Thursday 31 May 2007

Visakha Bucha Day

Visakha Bucha Day

Today was Visakha Bucha Day, a day celebrated in temples all over Thailand and the world. It's probably the most important worshipping day for the Buddhist community in the world.
As the highlight of the day, people walk around the 'Bot', an important building of a temple.
On the temple grounds and around it all kind of events are happening, a small market is going on with lots of food and small things to buy and in the temple grounds, all kind of Buddha amulets and statues can be bought.
In our local Wat (Wat is the Thai word for Temple), Wat Plai Laem, it was extremely busy.

Here's a view of the display of various Buddha amulets and medals.

One of the more popular spots on the temple grounds.

In this picture, you can see a big heart, which will be placed in a massive new Buddha statue on the temple grounds. This heart is filled with thousands of very small Buddha amulets, each costs one Baht and you're supposed to put as many amulets in the heart in correspondence with your age.

In this picture, the money for the small Buddha amulets that end up in the heart, is collected. This money will be used to help build and maintain the various projects going on at the temple grounds.

This is a typical Thai temple fair feature. In trees on the temple grounds, small wrapped papers are put up and for 10Baht per paper, one can get a paper out of the tree. The paper has a number on it (with a Buddha message written on it as well) and one gets a small 'price', a bar of soap, a toothbrush, a note bloc or similar small items per paper that you get out of the tree.

The money collected is used for maintaining or building on the temple ground.

Hopefully you enjoyed this little insight in daily Thai life.
Any feedback is appreciated.


31st May, 2007

Today's weather;

The sky is mostly overcast with a current temp of 27C.

Yesterday it turned out for the better and the overcast vanished during the day and a nice blue sky was beaming over us. Max temp was a whooping 34.7C.

See you next month,

Wednesday 30 May 2007

Goodbye to May 2007

Hi to all readers,

With just one more day to go in May 2007, it's about time to start saying goodbye to May 2007.

It most certainly didn't start out as a good month, weather wise, especially in the beginning of the month.

It did pick up rather nicely though and personally I found the rain showers at the end of the month rather appealing and a nice welcome to cool off the evenings from rather warm days.

As the Gang of Four already knew some 20 odd years ago;

Heated couplings in the sun
(Or is that untrue?)
Colder couplings in the night
(Never saw your body)

Back on topic though, the weather on Samui. I thought this picture taken by Ton Mandemaker, sums this month nicely up, there's sunshine but in a cloudy sky and it comes complete with a nice view on Big Buddha. All good after all.

Stay tuned for next month' daily weather updates and hope to see you on Samui soon,


30th May, 2007

Today's weather;

There's a bit of a grey cloud layer today, without any blue sky bits in it. It's 26.5C right now.

Yesterday there were a couple of rain showers around 4 pm, so it looks like we'll be ending the month of May the way we started it, wet! The current rain and showers are not as dramatic as earlier in the month. Max temp was 31.7C

Today is an important day for Thai politics, there'll be a court ruling around 1 pm about 2 major and a couple of smaller political parties future. In the worst case scenario these parties will have to be disbanded, which may cause riots in Bangkok.
If that happens, it may dampen tourist arrivals even more than Thailand is already experiencing.

Tuesday 29 May 2007

29th May, 2007

Today's weather;

A bit more overcast this morning, which possibly makes for a cool day. It's 27C right now.

Yesterday there was a bit more overcast during the day time, which resulted in a not so very hot day, which is actually nice.
At 7 pm it started to rain very hard for a few minutes but rain, wind and thunder drifted in and out until 10 pm, with many dry periods in between.

See you tomorow,

Monday 28 May 2007

28th May, 2007

Today's weather;

Same 'o same 'o, today a bit of blue sky and clouds with a current temp of 27.5C.

Yesterday it was hot hot hot, 34C.

During my IDC, we went to the pool at World Resort and the tiles were so hot, one could hardly stand on them.
The weather predictions still show the partly clouded sun with thunder for the next week, but only with a 20% possibility. It's actually a lot better than that.

Stay tuned and make sure to use your sun lotion,

Sunday 27 May 2007

27th May 2007

Today's weather;

It seems that a currently standardized sky is up and running most mornings right now, blue with white patches. It's currently 27.5C.

Yesterday was another hot day with 34.1C on the meter.

Today I'm starting another IDC, this time around the IE will be in Koh Samui, in 12 days time. I've got 6 candidates and for the IE there will be 9.

Stay tuned,

Saturday 26 May 2007

26th May 2007

Today's weather;

It looks nice outside with a blue sky and some clouds in it. It's 27.5C right now.

Yesterday was another lovely day with a max temp of 35C.
At 10 pm last night there was some very hard wind and lots of rain with thunder and lightning.

Friday 25 May 2007

25th May, 2007

Today's weather;

A lovely blue sky with some scattered clouds seem to be preparing for another beautiful day. Current temp is 27.7C

Yesterday was another lovely day with a max temp of 34.4C, yes indeed, it was hot.
May seems to have turned out rather well after a very wet and stormy beginning.

