Friday, January 25, 2013

Early Sunday morning, we ran/walked/crawled up the mountain to an area overlooking the Gulf. Gorgeous views!
Looking down the coast. Our hotel is in the bottom right corner of the photo below (you can see the bright blue of the pool).  

Our hotel was located right at the base of the mountain and on the northern end of the "strip".
Stalls and small shops selling all kinds of souvenirs, clothes, beach gear, etc. lined both sides of the street. It reminded me of a typical beach town in the U.S. There were a lot of hotels and restaurants on the Gulf side of the street, all of which had patios/bars/dining areas right on the beach. 
I took a short walk through town one afternoon and saw quite a few beautiful and elaborate Spirit Houses. No matter how small, simple or poor a Thai village may be, there are always multiple Spirit Houses with generous offerings to the Spirits.

A feast was offered at this Spirit House!
If there is no room for a Spirit House to be placed, offerings are  placed on a small table or on  the floor in a quiet corner of the building or property.The offering in the photo below was placed  outside a vendor's stall.
We enjoyed another beautiful sunset before we left for dinner. 
The main drag came alive once the sun went down.
In case you fancy an after dinner foot massage or pedicure...
Or a drink on your way home...

While we were walking one night, we spotted this...
Basically, in a fish spa treatment, the client places his/her feet into a water tank filled with toothless garra rufa fish. Dozens of fish gather around the client's feet and nibble dead skin away. Everyone but yours truly gave the "fish pedicure" a go.Totally not my cup of tea. 

I am sure Caitlynne's shriek was heard on the mainland.
 And the fish begin to nibble.


After the fish pedicure, we continued to walk down the street until we found a restaurant on the beach that looked like a good spot for dinner. The food was delicious and I had the best Pad Thai that I have ever eaten. And I have eaten a lot of Pad Thai.
 The restaurant was very casual but I think, in Koh Chang, most of them are.
Christopher bought these glasses when we were at MBK earlier in the week. I am not sure why he insisted on buying and wearing them but he did. 
The next night, we walked just walked along the strip and had an assortment of street food for dinner.

There were many choices offered by the food vendors.
We had delicious gyros.
 Spring rolls.
 But no insects for us!

 The Spirit Houses were so pretty lit up at night!  

At first we thought the bottles in the photo below were filled with some kind of homemade alcohol (like moonshine).
We later found out that they are bottles of gasoline that are bought to fill the motorcycles.
On their morning run, Jim and Jan found an Irish Pub (next to a Thai Denmark Restaurant ???) and we walked there after dinner for a drink.
On our walk back to the hotel, we stopped to get some dessert. The girls had rotis, a traditional Thai dessert. A roti is a thin crepe topped with your choice(s) of sweetened condensed milk, bananas, mangoes or eggs. The crepe is folded, drizzled with chocolate syrup and devoured.

Instead of rotis, the boys had gelato and ended up with food poisoning a day later. 

On our way back to the hotel, Jim and Kevin helped some Thai construction workers push-start their truck.
They sure were a happy bunch.
 We could not figure out if the creature that landed on this shirt was a bat or a moth. It was huge!
Leaving Koh Chang.

Au Revoir, Koh Chang! We had a great time!

Fortunately, we were not the last car on the ferry this time. 

The bed of the pick up truck parked ahead of us was full of very interesting looking things. 

We spent quite a while trying to guess what they were and (duh!) finally asked our driver. He kicked the tire on the van and we figured out they were rubber trees that had been harvested and were on the way to be processed.

On the drive home, we passed many fields like the one in the photo below - small trees planted in straight lines and "tapped" (similar to how maple trees are tapped for syrup). 
If you look very closely in the photo below, you can see the small black containers that were attached on to the trees to collect some kind of liquid. But what?
We sure were an inquisitive bunch on this trip! We googled "tapping trees in Thailand" and learned that these are rubber trees being tapped to release the latex rubber, which is then treated and processed into a usable product. 

Here is a close up photo that I found on wikipedia.
The sign of a good vacation...
Have a great Friday!

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