Monday, 30 April 2012

Goodbye to April 2012

Goodbye to April 2012

It's that time of the month again, the end of another month, April 2012 in fact.

It's been a strange month, with a fair amount of rain during the beginning of the month but halfway through it picked up it's usual weather pattern and it was hot, almost scorching hot during some days. The last two days of the months it has been partially cloudy and the wind picked up, bringing a nice breeze in over Koh Samui.


Part of the month I was in Khao Lak, where I celebrated the yearly Songkran festival and there was a Tsunami warning that scared the living hell out of everybody in the neighborhood!

I also had a short lay over in Phuket where I participated in a 10km run.

Before I start to look forward to may, the 2012 version, don't forget to use my Koh Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings. If you book through these two blogs, you help me out making some extra income to maintain this blog. Much appreciated!

See you all next month again.

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 30th April, 2012

Today's weather;

Slightly cloudy and the wind has picked up, delivering a nice breeze over Koh Samui this morning. Current temp at 7am is 27.7C

Being Dutch, I have to mention today's 'Koninginnedag' in the Netherlands! If you are in the Netherlands today, enjoy this special day.

Seafood at walking street in Maenam

Yesterday was partially clouded all day long around Koh Samui with a little bit of a breeze. It was still very warm with a max temp of 35.5C

The forecast remains cloudy but dry except for next weekend when it eases up a bit.

Camille

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 29th April, 2012

Today's weather;

A little bit of a mixed bag is how the weather over Koh Samui can be described this morning. Blue spots with plenty of fluffy white clouds in it. Will the heated up sun blow them out of the sky or not today? Current temp at 7am is 27.8C

Dry ocean ground near Nathon harbor yesterday afternoon

Yesterday it remained cloudy and dry over Koh Samui which resulted in slightly less hot temperatures. Max temp reached 'only' 34C

The forecast for the next 7 days is still mainly cloudy but dry.

Camille

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 28th April, 2012

Today's weather;

The day is starting out slightly cloudy but during the last week, whenever that happened around Koh Samui, once the sun heats up, the clouds disappear in no time. It hot already outside nonetheless with a current temp at 7am of 28.4C

The pool at the Choengmon Beach Hotel, located at a great beach (my favorite beach on Samui) and good value for money

Yesterday saw another steaming hot day around Koh Samui. Max temp reached 35.7C

The forecast predicts solid cloud cover for the next 7 days.

Camille

Friday, 27 April 2012

A baby addition to the family

A baby addition to the family

Besides the new motorbike that has been added to our family on wheels, we also had a baby addition about two weeks ago. May I present to you; Kohn Puy

Kohn Puy

He or she is the baby of Tweety, our cat. We hope she/he will be strong, of the whole nest of cats, she's the only one that survived, so it already shows a bit of a fighting spirit!

The children called her kohn (short hair on arms and legs) Puy (soft, in this context).

Welcome to the family.

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 27th April, 2012

Today's weather;

This morning the sky over over Koh Samui is cloudy. It's still very warm though! Current temp at 7am is already 28.3C

View over Big Buddha yesterday morning

Yesterday was scorching hot, all day long. Max temp reached 35.8C

The forecast for the next 7 days around Koh Samui is very cloudy but no rain.

Camille

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Food on Wheels; Naam kaeng sai

Food on Wheels; Naam kaeng sai

During this heat wave in the making, the current addition to my Food on Wheels series suits this hot season! I feel like drinking cold drinks all day long, just to cool off.

Thais kids love the 'Naam kaeng sai' and a few grown ups like this as much!

The 'Naam keang sai' or clear ice block cart

What happens is that a vendor has a block of frozen ice which he or she scrapes over a sharp edge, the ice is being scraped so to speak and the spoils are put in a cup.

The ice block being scraped over the 'blades', the same principle as a shaving blade from Bic or Gillette

This cup is completely filled with scraped ice and some other ingredients are added. This whole cup of shaved off ice plus add ons costs about 10 to 15THB and really cools you off!

The filled cup being readied for the add ons

These 'Naam kaeng sai' vendors can be found all over the place on Koh Samui but also around Thailand but mainly when there are lots of children around, although, as I already mentioned, adults like to eat this as well.

The other ingredients that can be added, from syrup to corn and jelly, take your pick!

It's very popular with the local Thai people and it's well worth checking out once you see it, specially in this warm and hot weather!

Hope you enjoy it.

