04 October 2017
You have maybe noticed that lots of Thai Facebook profile pictures have turned to black & white with a black ribbon.
One year ago, on the 13th of October 2016, His Majesty the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has been the world's longest-serving monarch and the most loved by his nation, died at the age of 88. After one year of mourning, there will be the funerals and here are some information if you are coming or already are in Thailand during this time.
13th October is a new public holiday marking the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol. This will take place every year from now onwards.
The royal funeral will take place from 25th to 29th of October 2017 but the actual cremation ceremony will be on Thursday 26th of October which has been declared as a public holiday (only this year) so that people can attend the funerals.
There will be rehearsals for the royal procession at Sanam Luang on 7th, 15th and 21st October. It is not confirmed, but you should be able to take photos of this. But please dress respectfully.
The royal crematorium on Sanam Luang will be open to the public from 1st to 30th November, from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm.
There will be restrictions on alcohol sales during the funerals, no loud music and parties will be allowed. In Koh Chang, restaurants, hotels and resorts will be opened normally. Some small Thai businesses may be closed.
If you are coming from Bangkok, be aware that there will be thousands of people waiting for the funerals; the road and air traffics will be higher than normally. If you need a transport during this time, be sure to book it in advance. During this time, please respect Thai people and their beloved King, be discrete. You are very welcome to wear black clothes or a black ribbon which are given for free at different places. If possible, avoid colourful clothes in public places, especially in Bangkok and big cities.
The ceremony will be broadcasted live on all Thai TV channels.
On the beach and inside the resort, you can be dressed as usually.
25 September 2017
I just finished to review a new resort and I added it to my recommendation list.
This one is not in Koh Chang but in Koh Kood, on the east coast and on Ao Tapao beach, the longest beach of the island. Koh Kood is the second biggest island of Koh Chang archipelago. Compared to Koh Chang, Koh Kood is extremely quiet, the road traffic is as quiet as life on the island and except diving, snorkelling, visiting the 3 waterfalls, the 500 years old tree and the fishermen village, the only thing you can do is to relax and enjoy the silence and nature.
If you're looking for fullmon parties or nightlife, avoid Koh Kood, it's then not made for you.
Koh Kood Paradise Beach Resort is a new resort on the island, recently built. They propose different types of bungalow, that they call "Villa", and "hotel type" rooms. They have a modern and big fitness center, the biggest swimming-pool of the island and an excellent restaurant.
It has also a score of 8.2 on Booking.com.
16 September 2017
The new Koh Chang Guide is now available online!
As always it's full of useful information and of course the maps which are very helpful when you are travelling in Koh Chang.
You can read it or download it here (or just click on the picture below).
if you have any issues on mobile devices then try this link.
11 September 2017
What's up in Koh Chang? Is it still raining or not?
Guess what? The sun has been back for several days and it really feels like the rainy season is gone and the "high" season is starting. Just look at the pictures below if you don't believe me ;)
And of course if the sun is back during the day, sunsets are back too and with beautiful colours.
Beach Jungle is a new hostel which will open next month in Lonely Beach. Booking have already started and the bar is already opened. If you go there and show them this picture you will get 10% discount off the rooms and 15% off at the bar.
For more information, follow their Facebook page or visit their website.
Have you already eaten those delicious Thai pancakes? Or if you haven't, this is what you need to taste next time you will be on Koh Chang.
Every evening small street food vendors install their stalls and mobile "kitchens" on the road side, almost everywhere on the island. Pancakes are not the healthiest food you can find in Thailand, they are quiet fat but they are so goooood. Filled with sliced mango, my favourite, or banana or pineapple and covered with chocolate or sweetened condensed milk or even both, they are just delicious. You need to try!
Like I'm writing about food, do you know those fruits? There shape is nor really attractive, maybe you have already seen them on Koh Chang and you have been wondering what it was.
The first one has a real strange looking, it's the tamarind.
The tamarind fruit is actually a pod. After removing the hard and thin shell you will get the pulp and several hard black seeds (watch your teeth). The taste is very sweet but this fruit is mainly used in cooking.
It's high in sugar, vitamins and minerals. I like to eat them raw, like that or dried with sugar and chili (sold in small bags in any supermarket).
The second fruit you can also find on Koh Chang is the mangosteen also called purple mangosteen.
After removing the thick shell you will get the soft segments which have a mild flavour. Mangosteen nutrition is quite modest and it's not very rich in vitamins. Traditional Asian medicine has used some parts of the plant to treat skin infections, wounds, dysentery, urinary tract infections, and gastrointestinal complaints.
Back to Lonely Beach, with 2 places I would like to recommend. Suncity View and Yummy Restaurant.
Yummy restaurant is doing delicious pizzas to eat in, to take away or to be delivered. Suncity View has a great location, just in front of the sea, perfect to enjoy the sunsets but their Thai food and desserts are just amazing. If you are in the area, just stop by and you will see ;)
The high season is very close and soon the island will start to be more and more busy. If you haven't booked your hotel, guesthouse or resort, don't wait too long, it may already be too late. Mid-December to end of February is the peak season and it's very common to see fully booked places, especially the best ones which are sometimes booked a year or more in advance.
if you still don't know where to go, have a look at the recommendation list I did or at the 2017 TripAdvisor Awarded places, it may give you some ideas.
There is a small resort I like, it's very quiet, it's located on the peninsula of Bang Bao with a view to the bay. They have few rooms, a cute swimming-pool, a large wooden sundeck, a relaxing area and the staff and management are very friendly. This place is Bhuvarin Resort!
03 September 2017
Don't miss the Early Bird registrations, today is the last day!
But don't worry, registrations won't be closed, it will be still possible to register for one of the different trails but the price will be a bit higher.
For more information: www.utkcthailand.com
01 September 2017
The registrations to the UTKC 2018 (Ultra Trail Koh Chang) are now opened. Until the 3rd of September you can enjoy the Early Bird registrations and save up to 20%. Like the past years there will be 3 different trails, 13 km, 35 km, 70 km and for the bravest and strongest, the Jungle 100 km.
-The Jungle 100 km will start on the 16th of February 2018 at 04.00 am and will end on the 17th of February at 08.00 pm (40 hours).
The elevation gain is 4,400 meters and the route has been modified from last year by adding one super steep incline and the two standard running hills.
- The 70 km will also start on the 16th of February 2018 at 08.00 pm and will end on the 17th of February at 08.00 pm (24 hours).
The elevation gain is 2,800 meters and the route has also been modified, be prepared for the incline!
- The 35 km will be on the 17th of February 2018 from 07.00 am to 04.00 pm (9 hours).
The elevation gain is 1,200 meters.
- The 13 km will also start on the 17th of February 2018 from 06.00 am to 10.00 am (4 hours).
The elevation gain is 600 meters.
The 13k and 35k distances will use the same routes than last year with an additional fresh coconut juice station at Waichaek Beach and an additional water station at the last 5 km for 35 km route.
For the registrations, visit www.utkcthailand.com. If you don't have a Thai bank, the payment will be done through Paypal.
24 August 2017
A couple of weeks ago I shared on Facebook an article from The Nation, saying that e-cigarettes are now banned in Thailand.
I didn't find out why this new law. There has been some speculations about healthy or security reasons but the "normal" cigarettes are as dangerous. A lighter can explode as an e-cigarette and we all know the risks to smoke.
In my opinion it's more an economical problem. Lots of people are now travelling with their own e-cigarette and refills. It takes less place inside the luggage to travel with a week of refills than a week of cigarettes, which means that people will not buy them in Thailand. It's the only reason I see.
I'm not a smoker but what I have also noticed, refills are cheaper than boxes of cigarettes. But if somebody knows the real reasons, let me know, I'm very curious.
Anyway if you are an e-smoker and plan to visit Thailand, you will have to find something else. Your e-cagarette will be confiscated, you will get a fine and you could be sent to jail. This is what has happened to an English man. So be careful, don't spoil your holidays for an e-cigarette.
Why not to take this opportunity and stop smoking? It's just an idea ;)
19 August 2017
Today the "new" ferry from Royal Passenger Liner Co. which will link the Port of Sattahip nearby Pattaya to Bang Bao in Koh Chang did its first test run.
This ferry was already announced last May, then delayed to June and then no news anymore until few weeks ago when an article was published saying they will start in September.
Today they were testing the new road and checking if Bang Bao bay was deep enough especially at low tide.
This ferry will transport only passengers, no vehicles and it should take about 3 hours to link both harbours. The price announced is 12500 baht per passenger.
It looks in better condition that the actual ferries linking Koh Chang to the mainland but it's not new, it's an old 20 years or more Chinese boat.
This ferry will also have a road from Bang Bao pier to Klong Yai near the Cambodian border.
(Pictures taken from Bhuvarin Resort)
14 August 2017
Another resort has been added to my recommended list. Little Eden Bungalows & Restaurant is located on the north part of Lonely Beach.
Awarded for several years by TripAdvisor, it's a sanctuary for the well keeping of travellers and holiday makers, it offers an affordable high quality, from the great morning coffee, nourishing breakfasts, Thai and Western cuisine to the soft stylish bed linen and even shampoo and shower gel.
12 August 2017
Happy Mother's Day and Happy Birthday to Her Majesty the Queen!
Mother’s Day was first introduced to Thailand on 15th of April, 1950. In 1976, Mother’s Day was changed to 12th of August to commemorate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit ,the Mother of all Thai people.