Wednesday, 29 February 2012
The last day of February 2012 and the 29th day, see you again in 4 years! Koh Samui is getting ready for another hot day, the sky is blue and sunny early on with a current temp at 7am of 26.2C
Yesterday saw a a nice and warm day around the Koh Samui. Max temp reached 30.3C
The forecast for the next 7 days is looking splendid, possibly a few drops of rain over the weekend.
Some houses on Gili Air in Indonesia
Yesterday morning still started out with sunshine and blue skies over Gili Air but by noon the sky was covered in clouds and it was really hot, a few hours later there was a nice shower, cooling things off a bit. The clouds haven't really left since yesterday afternoon, although it remained dry.
The IDC on Gili Air is already passed it's halfway point, check for updates in the previous link!
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Goodbye to February 2012
The February version of 2012 flew by and it's time to say goodbye again to another excellent February! A day early but right now I have time to update! Only the 2008 version of February had some rain towards the end of the month but in general it proofs that February is an excellent to visit Koh Samui.
This February is no exception. There were a few minor rain showers or sometimes some clouds but all over it was an excellent month with plenty of sunshine and nice and warm temperatures.
This T-shirt I spotted at walking street in Maenam and this picture is dedicated to my wife who stays at home with the children when I travel
Right now I'm in Indonesia, on the beautiful and car/motorbike free island of Gili Air, with a flight scheduled early next month, straight from Jakarta to Manila followed by a connecting flight to Cebu in the Philippines. I'll be visiting the lovely island of Malapascua again to teach an IDC.
Now if you wonder how I still manage to update the blog every day with weather reports about Koh Samui, Skype is the answer. each day and especially each morning I get daily local updates from my wife on Koh Samui!
February was a busy month besides my travelling and teaching, my Mother is still on Samui for a 3 month stay and we did a few things together! Besides the already mentioned visit to walking street, we also had a fun afternoon at the Mini Golf in Choengmon with the children.
A big local event was the temple party in Plai Laem with an excellent live show of Pong Lang Sa On during one of the days.
The 'Food on Wheels' series had a new entry and my blog celebrated it's 5th Year Anniversary and still going strong and closing in on 2500 posts!
Hope you enjoyed February as much as I did, wherever you are and I hope you can make it to Koh Samui in the near future to enjoy the island!
The sky over Koh Samui is looking very nice this morning, just a few clouds in sight and the rest is blue! Current temp at 7am is 28.4C
Yesterday saw a cloudy sky over Koh Samui but it was dry and warm nonetheless. Max temp reached 30.7C and it feels a lot warmer!
The forecast is looking good for the next 7 days. A little bit of rain is predicted on some days in early March but I doubt if that rain will actually materialize.
The feedback on the blog change has been encouraging, it looks like around 70% of readers like the change. However, I had three times feedback from people with reading disabilities that they can't read the words anymore, due to the background and color coding. I may change the template at some stage again, but not until I'm back home on Koh Samui again, which will be mid March.
Island life on Gili Air in Indonesia
The weather on Gili Air keeps on staying warm! Each morning since my arrival has been sunny and it is warm during every day. Occasionally clouds cover the sky during afternoons, but no rain has come down since I arrived. Today is looking like another gorgeous day here.
Monday, 27 February 2012
The new look of the blog
Since a little bit over a week, this blog has a new look. I changed the template of the blog and I must say that 'm very happy with the new look.
I'm happy with the possibility of having a back ground picture and I think that the text is still very well readable.
However, since you are my readers and I hardly has any feedback at all, I would like to hear your opinion. For a week, until 4th March, you can find a poll box on the top right corner of the sidebar and you can answer yes or no to the question if you like the new lay out.
I'm also very interested if you can let me know what you do or don't like in the new look.
Alright, time to vote and hopefully time to write a small comment at the bottom of this post!
Koh Samui is heating up again, the early morning looks promising with a near clear blue sky, better get ready for a warm day. Current temp at 7am is 28.7C
Yesterday saw once more a warm day with blue skies all around Koh Samui with a max temp of 31C
The forecast is still looking for the next 7 days although by the end of the week and over the next weekend some rain is predicted.
Another lovely sunset yesterday evening on Gili Air in Indonesia
The hot weather keeps going steady on Gili Air in Indonesia, since my arrival here not a single drop of water has come down. Today sees a beautiful blue sky shaping up and yesterday was a very warm day, once more.
