วันจันทร์ที่ 15 กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ. 2553
Koh Chang serves as the ideal base from which to explore the islands surrounding it and there are many boat operators providing services specifically for day trips.
While shrimp farming, coconut farming and fishing used to be the main sources of income for locals, most have now dipped their fingers into the tourism pie and offer island excursions.
I spotted a frail woman making shrimp paste and a handful of other shopkeepers selling home-made coconut oil. After purchasing three bottles of fragrant coconut oil from Bang Ban fishing village, I set off on my island excursion on a renovated fishing boat at 9am.
Two hours later, I found myself rubbing shoulders with sea anemone and a school of parrot fish on one of the snorkelling excursions, which took me to Loan, Rang, Yak and Wai islands. Depending on your agenda, other islands that are definitely worth a peek are Lao Ya, Klum, Muk and Ngam islands.
The stunning opaque waters of these islands will serve as a reminder of why visitors keep going back for more and certainly reminded me of the rustic wonders of Koh Chang.It is true this island is gradually emerging as a major tourist destination, With the tropical rainforest, wildlife and azure blue waters that it's been blessed with, there is no reason why it couldn't easily become another Phuket. But government officials and locals are adamant that this doesn't happen. What they really want is for the island to retain its inherent charm and win over visitors with its natural bounty.
Come to Koh Chang for its pristine beaches and unspoilt forests and love it for the same reasons locals do.Koh Chang does not need to be recognised as another Phuket in the making, but as one of the few remaining sanctums of paradise that needs to be cherished just for its sheer simplicity. At least that's how the elephants would want it.