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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thailand Part 2

So as fascinating as Bangkok was, my friend and his family left for Abu Dhabi and I had itchy feet so I decided to go to Koh Chang, an island in the Gulf of Thailand six hours bus trip south of Bangkok. I eventually got to Trat, the nearest city to the island but the ferries had stopped running so I spent the night there and arranged transport to Koh Chang island the next morning.

After a 30 minute ride through the Thai countryside, we arrived at the ferry terminal. Automobiles on the bottom and people on the top deck of the rusty ship. It was chilly on board but a snack shop had beers so I survived without too much discomfort.

The voyage to the island took about an hour. The weather was hazy and the island revealed itself after about half way there as huge mountains jutting out of the gulf.

KOH CHANG ISLAND

ON THE FERRY

I arrived at the small port and waited for the pickup truck to take me to the other side of the island where my hotel was. The trucks have a canvas covering over the bed and the riders sit on makeshift bench seats in the bed aligned longitudinally. I arrived at my hotel and checked in to a very nice room. Thailand is inexpensive and a typical room costs USD$30/ night, breakfast included.

7/11s are everywhere


The next day I hired a guide to show me the island. We drove on the hilly roller-coaster roads to the southern most point of the island called Bang Bao where there was an overwater marketplace. I had a great meal (but the scallop appetizer gave me a rash, I think) and enjoyed the sunset with a couple of beers.







THERE SEEMED TO BE AT LEAST ONE MISHAP IN THE HARBOR





On the way we stopped by an elephant place. I declined a ride on the pachyderms but decided to feed them instead. These guys can eat an entire pineapple whole. Seems that would be rough going down the throat but they didn't seem to care. On one occasion, I almost  got a "trunk job"! 

FRIENDLY ELEPHANT












I loved the elephants and spent a lot of time there. I felt a connection with them.
There were monkeys too.



The weather could have been better. There was a high overcast and it was very windy. Otherwise, I did enjoy myself on the island. Four days there then back to Bangkok and then to Abu Dhabi. 





4 comments:

Anna-Lou said...

As usual, you wrote a nice report of your trip... and your pix are really nice ! Landscape are so different from savoy, it makes me want to discover this part of the world !

Btw, did you try the ferrari world in Abu Dhabi (http://www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com/)?? I'm sure it would be an interresting post !

Chuck said...

Looks like a cool island there, Ace! I would like to get back to Asia someday...it is a pretty long series of flights from these parts though.

Dave said...

Chang Beer or Singha, or maybe an imported brew? I prefer Chang myself, but it sure is strong....

Ace said...

AL...haven't been to Ferrari World yet but it is on the agenda. Thailand is great! Always like hearing from you!

Chuck...A mere 6 hour nonstop flight from here so I am spoiled.

Dave...love those big bottles over there, cheap too! Sampled both but they all taste the same after a few.