Koh Chang News

No More Monsoon on Koh Chang?

by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on No More Monsoon on Koh Chang?

The End of the “Green” Season?

koh chang september 2015Usually by mid-October the weather changes on Koh Chang and the monsoon squelches out to be replaced by drier windy weather. So in theory we’re now in the later stages of the rainy – oops, sorry, I meant the “green” – season and a change should be just round the corner.

This, at least, is the standard story. Here’s the thing though – say it quietly – we haven’t really had a monsoon this year. In fact this has been a developing pattern over the last few years. It just hasn’t rained that much during the rains. I mean sure, there have been lots of quick thunderstorms but typically they have blown by and been followed by largely sunny weather.

The last month or so has seen a fairly fixed pattern of sunny days almost every day followed by some heavy rain at night. Perfect. Can we have more of that please?

Whether this is all happening due to global warming, El Nino or whatever isn’t clear. just be aware that it’s happening. The few visitors who aren’t afraid of a little water are being rewarded with empty beaches, blue skies, and of course cheaper room rates.

You might want to take that into account when you’re planning your next visit to Koh Chang.

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Koh Chang Beach Cricket Tournament

by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Koh Chang Beach Cricket Tournament

Koh Chang Beach Cricket

There are just a few days to go now until the first Koh Chang Beach Cricket tournament. It’s taking place this Saturday and Sunday the 22nd and 23rd from 9am to 5pm at Shambhala Beach Bar at the Siam Royal View complex in Klong Son.

Ten teams from locations as diverse as Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and, of course, Koh Chang will be taking part.

There will be food and drinks tents for spectators and players and the tournament will provide some much needed entertainment and excitement to the island. Directions are on the attached map so please come and support the event.

Koh-Chang-Map-Cricket-Web

 

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July Guides Online Now

by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on July Guides Online Now

Our New Koh Chang Guides Are Ready

That’s right people. Our new issues are in the printers but the e-versions are here already. You can download copies via the links below or read them online with the super-flashy Issuu reader.

Remember that everything is hyperlinked so if you click any ads or hyperlinked text then you will be whisked off to interesting and exciting places – just like that!

We hope that you enjoy the guides.

[gview file=”http://www.koh-chang-guide.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/koh-chang-guide-july-2015.pdf”]

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[gview file=”http://www.koh-chang-guide.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/koh-chang-treasure-map-july-2015-2.pdf”]

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Koh Chang in June

by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Koh Chang in June

June on Koh Chang

June and September are the quietest months on Koh Chang in terms of visitors and after a busy public holiday last weekend the island is very quiet. It’s hot and sunny with the occasional shower, the beaches are empty and, as you can see from the photos taken at White Sand Beach Resort,  very beautiful. So if you want to have lovely paradise beaches to yourself – and you’re not afraid of being a little different – then now is a great time to visit.

site-of-makro-koh-changNow is also the time when you get a flavour of what’s going to change on the island as the annual raft of low season building projects begin. White Sand Beach has two large hives of building activity – one is a new hotel being built by the owners of Buffalo Bill. The second, pictured here, will be a Makro supermarket. Really. As usual opinion is divided on whether the island needs another large international supermarket – although you can’t deny its convenience if you live here. But plonking it on prime real estate right in the middle of the island’s busiest beach seems like a strange choice since out of the way, peripheral locations are more typical sites for this kind of development. Koh Chang, however, remains a stranger to zoning.

koh-chang-road-subsiding
You might think that a sunny month just before the monsoon, with little traffic and few visitors to inconvenience, would be the perfect time to conduct emergency work on the road over the hill between White Sand Beach and Klong Son. After all you can see that the chances of part of the road collapsing appears to be very high.

There are no signs of activity on this particular project though.

