> August 12th, the Thai Queen’s birthday is a national holiday here. That was Thursday and what luck, work bosses decided to give us Friday, the 13th free too. I and a couple of friends headed off to Thailand’s second largest island, Koh Chang (Elephant Island), referred to by some as the Oriental Eden of the East. It’s difficult trimming these faves to five but I’ll try…
I. Nothing beats waiting for dinner chatting on hammocks! Behind us blazing rays of the setting sun blanketed the sea; the sound of waves gentle and the breeze therapeutic. Nature was addressing the ACs cooling our city offices – this is how you treat weary Bangkokians, gentlemen.
*The restaurant: Saffron on the Sea
*Main course: deep fried white snapper with mango and carrot strips, sweet basil, chinese celery, and cashew nuts
*Drinks: tequila sunrise drank at sunset and tempered by ginger and lemon grass tea
II. Okay, I took work to the island. But I calculated that in a place so beautiful inducing ideas for research would be a piece of fishcake, and it was. Toying with concept maps, I didn’t regret not joining my friends at White Sand beach where they checked out a few bars and live music.
My cousins to their father: (pleading like brats) Come on, Papa. Please buy us that beach house in Aplaya…
My uncle to cousins: (looking overruled and drawing a resigned breath) You really want that property huh, kids?
Cousins in hopeful chorus: Yes!
Uncle with affectionate finality: OK. I love you so I will buy it… (and turning cheeky without warning) if you all stopped schooling first.
Its return accorded me equilibrium while I was maneuvering this boulder. The comic look on my cousins’ faces when they were handed the trade had me in stiches inwardly. The wind pumped fresh oxygen into my lungs sending fondness back to my heart. I love my sometimes crazy family 🙂
IV. Island – hopping. I snoozed half the time on the boat like a classic old maid, (a nickname we tease each other with) and worked the camera for my friends who went snorkeling around each island we sailed to. My phone registered locations I could hardly pronounce, and the boat showed us sights to daydream on. And on. And on….
V. Bonus for a sinker. What’s brilliant about this shallow part of the ocean I could shriek in delight is the presence of multi-colored fish here and there swooshing close to your body! We took hundreds of photos, and on one which was taken by our guide I discovered something – a big turtle below us was captured on the shot. What more could someone who can’t swim ask for?