Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Goodbye to March 2009

Goodbye to March 2009

March has been good this year, in contrast to last year March when there was loads of rain and bad weather.

This years March edition saw plentiful of sun and hot weather and is gearing up nicely towards April, usually the hottest month in the year.

Significant news at the home front is that the children have started their school holidays we're having a busy household right now!

Hope you enjoy the blog and that you will either visit Samui or Thailand soon or that you consider coming out here, the weather is grand and there's plenty to do or alternatively just sit back and relax at a quiet beach.

Camille

31st March, 2009

Today's weather;

Partly cloudy but very warm at an early hour, 29C at 7 am. It looks like another very hot day is brewing up.

Yesterday was once more hot and sunny. Max temp reached 31.8C.

Camille

Monday, 30 March 2009

Chaweng Cove Resotel, Chaweng

Chaweng Cove Resotel, Chaweng

As an expat living since 1999 on Koh Samui, I've had the chance to see and visit plenty of hotels and resorts around Koh Samui. From cheap ones to luxury, everything's still available on Samui.

To help those people out that are planning to visit Koh Samui and are looking for accommodation, I decided to put a bit more effort into my blog with respects of hotel reviews.
Despite my Samui hotel blog that already exists and where I also reviewed Chaweng Cove Resotel, it may be more beneficial at this moment for people visiting this blog rather than my Samui hotel blog.

The good thing about my reviews is, in my humble opinion, that I can tell you what I like about a place and why I like it, rather than just summing up pre-fabricated 'this is great' phrases from other booking sites.

If you're interested in a hotel that I talk about, you can use either the Agoda or Sawasdee or R24 booking sites, both are extremely user friendly and easy to navigate and Agoda also has a nice reward program.

Down to business though on the Chaweng Cove Resotel, my sister was here rather unexpectedly, late last month and we decided to have a look at the Resotel, since that's where she'll be staying with her family come August this year, including three kids in the 10- to 13 year old range.
This meant that a cheaper and more budget oriented place had to come into the picture and voila, here's the Resotel!

Our impression was very good and positive. When my sister asked if she could have a look around and see the rooms where they were supposed to stay at later this year, the guy at reception went through great lots of time and effort to show us around. Well done and highly appreciated by all of us. Obviously we also took the opportunity to take some pictures, which you can see here. Real pictures and not taken from a booking site!

This little path is something we really liked and it also gives a nice atmosphere to the place. The rooms that were shown to us ranged in price and size but all looked clean and well taken care of.

This is a similar room that my sister will end up in, in the main building but with a balcony. All rooms seemed to have all the necessities required for a standard room nowadays, like bathroom, fridge and TV, just to name a few.
Amenities at this resort include a swimming pool, available massage services, beach side dining and wireless Internet access.

There are a total 101 rooms varying in size and price.
The hotel is directly located at Chaweng beach and has a nice strip of beach in front of it.

The pool looks also very attractive and rather big, there are three different basins in this set up.
All in all definitely a place that my sister and my family is now looking forward to so we can enjoy some time together at said beach and pool!
For booking on Agoda or Sawasdee/R24, please click the highlighted links.
Hope you enjoyed this little review.
Camille



30th March, 2009

Today's weather;


There's an overcast layer this morning although it doesn't look like it will rain, it's rather a haze. Current temp at 7 am is 26.4C.


Yesterday was more of the same like the previous days, hot and sunny. Max temp reached 31.7C.


We went for dinner at Sabeinglae in Lamai and it was outstanding, as usual. They actually opened a new seating area near the beach, since a couple of months and it's a really nice dining area with great view of the ocean.


Camille

Sunday, 29 March 2009

School holidays have started

School holidays have started

Which means that last Friday my daughter and son had their last day on school for this school term and year. Our house will be busy for the next couple of weeks! The holidays may slightly differ from school to school but they are all pretty much closed by now.

