Monday 23rd November - LONG TRAVELS TO KOH CHANG
Up bright and early at 6:30am, only to be told we were not being picked up now until 8am, I could have throteled the guy. We used the time to go to the 7 eleven and pick up some water and croisants and relaxed in the guesthouse garden while waiting. I was watching out for their swamp lizard that lives there. I briefly saw it a couple of days ago, but wanted to show Ad.
We were collected from guesthouse and followed the guy through the back alley's to the travel agency opposite the 7 eleven we'd just been to (would you believe it), could've just stayed over there in the first place OH WELL! Chatted breifly to another couple also getting the bus. Were on the bus for 5 mins before they got us all off again and swapped us around to different buses, we were fortunate to stay on ours for the 5 hour journey to pier. Not the most comfortable journey ever, but just watched a bit of film on ipod and slept when I could. A couple of toilet stops and a lunch stop and we arrived. Straight onto the ferry and it left pretty quickly.
10-20 mins on the ferry and we were on Koh Chang, quicker than I expected. Joined others on the back of a larger tuk tuk style taxi, it squeezed about 10 of us on and we made our way to Lonely Beach, making stops on the way for others. Didn't take long and we chatted to a white guy who's been living there for a while now, he gave us a few tips of places to hang out. Honestly, I'm very excited just to get to the beach.
Found magic garden no problem and Matt the guy I'd emailed showed us to our bungalow, which was really nice and only 6 pound between us a night. For a place like this I was surprised to get it so cheap. Dumped our things quickly and changed into something cooler, it was scorching outside. Then headed straight out to have a look around. Did check a couple of other places, but ours def seems the best for the money.
WOW! The beach was perfect, only 5mins walk away, gorgeous soft sand, calm sea and palm trees, I was in my element. The afternoon was drawing in, so didn't fancy swimming now, will save that for tomorrow, but found a nice spot to lay down and relax. At one point we heard russeling behind us in the bushes and it got louder and louder, sounded like something big. You can imagine our surprise when a hugh water cow appeared, blimey. It strolled right on passed us, very slow and shy looking. The male water cow followed suit. Took pic's and even stroked them, they were very calm animals or so we thought. The male turned up into bushes and was hidden from the female who continued walking the beach. Clearly she was concerned as she turned around and could not see him. In panic she picked up speed and ran in the direction she could hear him, bless her. Not worrying about the screaming tourists diving out of her way. Being hit by her would def hurt, she's not small by any means, but luckily everyone got out of the way in time JUST! Everyone burst out in laughter, if only we'd had a camera at the ready.
Saw the best sunset we've seen in ages, it was beautiful and right there in front of us, out over the sea. Headed back for warm showers at our bungalow then out on the town for dinner. Not really a town though, more of a quiet village area, but had plenty to do. Rocked up at a chilled out looking bar called OM Bar, where we sat at a Japanese style table on mats and enjoyed a Green Thai curry to share, beers for Ad and alcoholic fruit shakes for me. Was a very relaxing place, we chatted loads and enjoyed the back ground music. A cat came and joined us at one point and fell asleep on Ad's lap.
Had a little stroll around before heading back for bed. Many bars in the area, none of which were busy, nice amount of people in each. Live bands, playing chilled music and a very relaxing feel overall. So far we are very impressed with the place and could see us staying for a while if we're not careful.
Back for a good nights sleep.
Tuesday 24th November - COME AND DO THE CONGA
Due to being somewhere so beautiful and wanting to make the most of it, I thought we would have managed an early start, but not quite as early as we'd hoped. Still we were set to head to the beach before midday. Picked up some banana's and oranges on way and found a nice spot, not too far from where we was yesterday.
Straight in the sea I went. Sheer heaven, as I swam around in the lovely calm water of the sea, it was delightful. Looking back at the beach from the sea, I was surrounded by beauty. The sand was golden, palm trees all around and the sun was beaming down, this is def what i've been waiting for. Now I was ready to enjoy every minute. After a few hours, I was ready for a bite to eat. We went to a nearby restaurant and once sat down in the shade I realised I may have overdone it a bit in the sun. Feeling a little giddy and light headed. The Tuna sandwich and vanilla milkshake topped with oreo cookie certainly helped with that. DELICIOUS, although the sandwich was a little small for the price, but hey ho, it done the trick.
