Wednesday, 31 October 2007
After having arrived on Koh Samui in November 1999, I do have a good knowledge by now on various hotels on Koh Samui and can make some good suggestions when people ask me about hotel recommendations.
There are a lot of booking websites out there to choose from, let alone the amount of hotels to choose from, these mount to staggering numbers.
To get some comparing rates and reviews, I can recommend Hotels Combined and Agoda.
They have low rates, a wide choice and their websites are easy to navigate and use. They also offer rewards for repeat bookings.
Try these links for checking or booking hotels on Samui;
Here's an ever growing list of recommended hotels on Koh Samui. Please click on the link to find more information about the mentioned hotels and for booking links. For each hotel or resort you'll find several links for rates and reservations so you can compare prices.
It's a mix today, dark grey clouds are fighting with the sun for supremacy but at the moment the sun is having the upper hand. Current temp at 7 am is 26.2C
Yesterday was a mixed day, in the morning there was lots of rain and in the afternoon it dried up with a max temp of 29C
Today is the last day of our daughters one month long school holiday, much to the delight of my wife! Due to the bad weather there wasn't that many outdoor options for them so it gets very busy at times with a 2 and a half year old and an almost 5 year old in the house all day.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
This was by far the worst October on Samui in my 8 years here and it's a good thing to wave goodbye to it.
The beginning of October was still good and sunny but by mid month the rain started and it came down relentlessly. I only witnessed so much rain in November 2005. Talking about November, that's normally the wettest month so I don't know what that is going to mean next month...............
October being so wet as it was this year is unusual so let's hope for the better and November is getting better, last year in November it was nice and sunny until the end of November.
It's grey and wet again this morning although the sun is fighting harder than yesterday and it does look slightly better. Current temp at 7 am is 24.3C
Yesterday was wet all day until around 5 pm when all of a sudden the sky cleared up and the sun came through. Max temp reached only 26.8C
Monday, 29 October 2007
This morning it's not looking too great, it's grey and wet again and there's a drizzle coming down right now at 9 am. At 7 am the temperature is 25.7C
Yesterday was a fantastic day, during the night it stayed dry and all day long we had sunshine with just a few scattered clouds around. The PADI IE which was completed yesterday ended in a very nice way. Max temp reached 29.8C and it was just great to have a dry and sunny day again.
Sunday, 28 October 2007
There's still hope! This morning we woke up to sunshine, not full blasting blue skies but still, sunshine in the morning, in between the clouds! Gives for a different feeling. Current temp at 7 am is 25.1C
Yesterday was a rather nice day, in the morning sunshine and in the afternoon bits and pieces of rain but not as hard and long anymore as it used to do. The flooding on the roads is subsiding so things all around are on the up again!
Chaweng Beach yesterday morning at 8am in front of Centara Hotel.
The garden at Centara Hotel, yesterday morning at 8am, which gives a good feel about the sun being out again.
Saturday, 27 October 2007
It's not getting that much better, woke up this morning just before 7am and it was raining again. It's just past 7am now and the sun is trying to break through, it's fairly bright. Current temp is 23.8 at 7am.
Yesterday saw lots of rain in the morning hours and it dried up a bit in the afternoon although it still drizzled on a few times.
Yesterday also saw the Full Moon party on, wonder how they all got on Koh Phangan.
Finally got around to post an update on the current IDC as well, with an update of the PADI IE in the pipeline by tomorrow on my dive blog.
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Although it's grey and rained already today, it's drizzling right now at 8.45 am, it isn't as dark grey as it was the previous days. It's currently 24.5C at 7.am
Yesterday was a fairly nice day with just a little bit of rain and the sun being out again for large stretches. Max temp reached 29.3C, what a little bit of sunshine can't do!
It's not as grey as the previous days and I've spotted a small blue spot in the sky as well this morning before 7am. The sun is even trying to pry through the clouds, very bleak but nonetheless. Temp right at 7 am is 24.8
Yesterday started out bad, hard wind and more rain and more roads were flooded, as if the drainage system was about to collapse. However, in the afternoon things changed for the better and we had the first sunshine and patches of blue sky again!