Sunday, 26 February 2012
The sky over Koh Samui is shaping up nicely again and it looks like plenty of blue skies and a hot day are in the making. Current temp at 7am is 25.7C
Yesterday saw a nice and warm day around Koh Samui with a max temp of 30C
The forecast remains good for the next 7 days, blue skies and warm weather is expected.
PADI 5* IDC Oceans 5 on Gili Air, located directly at the harbor
Gili Air is hot! The last couple of mornings saw blue sky, including today, but luckily enough during the last two days the afternoons were cloudy, especially over Lombok. Yesterday saw plenty of rain across the channel with some thunder and lightning but it didn't cross and since I arrived, the island has been dry!
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Koh Samui has a blue sky and is sunny, it looks like the island is warming up for a nice day with a current of 25.5C at 7am.
Yesterday Koh Samui saw blue skies all day long and it was warm! Max temp reached 30.3C
The forecast is still looking good, sunny, warm, what else can you ask for the next 7 days?
Gili Air this morning
Gili Air keeps on steaming, hot actually! Yesterday was a very hot day even though the afternoon was cloudy, but it remained dry.
The February PADI IDC kicked already off and here you can see my blog post about it.
Friday, 24 February 2012
Koh Samui is sunny this morning, a nice blue sky has shaped up, in contrast to yesterday. Current temp at 7am is 28.2C
Yesterday saw clouds and a bit of rain during the morning around Koh Samui (in contrast to my reporting yesterday) but the late afternoon was sunny again. Max temp reached 30.2C
The forecast is still looking good, although there's slightly more wind expected, other than that, sunny for the next 7 days.
A nice cloud formation hovering over Lombok yesterday afternoon
On Gili Air the weather conditions are excellent, since I arrived it has been sunshine and hot!
Thursday, 23 February 2012
Koh Samui once more is sunny. Current temp at 7am is 25.3C I'm a bit late with today's update because there was no internet connection on Gili Air this morning until now.
Yesterday saw a very sunny and warm day around Koh Samui with a max temp of 30C
The forecast didn't change, sunny days ahead of us for the next 7 days!
Sunset yesterday evening on Gili Air
On Gili Air the weather is still very good, nice, sunny and warm! Today the IDC starts so keep an eye out on my dive blog for updates.
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
It looks like Koh Samui is going to enjoy another sunny day with blue skies. Current temp at 7am is 24.7C which indicates a clear sky. If it's cloudy, the morning temperatures tend to be higher.
Yesterday saw a nice, warm and sunny day around Koh Samui with a max temp of 30.2C
The forecast for the next 7 days is looking great, besides slightly more wind over the weekend.
The 'harbor' on Gili Air.
Gili Air is baking under the sun, it's the end of the rainy season and the island is as green as I've never seen it before but humidity goes through the roof! Temperatures are in the lower thirties each day. It seems that with my arrival the rain has (temporarily?) vanished.
Today I'm about to to start an IDCS Instructor course with Eric, so keep your eyes zoomed in to my dive blog for an update later today and tomorrow I'm about to kick off and IDC.
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Koh Samui is showing off a beautiful sunny sky without any clouds, get ready for a hot one today! Current temp at 7am is 24.1C
Yesterday saw also a nice day around Koh Samui, sunny and warm, the rain has gone again. max temp reached 30.3C
The forecast for the next 7 days is looking very good, although by Saturday the wind is about to pick up again.
On my way to the dive shop on Gili Air, tomorrow on my way to work
The sky over Gili Air is slightly cloudy but there are plenty of blue spots. We're at the back end of the rainy season so some rain may still be part of the deal but the forecast here is looking good, with more sun and less rain predicted for the next 7 days.
Monday, 20 February 2012
At last, after more than 12 hours travelling, I finally arrived on Gili Air! It was a long day which started at 3.45am on Phuket at the Phuket Airport Hotel and at 6pm (5pm Thai time) local time I arrived on Gili Air in Indonesia at Oceans 5.
Arrived at Bali International airport
Koh Samui had a warm day today with sunshine all day long. Current temp at 16.00 or 4pm is 30.3C
Yesterday saw the opposite of the previous day, sunshine in the morning and rain during the afternoon around Koh Samui. Max temp reached 30C
A wedding party crouching along the road on Lombok
I couldn't update my blog any earlier today, since this morning it was too early in Phuket and no internet at the airport and upon arrival at Bali airport, which is under construction for a few more years, I found out that at the domestic terminal all restaurant building were flattened, including Starbucks, so again, no internet. Just before I go to lunch on Gili Air and a well deserved nights rest, I'm writing this.
