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.....Monday, 13th to Wednesday 15th February 2012 (1/4)
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Koh Si Chang: unlikely destination. Page (1) | (2) | (3) | (4)
Day 1: A change of scenery……..I need a break from train stations and temples so I’m heading for Koh Samet, or so I thought. I make a last minute change of plan as my attention is drawn to a small island off the Chonburi coast at Si Ratcha otherwise only memorable as a place on the well beaten path to Pattaya. After enough research to convince me that Koh Si Chang has something that will be of interest I’m on my way.
I am using the Bangkok’s Eastern Bus Terminal in Ekamai as my starting point. Taking the Leam Chabang tour bus (88 baht) at 11.30 it takes a rather long 2 hours to reach the company’s office near Robinsons in Si Ratcha. After a quick bowl of noodles I take a tuk tuk to the port at Ko Loy (50 baht) arriving just in time for the 2 pm boat service to the island (40 baht).
Day 1: Ship ahoy!.......Despite dredging of the Chao Phraya river Bangkok’s ability to cope with international shipping is limited so a time proven method of moving cargo is to transfer it offshore into smaller vessels (barges). Consequently the seas in the eastern Gulf of Thailand are a huge parking lot for freighters and barges of all descriptions often using the calmer conditions in the Gulf if Thailand as a refuge. The island ferry picks its way through what to some may appear a less that inviting gateway to an exotic location. However as I alight at the Tha Bon Pier on the island’s east coast there seems to be the trappings of normal coastal life with the busy little fishing port and a vibrant small community eager to please a visitor.
Day 1: Formalities……..I pause for a while to obtain a map from the tourist office, a lady sat at a desk, before I make my way off the pier. I check out a nearby guesthouse which just won’t do. At least I now have a guide price for what I’m likely to pay on Koh Si Chang. Inevitably there are the numerous tuk tuks, songtheaws and others waiting for my custom. I enter into conversation with a lady eager to rent her motorbike to me. I have already decided to use this form of transport as the most effective way to view the island. She offers to take me to view accommodation for free if I rent her motorbike. I arrive at Benjaporn Bungalow and agree to pay the 650 baht/ night for an air conditioned room. In addition I take the bike for 500 baht for two days. That is spot on estimate so now I can relax with the formalities over.
Day 1: North island
Day 2: Phra Judhadhut Palace
Day 2/3: Other locations
Ao - bay
Haad - beach
Kao - mountain
Koh - island
Leam - headland
Tha Rua - port
Tham - cave
If you have something of similar interest I would be pleased to hear from you