Posted by: James Shannon | February 24, 2012

Kai Bae And Klong Prao: Koh Chang’s Two Forgotten Beaches

 Tattoo street in Lonely Beach, Koh Chang.  Just one year prior, this road and the other that runs parallel to this one were rough dirt tracks, with pointy rocks sticking up that made for some rough motobiking … development however, is proceeding at breakneck speeds here, and thus, both roads are now fully paved with concrete stones!

Within a mere two days after touching down in steamy Bangkok, I had but one thought on my mind generally, and that was to get back to my favourite tropical island in the whole of Thailand … Koh Chang!  After running like a maniac to get to my bus (I had misjudged the time to get to Ekkamai bus station, as I had stayed in a closer hostel one year previous), I was well on my way to my peaceful island abode…

 In November 2010 this was a dirty construction site … now, in January 2012, they are well-appointed bungalows (starting at 500 baht for fan-cooled rooms, amazing deal for high season!) with well-manicured surroundings.  They truly did an amazing job with this accommodation!

 From a rough rocky shoreline in 2010, to a site for potential romantic sunset encounters in 2012 … what a transformation!

 After an afternoon exploring the changes that had taken place in just one spin around the sun in Lonely Beach, I took in a scintillating performance by a Thai artist at Stonefree bar, just up the street from my guesthouse.  Unbelievable chops, and I believe that you will agree with me … look for it in an In Motion post coming soon!

For most of my five day stay (would have stuck around longer, but I had an important meeting in Bangkok that cut my time on Koh Chang short), I largely beach bummed it up.  I went for swims each morning in the Gulf of Thailand, ate wonderful meals for cheap, and burned myself on the beach day in and day out.  After months of darkness back in Canada, I had some vitamin D and seratonin production to make up for what I wasn’t getting from the mid-winter sun in Jasper.

However, I did find some time to do some exploring, as I didn’t visit Kai Bae and Klong Prao beaches last time I was on Koh Chang.  Hence, I jumped aboard a songthaew on my last two days on the island and brought my camera along for the ride…

 Walking down the road towards Kai Bae, I noticed these two friendly pacaderms in a fenced enclosure … seemed like they didn’t have much space to roam, and the painting on them made me sad … likely they were being exploited, like many of their kind across Thailand.  I am not against people having these animals, but they need to be treated more humanely…!

 On the way over to Kai Bae on this day, we had some torrential rain showers … they did not clear up completely while I was walking the beach, so most of the pictures did not turn out very well.   However, this pano did look sharp enough to include in this post … Kai Bae is a wonderful beach, it’s just a shame that the weather didn’t cooperate on this day.

 The following day, the weather did shine its fortune upon me, the skies starting cloudy, but it eventually became blue and sunny … and it was very fortunate that it did, as the sand at Klong Prao beach is a silky white, making the waters an aqua green that you can only dream about in the winter cold back home.

 Perfect setting looking towards the river that splits Klong Prao beach into northern and southern sectors!

 Not sure if this is a mangrove tree or not, but otherwise a peculiar sight on the beach nonetheless, being surrounded by salt water and all…

At the mouth of the Klong Prao River, where guesthouse patrons and locals can get longtail rides to and from their accommodation along the banks of the river.  I wanted to swim across the river to the other half of the beach, but having electronics and no pair of swim trunks, I had to back away reluctantly at this point.

While I didn’t get all the pics I wanted in my two visits to Kai Bae and Klong Prao beaches respectively, there is a website where you can see better photos of these and other beaches on Koh Chang.  Ian from iamkohchang.com does an amazing job of chronicling this island and ones surrounding it, and his exceptional photographic talent played no small role in getting me back out to SE Asia one year after my original jaunt out here!

Next time I’m back, I’ll be sure to check out other islands in the archipelego, like Koh Maak, Koh Kood, and Koh Kut, among others.  This chain of islands are remarkably untouched compared to the rest of Thailand — if you consider yourself a self-respecting beach bum, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check out this paradise.

Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Looks beautiful! It’s a grey and snowy day in Toronto – you’re making me wish I was on a beach in Thailand right now 🙂

    • That was the thought that kept me going all throughout the time from when I booked my flight to Thailand, until I actually set foot on the beach! 🙂

  2. Great blog ,James. You should contact the newspaper or even their TV station and offer your services. You would be great! I assume that a songthaew is a bus in Thai. I’m off today,(Sunday) , Mon 27th, Tues 28th, work Days Wed 29th & Thurs March 1st. and off Fri 2nd and Sat 3rd. Working Nights on Sun 4th.So really what I’m saying is we can Skype anytime you want. Take care of yourself and be careful of that intnse sun. Love Mom

    • Thanks for the ideas Mom, and yes, a songthaew is a sort of “bus”, more like a pickup truck with a roof over the bed of the truck, and bench seating inside the bed of the truck. It’s definitely different, but it works well!

  3. Nice talking to you tonight


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: