Thursday, 31 July 2008
It's that time of the month again, the end of another month, July 2008!
It's been a bit of an on/off affair this month. There were a few days with rain and overcast and on the other hand a nice amount of days filled with sunshine.
Since July is part of a small monsoon in the Gulf of Thailand, it's not that strange that there are some wet days amongst this month. Next month, August, should see loads of sunshine again!
Thanks for following my blog this month!
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There's a fair amount of overcast which will take the sun a bit more effort to burn away, in contrast to previous days. Current temp at 7 am is 26C.
Yesterday was a nice, sunny and warm day with a bit of drizzle in the early evening. Max temp reached 33.2C.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Monday, 28 July 2008
It's overcast again this morning, no wind and dry at the moment. Current temp at 7 am is 25.7C.
Yesterday saw overcast all day long. It remained dry until around 6 pm when a hard but very short shower hit, followed by an hours long drizzle. Max temp reached 32C.
Sunday, 27 July 2008
There's a good layer of overcast, too thick to allow much sunshine through right now but it is dry with a current temp of 26.7C at 7 am.
Yesterday was a day which started out very wet in the morning with strong winds and lots of rain to be replaced in the late afternoon with the occasional sun beam and drier weather. Max temp reached 30.7C.
Last night we did a night dive on Chaweng Beach and there was surprisingly good visibility, considering the day time circumstances. Keep an eye out for my dive blog for updates. Here's a view of Chaweng Beach shortly before night fall at around 6.30 pm.
Saturday, 26 July 2008
A thick cloud layer rules over Samui this morning and there's a bit of wind as well. Current temp at 7 am is 27.1C.
Yesterday started out cloudy but cleared up relatively quickly. In the afternoon there was a short shower but other than that it was nice and sunny with a max temp of 31.4C.
Yesterday saw also a nationwide drop of gasoline prices. On the mainland diesel prices dropped by 5,-THB per liter, that's more than 12% per liter! Interestingly enough, all gas stations on Samui were 'out' of gas yesterday but today we also can fill up at reduced rates again.
Please note that I added new entries to my Samui Hotel recommendations and Thailand Hotel recommendations blogs. Feel free to have a look.
Friday, 25 July 2008
It's fairly cloudy but there are small blue spots with some sunshine as well. Current temp at 7 am is 25.7C.
Yesterday was a cloudy and grey day pretty much way into the afternoon when for the first time the sun broke through. After the initial morning storm it turned out to be fairly nice later on in the day. Max temp reached 30C.
Thursday, 24 July 2008
It started out nice this morning, with a fairly light cloud cover but changed quickly and drastically into a dark sky with strong wind and probably some coming rain soon. Current temp at 7 am is 26.7C.
Yesterday saw lots of cloud cover and not that much sun, max temp reached 31.7C.
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
The off shoot of Surat Thani's Rajabaht University's campus on Koh Samui, dedicated mainly to hotel management is about to complete it's construction.
The Samui campus is almost completed, in contrast to what the static Uni's website tells us and classes could start happening with the start of the next school year.
The complex houses a hotel so the students get hands on training and experience. Not sure what the rate for rooms will be but I'm sure it won't be the last I report about this Uni and I will update on news regarding the Uni and room rates accordingly.
Monday, 21 July 2008
Yesterday we went with some friends to the Temple fair at the local Temple in Bophud, being held from 17th through 28th July. Once the Fair is finished in Bophud, parts of it will travel to another Temple on the island and there will be a fair in that Temple. Bophud houses one of the larger Fairs though, together with the Chaweng Temple.
Not having visited one of these fairs since a long time, because I felt a bit 'over killed' by them, it was nice to go again and kind of re-discover the Fair again.
It was also funny to hear from my Thai friend who was with us, the comment he gave when he saw my pictures, he asked me if I was in Thailand for the first time! Good on him! Nowadays I do note that I take pictures with a couple of things playing in the back of my mind. I like to take pictures for this blog, and I assume that a lot of my readers have never been to Thailand, hence pictures that may look like 'first time visitor' pictures (with all due respect!). Secondly, I also try to catch a certain 'Zeitgeist', because I do notice big differences in the Thailand that I got to know just 9 years ago and the Thailand as it is today and if you followed my blog than you may have noticed that I like the old style Thailand a lot. Anyway, I hope I can catch the right pix!
