Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Goodbye to August 2010
It's that time of the month again and a good time to wrap up this August and reflect a bit over this past 31 days.
Big Buddha watching over Koh Samui
Starting out with this month's weather, it was a bit up and down but overall a very enjoyable month with plenty of sunshine during the day time and plenty of rain during the evenings and nights. A great combination. The average daytime temperature was well over 30C.
This August seemed somehow quieter than previous Augusts that I experienced on Samui. I can only hope and cross my fingers that things will pick up again during September and October. This is an tropical holiday location and in order to keep that that status, we do need people that visit, simple as that! So folks, looking forward seeing you on Samui soon!
What did I do during this month?
First off I continued with a new series that I started on this, the Food on Wheels series, which has been received pretty well so far! It's an interesting and intriguing topic with plenty of opportunities to sample! Keep your eyes focused here for more.
Talking about food, I went to eat or had take away from my usual haunts; our neighbours at Clock Lana for inspiring Isaan food, Dcheed 2 for their delicious Muu Sateh and Catcantoo for their BBQ Spare ribs!
Posts on my blog this month that went down well seemed to be a post about coconut monkeys at work on Koh Tao.
This post was actually inspired an interesting post of about a girl climbing into trees to pluck fruit by Mr. Soombong, a fellow blogger.
In turn, my post inspired Martyn at Beyond The Mango Juice to write a very insightful story about monkey training. Talking about a snowball effect!
Whilst writing this post a pick up truck just come up into our garden to collect our coconuts that my Father in law had plummeting out of the trees yesterday. No monkeys involved though!
This leads me into the trail of looking at my fellow bloggers in Thailand and what they came up with.
Rick at Behind the Noodle Curtain is getting ready to move to the Land of Smiles and writes about his plans of actions and how all this affects him, Interesting reads!
Andy has a highly interesting blog about the administrative subdivisions of Thailand - history, current news and facts hardly found in English of Changwat, Amphoe, Tambon found a site with New years Cards for 2010 of the Three National Thai symbols. There's plenty of more good posts there if you want to find out about the wheeling and dealing of the Thai administration, which is surprisingly interesting.
He also has a great blog named the Unseen Thailand where he travels the less beaten path. He found an interesting museum in Bangkok, the Museum Siam, just go and have a read at his blog and before you know it you find yourself stumbling around the Big Mango looking for this place!
On to my fellow weather geek Jamie in Phuket. He also has two blogs worthwhile mentioning. The first is obviously my own blogs Phuket twin, The Phuket weather blog. He visited the local Phuket football team and writes about this in one of his updates.
Jamies Phuket is his other blog and that's exactly what this blog offers, cool inside info about Phuket. Amongst others he writes about a street fair in Kathu, always giving great photo opportunities.
To my big delight, Monique is back in action with her photo blog, a fellow Limburger on Samui who takes breath taking pictures, in my humble opinion.
Tom Yam writes about his life in Takhli in the province of Nakon Sawan. He's the new blog kid on the block and had some good posts up this month, one about tails!
Entrance Paul on to the scene. He's a fairly new blog kid on the block but has some very interesting posts about the things you encounter when living in a different culture. Very interesting observations and his latest post touches on an great topic, how to interact with your Thai neighbours. Keep it up Paul!
Malcolm who is retired in Thailand had been sick and didn't post a lot throughout August but at last there were some posts appearing again and he seems to be recovering. All the best from Samui to you Malcolm and looking forward to some more of your posts.
Mike in Prachuap Kiri Khan has also a few blogs to boost. He's a long time blogger about Thailand and he wrote an interesting post on how you can cross Thailand by foot within a day. Have a look and be surprised.
His other blog is about Thai Temples or Wat, one of his latest posts was about Wat Thap Sakae in Prachuap.
The great Talen has finally made the move to Thailand and is staying in Pattaya for his first year in order to settle down. He and his girlfriend Pookie are staying in a brand new condo, which in Thailand brings in a whole set of unexpected surprises and he might start considering opening a water theme park soon. He seems to be enduring it all in good spirits though and I wish him all the best settling in!
Lawrence who resides in Phana shows us once more that there's no such thing as coincidence or how every Thai person somehow is related to the next!