Today we're about to finish the current IDC with a trip to Koh Tao to complete the final Open Water dive, which we had to postpone yesterday. Keep tracking progress at my dive blog.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Same old same old, grey and wet, it's raining right now at 7.20am and on top of that the wind has joined the party as of this morning. Temp right now is 25.4C
Yesterday was wet and grey as well. Rain most of the day with a max temp of 26.2C.
These shots were taken yesterday and are directly around the corner of my house, this picture shows how deep the water is, between my house and the local 7-11.
This picture gives an idea how long the stretch of water is, I'm not half way yet and the car at the opposite side is already in the water.
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
No change unfortunately and it's starting to wear thin! Grey, wet and half of the day it seems to be raining. Current temp at 7 am is 24C
Yesterday was the same as this morning, grey and wet and max temp reached 27.2C
Weather forecasts aren't very promising neither. In my 8 years on Samui I can't think of a rainy season starting this early.
Monday, 22 October 2007
This post is about 10 hours later than usual, since this morning we had a power cut and I didn't have access to my internet connection until now, just after work, almost 5 pm.
It's not been a great day though, again, pretty much all day rain and loads of roads have water running over the road or are just completely flooded. Current temp is 24C.
Yesterday was rain all day with a max temp of 28.2C
This shows the road around the corner of our house, this afternoon, on the way to the local 7-11. Lots of roads around the island are submerged just like this.
Sunday, 21 October 2007
It's grey and everything was wet this morning. Right now at 7.30 am it started to rain again. Max temp at 7 am was 24.3C.
Yesterday was one to quickly forget, rain pretty much all day long. Had a day off from work, and with the oldest having her holidays from school, there wasn't much to do unfortunately, so we went shopping at Makro and Big C, which pleased them nonetheless.
Max temp reached 27.8C and due to the almost non stop rain, many roads were flooded, some knee high! Water pumps are put in place at well known hot spots to pump excessive water away!
It's the rainy season at it's 'best'.
Here's a link to an article in the Bangkok based, English language newspaper 'The Nation' about warnings being issued for flash flooding in Southern provinces or have a look at the Thai Meteorological site.
Saturday, 20 October 2007
It's starting out slowly today with a grey sky and rain. Today is our day off during the IDC and I could sleep in a little bit, but around my usual wake up time, 6.30 am, there was a massive thunder and rain storm going on. Now, around 9.30 am it's drizzling again and it's still grey with a current temp of 25C around 7 am.
Yesterday was wet in the morning but more or less dry during the rest of the day. Max temp reached 28.9C
Friday, 19 October 2007
In two different spots, as can be seen here, the electrical wiring was on fire. In most of Thailand (everywhere that I know of) the electrical wiring is all above ground. I'm not sure what happened on this occasion, but it must've been very recent when I drove by.
It's nice to see that the airport fire truck was already at the scene and a good handful of Police officers and fire brigade people were standing around, looking at the fire. Electric wiring had fallen down to the ground but was not severed from their mains but nobody took any effort to keep anybody at distance or to secure the scene and everybody was having a good time just watching or just like me snapping pix. Amazing Thailand!
Whilst taking these pictures, a second fire truck arrived, with flashing red lights and blazing horns. I didn't even know Samui had that many fire trucks. Friends told me that after I left, even a third fire truck showed up.
The second truck in full action. It was interesting to observe how the fire fighters acted, unfortunately it seemed they didn't put too much thought in their action and they just started rolling out hoses, straight under the fire, without checking if that was required at all or the right position! Within moments they were told to do something else first. Fairly interesting to see!
On the positive side, I have never seen that many firetrucks in one spot on Samui and it's good to know that there are some and that they seem to be able to react rather swiftly. What they as soon as they arrive on the scene is a different story altogether!
Hope you enjoyed this Samui hot of the wire news flash!
Nobody got injured by the way and the market did lose it's electricity. As did we, very briefly however!