Koh Chang Beach Cricket Tournament

The first Koh Chang Beach Cricket Tournament will be held on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd August 2015 on the beach at Siam Royal View in Klong Son.
Visiting teams are expected from Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket as well as Koh Chang’s local heroes. The format will be six players a side with six overs per innings so there will be lots of short and entertaining cricket matches. If you’re already a fan of  this ancient sport then you will already know what to expect but if you’re new to the game then consider this the perfect opportunity to find out what on earth is going on.
It is going to be a fun event for both participants and spectators in this beautiful setting and visitors are also encouraged to explore the other facilities available at Siam Royal View which include a pitch and putt golf course, swimming pools, restaurants and bars and a yacht marina. Food and beer tents will also be on site and the event will, of course, be free to watch.

koh-chang-beach-cricket
The competition will take place from 9am until 5pm on the Saturday and from 9am until two teams compete in the final in the middle of Sunday afternoon.
If you’d like to find out more about the event then consult the website at www.kohchangbeachcricket.com or get in touch with us below







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    Koh Chang in May

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Koh Chang in May

    May on Koh Chang

    Here’s a weather forecast for Koh Chang over the coming few weeks:

    1 – Incredibly hot and sunny
    2 – Short rainstorm
    3 – Very hot indeed – sunny
    4 – Some Showers
    5 – Fierce sunshine accompanied by heat – a lot of heat.
    6 – A thunderstorm
    7 – A bit like being on the surface of the sun
    You probably get the idea by now. It’s hot and sunny for a long time then it rains quickly, rinse and repeat.

    The other main weather feature of note at the moment is that the sunsets have been quite spectacular. I could describe them but why bother when we have this splendid gallery of Koh Chang sunset photos taken in the last few days. They have been kindly provided by our friend Neil Hazeldine – many thanks mate.

    The island is now officially quiet after a few mad busy public holiday weekends. The holiday at the start of May was especially busy with people in cars having to wait for up to eight hours to get on or off the island. If you plan to come to Koh Chang by car it’s always worth checking whether you will be arriving at the beginning of a public holiday. If so then get up before the sun and get to the ferry as early as possible to avoid a long and unpleasant wait for the ferry. Or just park your car on the mainland, walk onto the ferry and get a taxi. It’s easy.

    As the number of visitors to Koh Chang goes down the development projects start up again in force. The latest “old school” beach bars to vanish are Lay Lay Tong and Palm Beach on Chai Chet beach. Lay Lay Tong was the host to many a happy afternoon of beach cricket and will be sorely missed. They are to replaced by an expansion of Flora I Talay Resort – definitely a bit more upmarket but still a great place to watch the sunset. They could invest in a few more beer coolers though.

    We’re expanding our social media presence so don’t be surprised if things like this post start showing up in unexpected places like Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest and the like. It would be great if you could let us know what you think, and of course don’t forget to Like, Friend, Pin, Click, Share, Up, Handshake, High-Five us!

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    Here Comes Songkran!

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Here Comes Songkran!

    songkkran on koh chang 4Get out the waterguns/waterproofs! The Songkran New Year festival starts this weekend. Officially the first day of water throwing will be on Monday the 13th but don’t you believe it – it’s much more likely to begin on Sunday or even Saturday as Thailand winds down for the year’s biggest party.

    If you’re coming to Koh Chang then bear in mind that the ferries can be super-busy and long delays can occur. It might be worth getting down here as early in the day as you can. And if you haven’t already booked a room then do so right now – it is one of the busiest times of year for Koh Chang visitors so accommodation will be very hard to find. If you come without a booking then don’t bother looking on the beach. Head inland and you just might find something.

    You can read through our feature on Songkran in Koh Chang to get a better idea of what to expect.

    Enjoy. Happy New Year! Sawat Dee Pee Mai!

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    Read our April Issues!

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Read our April Issues!

    Here  you are! Our new issues of the Koh Chang Guide, Koh Chang Restaurants, Bars & Spas and The Koh Chang Treasure Map are presented below for your reading pleasure. We hope that they help you to enjoy your visit to Koh Chang.

    Or perhaps you would prefer to download copies of our publications to use offline? If so then just click the links below to grab a copy that you can use on your laptop/phone/iPad or whatever.

    The Koh Chang Guide – April 2015

    Koh Chang Restaurants, Bars and Spas – April 2015

    Koh Chang Treasure Map Front – April 2015

    Koh Chang Treasure Map Back – April 2015

     

     

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    Things Happening on Koh Chang

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Things Happening on Koh Chang

    Here’s an update on a couple of worthwhile and interesting events that are happening on Koh Chang this weekend:

    Koh Chang’s First Comedy Night

    Tonight – Friday the 6th of February – will see what is, as far as we are aware, Koh Chang’s first ever live stand-up comedy night. The event is taking place at Monkeys Restaurant and Bar on White Stand Beach and features to international English language stand-up comedians. All of the 200 Baht entry fees will be donated to the Cambodian Kid’s School on Koh Chang – so it should be a fun night out in the interest of a good cause and it is always good to see a new type of entertainment coming to Koh Chang.