Now the sun was cooling a bit we stayed out until sunset and yet another beautiful setting went down before us. Such a pretty place. Back to bungalow for a gorgeous hot shower, was hard to get out of, have been used to cold showers in most places, so this was heaven. Put on my pretty black dress, flower in hair and ready to party hard.
We had been given flyers on the beach for lots of different places. First we went to the OM bar where we was last night. They were offering free BBQ, which was basically kebabs consisting of tomato, pinapple, chilli, chicken and onion. Fairly large kebabs and we kept grabbing more as they passed. Was quite embarrasing the amount we got through, we had quite a pile of sticks at the end which I tried to throw without anyone seeing, saves us buying dinner tonight, only purchased a drink each which was more than worth it.
Next up we went to our bar at Magic Garden, it was dead, but we had vouchers for free Samsung drinks, which is Thai whisky. The drinks were strong, but we had them anyway and moved on.
A bar called Himeji was offering buy one get one free beers, so we thought we'd head there next. A bit more life in this party and we got chatting the barman who was really nice. Some other guys were chatting footy with Ad and the barman, nice bunch. I remember seeing one guy, thinking "what an earth are you wearing, I know I'm a little merry, but surely I'm not imagining this", he then came over, probably saw my expression and explained it was his 30th, so his friends had made him come out in a pixy top with speedo's - too funny, he had a snorkel set to, look ridiculous but all good fun. The barman then gave us a free bucket with heaps of shots in, I was def merry now. When I asked where the toilet was and the guy said go behind the wall, I was a little put off, until I realised the toilet actually was behind the wall and he was telling me to actually go behind the wall, boy oh boy, drink def isn't good for you. They put on a really good fire show actually, impressive.
Back to Om bar, which was now offering a free bucket. Things begin to get a little blury here. I remember trying to get Ad into a drinking competition and then rambaling on about just about everything that came to mind, getting louder by the second. The last trip was partly skipping, partly stumbling back to our bar at Magic Garden. Here was the final straw, we were given our final free Samsung, not that we needed it.
A little bit messy here, I remember asking the DJ and barman if they thought it would be a good idea for me to go to the other bars, collect people into a conga and bring them to Magic Garden. They said "yes" but probably just to get rid of me. I remember thinking it'll be the best idea ever and trying to get everyone to join in with me. Ad couldn't stop laughing at me, WHAT AN IDIOT I MUST HAVE LOOKED. Oh well, after about 10mins the ideahad passed and I was up dancing not thinking about it. In fact the place was in full swing and many drunkens were dancing around it was brilliant. The night was a def blur, but one thing I do know, we had a bliming good time.
Wednesday 25th November - HOW MUCH MORE CHILLED CAN YOU GET
Sore head, sore head, sore head - honestly will we ever learn or is that somewhat of a myth? OUCH!
Made our way to beach eventually, picked up some bread, tin of tuna, lots of water and banana's in hope of helping the hangover. Probably not best to be in the sun, but didn't feel too bad. Was in and out of the water to keep cool and went back to the restaurant for a vanilla & oreo shake and Ad got a coconut shake, to help us cool down also. Played with the puppy for ages, he's well cute, a little black thing, bit smaller than a labrador pup, but well cute. We saw him here yesterday and I could've stayed and played with him for hours. Enjoyed the sunset again, while writing in our diaries.
Took a slow walk back to bungalow, feeling very sorry for ourselves. Ad saw some really nice swim shorts and tried them on. He tried to haggle them down to 250 Baht (5 pound), but for now they would not budge, will have to try again another day. Were nice though, really suited him. Back to get ready.
Went to a bar called Ting Tongs, offering a free BBQ, slightly better than yesterday's, with the same size kebabs with similar food, but offering salad and fruit as well. Great selection and plenty for everyone NICE! Could get used to this. Someone told us that the bars all take it in turns each night and that's why you find the times of each promotion fit in with each other. That's why it worked so well last night. Got chatting to a girl while Ad went for seconds on the BBQ. She's been travelling for a while, but has got stuck here for weeks becuase she is having so much fun, I can see why. It's fab. Unfortunately, my chatting meant I'd missed the 2nd's on the BBQ, cos now they had closed, but instead I just sat back and enjoyed the live band. Great music, very chilled, bongo drums the lot - really nice.
