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Monday, 31 January 2011

Goodbye to January 2011

Goodbye to January 2011

This years version of January has not been as nice as the previous 3 years, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
It started out nice enough but halfway through the month more and more clouds and rain gathered over Samui and especially towards the end of the month it was rather wet. Not monsoon wet but still plenty of rain on almost a daily base.

It was a month with plenty of food, the highlight being a visit to Orgasmic, a great experience and fantastic food.
Besides this great experience, Il Duomo, Haveli, Angela's bakery and a hand full of other places were visited this month.

Julia's birthday, our daughter, was a also a good experience this year.

Right now I find myself in Malapascua in the Philippines, after the United Arab Emirates last month, another country that's a first for me. My work does get me around!

Don't forget to check out my Samui and Thailand hotel recommendation blogs for your hotel bookings!

Looking forward to February

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 31st January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is still covered in clouds although it's dry this morning. Current temp at 7am is 25C.

Yesterday saw many dark clouds all day long hover over Samui with an occasional shower. Max temp reached 29.5C

My bungalow at Malapascua, the one at the left side, view from the window here

Malapascua is covered by clouds and the two nice and sunny days are a thing of the past again. Last night saw a beautiful star struck sky but this morning it's clouds and wind all over again.
The current IDC is half way and today is a day off, most likely I will go for a dive.

Camille

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 30th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Koh Samui is covered on heavy clouds this morning but it's still dry. Current temp at 7am is 25.8C

Yesterday Samui saw copious amounts of rain with a max temp of around 28C

Malapascua island life

Malapascua is nice and sunny again this morning although there's a strong breeze. Last night saw a lovely star lit sky but around 11pm there was some very hard rain as well. Current temp here at 8am is around 26C.

Camille

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 29th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Koh Samui is still enduring plenty of clouds and it's looking dark this morning, with some more rain expected. As of tomorrow there seems to be a change for the better coming up though. Current temp at 7am is 24C.

Yesterday saw more clouds and bits and pieces of rain over Samui with a max temp of 27.7C

Sunny morning beach on Malapascua

Malapascua has for the first time since I arrived a very sunny morning and a nice morning temperature, it could get hot! Yesterday saw some more afternoon rain.
The IDC is running smoothly here, check out the dive blog for an update.

Camille

Friday, 28 January 2011

Cebu Transportation, PI style

Cebu Transportation, PI style

Having lived in Thailand now for 12 years and having visited almost all neighboring countries (Myanmar is still on my 'to visit' list), the Philippines is a first for me.

It's very Asian but also very different compared to Thailand, which I call my home. One of the things that struck as being very different is the means of transportation. The jeepneys are most likely the most famous sample and best known, however, on my trip by taxi from Cebu airport to the North of Cebu island, where I had to take a ferry over to Malapascua, I did notice two different means of transportation, the tricycle and the pedicab!

The tricycle is a motorbike with a rather big sidecar mounted to it in which up to 6 or 7 people can sit, plus their luggage. This is how one looks like from the back of, in the picture above.

This is a tricycle in action! Besides the driver, two people are sitting on the outside next to the driver, a couple of people are sitting inside the covered side mountain and seemingly at least person is hanging outside of the tricycle. Truly an amazing way of getting around for medium sized distances of in my estimate a couple of kilometers max. For longer distances the jeepneys will be a more convenient option, I assume.

A couple of parked tricycles, waiting for business

Than there's the option for even shorter distances, the pedicab, a push bike with a side mountain that holds two passengers There are two seats) and luggage. Amazing PI!

On Malapascua, the island where I'm conducting a PADI IDC, there's hardly any form of transportation besides your feet and an occasional motorbike.