My daughter is in the highest class, Anubaan 3, so she 'graduated' this year but unfortunately she can't move on to another school, a new level and challenge since she's born just about 3 weeks out of the deadline for moving up another level.
Next year will see her back at the same school.

The school entrance before the masses invaded. Everything ready for a festive meet and the good luck fireworks had already been set off, as the bottom left corner proofs!


Outside the gates all kind of merchandise is being sold, including these 'cute' flower bouquets with a stuffed animal in it. Blue for the boys with a Doraemon and pink for the girls with a bear or a doll.


Inside somebody has the contract for the official photos, which loads of folks will purchase! The actual moment when the children are handed their 'graduation' paper is shot by the same guys that run the stand above and can be purchased separately, smart ($) thinking by the school.

It was soooo hot that everybody was waiting and hanging out under the trees or where ever there was shade on the school grounds.

Last but not least, I can't with hold this make shift Buddha offering place. A plastic tree nailed up against a tree, a true classic in the 'This is Thailand' vein!

Camille

29th March, 2009

Today's weather;

Mild thin fluffy layers are up in the sky but the majority is blue! This is a great time to be in Samui, with Songkran, the Thai new year coming up soon as well.
Current temp at 7 am is 26.7C.

Yesterday saw another hot and sunny day. Max temp reached 31.7C.

Camille

Saturday, 28 March 2009

28th March, 2009

Today's weather;

It's blue, it's actually very blue this morning and another very hot day is in the making. Current temp at 7am is 25C.

Yesterday was sunny and hot. Max temp reached 31.3C.

Camille

Friday, 27 March 2009

27th March, 2009

Today's weather;

This morning looks a bit more clouded, although it's warm already. Current temp at 7 am is 25.5C.

Yesterday was sunny and hot again. I was out on he boat diving at Sail Rock with a group of 21 Hong Kong school kids of which I reported on my dive blog, have a look. The picture below is taken on the way back from the dive boat with a sunset at the Nathon side of Samui.
Max temp reached 31.6C.


Camille

Thursday, 26 March 2009

26th March, 2009

Today's weather;

More blue skies over Samui with some beautiful, very white cumulus clouds in the background.
Current temp at 7 am is in the mid twenties Celsius.

Yesterday was another baking day, very hot and dry! Max temp reached the lower thirties Celsius.

Camille

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

25th March, 2009

Today's weather;

A blue sky is nicely shaping up again which looks like to be another sizzling hot day. Current temp at 7 am is 25.8C.

Yesterday was hot and sticky, it's getting so warm and the humidity is so high that the sweat just rolls down freely although the max temp only shows 31.8C, it feels a lot warmer!

Camille

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

24th March, 2009

Today's weather;

An almost near perfect blue sky is showing off this morning Current temp at 7 am is 25.5C.
All day long crickets and the like are producing a racket in the garden in the back of the house, it reminds me of hot Greek summer holidays, driving around the Greek islands on a motorbike, many years back when a similar racket was all over the place.

Yesterday was dry and very hot, a max temp of 31.2C doesn't suffice to describe how hot it is getting.
At around 10 pm there was a thunder and lightning show in the distance but it didn't get near our house.

Camille

Monday, 23 March 2009

The Phuket Weather Blog

The Phuket Weather Blog

There should be plenty more weather blogs all over Thailand, I would love to see them pop up and I would follow them accordingly! Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin come to mind with many other possibilities up in the air.

Jamie Monk in Phuket is running exactly such a blog, the Phuket Weather Blog! Just like me, he works in the dive industry and runs a dive center in Karon, Phuket and just like me, he arrived in Thailand some 10 years after having run around the world for a bit but chose Thailand to settle down and start and raise a family. A lot of similarities!

Another great blog run by Jamie is the Real Phuket Blog, choc full of useful information about Phuket, similar to this blog and it's quite possible that in the future the Samui weather blog may split into a weather blog and a Samui blog, just like the Phuket blogs run by Jamie.

