"It only rains in the afternoons during monsoon"
Trip Start May 20, 2010
195Trip End Sep 05, 2011
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Where I stayed
Sunflower Huts, Lonely Beach
Day : 72
Temperature : 31 degrees
Weather : Raining...again
Who ever said this to us should be shot!! Having now spent 7 weeks in the monsoon going through China, Nepal and now Thailand, our experience so far is that we have only had one day without rain during this time! It can rain in the morning, or in the afternoon, or during the night, and quite often it will rain all day, for days on end with thunderstorms to boot. Thus, we have come to the conclusion that there is a very, very good reason that the guide books tell you that there is a "best time" to visit a country, and there is a "worst time" to visit a country! You would be wise to take note people...
Anyway, having bought our tickets in Bangkok for 350 Baht (approx £7 each) we arrived on the island of Koh Chang after a 5 hour minibus ride and a 40 minute ferry trip. There are many taxis waiting at the ferry terminal and for 100 Baht each we jumped in a taxi and made our way to Lonely Beach. We are staying in some fairly basic bungalows which tick all the important boxes...comfortable beds, air conditioning, clean bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and a quiet location (well apart from last night when there was a full moon party about 200m away from our bungalow!). Our room costs 475 Baht per night including use of a scooter which has been extremely useful during our stay so far.
The evening we arrived on the island the torrential downpour started. It rained all night. We woke up the next morning and it was still bucketing down. It poured and poured all day, but us not being the type of people to be detered by a little rain we put on our waterproofs, jumped on the scooter and went out to explore the island...it seemed a good day to check out where the nice beaches were. Koh Chang is a beautiful island with a mountainous interior which is blanketed in jungle. There is only one road which loops the island but does not join at the southern tip and there are no roads across the middle connecting the western side to the eastern side of the island. The western side is developing fast and now has many big resorts and hotels, supermarkets, tattoo parlours and pubs and bars...not really our scene. So far we have not been overly impressed by the beaches of Koh Chang either...they are fairly rocky, very narrow and many are covered in litter which is such a pity. The nicest beach we have found is at the most southerly point of the island where it is very clean and quiet with only a few beach shacks and cafes on the beachfront, and it seems a lovely place to relax during the day
Anyway, at about 4pm that day we were still on our bike and the weather was deteriorating further, so we decided it would be too dangerous to continue and we turned back just in time for an electrical storm to erupt over our heads. It took nearly 2 hours to get back in the driving rain, and by the time we returned to our village the roads had turned into rivers and we were nearly knee deep in water. It continued to rain all night long and by the time we woke up the following morning we had no electricity or running water. There had been half a dozen big land slides during the night which had brought down power lines all over the island. It was also still raining. To top it off, all our clothes which were wet and had been put up to dry were still soaking wet because nothing dries in the humid air. Luckily the rain did stop for short periods the following day so we managed to venture out to the beach, where, despite no sun we managed to get ourselves badly sunburnt and later discovered that a side effect of our anti-malarials is hypersensitivity of the skin to sunlight!! Ouch! After smothering ourselves in skin cream we spent that evening sat lounging on some floor cushions in a cafe chatting to an Israeli couple and an English girl, listening to the rain and watching the most amazing electrical storm till the wee hours of the morning.....oh it's a hard life
Thankfully, over the past couple of days the rain has been much more intermittent and we have even seen some blue sky at times!! We have discovered a great little cafe called Hippo Cafe in the next village which does the best pancakes we've had all trip and it also has very cheap, delicious Thai food. We have found some waterfalls which we plan on visiting over the next couple of days weather permitting, and a nice little hotel with a swimming pool right on the beach which we will see if we can pay to use one day. We have also been adopted by a little cat who now hangs around and sleeps outside our room every night and we call "little cat"....must be something to do with that can of sardines I fed him the other day!! We have also booked our first diving holiday!!!! Yay!!! But more of that to come later :-)
We head back to Bangkok in about 4 days then we are heading to Surin to see the "Down" gang who are flying out from the UK tomorrow and who must all be very excited by now... But we are only coming to see you guys if you promise to bring the sunshine with you!!!!
Hope you are still enjoying the blog and stay tuned for some more adventures and to find out which country we are off to in a couple of weeks time.......give you a clue.....it's dry season there!! :-D
Dom and Kev