Monday, 14 July 2014

Repost: Trip report 15.-17.09.2012 Ko Sichang

Originally posted here: http://66.199.190.19/~sgt/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=27484

I have been to Koh Si Chang more than five times, and discover something new every time. Next trip is now (13.07.-15.07.2014), therefore repost of my first trip seems appropriate.

Repost: Trip report 15.-17.09.2012 Ko Sichang

Ko Sichang (เกาะสีชัง) – island off the coast of Sri Ratcha, not to be confused with Ko Chang (เกาะช้าง = Elephant Island) in Trat province.

After chatting with a Thai friend P (he speaks good English) on camfrog for months, I decided to follow his invitation to Ko Sichang where he lives. This is a first for me: we have never met before, I have never been to Ko Sichang. My adventuresomeness will be rewarded!

15.09.2012 Saturday Bangkok to Ko Sichang

(I had a few phone calls from P during the days before and on that day.) Taxi to victory monument, from there minibus to Sri Ratcha (100 Baht, 11:47-13:35), tuk-tuk to ferry port (40 Baht, arrive 13:50), ferry to Ko Sichang (50 Baht, 14:00-14:50).

On approaching the island, you can see the Chinese Temple in red and the pavilion with Buddha’s Footprint in white higher on the mountain.

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I arrive on the the island and call P, he is waiting for me in Sri Ratcha. There must have been a misunderstanding. While I am waiting for him at the pier, one of his friends comes to pick me up and take me to his room. Unusual situation, because we haven’t met before, but I know the room from videochat. I take a shower and dress and P arrives soon after that. Everything as I imagined from our chats. P takes me on a tour around the island on his motorbike. From the northern end, you can look over to Pattaya and see all the ships passing to Laem Chabang. We take a stroll on the shore.

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On the way back, we stop so I can have a walk around this area with bare rocks in the grassland. Magnificent! Mainland in the background.

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P takes me to another rocky coast where we watch anglers fishing for squid.

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We return to P’s place and have dinner with his foster parents and his boss who is gay as well. Then the three of us go to karaoke (what have I gotten myself into!). I want to pay for the evening, but they accept only 100 Baht (total cost was 300).

P has a double bed (or rather a mattress for two) in his room, so I can stay there, how convenient! P is an orphan and lives with his foster parents, who seem to be middle class, and so is he.

16.10.2012 Sunday Ko Sichang

Breakfast with P and his foster family. Then a sightseeing tour around the island. First we go to the Chinese Temple:

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Part of the temple is in caves in the mountain.

After that to Marine Museum where they have an area where you can touch marine animals and take them out of the water (carefully):

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Close to the Marine Museum is the area of the former royal palace (the Vinmanmek palace is now in Bangkok, only auxiliary buildings are left in Ko Sichang) with a park. Entry to Marine Museum and park is free. In the park there many millipedes.

Bell stone on the top, when you knock it with another stone it makes a sound like a bell:

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Contiue our way in the park to Wat Atsadang Nimit (Thai: วัด อัษฎางค์นิมิตร)

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and further to the viewpoint:

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From there it’s not far to this strange building which you can see from other parts oft he island as well (picture from the internet):

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With the help of internet I could identify it as Malee Blue (Hotel/Restaurant/Resort).

On our way back through the park, we come accross the foundations of the palace:

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Continue our sightseeing trip to Sun Set View Point Chom Kao Kard (view from the end of the protrusion back to the island):

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Then a steep ride to the white pavilion with Buddha’s footprint (you can walk there as well), view over the island:

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And finally to the yellow Buddha:

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We return to P’s place and have dinner with his foster parents.

17.10.2012 Monday Ko Sichang to Pattaya

P takes a few hours off work so we can have breakfast together and he can take me to the pier, from where I continue my trip to Pattaya.

To be continued.

The whole trip (from ferry port Sri Ratcha and back) cost me 700 Baht (no expenses for hotel, no whoring around, no expenses for food apart from one lunch we had together). Now my burning question: what can I bring for P and/or his foster parents when I come back? I think they are middle class (house with many rooms, some oft hem not occupied, big TV and frige, P has his own – small – room with aircon and fast computer and fast internet and two flat screens), how can I show my appreciation of their hospitality? The situation is even worse: I came empty-handed and left with some postcards P bought for me as a souvenir and a cotton wool tote bag that was a gift from his boss. (Please reply on the separate thread I started for this subject.)

This trip was a welcome exchange from Bangkok and Pattaya, where I spend most of my holidays in Thailand, but unless there is some interesting architecture, I prefer nature to towns. An added bonus was two days without telephone calls and internet (P has internet, but I decided to take two days off).

From some places on Ko Sichang, you can see Pattaya (Pattaya Park Tower is easy to identify on the horizon), and from some places in Pattaya you can see Ko Sichang (I think I was able to distinguish the white pavilion).

Laem Chabang is a busy port, there are plenty of ships between Laem Chabang and Ko Sichang (and there are large containers for storage of oil on Ko Sichang), many of them lie in the roads and their cargo is transferred to smaller ships for transport to Bangkok.

I missed a few sights and did not have a chance to go to the beach (there is a beach with sand a well) as it was raining. There were only few Farangs on the island. Absolutely worth going again!

Some webpages I used to prepare my trip and this report:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Ko_Si_Chang
http://www.kohsichang.net/index.html
http://www.ko-sichang.com/index.html

Some more pictures from this trip are here: http://s1084.photobucket.com/albums/j41 ... 20sichang/


Copyright 2012 ChristianPFC

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