My family likes to visit Phuket and I've reported about our visits to Phuket accordingly. There's plenty to do in Phuket, it's Thailands biggest island and besides it's lovely beaches you can easily fill your days with interesting activities. We like the Kata and Rawai area of Phuket best although we never really explored the northern part of the island.

If you're planning to visit Phuket, make sure to visit Jamie's weather and Phuket blogs and get some real hands on information before you go. Blogs like Jamie's and mine is were excellent information can be found on weather and activities since we live here and report accordingly and we both agree that it's going to be hot! Songkran, here we come!

Jamie, keep on blogging and hopefully we do meet soon indeed!

Camille

23rd March, 2009

Today's weather;

It's a mix this morning, plenty of blue with the sun currently beaming down but there are loads of big and (some) dark clouds looming everywhere. Current temp at 7 am is 27C and it's definitely heating and getting in shape up for the April baking like temperatures.

Yesterday was dry, sunny and hot! Max temp reached 31C.

Camille

Sunday, 22 March 2009

22nd March, 2009

Today's weather;

An almost perfect blue sky is back over Samui and at 7 am it is 25.8C.

Yesterday was hot and sunny except for around 3 am when there was a short shower that wet the island. Max temp reached 30.7C.

Camille

Saturday, 21 March 2009

21st March, 2009

Today's weather;

There's a lot of blue out in the sky laced with little fluffy parts. Current temp at 7 am 25.4C.
Everything's wet outside so it must've rained last night.

Yesterday was dry and sunny with a max temp of 30.5C.

Camille

Friday, 20 March 2009

20th March, 2009

Today's weather;

This morning I woke up shortly before 6 am by some serious hard and very loud thunder, accompanied by lightning, followed by some hard rain.
Right now, shortly after 7 am there are some dark clouds and some blue patches which allows the sun to come through. Current temp at 7 am is 26C.

Yesterday was nice and warm and no rain. Max temp reached 30.5C.

Camille

Thursday, 19 March 2009

19th March, 2009

Today's weather;

On Koh Tao it's partly cloudy with plenty of blue posts. Current temp at 7 am is 24.5C. Later today I'm off to Samui again.

Yesterday it rained early in the morning for maybe half an hour and the rest of the day it was very nice, overcast but no rain and not too hot. Max temp reached 30.6C.

Camille

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

18th March, 2009

Today's weather;

Am in Koh Tao today and it's cloudy although still with plenty of blue patches. The current temp at 7 am is 25.8C.

Yesterday was steaming hot and sunny on Koh Tao.
Samui had two short showers yesterday with a max temp of 30.1C.

Camille

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

17th March, 2009

Today's weather;

It's dry with plenty of blue patches this morning and the sun peaking through. Current temp at 7 am is 27.8C.

Yesterday it remained dry all day and the max temp reached the lower thirties, Celsius!
After completing the current IDC I'm on my way to Koh Tao for two nights for a PADI IE, back on Thursday afternoon.

Camille

Monday, 16 March 2009

Angela's Bakery in Maenam update

Angela's Bakery in Maenam update

It's a year and a half ago that I first wrote about Angela's bakery in Maenam and I thought that it's more than time to give an update on this outstanding eatery in Maenam, just like I gave an update on the Picnic Basket in Bang Rak earlier this month.

Things are constantly in motion and change around and sometimes for the better, like in Angela's case, where to my big delightment, there's an aircon area installed now. It keeps the noise and sticky weather outside! Smart move Angela.

This is the 'new' outside area, for smokers and 'old style' Angela aficionados.

Inside however, the homely style has been kept intact, although it now also has a bit of a diner feel to it.

This shot may explain why I think it has a bit more of a diner feel to it, looking at the diner style set up on the right hand side. In the rear you can make out the big cooler fridge where all the baked dreams come true, like the carrot cakes, the cheese cakes and the apple pies (just to name a few) are just waiting for you to be ordered!

