One Night in Ban Chang

A long-ish weekend was exactly the spur I needed to break out of the recent rut.

Mid-way through my 3rd month here at the Wiang Walee, the same four hotel room walls are beginning to lose their charm.

And although Ban Chang isn’t the glamour capital of Thailand, it provided the escape I needed.

So why Ban Chang? It’s close, about 40km away, and is within the same Rayong province. This is important because it means the trip doesn’t need to be reported to Immigration. Had I travelled outside the province I would have needed to report my movements to the Thai Government, which is now enforcing the 40-year-old TM30 statute which tracks foreigners’ movements.

It’s a baby-step back toward honing my travel chops, in preparation for a trip further afield next week, when teachers take paid holidays. I’m not sure yet where I’ll head, but it’ll likely be in Thailand.

That’s because the plan right now is to leave Thailand for Vietnam on or around November 1.

Another minor reason for Ban Chang was its Expats ‘market’. But in contrast to the usual sprawling & bustling football-field-sized Thai markets, this was a small bathroom-sized shop. It’s expensive but among my purchases were a tin of Salmon. Nowhere else in Thailand have I found tinned fish of varieties I like without the marketers packing it full of sugar.

For the record, I stayed at the Suchanan Hotel & Spa for 700 baht. Comfortable bed, good balcony and view, good location, and good service. Maybe I struck them on a bad night, but the internet connection kept dropping out, which was maddening for someone trying to work online. Still, I’d probably go there again.

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