Having taken plenty of pictures at this Fair, it was difficult to decide which ones to publish. However, in good Thai tradition, the first picture had to be of food and I ended up posting the pictures in the same random order as I took them at the Fair, given a bit of a taste of the fast changing scenery of the Fair.
The picture above shows corn and Jog, the Thai version of cooked rice porridge or congee.
There are also loads of different games to be played, this picture shows darts and balloons, get the picture? 7 darts for 20 Baht, you hit a balloon with each of your 7 darts, you get free choice of the stuffed dolls. Or alternatively spend two or three hundred Baht and you get free choice as well, don't ask how I know this!
Here a more hard core gambling enterprise. A glass ball rolls down in-between a tight pattern of nails and ends up in a numbered gate at the bottom. Players can put 20 Baht notes on triple, double or single numbers. A kind of a roulette feel to it. Very distinctively.
A golden oldie, Bingo Thai style. It was relatively early in the evening and not that many players were participating, later on the tables filled up rather nicely.
More food, soup on wheels. This car comes in a customised version, with a soup cooker!
My Buddhist amulet collectors heart started to beat a little faster, since although I visited this Temple umpty times (i really lost track), I never bought an amulet here, so this was my chance! A local Monk gave me even 100 Baht discount on the amulet I choose and my Thai friend gave me a copy of another amulet today. Thanks Tee!
Here's some classic Isaan food, deep fried bugs! Som tam is probably the best known Isaan style food, but I guess that these bugs get more tongues rolling! Various kinds of bugs are being consumed, amongst other Grasshoppers or Takataen, which are probably most popular. Scorpions or Meleng Pong are also on the menu.
Each Fair has some stages for live music or other shows and here's a picture of the smaller stage. The bigger stages host sometimes very popular Thai artists, like Jintara Poonlarp or others.
Last but not least, another food picture, this time it's Khanom Chak, rice with coconut milk prepared inside the leaves of a nipa palm and then roasted over a charcoal fire. My children love it, as they love the Fairs.
If you see a Temple Fair advertised, go and visit it, if it's your first time, it will leave a nice impression!
As usual, enjoy and I hope you like my post. If you like this blog, subscribe to it, so I know that there's folks out there reading it.
It's cloudy this morning but there are plenty of blue spots as well, hopefully the sun will heat up soon and burn the clouds away. Current temp at 7 am is 24.6C.
Yesterday saw overcast almost all day long and during the night there must've been a lot of rain since all looked very wet this morning. Max temp reached just a meagre 29.5C.
Sunday, 20 July 2008
With an average of once every two years I seem to visit Erik's Swedish Restaurant in Lamai, formerly known as Ciao Restaurant.
It's smack down in the middle of Lamai, a stone throw away from the Bauhaus.
The food is mainly Swedish and makes for a nice break from the usual standard fare available everywhere. As they say in the picture below; Are you tired of rice everyday? Than this is one of the places to be!
The whole theme of the restaurant is Swedish oriented, with local football and ice hockey shirts on the wall and the ceiling. The place is really big but is nicely split up in a front part and another room in the back.
The food is very affordable, most meals are less than 200,-THB, which is a real bargain and you get plenty. This is what I ordered, 3 different kinds of Herring. Note the boiled potatoes, it was ages ago I had some of them! Yummy.
We also had some apple cake with vanilla sauce as desert, the fact that cake translates as 'kaka' in Swedish, didn't temper us from ordering, in contrast!
If you're Swedish or just looking for a cheap and good meal, but something completely different, try Erik's place. I can recommend it.
Since it was a Saturday night evening, we also visited the "Lady Boxing' event, held every Saturday at the cluster of beer bars. located at the one way street in Lamai, you can't really miss it. It was packed as usual and the Muay Thai fights are alternated by local bar girls giving their all in the fights and quite literally beating each other around the ring in a very fanatic way, since if they win, they will also win a couple of thousand Baht, after each 'Lady Fight' there's a fight between two guys, from the local Muay Thai training schools, who get pretty serious and down to business.
However, the third fight of the evening turned out to be between two boys aged 9 or 10 and it turned us all off, so we went to Chaweng, which happens to be a lot nearer home as well.