Steve at Thailand Musings is also considering coming to Thailand in the near future and I wish him good luck with his plans. This month he was writing about various topics but one post that sticks out for me is about Haad Yao in Koh Phangan, for the simple reason that in early September I will be exactly on this beach for about two weeks teaching my first PADI IDC outside of Koh Samui. I'm really excited about that!
Ben, our very own Thai Pirate who lives in Suphanburi province gives us some excellent first hand information flying to/from Thailand with a cheap ticket, useful information indeed!
Catherine at the 'Women Learning Thai...and some men too' blog has come up with an interesting post about a new way of learning the Thai language, a method that seems to be on the rise; Learning Thai via Skype. Useful info if you're looking for on-line tuition.
A long read and I hope you made it all the way to here but it also shows that Thailand has some interesting bloggers posting about various Thai related topics. Another thing I really like is that all the Thai Bloggers mentioned here live throughout the Kingdom and can give valuable information about local areas!
See ya all next month!
Samui offers a sunny blue sky with a few clouds in it this morning. Current temp at 7am is 27C
Yesterday was a hot day. In the early evening there was a marginal bit of drizzle for a short while and we enjoyed a max temp of 34.3C
Monday, 30 August 2010
Food on Wheels; Time for Coffee
More time for coffee or time for coffee again? Before I started the Food on Wheels series, I didn't realise how much coffee is sold on wheels! My first post in this series was about a small and cute motorbike on wheels selling coffee and today we see the same subject return.
Last week when I reported about the Soup on wheels car, I wondered if I could top last weeks sample. Well, I think that I come close this week. Whilst driving around Bophud, I spotted this pretty cool coffee on wheels salesperson and I had to stop him and take some pictures of him.
What I like about his set up is the small miniature version of a Tuk Tuk next to the driver. Nice work! Behind the miniature Tuk Tuk is a big coffee cup, unfortunately not very viewable.
All around though, a good idea and showing some creative thinking again! There are plenty of plain looking food on wheels carts around and this one sticks out!
Another coffee on wheels shot, taken on Koh Tao, this is a manually pushed car, although it looks like permanently parked in front of the 'mother shop'. Just to proof my point that there's an abundance of coffee on wheels.
Hope you enjoyed this entry and the series as such.
Stay tuned for more updates in this series.
A bit later than usual but due to connectivity problems I couldn't post any earlier. Samui is enjoying sunshine this morning but there's a thin cloud layer around. Current temp at 7am is 26.3C
Choengmon beach at 8am, two days ago
Yesterday saw a warm day with some rain during the early evening. Max temp reached 32.2C
Sunday, 29 August 2010
A cloud layer is blocking the sun this morning and Samui will most likely have few sun beams and rays today. Current temp at 7am is 27.3C
Yesterday started out great with lots of blue skies and sunshine but after noon this changed into overcast and around 3pm we even had a few minuted rain. It was hot tough, nonetheless. Max temp reached 33.6C
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Samui has some nice wind this morning with a slightly overcast or rather thin layer of clouds. Current temp at 7am is 27.7C
Yesterday saw a blue sky pretty much all day long and it was hot! Max temp reached 34.2C
Friday, 27 August 2010
Thai Gold price in fluctuation
In November 2008 I wrote a piece on this blog about Thai Gold, view it here, in which I describe some back ground information about Thai Gold, why it has a different colour to what we are used to with our Western Gold and lots of other useful and informative information about Thai Gold. It's well worth checking that post!
At the end of the post I also included a picture of the price for Thai Gold on 2nd November 2008.
That price was 12.500,-THB per Baht. Yesterday the price for Baht of Thai Gold at the same gold shop here on Koh Samui was 18.450,-THB, almost 6.000,-THB per Baht more expensive.
If you invested in some Gold back in early November 2008, as I mentioned, you could have made a nice little profit by now!