The food remained very good over the years and again pictured above, just like a year and half ago is the creamy chicken has. Other faves on the menu are Angela's club sandwich and the various salads that are on offer.
The home baked bread for sale is well worth the trip to Maenam. Angela's is open from 8 am to 6 pm, make sure to stop when driving by or plan a visit, it's one of the best lunches to be had on the island.
Camille

16th March, 2009

Today's weather;

And than it rained!

It's cloudy but dry at the moment with a current temp of 26.5C.

Yesterday there was overcast all day long but it remained dry until 4 pm, than it started to pour down and with intervals it rained pretty much all the time.
The forecast for next week varies from day to day when it comes to strength of wind and wave size but it seems that there will be some rain here and there.

Camille

Sunday, 15 March 2009

World Resort in Bophud celebrates it's 30th year Anniversary

World Resort in Bophud celebrates it's 30th year Anniversary

To the date it was 30 years ago that World Resort opened it's doors and today this was celebrated accordingly. If you follow my blog(s) on a regular base, you may have noticed that I spend a lot of time at World Resort, during the PADI IDC's that I teach here. I'm there almost on a monthly base and it's a lovely, family run resort that I can highly recommend.

The stage at the ready this afternoon, for various shows and celebrations. Although we had an invitation for the party, we decided not to attend due to the copious amounts of rain that fell tonight because we thought it wasn't such a good idea to take the children out tonight with so much rain. These pictures were taken during the day time, just after I closed the current IDC.

This morning monks came to bless World Resort in good Thai tradition. They chanted and prayed and everybody present was treated to a nice lunch, including the monks in their orange robes.

It's unfortunate how today, especially this evening, after a month long of great weather, the rain showed up today with a vengeance. I hope they still had a nice party after all!
Camille


15th January, 2009

Today's weather;

It's very cloudy with big and dark clouds in the sky. It rained last night a bit, it's drizzling right now and it definitely looks like more rain today. The wind also picked up. Current temp at 7 am is 24.1C.
For Samui it's good that it's raining today, everything was drying up and turning brown.

Yesterday was hot once more although there were clouds during the afternoon. Max temp reached 31C.

Camille

Saturday, 14 March 2009

14th March, 2009

Today's weather;

A total perfect blue sky is over Samui this morning, at least over the part where we live! Current temp is 26.4C at 7 am.
Enjoy as long as it lasts, since the forecasts predict a lot of rain starting tomorrow and mid next week, I may get what I asked for after all; rain!

Yesterday was hot once more, a max temp of 32.6C kept it very warm indeed.

Camille

Friday, 13 March 2009

13th March, 2009

Today's weather;

It's slightly cloudy with plenty of blue left though. Current temp at 7 am is 26.3C.

Yesterday was hot, once again. Max temp reached 30.8C.

Camille

Thursday, 12 March 2009

12th March, 2009

Today's weather;

An almost blue sky rules this morning with a current temp of 26.5C at 7 am.

Yesterday was once more hot, hot, hot. Max temp reached 31.3C.

Camille

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

11th March, 2009

Today's weather;

A nearly perfect blue sky with some occasional fluffy clouds that glide by, very idyllic! All this with a current temp at 7 am of 28.3C.
Time to pack your bags and visit Samui!

Yesterday was once more very hot, max temp reached 31.5C.

Camille

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

10th March, 2009

Today's weather;

A blue sky with some fluffy looking clouds is reigning over Samui this morning. Current temp at 7 am is 28.6C.

Yesterday it was once more very hot with a max temp of 31.3C. Beware though, twice there were a few raindrops, but they lasted about 2 nanoseconds. People living on Samui, locals, expats and mainland Thais could well do with real rain by now.

Camille

Monday, 9 March 2009

9th March, 2009

Today's weather;

Lots of blue with some occasional clouds makes up Samui's morning weather today. Current temp at 7 am is 26.7C.

Yesterday was hot once more and the max temp reached 31.3C.

