03.11.2009 - 06.11.2009 90 °F
Our life as bikers in Koh Chang ………miles traveled 400.
our bus's companion on leaving Bangkok...
To take the bus or to fly? Taxi versus public transportation? Is there a train? How many places do we want to visit? These are among a few of the variables that led us to choose the biker lifestyle on Koh Chang. We had never driven bikes before, but we could rent a motor scooter for $6 a day or pay $6 for the taxi ride to our hostel on the distant “Lonely Beach.” The moto sounded more fun and we would have our independence. After signing some papers, a brief test ride (which included a refresher on the merits of front and rear brakes) we joined the scooter set. Making the first journey with our luggage wedged between my legs, our moto helmets on, navigating hairpin turns up and down mountains in the falling darkness was a less than relaxing experience. It wasn’t until the middle of the second day that the beauty of the experience began to sink in.
After eating a nice breakfast in the restaurant at the Sunflower hostel, we trekked through jungle and hostel along the waterfront to visit lonely beach. The beach was enjoyable, clean, and fairly deserted. We swam, sunbathed, and generally enjoyed ourselves when the idea occurred to Sara that we should “moto” around and check out the other beaches. Resolved to do this we returned to our bungalow and helmeted up. The moto handled beautifully without the baggage wedged on it. The cool breeze punctuated post-card views from the hilltops. Sara shot a small video, which we’ll upload when we have proper bandwith. After about twently minutes of zipping around we arrived at White Sands beach. This beach was stunning!
The white sand stretched more than a mile in a palm tree dotted strip more than 20 feet wide. The drop off into the ocean was very gradual and the water pleasantly cool. We took several refreshing dips in the azul waters. I made our first beach purchase, a fetching black and yellow turtle design. We lunched at a secluded spot called the Blue Lagoon. Where the water was blue(duh) and formed a lagoon (der), a rope tethered and hand powered ferry carried passengers to the small spit of land on the other side of the lagoon, and novice culinary students stood at attention with their teacher in a nearby open kitchen. Reenergized by this reasonable and enjoyable stop, we decided to try to reach Long Beach around the southern tip of the island.
We joyously remounted our newly dubbed “poderoso” because of the ease that it carried us over the steep hills. Midway through the trip we spotted a small group of elephants resting under their shelter. We went over to visit them and were surprised with the opportunity to feed and pet these lovely creatures. Their trunks are fascinating, their mouths a little disgusting, and they are all in all delightful. After a pleasant visit we continued southward to the vague area of our map marked “abandoned roadway” that led to Long Beach. The traffic dwindled and finally the road itself dwindled to one lane before we were brought to a dead stop.
Apparently the roadway was abandoned because a resort had bought the land and put up a gate where a five dollar toll per person was required. Since this would almost double our transportation cost we abandoned the quest and returned northward. We stopped at the Siam Hut on Lonely beach to snack again and watch the sunset. Young adults, couples, and families filled the wooden patio looking out over the sea. We were all seated at low tables on pillows, our shoes left at the entrance to the patio in Thai style. The sunset passed through stages of crimson, vermillion, and rose. It was a fantastic conclusion to our biker day. Then we got artistic.