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Last updated : Nov 2009
Tales From Tropical Wonderland
Rating : (4.9 stars)

Koh Chang, Thailand
Nov 09, 2003 22:05

Pros: gorgeous island, white sand, crystal clear blue water, interestingThai festival
Cons: none

We have just spent a fantastic 10 days holidaying on a tropical island with Phil and Wendy (friends from home) and had the laziest but best time!

Just to backtrack first...we had a brush with fame at Beijing International Airport before flying to Bangkok - Jackie Chan walked right past us! Pity we didn't have a camera out and ready, but it was exciting all the same. Back in Bangkok we had a reunion with Keren and Effy (the Isreali friends we were travelling with) and spent a day or two shopping it up together at Siam Square. They headed home after a couple of days, and we had another reunion with Phil and Wendy, here on a few weeks holiday. We headed out to Chatuchak (the humungous weekend market), swam in their hotel pool, had dodgy Thai cocktails and lots of great food.

On Koh Chang we stayed in bungalows (Sang Arun Bungalows) right on the beach next door to Phil and Wendy's. Koh Chang didn't seem that touristy compared to other Thai beachy places - it had bars and cafes showing movies but was still fairly small and laid back. There were people of all different ages and a fair few Thai families holidaying there as well. The island was gorgeous, with white sand, crystal clear blue water, palm trees lining the beach with a backdrop of jungle covered mountains in the uninhabited interior. Our days consisted of a morning swim, breakfast, more swimming, reading, lunch, more swimming, maybe a bit of frisbee throwing and sandcastle building, more swims then dinner (often a seafood bbq) then either drinking or movie watching.

Our local bar was Tiger Den, where Phil somehow often ended up behind the bar mixing cocktails for everyone and nearly running the place! We got to know an interesting cast of characters including various dodgy couples consisting of a western guy and a Thai girl, such as the guy who'd married a prostitute from Pattaya that he'd 'known' for a week! There was the blonde Swedish Barbie and Ken couple, German nemesis man (our nemesis for wearing speedos and dancing on the beach alone at midday) and other assorted personalities to keep us entertained.

While on Koh Chang we had a taste of home when we watched the Australia vs Ireland rugby game, and a few days later the Melbourne Cup. We appeared to be the only Australians around at that stage and I think the other people in the bar thought we were a little deranged with all our little slips of paper (well we only had 4 people to participate in the sweepstake!) and being the only people cheering as the race was televised!

On our final night on the island it happened to be a full moon so there were a few parties (but nothing like the scene on islands further south thank goodness - about 100 people partying instead of 10,000!) and there was also a Thai festival happening where they put small floats covered in flowers, candles and incense sticks into the ocean and make a wish to a Goddess as they float out to sea. Fireworks were let off, and flaming lanterns were released into the sky. The guys from Tiger Den gave us some of the floats, and as we walked into the water, a speedboat with some Thai people in it happened to pull up. They told us to get in (as they were taking their floats out to sea) so we did. Hoping at first we were being kidnapped in tropical paradise, we soon realised we really were just going out to release the floats, how disappointing!

Phil and Wendy leave for Oz tomorrow night, and a few hours later we board a flight to Sri Lanka...