Saturday, 1 November 2014

Welcome to November 2014

Welcome indeed to November 2014. This is usually a very wet month with the rainy season in full swing and all signs seem to be set for a wet edition this year.
The last three years and 2009 were mild but we had already a lot of rain during last October and the current forecast doesn't look too favorable. better get prepared for some rain later this month, when the monsoon is most likely in full sing upon us.

Chaweng

View over Southern Chaweng and it's lake from the Kao Hua Juu pagoda, yesterday afternoon

Halfway through this month I will find myself back in Khao Lak for a PADI IDC and will remain there for the remainder of this month.
Today I will start the month with a quick visit to Chiang Mai, where I will run a 10km race tomorrow morning with at least one and possibly two more 10km races scheduled this month.

iDon't forget the Loy Kratong festival this coming 6th November, definitely worthwhile checking out, where ever you will be in Thailand, including our island!

If you find yourself back on Samui this month, I hope you enjoy yourself and let me know how you liked it!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks! 

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 1st November, 2014

Today's weather;

It's fairly heavily clouded this morning over Koh Samui with still a few slivers of blue sky. Current temp at 7am is 25.6C

Samui airport

Samui airport with the landing and take off strip. This morning my wife, our baby and myself will fly to Chiang Mai and be back by tomorrow again. Picture taken from Kao Hua Juu pagoda

Yesterday saw a dry and sunny day around the island. Max temp reached 31.2C

The forecast has changed and not for the better! Sunday wind and rain can be expected and for the next 7 days a lot more clouds are due with occasional showers.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks! 

Camille

Friday, 31 October 2014

Goodbye to October 2014

Unfortunately the October 2014 version around Koh Samui was not one to fondly remember for it's good weather. Especially the first half of this month saw lots of strong wind and heavy rain at times. At moments I thought that the rainy season or monsoon had hit the island already.

The second half of this month saw improvements though, although there were still plenty of showers, now we had also could enjoy blue skies and sunny moments at times again.
A mediocre October in my book though!

Chinese Temple, Maenam


It was a busy month for me though, I completed a PADI IDC on the island and assisted with Shark Guardian presentations for two International schools on Samui.

The yearly Chak Phra event took place in Nathon, I organized two presentations to increase box jelly fish awareness for hotel staff on the island and there was the royally endorsed Tod Katin ceremony in Wat Bo Phuttaraksam. All great events and I am very pleased that I could visit and be part of these events.

My blog had also it's 2 millionth view, a great achievement indeed!

Now it's on to a new month and I will start the month with a 'first', a weekend visit to Chiang Mai, a city I never been to before in the North of Thailand.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks! 

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 31st October, 2014

Today's weather;

This morning we can see another hazy blue sky with clouds hovering over the ocean around Koh Samui's shore line. Current temp at 7am is 25.5C

Wat Bo Phuttaram, Bophud

Buddha statue at Wat Bo Phuttaram in Bophud

Yesterday saw a fairly sunny and dry day mixed with some cloudy skies. Max temp reached 30.7C

The forecast remains the same with a mixed bag of blue and cloudy skies and occasionally a shower.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks! 

Camille

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 30th October, 2014

Today's weather;

There's a blue sky over Koh Samui but it's hazy and some big clouds hang around for good measure. Current temp at 7am is 25.4C

Songthaew taxi

A Songthaew taxi in Choengmon, which literally means 'two rows', referring to the two seating benches in the back of the pick up. They run all over the island and in the daytime they have fixed routes, if you see one approaching, you just need to flag them down and get off once you reach your point of destination

Yesterday saw a dry day with a shower during the night time. Max temp reached 32C

The forecast hasn't changed much, a mixed bag of blue and cloudy skies for the next seven days.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks! 

Camille

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 29th October, 2014

Today's weather;

It's a mixed bag this morning with a few blue spots and lots of heavy clouds over Koh Samui. Current temp at 7am is 25.3C

Herbal juices at Wat Bo Phuttaram

During the recent Tod Katin ceremony at Wat Bo Phuttaram, there was lots of free food but also these herbal juices. They were delicious!

Yesterday saw a fair amount of sunshine although there were also showers all over the island. Last night there were showers again and around 1am I woke up from an enormous thunder. Max temp reached 29.8C

The forecast is looking good, it should be blue skies with no rain, but that's not working out right now, so expect sunny and rainy moments in a daily mix. The monsoon seems to be at our doorstep!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks! 

Camille

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 28th October, 2014

Today's weather;

It's sunny but hazy with some cloud formations in the sky as well this morning around Koh Samui. Current temp at 7am is a nice, cool 24.6C

Near Wat Bophud

A traditional Thai style house next to Wat Bophud

Yesterday saw a nice though cloudy and dry day around the island with some rain during the night. Max temp reached 29.8C

The forecast predicts mostly sunny skies with clouds over the weekend and it should stay dry.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks! 

