Tag Archives: Koh Chang

Koh Chang to Bangkok, Thailand

7/13 – As we wind down our last days on Koh Chang, here are some more pics of our adventures:

On one of our walks, we stumbled on a posh resort with a helipad and other things for the very rich.  We opted not to pay the entrance fee to tour the resort (see rich tourists in their natural habitat!), but did take some pics of the elephant statues just inside the gate.  

 
We stopped to have lunch at a roadside stand on the road to the resort- barbecued chicken wings, sticky rice and spicy shredded papaya salad.  The road doesn’t get any traffic except from the workers on their way to and from the resort. The proprietor had no English, but we let her know the food was delicious! 

 

This is called “hairy fruit”, or rambutan.  You slice open the hairy skin and discard it to find the sweet, grape-like fruit inside.  The fruit is just a thin layer over a very large pit, so bite down carefully!

   

7/14 – We woke early to get on the minibus to go back to Bangkok.  One ferry ride and nine hours later, we walked, exhausted, into our hotel.  Bangkok is one huge traffic jam, and the ride that was supposed to take four hours took more than double.  Our driver asked us to direct him to the hotel (!), then could not follow the directions on our GPS.  After the third try, we got out and walked.  Only a few days here, then we catch the train for the 24 hour ride to Malaysia.  Back on the road again!

Koh Chang, Thailand – When Monkeys Attack!

7/6 – So, here we are for a lazy month on a tropical island.  The days blend together, with walks in the mornings, swimming in the afternoons, and sea gazing in the evenings.  We read for hours every day, thanks to Overdrive and Kindle.  We are taking advantage of the great wifi to catch up on Netflix – we’re halfway through the third season of House of Cards.  We talk to tourists as they come and go – most are from Germany and Scandinavia.  We eat at little open-air restaurants – our resort has the best one, the Bamboo Hut.  Nothing happens here, and that is okay with us.  

 One morning, we hiked over to the Bang Bao fishing village to get some supplies. We bought some groceries, including a bunch of the little, sweet bananas we like so much. As we walked back toward our beach with our plastic grocery bags, we spied some monkeys by the side of the road. Please excuse the fuzzy shot, but how often do you see a monkey on a motorbike?  This monkey will become significant in a minute…

   

I joked to Jim that the monkeys were waiting for him to offer them a banana. All of a sudden, Jim yelled and swung the plastic grocery bag, which now had a big monkey attached, holding on to the bananas with all four feet and screeching! OMG! He was trying to steal our bananas!  I wish I could say I provided some assistance in fighting off the attacker, but truth to tell, I dropped my bag and ran backwards, leaving poor Jim to deal with the monkey.  He was not cute, and looked a lot bigger up close.  Jim kicked at it once as he dropped the bag, then kicked it again before the monkey let go of the bag, and scurried back to the other side of the road to join his mates. I was still yelling OMG! while checking to see if Jim had been scratched or bitten – who knows what diseases monkeys carry?  Jim was okay.  The big monkey hunched on the other side of the road with his buddies, hissing at us. He was mad!  I was afraid he would run at us again, so I raised my arms up over my head (making myself appear larger – I think I read this in an article about what to do if attacked by a bear) and hissed right back at him.  He and his monkey gang stayed on the other side of the road, and we power-walked home, pumped with adrenaline, Jim looking forward, and me looking back.

Sorry to say, there is no photographic evidence of this incident.   After the blurry pic, I totally forgot to preserve any part of this story for posterity, so here is an Internet pic of hissing monkeys: 

 

Here is the sign at our village that someone must not have heeded: 

 

See?  Didn’t I tell you this post would be exciting?

Koh Chang, Thailand – Bang Bao Fishing Village

7/2 – Every few days, we put on our shoes and walk the three kilometers to the nearest little town, Bang Bao, just for something to do.

 

Here there is a single street with several ATMs, a 7Eleven, and a pier crammed with tourist shops and restaurants.   

    

There are signs here in Russian, a testament to the Russian tourists who used to visit here. Since the decline of the ruble, the Russians aren’t traveling here anymore, and local businesses lament this loss. 

 
There’s a Rastafarian influence here, with several shops and restaurants.  

    
There’s a Turkish restaurant here – go figure! 

 

There is a wat here, but nobody was home except this guy: 

 
The pier is lined with big boats to take tourists fishing, snorkeling or scuba diving. 

    
 

The pier ends in a lighthouse, beautiful against the clouds.

   
From the end of the pier, we can look across the gulf, back to our bungalow.   Can you see it?


The water is turquoise and so clear! 

 

 I promise, there will be some action in my next post – stay tuned!

 

Koh Chang, Thailand

6/26 – We’re settled in at our waterfront bungalow on the southern island of Koh Chang.  We swim in the Gulf of Thailand (our beach is called Tranquility Bay), we read, we gaze out at the boats and the changing tides.  The crew rakes the beach every morning to keep it pristine, and tends to the tropical flowers throughout the day. 

    
    
  

 Our home-sweet-home.  The geckos scurry up and down the walls at night, chirping and keeping us bug- free.

 

The trees provide plenty of shade, right up to the water’s edge:   

There are three dogs that live here and keep the guests company. 

      

In the morning, the tide recedes, and exposes the barnacle encrusted dark rocks below.   Jim cut his foot on his first swim, before we realized the rocks were there.  Now we swim very carefully in the clear channel that is rock-free.

   

We are technically in the “wet” season, but we haven’t seen much rain.  Sometimes the clouds turn gray and we get a cloudburst, then the sun returns.  The temperature is in the 80s every day – the blistering heat is no more. 

 Our consciousness has slowed down, and we are relishing this opportunity to just be. 

  
I’ll check back when we have some news!

Koh Kong, Cambodia to Koh Chang, Thailand 

6/22 – We arranged transport over the Thai border with our Koh Kong hotel. A posh air conditioned van picked us up and delivered us to the border, where people pushed handcarts of goods and produce across the border.

 

Our van driver put stickers on our shirts and escorted us to the border, where the stickers identified us to the van driver on the Thai side.  We are back in Thailand for another 30 days.  When we were here in April, we explored the northern part of the country.  Now we will spend a month on the vacation island of Koh Chang, home of white sandy beaches and azure seas.  Koh Chang means Elephant Island, as it is shaped like an elephant ear.

 Another posh van, and a two hour drive got us to the ferry terminal.  We watched as the ferry pulled away from the dock, so we will have to wait a half hour for the next one.   

 

We shared the van ride with Kennedy Smith, a Scot who spends half his time here.  He loves the climate and the food, and has a Thai girlfriend.  (Newsflash:  if you’re an old white guy looking for a pretty young girlfriend, Southeast Asia is the place for you.  I stopped counting all the old men with sweet young Asians clinging adoringly to their arms.). Kennedy told us about the different beaches, and to stay away from the ‘walking street’ where the prostitutes were located.  The ferry ride took about a half hour. 

  

Koh Chang, here we come!

 

Our van ride was supposed to include a drop off at our hotel, but when we told our driver where we were staying, he added $15 to the fare.  We chose the most isolated beach at the end of the island, far from the other towns.  A half hour after dropping Kennedy off at his place, on a single lane road with exciting hairpin turns, we reached Klong Koi village.  

 

Where was our place?  We shouldered our packs and walked down the beach, as there is no road (and no sign!) for the Bangbao Beach Resort. 

    
 
So now we are settled in our cozy cabin for the next three and a half weeks.  We have air con, a good hot shower, and amazing wifi, considering where we are.  The best restaurant in the village is 20 steps away, and the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand are right outside our door.  I think we’re going to like it here!