All in all, the 'Lady Boxing' nights are well worth watching and visiting on a Saturday night! They start at about 10.30 pm and last well until after midnight.
This morning sees a cloudy sky over Samui with a current temp at Samui of 25.1C.
Yesterday's cloud cover did not really crack and thee wasn't as much sunshine as the previous days. Around 8.30 pm last night, it started to rain very hard for about 45 minutes with lots of thunder and lightning in Lamai and strong winds and rain in other parts of the island. Max temp reached 32.5C.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
It's been almost a year to the date, that I posted about this Wat in Lamai. It's one of the better known Wats on the island, mainly because it houses the remains of the famous Mummified Monk. There's another Temple with a Mummified Monk in Wat Kiri Wongkaram, Baan Taling Ngam however, this Wat is not as conveniently located on the ring road as Wat Kanuram, not too far away from the Waterfalls at Baan Namuang.
Just like Wat Racha Tamaram in Lamai a little further down the road towards Lamai, Wat Kanuram has construction going on.
It seems that the Samui Temples are doing well with the tourist increase over the years!
The building pictured above is being under construction and the tree in front of this building was in the way, so it must have been decided to cut parts of the trees away. Funnily enough this was done on yesterday's Buddhist Lent Day, so it was a bit of a surprise to see the Monks labouring so hard. They kept their vows though and didn't leave the Temple grounds.
This picture shows the Monks waiting for the guy with the chainsaw in the middle of the tree, to cut some incisions into the branch. And do these chainsaws make a noise, oh yeah!
This is the moment the tree branch came down with the new building in the background. We were lucky to walk into the Temple ground whilst this was in full progress so we could witness this 'event'.
Here's a picture of the actual Monk, Luong Por Daeng, before he died and Mummified his body.
This Temple I can highly recommend to visit, it's not everyday that one can see a Mummified Monk with his own eyes.
A thin layer of overcast is still in the sky but I expect this to be burnt away by the sun one this starts to heat up. Current temp at 7 am is 26.7C.
Yesterday was another hot and sunny day with a max temp of 33.3C. During the late afternoon and early evening we had two showers though, one with thunder and lightning, it cooled things down a bit which I welcomed!
We went around the island yesterday, with visiting friends. At the waterfall at Baan Namuang I saw a typical Thai event happen in front of me, almost not recognising how unusual this may be for a Westerner.
The Thai ice cream vendor! Motorised by his motorbike with side car and besieged by all Thai kids and their parents.
Friday, 18 July 2008
Today it's Buddhist Lent Day or Khao Pansa in Thai, and I thought this would make for a good opportunity to visit the local temple in Plai Laem, just around the corner from our house.
It's interesting to see that the brand new Bot is almost finished with construction, a stark contrast to the state of this Bot one year ago or even in March this year.
Since the Monks stay for three months inside the temple grounds, candle wax is used to enlighten the Monks during their 'journey'.
Lots of local and not so local people who are on Samui visit the Temples around the island and make merit and give gifts to the Monks. This happens all around Thailand. Here a small group of merit makers are together with a local Monk. Note the big 'money tree' on the right hand side.
An older Bot on the premises doesn't look that great from the outside, but once you enter inside, spectacular wall paintings surround you, left, right, in the middle and above you!
Khun Jarit Humdonming, artist of this temple, spent more than three years adding finer details to the external parts of the temple. The tradition of temple art follows the dates back to centuries and providing a good example of the influence and style that are still significant in modern Thai religious architecture. The elaborate entry doors were made from two enormous slabs of Laotian hardwood and are intricately carved with images of the life of the Buddha.
Here's the painting on top of the main entrance gate. Watch the ceiling paintings as well. Absolutely amazing!
Each window has two wooden panels with wood carvings. In between the windows are big wall paintings, on your right hand side is such a wall painting. Both depict stories of Lord Buddha's previous lifes.
A better view of one of the paintings in between the windows.
The main Buddha statue that is worshipped in this Bot at Wat Plai Laem. During this Buddhist Lent day, plenty of, mainly local, Thai people make merit inside the Bot wearing white dresses.
For Buddhist amulet collectors, this is an excellent temple as well, currently they have two sales points for amulets.
