Sunday, 31 August 2008
Whilst Thailand is in turmoil, Pattaya is waking up under a fairly blue sky with some scattered clouds and a current temp at 7 am of around 25C.
Yesterday we completed our first day of diving in Pattaya, and it was a nice and warm day. Lots of sunshine out over the ocean but fairly cloudy over land. Max temp was in the lower thirties, 31.7C to be precise.
Saturday, 30 August 2008
Arrived save and well in Pattaya yesterday and it looks nice this morning with a lot of blue sky around. Current temp at 7 am is around 26C.
Friday, 29 August 2008
Maybe a bit early, but considering the fact that I'm about to leave to Pattaya for the 'rest' of the month, I thought it legit to wave goodbye to this lovely August from Samui.
In contrast to last years August which saw lots of bad weather all over the SE Asian region, including flooding, typhoons and storms which claimed many lives, this years August was and still is lovely!
The weather has been almost non stop great, exactly as it should be on Samui during August. Hot and sunny!
The diving I did during this August was also excellent, great dives at Chaweng Beach, a whaleshark at Cumpon Pinnacle and a fantastic dive at Sail Rock. I can't recommend enough to dive during your holidays. If you're interested, let me know and I can help you out with your requests.
Furthermore, thanks for reading and following my blog(s) and stay tuned for my Pattaya adventures.
Once more a blue sky reigns over Samui and at this moment no dark clouds visible over the Gulf. Current temp at 7 am is 25.4C.
In a few moments I'm off to Pattaya for a long weekend, so my next updates will be from Pattaya.
Yesterday started out lovely, but the dark clouds that were lingering over the Gulf moved in fast and around 10.30 am when I was in Maenam, running errands, it hosed down with a vengeance. When I needed to leave the car, water was ankle deep on the road! Plai Laem had only a little bit of rain however and around 3 pm the sun came out again and heated things up.
Max temp reached 31.7C
Thursday, 28 August 2008
My last hospital review, for the time being, of hospitals on Samui is about Bandon International Hospital .
A blazing blue sky is shaping up with cloud formations over the ocean, the Gulf of Thailand, which surrounds Koh Samui. Max temp at 7 am is 25.5C.
Yesterday started out very nicely and I was on a dive trip to Koh Tao pretty much all day and we had lots of clouds but no rain. This in contrast to Samui, where it drizzled all day long until 3 pm at our side of the island. Max temp only reached 30.5C.
Tomorrow I'll be off to Pattaya for a long weekend to complete some wreck diving courses so my next updates will be from Pattaya.
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
It's a near perfect blue sky overland this morning but heavy clouds linger over the Gulf. The current temp at 7am is 27C.
Yesterday was fairly cloudy but with enough sunshine as well. As usual during this August, it was warm! Max temp reached 33C.
Monday, 25 August 2008
Sunday, 24 August 2008
There's a fair amount of clouds on the sky this morning although the sun starts to peek through. Current temp at 7 am is 27.5C.
Saturday, 23 August 2008
In my series about Samui Hospitals, it's time to talk about Bangkok Samui Hospital in Chaweng.
A very blue sky rules again this morning with some isolated thin cloud flocks in it. Once the sun heats up, these fluffy clouds may easily evaporate. Current temp at 7 am is 25.7C.
Yesterday was once more warm and sunny with a max temp of 33.8C.
Friday, 22 August 2008
Thursday, 21 August 2008
During my stays at Koh Tao, there are a couple of places where I hang out a lot and the Safety Stop is definitely one of them. It's located directly opposite the Sea Lodge, the place I usually stay at when on Koh Tao, so it's also very conveniently located for me.
It's smack downtown Mae Haad, which is also convenient and they serve a nice range of pub food. Free Wi-fi comes in handy and in the evening a lot of divers hang out here.
Once on Koh Tao, a place to visit and enjoy a couple of cold drinks at and possibly a bite. Enjoy it.
All morning it's been clear and sunny with a hard wind though, here on Koh Tao where my IDC candidates passed their PADI IE with flying colors. For an update on this, please check my Dive blog. Current temp at 10am is already 31.2C.
Yesterday was another warm and sunny day with a max temp of 33.3C at Koh Tao. The breeze kept it nicely cool!
Tomorrow I'll be reporting from Koh Samui again.
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
A nice blue sky with plenty of cloud shreds in it though. Current temp at 8 am is 27C on Koh Tao.
Today I'm on Koh Tao for a PADI IE and tomorrow afternoon we're hopefully on our way again to Koh Samui with 4 new Scuba Instructors.