    Fin Free Koh Chang 2015

    … and then on Saturday February 7th there will be a second Shark Conservation Awareness Event at 15 Palms Restaurant and Bar on White Sand Beach. The event begins in the afternoon and features free Discover Scuba Diving from BB Divers, Face Painting for kids, a sand castle competition, a two metre shark (no, not a real one) for painting and a prize raffle. All organised in the very good cause of  helping to raise awareness that eating Shark’s Fin is a very bad thing indeed.

    So it should be a good weekend at White Sand Beach – hope that you are able to come and take part in the fun. Full details for both events are included in the fliers below.

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    We Have a Winner!

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on We Have a Winner!

    Winner of a Free Three Night Stay in a Siam Royal View Villa

    siam royal view competitionA draw was held a few days ago from all the entries in our competition in collaboration with Siam Royal View to win a free three night stay in one of their luxurious Pool Golf Villas. The draw was made on January 7th at The Beach Club at Siam Royal View and the lucky winner is Mr. Edward Labbett. He can look forward to a relaxing stay in a villa at the huge Siam Royal View complex and enjoy 2km of secluded sandy beach, watersports facilities, three restaurants and bars and a nine hole golf course. Our congratulations to Mr. Labbett and our thanks go to Siam Royal View for offering this great prize to our readers.

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    Read Our January Guides

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Read Our January Guides

    New Koh Chang Guides Online Now

    It’s that time again folks. Our new 2015 issues of The Koh Chang Guide, Koh Chang Treasure Map (Front, Back) and our annual Koh Mak Map (Front, Back) are now available for download.
    Either click the highlighted text above or the Covers below to open the guides – and feel free to download them to read at your leisure.
    Alternatively scroll down our homepage to read them on the fancy Issuu reader.  The guides are all loaded as PDF files and all the ads and much of the text contains links that you can click to find more about anything that interests you.

    koh-chang-guide-cover-january-2015 Koh-Chang-Treasure-Map-Cover-Jan-2015 Koh-Mak-Map-Cover-2015

     

     

     

     

     
    We hope that you enjoy them!

     

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    What’s New on Koh Chang?

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on What’s New on Koh Chang?

    New on Koh Chang for the 2015 Season

    As the Koh Chang tourist season sloooowly kicks in we thought we’d give you a bit of a rundown on some of the new places that have opened on Koh Chang since you were last here.

    Eating & Drinking

    nong bua seafood koh chang 3Nong Bua Seafood/Pajamas
    The long-established Nong Bua Seafood in White Sand Beach now has an upmarket sibling in the new Nong Bua Seafood in Klong Prao close to Klong Prao Resort. The restaurant is a thoroughly modern-looking brushed concrete building with a large garden seating area. They have a Thai menu specialising in seafood as well as a Barbeque out the front. The food and service is excellent and the prices are good. They also have a new hotel next door called Pajamas. There is a swimming pool and they have luxury eight bed aircon dorm rooms or individual doubles. Dormitary accommodation is taking off in a big way in Bangkok and this is the first in Koh Chang.

    Filou Ocean View
    The new Filou Ocean View is located in a fantastic position beside the sea at Coral Resort in Kai Bae. There are terrific sea views out over Kai Bae Bay. Their German chef prepares a gourmet European menu that focuses on seafood but includes other options including imported Angus Steak. It is a popular place so we recommend that you either arrive early or make a reservation. They are open for both lunch and dinner daily.