This temple is one of the high lights of temples on Samui, in my opinion. It's located near Big Buddha, which is much more well known but this Temple is definitely worth a visit!
A nice blue sky welcomed me this morning, whilst waking up on Samui again. Current temp at 7am is 27.2C.
Today is actually Buddhist Lent day, as reported yesterday and yesterday was Asarnha Bucha day, where one walks around the temple. Unfortunately we had other obligations last night, attending the IE party, so we missed this.
Yesterday was a nice and warm day with lots of sunshine, max temp reached 32.3C.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Another gorgeous blue sky is reigning over the Gulf and Koh Tao is baking this morning! Current temp at 7 am was 26.5C.
The PADI IE has also been completed today, see my dive blog for updates and we'll be on our way back to Koh Samui later today.
Today and tomorrow are also big Buddhist holidays, known as Buddhist Lent or in Thai as Khao Pansa, where tomorrow people will walk around the temple. Stay tuned for pictures of this event tomorrow at our local Plai Laem temple.
It's also the day when His Majesty replaces the Emerald Buddha's summer costume with that for the rainy season, which traditionally begins on the first day of Buddhist Lent.
Yesterday was a very warm, edging in on hot, day on Koh Tao. Sunshine all day long! Max temp reached 33C.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Since I'm on Koh Tao to provide moral and logistical support for my IDC candidates during a PADI IE, this update is from Koh Tao, and Koh Tao is gearing up for another steaming hot day. The sky is blue and it's looking gorgeous. Current temp at 7 am is 26.5C.
You can follow our IE adventures on tomorrow's update on my dive blog.
Yesterday was a lovely day, all day long blue skies, early in the morning when we left Koh Samui and all day long on Koh Tao. There was a rather unexpected but refreshing shower in the early evening which rarely lasted 15 minutes.
Max temp reached 33.7C.
In case you didn't know, it's all about diving on Koh Tao, as this car proofs. Drive and dive safely!
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
It's another beautiful blue sky, waiting to heat up the day. Current temp at 7 am is 26.7C.
Yesterday was a spotless blue sky all day long with a max temp ranging around the mid thirties.
We're off to Koh Tao today, my IDC candidates and myself, for the PADI IE, if you're interested in their progress, you can follow them along on my dive blog.
Monday, 14 July 2008
A thin cloud layer is still there, seemingly just waiting to be burnt away by the sun once it heats up, just like yesterday. Current temp at 7 am is 27C.
Yesterday we completed the current July IDC on a sunny Chaweng beach. The cloud cover yesterday morning turned out to be nothing else but a thin layer, quickly burnt away by a blazing sun. All day long it was lovely and sunny with a max temp of 34C.
Below two pictures of Chaweng beach, slowly getting busier and enjoying the sun.
Sunday, 13 July 2008
Chaweng hosts it's own Chinese temple, located near the Laem Din market.
It's easy recognizable, coming from Laem Din market, when you come to a crossing with these two monkeys on it. The way to the left leads away to Chaweng Noi (an interesting road to follow, leading to some 'unexplored' roads) and if you continue straight on, you hit the ring road.
Inside are plenty of very colourful details and the main 'Altar' is a real eye catcher.
Today the overcast is back but it's very bright and it seems that sun may break through. Current temp at 7 am is 27C.
Yesterday was beautiful day with lots of sunshine and it was warm. Around 7 pm though it started to rain followed by some thunder and lightning. The rain moved around the northern part, it was dry in Bang Rak but heavy rain in Bophud and dry in Maenam again. Than it rained very hard in Maenam but was dry in Bophud and a bit of drizzle in Bang Rak.
Max temp reached 33.2C.
According to Windguru there's going to be a lot of cloud cover until Wednesday when it should start to clear up, however, they don't predict a lot of rain.
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Once more it's almost a perfect blue sky this morning with a current temp of 26.5C at 7 am.
Yesterday was a sunny day all day long with hardly any clouds at all. Max temp reached 34C.
Interesting news is that at last the graft charges against former PM Thaksin have started.
Friday, 11 July 2008
A merely blue sky is stretching out over Samui with a current temp at 7 am of 25.4C.