Yesterday was a nice and warm day with very nice breeze that kept things fairly cool. Max temp reached 33C on Koh Tao.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Light overcast and a rather strong wind. It's 30C at 10am on Koh Tao.
Yesterday was sunny and warm again with a max temp in the mid thirties, to be more precise, 34.2C.
I'm off to Koh Tao for two nights for a PADI IE but will keep posting from Koh Tao.
Monday, 18 August 2008
How about an almost perfect blue sky for early starters? Current temp at 7 am is 26.6C.
Yesterday was nothing short but sunny and hot! Max temp reached 34.7C.
Today we're completing the August PADI IDC and tomorrow I'll be off to Koh Tao for two nights for a PADI IE.
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Saturday, 16 August 2008
Friday, 15 August 2008
There's lots of blue patches and sunshine but also a good amount of clouds, but it looks like it will become another very sunny and hot day. Current temp at 7 am is 27.1C.
Yesterday was a sunny and warm day. Max temp reached 33.8C.
Thursday, 14 August 2008
It's been just 4 days now since the crash at the 7-11 in Bang Rak.
This morning saw a lovely blue sky with some minor cloud formations in it. Current temp at 7am is 25C.
Yesterday started out as usual, with fairly heavy overcast. By 10 am however, the sun had burned all clouds away and it was sunny and very warm for the rest of the day with a max temp of 34.5C.
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
In my series about hospitals on Samui, it's time to visit the Government hospital in Nathon.
For most tourists, this will remain a closed book, but a lot expats may be familiar with this hospital.
It's fairly cloudy but also fairly bright, it looks like the sun may burn the layer away early. Current temp at 7 am is 26.6C.
Yesterday was similar to previous days this month, starting out with overcast but gradually more and more sun coming in. Max temp reached 32.2C.
Chaweng Beach yesterday in the early afternoon, during our Open Water dive of my current IDC.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
This can sometimes be a bit of an adventure, since gas stations aren't that widely available.
Around Chaweng, there are three gas stations, two PTT ones and a brand new Caltex or Texaco one on the ring road. At least I think it's Caltex or Texaco, it's so new I don't even remember the name. It opened less than a month ago and I don't drive by a lot there.
Around Samui there are less than 10 gas stations in total.
What you do find a lot along the road, all over the island, are similar places like this, where gasoline (or any variation on the word gasoline) is sold by the bottle. These bottles are empty Thai whiskey bottles and hold no more than 0.7 litres but are charged at liter prices or more. This is near Chaweng beach road.
This is actually not only done exclusively on Samui but throughout Thailand and the region. I remember Vietnam, driving around Saigon, uh, I mean, Ho Chi Min City of course and in the country side just one single bottle meant that gasoline was sold. Especially in the country side this is common practice.
When I arrived on Samui, 9 years ago, the gasoline price was around 10 Baht per liter. Over the years there was a regular increase, but it kind of stayed stable around 14 to 20 Baht range.
Until recently and within almost a year (or two) the prices rocketed to over 40 baht per liter. Especially Diesel, which was subsided for a long time by the Thai government started to rise in price quickly once the subsidy was revoked.
Very recently, the gasoline prices dropped a few Baht again, which is a relief. It's a world wide problem however and I'm pretty sure that for a lot of readers who don't reside in Thailand the local gas prices are cheap compared to where you may live, but don't forget that prices here almost tripled!
Another interesting bit is that the gasoline on Samui is one Baht more expensive per liter compared to the mainland but that on Koh Tao the price of gasoline is two Baht more expensive per liter! That's island life for you and the price you pay.
Monday, 11 August 2008
Today sees a fairly thick cloud layer and the wind is back again. Current temp at 7 am is 27C.
Yesterday saw lots of sunshine and it was very warm with a max temp of 34.2C.
Yesterday's post about the car crash in Bang Rak saw a lot of views, which I expected and it will most likely (and hopefully) draw a few more viewers. However, what keeps baffling me, is the amount of views the post about the Chinese Temple in Maenam keeps attracting, it has in general two or three times more views than the next popular item, which currently/recently was the August 2007 archive.
Sunday, 10 August 2008
This morning shortly after 7 am I got a phone call from one of my IDC candidates of my current IDC, stating that if I want to get to work, I better find a way around the Bang Rak 7-11, since it was on fire.
I went to have a look and this is what I saw shortly beyond the Seatran pier in Bang Rak, a massive black smoke cloud hanging over Bang Rak. The road was blocked both ways.