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 26th April, 2012

Today's weather;

It looks like it's going to be a day for sun lovers around Koh Samui. Blue skies pretty much as far as the eye can see this morning. This also means it's going to be hot! Current temp at 7am is 28C

Big Buddha enjoying the morning sun

Yesterday was a very warm day with plenty of sunshine around Koh Samui. Max temp reached 35.5C

The forecast predicts more cloudy skies as of tomorrow.

Camille

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wat Manee Si Mahathat, near Phang Nga, the Museum

Wat Manee Si Mahathat, near Phang Nga, the Museum

After yesterdays post about Wat Manee Si Mahathat, near Phang Nga, I didn't want to wait too long with this post about the attached Museum on the premises.

The sign for the museum, this makes it 'official' enough for me

As already mentioned, the museum is not something to expect too much of but it's small and neat and worth the visit once you decided to stop here.

The actual museum buildings

There are smaller rooms to the left and right, with respectively Chinese and Indian wax figurines in it (as pictured below) and a main building with about 8 wax monk statues.

Inside the main building with all the wax figures of the various monks, that I assume, stayed and/or worked at the Wat and were abbot at some stage

Inside the pavilion with the Chinese wax figurines

In contrast to various other Temples around Thailand, which have sometimes 'mummified monks' on display, this is still a good effort to keep the memory of this specific Temple life alive!

Inside the pavilion with the Indian wax figurines

A very small exhibition and in most parts of the world this wouldn't be referred to as a museum, but for me it's a valid enough reason to call it museum and I love to visit places like this. I'm happy I stopped and had a look at the whole complex, including the museum, I hope you will have the same pleasure if you're in the neighborhood.

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 25th April, 2012

Today's weather;

The sky over Koh Samui is lovely again this morning. Mostly blue with a few scattered white and fluffy clouds. Current temp at 7am is 27.9C

Our new family addition on wheels, the Yamaha Filano

Yesterday saw a nice sunny morning followed by a dry but cloudy afternoon. It's very warm though, actually so much that it slows you down and drains your energy! Max temp reached 34.5C

The forecast for Koh Samui is predicting clouds starting from Sunday but still dry!

Camille

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Wat Manee Si Mahathat, near Phang Nga

Wat Manee Si Mahathat, near Phang Nga

Yesterday I already posted a picture in my daily weather update of Wat Manee Si Mahathat, near Phang Nga and today it's time for a dedicated post to this Wat or Temple.

One of the two entrances to the Wat

Since I always pass this Wat or Temple on way to Phuket or Khao Lak, it was time to make a stop and have a closer look at this impressive Temple complex, including a small museum on which I will separately.

The Bot of the Wat

It's a fairly big complex and well worth a stop, in case you pass it on your travels. When I first came to Thailand, I was seriously impressed with the Temples around the country. At some stage I entered the phase of 'seen one temple, seen them all'. I'm well over that stage now, since a while already and now I enjoy visiting temples again and discover their beauty. I enjoyed this Temple because of it's quietness and also because it had this small 'museum', about which you can find a post here. Probably in the next few days, don't expect too much but I enjoyed their interpretation of a museum.

The big statue of a Monk that dominates the complex, as seen from the 'Museum'

As an amateur collector of Buddhist amulets I was surprised that no amulets where on offer at this Wat, especially considering the size of the Monk's statue, which should bring in enough devotees who need or seek protection for their cars in the form of a small statue or amulet!
I would've been more than happy to buy an amulet here.

A detail of the bot

One of the many small statues lining the gates of the Temple complex

This is all the information I could gather about the Wat Manee Si Mahathat. Stay tuned though for my post about the Museum.

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 24th April, 2012

Today's weather;

Koh Samui is back, it's nice and sunny and blue skies are outs this morning! Current temp at 7am is already up to 28C

The family is excited since we're about to pick a new motorbike, a Yamaha Filano. It's about time, our Honda Wave is already 12 years old but still running, kind of.

The sky over our little part of the island, this morning!

Yesterday saw a mainly cloudy but dry day around Koh Samui with a max temp of 32.6C

The forecast is looking good for the next 7 days with more wind and clouds predicted from Saturday onward.

Camille

Monday, 23 April 2012

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 23rd April, 2012

Today's weather;

Back home again! Koh Samui's sky is slightly clouded though and not too much sunshine is around this morning. Current temp at 7am is 26.8C

Going to or coming from Phuket and Khao Lak, I always pass this Wat or temple near Phang Nga; Wat Manee Si Mahathat with this impressive Monk's statue. I'll try to write a blog post soon about this Temple

Koh Samui was hot and sunny yesterday and it was good to be back home again. Max temp reached 34.8C

Phuket was cloudy but dry yesterday with same rain later on during the day, when I left already! Max temp reached 34.5C On the way back I only had a serious bout of rain near Phangna.
My run yesterday went well, have a look here for a short write up.

