Koh Chang's Watery World
That's a misleading title actually. It was an extremely wet and rainy June but so far July on Koh Chang has seen a fair bit of sunshine and only occasional showers. Koh Chang Waterworld is rather a reference to the many waterfalls and streams that fill up and teem with rainfall runoff at this time of year. We visited Than Mayom waterfall yesterday on the East Coast. It's actually too wet to visit the upper tiers at the moment but the plunge pool at the bottom of the first cascade makes for a cooling swim and the jungle valley is lovely. And all of the other waterfalls on the island are in full spate now so if you're here on Koh Chang then now is a great time to visit them.
Klong Prao School is arranging an English camp for their students from 14th-16th July. They still need six foreigners who can help teach. No formal training is necessary they just need people with good English. If anybody is interested they should contact Mr. Manu (english teacher at the school) on 087-0915387. He will give you more information.
Keep Koh Chang Clean are having another litter collection meeting next week as they work their way up the island cleaning litter from the roads. Details are as follows;
Wednesday July 9th, Meeting at 10:00am at Sir Henry Morgan’s (Walking Street) in Kai Bae Village. Everyone is welcome to join in and help. Please bring a few bags & some gloves if you can. Following that meetings are taking place every two weeks and you can find out more at their Facebook page.
New Tourist Visa Rules
You may have heard that the Thai Immigration Department have been tightening up on the rules regarding the renewal of toursist visas. They are trying to address the issue of people who stay and often work illegally in Thailand on Tourist visas – travelling repeatedly to land borders to renew them via "Visa runs". This is understandable but as of August 12th it will no longer be possible to leave the country on a tourist visa and then come straight back in again on another. This is an issue because it will punish visitors and travellers who want to prolong their visit to Thailand by a few weeks because they like it here. It is hard to tell what the negative financial and goodwill effects will be on the country – that would involve planning. But be aware that it is happening.
If you are planning to visit Thailand for a period of more than 30 days then you are strongly advised to apply at your local Thai embassy or consulate for a longer term tourist visa before you leave to make sure that you don't have to leave Thailand before you want to.
Our new issues are here! – online and in print. Scroll down or go to our Guides and Maps page to read them.
…and the sun just came out on Koh Chang for the first time in about ten days. Reasons to be cheerful.
The Koh Chang Clean Up
Koh Chang has a litter problem.
This isn't surprising. Everywhere where people live has a litter problem. The problem is the thoughtless people who throw it on the ground.
As the number of visitors to the island grows so does the amount of rubbish that is left all over the place. Koh Chang does have a regular and fairly efficient refuse collection service that collects from set locations daily. The problem is that there isn't any official service for collecting litter that has been strewn around everywhere else around the island. And in the absence of this rubbish just collects, looking awful and polluting and damaging the environment.
So rather than complaining about it a group of locals decided to actually get up and do something about it. And the revolutionary concept that they had was this:
Pick it up!
Because that's all that you have to do really. Keep Koh Chang Clean is a group that doesn't make a song and dance about it. It isn't affiliated or funded by the government, the national park or any other organisation. They don't have big committees. They just meet up regularly and clean up rubbish where they see it.
You Can Help
If you have a couple of hours to spare for a good cause then why not join in one of the group's organised clean ups. It's more fun than it sounds and is a good way to meet some interesting people whilst helping to keep Koh Chang beautiful.
You can find out the date, time and location of the next clean-up by joining their Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/keepkohchangclean
But you don't have to join in with an organised collection to do your part. As you travel round Koh Chang why not just pick up rubbish where you see it and throw it in a nearby bin? – or if you're feeling really energetic then maybe fill a black bag and leave it at a collection point. It takes no time at all and you will have helped to keep a lovely part of the earth lovely.
Koh Chang thanks you in advance!