Coming nearer to the 7-11, it was burning very hard. This picture shows a car that crashed into the concrete pole in front of 7-11. According to the local grapevine, it was a young Thai male driving the car, drunk, arguing with his girl friend. He somehow got off the road and crashed into the pole.
Here's a better picture of the inferno. Apparently the girl inside the car had burn wounds, similar as one customer and one staff member of 7-11. No serious injuries were sustained however.
Two firetrucks were at the scene at 7.30, one at each side of the road and on my way to work, around 8 am, more fire trucks were arriving.
At some moment, when I was way too close to the 7-11, there was a big explosion, followed by a second one, when all the electricity spaghetti blew up, around 7.30 am. I barely managed to get the second explosion on camera.
Coming back from work, in the late afternoon, here's an idea of the damage done. The 7-11 is no longer, a similar fate experienced by the car. A lot of activity was going on, fixing and repairing the electricity cables.
The pictures almost look like taken in a war zone!
This update is late because there was a severe accident in Bang Rak today, check here.
There's a fairly thin cloud layer this morning but right now it prevents the sun from shining down. Most likely this cloud layer will be burnt away quickly once the sun heats up. Current temp at 7 am is 26C.
Yesterday was gorgeous, a lot of sunshine and very warm. There was overcast at times but the majority of the day saw lots of sunshine! Max temp reached 34.2C.
Saturday, 9 August 2008
There's an almost perfect blue sky this morning and no wind! It looks gorgeous with a current temp at 7 am of 27.2C. Nice and warm.
Yesterday was another day that started out with overcast but during the afternoon the sun broke through and did his thing. Max temp reached 33.6C.
The forecast for next week looks nice and bright and let's hope the sunshine keeps at it!
Friday, 8 August 2008
It's windy and cloudy and it seems like a fairly thick cloud layer as well. It looks like it will take a while to burn a hole in that layer. Current temp is 27.8C, fairly warm.
Yesterday started out with heavy overcast but in the mid afternoon the sky cracked open and the sun burst through. It stayed dry all day and the max temp reached 33.5C, really warm!
Although the mornings now consistently have overcast, it's dry and warm every day with various degree of sunshine throughout the day. The wind seems to have picked up though.
Thursday, 7 August 2008
There's a bit of overcast laced with blue spots and some sun. There's also a bit of wind. Current temp at 7 am is 26.4C.
Yesterday started out very nice but soon turned around in a fairly thick overcast layer. It stayed dry all day, but there wasn't a lot of sunshine.
Max temp reached 32.2C, still very warm and agreeable.
Today I'm starting an IDC again, for updates follow my dive blog.
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Living in the tropics makes for a completely different garden life experience, with different fruits and animals in it compared to (European) Western countries, where I originate from. I noticed that it was more than a year ago since I posted about our garden, which surrounds our house, so this is as good as any time to follow up with a few pix.
The post from a year also had a picture from bananas, not a very common sight in your average European garden. Here's some very young bananas, hatching(?) on their tree. Haha, sorry, but I don't know how this is called in English. Hatching sounds good!
Interestingly enough, banana trees only bear fruit once and than you can cut the tree-trunk. Around the tree trunk there will already be plenty of new, smaller tree trunks that grow rapidly and at some stage have their own bananas.
This is a tree trunk next to the one pictured above. These bananas are out a bit longer already.
About a month ago this butterfly visited our garden and it had some beautiful colours.
Unfortunately I'm not as good as Monique in her photoblog with the names of the species, but I found them interesting, beautiful and colourful enough to take their picture and post them here.
Hope you enjoy these pictures and entry as much as my usual banter.
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
In my 'series' about the Samui hospitals, after my report on Samui International Hospital, it's time for the second entry, being Thai International Hospital in Chaweng. It's one of the newer hospitals on the island and they host amongst others two dive medically trained physicians who work narrowly together with the SSS hyperbaric chamber in Bang Rak on Samui.
They also boast to have its own in-house certified plastic surgeon, and are equally proud of their comprehensive Hemodialysis Centre.
There's a light grayish overcast with blue spots in it. Current temp at 7 am is 25.3C.
Yesterday was a warm, sunny and hot day with a max temp of 32.5C.
Here's a picture of yesterdays sunset near Bophud.
Monday, 4 August 2008
The Ghost Road, or locally known as Thanon Pee, is a short cut between Bang Rak and Chaweng. The road was in a very bad state however and at some point, turned out to be one of the most dangerous roads on the island, with broken concrete in many places and where sometimes iron rods were sticking out and literally shish kebab-ing motorbike drivers. On top of that there were massive sand 'hills' on the road which you had to take on. All in all, not a very nice road to travel.
