Another lazy, belated update as a) not a lot’s happening here and b) I’m busy planning my own holidays which will involve spending September driving & walking around the nicer, more mountainous bits of Europe.
On the island, the weather has been alternating between a few days of bright, sunny weather and a few days of grey wet weather. Sadly, no way to know in advance which you’ll get when you come here. So, make a little offering to the travel gods and cross your fingers if you have a holiday booked in the next couple of months. July and now August continued to be quieter than is normal here. I guess due to visitors being put off by the coup, as tourism is still well down on normal across Thailand. But at least people have started planning for winter holidays again and the number of emails I receive has gone back up to their usual level – which is a good indicator than next High Season should be business as usual.
If you happen to being driving from Trat to the ferry pier, and also happen to be in need of basketware, home decor etc then there’s a good little shop which sells locally made items, by the roadside in the centre of Nam Chieo village – you can’t miss it.
The local tourism authority has the job of promoting Koh Chang to the outside world, but I’ve yet to hear of anyone who has every discovered the island via their efforts. No-one seems to know what they do. However, there’s some good news, the Trat Tourism Council which isn’t the same as the Trat branch of the Tourist Authority of Thailand, has announced a grand plan to connect Koh Chang and Pattaya by sea. This will enable sailors to sail from Pattaya to Koh Chang. Something that they can already do quite easily, as they have boats and are sailors – but that’s irrelevant to the Trat Tourism Council.
In the coming months the sea will be officially open for yachties and the adventurous ones will even be able to go into Cambodian waters . . . if they can come up with a way, other than obviously getting a visa in advance or calling into an immigration office when they make land, to figure out how to overcome this obstacle. Wonder what the budget for this plan will be & where the money will be spent? The news report in all its glory.
Trat Tourism Council to connect Pattaya and Trat islands by sea for tourism
The Trat Tourism Council is planning to connect a tourism route by sea between Pattaya and Trat islands before expanding the route to connect with more locations in the future. Chakapat Tawaetikul, the president of the Trat Tourism Council, chaired a meeting of the committee to develop a marine tourism route. The meeting was attended by both public and private sectors to share their ideas on the topic. As there are many Thai and foreign tourists who love to sail, the relevant authorities set up a special area comprising Pattaya, Koh Chang islands and Trat islands. It also has a plan to connect the Trat islands to the neighboring sea. However, the connection with neighboring Cambodia and Vietnam requires more discussion since it must handle immigration issues.
Here’s a nice teakwood & brick house for sale on Koh Mak, over 200sqm living space on two floors, 500Sqm of land and a long registered lease. Ideal as a holiday home as it can be rented out through the resort it is built in. The owners need to sell due to illness and so the price is only 130,000 Euros. More photos and info.
Last update I mentioned a nice spot by the Klong Plu river where locals go to swim. If you are staying around the south of the island there’s another great little place where you can swim safely in crystal clear fresh water from the mountains. Follow the main road from Bangbao, past Klong Kloi beach. You’ll need to take care if you’re on a scooter as the road is steep and slippery immediately after you pass the beach. Head around 1Km further and you’ll come to the river. If you are here at the weekend you’ll see a small food & drinks stall set up. Great place to cool off if the sea is too rough.
Finally, the Thai Army were here last weekend ensuring that everyone had a good night out, paid their bar bills, didn’t forget to tip, and weren’t reading 1984 or any engaging in any activities that could be deemed democratic. As Koh Chang is ( possibly) a hotbed of terrorist activity, they thought it best to go out with M16s and flak jackets – safety first. Here they are offering assistance to staff from a massage shop on White Sand beach. ( Photo by Correntin )