Camille

Sunday, 8 March 2009

8th March, 2009

Today's weather;

There are some big clouds around, some very dark but there are also still plenty of blue spots in the sky with a current temp of 27C at 7 am. It would be great to see some rain on Samui, it's drying out and April is approaching fast, usually the warmest month of the year.

Yesterday was hot, so hot even that it makes it difficult to do things during the day, the heat seems to drain you! The max temp reached only 31.5C.


Sunset over Chaweng lake.
Camille

Saturday, 7 March 2009

It's wedding time again on Samui

It's wedding time again on Samui

A few days ago I already reported from a wedding held at My Friend restaurant in Bophud and today it was wedding time on Chaweng Lake road, just one of the three weddings I was aware of today.
This was a big wedding and the families involved must be well off, being able to organise such a big party.

This photo gives you an idea about the amount of people expected, it easily caters to approximately 2000 people who all will eat and drink! Chairs and tables until the eye can see.

During this wedding an unusual thing happened, which I hadn't seen before. Due the high day time temperature and the fact that there's no shade at the wedding party tables, everybody just hung out at the main building overlooking the party area until things cooled enough. The picture above shows everybody waiting in the shade.

Things you have to do to get some shade, umbrella's are the fashion of the day.

This photo clearly shows how after a while a lot of folks moved from the building to a shady part of the party area, but are still waiting for the sun to lower, so it's shade will cover the tables.
All tables on the left hand are still unoccupied.

A similar angle just after sunset and the whole party area is booming and buzzing with a good 2000 guests.

A typical set up for the wedding party table; catering to 8 persons, with drinks, soda, Coke and another soft drink and a bottle of Thai Whiskey, in this case the rather upscale Regency.
A real hi-so wedding will have Johnnie Walker Black label but a lot of the weddings we visit have lesser known brand names on the table.

A party for 2000 who need to eat asks for some serious catering facilities and the pots and pans used are massive!

After we left the party, we encountered a typical Thai party or gathering phenomena, we were blocked in or parked in by other party goers. Double parking is no problem and it seems that the average Thai person only cares how he can park his car and doesn't seem to be interested in how he or somebody else can get away!
My wife had to go back to the wedding and have the number plate call out so that the owner of the car could move his vehicle and we could leave.
Another interesting afternoon and always good to stuff yourself! Usually there's good Thai and local Samui style food and lots of family around. You end up with 8 people on a table and many times we sit down with some, to me, unknown local Samui people. A good thing that my wife is local, since she always tends to know all the folks that we share a table with.
At the end of the evening, when you go home, you hand over an envelope with money in it, ranging from a couple of hundred Baht to 500,- a 1.000,- or more, pending on what social level the wedding is and how well you know the bride and/or groom.
Camille

7th March, 2009

Today's weather;

A clear blue sky is above us on Samui and it looks like a promising and hot day! Current temp at 7 am is 26C.

Yesterday was hot and sunny. Max temp reached 'only' 30.5C but believe me, it feels a lot warmer!

It's really a shame that there are not more weather blogs in Thailand, except for the one that I know of; Jamie's Phuket weather blog. Jamie posted a blog article about my Koh Samui weather blog yesterday, an article worthwhile checking out!

Camille

Friday, 6 March 2009

6th March, 2009

Today's weather;

A clear blue sky with a promise of another hot day is shaping up with a current temp at 7 am of 25.8C.

Yesterday was sunny and warm. Max temp reached 30.8C.

Camille

Thursday, 5 March 2009

5th March, 2009

Today's weather;

An almost clear blue sky is shaping up over Samui and it promises to be another hot day. Current temp at 7 am is 25.6C.

Yesterday was once more sunny and warm with a max temp of 30.3C.

Camille

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

4th March, 2009

Today's weather;

Surprise, surprise but the almost clear blue sky is back, Yippeee. So much for the projected bad weather patch. It's a whooping 28.8C at 7 am.