    Shambhala
    Shambhala Beach Bar is a perfect little place located beside the beach on the Marina side of the Siam Royal View community in Klong Son. It is a garden bar beside a swimming pool that adjoins the bar on two sides. They serve a large variety of cocktails, mocktails and fruit shakes all day. It’s the kind of place where you would expect to pay a lot for the privilege of frequenting but the prices are astonishingly reasonable. This is one the best sunset spots on Koh Chang.

    boom bar koh chang 01Boom Bar
    Boom Bar is a recently-opened place in Klong Prao village. It is located just before a bridge where the main road dog-legs opposite to Noren  Resort. It is a huge place with a dancefloor and regular DJs. There is also a pool table as well as a large screen so there’s plenty to keep you busy. They specialise in Rhum arranges – which are special macerated rums from the Carribbean but have a widely stocked bar and all kinds of other cocktails and shots as well. They also offer bar snacks and Paninis. And of course they have free WiFi.

    Accommodation

    serenity resort koh changSerenity Resort
    The new Serenity Resort is a nice beachfront boutique resort on the east coast of Koh Chang 2km south of the ferry ports. This is by far the quieter side of Koh Chang and the resort is ideal for those of you looking for total peace and relaxation.
    There are just seven attractive and luxuriously fitted out bungalows a large sundeck and bar area. They offer free use of canoes and watersports gear to guests and drop in visitors alike.

    Sapparot Bar and Bungalows
    Located in a great position beside the river looking out to sea the new Sapparot bungalows have a few rooms all kitted out with air-con, TV, fridge and the like. There’s also a friendly bar beside the water.

    Other Stuff

    kai bae bypass

    …and the planning genius award of the year goes to…

    Kai Bae By-Pass
    If you pass through Kai Bae in the next three weeks you will notice the new village by-pass road. You’ll particularly notice it because you will have to drive on it to get through Kai Bae since the local authorities, in an act of interstellar ineptitude, have decided that the busiest time of year on Koh Chang is the best time to close the main road and repair the road bridge in the middle of Kai Bae village.
    The bypass itself is, of course, a great idea and will be very useful… when it’s finished. At the moment it is a hodge-podge of local residential lane and uneven dirt road. There was a big delay when I drove through the other day so during christmas and new year it will be worse – be careful.

    Fibre-Optics
    Thankfully fibre optic cables have been laid through the most populated parts of the island and internet connections at post industrial revolution speeds are now available. In addition to TOT and CAT, the warring national communications companies you can get broadband through AirNet and AIS. Competition is good.

    Koh Chang Maps

    We have also just updated all of our detailed Koh Chang Maps so now you can see exactly where all these new places are located.

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    Koh Chang Blowin’ in the Wind

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Koh Chang Blowin’ in the Wind

    koh chang sunset in november 2014Koh Chang has the wind. What a relief. You can never be sure that the rainy season is really, truly over until the wind shifts direction and begins to blow strongly from the north. And that began a few days ago. So now we can usher in the ‘cool’ weather of the Thai Winter Season. Of course cool is relative and you can expect daily high temperatures of around 30 degrees. It’s often breezy by day and can blow hard at night. Truly lovely weather. The year’s best sunsets seem to happen at this time of year as well. Day after day of splendour.

    And also over the last week the island seems to have finally started to fill up. This tourist season seems to have begun a  little slower than in previous years but now flights are busy and people are starting to arrive. Local business owners are smiling again, all is well.

    Thaidaho-Vista-ResortWe’re busy preparing our new guides for January issue (earlier online of course for our tech-savvy readers!). There are new issues of our Koh Chang Guide and Treasure Map as well as our Koh Mak Map. We took this photo at Thaidaho Vista Resort, one of our favourite spots on Koh Mak the other day. As usual we have some great new photography and features to celebrate another high season.

    We’ve also been sampling some of the new places to eat and drink on Koh Chang so let us finish digesting these new guides and then we’ll tell you all about them.

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    Win a Stay in a Koh Chang Villa

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Win a Stay in a Koh Chang Villa

    Win a Koh Chang Break

    You can win a free three night stay in a pool villa at the luxurious Siam Royal View in Klong Son on Koh Chang with the Koh Chang Guide.
    This is a beautiful beachfront complex with a yacht marina, golf course, poolside beachfront restaurant, watersports and more.

    How to Enter
    All you need to do is e-mail your full name, telephone number and e-mail address to sales@siam-royal-view.com before December 15th. The winner will be picked at random from all entries after this date. Good Luck!

    koh chang guide siam royal view competition

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    October Koh Chang Guides Finished

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on October Koh Chang Guides Finished

    Koh Chang Guides Available to Download

    koh chang guides in storageAt last our new Koh Chang Guides are complete and are now available in print and electronic form. You can read and download the PDFs by clicking the links below.