A blue sky is shaping up although right now there are a few white clouds still up in the sky over Samui. Current temp at 7am is 27.3C
Yesterday saw a very sunny but also very warm day or can we call it a hot day! Max temp reached 32C
Thursday, 26 August 2010
A very blue sky has showed up this morning over Samui, it looks like a hot day today! Current temp at 7am is 26C
Yesterday saw a nice day with regular bouts of sunshine turn into heavy thunder and rain just after dark around 7pm for a while. Max temp reached 31.5C
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Samui is cloudy, although earlier on there was sunshine. Current temp at 7am is 29.1C
Yesterday saw plenty of sunshine and it was hot. Max temp reached 31C
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Food on Wheels; Soup from a car
During my recent visit to the Fishermans Village Walking Street night, held every Friday night, I stumbled over this prime sample of Food on Wheels, Thai Style!
It's a pick up car where in the pick up part of the car a complete little restaurant is mounted or installed and they sell soup or kaitiao (ก๋วยเตี๋ยว). This one advertises in pork and chicken with mushroom noodles soup but most likely they have more variations on offer.
It really is almost a small restaurant on wheels, next to the car were tables and chairs placed so their guests, mainly Thais, could sit down and enjoy their soup.
These kuaitiao stands/shops are all over the country and a local fave which I enjoy a lot as well but in a mobile version like this they're rather rare.
It remains amazing how creative Thai people are in coming up with ideas for making money and this ranks high on my scale of being inventive!
On to next weeks post, it will be hard to top this one!
The sun is just about to break through the cloud cover that was covering Samui. Current temp at 7am is 27.3C
Yesterday saw a nice and sunny day with some overcast as well, although the sun prevailed, especially the afternoon it was hot. Max temp reached 31.3C
Monday, 23 August 2010
Samui's under cover, cloud cover that is. Most likely the sun will burn it's way through the clouds later today and we will get a sunny and warm day. Current temp is around 27C at 7am.
Yesterday saw a nice and sunny day. Max temp reached just above 30C
Sunday, 22 August 2010
Samui is sunny this morning although there's a thin cloud layer hovering as well. Current temp at 7am is 27.2C
Yesterday saw a lovely day with cloud cover and sunshine but in the early evening around 7pm it started to rain again for a while. Max temp reached 31.2C
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Samui suffers from a serious overcast sky this morning. There was also plenty of rain last evening and night with flash flooding. Current temp at 7am is 24.2C
Yesterday saw a sunny day until the early evening when it started to seriously rain. Max temp reached 33.7C
Friday, 20 August 2010
The coconut monkey at work!
This post is inspired by Khun Boonsong's blog post about a young girl in Isaan that climbs high into palm or coconut trees to get the fruit, a post well worth reading and checking out.
This girl climbed into an Areca nut tree or Mahkaam in Thai, without any help or aid which looked possibly 10 meters high, pretty impressive. In the comment section I mentioned that on Koh Samui this kind of work is only done by specially trained monkeys. It's also becoming a very rare trade and you don't get to see it that often, unless you go to one of the many monkey training schools.
To my big surprise during my recent visit to Koh Tao one of these specially trained monkeys was kicking down some coconuts. This picture shows the monkey sitting high in the crown of the coconut tree, possibly also 8 to 10 meters above the ground.
The monkey has a rope connected to a collar around his neck from which it gets directions from it's boss or trainer. On the ground, the monkeys boss gives directions and comments on which coconuts to throw to the ground.
Many people walking by or on motorbikes had to slow down or wait for a second or two in order to prevent getting a coconut thrown on top of their head. Coming from that height, most likely not a healthy impact and I wonder how many people yearly die or get injured because they're hit by falling coconuts.
It took me a while and various shots were wasted before I could get a falling coconut in a picture. The monkey twists and turns the chosen coconut around and than just lets it fall. Simple and effective.
The monkey on it's way down, he actually got entangled a moment after I took this picture and got to the ground by working the rope in the vegetation next to the coconut tree.
Here's our small hero, after a few minutes of work in the tree. He wasn't too impressed with all the folks taking pictures of him and actually threw a stick to some people. He was also hissing and making some noises whilst waiting for his boss, who took a motorbike with a side car mounted to it which was park a 100 meters away or so, to collect the coconuts and sell them on.
