The streets of Koh Chang are deserted during the day with tourists tanning on the beach, sitting by a pool, taking excursions and relaxing. Koh Chang at night is a completely different story. The streets come alive with local vendors, their stalls pulled by motorcycles, who set up shop along the main street. The many, many restaurants begin spreading out fish (great looking snappers…View image), seafood, brochettes and meats on ice with prices for tourists to choose from, and they fire up the barbeques. The Tiger Prawns in Thailand are gigantic and five for 500 Bahts could easily make a full dinner.
Tourists stroll up and down the White Sand Beach main street trying to decide what to eat and which restaurant to eat in…View image. Names don’t matter and prices are the same. Just pick one that looks clean. Our choice? It was time for the second, western-type meal during almost three weeks in Thailand. The first was a Burger King attack in Chiang Mai. A tasty chicken that had been turning slowly on a spit…View image…with french fries caught our eyes, sat and chowed down.
The routine is — pick a restaurant, point to whatever displayed catches your eye (or read the menu), find a table, sit and wait until the food is cooked, eat, pay and leave. Visited my favorite banana pancake vendor….View image… for a banana/mango combination topped with sugar and honey (“too sweet” is not in my vocabulary) and decided to walk a little.
A few blocks down was a very nice looking hotel and we walked in to look it over. The Chang Buri Resort & Spa had rooms and facilities on both sides of the main street just like the Kacha Resort & Spa and their rates were also similar. Nice looking place.
Another few blocks and there was the Koh Chang mini-version of Bangkok’s Pat Pong area…View image. This area was not here three years ago and shouldn’t have been a surprise. Nothing stays the same and, after all, this is Thailand… A brightly lit up square, actually “gaudy” is a better word to describe it…View image, filled to the brim with bars, loud music, girls and “ladyboys.”
Very friendly bar girls that we exhanged New Year good wishes with, stood, chatted and that I asked permission to photograph and video. (All we needed was a pimp or local version of “Mafiosos” coming after us!) At one of the brightly lit bars with great music blaring, I also stopped to talk to a friendly “ladyboy” while ex-Marine hissed in my ear, “Can’t you see she’s a man?” Well, duh…as soon as “ladyboy” opened his mouth I knew he was a man. So what!
This doesn’t bother me. Live and Let Live. But I am completely grossed out watching the plenitude of unattractive men of a certain age…all right, old… strolling (or waddling) with tiny Thai women who barely looked old enough to be out of primary school. If you know anything about the sex trade in Asia, many of these girls possibly are just children. As a grandmother of teenage girls, it turns my stomach every time. Doesn’t make any different if you are in Hua Hin, Bangkok, Pattaya, same-o, same-o…