as buyers from Bangkok and elsewhere converge to buy by the truck load.  Large, open-sided warehouses that are unused for 9 months a year suddenly spring into life and are piled high with crates and boxes which are quickly loaded into containers for export.   On Koh Chang you’ll find locally grown fruit for sale in roadside stalls or out of the back of pick up trucks.  Figure on 20  – 30 Baht or so for a Kilo of  Rambutans, Longans or Mangosteen.

Our friendly driver has just got himself a new car.  This Camry is now being used for private transfers between hotels in Bangkok and on Koh Chang. Ideal for a couple and with plenty of room for two large suitcases plus hand luggage.  Prices etc are here.

Siam Royal View, Koh Chang’s largest luxury housing development is currently holding a one off sale.  All unsold plots are now available with a 50% discount until the end of July.  The only catch is that payment must be made within this time. The new ‘Canal Village’ and Riverfront plots at the southern end of the beach look very good value now as they come with boat moorings and are a minimum of 800sqm in size.  These from around 3.8 Million baht with the discount. No beachfront plots available unfortunately as they sold out a while ago.  More details

June is supposed to be a quiet month.  And it has been for many resorts, some are virtually deserted.  We usually have a holiday mid-June but this year that didn’t happen as our guesthouse has stayed pretty much full all month – which I didn’t expect.  So, the first of the rainy season holidays begin at the end of this week and will go on to mid July.  We’re off to see a couple of cities, it will be great to see some concrete tower blocks, shopping malls and an efficient mass transport system or two.  Makes a refreshing change from trees, beach and nature.

 

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