Yesterday was a nice day with lots of sunshine mixed with some overcast in the sky. Around 5 pm it started to rain a bit and very dark clouds seem to threaten over the north coast of the island but they kind of drifted past Samui and it remained dry after the initial small shower.
Max temp reached the early thirties.
Big news yesterday was that Bangkok was voted world's best city in travel poll and on a lesser note that Foreign Minister Noppadon resigned after a lot of controversial, following increasing political pressure involving the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as the world heritage.
The current government is under a lot of pressure and it seems that everyone is speculating how long they can still hold out.
Thursday, 10 July 2008
The overcast is slowly replaced by sun and blue skies this morning. Current temp at 7 am is 27C.
Yesterday saw overcast all day long but it stayed dry and it was warm with a max temp of 31.7C.
The forecast seems to be optimistic for Samui, with a very sunny weekend, I prefer to check Windguru, have a look.
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
It's looking very cloudy, but dry at the moment this morning with a current temp of 26.7C.
Yesterday morning saw a lot of rain until about noon, after that it stopped raining but didn't really clear up and the sun was scarce yesterday. Max temp reached only 27.8C.
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
It's very cloudy this morning without too much blue and/or sun being spotted. Current temp at 7 am is 26.5C.
Yesterday was a reasonable day with plenty of overcast and some blue spots with sunshine until around 3.30 pm when it started to rain very hard for about an hour. This caused some flash floods, as you can see on the picture below, the road leading to Chaweng not too far away from the new Ice Bar, near the lake road.
After that hour of rain it remained dry but cloudy. Max temp reached 33C nonetheless.
Monday, 7 July 2008
It's cloudy this morning with a current temp of 25.6C.
Yesterday was a warm day with plenty of sun although there was some overcast. Max temp reached 32C.
Below are two pictures taking by one of my IDC candidates, Richard ten Brinke, who's a photographer. Enjoy.
Big Buddha during sun rise, early in the morning, just a few days ago.
Sunday, 6 July 2008
It's almost a perfect morning with a beautiful blue sky and a current temp of 25C at 7am.
Yesterday was a strange one, 15 minutes after I wrote that it may turn into a nice day, it was very dark with strong winds and very hard rain! However, the rain didn't last too long and noon it was nice and sunny again. Max temp reached 32C yesterday.
Saturday, 5 July 2008
It's very cloudy this morning with just a few blue spots around although it looks like the sun may come out later. Current temp at 7 am is 25C.
Yesterday was a nice and sunny day up till around 7 pm when it started to rain for a bit, in typical tropical style, hard rain for a short period and then quickly dry afterwards. Max temp reached 32.7C.
Friday, 4 July 2008
It's a fairly nice morning today with plenty of sunshine and blue skies, although right now some clouds are starting to block the sun out, current temp at 7 am is 26C.
Yesterday started out very cloudy but after noon it cleared up and blue skies changed the seat a few times with cloud formations during the afternoon. Around 5 pm however it was sunny and very nice with birds singing in our garden. Max temp reached 31.7C.
Thursday, 3 July 2008
It's very cloudy this morning with a current temp of 25.7C at 7 am.
Yesterday was cloudy and wet until noon, after that the weather changed, the clouds made place for some sunshine and it was a nice day after all. Max temp reached 31C.
Today I'm starting another IDC program, follow my dive blog for regular updates.
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
In my blog post last week about the Chinese Temple in Hua Thanon, I mentioned
a Hainanese legacy on Samui. Over the weekend, when we visited the waterfall in Baan Namuang, I went back to Hua Thanon to take some pictures of typical Hainan style houses.
Here are three perfect samples of such Hainan style houses in Hua Thanon, as you can see, they're made of wood and typically have two floors. This one seems to be housing a motorbike repair shop.
Here's an other prime sample of a stand alone Hainan style house in Hua Thanon.
This is also a typical sight in Hua Thanon, a few Hainan style houses next to each other, build in to a variety of shops or restaurants.
Here's a sample from a Hainan style house in Nathon, converted in to a restaurant.
Another excellent place to find houses build in this style are in Nathon and Bophud, although in Bophud, a lot of the original houses have been renovated but it has been done in a nice authentic way giving it a modern flair.
BTW It's 10 am and it has drizzled and rained pretty much from 8 am onwards and there's a rather dark, cloud filled sky.