Back on Samui after a very successful trip to Koh Tao for the PADI IE. Unfortunately the good weather has disappeared once more and for the next couple of days wind and rain are part of the daily menu, this morning not being an exception. It just stopped raining and last night there was a shower or two as well. Current temp at 7am is 28C
Yesterday saw a nice start to the day but soon enough big and dark clouds were moving in fast on Koh Tao but they barely missed the small island. On the way back to Samui there was some rain though and Samui had rain throughout the day, although it was sunny when we arrived. Max temp reached 30.8C
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Koh Tao has more cloud cover than I expected this early in the morning but the sun is heating up nicely and will most likely blast it's way through the clouds soon enough. Current temp at 7am is 27.1C
Today is our last on Koh Tao and after my IDC candidates complete the current PADI IE successfully we're off to Samui again in the afternoon. Check my dive blog for updates on their progress.
Yesterday just before sun set on Koh Tao, idyllic or what?
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Food on Wheels; Pancake, the classic!
Yes, the pancake is the absolute classic in my opinion when it comes down to food on wheels in Thailand. They come on a variety of wheels as well, motorised but many times also hand pushed, like this one on Koh Tao.
This little pancake outlet is run by a very nice and friendly Bangla Deshi bloke who lives on Koh Tao since 9 years and he makes a nice little show out of his job and is pleasant and easy to talk to as well. Each day he wheels his cart away and back in place again!
Part of his show is the throwing and smashing around bit of the dough, to be followed by a pizza dough like swirling around during which the dough becomes rounder and bigger. Fun to watch!
The finished product, my fave is a banana pancake with cinnamon. The person I was with had a egg, cheese, onion and tuna pancake and both were just delicious! A great snack in-between.
Not to forget, my kids love them!
What an invention, the food on wheels. I'm loving it, that's for sure!
Koh Tao is seeing some cloud cover but it looks like the sun will burn through it later today and Samui has similar weather. Current temp at 7am is 26.6C
Yesterdays sunset on Koh Tao
Yesterday saw a warm and sunny day on both islands. Max temp reached 33.4C
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
More blue skies with a few clouds in it are hovering over Samui this morning with a current temp at 7am of 27C.
In a few moments I'm off to Koh Tao for two nights and three days to give moral support during a PADI IE, an exam that my two Dutch IDC candidates must attend after having completed the recent August IDC over the weekend and an EFR Instructor course yesterday!
Yesterday saw a sunny day with a max temp of 32.5C.
Monday, 16 August 2010
A nice blue sky dotted with big cloud formations welcomes Samui from it's sleep this morning. Current temp at 7am is 26.6C
Yesterday saw a sunny day with a max temp of 32.7C
Sunday, 15 August 2010
The Shack Bar & Grill, Bophud Fisherman Village
Recently I had dinner here with a good friend and this place has a very good atmosphere and some excellent food. If you need meat, carne, fleisch, vlees and so on, the Shack should be high on your list of places to eat at.
It's located at the Fisherman Village in Bophud coming from the red lights at Samui's ring road keep going straight and pass under the the big Fisherman Village sign. At the t-crossing take a left and after about 5 or 600 meters it's on your left hand. The outside is looking good and shows you the grill in full view and action.
Everything is grilled in plain view and loads of meat come from the fire here. The quality of the meat is very good and the dishes are big enough to satisfy your stomach and cravings. There's plenty of specials available as well besides the menu.
Since we were talking away, I kinds forget to get some pictures of our food hat evening but it included a pork chop with red wine sauce, spare ribs which where really nicely done without fat or grease and chicken wings. All dishes being very enjoyable.
The place is run by an ex New Yorker and as I already said, the atmosphere inside is good, see picture above with a view from the bar onto the street.
If you get meat cravings, The Shack is the place to go to and a good idea to combine it on a Friday night with the Walking Street red carpet being laid out, although you miss out on all the Thai food on display!
Samui is entering a week of nice weather conditions, hardly any wind and rain are predicted for the next 7 days! This morning kicks off with a blue sky with some white fluffy stuff in out. Current temp at 7am is 26.6C
Yesterday saw a lovely dry day with plenty of sunshine and a max temp of 32.8C
Saturday, 14 August 2010
Bophud Fisherman's Village Walking Street
Every Friday evening Bophud's Fisherman's Village turns into a very popular Walking Street. If Plenty of things are on sale, being in Thailand it's mainly food but also plenty of different clothing, partly second hand, partly cheap bargains and plenty of other things are on sale as well.