Camille


Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 28th January, 2011

Today's weather;

The wind around Samui seems to be slowing down again but it's still wet and this morning saw rain again. Current temp at 7am is 25.4C

Yesterday saw at rain regular intervals on Samui but not as much as the previous days. Max temp reached 29C

Typical Philipino dive boat on Malapascua beach

Malapascua has similar weather as back home, rain this morning, occasional strong wind and rain around noon yesterday. Current temp at 8am is around 24C

Camille

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 27th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is clouded this morning and rain seems to be in the making. Current temp at 7am is 24.7C

Yesterday Samui saw more rain, at times very hard! Max temp reached

View from my room on Malapascua

In Malapascua, Philippines things are good. Had a good nights sleep and yesterday's strong wind seems to have gone. Current temp at 8am is around 25C

Camille

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 26th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is dry for the moment and a current temp at 6.30am of 24C

Yesterday saw again rain around Samui but not as much as the previous days, when I left in the evening for my trip to the Philippines, there were starts in the clear sky. Max temp reached around 28C

Manila, where I'm in transit right now has clouds but is dry and with a current temp at 6.30am of 25C

Camille

On the road again, Philippines, here we are!

On the road again, Philippines, here we are!

Yes indeed, this post comes from manila International airport in the Philippines, where I'm waiting to board a plane to Cebu in about an hour time. From there it will be another two hours drive on Cebu to go to a boat that will bring me to my final destination for the next two weeks, Malapascua, a small island where I will be conducting a PADI IDC.

In the meantime, I will keep the updates for Samui going as good as I can, with daily updates 'fresh from the farm or source'!

Camille

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 25th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is covered under a fairly thick cloud layer and rain is definitely a possibility today. Current temp at 7am is 24.6C

Yesterday Samui had more on/off rain all day long, like yesterday, at times with very hard showers indeed. Max temp reached 28C

Camille

Monday, 24 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 24th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is covered under a cloud blanket and it looks like rain. More rain is likely to come during this week. Nothing serious like the rain season or last November but just showers on a regular base. Current temp at 7am is 27.2C

Yesterday at the Bowling alley

Yesterday Samui saw rain; on and off, all day and night long! Max temp reached 28.8C

We also went to the Major Bowl at Tesco Lotus to celebrate our daughter Julia's 8th birthday. Lots of fun was had by all! Young and old enjoyed this one.

Camille

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 23rd January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is gearing up for a new day and although there's plenty of blue sky around, there are some big and heavy clouds out and about as well. Current temp at 7am is 27.5C

Yesterday Samui saw plenty of sunshine, until he evening, when it started to rain and there was plenty of rain during the night. Max temp reached 29.4C

Camille

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 22nd January, 2011

Today's weather;

A nice blue sky is hovering over Samui this morning with a current temp at 7am of 23.5C

Yesterday saw a nice and sunny day on Samui with a max temp of 29C

Camille

Friday, 21 January 2011

Food on Wheels; A Samui institution on a bike

Food on Wheels; A Samui institution on a bike

And an institution she is. After I stopped this older lady today and asked if i was allowed to take a picture, I asked her how long she was already going around Samui with her bike, selling Khanom and other small food bits and pieces.

Upon asking how long she already has been going around the island she said 'Laay Pi' which means 'many years'. Right she is, during the 12 years that I'm here now, I've seen her on a regular base at various places around the island, always on her bike. She must do so many kilometers a day that her health must be very good!

If you ever see her going around, feel free to stop her, in her two baskets she has sweets and small food items for sale and she's on the road all year round. You're bound to see her sooner or later somewhere along the ring road or any of the ring roads off shoots, drive carefully around her!

I hope she will be making her rounds for years to come!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 21st January, 2011

Today's weather;

Due to the internet being down once more, this late update on Samui's daily weather. It's good though and we have a near blue sky with a current temp at 7am of 22.3C

Chaweng Beach yesterday morning

Yesterday saw also a nice, sunny day on Samui with a max temp of 29.3C. It was also exam yesterday for the PADI IE, have a look at my dive blog for an update.

Camille

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 20th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui woke up a thin cloud layer and I expect the sun to burn through this layer later today. Current temp at 7am is a very chilly 22C

Yesterday Samui a dry and mainly sunny day. Max temp reached 28.7C

Camille

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 19th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is going to enjoy a sunny day today, that's at least the signs, the sky is partly cloudy with plenty of blue spots! Current temp at 7am is 23.1C

Yesterday saw a dry day on Samui but relatively cloudy. Max temp reached 28.3C

The current IDC has been completed and today the PADI IE starting for my candidates, here on Samui.