It's dark and grey outside and it's raining right now, which has been going on, on and off all morning. Current temp is 24.1C at 7 am
Yesterday it was similar to previous days, sunshine and rain, this time around the sunshine was in the morning and the rain was in the afternoon, scattered around during various times.
Yesterday I posted an update on my current IDC, have a look at my dive blog.
Thursday, 18 October 2007
There are blue patches in a mainly grey sky and it is dry at the moment but very wet outside with a current temp of 24.3C at 7 am
Yesterday was actually a nice day, morning and afternoon dry with rain around noon. Typically for the island, at some parts it was raining cats and dogs and in other parts just lightly. Max temp reached 29.8C and total amount of rain was 68mm.
I think it's fair to say that the rainy season has officially started.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
Crispin has been jailed for a year by now and support from people believing he's innocent is increasing, at last!
Currently his case is nearing it's conclusion at a Bangkok court. Here's an interesting article in an Australian paper amongst others.
Have a look at these two links and make up your own mind.
For me however it's clear, Crispin is innocent and I hope justice will be done in this case. If you feel the same, please show support, it's appreciated.
Rather nice for a change this morning, there's lots of blue in the sky but the big clouds are still looming around. It looks a lot better and it's dry right now, compared to the last few days. Current temp is 25.8C at 7 am
Yesterday it was wet in the morning and nice again in the afternoon. Last night there was lots of rain again though.
The temperature's aren't as hot anymore so we are currently sleeping without the air con again.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Thick clouds are out there but it's not completely grey, the sun is trying to get through, although it has fairly limited success so far. It drizzled this morning a bit and the current temp is 26C at 7 am.
Monday, 15 October 2007
Big grey clouds overhead with the sun trying to pry through at some places. Current temp at 7 am is 25C.
Yesterday saw very hard and prolonged rain in the morning. In the afternoon the weather cleared up a bit and the clouds thinned out a bit and there's was no rain anymore, until 5.30 this morning. Max temp reached 27.8C. It's been while since the temperature didn't hit 30C during the daytime.
Sunday, 14 October 2007
The sky is clearing up early this morning, after some very hard rain and wind at 4 am. Right now there's a mix of dark grey clouds, white clouds and plenty of blue patches with a current temp at 7 am of 25C
Yesterday was a lovely day, warm and sunny all day long.
As of today I'm starting a new IDC course, for which you can find updates on my dive blog on a regular base, this means however that for the next two weeks, I won't be posting much besides the daily weather reports, due to time restrictions.
Saturday, 13 October 2007
When they opened, a bit more than 7 years ago, I used to live almost behind the bakery and next to Angela, the owner. I'm just a tad little bit longer on the island than when Angela opened her doors for the first time and she's still up and running and I'm still enjoying eating there.
Now I live a bit further away from Maenam, so I don't visit that often anymore, as I used to do, but it's still a fave stop whenever I'm around. The bakery is located at the ring road, at the very beginning of Maenam, a little bit further down from the Police station, if you're coming from Bophud, at the opposite side of the road.
It's definitely not a plastic table and chairs establishment, in contrast, the way they decorated the restaurant is very cosy and gives you a 'home' feeling.
Besides a very nice menu, with plenty of choices in Western and Thai food, with great salads, sandwiches and German and English dishes, one of Angela's teasers are her cakes! In the cooler in the background on the left, one can find amazing Apple pie's, triple chocolate cheesecakes, Tiramisu's and much more.
One of my fave dishes at Angela's is the Creamy Chicken Hash, as pictured above. A nice full plate of Chicken hash!
She also make birthday cakes and for more info on this, please call 077 427 396 and she makes fantastic wholewheat breads.
It's only open till 6 pm, which makes it a perfect place for breakfast and lunch. Another one I can highly recommend.
Friday, 12 October 2007
The sun is already high up in the sky early this morning (7 am) and it looks like it's going to be a lovely day, there's hardly any clouds over land and the current temp is 24.5C
Yesterday was a good day, cloudy with enough sunshine and a max temp that reached 29.8C
Today, early in the morning, I had to go the Immigration office in Nathon, to see if my yearly Non Immigrant B Visa had arrived. After a bit of waiting and some stamps and signatures in my passport, I could happily embrace my new one year Non immigrant B visa.