If I remember correctly, Nathon started this but Fisherman Village took over the plan and made it a very successful re-occurring event in it's 2 streets.
Get there early but even than, parking will be a bit of a problem so be prepared to walk a few hundred meters to the entrance. Once there, the atmosphere is very laid back and at various points you can sit, kick back and have a drink or two and a bite to eat.
Thai food is all over the place, no surprise there but also one or two of the more expensive restaurants join in and offer tastes off their menu for a decent price. The picture above has Khao Gliap, Thai sweets on offer, as fresh as they can be made straight on the spot.
Some areas have music or other forms of entertainment, like the kids above who perform a classic Thai dance all dressed up and ready to go!
When in Thailand do as the Thais and that involves lots of Thai food! Here's a stand offering Ho Mok Pla ห่อหมกปลา and various other Ho Moks. A real treat and a nice variation on your daily Pad Thai! The nice thing that I liked about this Walking Street is the variety of freshly made food and plenty of local things to be had as well.
Well worth a visit, each Friday! Apparently Lamai also has a Walking Street event each week but I'm not sure on what day of the week that is scheduled.
It's slightly cloudy but the sun has already been spotted trying to peel through the cloud layers. After today we should get a very dry spell without wind and hopefully with plenty of sunshine. Current temp at 7am is 26.5C
Yesterday saw a nice, during which I enjoyed a day off from my current IDC, it started to rain during the later evening. Max temp reached 29.8C, this may be the second time in well over a month the temperature doesn't reach 30C.
Yesterday I also visited the Walking Street market in Bophud's Fisherman's Village, more later about this event.
Friday, 13 August 2010
Mitra Restaurant in Chaweng
A couple of weeks when my sister was visiting, we visited the Mitra Restaurant in Chaweng, which is more or less at the same location as Pee Soon's place, which used to be an absolute favourite for a few years.
The night we went had dinner here, I didn't take any pictures of the front of the restaurant, hence why it took a while before I post this blog entry. It's located if you take a right where the one way system starts in Chaweng and after about 6 or 700 meters it at the your left hand on the corner of a small area that houses several restaurants (including Pee Soon), just before the 7-11, the one located on the road to the departure area of the airport.
The food is good and some of the dishes we had included this Hoi Lai Paht Prik Phao หอยลายผัดพริกเผา aka clams stir fried with roasted chili paste. I just love this dish!
A dish I've been introduced to just over a year ago, Khai Kem Pad Pak (Salted eggs in Thai are; ไข่เค็ม) or Salted eggs with stir fried vegetables. This became a fave very quickly, although I find it hard to get a good quality plate to my liking.
A very nice, classic Tom Kha Kai soup ต้มข่าไก่ or chicken and coconut milk soup. This was a good one!
This is one of those places where you can get good and cheap local fare, visited by both Thais and Westerners alike and it's always a good sign if the locals frequent a place. Definitely worthwhile a visit.
Friday 13th, one of those and it shows by the time of posting, we had to rush my Father in law to the hospital for a check since he felt unwell this morning, but everything turned out fine. Now back home again and all morning it has been drizzling. A little bit of rain but constant! Current temp at 7am in Samui is 26.7C
Yesterday saw a nice morning with rain and dry spells battling it out during the afternoon . Max temp reached 30.4C
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's Birthday
Today is the Birthday of Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borommarachininat or สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ (Literally: "Her Majesty Queen Regent Sirikit"); born Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara.
As the consort of the king who currently is the world's longest reigning head of state, she is also the world's longest serving consort of a monarch.
As the consort of the king who currently is the world's longest reigning head of state, she is also the world's longest serving consort of a monarch.
Royal flag of Queen Sirikit, often seen around Thailand in August (near her birthday and Mother's day).
Samui is cloudy once more so early on the morning but it's supposed to clear up. Current temp at 7am is 26C
Today is the birthday of Her majesty the Queen of Thailand.
