January 17 marked the annual celebration of the World War Two ‘Battle of Koh Chang’ where the Thai Navy did their best to beat off an attack by the French. It’s morphed into quite a party atmosphere now with four nights of live music, food and market stalls set up at the naval monument on the mainland adjacent to Krom Luang pier ( where the speedboats to Koh Mak depart ). Photos below from Trat Tourist Authority who get invited to these things – whereas I don’t as I’d just keep pointing out that France actually won the battle & did so rather convincingly.
I hadn’t been to Klong Plu waterfall for a long time, so thought it was time to take a look and see if there was any water still in it. It’s been very dry here. Almost two months now with no rain and so the small rivers are all dry. Good news is that there is still water, it is still worth a visit and you can still get to the top of the waterfall quite easily if you want to. ( You aren’t supposed to as sooner or later some idiot will fall off the top, but there’s no sign specifically forbidding you from doing it and there is an easy to follow path there. ) The Visitor’s Centre is still as crap as before however, the pickled deer has now been accompanied by a stuffed sea turtle, sadly the photo of a beach in Scotland which was used in place of Kai Bae beach, has long since been removed.
On the subject of water – the big murly hole / reservoir below is where many resorts on the west coast of Koh Chang get their water from. Something to bear in mind whilst brushing your teeth. The water level appears much lower than normal for this time of year. There may well be shortages if there’s no rain before the end of High Season.
Also been a while since I went to Baan Kwan Chang, the first & the best of the elephant camps on the island. This hasn’t really changed since I first went there over 10 years ago. Back then they had 6 elephants, now they have 10. They still aren’t selling much in the way of souvenir junk, expensive artisan coffee or putting up signs in Russian all over the place – all of which are good things for an elephant camp not to be doing.
Best beach Restaurant on the island? No-one is ever going to agree on that. But if you are staying on White Sand beach then head up to the far, far north of the beach to the ‘Somtom Shop’ a very chilled little place a world away from the lobster tanned, ‘beer in a deckchair’ crowd who inhabit the far busier central area of the beach. The food is best described ‘Tourist Thai’. from what I saw, and ate, the dishes have been tuned to suit delicate Western palates. But it’s still a very good nonetheless and the fruit shakes were amongst the best I’ve tried on the island. You can also snorkel around the rocky shoreline nearby.
I’ve been trying a few coffeeshops recently. But by far the worst coffee you can get, outside the pale brown liquid that the larger 3 star resorts serve at breakfast, is on Koh Chang Ferry. They have a pretty extensive menu but to make it easy, I prepared this brief illustration to make your decision easier if you aren’t au fait with the various types of coffee on offer.