How things change . . . The first week of June was glorious, blue skies, some cloud, a little overnight rain and deserted beaches. Literally deserted beaches, as the photos below show.
But now, mid-June, the beaches are still deserted but we’ve had a week of cool, grey, wet weather. Hopefully this won’t last too long. This guy’s enjoying playing in the mud . . .
The start of the rainy season has also brought almost daily power outages. In the past when the power went off it was usually the result of a tree falling on the lines. And the power was out everywhere south of
the tree fell. Last year, new poles and lines were installed to cater for the increasing number of large resorts. So now both the old and new power lines are in use. And for some reason, when it rains a lot things tend to get screwed up. Power can be off in one area and fine, north and south a kilometre away. But the power flipping on and off has also screwed up some internet connections in some areas of the island – notably mine, which has meant I’ve been waiting 3 days to do this update.
Rumours abound of Cambodian workers being rounded up and escorted off the island and taken to the border. The Thai army, in its wisdom, announced a crackdowm on various things – one of which was illegal workers. This led to a) many Cambodians fearing the worst and deciding to head home b) Employers fearing they couldn’t pay off the authorities for having illegal workers, and so telling them to go. End result is that at the time of writing over 120,000 Cambodian workers have now left Thailand. These are the people employed on construction sites, on fruit farms, in resorts doing all the jobs that Thais dont want to do. Luckily it is low season. Hopefully they will be back soon. The upshot of this exodus is that now isn’t a good time to be planning to go to Siem Reap overland via the Poipet border crossing – it’s a tad busy.
Lack of demand + lack of business sense x the demands of having a ‘mia noi’ ( a minor wife ) = one of the largest transport companies on the island has gone out of business.
On and yesterday , some dumb people hired kayaks off even dumber resort staff on Lonely beach and ended up almost drowning. They we’re OK. Photos of the rescue here
But aside from no tourists; bankruptcy; bad weather; power cuts; high possibility of drowning; no internet and a spot of ethnic cleansing – Koh Chang’s a great place to be right now. It’s not all negative though – it’s the ideal time if you like waterfalls; want to catch up on your reading; have your surfboard with you or live in Dubai and have never seen rain.
This is Than Mayom waterfall. Famous
mainly only as a place that was visited by a couple of Thai kings over 100 years ago. But a nice spot to swim. To get to the waterfall you need to cross the river, there is a guide rope and you’ll be followed by a park ranger, just in case you end up in the water, but outside weekends, you’ll have the place pretty much to yourself at this time of year.
Now is the main fruit season in this part of Thailand. You’ll see trucks loaded with fruit piled up by the roadside when you drive through Chantaburi and Trat provinces. A couple of weeks ago Chantaburi held its annual Durian Festival – which townfolk claim is the best in the world. Part of the celebrations included a competition for fruit themed rafts which were on display on the lake in the middle of town.
Good tour agency business for sale. I’ve been asked not to put anything too specific on the site. But a tour agency business with 10 years’ experience on the island is up for sale. Price includes good roadside location with a lot of foot traffic, small house and 35 rental scooters – all under 3 years old. Asking price is 2 Million Baht. Land rent is also low. Email me for more info.
Finally, just for fun. I was looking for hotels and found this review on Agoda. Harald hasn’t quite got the hang of what to include in a hotel review.
( Like you, I’m also wondering just what was rated 8/10.)