Teluk Nara on Lombok where the boat leaves for Gili Air
A long day but good to be back home away from home at Oceans 5! Tomorrow is a day for relaxing, with a dive or two and the day after, Wednesday I start and IDCS course and Thursday the IDC.
The pier at Teluk Nara, a great muck dive site as well!
Hang in there, I do, I'll catch up with you tomorrow.
Sunday, 19 February 2012
Food on Wheels; Soda on a bike
During the recent visit to Maenam's Walking Street, this very interesting vintage motorbike caught my eye, with it's intriguing assortment of bottles. A perfect addition to the Food on Wheels series!
Full view of the bike and bottles
The bottles hold various kind of sweetened water, a small quantity is poured into a cup or glass, ice is added and than filled up with soda, which comes from an iron hose in the front of the bike, attached to the steering wheel. All very simple and straightforward but another ingenious way to make a few Baht!
Eager customers, a schoolkid orders a cup of soda
The bike is a nice piece of work, it's all done up and I wonder if it will actually run if the bottle rack is taken down.
Interesting to see and experience all the various kinds of food, sweets and drinks that are for sale around the country. It keeps amazing me and it seems to be an endless stream of options. This one definitely had the visual touch worked out!
The sky over Koh Samui is clouded this morning and not too many blue spots in sights. It's dry right now but more rain is predicted today. Current temp at 7am is 25C
In the evening I will leave for Phuket for one night and tomorrow morning it's first off to Bali, only to end up on Gili Air in Indonesia. After IDC's in Indonesia and the Philippines I will be back on Koh Samui 19th March. The daily updates will continue however, so keep checking in each day.
Looking through a window at the Chinese Temple in Maenam
Yesterday saw heavy rain during the night and morning which caused almost 40mm of rain. Around 1pm things turned around though an we still enjoyed a sunny afternoon. Max temp reached 28.3C
The forecast for the next 7 days is looking splendid again with plenty of sunshine and no rain predicted.
Saturday, 18 February 2012
A new sermon hall is being build at Wat Plai Laem
The start of the Wat Plai laem Temple Fair saw also the start of the construction for a new sermon hall at the Temple grounds.
One of the structural pillars to carry the weight of the building, covered in good luck 'charms'
There were a couple of ceremonies over the last days, involving blessing of the building site and erecting two iron pillars that will be part of the construction. The latter can be seen above. This iron 'pillar' was wrapped with big colorful laces for good luck, put up there by local Temple visitors. Mysteriously after the pillar was erected, the laces were gone by that time, one of these laces ended up at our house. Grandfathers gift to us for good luck!
A sign describing what is going to be build and how it will look like when completed
I will try to drop by a few times and see how construction develops. Don't expect an update until late March, when I'm back from a trip to Indonesia and the Philippines. I wouldn't expect the construction be finished by than anyway and it may be a good moment to do a check up.
In the middle of the building site was this hole in the ground with a concrete wall around it, in which plenty of good luck gifts and money were deposited
The same hole in the ground a few days later, with the hole filled up with sand and on top a tile with inscription for good luck. All around the tile are money coins in the sand
The construction site, the pillar is now erected
The temple is doing well and seems to be financially healthy. During the Temple fair there are plenty of, mainly local, people that write their names on tiles and building stones with good luck wishes. These tiles and bricks will be used to build the sermon hall but if you write your name on a brick or tile, you're supposed to make a financial contribution. These contributions are in turn used to buy more building materials. A system in use at temples all over the country!
It's cloudy over Koh Samui but there a few blue spots around in this mornings sky. Current temp at 7am is 25.5C
Choengmon Beach yesterday afternoon
Yesterday saw a very sunny and warm day around Koh Samui but last night around 3am some rain showers hit the island with some thunder and lightning occasionally thrown in as well. It even causes a power cut or 'fai dab' until 5.20am. Max temp reached 29.7C
We had a lovely meal at Il Duomo in Chaweng last night with our family and my Mum. Excellent pizza's as always!
The forecast for the next 7 days shows some clouds and an occasional shower today and tomorrow, after that it's sunny again!
Friday, 17 February 2012
Maenam Walking street
Back in August 201 I reported about the walking street in Fishermans Village, which is held each Friday. This walking street became so popular it inspired various other locations around Koh Samui to start their own version of Walking street.
'Khanom Chin' the local food
Since the Fisherman Village walking street is now so busy each Friday, in my opinion it's no fun anymore, mainly due to the narrow streets and huge amount of visitors. It's become too crowded and there's just not enough space to walk around comfortably and stress free.
