26 April 2017
There are 2 more places I would like to recommend you in Koh Chang.
The first one is Suncity View, located in Lonely Beach, it's a new restaurant owned and managed by Miss Kiekie, a lovely woman whose big passion is cooking.
Her food are very good and not expensive at all, from the traditional Pad Thai to the Western Burger, and all re-visited in her own way and style.
The restaurant is opened daily from 10.30 am to 10.30 pm and there is free Wi-Fi.
I like the relaxing atmosphere, inside the restaurant or outside on the beach. Evenings are fantastic, watching the sunset, and enjoying the food and drinks. Drinks are awesome, whether for the Thai style milk ice tea, the shakes, the smoothies or her special Breezer cocktails.
And the most amazing are the Snow-ices, a huge mountain of flavoured ice covered with sweet sauces, ice-creams and other delicious toppings and surrounded by home made cakes and fresh fruits.
For about 360 baht you will get a huge dessert. It may sound a bit expensive but you will get for your money and if you succeed to eat it all, you won't need another one.
And for about 50 baht you can get a dish with crab salad rolls and an omelette for example, which is quite cheap.
The second place I would like to recommend is in a totally different style and area. It's Baum's Restaurant & Butchers Shop, more exactly knows as Restaurant & Metzgerei Baum. This place is owned by Holger Baum, a Bavarian butcher who has also a big passion for his work and has an old and long experience.
The restaurant is located in Klong Prao, on the road to Klong Plu waterfall.
Holger is doing himself all kind of sausages, hams, bacons, schnitzels, meatloaves and other German specialties, using only natural and fresh ingredients. You can eat at his restaurant or buy and take away. Meat lovers will enjoy this place!
If you feel comfortable to drive in Koh Chang, Holger has also 2 cars which can be rented per day, per week or per month.
If you want to get in touch with Holger, you can contact him from his Facebook personal page or call him on 092 597 1665.
24 April 2017
Songkran fever has gone. The island has been like every year, very busy and noisy during this long weekend but now everybody has left and the calm is back.
Beaches are totally empty and resorts have started to propose lower rates. Look at the links below, you may find some very good deals.
The weather is now very hot, cloudy with a burning wind and it's the time of the year where tides are very low making the beaches very wide.
Danny Tattoo from Lonely Beach is renting a fully furnished room with aircon and a motorbike. The rent can be per day, per month or even per year. Located on the main road, close to all Lonely Beach activities and at only 50 meters from the beach.
If you are interested, please contact Danny directly on his Facebook page or send me a message or email and I will forward it to him.
The excellent Koh Chang Guide is now organising, in association with BB Divers, a lottery to win a PADI Open Water Diver Course (or two Discover Scuba Diving courses, or 4 free two tank fun dives, no cash equivalent) to be taken before June 30th 2018.
How to participate? Nothing more easy, just enter your name here: http://bit.ly/2oQ7jho
12 April 2017
Another resort has been added to my recommended list. Nature Beach Resort is located on the south part of Lonely Beach. It's a resort for budget travellers who are looking for some comfort but also for a beautiful beach front, a swimming-pool, a bar, a restaurant and lots of fun.
They have different types of bungalows spread in their natural tropical garden. The Rocks bar and restaurant are famous for their good and cheap food but also for the location, right in front of the beach. DJ parties are organised during the high season attracting hundreds of people.
Tomorrow will start Songkran which is the biggest water fight festival in Thailand and the traditional Thai New Year.
It will be celebrated from the 13th to 15th of April. It was originally celebrated as a way for the Thai people to sprinkle water on their family members and elders for good fortune and pay their respects to images of the beloved Buddha. Today, the festival has transitioned into 3 days of water play fun, splashing locals and visitors alike with buckets of water, water hoses and super soakers as they gather in the streets.
If you are visiting Thailand for the first time and haven't heard about Songkram, be prepared. If you go outside, protect all which is not waterproof like your passport, camera, phone,... into plastic bags or waterproof bags. And remember, it's just fun!
Songkran is not all about water fights out on the streets. There is a more traditional side of the new year festival that is celebrated inside temples. This involves the bathing of Buddha images and monks with scented water. Unlike the water fights with big guns and buckets, in temples a small bowl is used to gently pour water onto the hands of the monks.
If you can, come to visit Wat Klong Prao (Klong Prao temple) even if you are not Buddhist. The temple is celebrating Songkran and is looking like a small fair. The evening is the best time for the visit and just nearby is a small market where you can buy all kind of street food as well as clothes, shoes and all kind of "fashion" accessories.
There are other rituals and merit-making rites that people engage in at Songkran. In addition to the traditional cleaning of the home and bidding the old year adieu, these include making offerings to local temples and to the monks. The offerings include preserved foods cooked dishes, fresh fruits and new robes for the monks. People build also sand piles on the temple grounds and these sand piles represent personal pagodas built as part of the merit-making ritual.
(pictures: Songkran 2016 in Koh Chang)
09 April 2017
This week the weather has been up and down. There has been heavy rains but also sunny and hot days. Koh Chang has been very quiet and beaches were empty. But with Easter and Songkran the island is getting more visitors this weekend and next week. After that the calm will be back.
As you can see on the pictures below taken from Nature Beach Resort's bar in Lonely Beach, one day the weather was grey and the day after the blue sky was back.
