My family of four returned to the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area in July 2013 after finishing our second international relocation (third, if you count our 3 years in Miami!). I originally began this blog in July 2011 to share the experiences of our life in the Land of Smiles and our travels around the region with our family and friends. Now that we are re-settled on U.S. soil, I will continue to post what, I hope, will be interesting observations about where we live and what we do and see.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
To The Beach!
No sooner had we finished unpacking our suitcases from China than we were re-packing them (with slightly different clothing) for a trip to the beach. Jim and Jan wanted to see Thailand beyond Bangkok so I looked at a few different options for a long weekend trip. After hearing great things from my friends, I planned a trip to the beach on the island of Koh Chang. I hired a driver and a van for the trip and we left Nichada early Friday morning. We made a quick stop downtown at Raja's Fashions, Kevin's favorite tailor, for Jim and Kevin to be measured for suits, shirts and dress pants.
Bobby and Jim.
Kevin has had several suits and dress shirts made at Raja's and everything looks and fits so much better than "off the rack" clothes. A man can never have too many ties. Kevin is becoming more of a clothes horse than I am!
After the boys were finished at Raja's, it was on to the beach! It was about a four hour drive to the pier at Laem Ngop where we caught the ferry to the island of Koh Chang. Koh Chang is off of the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 310 kilometers southeast of Bangkok and very close to Thailand's border with Cambodia.
The name Koh Chang (meaning elephant island) was given to the island because its headland is in the shape of an elephant. There are 9 villages on the island (mostly on the western side of the island) and it is home to 5,000 permanent residents. Until recently, most residents of Koh Chang lived in thatched huts without electricity or running water. The beaches on the eastern side of the island are very rocky while those on the western side (where all of the tourist accommodation is) have white sparkling sand. We stayed at the KC Grand Resort on White Sand Beach.
At almost 60 square miles, Koh Chang is the second largest island in Thailand (behind Phuket) and the largest island in the protected Mu Ko Chang National Marine Park. Although tourism (and tourism-related development) has increased over the last few years, over 70 percent of the island remains undisturbed and Koh Chang is considered to be one of the most well preserved tropical rain forests in all of southeast Asia.
We were the very last car squeezed on to the ferry. And I mean squeezed...All I can say is thank goodness the Gulf was calm because there was nothing holding us on to that ferry.
Approaching Koh Chang.
It was less than a 15 minute drive from the pier to the hotel - up and over a very steep mountain on a very curvy road. After checking in and settling into our rooms, we had an early dinner.
We ate at a restaurant overlooking the beach and had a perfect view of the beautiful sunset.
I have a lot of photos (366) of our time in Koh Chang that I need to sort through and organize so I will end this post here.