Will I ever leave Koh Chang? Read on ...
Thai Boxing At Lonely Beach
Booked up to go on a catamaran sailing and snorkelling trip along the west coast of Koh Chang, it was the most expensive (B1500) of the snorkelling trips to the islands (normally around B600 - B1000) but seemed a bit different and there wouldn't too many people all snorkelling at the same time.
Pickup was supposed to be about 9:20am so I got up early at 7:30am had breakfast and got ready for the trip including applying factor 20 sunscreen. The ride eventually turned up at 9:45, I discovered later that one couple (English) were late getting up!
As well as me, there were three other couples, the aforementioned English couple, and a German and a French couple. The English couple were quite chatty and the host on the boat was English too so it was quite entertaining. After motoring away from the beach the boat then changed to sail power and we made our way up to the north of Koh Chang where we stopped for our first bit of snorkelling at a reef just off the coast. The reef wasn’t bad with quite a lot of fish but the visibility was very poor because of all the rain we’d had earlier.
We then motored to the next snorkelling site a half hour away just off an island at the north end of Koh Chang. Before we went in we were offered lunch, which was advertised as a barbeque, but in reality just turned out to be a couple of chicken and pork kebabs prepared the day before. A big disappointment as I’d heard the lunch on the cheaper tours was very nice Thai food. Then a bit more snorkelling but again very bad visibility, although this time we were swimming through hundreds of small almost completely transparent jellyfish. However luckily they didn’t seem to be the stinging kind.
Back on the boat and by now a bit of a breeze had got up, so the sails were set and off we went at a fair pace. This bit was quite enjoyable especially as people on the netting at the front were regularly getting soaked by big waves. The down side was that we got back to WSB quite early, so the day was over by 4pm. All in all a bit disappointing and not really the best value for money. I arranged to meet up with the English couple and the guy from the boat at Lonely Beach later that evening where there was a big Thai boxing competition being organised.
Got to Lonely Beach early in time to eat at Nature Beach resort as the food there was pretty good, had a whole white snapper again. Arrived late for the boxing as it was supposed to start at 8pm when the others were due to have arrived. However when I got there the boxing arena was closed off and you had to pay B500 to get in.
Thai Boxing At Lonely Beach
Thai Boxing At Lonely Beach
I couldn’t see the others so I paid up and looked for them inside. Couldn’t see anyone I recognised and as the fight still hadn’t started I went out and checked the bars in the local area. Quite a funky area with lots of natural material used in the construction of the bars and restaurants, bamboo and thatched roofs. No sign of the others so I went back and watched some of the boxing, there were 8 fights on the bill that night starting with the lightest weights first, 40kg who were just kids, then 45kg, then 50kg. After 3 fights I got bored (despite the amusing commentator who was speaking in English and trying to hype the whole thing up "Next round velly exciting, even more power") so went back to the hotel.
Decided to book an all inclusive minibus (B750 about B300 or so more than separate rides) from the resort to the Hualamphong train station in Bangkok as I didn’t want the hassle of carrying my bag between rides.
Found a bar that claimed to make Pina Coladas although the first one didn’t have any pineapple juice in it. The subsequent ones were corrected to the correct recipe and not too bad. Stayed a bit later than I should’ve done bearing in mind that I was travelling the next day!!
At the other end someone looked at my ticket and pointed me off to a waiting minibus where I again was the last to board so got the front seat again, sweet! It was a completely different set of people to the one I’d travelled to the ferry with. There was quite a lively Thai girl sitting in the seat behind me who spoke excellent English and who I assumed was a tour guide of some sort travelling with a group. After chatting to her for a while I discovered she had been working as a waitress in a Thai restaurant in Dublin for the last seven years and was in Thailand on holiday with one of her colleagues who was from Lithuania and also spoke excellent English. Well they were great fun and we chatted away the whole time although the rest of the group who were Russian complained that we were making too much noise and they couldn’t sleep. It was really interesting getting to speak to a Thai who was completely fluent in English and getting their opinion on tourists who come to Thailand (she’d worked in an Irish pub in Thailand which is how she’d got the opportunity to go to Ireland). She wasn’t particularly keen on Russian tourists! At the first petrol stop one of the Russians wanted to swap seats so that we were on the same row and could talk more easily and they would be able to sleep (just as well I was beginning to get a crick in my neck).
Unfortunately they were going to Koh Samet so we dropped them off at Ban Phe first before continuing on to Bangkok. Unfortunate for two reasons, one I didn’t have anyone to talk to now and two because we went to Ban Phe first it was quite a detour to get back to Bangkok. We eventually arrived in Bangkok and after dropping off the Russians at their hotel we fought our way through the rush hour traffic arriving at the station about 5:15pm (a mere 7.5 hours after starting!).
I got to the ticket booth and bought a ticket (2nd class, aircon, lower bunk) for the overnight sleeper at 6:10pm (I wanted this train rather than the 7:35pm which was a more modern but less interesting layout of seats). When I first got on the train it was practically empty but as the departure time got nearer it became almost full.
The seat opposite me (and the bunk above) was taken by what I thought was a Russian girl (oh no not the Russians again!) who was there with a group of two other girls, she very politely asked me a couple of questions in very good English after a while we got chatting. It turned out they were actually Polish and had just flown in today at the start of a 3 week whirlwind tour of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia! They were only planning to spend one night in Chiang Mai before heading for the border and into Laos.
published: 26.02.2011 By: flymartin