On the way out of Nathon, after having done some various errands along the way, we were all hungry and my mother in law, who came along for the trip, suggested to go and eat Khanom Chin in Bang Po, in this supposedly excellent place for this kind of food.
Khanom Chin are Chinese style noodles with a Curry on top. Especially in the South of Thailand, these curries are very spicy but Khanom Chin is in general eaten throughout Thailand.
This is how the place looks like, it's located at the ring road, in Bang Po, the North of the island, and it looks like a shack.
It's mainly visited by locals, since they serve a very traditional Samui style curry and everybody just kind a joins around this big, table like thing. At one end the food is prepared and at the other three sides of the tables one can sit down and eat.
Rice is not served but they do serve a soup as well, a Long Thong.
These are the various vegetables (Pak) that go along with the Curried Khanom Chin.
Since I'm not a big fan of Khanom Chin at all, I had to go for the only alternative available, the Long Thong soup. The soup was very good and I ended up ordering a second bowl, since one wouldn't stop my appetite.
If you're in for a somewhat more adventurous eating experience, in sharp contrast to yesterday's Prego experience, this can be advised.
It's also definitely one of the better ones on the island. It's part of the Amari hotel in Chaweng.
When Prego just opened, I wasn't much of a fan, but each visit convinces me more and more about the quality of the place. Both the food are excellent and the staff is just outstanding and very accommodating.
Yesterday, when I visited with the whole family, before I get get busy with my next IDC, one of the things I really like about the place that came up again, is that they have a drawing book and a box of coloured pencils for each kid! Makes Mums and Dads life a little bit easier.
Prego is located opposite the Amari hotel in the Northern part of Chaweng, not too far away from the Samui International Hospital, same side of the road.
It's nicely laid out with lots of space but even now, in low season, it's very busy, so a reservation is in place at 077 422 015-18.
An assortment of Italian breads with condiments, served as soon as you sit down. A very nice touch indeed.
As a main I had Ravioli Ricotta e spinacci al burro e salvia which translates into Ravioli filled with Ricotta cheese and spinach in butter and sage. The latter forming another excellent sauce!
My wife had this delicious piece of fish; Medoglione di Branzino padellato servio con caponata di verdure or in plain English a Pan fried snow fish with a vegetable caponata.
The menu is in Italian, Thai and English. They also have an extended wine card.
Not a cheap place, but also not over the top expensive, we paid 1.400,-Baht for the food only, including 2 children spaghetti dishes.
Another recommendable one!
There's loads of overcast but also some bright patches are in sight. It just drizzled a bit but it doesn't look as dark as yesterday morning. Current temp is 25 C at 7 am
Yesterday was dark and wet(tish) until the early afternoon. It rained around noon but than, surprisingly, it turned for the better and the sun came through for the remainder of the day. Max temp reached 29.2C
Thursday, 11 October 2007
Before I moved to Plai Laem, some 6 years ago (almost), I used to live in Maenam and really enjoyed it there. One of the pleasures there is Gai's restaurant.
She's been around for ever it seems and since the almost 8 years ago when I first set foot inside her place, I've been going back on a very regular base and the place has hardly changed at all, except that she closes now for Sundays.
Her restaurant is easily located, it's at the corner of the main road through Maenam (the ring road around the island) and Soi 5 in Maenam. Her restaurant is evenly visited by expats, tourists and locals.
It's a good old fashioned plastic tables/chairs place, although she makes it look very clean and pleasant, in contrast to some other, similar places.
Her food is very good and above is a picture of some vegetarian food or Je food, to go along with the Vegetarian period in Thailand, that goes hand in hand with the better known Vegetarian or Je Festivals in Phuket and Hat Yai. Here's a plate of vegetarian food I had yesterday. It's dough with corn and Tofu, deep fried, with a dipping sauce.
She also has massive fruit shakes. I nearly always go for the mixed fruit shake and it looks like this massive glass above!