    One of the big changes with these new issues is that all of the guides and maps are now interactive. You can click any of the ads or hyperlinks in the text to go to the related website. So if you need to know more about anything you find in the guide it's now just a click away. We think that this is really quite a neat development and it took ages to figure out so we hope that you find it helpful.

    Koh Chang Guide PDF Downloads

    Koh Chang Guide
    Koh Chang Restaurants, Bars & Spas
    Koh Chang Treasure Map – FrontBack

    And the print versions of the island will start to be distributed over the coming week. We have received them but as you can see there's a vicious cat guarding them.

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    Koh Chang Bridge Washes Away

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Koh Chang Bridge Washes Away

     

    …a little rain must fall

    klong prao bridge washed out 2It was almost inevitable that after such a long period of good weather Koh Chang would finally receive a downpour – and boy has it received one. About 36 hours of solid, often torrential rain finally ended last night. This morning it is gray but not raining. Heavy downpours have affected all of central and northern Thailand and there is extensive flooding on the mainland – although we drove back to Koh Chang from Chantaburi yesterday and the roads were fine – if moist. The biggest effect on Koh Chang is that the bridge in Klong Prao by the turnoff to the Klong Plu waterfall has washed away and the road is currently impassable.

    klong prao bridge washed out 1A makeshift footbridge is in place and enterprising taxis are waiting for fares on both sides. But road repairs are expected to take the best part of a week to complete. Something workable might well be in place sooner. We visited a little earlier for a rubberneckers roving report and as you'd imagine there's a bit of a circus down there. Amidst all the onlookers, gawkers and gapers and officials of all stripes revelling in being official there was actually a big digger clearing out the riverbed and a few other people being constructive.

    Oh, hang on, it's just started raining again.

     

    koh chang bridge repairedUPDATE

     

    And so one day later the sun is shining down on Koh Chang and they must have worked all night to fill the broken bridge with rubble and open the road again. Good work! Was it all just a bad dream? Things can get a little strange at this time of year.

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    Mother’s Day on Koh Chang

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Mother’s Day on Koh Chang

    dragon on koh chang chinese templeThose of you that braved last Friday's looming clouds and headed down to Koh Chang for this long Mother's Day public holiday have been rewarded by two absolutely glorious sunny days. Koh Chang is rarely lovelier than during these sunny spells at this time of year. The Chinese Temple in Klong Son looked great yesterday.

    But what's been happening on the island? – let's give you an update – particularly for Carl – who asked nicely.

    Building
    Some road work is happening on the big evil hill out of White Sand Beach to deepen and improve the drainage ditches. Good idea – but digging the trench – during the monsoon – several weeks before cladding it with concrete is a great recipe for soil erosion.

    Demolition
    The National Park has started to enforce the removal of several buildings in Bang Bao that have encroached too far into the bay. This new hard-line approach to building transgressions is rumoured to be soon to affect a couple of the island's larger resorts as well. Guess they should have followed the rules shouldn't they?

    koh chang chinese temple 2Immigration
    Following on from our previous article about new strict rules on tourist visas there have been a couple more developments – one good, one bad from a visitor's viewpoint. The bad news concerns new and strict rules regarding overstays of tourist visas.
    Overstay Rules: Harsh new penalties are in now place for people who overstay their visa. If you overstay by more than thirty days then you will be banned from visting Thailand for a year. If you have overstayed by just one day and your passport is checked somewhere other than an immigration office (in other words if you are "apprehended" rather "surrendering yourself") you can – in theory – also be banned from Thailand for a year. In this instance you would hope that common sense would prevail – but you never know do you? Our advice is do not, under any circumstances, overstay your tourist visa.
    Tourist Visa Extension: A positive development is that from the 29th of this month you will be able to extend a 30 day tourist visa by another 30 days at an immigration office. This is much more generous than the previous, rather stingy, seven days. This makes sense since it allows people who wish to have a holiday of up to 60 days in Thailand to arrange this fairly easily – thus reducing the temptation to overstay. And if you plan to stay longer than this you can apply to your local Thai embassy or consulate before you leave home to get a relevant visa.

