Koh Chang: Shopping, Smoothies & Monkey WarningsOn January 19, 2017 by Meg
Our one non-medical outing while staying at the Mercure, was when the Moms decided we had to go into “town” in the daylight – instead of during an emergency run to the pharmacy. When we announced our plan, two girls decided they wanted to come along, as long as it involved a lot of shade.
So we hopped in the back of a “taxi” – which, yes, mean yet another open pickup truck bed with bare, wooden, bench seats, no tailgate or door or such frivolous contraption to prevent you falling out the back, nor those fancy-schmancy seat belts you Americans worry so much about. ‘Cuz that’s how we roll here in Thailand.
We had the “taxi” drop us off near the pharmacy, because was the only endpoint we knew for sure. Silver lining and all that.
“Town” consisted of one main street, lined with shops and little restaurants. There were a few side streets that branched off, but even within sight the buildings along those died out to jungle overgrowth lining the sides. It actually can hardly be called a town, but hey, it was something to visit and see.
At first we stopped into several shops. My friend had said that, in her experience, the shops all really carry some assortment of the same limited stock. When you find the more rare unique item, that’s when you buy.
In the 2nd or 3rd shop, I bought the ubiquitous but incredibly useful flipflops. I got my girls a couple of little carved bookmarks. But my friend was right, a lot of it started running together and looking all alike, though I do regret not buying a grey elephant t-shirt.
Instead, we decided to walk the road a bit. But we didn’t go too far before the shops petered out and we found we were facing a stretch of road going through nothing, with this sign to introduce the area:
While I know lots of people like to take those cool monkey selfies and such, our hosts have had run ins with monkeys and were clear they were no joke. Their kids have no interest in having a monkey come after another water bottle. So, we were happy to just turn back around, and backtrack through town.
We found a promising side street, and continued to explore.
We got to see this guy, working his way down the road…
Oh! And btw… this is how you buy gasoline for those mopeds and small motorbikes. Yes, those are refilled wine & liquor bottles! Hahahaha!
Then, jackpot! We found a smoothie place that was open, and decided that was more fun that shopping right now. So we ordered one smoothie each, and were pointed over to an empty pavilion-ish bar with space for some table and some floor seating, as well as live music that was empty at the early time we were there, to wait while the drinks were finished. It looked like it was probably the happening place to be in the evenings.
After a bit of time to hang out and check out the place, our smoothies were ready.
Then we had a leisurely stroll back into the heart of “town” before we flagged down a truck and made our way back to the Mercure. Nothing big and exciting, but a fun little side trip, and a good way to get a little taste of life on Koh Chang.
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