The journey from Koh Kong to Koh Chang went nice and smooth and the visa process was surprisingly easy and stress-free. We arrived in Koh Chang just in time for dinner. We had decided to stay on Lonely beach because it is much cheaper and backpacker orientated than the other beaches. It was April now and this is the hottest month in South East Asia so we decided to splash out a little and get an air-con room. As we were walking around that evening we instantly fell in love with the island. It was very quiet and had a nice relaxed vibe to it.
|Lonely beach on Koh Chang|
|He didn't seem to mind the rough water|
The next day we decided to rent a kayak and head out to the nearby islands like we had done on Railay beach. Unfortunately the waves in Koh Chang were much higher and I felt so uncomfortable being out there in the kayak so we decided to turn around and head back in. That night we had dinner by the sea and saw yet another stunning South East Asian sunset.
|Beautiful sunset at the beach restaurant|
The next day we went our separate ways; I spent the day sunbathing and getting a pedicure...what more could a girl want! Jason spent the morning on an elephant trek. He had researched a lot about reputable companies that treat the elephants well. He decided to go with one company and he soon realized that no company that offers elephant trekking is good. He was very upset by the fact that the people used sharp metal rods to keep the animals in check and decided that at least now he did it he understands why it's wrong.
|Jason bathing an elephant|
Many people come to South East Asia and go elephant trekking. In fact I did it when I came here 4 years ago. But most people don't understand that by doing these treks you are supporting animal cruelty. There are some great places in South East Asia where you can visit a sanctuary and interact with the elephants in a much more natural way where the animals aren't forced to do anything that they don't want to do. I would definitely recommend one of these sanctuaries to anyone that wants to interact with an elephant. Sure you won't get to "ride" one, but wouldn't it be great to be able to interact with a happy healthy elephant rather than one that is being forced to carry you?
One such place that many of my friends have visited and loved is Elephant Nature Park in Chang Rai in Thailand. Their website is http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/
That evening Erica and Dan arrived and had just gotten engaged a couple of nights before so we went and watched the sunset, celebrated and caught up with each other.
We also booked a snorkeling tour for the next day, which was a lot of fun (albeit completely packed with people and not much coral in the sea). It was a busy couple of days in Koh Chang as we wanted to do as much as possible as well as have fun and celebrate together.
|Getting ready to snorkel|
The day after we had a cooking class booked, I think we were all excited about learning how to cook Thai food and we were definitely not disappointed. Our teacher was great and we couldn't believe the standard and quality of the foods that we made by ourselves. I can't wait to get into our new apartment so that we can try to recreate those dishes. The best part about the cooking class was that afterwards we all got to sit down and eat everything we cooked. We had made so much food that it was impossible to eat it all! Some of the dishes that we made were Tom Yum soup, Coconut soup, Pad Thai, Red Thai curry, Green Thai curry, Chicken with cashew nuts and sweet mango with sticky rice. Yum yum yum!!! I'm drooling right now just thinking about it!
|It was so delicious!|
The next day Jason decided to go through with getting a tattoo that he had been thinking about for a while, he got it done bamboo style and was really happy with the end result.
|Jason getting his|
Koh Chang was very chill and quiet while we were there which was great because we felt like we could really get to know the locals and made a couple of friends that we could stop in and chat to every day. But near the end of our stay on Koh Chang there was so much excitement in the air. Songkran was nearly here!
Songkran is the celebration of the Thai New Year. It is a massive 3-day event and the Thais celebrate by holding a 3-day national water fight. It was so exciting knowing that we were going to be celebrating Songkran in Thailand and had no idea just how crazy it would be!
The day before Songkran began we decided to stock up on water guns that every single store was selling (including the tattoo shops, restaurants and bars). We then found a group of local kids that were starting early by splashing every car and bike that was going past. We decided to join them and had so much fun, a ,to of people were tourists that had no idea so they got a huge shock when a massive bucket of water got thrown at them in their taxis. Most people took it with big smiles and laughs but there were a couple of foreigners that got pretty angry. I had one Italian guy come all the way back around on his moped just to start shouting at me. The best part was that the entire time he was shouting at me a Thai man was spraying him with water. He finally got sick of it and drove off again.
Unfortunately that was our last night in Koh Chang and the next day all four of us got the ferry and bus up to Bangkok to celebrate and see Songkran at its craziest!
|All four of us together. Me, Jason, Erica and Dan.|