Yesterday saw some sunshine during the morning hours but shortly after noon there was some rain which continued during the afternoon. Max temp reached 32.8C
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Samui is fairly cloudy this morning but the sun may break through later today. Current temp at 7am is 27C
Yesterday saw a cloud cover most of the day and the parts of the island that I was at were dry. Max temp reached 31.4C
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Samui is cloudy but there's a good chance of the sun breaking through, a pattern that has been seen for the last week or so. Cloudy in the morning, sun breaking through before lunch, around 2pm clouds are back and between 4 and 5pm rain, sometimes also in the evening and/or night. Repeat!
Current temp at 7am is 25.5C
Yesterday was very sunny during the morning but around 4pm rain started, although more a drizzle but pretty persistent for a few hours. Max temp reached 30.5C
Monday, 9 August 2010
Surprisingly enough Samui woke up to a lovely, almost blue sky, despite predictions of heavy wind and rain. Current temp at 7am is 26.8C
Yesterday saw a sunny day up till around 4pm when a first rain shower went by to be followed by some more during the early evening. Max temp reached a stunning 33.5C however!
Sunday, 8 August 2010
Samui is cloudy and it looks like it's going to stay that way for the whole day. Just before 7am I saw some thin layers which allowed the sun to shine through but I think we may have to wait two more days to see some more sunshine. Current temp at 7am is 26.2C
Yesterday saw cloud cover mixed with some sunshine until around 5pm when rain and very strong winds started to play around, culminating in another storm. Max temp reached 30.9C
Saturday, 7 August 2010
It's cloudy with a fairly strong and it rained during the night and Samui's air feels wet right now. Current temp at 7am is 26.5C
For the 5 to 6 days strong winds with heavy wave action is predicted on Windguru and occasionally rain as well. Not a great prospect for next week.
Yesterday saw another sunny day however with a max temp of 33.7C
Friday, 6 August 2010
A light cloud cover hovers over Samui this morning most likely soon to be pulverized by the sun.
Current temp at 7am is 27.7C
Yesterday saw a sunny and dry day. Max temp reached 33.8C
Thursday, 5 August 2010
It's cloudy this morning over Samui with a good chance for sun I would think. Current temp at 7am is 26.5C
Yesterday saw once more a sunny and dry day on top of that. Max temp reached 33.5C
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Food on Wheels; Sweet corn with Butter
Today's 2nd feature in the 'Food on Wheels' series shows a little side cart attached to a motorbike in an almost as simple as they come set up, a Sweet corn with Butter vendor.
A big pot of corn, a heap of butter, some cups to sell them and mix them together in. Simple yet effective and a favorite amongst Thais, including my kids!
This morning Samui has some blue skies to show for with traces of fluffy white stuff in it. Current temp at 7am is 26.2C
Yesterday saw a nice and sunny day with some rain thrown in in the afternoon and early evening with more sunshine in-between! Max temp reached 34.4C
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Samui's day started with a partly blue sky, that's been a while! Current temp at 7am is 25.8C
Yesterday saw a nice sunny afternoon with a trace of rain between 5 and 6pm. Max temp reached 32.9C
Monday, 2 August 2010
Welcome to August 2010
August tends to be a very nice month when it comes down to sunshine hours on Koh Samui and it's archipelago.
The first week may be a bit outside of that box but it should definitely pick up during the rest of August.
Sun and flat oceans, what are you waiting for, you should or could be sitting on one of the beaches here.
Hope to see you, soon!
It's grey outside and the almost familiar clouds rule over Samui this morning with a current temp of 26.7C at 7am.
Yesterday started out cloudy but during the afternoon the sun broke through the cloud covers and it was a nice and sunny afternoon. Max temp reached 31.5C
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Samui is covered in clouds today, a fairly heavy layer actually and I wouldn't expect too much sun today. Current temp at 7am is 27.3C
Yesterday saw a sunny day with a max temp of 33.5C
The demonstration around the island yesterday against oil drilling off Samui's coast didn't go unnoticed in the rest of the country and the two major English speaking papers in Thailand wrote articles about the demonstration. The Bangkok Post article is very informative and explains how a legal court battle is in the making and actually may have a chance of walking away with victory, The Nation's article is just a report of the demo on Samui.