    Cleaning
    Keep Koh Chang Clean continue to do a roadside litter clean-up every two weeks. get involved. A local group from Kai Bae/Klong Prao also organised a well-attended clean-up last Friday from the Klong Plu Waterfall road to Kai Bae village. Good on them.

    And that's about it. We just listed an interesting new business for sale on Koh Chang that we think is a great opportunity. We're also working on three new issues of the guide as well as some website and online publishing improvements that will make our guides more easily available online and more interactive so get ready for all of that in the next few weeks.

    Oh, and if you're a mum then have a happy mother's day!

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    Koh Chang Waterworld

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Koh Chang Waterworld

    Koh Chang's Watery World

    than mayom waterfall koh changThat'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.

    a stream on koh changKlong 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.

    keeping koh chang clean 03Keep 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.

     

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    July Guides Arrive

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on July Guides Arrive

    The Koh Chang Guide July 2014Our 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.

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    Keep Koh Chang Clean

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Keep Koh Chang Clean

    The Koh Chang Clean Up

    keeping koh chang clean 10Koh 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!

     

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    Hot Hot Heat!

    by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Hot Hot Heat!

    koh chang sunglassesWe’re definitely deep into the hot season now with maximum daytime temperatures on Koh Chang up into the high thirties. At this time of year a kind of lassitude settles on Koh Chang. The madness of the Songkran festival is over and whilst there are still plenty of visitors on the island you don’t see much of them by day – probably because everyone is sleepily sweltering under any shade that they can find. This year water is becoming an issue since lower than average rainfall has led to many provinces of Thailand suffering drought conditions. Fortunately Koh Chang is saved by the occasional quick thunderstorm – just hope that we get one today. But the monsoon rains aren’t expected until around the end of June – it’s going to be a long hot two months.
    (confession – this article was written in aircon)

    Chanthaburi
    cathedral of the immaculate conception chanthaburiWe spent a couple of days in Trat’s neighbouring province of Chanthaburi this week. Chanthaburi is a pleasant little riverside town that thrives on Gem trading and fruit farming. In an alarming outbreak of spirituality we managed to visit both a cathedral and a temple on the same day. Chanthaburi has Thailand’s largest church in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception which has stood beside the river in the centre of town for 105 years. It has some nice stained glass and interior decor and is all the more impressive for being such an unusual feature in a Thai provincial town.
    wat khao sukim chanthaburiThen there is Wat Sukim, a huge temple perched on top of a hill about 20 kilometres out of Chanthaburi. You get up there either by climbing 350 ornate steps or, as most of the other visitors seemed to be doing, riding up on the the small railway beside the steps laughing and pointing at the silly people walking up the steps. They had a point. The view from the top is great though.

    Toll Piers
    toll piers on koh changThis construction work is going on at the end of the pier in Salak Phet. Apparently this is going to be a toll gate so that anyone who wants to go onto the pier will have to pay a (200B?) National Park entry fee in the same way as visitors to Than Mayom and Klong Plu waterfalls. Apparently the same thing is due to happen at the much busier Bang Bao Pier. For years the Koh Chang Marine National Park have been trying to increase their revenue from visitors to the island. They tried to take money as people arrived at the ferries. Then they began boarding boat trips and demanding payment from confused tourists. This latest step may work. Of course it isn’t equitable and unfairly punishes boat trips and tours that leave from Bang Bao whilst doing nothing to collect payments from the customers of boats that leave from elsewhere. Of course the National Park is Koh Chang’s greatest treasure and should be preserved. Most people would agree that 200 Baht per foreign visitor is a small price to pay to look after the environment. Perhaps people would be a lot happier to pay the fee if there was better evidence that the National Park was actually re-investing this revenue in the protection of Koh Chang’s unique environment?

    Property
    We also have some interesting new property listings. The new Hummingbird Residence is now underway in in Bang Bao. It offers some very nice and affordable apartments with fantastic views. Another interesting new listing is a backpacker resort franchise in Bang Bao. Most of the hard work has been done so it offers a great opportunity to enter a new business with the benifit of a good marketing and management support structure. And then there is a well-etablished Koh Chang dive business for sale. Live the dream!

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