The forecast shows more cloudy weather around next weekend but plenty of sunshine leading up to the weekend.

Camille

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Mitsubishi Care for Health Run, Saphan Hin Park, Phuket Town, April 2012

Mitsubishi Care for Health Run, Saphan Hin Park, Phuket Town, April 2012

In preparation for this years International Laguna Phuket Marathon (half marathon for me) 10th June, later this year, I found a 10.5km run in Phuket, the Mitsubishi Care for Health Run in Saphan Hin Park near Phuket Town. This morning the race was shortened to 9.5km but that was fine by me and about everybody else who participated.


Yesterday when I picked up my running shirt and bib

The location is very nice in a sports park, directly near Phuket town and many sports facilities are available here but also a monument for Krom Luang Chumpon Khet Udomsak, the Father of the Thai Royal Navy.


My new shirt and the bib

A good start to the day with a 4am wake up call and a 6am start! I was happy with my performance and now it's back on the road, heading home to Koh Samui!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 22nd April, 2012

Today' weather;

Koh Samui is looking good this morning, blue skies and a warm day ahead of us! Watch out for road closures during the morning and early afternoon because of the Samui Triathlon! Good luck to the participants! Current temp at 7am is 27.6C
In a few hours I'm off again, direction home sweet home!

This update is a little bit later than usual because I participated in a 9.5km run in Phuket (it was originally supposed to be a 10.5km run) in Saphan Hin park. All went well under a light cloud covered sky and it was dry! Current temp at 7am is 26.5C

The start and finish line in Saphan Hin park, near Phuket town, yesterday morning

Koh Samui is currently heating up, just like the rest of the country, especially North of Bangkok! Yesterday was no exception with plenty of sunshine and a max temp of 35.4C

In Phuket we had a very wet morning yesterday followed by a dry afternoon. Max temp reached 31C

The forecast is looking good until next weekend when wind and clouds are predicted again.

Camille



Saturday, 21 April 2012

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 21st April, 2012

Today's weather;

Koh Samui is getting ready for a very warm day! Current temp at 7am is 27.9C
Be aware of road blocks tomorrow for the Samui Triathlon and good luck to the participants.

In Phuket it's partly clouded with a few blue spots in the sky. Current temp at 7am is 25.7C

Modern art statue at the Saphan Hin Park near Phuket town

Yesterday saw a lovely day around Koh Samui, blue skies and very warm. Max temp reached 34.4C

Phuket on the other hand saw a very mixed bag with plenty of rain and occasional breaks, although the morning was nice. Max temp reached 34C

The forecast for Koh Samui is looking good for the next 7 days, plenty of sunshine and warm days ahead!

Camille

Friday, 20 April 2012

Kromluang Chumpon Khet Udomsak monument in Saphan Hin Park, Phuket

Kromluang Chumpon Khet Udomsak monument in Saphan Hin Park, Phuket

There are many monuments around Thailand for Kromluang Chumpon Khet Udomsak, father of the Royal Thai Navy. This one is in Saphan Hin Park near Phuket Town in Phuket, where this coming Sunday morning I will participate in a 10.5km run.

The entrance of the monument

Today I went for a bit of a stake out of the area for Sunday's run and stumbled over this monument. The only other monument I know of and other monument that I visited is in Pattaya, on a hill overlooking the city.

"The father of mariners"

The monument is not easily missed but does definitely not put any effort in it to attract people. Rather a place for insiders!

What I liked; a picture of Thai Navy divers!

Most likely it's used by the wives of Thai Navy personnel when they're out on the oceans of this world.

As an add on there are some marine weapons on display as well, torpedo's guns etc, nicely hidden in front of the building

In side the building are some Thai Navy ships in miniature and plenty of pictures plus some altar for prayers. All in all a simple and not overly spectacular place to visit, but if you're in the neighborhood, well worth a short visit.

The front of the whole complex is build as a Navy ship

More updates on my run and possibly Saphan Hin park on Sunday.

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 20th April, 2012

Today's weather;

Due to not having internet access this morning in Khao Lak, my daily update is a bit late and is already coming from Phuket.

