Koh Chang is one of those places that always conjures up really warm and fuzzy feelings for me. I’m immediately transported onto the beach where the settting sun is blazoned across the horizon, blinding in it’s display of vivid colours along with a feeling of absolute peace. Oh yes, it’s a pleasurable moment that one and whilst I’d love to return, somehow I think that 6 years may have just changed that pre tourist vibe somewhat and I’d so not want to be disappointed . What appealed to me most was that is was the largest marine park in Thailand’s group of islands and it certainly wasn’t ‘party central’ which was a big draw card in my deck of cards.
It was 2006 and back then it was a rather idyllic location, perhaps a little backwards in comparison to the more popular islands such as the ‘full moon’ party island of Koh Phangan or the rather commercial Koh Samui and then there’s Phi Phi and Phuket which I haven’t been to as it has never held much appeal to me. Geez I can just walk downtown any night in Cairns if I want to experience tourists letting their hair down and getting blind drunk.
I go to SE Asia to experience the culture, the food, the people and the environment and Koh Chang didn’t disappoint…you could hire a little Suzuki 4WD and travel around the island at a leisurely pace in half a day. You could drive without seeing any other people, visit places where you feel you’re the only one there and when you do meet up with people, it’s very low key.
- Koh Chang Thailand
Wandering along the only street near where I was staying was to witness people going about their daily business, ample little shops and humpy’s to purchase Thai clothes and handicrafts. Little restaurants cooking on primitive stoves, 44 gallon drums cut in half with a bunch of chickens strung onto a steel bar cooking away on a bed of coals.
Is this what’s meant by ‘it’s a dog’s life’??
I was always amazed by the ‘clumps’ of dogs that I would stumble across in the mornings enjoying what seemed like a sand bath….was it cool for them? warm for them? or was there some unforeseen magnetism that I wasn’t privy to?
A village in the back blocks of Koh Chang
This is a classic and picturesque sight that I came upon whilst driving about the island of Koh Chang. It really was such a joyous holiday for me, which I expect will be hard to replicate. If I had to define that, it would be about the laid back atmosphere and the feeling of stepping back in time.
Children will be children wherever they are!
It seems like such an easy life for the children of this village. Playing out their days on the sands of this tranquil beach that is a hive of activity in it’s own right albeit quiet if you measure it against the more tourist orientated and thriving destinations elsewhere in Thailand.
Sandcastles hold appeal no matter what your age 🙂
We came across this little group of Japanese tourists who glowed with happiness and seemed to be relishing the joy of being children and creating their own little fantasy island.
The shipping lane is busy between Trat and Koh Chang
We flew into Trat and from the tarmac jumped on board these funky little carts that couriered us to our waiting ‘people movers’ that dropped us at the ferry terminal..from there we enjoyed a relaxing journey across to Koh Chang. It was a busy little sea channel with all sorts of transport ferrying people back and forth. The ferry carried cars, trucks, bikes, produce and people and there was no hype here, everyone just wandered about taking photos, sitting chatting on the large observation decks, hung about with the vehicles chatting about who knows what or just admired the stunning scenery along the way and all eager to reach our destination and go about our business and for most of us to scatter in every direction to our accommodation and embark on our very casual and very relaxing holiday .
Mmmmm I wonder how much longer he’s going to fit into this little bathtub?
In the day time, this little shop sold something or another and then as the day came to a close the focus turned to washing, eating and rolling out the bedding between the racks of clothes and the shop would for a short period of time, become a ‘home’ amongst the clothes, bags and assorted tourist paraphernalia..but not before the the tv would be switched on, the little food burner would be brought out onto the footpath, the children washed and fed before the shutters would be pulled down until morning when the home would once again be transformed into a shop. Life is pretty darned simple in Koh Chang!
Bathtime can be fun, regardless of how much or how little water you have
Plastic bowls are a multi use item in Koh Chang…this bowl is line with sand!
I could never decide if the dogs were sick, old or whether this was just their ‘lot’ in life….this looks like an old dog to me but all of the dogs seemed to have a similar look which is something that I’ve observed generally whilst travelling throughout SE Asia. Regardless of where you are, the dogs all seem to be related!!!
Siesta time, Koh Chang style
And in true Asian style, in the heat of the day, any place is as good as another to catch a few zzzzzzzzzzzzz’s.
Who would have thought a light globe could become a thing of beauty
I wonder what these little critters are because they seem to attach themselves to anything that they come into contact with….it would be easy to think that this is a process that has taken place over a long period of time but I wonder if it’s something that’s relatively short….regardless of what I think, this light globe has managed to remain intact and take on a beautiful hue with so many little wiggly bits now calling this ‘home’…where did this light globe come from, how long has it been in the water and so on and so forth 🙂
A lone coconut, washed up front who knows where?
And the coconut, maybe it’s a scene from Gilligans Island, who knows….well maybe not everyone knows about Gilligan’s Island but that’s what I’m reminded of when I look at this photo, lol…images of a deserted island spring to mind, oh but wait, there’s footprints there so I’m not alone!
These little shells house a myriad of life
Phew, so many critters have scrambled for a footing on this piece of floating wood, I don’t even know if they’re still alive, if they’ve ‘flown the coop’ or what??? But it sure makes for creating vivid imaginations in my mind!
The old humble thong, once trash becomes a work of art
And this thong’s straps seem to have some appeal, where did it come from? who did it belong to? where’s the pair? what nationality was the owner? so many questions, so few answers 🙂
Despite stormy skies, the sunset is still idyllic
Anything that floats by will become home to the myriad of little critters than search for a new home!
And what have we here?
Not even these storm clouds can dull the magnificence of a Koh Chang sunset
The remnants of an enormous explosion of firecrackers to mark some auspicious moment on Koh Chang, leave behind a magical carpet on the sand
Bamboo lanterns create a picture of serenity and bliss
You’re never too old to build sand castles
Sandcastles with a Japanese flavour
Sandcastles complete, now it’s time to catch upon some social media
Calm waters, the beauty of another breathtaking sunset and life doesn’t get much better on Koh Chang
Who says you have to take a straight photo…it’s all in the mind’s eye after all
Thanks for the memories, Koh Chang, you thrilled me, you excited me, you calmed me, you filled me with awe, your daily sunsets brought tears to me eyes, you gave me so much pleasure and you asked nothing in return. You’ve given me a set of memories that will remain indelibly marked in my heart and in my mind forever:)