Yesterday was supposedly the second day of rain and wind but it was only a little bit of wind that we saw and no rain, although there was a bit of a drizzle around 10 pm. Max temp reached 32.5C.
For the remainder of the week, nice and sunny weather is predicted.

As an expat living here, we could actually do with a bit of rain, before the wells all dry up again!

Camille

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Antica Locanda, Italian Restaurant in Bang Rak

Antica Locanda, Italian Restaurant in Bang Rak

Have been going to this great restaurant for years already, even to it's original Chaweng location (where I took my wife and her chaperone a few times, back in the days!) before they moved to Bang Rak, but never seem to take my camera with me to make some good pictures.

Let me start telling you that it's always busy in this place, which is a good sign to start with and the quality of the food has been consistent over the years, being excellent.


Since they opened shop in Bang Rak, they are near the entrance to the Ghost Road, it's fairly easy to find. It's also my favorite 'take away' place and service is quick and you can pick up your order within 10 or 15 minutes. Their phone number is 077 245 163.

When at last I did take my camera, I went for a special menu, Phuket lobster with black (squid ink) noodles in a creamy sauce. Very nice and well worth it!

My usual faves are home made gnocchis or a 'pizza melanzane espinaci'; a pizza with aubergine and spinach!

If you live in the Bang Rak area, I'ld be very surprised if you haven't been here already and if you're visiting or staying in a hotel in the area, it's an excellent place to look up if you're craving for Western food, let alone Italian food!

Camille


3rd March, 2009

Today's weather;

It looks good, a blue sky however there are some 'threatening' big clouds over the ocean. It's 28C at 7 am.

Yesterday was a lovely day, hot and dry on Samui although sometimes it looked as if it could rain. Nothing like the weather predictions made us believe!

All Specialty Instructor training was completed yesterday with a trip to Sail Rock and we had a short but intense shower near Koh Phangan but sunshine and a fairly flat ocean all day long.

It's also a good season for weddings again, we have two invitations this week and yesterday afternoon was the first one.

Guests leaving the wedding at My Friend in Bophud.


It was a classic, big Thai wedding with approximately a 1000 visitors.
Hope to see you soon on Samui!
Camille

Monday, 2 March 2009

Picnic Basket in Bang Rak update

Picnic Basket in Bang Rak update

It's been over a year now, November 2007, that I wrote an entry about Bang Rak's Picnic Basket.

The update about the Picnic Basket is that they changed location and now they're located at the right hand side of the local Recompression or Hyperbaric Chamber instead of the left hand site, when facing the chamber.

The menu pretty much remained the same but there's now the option for enjoying your food in an air conditioned room, which in my book is always an advantage.

The set up looks more or less the same but it's all a bit more spacious now and more comfortable.
For your English style food, this is a good place, especially if you live in or near Bang Rak.
Camille


2nd March, 2009

Today's weather;

There was some rain last night and big grey clouds are steaming up. Today should be wet! Current temp at 7 am is 27.7C.

Yesterday turned out to be another hot and dry day, except for the drizzle in the morning. Max temp reached the usual low thirties Celsius.

Camille

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Welcome to March 2009

Welcome to March 2009

March can be a very nice month, it tends to start to heat up things for April, the hottest month of the year on Samui.
Last year saw the first half of March rainy and windy and it looks like this year the first couple of days may be similar.

Let's see that we can get over those few rainy days and that we will be able to enjoy lots of sunshine during the rest of the month.

Camille

1st March, 2009

Today's weather;

As predicted, the weather in the beginning of march isn't that great, it's cloudy with a few blue spots and a light drizzle occasionally. The weather should clear up in a few days though, so no reason to panic. Current temp at 7 am is 28C.

Yesterday saw plenty of sunshine and it was hot with a max temp of 31.5C.

Yesterday also saw me diving around Koh Tao, more on that later on my dive blog, where we were joined by Alex Frew McMillan, a Hong Kong-based writer who specializes in business news and travel writing. Check out his stories on his websitehere.

Camille