Camille

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 18th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui's sky is opening up and sun beams are coming through again. It looks like the current cloud cover is about to slowly break up and deliver some sunshine for the next couple of days. Current temp is 26.8C at 7am

Flash floods in Northern Chaweng

Yesterday saw cloud cover during the morning and plenty of rain all over Samui after 3pm with hard rain at times which in turn caused the usual flash floods. Today all these floods should be cleared again. Max temp reached 28.4C

Camille

Monday, 17 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 17th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui just had some rain and is covered under some dark clouds. It looks more rain may be ours this morning. Current temp at 7am is 27C

Yesterday Samui had a nice and sunny day. Max temp reached 29.6C

Camille

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 16th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is covered under a mixed bag this morning, clouds and a few blue spots, it looks hopeful for some sun later in the day. Current temp at 7am is 24.1C

Yesterday Samui saw plenty of sunshine with a max temp of 29.3C

Camille

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 15th January, 2011

Today's weather;

A thin cloud layer is hanging over Samui and blue spots are noticeable, the sun may come out later in full force. Current temp at 7am is 24.3C

Yesterday Samui saw a dry day with a bit of sunshine and plenty of cloud cover, max temp reached 28.6C

Camille

Friday, 14 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 14th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is once more covered under a cloud layer. There should be sunshine later today! Current temp at 7am is a chilly 23.2C

Yesterday Samui had rain pretty much all morning and into the early afternoon, it wasn't until 4pm that the sun showed it's bleak face. Max temp reached 27.2C

Today it's a year ago that my Dad passed away. RIP!

Camille

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Orgasmic Beach Restaurant, Bophud

Orgasmic Beach Restaurant, Bophud

Yesterday evening we visited a restaurant that opened about a year ago and was since a while on my 'Samui bucket' list. Orgasmic in Bophud, located near the 'My Friends bungalows and Thai food restaurant' (where local Samui folk have many wedding receptions).

The name suggest some pretty above average food should be expected and rest assured, it was well above average! Wally, the chef at this lovely located restaurant, used to be the chef at Zazen restaurant also in Bophud but decided a bit over a year ago to start his own restaurant.


Red tuna tartar with Mediterranean herbs, rocket gaspacho and wasabi crack crack

The location is excellent, having located his new place in a small cove and they build a lovely terrace overlooking Bophud bay. There's a spacious parking lot and a red bridge leads you into their restaurant where you are immediately immersed in a lovely atmosphere.
They have orchids at various places around the premises including a waterfall with 50 different species of orchids around it!

The waterfall area

Wally and his cousin Christian (a professional international bartender) run the place together and if you haven't been there yet, it's about time to make your way over!

Now on to the food, we had a variety of starters between us, 4 adults and 2 children and my friend and me had the Red tuna tartar with Mediterranean herbs, rocket gaspacho and wasabi crack crack which was really good (see picture above)!
My wife went for the sesame & wasabi crusted king prawns on tomato tandoori bed, which were also delicious.


Grilled Seabass

For mains we had plenty of dishes on our table, 5 to be exactly, one of my friends had the 'Five spices Barracuda filet with oregano roesti & sesame cream' which he found a bit sweet tasting, the kids had ''White snapper filet with zucchini, pecan-celeriac mash, cumin-carrot pastilla & dragon sabayon' the latter was really buttery and since the kids had their food well before we had ours, we were a moment a bit weary but no reason to worry!


Mixed seafood 'on the plancha'

My wife's 'Grilled sea bass with mozzarella, beurre nantais, tobiko & broccoli-wakame mash' was excellent. See one of the pix above.

My Dutch friend had a 'Mixed seafood 'on the plancha' with king prawns, baby squid, Samui blue crab, barracuda, white snapper filet served with baked potato & home made sauces'. This went down very well and especially the Samui blue crab seemed to have walked straight out of the bay into the pan, that's how fresh it was.


Poppy seeds crusted lamb loin

I went for 'Poppy seeds crusted lamb loin (240 gr), zucchini gratin, pom reinette & old fashioned mustard sauce' which literally blew my mind. This was the most tender piece of lamb I ever had with a fantastic sauce. This dish surely was orgasmic!


Sabayon & tropical fruit gratin

We were drinking a French rose wine which went down well with the seafood and the meat and after all this onslaught, I was the only that managed to order and eat a dessert; 'Sabayon & tropical fruit gratin, scented with Grand Marnier liquor & jasmine ice cream' which was also very delicious.

