Monday, December 17, 2012

I don't want Si Chang the world

I'm a sucker for an unnecessarily time-consuming challenge (examples here, here, here... actually just this blog in general), and when Thailand's wet season started to trickle away and I headed out to visit more islands, setting foot on all of them seemed like a satisfying and doable task. Then I found out there are 1,430 of them and it didn't.

I have all the time in the world, which in practical terms means as much time as a 30-day visa waiver gives me each time I come in and out of this country for the remainder of my mortal lifespan. Forever doesn't seem so long any more, especially when you take into account that I like to broaden my horizons and do different things now and again with this finite span.

All things considered, I've probably only got eleven or twelve Thaislands left in me. I'd better make them good ones. Koh Si Chang was a pretty good one.

Koh Si Chang

The boat trip out is usually one of the best parts, except this time when I was a late arrival on an over-subscribed boat and had to sit in the hold next to the deafening engine like some kind of refugee/rodent. I had a headache for the rest of the day. A great start to my relaxing weekend break.

San Jao Phaw Khao Yai

I got here on the first day of the เทศกาลกินเจ festival, which I'm guessing accounted for the exuberant firecrackers echoing around the island from this hill

Firecracker graveyard

I was picking bits of that gold stuff off my skin for the next three days

Koh Si Chang harbour

Wat Tham Yai Prik

This was another one of those things that looks more impressive from far away

Not meaning to be disrespectful or anything, but can those conceivably be anything other than doggers He's standing in?

Taam Pang

The only real beach on Si Chang, still impressively deserted for a Saturday afternoon just a couple of hours from Bangkok. If you're after beaches though, you've come to the wrong island

Cholatassathan Museum

On the other hand, if you're looking for dead and/or repulsive marine life, you've come to the right place!

Clownfish have really acquired disproportionate significance since that bloody film

Dolphin dead stuff

Rama IV Summer Palace and Gardens

Asdang bridge

Wat Asdangkainmit, which the French invaders spruced up with stained glass windows

Their renovations to the royal palace left a lot to be desired

Chong Isarayaporn

This cop seemed enthusiastic about getting into my photo.
I wasn't going to argue with The Man

One of the main attractions of this island is apparently its stunning sunsets, best viewed from Vishiravut Bridge

Except when I'm there and bring clouds. Never mind, there was some okay purple

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