Monday, June 29, 2015

Glimpse the Stunning Paradise of Koh Chang Island, Thailand

The spectacular coastline of Koh Chang approaches.

The coast of Koh Chang

If it looks like a primeval jungle, that's because it is. The entire interior of the island is a Thai National Park, basically untouched nature.
literally, the end of Koh Chang's main road
The small coastal population is dispersed, its main road coming to a thudding stop several kilometers from completing a loop, making it impossible to circumnavigate the island, except on foot.

my Gecko roommate
I check into a $15 a night guest house, which is likely a tad overpriced for what I get. At least I have friendly gecko keeping me company who's polite enough not to try to sell me car insurance.
I walk next door to a small restaurant and order noodle soup, full of veggies and chicken organically raised on the island. It tastes delicious, fills me, and costs me all of $1.25.
I rent a Honda motorcycle ($6 a day + gas)  and seemingly walk it along the road at first, til, gaining experience, I eventually top out at 95km an hour, the feel of exhilaration extinguished when a large insect smashes into the windshield called my face with the seeming momentum of a baseball.
I traverse the island, up and down, exploring every road in existence. The beauty of the island is palpable, and it's hard not to stop, and feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to gaze at the vistas in person.
view of small island just off Koh Chang's main road

jungle beach of Koh Chang
wild monkeys by the main road 
colorful Buddhist Temple on Koh Chang
pup resting atop a motorbike
I turn off the main road, and traverse a windy path about a kilometer where I find a seemingly deserted resort. It's the low season, and the place is completely empty, the only guards I find are the numerous nuclear sized mosquitoes who become voracious as evening approaches.
I flee to the beach and into the water, where I sit in nearly perfectly still water, meditating, taking in a sunset. Several minutes later I start to get bit by small fish growing in this protected cove sending me fleeing back to into the wide open arms of the island's mosquito overlords.
secluded beach all to myself on Koh Chang
colors of Koh Chang
Koh Chang beach, near the end of the road
I had planned on staying two days. I found the island so intoxicating, so relaxing, the water so warm, the Thai food so tasty I wound up spending six.
I'd strongly encourage all of you to see Koh Chang given the opportunity, but be careful not to fall under her island spell. You might never leave.    


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