Koh Chang. Eastern Thailand named after the elephant not the famous Thai beer as Andrew and I had hopefully suspected !
Apparently this beautiful island is the shape of a ‘Chang’, the Thai nomenclature for that great gentle beast. And if Koh Chang is the ‘Elephant Isle’ then we are definitely staying off the trunk road.
We have been extremely fortunate to find a colourful hippy hideaway on the ‘wrong’ side of the island, therefore keeping the right kind of people away !
It is the brainchild of Orla, a wild-haired, Jewish, hippy-chick, with a blinding smile and an obvious fondness for life, and Greg, her graceful, soft spoken lover, who posesses ear piercings through which one could drive a golf ball.
He is also decorated with intricate tatoos, not the only designs he would have on his body if Andrew got his way !
They are a charming couple.
This place is their home. It’s gotta be the coolest hangout around.
Far out …..
One never feels alone when strolling the grounds of an evening. The other night, I could almost swear I saw one of the multicoloured monoliths move, although the copious amount of a home-made Hibiscus concoction I’ve been imbibing here, not to mention the extraordinary herbal tobacco I’ve just had to try, could be the real culprits for that midnight session of Musical Statues. Whatever. The place is alive. Literally. At night we are treated to our own audio safari.
I was suddenly woken last night by a very loud, repetitive, screeching noise. Imagining Andrew was fiddling with his ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ under the covers again, I asked him to turn down the volume. Only to be indignantly informed that the sound was emanating from the jungle outside. Eventually I slept – imagining Johnny Weismuller was laying next to me on the bed. I didn’t tell Andrew.
In the morning we had massage. Before starting we asked the lady her name,
‘Tip’ she replied.
I’ll have the massage first I thought, then realised she was just introducing herself.
After nearly five hours of intense bodywork it became clear that Tip gave great massage. She deserved every namesake she got.
Thai names never cease to surprise us. Whilst recently staying in Bangkok, our hotel receptionist wore the name-badge, “Lookme”, her sidekick bore the title, ‘View’. Given that licentiousness is almost compulsory in the Thai capital, it almost read like an invitation !
After Tip gave us good bed, our wonderful hosts took us on a tour of the lesser known part of the island – let’s hope it stays that way. It is utterly unspoilt.
On the other coast the picture postcard is not so perfect. Some Russian Dumbo has had the great idea to build highly incongruous high-rise right next to the beach. Where the waves on our ‘Crusoe-esque’ part of the elephant are there to lap the shore and rinse the toes, the water on the West coast seems to perform an altogether murkier task – washing the dirty Roubles that have come ‘offshore’ during the last ten years. Maybe that’s why it’s called ‘White Beach’, all terribly ‘Putin-esque’ and very dissapointing. Most definitely the arse-end of this marvellous mammoth.
Today we are in recovery. After all, the only way to ignore the peasants is to join them. That potato vodka plays havoc with the head, not to mention the crow’s feet! I look like Keith Richards on a good day! No photos Mr Kennedy.
Tomorrow – We join Mr Whisky in Cambodia. That is not a euphemism, but a taxi driver. Let’s hope he doesn’t live up to his name when negotiating the notorious roads on that side of the border. I have a feeling a pre-drive Chang maybe essential.
And I do mean the beer this time !