A bit of a gap between updates due to extended holidays in Europe; laziness and getting everything ready at our guesthouse and Baan Moon for the coming High Season.
I’m just catching up with things that I should have added last month, among them some details on the Cambodia Kids Care foundation who need your help. They run a school for underpriviledged Cambodia kids living on the island. It;s funded entirely by donations. If you’d like to know more about an aspect of life on Koh Chang most visitors don’t see then take a look.
Yesterday, the wind blew from the north / northeast for the first time in months. This may not sound particularly interesting to you, but to folks on Koh Chang it signifies the end of the rainy season is nigh. An lo and behold, it was a beautiful sunny day, so I went out for a quick scooter ride to take some photos.
Another indicator High Season is on the way is that the boat service from Koh Chant to Koh Mak began running again today. And on 19 October Bangbao boat starts running their speedboat service between Koh Chang, Koh Mak and Koh Kood once a day.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be updating the pages of info on the various areas of the island and hopefully having a go at redesigning the site. But due to it being an unwieldy 1,000 pages + and not having a particularly good navigation structure things may well go tragically wrong.
So, for this update just some pictures . . .
Bangbao seems to be the graveyard of businesses. BB Divers and Peace Moon handicraft shops are thriving and expanding but half the other businesses are for sale. On the plus side the pier was cleaner than I’ve ever seen it before. It looked great. Hopefully this is a change of mindset and not a short term clean up in honor of entrants to the ‘Miss Grand International’ beauty contest who have been visiting the island this week. Some classy souvenirs on sale too.
Down in Bailan, the Mercure Hideaway has built some new rooms. And have come up with this. A Soviet era army camp? Post-modern 1970s urban housing? Wherever the architect drew his inspiration from it wasn’t from a book on hotel design in the tropics.
Keep following the road east from Bangbao, past Klong Kloi beach and you come to a bridge over a small river where there are a couple of natural swimming pools. At weekends there are often several stalls selling food and drinks for families that visit. It’s a great spot for young kids to splash around in a cold, clear jungle river.
White Sand is the busiest beach on the island. I avoid it as much as possible in High Season, but at this time of year it’s a great spot. I can see the attraction.
Chok Dee Resort are slowly moving away from being a place that caters to groups of eight Thais ion a budget who want to share a bungalow, as it building some stylish new accommodation on the headland at the far southern tip of Klong Prao beach. Awesome views across the 3Km long expanse of sand.
You’ll probably have seen this view before. But it’s to show how clear the sea is at the moment. Just a couple of days ago I had to convince people who had booked to stay at our guesthouse not to cancel. They were worried about the monsoon, cancelled ferries and lack of sunshine at this time of year. Not sure where they got their information from.
The sea doesn’t get much clearer than this. The photo at the top of the page is of the north end of Lonely beach at Siam Beach Resort. Much quieter and far nicer than the southern end near Siam Hut which is has less sand and full of unwashed backpackers comparing tattoos and hipster beards.
Looks like the monkeys have figured out the monkey proof garbage cages in Lonely Beach. Monkey proof bins are in use in other areas of Thailand and across SE Asia – a simple Google search shows examples. So you’d think the people running Koh Chang might come up with a better solution than a wire mesh cage that can be padlocked. But obviously never is, as then no-one would be able to put garbage in it and the key would be lost after a week.
And on Pearl Beach work had begun on a new Big C supermarket. At present, along with numerous minimarts, there’s a large Tesco plus three large locally owned supermarkets, Aana Store, V Mart and Singthong catering to tourists, residents and businesses. And within a couple of months, construction of the large Makro cash and carry will be completed on White Sand beach. I’m wondering who will be the customers for these two new superstores. One thing’s for sure, they’ll be plenty of opportunities to use ‘Store Wars’ headlines in blog posts in the coming months.
Finally, it’s the vegetarian festival in Thailand at present. In many areas it’s a big event. But here on Koh Chang interest has waned. There is now only one restaurant that converts to selling vegetarian food for the week. Fortunately it does make some very nice stuff. I remember several years ago when you could easily find several restaurants selling ‘Jay’ food. Eating veggie food during the festival week is something I’ve done for the past 5 or 6 years as part of my annual routine to lose some of the weight I put on from spending September living on European beer, cakes and cheese.