Found a place just around the corner to burn our photos on disc quite cheaply, so went and got them and got that done while the price is good. Picked up a banana pancake on the way back as well, smothered in chocolate sauce mmmmmmmmmm so tasty. Got chatting to an Irish guy in his 60's, he had a lot to say for himself, but had many tips to share and some really interesting stories, nice guy. Also spotted a guy as we were heading back from the internet cafe, that Ad had been chatting to at the bar the other night, he asked if we were on another big night, but we just didn't fancy it tonight, maybe tomorrow te he - getting too old arhhhhhh. Back for a good nights sleep.
Thursday 26th November - UNCOOKED CRAB SALAD - YUK!!
Another late start, but glad to say I was feeling much better today. Ad picked up the swim shorts he'd been looking at on the way to the beach, so he was happy. Picked up some smarties, banana's, sun cream and water from shop on way also. Found our usual spot and dumped our things to go straight in for a swim.
Swam to and from a boat a short distance out, to do a bit of exercise, wasn't much but felt good. Didn't go to the restaurant today, just ate the fruit and rest of bread we had for lunch, while enjoying the sun bathing and swimming all day long, was gorgeous. Starting to get used to this way off life te he. Ad got stung by a wasp, but luckily was fine. Stayed for sunset, always beautiful here and then back for the evening. Stopped to play with some oh so cute kittens, we've seen them everyday and always look for them on our way back.
The power went down again when we were looking at bits in a shop. It had gone down this morning, but thought it would be ok by now. Used the time to quiz Matt on how to leave the island tomorrow and where nice to go next. It sounds easy enough. When the power came back on, we quickly got our showers. The cinema was in full swing opposite our bungalow, think they were watching GI Joe, but not sure. Saw the monkey watching us as we passed our reception, he's their pet, seems sad to keep him tied up, but he certainly gets pampered. Ad got to stroke him while the lady was tucking him into his little bed, so cute.
Went to Zion Bar, offering another free BBQ, it was very quiet though, so we stayed for one drink and played some cards. In that time, they only gave us one free kebab each and a piece of chicken, both tasted nice, but lame compared to the other BBQ's we've been to. Tried a bar near our guesthouse called Lemon Bar, got the free drink they were offering, but we were the only ones there, so left soon after. Headed to the beach, we'd been given a flyer for an all you can eat Thai buffet, for small fee. We were starving, so thought we'd give it a try. Couldn't find it anywhere. Walked to the far end of the beach, where we found a plush resort, with yummy looking food, but prices sky high, tried to get a student discount, but they weren't having any of it.
Played on the beach swings on the way back, feeling a wee bit tipsy, watching the stars as we swung. Could see a fire show, further along, so went to watch, it was the best show i've seen yet, took plenty of pic's. Still hungry, we found a nice family run place with good prices, so ordered a crab salad and green thai curry. The curry was delicious, but the crab salad was horrid. The crab wasn't even cooked, just slung in and the salad was a babies portion - probably should have said something, but just shared the curry and got on with it.
Found the Thai buffet just after TYPICAL - it was finished now, but had been in one of the bars we normally go to, how disappointing OH WELL. Popped on internet for a bit, decided which island to go to tomorrow and where to stay, couldn't book but will just have to turn up tomorrow and hope for the best, then headed back to bungalow for the night, with ice-cream in hand mmmmm.
Friday 27th November - LEAVING KOH CHANG
Up the earliest we've been up yet at 8am. Birds were singing and could here all the sounds of the jungle surrounding us, was lovely. Packed our bags, picked up last few bits, some money, aftersun, water etc. Stood next to the main road for a while before taxi picked us up. It was a fair distance to the jetty, but wished we'd arrange price before leaving because it caused uproar when we believed we should be paying a certain price from his price sheet, but in fact we were supposed to pay more, according to him. Raised voices, but in the end we just paid him, guess we'll learn from it.
Down on the pier I picked up a choc donut, was stressed from the dispute and needed a calm me down/pick me up te he. I waited with the bags while Ad went to check on prices for speed boat tickets, unfortunately we'd missed the slow boat and the best price we could get on the speed boat was about 12 pound each, seems a lot for a 20min ride, but that's the price. The lady was sweet though. Ad popped to internet cafe to try and find telephone number for accommodation we wanted, but the only one he could find wasn't working, the speed boat was here now, so just hoped there was room.
The ride was fast and exciting and I couldn't wait to see our next island.
Continue in KOH MAK