First things first though, this morning Koh Samui is slightly sunny with a current temp at 10 am of already a whooping 32.8C

Khao Lak was nice and sunny this morning with a current temp at 10am of 30C and being now in Phuket, it's also nice and sunny although Phuket already saw some rain earlier this morning. Current temp at 10am is 32.7C
Sunday morning I will participate in a 10.5km run in Saphan Hin Park near Phuket town and after the run I will head back to Samui.

A very nice sunset yesterday in Khao Lak

Koh Samui was cloudy yesterday with a few bursts of sunshine but it remained dry with a max temp of 33.1C

Yesterday the PADI IE was successfully completed in Khao Lak and my job was finished, hence my short detour to Phuket. There was some rain during the day time but the evening was dry again. Max temp reached 31.6C

I hope that Phuket remains the way it is during my stay, recently there was a tsunami warning and a few earthquakes here! Precautions are being ramped up.

The forecast for Samui is looking good after Saturday.

Camille

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 19th April, 2012

Today's weather;

The sky over Koh Samui is cloudy with hardly any sunshine right now. Current temp at 7am is 27.8C

In Khao Lak it's slightly cloudy this morning but once the sun heats up I can see the clouds evaporate. Current temp at 7am is 25.3C



The famous Police patrol 813 boat from the 2004 Tsunami

Yesterday saw a bit of a mixed bag around Koh Samui, mainly cloudy, sometimes sunshine but no rain. Max temp reached 31.8C

In Khao Lak the current PADI IE started yesterday (updates later today on my dive blog) and we had a bit of sunshine, some light rainy bits and a bit more sunshine again with a max temp of 32.8C

The forecast for Koh Samui's next 7 days is looking better and better, with plenty of sunshine coming up.

Camille

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Police Patrol boat 813 in Khao Lak

Patrol boat 813 in Khao Lak

This boat must be one of the most famous police boats in the world. During the tsunami on 26th December 2004 it was swept almost 2 km inland and now remains at exactly the location as it was deposited. Now it's part of a local museum and tsunami remembrance statue. Especially now with the very recent tsunami warning and the earth quakes and aftershocks in Phuket, a good moment to visit this monument.

Police Patrol boat 813 in it's current state, April 2012

The patrol boat was one of two police boats overseeing the holiday of Khun Phum Jensen, son of former Royal Princess Ubol Ratana (his father was an American, hence the last name) at the time of the 2004 tsunami. Khun Phum was jet-skiing when the wave struck, and he and the entire crew of one of the police boats (which was sunk) died. This is the other boat, which was swept approx. 2km inland and has been left exactly where the tsunami deposited it as a memorial and historical landmark.

A big tsunami memorial is planned at the boats location

Over the years, the scenery around the boat had changed just a little bit, look here for pictures from March 2005 and 2009. Now there are plans for a big memorial but it was not clear to me when the construction should be finished. Right now entrance is free and I wonder what kind of place this memorial is going to be.

A view over the building site with the first couple of building under construction and a foundation for the boat.

Information right now is marginal and there's just a small shack outside of the premises

When visiting Khao Lak it's well worth a visit and I just hope that the memorial will be worthy of it's victims and turn into a place of reflection and information about what happened during that awful morning of 26th December in 2004.

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 18th April, 2012

Today's weather;

Sunny skies dominate in Koh Samui this morning with a current temp at 7am of 27.8C

In Khao Lak there's a bit of a mixed bag this morning, the sun peeks through the cloud formations. Hopefully a warmed up sun can chase those clouds away. Current temp at 7am is 26.2C

The 813 boat in Khao Lak, deposited there during the tsunami in 2004

Yesterday saw a sunny day around Koh Samui although some light rain came down as well somewhere on the island, but no in the north eastern corner. Max temp reached 26.5C

In Khao Lak we had at last a dry and almost all day long sunny day again with a max temp of 33.1C

The forecast for Koh Samui sees decreased cloud formations after Saturday.

Camille

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 17th April, 2012

Today's weather;

Koh Samui is waking up under a nice and blue sky, it may get warm today. Current temp at 7am is 26.9C

In Khao Lak the sky is looking like it may turn blue any moment when the sun starts to heat up. A day without rain would be nice again for a change. Current temp at 7am is 25C

The sky over Khao Lak this morning

Koh Samui saw a nice and warm day yesterday with a max temp of 32.7C

Around the Khao Lak area, there was rain again, a heavy shower around noon was ours but after that it cleared up although heavy rain clouds could be seen around. Max temp reached 31.7C

The forecast shows fairly cloudy days during the coming week, although after the weekend it should get better.

