For 2014

8 March

Koh Chang’s newest museum is now open.  With the new temple in Salakphet finally completed, the original temple, a much smaller, 100 year old building, has been made into a  mini museum.  There aren’t many artifacts on display but it does tell the story of King Rama V who visited the area numerous times during his reign and founded the temple in the village. One of the items on display is the staff he used whilst walking in the area.

Koh Chang’s elephant camp cartel have just announced that they will raise prices for elephant treks by 66% as of now.  A short ride was 500 and is now 850 Baht.  A longer ride with elephant bathing was 900 and is now 1,500 Baht.   The reason given is that the camps were hardly making any money at the old prices.  As fewer people will be taking treks now will be interesting to see if this strategy works.  Of course there would have been plenty of business for the camps if the number of them hadn’t increased from three to six in the last few years.  Rather than allowing each camp to compete and survive, or not, on it’s own merits, all camps put their name on the price fixing letter sent to tour agents.  The prices are now on  a par with those on southern islands – but a lot more expensive than in the north of Thailand.

Let's go to the Sea

Meanwhile, Koh Chang’s Rotarians went out of their way to show that a Rotary Club fundraising evening doesn’t have to involve a sponsored walk, jumble sale or dinner with a minor ‘celebrity’ who was once famous but now can’t even get on Big Brother.  We got a car audio show, which turned out to be a bit more interesting than just listening to audiophiles talk about the latest in Bose speakers.  More photos

The Restaurant section needed a bit of an update, and that will be coming soon.  We’ve been out trying a few Western restaurants to include, as although Thai food is great, sometimes it’s nice to have something you recognise for once. I’ll start adding a small selection of my favourite places in the next week or so.  But two that will be making the list are Barrio Bonito in Kai Bae which does great Mexican food and cocktails and Paul’s Restaurant on White Sand beach, for German food and a bottle or two of Weihenstephan.   Barrio Bonito pics below:

On the subject of food, I ate at a couple of fun places  in the suburbs of Bangkok last week.  Alpaca View, which features Alpacas  – which aren’t a common sight in Thailand.  And Chocolate Ville, which is basically a restaurant the size of  a small village.

Stuff you’re missing  by not being here right now . . .

The 3rd Annual Festival of Contact Improvisation Dance is currently being held at Tiger Hut on Klong Prao beach.  They’re here to ‘dance on the Earth and in Water and contemplate the dance of everything that is alive’  More info: http://ci-thai.com/

If that’s too deep & spiritual for you, head down to sleepy Koh Mak where, for a couple of weeks every year several resorts are taken over by German dance music lovers.  The idea of a family friendly, peaceful island is put on hold as resort owners cash in on two weeks of nightly raves on the beach.  See: http://www.thaibreak.net for photos of people waving their arms around a lot & grinning inanely.

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