I think saying that Jonathan and I had a funny Christmas this year is a bit of an understatement. With 10 days open for travel, Jonathan and I decided to venture back to Koh Chang to enjoy a lovely Christmas on a sandy beach in the sun. However, due to some last minute changes of plan, we ended up with some hilarious stories. I can safely say that our first Christmas as an engaged couple will be one we always remember.
Due to some last minute changes in plans, we ended up having to travel on Christmas Eve. After grimacing through Peter Jackson’s ultra-long Hobbit in 3D, we set off on the night bus from Bangkok to the pier where ferries leave for Koh Chang. Our bus made great time, but, unfortunately, this put us at our harbor at 4:30am with two hours to kill before our ferry left. Thus, we ended up having Christmas morning breakfast with a sweet Thai family that was cooking fried chicken and rice for workers who sell bananas and other food from the mainland. I was even offered a 5am beer with a random man (which I didn’t take, mind you). Merry Christmas to us!
We eventually made it to our hotel and crashed in our bed for a few hours. We were able to make a few skype calls to our family to wish them Merry Christmas and thank each other for Christmas presents. I can’t imagine my life without Skype now that we live so far away.
We spent an awesome day treating our selves to Thai massages, eating delicious Western food (always a treat here), and relaxing in the sun.
In Koh Chang, each beach carries a certain stereotype. Some beaches are for British/Americans, some attract Thai visitors, and so forth. Our particular beach is a popular place for Swedes, Germans, and Russians. A TripAdvisor post had remarked that a hotel in our area was great “if you didn’t mind breakfast with Vladamir and friends”. Don’t get me wrong, I love Europeans. But the tight speedos on older men and bleach blonde Swedish women don’t leave much to the imagination on the beach.
Nonetheless, we attended a very eventful Christmas dinner at our hotel with the rest of Europe. Our dinner was a creative mixture of the classic turkey, ham, etc. with some Thai flair. Our hotel manager played a few sets on the electric guitar and we were entertained by a fire show. We also very happily ran into some friends who joined us for the meal. It was a lot of fun and very different from any Christmas I’ve ever had in the States.
Mom’s giant Christmas package (address obscured)
We’re back in Lopburi now and looking forward to our last few months in Thailand before heading home. We’ve been pleased and surprised by all the Christmas cards and packages we’ve received from family and friends oceans away. We feel very loved!
“And, however often the sun may rise,
A new thing dawns upon our eyes.”
– Louis Macneice