Monday, March 26, 2018

Beach Bums On Koh Chang

Seventeen days on Koh Chang has been the perfect antidote for our exhilarating yet exhausting month in India.

It was everything we needed it to be.  Quiet.  Unassuming.  Peaceful.

I wore only 3 things: my swimsuit, a sarong, and my nightie.  FOR SEVENTEEN DAYS!  No underwear necessary.  Pure bliss.

We spent the first ten days on the west coast of the island on Kai Bae Beach.  I think we slept straight through the first seventy-two hours.

I was the laziest bum known to man.  Our conversations went something like this:

Joe:  "Wanna rent some kayaks this morning?"  Me:  "Nope."

Joe:  "Wanna hire a boat to take us to that little island for the day?"  Me:  "Uh-uh."

Joe:  "How about a walk along the beach?  Go to a waterfall?"    Me:  "Nah.  Maybe another day."

I have never been so tired and unmotivated in my life!  All I wanted to do was bob in the ocean, lounge on the sand, read my novel, eat Western food, nap in my deck chair, drink Thai beer and sleep in a comfy bed.  And that is all I did.

The view from our room.

These have been our positions for the past seventeen days.

Sadly, there is an elephant farm nearby.  Every day four babies are trotted down to the beach to give rides to the tourists.  I inwardly cheer when I see the baby elephants suddenly dip their shoulder or abruptly sit down in the water and dump their riders into the ocean.

I cannot get enough of the sea and the sky.  The colours are always changing.

Joe waits for this monk to walk by every morning at 6:30am to offer him fruit and rice.

'Downtown' Kai Bae Beach.  It is dotted with mom 'n pop restaurants, motorbikes rentals, fruit stands and variety stores selling everything from water wings to gasoline.  To hail a taxi, you just stand on the side of the road, wave down a white truck, negotiate a price with the driver, then hop in the back and hang on for dear life until you get to your destination!

And speaking of gasoline, it is sold in old whiskey bottles at the side of the road in the blistering heat.

Again, I cannot get enough of the colours of sea and the sky.

On the bus headed to the Koh Chang ferry, we met our new Italian friend Licia.  We saw each other twice during our time on the island.  Once for lunch at our resort, the other for dinner at an Italian restaurant.  We are hoping to see each other again, either in Vancouver or Milan!

One more sea and sky photo looking out onto the Gulf of Thailand.  The warmest ocean water I have ever swum in.

The second half of our time on Koh Chang was spent on the east coast of the island.  It was very remote and quiet.  Most of the time we were saying, "Where is everybody?"

Our routine didn't change much from before.  Nap, eat, drink, read and swim were our marching orders.

 Joe rented us a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house.  It came with a spiffy rooftop terrace!

 We had our own paddling pool up on the roof.  We spent our mornings up there with coffee.

The pool was situated on the ocean.  Every day, we lazed in those chairs and looked out to the Gulf of Trat and the hills of Cambodia beyond.  Most days we had the place to ourselves.

Toward the end of our stay, thunderstorms rolled in every afternoon.  Joe got caught in one while bringing me my beloved mango smoothie.

 Sunrise over the resort.

 Nobody here but us chickens!

 Again, Joe would ask me if I wanted to go paddle-boarding or kayaking.  The answer always remained the same.  A big, emphatic NO!

The colours of the sea and sky before a thunderstorm were beautiful.

I finally did something that required sitting up!  I sat on the swing for a quick photo.

We're tanned.  We're rested.  Time to leave.

And now it is time to think about heading home.  We have two more nights on Koh Chang, a couple more nights in Bangkok before we fly to Vancouver at the end of March.  

I cannot believe we've been travelling for 16 weeks.  The time has zoomed by.  It is going to take me a while to fully process all that I've seen and done since the beginning of December.  This trip certainly has been one for the books!

The next time you hear from me I'll be back in North America, back in Canada, back in my sweet little town of Squamish, B.C.

It'll be nice to be home.

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