Yesterday after a hot and beautiful day, we got another beautiful sunset. The sky turned from pink to purple then to orange and red.
The only private transport I recommend is Ing Taxi (www.ingtaxi.com), all the people who have travelled with him have been very satisfied by his services. It's now possible to book him online straight from his website or just to ask for a price. Just fill the form and he will answer you as fast as possible.
05 April 2017
It took time but here they are, the 47 guesthouses, hotels and resorts awarded this year by TripAdvisor. Congratulations to all of them!
To make the list clearer I dispatched those places in different areas and in a random order:
- Klong Son with only one resort this year.
- White Sand Beach with 3 resorts.
- Pearl Beach with with 3 places.
- Chai Chet with 2 resorts.
- Klong Prao with 13 places.
- Kai Bae with 8 places.
- Lonely Beach with 6 places.
- Bailan with 2 places.
- Bang Bao with 5 places.
- The East Coast with 4 resorts.
If you own or manage a place that I have forgotten or if you notice a mistake, please contact me and I will correct it.
25 March 2017
Few years ago I decided to inventory all the resorts, hotels and guesthouses which have been awarded by TripAdvisor. It's a good advertising for those places and a reward for them for the good work they have done but it's also a good motivation for the others which are not in the list. But I did it more for you than for the resorts and hotels. If you have never been on Koh Chang and don't know the island, it will give you a large choice of "trusted" places and avoid bad surprises.
Searching all the places which have been awarded is not the easiest thing like they are more than 200 on Koh Chang. On top of that it's changing every year. You can imagine it's not an easy work but it's fun to do it and I know that it will help some of you.
This year there has been 47 places awarded by TripAdvisor if I didn't forget any. For now I added 25 in the list. It may look a bit messy but don't worry, I will update the map and add categories.
For now you can find this list here.
Meanwhile Koh Chang is getting quiet, beaches are deserted and resorts have started to propose lower rates. It has been raining this week and of course when it starts to rain roads are very slippery and all the time there are some accidents. Please be careful if you are on Koh Chang when it's raining.
And yesterday BB Divers organised freediving on the HTMS Chang ship wreck. Here are today's short news!
(Pictures copyright: BB Divers Koh Chang)
19 March 2017
Abella Cuisine is one of my favourite restaurants on Koh Chang. It's located in Chai Chet, at Coconut Plaza.
The place is very calm, slightly away from the main road. The staff is always helpful, the service is fast, you don't have to wait hours to be served and the food are not expensive at all.
I like almost all what they are proposing in their menu, Thai or "Italian" food. You can't expect to have the same pizza or lasagne than in Italy but what is doing Abella is very good, and it's fresh. They do their own pastas as well as pizza bases, nothing industrial and frozen like some other places.
This time I just ordered a seabass with lemon butter and of course I couldn't leave without the banana split :)
17 March 2017
The new Koh Chang Guide has just been released online. As always, lots of useful information if you are planning your trip to Koh Chang or if you are already in Koh Chang.
14 March 2017
Every year on 13th of March is celebrated the Thai National Elephant Day or Chang Thai Day (วันช้างไทย).
Did you know that in Thailand, white elephants are considered sacred and are a symbol of royal power. Chang Thai Day has three main purposes. The first is to show how significant elephants are to Thailand. The second is to demonstrate how the Thai culture depends on the elephants. Lastly, this annual celebration promotes awareness about protecting and conserving the Thai elephant population and its habitats.
Before starting to protest against the elephant camps, you should know that in Thailand the elephant is considered like a domestic animal.
You ride and use ponies, horses, donkeys, mules, yaks, camels, ostrich, reindeer, lamas, ... here it's elephants. You use a leash to hold your dog, here it's a chain. It may looks terrible but without this chain the elephants will run everywhere, on the roads, inside the resorts and on people's garden.
You may say "yes but elephants are wild animals not domestic". It's true, like horses were and are still in some parts of the world, like dogs and cats were thousands of years ago before being domesticated. Domestication also helps in the survival of some species and nowadays lots of species need help before they completely disappear.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm an animal lover and I don't like to see tortured and mistreated animals. There are some people who don't care about animals and mistreat them but now I'm talking about Koh Chang elephant camps.
Elephants are protected and respected in Thailand. Without those camps, maybe those elephants will end working on dangerous construction sites, hit by cars or killed by the city pollution. Those camps bring work to a lot of people so believe me that they care a lot about their elephants. So, when I read in a blog "... we stopped at an elephant station where we would have had a chance to feed elephants for a fee. None of us got excited about the idea since we all knew how badly elephants are tortured and mistreated at elephant camps and stations." Please, spend a full day or a week in an elephant camp on Koh Chang and you will see if they are tortured.
At the beginning I was also thinking that those beautiful creatures are sad and tortured. But after spending time in some camps to observe and talk to the mahouts and owners I realised how much they love their animals. Stay in a camp, especially in the evening when all tourists are gone and look how they take care of their elephants. You can see the elephants following them and acting like pets, huge pets.
(Pictures credit: Ban Chang Thai)
Yesterday evening there has been a gala dinner at Klong Prao school. Like every year it was organised to celebrate the senior students who have been graduated and also to collect money for the school.
Congratulations to the little Princesses for the nice show and thank you to all the persons who came and donated.
(Pictures credit: Angeliqa Norman and Tk)