Koh Chang Redux

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After over a week here now and after cruising north through all the beach towns, the scenery, the traffic, the ambience, I have come to appreciate BangBoa Bay more. The ocean has been calm, the breezes balmy. If you are looking for a truly idle idyll, this is the place.

Breakfast in the open air morning quiet has been sublime. We’ve had a couple days of intermittent rain and some overnight rain, but nothing to seriously cramp our style. We are, after all, also working on our project. The village of BangBao is also no more than 2 km away with a long pier/walking street with restaurants and a variety of shops.

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The official hospital wall of history

We explored northward for a day, going all the way to the Koh Chang hospital on the east side to treat an ear problem. Prompt service, excellent care, enough english to communicate, a reasonable expense.

Otherwise, there wasn’t much to see on the east side, sparse resorts, few restaurants, nothing even amounting to a neighbourhood that we could see. But we didn’t go more than halfway  on that side.

On the return, we stopped for lunch at an Indian restaurant at White Sand Beach. The owner was very informative about a number of topics: tourist traffic is down here on Koh Chang, but places like Phuket and Pattaya are very busy. There is no recycling here, trash is burned somewhere on the interior. Most of the food is imported from Chanthaburi, which he claims has the richest soil in the entire country. Water supplies are from the island itself, though of three major waterfall attractions, one is dry due to lack of rain.

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We did visit a minor waterfall, riding 4km from the main road through some beautiful countryside, private residences, small shops and rubber plantations to an outpost in the jungle.

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Jungle walking shoes?

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Rubber is a significant product of Thailand. Malaysia, to the south, may still be the largest rubber producer on the planet. The trees require limited care, the bark being pierced periodically to leak pure latex into a collection cup. But the price of rubber in recent years has crashed over 60%.

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Most of the resort hotels can’t be seen from the road. They are tucked into coves, hidden behind trees, lying at the end of narrow roads off the main road, down steep walks to the ocean. But the nice thing about this place seems to be that access to the beaches is not obstructed. Easy access by motorbike. Walk through their lobby to the sand.

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I suppose this place really isn’t much different from any other island or beach community in the essential ways. It could be Hawaii or Mexico as much as any venue in Asia. But in some places, the road…a photos simply can’t convey the totally cool shaded, jungle immersion, the breeze and the rhythm of smoothly negotiating the gentle curves.

When we returned to our hotel, we enter a clean room with–what else can I call it-terricloth topiary?

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Babar the Bath Towel?

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And for our final day–puppies!

A long ride back to Bangkok tomorrow, and a train 70 km to Ayuthaya.

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