Orgasmic is definitely one of the absolute top restaurants on Samui and I can highly recommend a visit. It ain't a cheap location but well worth it. It's also advisable to make a reservation, their phone # is 08 5708 4615 (Christian).

Can't wait to go back!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 13th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is experiencing a little bit of clouds this morning but I would be very surprised if those clouds won't break up and we get some sunshine later today. Current temp at 7am is 25.5C

Today we have a break in the current IDC and an update will be due later today on my dive blog.

The entrance to Orgasmic restaurant in Bophud

Yesterday started out with clouds but soon afterwards during the morning the sky broke open and we pretty much had sunshine for the rest of the day although some clouds were there within visible reach. Max temp reached 28.7C

Last night we had dinner at Orgasmic Beach Restaurant, a great time was had by all and the food was outstanding! A report will follow later today!

Camille

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 12th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Against my expectations, it rained last night on Samui and this morning when I woke up it was still coming down, not pouring but rather a steady downfall. Right now, around 7am it's dry for the time being but obviously rather cloudy, although not dark clouds. Current temp at 7am is 24.5C

Yesterday Samui saw a dry day but with plenty of overcast, not as sunny as the previous days. Max temp reached 28.3C

Camille

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 11th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is still enjoying a good weather stretch, although this morning is cloudy. The current temp at 7am is a chilly 24C!

Yesterday saw plenty of sunshine all day long around Samui and no rain with a max temp of 28.5C

Camille


Monday, 10 January 2011

Food on Wheels; Pad Thai on the go!

Food on Wheels; Pad Thai on the go!

Another Food on Wheels post is due and here we are, Pad Thai on the go indeed!

This is probably one of the best known Thai dishes and it always works for me!

Pad Thai or Phat Thai (Thai: ผัดไทย [pʰàt tʰāj], "fried Thai style") is a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce (Thai: น้ำปลา), tamarind juice, red chilli pepper, plus any combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, garnished with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime, the juice of which can be added along with Thai condiments. Pad Thai is one of Thailand's national dishes.

During my last and most recent visit to Phuket, I encountered this vendor just after I left visiting my fellow blogger Jamie in Phuket!

This guy must be doing well because it will be difficult to fond a Western tourist who doesn't like Pad Thai, besides the Thais themselves who will enjoy a quick snack. Sometimes it's probably just a matter of getting the tourist so far to actually order food from a street vendor.

My golden rule, where ever I eat in Thailand is this; if it's busy and locals eat there, it must be good, since first of all, a lot of people means a lot of turnover which means a lot of fresh ingredients and secondly, a lot of locals always indicates that the food must be good, otherwise the locals wouldn't eat there!

A side view of the Pad Thai motorized kitchen, with a good view on the actual cooking plate.

Though Pad Thai had been known in various forms for centuries – it is thought to have been brought to the ancient Thai capital of Ayuthaya by Vietnamese traders – it was first made popular as a national dish by Luang Phibunsongkhram when he was prime minister during the 1930s and 1940s, partly as an element of his campaign for Thai nationalism and centralization, and partly for a campaign to reduce rice consumption in Thailand. The Thai economy at this time was heavily dependent on rice exports; Phibunsongkhram hoped to increase the amount available for export by launching a campaign to educate the poor in the production of rice noodles, as well as in the preparation of these noodles with other ingredients to sell in small cafes and from street carts.

During the recession following World War II, the post-war government of Phibunsongkhram, desperate in its efforts to revive the Thai economy, looked for ways to stem the massive tide of unemployment. Among the occupations the government aggressively promoted to give the populace a way to earn a living was the production of rice noodles and the operation of noodle shops. Detailed instructions on how to make the noodles and recipes were printed and distributed around the country. From these efforts, rice noodles became firmly rooted in the country and have since become a widespread staple food.

This looks like everything you always wanted to know about Pad Thai but never dared to ask ;-)

Hope you enjoyed this entry and stay tuned for a next episode of Food on Wheels!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 10th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui's sky is full of clouds but it looks like the sun is ready to burn some holes in there! Current temp at 7am is 25.2C

Yesterday saw a day on Samui with sunshine pretty much all day long and a max temp of 29C

Camille

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 9th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is gearing up for some sunshine and blue skies. The wind also seems to have dropped and the forecasts look good for the next 7 days! No rain and plenty of sunshine. Current temp at 7am is 25C

Yesterday saw a sunny morning on Samui and a cloudy but dry afternoon. Max temp reached 29C

My first IDC of the year kicked off yesterday, here on Samui, my dive blog has a post about this, feel free to have a look.