Camille

Monday, 27 October 2014

Manora dance at Wat Bo Phuttaram in Bophud

During the recent 'Tod Katin' ceremony at Wat Bo Phuttaram, one of the events taking place was a rather rare and exclusive Southern Thai dance which goes by the name of 'Manora' or มโนราห์.
In 15 years time living on Koh Samui, it was the first time I witnessed a Manora dance.

Manora dance invocation

The Manora dance invocation by the music ensemble

The dance starts with a rather lengthy invocation, accompanied by music. The musical ensemble consists of a pair of hand cymbals, a pair of small knobbed gongs, a pair of wooden sticks, a barrel-shaped gendang, a reed instrument and a vase-shaped single headed drum.

Manora dance

The whole performance, a dance drama, follows a strict pattern, the music, the invocation, the customs and the moves follow a strict pattern, is my understanding. Looking at pictures from other performances, the clothes are looking all the same indeed.

Manora dance

As already mentioned, the dance is exclusive to Southern Thailand and a few Northern Malaysian states and is also known as Nora (โนรา) or Lakon Chatri (ละครชาตรี).

Manora dance

The basic features of the performance include a lengthy invocation, a dance by the main character, and a play or skit. The invocation is enacted by slow rhythmic movements of legs, arms and fingers. The dramatic repertoire of Manora performance is based on Thai legends of Manohara, derived from Buddhist Jataka tales, many of which already accultured into Malay society centuries ago

Manora dance

The costumes are very colorful and beautiful and the performance I witnessed was done by a Bang Po family, apparently the only Samui based troupe that can perform this dance.

Manora dancer

This performance was a complete surprise by me, I had no idea it was scheduled and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to be able to see another performance.

Manora dance

It's part of a long Southern Thai tradition and rare indeed, I hope to see it again a lot faster than having to wait another 15 years!

Manora dancer

If you have the opportunity to witness this approximate 2000 year old dance drama whilst in Southern Thailand, make sure to make time for such an event to witness it. Well worth in my opinion and a rare insight in old Southern Thai dance drama tradition. I'm glad I could witness this at last!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks! 

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 27th October, 2014

Today's weather;

It's heavy and thick cloud layers this morning all around Koh Samui and I wonder if it will stay dry. Current temp at 7am is 25.8C

Bophud

The sky over Wat Bo Phuttaram in Bophud yesterday morning, during the Tod Katin ceremony

Yesterday saw rain during the very early and early morning after which is remained dry for the rest of the day with sunny breaks. Max temp reached 30.5C

There may be some rain this morning but the forecast predicts a couple of sunny days ahead after today.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks! 

Camille

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Tod Katin or Royally endorsed money offering at Wat Bo Phuttaram

This morning was an early morning, first I had a 14km run and by 7am we were expected at Bophud Temple or Wat Bo Phuttaram in Bophud for a Royally endorsed 'Tod Katin' or  ทอดกฐินพระราชทาน พระบาทสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัว and as part of the ceremony, our eldest daughter would participate in a classic Thai dance.

Posing

Posing in front of the car in front of the procession with holey relics

The 'Tod Katin' event take place on a regular base around he country. It's a ceremony during which money is handed over to a certain temple, so they  an build something new or fix something broken or just maintain the Temple in question. The money in question is donated by local people and many times you can see small money trees in shops or restaurants and the like.

Money flower

Money flower

The Royally sponsored events, like this one today, are a lot more rare. The idea and principle are still the same though and today it was thought to have at least generated one million Thai Baht.


A more classic money tree

The way part of the money is collected is a rather unique Thai way; so called 'money trees' are being delivered to the Temple and since this was such a big event, some of the money trees actually had taken on different shapes, of which some samples can be seen here and on my Koh Samui Info Blog Facebook page.


Posing in front of the money trees

There was a fairly long procession between Bophud school and the Bophud temple and some of the traffic today got held up this morning, between the school and the temple between 8.30 and 9am.


Island officials including the vice mayor

It was an interesting event to witness though and once back in the Temple, there were free drinks, ranging from water and Thai tea variations to herbal juices.


Have money will travel

Don't forget that we're in Thailand and a free meal was also provided, with a dozen or so different options available, ranging from Khanom Chin to Pad Thai, among others.


On the go

All money trees are being hand carried from the school to the temple and was the procession had arrived, all money trees where diverted to a part of the temple where all moneys were being harvested off the trees and counted, to go into a bank account tomorrow.


Blocking the road

It was great to being able to take plenty of pictures and in a rather unusual move, I have posted a lot more pictures of this event than I usually do. So scroll along down the page and enjoy the pictures.


At the entrance to the Temple, two women at each side of the entrance were throwing flowers on the procession participants

Por or older monk

A 'Por' or 'older monk' handing out Buddhist amulets which caught a lot of attention and many people went up to him to get an amulet

Counting the cash

The money is gathered at the temple and ready to be 'harvested' and counted

More counting

More counting and taking the money forest down

The harvest has been collected

The harvest has been collected

Sure hope you enjoyed these very typical Thai pictures. Tomorrow I will write a follow up about the Manora dance drama that originates from Southern Thailand and has very specific clothing and dance passes and rituals.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks! 

Camille