Pad Krapau Plaa Muuk sai Kai Dao mai Suk laad Kao or Fried squid with Chili and Holy Basil with an egg, sunny side up over rice. It's the best version of this I know of in all of Thailand, at least in my book! When I come in we only nod heads and 2 minutes later I have my meal!
Here's Gai in full swing in her kitchen at the back of the restaurant, which is also the place she lives with her family and parents.
Here's a view on part of her menu, she's got a more extended version as well. My meal with the mixed fruit shake (30Baht), the Je food (20 Baht) and the Pad Krapau with egg (45 Baht) added up to 95,-Baht in total!
It's a basic bit lovely place with excellent food and once more, I can highly recommend it. Enjoy it!
After a couple of real nice days, it seems the tide has changed, at least for today.There's a thick layer of clouds and it looks like it's going to rain, just as it did last night on a couple of occasions. Max temp is 25C at 7 am
Yesterday was another lovely day, lots of in a blue sky with a max temp of an agreeable 31C
Today is the end of Thaa Yai, as reported last month. My wife got up early and went to the people to send the dead relatives and friends back until next year. The Temple was crowded she said.
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
During one of my Visa runs to Hat Yai, a few years ago, my wife and me stumbled over a procession as part of the Je Festival or vegetarian festival that was going on at the time being.
The scenes that ones does witness are pretty intense, as you can see on these pictures. This is the mere reason why I post about this non Samui related Festival, without being there, it made a big impression on me.
Although these picture were made in Hat Yai, in Phuket there's a Je Festival going on as well.
The Festival in Phuket is on a larger scale that the one on Hat Yai, although, probably due to it's smaller size, in Hat Yai it was no problem to get in touching distance of the participants in the procession.
The quality of these pictures may not be that great, that's because I took them with my old style, non digital camera and had to scan the pictures.
The skewers are all pierced through his cheeks! Once you get close to them, you can see that they are in some kind of trance.
Hope you enjoyed this non Samui related piece of information.
It's mainly Raad Na with various topping, like squid, seafood, pork or chicken and Pad Sa Iw, with the same toppings, not to forget one of the best Sateh's or Satay ever!
Here's the road sign of the restaurant. It's located not too far away from the Chaweng Post office at the ring road. If you face the Post office, it's maybe 2 or 300 meters to the right, same side of the road as the Post office.
Here's a picture of the lovely Raad Na they make. Raad Na is noodles any style you like (or rather, what they offer, but normally a few different styles of noodles are available) with some a gravy and some vegetables topped by your choice of topping, squid, seafood, chicken or pork. Look at those copious amounts of squid! Just for the record, these are crispy noodles inside of this Raad Na.
Raad Na and Pad Sa Iw are 40 Baht per dish.
One of the best Sateh's I ever had. Sateh originates from Indonesia (where my favorite is goat Sateh or Sateh Kambing) but the Thais love it as well. This particular Sateh sauce is excellent and the meat used is chicken, 3 Baht per skewer!
Highly recommendable, it's a very basic place, the usual plastic tables and chairs but the food is excellent and it's visited by loads of locals, which is always a good sign.Camille
It's slightly cloudy but it seems that the sun is starting to burn those cloud layers away. At 7 am it was 25.6C
Yesterday was a lovely, sunny day, not too hot at 31C max, but a blue sky was ours all day long, just as below, taken at the Tesco Lotus motorbike parking lot.
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
Temperatures this year have been the highest for the past 50 years, with the average temperature increasing by one degree Celsius according to the Thai Meteorological Department
Published on October 9, 2007
Chongkolnee Yusabye, director of the Meteorological Development Bureau, said that after monitoring the impact of global warming on Thailand for the past five years, the agency predicted that the impact of natural disasters would increase in future.
Chongkolnee was speaking at a seminar called "Life, shock, climate change: how to survive the impact of global warming", held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Krungthep Turakij newspaper, which is part of the Nation Multimedia Group
She said the average temperature across the country had increased in both the winter and summer seasons.
The average temperature last November was the highest for 56 years, up by 1.7 degrees Celsius on the average temperature for winter. The average temperature last December increased from 24 degrees Celsius to 25 Celsius.