Camille

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 8th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is enjoying some blue skies again and it looks like they're here to stay for a while, at least for another week! Current temp at 7am is 24.2C

Yesterday saw nice blue skies over Samui during the morning to be followed by rain in the afternoon, once more! Max temp reached 27.9C

Camille

Friday, 7 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 7th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui shows a partly blue sky this early in the morning and it looks like it's going to be a nice day. Current temp at 7am is 27.3C

Yesterday's torrential rain

Yesterday saw rain pretty much all day around Samui, although there were dry moments. At moments the rain was at torrential levels but no flooding occurred. Max temp reached 27.3C

Camille

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 6th January, 2011

Today's weather;

When I woke up this morning Samui was under a very dark cloud cover and it was pouring down. About 45 minutes later the sun is peeking through! However, the prediction for today and tomorrow is plenty of cloud cover and plenty of rain and after that blue skies and flat seas are ours! Current temp at 7am is 25.4C

View from our garden in Plai Laem this morning, when the sun cracked through the clouds

Yesterday started out very nice on Samui, plenty of sunshine during the morning but rain in the afternoon. Max temp reached 28.5C

Camille

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 5th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is covered under clouds and it looks like rain today, the roads are wet right now so some very recent rain came down. Current temp at 7am is 26C

Chevron Barracudas at Sail Rock yesterday

Yesterday saw a nice and sunny day with a max temp of 28.8C

I also went to Sail Rock yesterday and it was like diving in fish soup! Plenty of big shoals of various kinds of barracuda, jack fish, bat fish, fusiliers and also some very big solitaire barracudas, well over a meter long. It was at times just walls of fish, absolutely fantastic!
The day before I already started the dive year with two Dutch DSD's around Koh Tao.

If you're interested in diving, check out my website and my dive blog.

Camille

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 4th January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui is still under it's, by now, usual morning cloud cover but it looks like it may break up soon. Current temp at 7am is around 25C

Yesterday saw a nice day with clouds in the morning but plenty of sunshine during the afternoon. Max temp reached around 29C

Camille

Monday, 3 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 3rd January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui has more clouds this morning, just like the last week. Current temp is around 26C

Namuang Waterfall with plenty of water after the recent rainy season

Yesterday saw another dry day on Samui with some sunshine during the afternoon. Me and my family took a trip around the island and visited the Namuang waterfall in Baan Namuang where we had some Isaan style food.
Max temp reached around 29C

Camille

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Welcome to January 2011

Welcome to January 2011

The last three entries of my January archives over the last three years show very nice and sunny January's. This may be slightly in contrast to what this year has waiting for us.
Towards the end of the first week this month the weather seems to be going haywire again with lots of wind and rain. Let's hope it will turn sunny soon afterwards!

This month will see me start my first IDC of the year here on Koh Samui, followed by an IDC towards the end of the month in Malapascua in the Philippines. More travelling is in the cards this year!

Don't forget to check my hotel recommendation blogs for Samui and Thailand with some great tips and personal experience on most of the hotels listed and for diving my dive blog and my dive/IDC website are highly recommended to check out!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 2nd January, 2011

Today's weather;

Samui has the usual morning cloud cover with some occasional blue spots in it. Current temp at 7am is 26.6C

Yesterday saw a dry day on Samui with some afternoon sunshine moments and a max temp of 28.4C

Camille

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 1st January, 2011

Today's weather;

Happy New Year!

This year started out good with a great party in Chaweng last night, fantastic firework display on Chaweng beach! Didn't get home until 3.30am or such and had a couch potato day during the whole day! It wasn't until a few moments ago that the internet network came back on again, hence such a late update!
It was merely cloudy but dry today with some sun moments thrown in. Current temp at 22.00pm is 26C.

Yesterday saw some rain, especially during the evening but it stayed dry during New Year. Max temp reached 28.5C

Camille