From Ko Chang to Bangkok

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2007

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Once again in my hub, Bangkok. Arrived night before last on ferry/bus from Ko Chang. Am staying close in same area, but different hostel, as last time. In HI Hostel in Sukhumvit 2 Soi 25. 
My snorkelling trip in Ko Chang was amazing. Went to 4 different islands and the first one was incredible with several schools of brilliantly coloured and designed fish and coral. Many people from other boats as well as the one I was on were sharing the same area so not too relaxing as i was on the lookout to avoid running into someone - others weren't so considerate and I often got a kick.  Some were wearing flippers, as if you need them in salt water, in a limited area, with so much to see in one spot!  The second area was a little more relxing as fewer people were snorkelling and the area was bigger.  Still amazing, fewer fish but more coral, sponges of all colours. the 3rd and 4th were the most stunning. Monochromatic colours with splashes of vibrant colours on coral, comprised of crochet type of covering in greens, while little type crocheted/tatted 'doilies tucked into the rocks which reacted when i swam over them by closing up! Have no idea what these objects were and what purpose they served; as in so much of my travels - "I want to learn more about..."
Mainly spent my days lazing around/swimming the pool at Maria's 'Coral Resort', going for Happy Hour and then eating at alocal Thai outdoor small family run restaurant.  On the trip back on the ferry I met the owner of a restaurant called the Seabird, in Bang Boa (Buddha View) a little fishing community  built on stilts, through which we had to walk to get onto snorkelling boat. Anyway she is from England but ran the restaurant now with her husband for 7 years. I mentioned how hard Thais seem to work and she said it isn't true. They are quite lazy and very consumeristic and use something once, throw away (and they don't believe in reduce, recycle or even dispose of garbage, it is just thrown to the wind, river etc. so is quite a mess around).  They start work early but chill out during the day as they are not busy. Also they certainly don't make an effort to learn English and yet that is the language of their tourists. I asked for a menu on my last day and the owner didn't know what it was asking. When I pointed, he said oh, MenYou!  I had pronounced it wrong!  Go figure! I don't know how they are going to all make a living on Ko Chang. So much construction going on, and destruction of forest! and trees that help shade and keep things cooler - it would have helped but of course developers don't care. But nothing was busy - restaurants, hotels etc. seem to be empty so don't know what they are planning for but Maria says just wait - word will get out about Ko Chang and then throngs will come. More's the pity. Anyway Jacqui from Seabird says the rainy season is her favourite, fewer tourists! and it is not a bad time to come. I will never come again during the winter, it is way too hot for me.
I also meant to let you know the Thai issues -
Meant to update you on Thai issues - THaksin's removal due to Sept. coup and the ineptness of replacement government; new Subuvarnibhum airport poorly built/not to spec, resulting in investigations and talk of closing several runways down due to splits, danger; airport shops talking up too much space without proper authority; bribes etc.; Muslim insurgency in south killing teachers in particular; closing down of ITV, the only private TV broadcaster due to lack of 'concession fees paid' resulting in government now running it resulting in people losing jobs, decrease of freedom of the press.
Tomorrow night Maria comes back from Ko Chang and we are on overnight train to Nong Khai, Thailand - she to renew Thai passport over the border in Vientianne, Laos and get some clothes made and me to continue on to Savannakhet and then across Cambodia into North Vietnam as my VN visa expires Mar. 23. Then I iwll come back to Cambodia to Siam Reap (Angkor Wat). I don't htink I will do S. Vietnam as I have had it with the extreme heat!  I know now what countries to avoid during this time of year!
will update more from there. I am going to add a couple of pics from Karon Beach, Phuket blog.
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