Between 1951 and 2007 the number of cool days - classified as below 16 degrees Celsius - has decreased particularly in Chiang Rai and Nakhon Sawan provinces. Information from a monitoring station in Chiang Rai province found that the number of cool days had decreased from 90 days in 1951 to 70 days in 2007.
Chongkolnee said that average summer temperatures had risen, especially in Tak province, where the average temperature was 43.7 degrees Celsius in 1983 and 44 Celsius last April. The number of hot days in the province increased from 16 to 25, the highest number for 54 years, over the same period.
The second hottest province was Phetchabun, where the average temperature rose from 41.7 Celsius in 1992 to 42.1 Celsius in 2007, and the number of hot days from 14 to 24.
The rising temperatures across the country have prompted health experts to warn the public against eating under-cooked food, which could cause severe diarrhoea.
Dr Thirawat Hemachudha, a neurologist at Chulalongkorn University Hospital, said the Public Health Ministry should issue regulations to prevent restaurants from serving semi-cooked dishes like spicy raw meat salad.
Rising temperatures could affect the life cycle of E coli and V cholerae bacteria, particularly in half-cooked dishes. These parasites can cause severe diarrhoea, Thirawat said.
"If the temperature increases by 0.5-1.5 degrees Celsius it can affect the nature of the parasite. It can reproduce more easily and thus come into contact with humans more frequently," he said.
He said restaurant owners should take responsibility for treatment cost if customers suffered diarrhoea after eating under-cooked dishes. But those who eat dishes that are traditionally served raw or semi-cooked had to bear the responsibility themselves.
The Nation 09/10/07
It's fairly late today, for my posting, already after 9 am and it's a beautiful day. a blue sky with plenty of sunshine. At 7 am it was only 25C though.
Yesterday it started slow, with overcast, but around midday the clouds vanished and it was a lovely sunny day with a max temp of 32.9C
Monday, 8 October 2007
Today I installed a lot of buttons, on the bottom left side of the page that you are viewing.
If you like to stay updated on my new posts, it now very easy to receive all updates, once pr day, by email.
As an example, you can click on one of these buttons; Subscribe to Camille's Samui Weather and there will appear prompts, which you have to follow. Choose the medium that you like to get updates from and that's pretty much it.
It's also highly appreciated if you click on the "Fave this Blog Technorati" button, especially if you have a blog of your own!
Thanks and please leave comments!
Sunday, 7 October 2007
First of all there's typhoon Krosa which pummeled Taiwan, killing four in the fiercest Typhoon (they're called Hurricanes in the Atlantic and Typhoons in the Western Pacific) to hit Taiwan this year. Just to go on to China, where about a million people are evacuated.
The storm is expected to strike southern Zhejiang and northern Fujian provinces late on Sunday, just South of Shanghai.
Vietnam, in the meantime, has been hit by a tropical storm, named Durian and 50 are killed and many more are missing.
Here's some interesting information about Hurricanes/Typhoons and a link to a storm tracker.
Let's hope all this passes without loss of live and good luck to all the people living in those areas.
As already mentioned in previous posts about road side Spirit Houses and our very own Spirit House, here are some more pictures of some Spirit Houses around Samui.
This shows the inside of a Spirit House, where the actual protective Spirit lives. This one shows an elderly couple with various gifts for them. The elderly are very well respected in Thailand and an elderly couple also portrays wisdom, in this case.
Here's an interesting link that explains about Spirit Houses and animism in Thailand.
Here's the inside of yet another Spirit House, which shows a female statue. What makes this picture so interesting for me, are all the gifts for the statue, on the left hand side. A comb, lip stick, a mirror and other beauty related articles. Stereotypes anybody?Novotel road in Chaweng, are just awesome in my book for their complete break of traditional Spirit House design. They more like a 'Modern Art' version of Spirit Houses and I love the way they blend in with the wooden background of the main house. Fantastic!
Next time you're on Samui and you need to pick a Spirit House or two, here's one of the places near Lamai where you can get them. Various sizes and colours are available!