A lot of damage was done by overloaded trucks who sped down the narrow road to save time and distance using the road as a shortcut.
Now after almost a year of construction, believe it or not, the road is completed and looks great, no bumps, no sand hills to climb and no holes in the ground or cracked concrete. There's even a sewer installed and during some very recent hard tropical rains, there was no flash flooding along the Ghost Road!
It's a lot clearer and brighter this morning with still enough cloud cover, but the sun is having it's wicked ways through some blue patches! It looks a lot nicer for a change. Current temp at 7am is 26.6C.
Yesterday was not a great on Samui, it rained pretty much all day with just a glance of the sun. During the early evening it cleared up though and there was no rain during the night time. Max temp reached 31.8C.
I spent all day on the boats again, diving around Koh Tao and we saw a Whale Shark yesterday, one of the biggest fish and it's pretty much every divers dream to see one. I've put up some pictures of this Whale Shark on my dive blog. We had fairly good weather on Koh Tao with some nice sunshine during the afternoon. All in all a very nice day!
Sunday, 3 August 2008
Although nobody wants to end up in a hospital during a holiday, I still though it a good idea to compile a list of hospitals available on Koh Samui.
When I arrived 9 years ago, there were only three hospitals on Samui; Samui International Hospital about which I'm posting right now, the Government Hospital in Nathon and Bandon Hospital in Bophud.
Since than, two more hospitals have been added, Thai International Hospital and Bangkok Samui Hospital, both in Chaweng.
It's also worthwhile to mention in this thread the two hyperbaric chambers that are currently located on Koh Samui.
Samui International Hospital (SIH) has been my hospital of choice for most of my out patient visits. I find the staff friendly and the doctors seem to know what they're doing.
SIH used to be a resort, way back when and there's a swimming pool behind the reception area, which is used for dive training by some dive centres on the island!
The location of SIH is excellent, almost smack downtown Chaweng, towards the Northern part, near the Amari resort.
Here's their full contact info;
SAMUI INTERNATIONAL HOSPITAL (SIH)
Northern Chaweng Beach Road, 90/2 Moo 2, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Thailand, 84320. Tel: +66-077-230781-2 Tel: +66-077-422272 Tel: +66-077-411349
A dark, grey sky welcomed me to this new day and soon afterwards it started to hose down. It's raining cats and dogs right now. Not the kind of August weather one would expect right now, unfortunately. Current temp at 7 am is 25.7C.
Yesterday saw a day with overcast pretty much all day long and occasionally there was a drizzle for a few moments. Nothing serious though. Max temp reached the lower thirties.
Two days ago a big drug ring was busted on Samui, during a raid on the island by the Thai DEA, 30 people got arrested and 13 locations got searched. The US DEA was also involved in this operation.
Saturday, 2 August 2008
There's some good progress again this month. Last month's update saw the completion of the actual Pagoda on top of the complex.
Here's a picture of part of the actual Pagoda on the 'roof' of the whole complex. In the bigger hall, below the Pagoda and in the Pagoda itself, Buddha's foot prints are being constructed.
This picture is being taken inside the actual Pagoda, whilst some workers are completing the out structure of Buddha's footprint. Constructions like this, of Buddha's footprint are a common view in Buddhist Temples throughout Thailand and a lot of the Temples on Samui have a footprint of Buddha on their premises.
In this picture some ornaments are being tacked onto the construction's wall, note the ornament on the right in the background.
The entrance is located at the foot of the mountain that leads up to Samui's Q Bar.
It's very cloudy again and it seems that the sun is struggling to burn this layer away. Current temp at 7 am is 25.5C.
Yesterday saw a grey sky all day long but it stayed dry until the early afternoon. Around 6 pm there was a shower and it must have rained during last night since this morning everything was wet. Max temp reached 31C.
Not a great start of this August but it's still early days and yesterday was a great day to have spend at the beach.
Here's an update on my request to vote for my blog at Thai Stars. My blog started out with 6 votes at position # 122. Now there are 22 votes and my blog moved from 4th, 8th and 25th to even back to 109th position. This morning the blog is at # 40 with an average of 4.0.
It seems that some people also vote very low, hence the drop to # 109, this was with an average of 3.9.
Thanks for voting though and I appreciate it if you keep voting.
Friday, 1 August 2008
A decent cloud cover reigns over Samui. It will take a while for the sun to burn through this. Current temp at 7am is 26.2C.
Yesterday saw clouds covering the sky until mid afternoon, when the sun finally cracked the cover and it turned sunny for the remainder of the day. Max temp reached 32.5C.