A great alternative is the walking street in Maenam, held each Thursday. Wider streets and not as many people as in Bophud's Fishermans Village. Hope that won't change after this post!
Some very nice lamp shades on display and for sale
Plenty of clothes for sale, including a new bra in case you need one
Besides plenty of assorted food (what else to expect in Thailand?) there are plenty of second hand new clothes for sale and tons of little 'tits and tats', not to forget the 50 Baht Mojitas every hundred meters. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars for a break and sit down and see the street walk by.
Live music at walking street, Sweet home Alabama
A pleasant evening was had and I suspect my Mum of setting a new record for the slowest round of this walking street ever, she managed to stop at about every stand!
If you're looking for a relaxed walking street event, each Thursday evening, Maenam's the place to be! Enjoy.
The sky over Koh Samui is solid blue again this morning with a current temp of 26C
'Kao meh kuan ihm' statue at Wat Plai Laem at night
Yesterday saw a nice and warm day around Koh Samui with blue skies all day long. Max temp reached 29.6C
My 5th anniversary as a blogger happened yesterday. A fact I never thought of when I started this blog 5 years ago!
The forecast for the next 7 days didn't change one little bit, sunny days are ahead of us!
Thursday, 16 February 2012
5th Year Anniversary
Before this day is over and I forget about it, it's time for a small celebration. Today it's exactly 5 years ago that I started this blog! My first post can be spotted here, I hope I raised the standard a bit since!
I also almost hot 2.500 posts on this blog, this is # 2.464.
One of my favorite topics to photograph
Ever since I started a few more blogs, my dive blog, my Koh Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Thailand hotel recommendation blog. Together with my IDC Thailand and IDC Philippines websites, a busy online life, not to mention Facebook and all the other social networks!
To the next jubilee of this blog!
Pong Lang Sa On at the Wat Plai Laem Temple fair
Last night saw an unexpected but pleasant surprise that kept a few people awake near the Wat Plai Laem Temple fair. The band Pong Lan Sai On played at the fair and this is a band that was extremely popular some 4 years ago and the possibility to watch them perform live was something I didn't want to miss out on.
Bandleader Ead with part of the band and a local boy on stage
The band has a remarkable story and their career took off after they won a talent contest on TV. Their first album was an immense success and now they're a household name in Thailand. In 2007 and 2008 they extensively toured the USA and Europe on the back of their album.
On Samui they had a great show that lasted for closing in on 3 hours and they had an excellent PA system. It was loud though for the surrounding houses and a few people might have had problems sleeping.
Lulu and Lala, the female singers of the band and a bundle of ebergy!
We sat through two female support singers, first Asia followed by Ying Titikarn before the band came on around 11pm. It's not a concert the way we may know it in the West. The first hour or so was just the band with various singers singing songs, before Ead, the main man of the band come on and after 45 minutes or so he was joined by the two female Lula and Lala. The show lasted until around 1.30am.
The 'khen' instrument played by one of the band members
Another thing that is very different to 'Western style' concerts is that the show is stopped in-between songs and the band goes into comedy routines which has the audience in stitches. A lot of Thai is not needed to understand some of the jokes since they're fairly vivid and simple. Ead and his band had an excellent show and I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of the him, Lula and Lala, the band and the dancers plus various other people that took part in the show, including the stage hands!
The bass player, check out the cool shape of the instrument
As a very unexpected bonus they played a Cardigans song (in my head)! I've seen this only once before, when Sek Loso started to play some Hendrix tunes as an encore, slightly confusing the majority of the audience. This cover however, went down very well, although it was interrupted once more for some comedy.
The production of the show was excellent, as already mentioned, an excellent PA system was used and besides a 10 man band, there was Aed, Lula and Lala, up to 10 dancers, various other singers, male and female and they even had people participating in their comedy acts who pretended to be part of the audience. All in all an excellent show and evening was had!
To finish this up, here's a song by Pong Lan Sa On, one of their hits. Enjoy and don't miss out on them if they play your neighborhood.
The sky over Koh Samui is near perfect blue this morning. Current temp at 7am is 25C
Temple fair lights
Yesterday saw a nice and sunny day around Koh Samui. Max temp reached 29.8C
At the temple fair at Wat Plai Laem we visited a live show last night by Pong Lan Sa On, which was a great event. Some pictures and a post should be up later today.
The forecast for the next 7 days looks splendid.
Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Wat Plai Laem, the Temple party is in full swing
Each later afternoon/early evening the local Thai people are gathering for some shopping and eating and possibly watch an entertainment show at the local Temple fair at Wat Plai Laem with bands or musicians. Last night the big entertainment stage was erected just in front of the temple.
