For 2014

14 December

Chill on the Beach Koh Chang

Roadworks.  If you’re visiting Kai Bae over Christmas you might notice that the planning authorities, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that the best time of year to fix the bridge in the middle of the village is right now.   At the busiest time of year.  This means that all the traffic has to do a detour around the back of the village along a dirt road. There are signs up to advice people – however, they’re all in Thai  – nothing in English ( or even Russian for that matter ) which might might have been an idea as this is tourist destination.

On the plus side . the main street is a night place for  a stroll in the evenings now as there is no traffic running along it.  It’s also possible to pay badminton in the centre of the road, as a couple of kids were doing yesterday morning.

More new resorts.  On White Sand beach, Kacha Resort’s new rooms are almost complete and nearby two new resorts have now opened adjacent to each other.  These are the reincarnations of the old Bamboo Bungalows – now Bamboo Resort and Apple bungalows – now Apple Resort.  In both cases, old bungalows have nee replaced by new hotel rooms and a small pool plus beachfront restaurant.  They both still smell of paint but are now open and taking walk in guests.

Apple have done the nicer job in my opinion.  It’s a bit more stylish and the two floor, wooden beach restaurant is very nice.   Unfortunately, neither are on the main online booking sites.

On Klong Prao beach the latest resort to open in an annex to Klong Prao Resort called ‘Bhu Tarn Resort‘.  It’s just off the main road close to the entrance of Klong Prao resort.  So the beach is only 2 minutes walk away.  Plenty of small shops and restaurants in the vicinity and it looks a nice alternative to staying in Klong Prao Resort itself as it’s smaller, so no large tour groups, and the rooms are more stylish.  There’s a pool and High Season rates are under 3,000 Baht / night.  So well worth considering.

Another new hotel is opening soon by the roadside at the south end of Klong Prao beach, adjacent to Noren Resort.  ‘The Gallery’ is a curious project.  When we first came here, over 11 years ago, the shell was already built.  The owner was the father of a well known Thai singer.  However, there were always problems with architects, builders etc and it had taken years for the project to get even half completed.  For several years nothing happened.  A couple of half-hearted attempts were made to continue the building work, but there was no real progress.  It was then sold and the new owner has now, finally, completed it. I expect it to be open in time for New Year.   Again, I cant find it on any online booking sites, so worth checking ut for a reasonable priced room over New Year if you decide to show up on the island without anywhere booked.

Koh Chang Rotary Club are in charge of running the New Year’s celebrations this year.  So expect lots of photo opportunities for local Rotarians and good wholesome family fun.  It’ll be held on a big patch of vacant land by the roadside in Klong Prao  The last time the Rotary Club organised an event, their 1st Anniversary party,  it was a car audio show featuring scantily clad dancing girls.  I still get emails about that, mainly from single Indian guys, asking when the next event will be and where they can meet the girls.  But since then the Rotary Club Facebook page consists of them wearing a range of colourful polo shirts and meeting other Rotarians – which is expected but a bit dull.

This coming weekend, 19 & 20 December, sees an event called  ‘Chill on the Beach’ taking place at the north end of Klong Prao.   They’ll be lots of paragliders here, led by members of the Thai national paragliding team; kayak racing of some kind, a beach marathon – i.e. short jog on the beach; a ‘Miss Hula’ contest; plus DJs and live music.

Chill on the Beach Koh Chang

In case you missed it . . .the Best Video of the Year for this part of Thailand . . . is . . . .  Happy from Koh Kood.  Tourist authorities with their infinite budgets can never come up with something like this.  But a guy with a camera, a Macbook  and zero budget can.  Guaranteed to make you smile and a great way to promote the island.

And if one great video wasn’t enough.  Second best of the year is this recent one from my friend Mo who runs Koh Chang Sailing Club.

He has a couple of Hobie Cats and Laser dinghies for hire either with a skipper or without at Emerald Cove Resort and also Centara Tropicana Resort, both on Klong Prao beach.  Next year he’s planning sailing trips by Hobie Cat to Koh Mak.  This video does a great job showing what’s possible for people who want to escape Bangkok and get out on the water.

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