quick update

Ko Chang Travel Blog

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sunrise at Angkor Wat
I'm replacing the old entry here with one I wrote on Oct. 7 on the boat which is a bit longer-

So here I am in Ko Chang, where we have been for about two weeks now.  We were only supposed to be here for a couple days, but the morning we left our engine died just as we raised anchor.  The problem turned out to be a bit bigger than we’d thought, so Jim has brought in mechanics from Marsun and Caterpillar and has even flown to Singapore twice himself.  I think (knock on wood) that we are on the verge of it being fixed… maybe we will leave tomorrow?? I actually haven’t minded being “stuck” in Ko Chang.  The island has some cool little towns and our own little dock area is fun to walk up and down.

little village kids
  But I understand that not everybody likes to poke around in little shops for days on end, and of course I want to get to Ko Samui, so the sooner we leave the better!  But because of the engine problems we have gotten to do some cool stuff that we wouldn’t have otherwise, like some hikes and of course the trip to Cambodia.  I think I already wrote about our first day there.  The second day we got up at 4:45 to go see the sunrise at the main temple.  It was a bit overcast but still pretty and I’m really glad I went.  We spent that morning at a temple farther out of the city, had lunch back in town, and then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the main temple.
and again...
  It was nice and sunny so that was good.  The only different thing that I saw this time there were the monkeys.  I went up to see what a Cambodian family was staring at and stood with them watching as they threw the monkeys some food.  Except that the monkeys kept coming closer and closer to them to get the food, so we kept back up onto this ledge, and pretty soon there we all were huddled together screeching while the monkeys just stared at us.  They got bored though and wandered away again, only to terrorize the next group of tourists that came by (or our group of shipmates, as I found out later).  Dinner was back at the hotel and then it was early to bed after a long day.  The next morning we met our guide at 9 and went for a short bus ride to the Tonle Sap lake.
this dog acted like he was about 150 lbs. bigger
  We boarded a rickety old wood boat (that could describe 99 percent of the boats there) that was operated by a father and his three kids, and spent the next hour in a pleasant motor around the lake.  I thought the boat’s steering mechanism was really funny, literally a car’s steering wheel and pedals in the floor that led to wire cables running down each side and to the engine in the back of the boat.  The driver made the boat go faster by stepping on the gas pedal.  The feature of the lake was supposed to be the floating village, a real village all on sort of pontoons that just sits in the lake, but I just liked the boat ride itself the best.  Kids paddling around in big metal bowls came over to see us, as did mothers and babies in wooden canoes.  We stopped at a fish farm (aka tourist farm) and saw some fish and crocodiles, and some souvenirs and other tourists.
tourists checking out the monkey
  Next we stopped at a place called Artisans D’Angkor, a sort of school that takes people from rural villages and teaches them a craft to take home to support their villages.  After lunch we went to the land mine museum, which I was really looking forward to.  It was made by this one dude who has made it his life’s work to clear land mines.  It consisted of a bunch of wooden huts with pathways in between and old land mines strewn about as landscaping.  On the walls of the huts were newspaper articles, maps, letters, pictures, official documents, etc. about land mines in multiple languages.  The stories were all very moving, especially the section about the child victims who the museum guy takes in and sends to school.  That was it for the day, the afternoon was free to do as we pleased, but I ended up going back to the hotel to look at some of my provisioning paperwork.
boat tour
  We decided to do something a little different for our last dinner, which meant we met in the lobby and took our bus to a local restaurant that had a traditional Cambodian dancing show while you ate.  Besides feeling extremely ill from eating too much buffet dinner, dinner was really cool and the dancers were beautiful.  To top off the evening we had an extended curfew and went and hung out at a local bar in town til 11.  The next morning was another bright and early 5:45 wakeup, as we had a long day of border crossings ahead of us.  We did the same thing in reverse pretty much, except this time I slept most of the way.  We got back to the boat (in rain, no less) at about 7 at night.  After a quick dinner prepared by the guys already onboard, it was unpacking and bed time.
crocodiles at the fish farm
  The next day I was off the boat for the whole day again.  The grocery store we needed to go to was on the mainland (it’s the only one big enough for our needs and takes credit cards), so Mike and I left the boat around 7:30am to catch the 9am ferry.  We joined some Swiss German tourists and some locals in a taxi bus to the neighboring city, where we were dropped off at the bus station to take a minibus to our final destination.  The minibus still hadn’t left at 11 and I was getting a little nervous because the last ferry back to the island was at 6, but at that point there wasn’t anything I really could do.  Eventually it left and an hour and a bit later we were finally dropped off at Tesco.
gift shop at the artisan place, blury but I loved the colors
  Mike and I did a whirlwind shopping trip in about an hour and half and were relieved to find that the store had managed to find a taxi that would take us and all our food straight to the ferry.  Fifteen minutes later all the food was packed in a very small truck, and I squeezed in beside it while Mike rode in front.  It was a good thing I had just purchased a 60 baht ($1.50) raincoat at Tesco, because it poured on me during our drive.  But I (and the food) stayed mostly dry and we made it in time to the ferry.  We ended our day finally back on board at around 7:30.  The next morning was no break for me though, as it was my turn on the wheel to be head chef.  I got up at around 6:30 to start chopping some fruit for breakfast and my sous- chef and I made oatmeal and fruit for our 7:30 breakfast.
land mine museum
  At 8:30 I started boiling water for the potatoes I was making for lunch, and didn’t stop cooking again until lunch at 12.  We had baked potatoes with butter, cheese, broccoli, bacon bits (cooked and chopped ourselves), onions, and sour cream, and salad.  It was exhausting but well worth it.  At 3 I started cooking again, and we made cake/brownies, two pans of lasagna, salad, and garlic bread.  Dinner was at 6 and everyone was very appreciative.  I did one final clean of the galley before bed, and just about passed out.  I had spent about nine hours in the galley total, and wondered how I managed to do that every day for five months on Tabor Boy.  I don’t think I could do that again.
my ride for 2 hours from the store to the ferry
  Today has been pretty relaxing, I’ve done some work on the computer, went into shore briefly, helped cook lunch, and now am just typing and hoping my computer won’t break on me again.  Hopefully the next time I write will be in a few days in Ko Samui!


faithertate says:
Annabelle!! Looks like yo're havin g ton of fun.. I hope that you are going to make a scrapbook or soemthing with all your pictures...
Posted on: Oct 09, 2006
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sunrise at Angkor Wat
sunrise at Angkor Wat
little village kids
little village kids
and again...
and again...
this dog acted like he was about 1…
this dog acted like he was about …
tourists checking out the monkey
tourists checking out the monkey
boat tour
boat tour
crocodiles at the fish farm
crocodiles at the fish farm
gift shop at the artisan place, bl…
gift shop at the artisan place, b…
land mine museum
land mine museum
my ride for 2 hours from the store…
my ride for 2 hours from the stor…
on the ferry
on the ferry
Ko Chang
photo by: rotorhead85