At least 3 'nang talung' or shadow play stages are erected around the temple grounds
Plenty of food and entertainment is available, just as a good temple fair should be. Thailand is famous for it's little snacks all around and over the place and a temple fair is definitely no exception to this rule!
Assorted 'salapao' or steamed Chinese buns
There are also some games, like blowing up balloons with darts and assorted gambling games although officially they are illegal, but how would you call a game where a ball is let loose on a wooden panel or board and you can put money on the holes where it can end up in. Anyway.....
Deep fried insects, a peculiar smell from the sauce that they are dunked in
Temple fairs like this one also have a social function. The local folk all gather and meet at the fair just as well as you will go there with your colleagues or friends, your school buddies or your family.
Anybody needs some more original copies?
The local temples get some funding, the fairs generate money for them so they can either build new buildings or renovate older ones or keep the temple maintained in general.
Chestnut or 'kowlat'
All in all, the temple fairs are a fun event and although they start to resemble each other, it's definitely worthwhile checking them out if you're new to Thailand but also if you have been around a while. This particular party goes on until 20th February, so plenty of time to come over and check it out for yourself if you're on Koh Samui during this time frame.
Koh Samui's sky is blue this morning with a thin cloud layer. Current temp at 7am is 24.8C
Anybody for mengda?
Yesterday saw plenty of sunshine and occasionally some light cloud cover around Koh Samui. Max temp reached 28.8C although around 3pm it definitely feels warmer.
The forecast for the next 7 days is laced with sunshine and hardly any wind at all.
Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Koh Samui woke up this morning to an almost clear blue sky. It looks like it's going to be a warm day. Current temp at 7am is 27.2C
Salapao at one of the food stands at the Wat Plai Laem temple fair
Yesterday saw plenty of sunshine around Koh Samui but there were also some dark clouds covering the sky occasionally. It remained dry though, all day long and the max temp reached 29.1C
The forecast for the next 7 days looks bright and sunny! A great time to visit our island!
Monday, 13 February 2012
It's slightly more cloudy around Koh Samui this morning. There's also a little bit of wind around. Still looking good though and sunshine should be expected. Current temp at 7am is 27.7C
Entrance to the Wat Plai Laem temple fair yesterday during sunset
Yesterday saw clouds during the afternoon around Koh Samui and the wind picked up, it was rather strong at times. Max temp reached 29.5C
The forecast is looking very good, sunny and blue skies are predicted for the next 7 days.
Sunday, 12 February 2012
Mini Golf International, Choengmon
It's been a while since our family has done some recreational activity on or around Koh Samui, but yesterday we changed that with a game of mini golf at the Mini Golf International located in Choengmon, with my Mother, the kids, my wife and myself. A good and fun family outing and it had been ages when I last putted a ball on a mini golf course!
At the entrance
The location is fairly easy to find, next to the gas station in Choengmon, you will see a similar sign as above, pointing you in the direction, just follow the sand road and you will arrive at a nice and large compound that hosts the mini golf 18-hole course.
The cashier building with Juergen Schnurr, the owner
The compound is well looked after, beautifully arranged and located in a luscious green and very quiet area, a couple of hundred meters away from the road.
Established in 2001, according to their own website, they have the first professional golf course in Thailand at the same time when Thailand entered the World Mini Golf Federation.
The course is well maintained and there even are small brooms to weep leaves off the lanes and the green surroundings are watered every day.
The first couple of mini golf lanes or holes
We had a great time in this relaxing environment, the kids had a blast and breezed through the course at their own pace, my mother, my wife and myself had a slightly slower pace and really enjoyed the activity and surrounding. Some of the holes are challenging and fun is easily had by all.
It took us around an hour to complete all the 18 holes but we were very pleased to go there in the late afternoon, around 5pm, when it's not so hot. There are also lights, evening games are possible.
An overview of some of the lanes
The opening times are from 9am to 7pm or 09.00 to 19.00 hrs and for your convenience there's a shaded small bar area for cool drinks and refreshments.
The price is very reasonable with 400.-THB for adults, 200.-THB for children and 600.-THB for an all day, unlimited entry fee. Clubs are available in various sizes, so children and short and longer people can enjoy playing.
The score card
If you're looking for a good time for a couple of hours and some minor physical activity, this may be a great choice. Fun as almost guaranteed and the location is lovely. I can highly recommend a visit to the Mini Golf International 18 hole course in Choengmon. Whether you're withe a couple of friends, family or partner, you can enjoy your time there!