Camille

Monday, 16 April 2012

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 16th April, 2012

Today's weather;

The sky over Koh Samui is blue this morning with a current temp at 7am of 29.7C

In Khao Lak on the other hand it's fairly cloudy this morning. Current temp at 7am is 25.2C

After yesterday's rain, cloud formations form in the mountains

Yesterday saw a sunny day around Koh Samui with a max temp of 32.8C

In Khao Lak we had the usual sunny morning but around 1pm it started raining and it pretty much didn't stop until 8pm. At times also very hard rain. Max temp reached 32.6C

Due to the thunder and lightning two days ago, the cable tv in my hotel doesn't work anymore and some places have problems with the internet connections as well, they got disrupted.

The forecast for Samui is showing some relief in the cloud cover after next weekend.

Camille





Sunday, 15 April 2012

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 15th April, 2012

Today's weather;

The predicted cloudy weather has caught up with Koh Samui and this morning's sky is clouded. Current temp at 7am is 27C

In Khao Lak it's not looking that much better, it's cloudy, just like the last few mornings here. Current temp at 7am is 25C

One more Songkran picture from two days ago, in some parts of Thailand the party still continues

Yesterday saw a sunny and warm day around Koh Samui but last night there was rain. Max temp reached 32.5C

In Khao Lak we had the by now usual weather pattern, a warm and sunny morning, followed by rain between 2 and 3pm but than we had a very hard thunder shower around 6.30pm for about an hour. Max temp reached 33.2C

The continued Songkran festivities took a big deadly toll yesterday and on day three of the 7 day period 56 people were killed, making it some 144 people being killed during the first three days of the Songkran holiday with another 1,668 people injured in 1,554 road accidents from Wednesday to Friday.
The number of fatalities was well over the toll for the first three days last year, which was 116.

The forecast for the next 7 days around Koh Samui predicts plenty of cloud cover with occasionally some rain.

Camille

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Songkran 2012 in Khao Lak

Songkran 2012 in Khao Lak

Yesterday was the nation wide Thai New Years day or better known as Songkran and for the first time in 13 years of living in Thailand I was outside of Koh Samui during this celebration.

Party scene at the corner of the road where I stay in Khao Lak

During the morning we stayed in the classroom, in order to complete parts of the current PADI IDC in Khao Lak.

Fairly heavy rain the moment we joined the party

It was nice and sunny during the morning but around 2.30pm when we finished classes for the day and were ready to join the party, it started to rain!

A small girl with a real cool Minney Mouse water gun

The celebrations in Khao Lak aren't as big as back on Koh Samui but it was interesting to see the complete difference in atmosphere compared to two days ago when there was a tsunami warning.

Hiding out

It's a good thing that in Khao Lak, just like on Koh Samui, the celebrations only last for a day! Today's it's back to business, bring on that IDC again!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 14th April, 2012

Today's weather;

Koh Samui is enjoying a nice blue sky this morning and it looks like it's getting ready for another warm day. Current temp at 7am is 26.8C

In Khao Lak the sky has the by now almost too familiar hazy layer, which hopefully will get burned away by the sun. Current temp at 7am is 24.8C

After a wet day in Khao Lak yesterday, there was a nice sunset

Koh Samui had a nice and warm day and although there was apparently some rain on the island, nothing was to be seen in the north eastern part of the island. Max temp reached 32.2C

Khao Lak saw a nice and sunny morning but the moment we finished class during the current IDC and were ready to join the Songkran celebrations, it started to rain. This didn't stop the fun though and we had a max temp of 32.8C

The Songkran road death toll keeps climbing and is unfortunately ahead of last year. Drunk driving has been the cause of most of the road accidents during the Songkran festival so far. Thursday, the second day of the holiday, saw 481 road accidents, which killed 58 people and injured 515 others, bringing the total Songkran road toll so far to 88 deaths and 890 injuries in 824 accidents, Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri said yesterday.

The forecast shows lots of clouds around Koh Samui after Sunday but no rain.

Camille

Friday, 13 April 2012

Happy New Thai Year 2012 on Songkran day

Happy New Thai Year 2012 on Songkran day

This is the first year that I will celebrate Thai New Year or Songkran outside of Koh Samui. I'm currently in Khao Lak and reports of the festivities here will follow later.

Last years Songkran on Koh Samui

The female Thai traffic cops in Bangkok made a video to promote road safety during this years Songkran. So far to not that much avail since already 30 people died during road accidents on the first of the 7 deadly days.

Nonetheless, Happy Thai New Year or สวัสดีปีใหม่ Sawatdee Pee Mai and be safe!

Camille