Michael requested an update on our aircon yesterday, so here we are. It's not looking good right now, the a/c in our sleeping room is broken and needs to be fixed, most likely this won't/can't be done until early next week.
Right now, since last night, we sleep in the children's room, which is still comfortable, there are two big beds/mattresses in there, it's just wiggling around all the toys to find the right sleeping position that makes it challenging.
Hope this satisfies your curiosity Michael! ;-)

By the way, this is my 100th post on this blog.

Stay tuned,

Thursday 24 May 2007

Fun things to see on Koh Samui

Private property on Koh Samui;

The driver of this car has a very unique and funny view on private property.
Note that the insurance tag is for this current
year, the year 2550 in the Thai lunar system, although there are no windows and the horn seems to be replaced by a bicycle bell.
Safe travels!

24th May 2007

Today's weather;

It looks nice, a blue sky with a bit more than average amount of clouds in it. It's sunny though with a current temp of 27C.

Yesterday was another very hot day, there were some clouds during the day but no rain and very hot again. Just lovely weather in general.

Wednesday 23 May 2007

23rd May, 2007

Today's weather;

It's amazing this morning, a massive blue sky, no cloud to be seen over land, only over the ocean. It's currently 28C.

Yesterday was a beauty as well, I was diving on Koh Tao again, as part of the Specialty Instructor training with some of my IDC candidates (who are PADI Instructors now, by the way!) and it was sunny and hot, all day long.

The weather predictions still predict thunder and lightning, but the percentages are lower each day, currently at 20%.

Here's another picture taken by Ton Mandemaker, just over a week ago of how Samui looks like right now, a lovely shot overlooking the channel to Koh Phangan.

Tuesday 22 May 2007

22nd May 2007

Today's weather;

It's a beautiful blue sky, with very thin white patches and it looks like it's gonna be a hot day.
Current temp is 27C.

Yesterday I went to Koh Tao on the Seatran ferry to dive and on the way over we had a quick shower which was followed by a lovely day, a light overcast but no rain and not too hot and my face turned red.

See you tomorrow.

Monday 21 May 2007

21st May 2007

Today's weather;

There's thin grey layer out there this morning and some cloud development, over the ocean and some inland as well. Current temp is 27C.

Last night there was thunder and lightning at some point, it briefly woke me up and this morning everything was still wet outside.

Yesterday during the day time it was fantastic however, all day sunshine and a blue sky.
Chaweng Beach had a nice bustle to it and people were enjoying the sun, swimming and dipping into the sea, just hanging out, sunbathing, playing games and just having a good time with things one does at the seas side.

Stay tuned for more,

Sunday 20 May 2007

20th May 2007

Today's weather;

A blue sky with white patches. It's a nice 27.4C already.

Yesterday it was HOT. All day long it was a clear blue sky, with only a threat of rain around noon. Max temp was 32.2C

We did a night dive on Chaweng beach last night, as part of Specialty Instructor training and the sky was beautiful with loads of stars and very clear!

The picture below, taken by Ton Mandemaker last week, could easily have been taken yesterday.
As you can see, it's all not that bad as it sounds with the weather on Samui.

Saturday 19 May 2007

19th May 2007

Today's weather;

It looks really nice this morning. A blue sky over land since a long while. Just over the ocean are some cumulus clouds. It's 26C right now.

Yesterday was a lovely day, sunshine all day and it was warm, the car heated up very quickly in the sun and the a/c went up a couple of notches whilst driving, trying to cool things down a bit. It was 33.2C yesterday and only around 23.00 hrs I heard some thunder but I don't think it actually rained in our neck of the woods.

Stay tuned for more, tomorrow morning,

Friday 18 May 2007

Strange sights on Samui.

What's wrong with this otherwise totally normal picture;

Here's a picture that gives you an unexpected insight in the way some things happen and/or are build here in Thailand.

This picture was taken on some of the back roads surrounding Maenam, in the north of the island.

18th May 2007

Today's weather;

First of all, I'm back on Samui again. The weather looks nice this morning, loads of blue patches in the sky with a current temp of 27C.

Yesterday max temp only reached 29.3C but no rain after 5 pm when we came back from Koh Tao.

The IE went over very successfully and both Ton and Paul passed their Instructors Exam with flying colors!
We went for dinner at Zico's but unfortunately the food was not as good as it used to be. I've been many many times at Zico's and this was my first visit in a couple of months. However, the food was dry (all meat and fish) and fairly blend. The salad bar is still the best in town and the Caiparinha's still taste good but I'll stick to the happy hours between 10 and 11 pm in their upstairs bar for future reference.
The dancing Brasilian girls are still fun to watch, especially if it's your first time to Zico's.

Anyway, back on track; congratulations to Paul and Ton.

On the picture from left to right;
Ton, myself, Paul and their PADI Examiner, Thomas.

Thursday 17 May 2007

17th May

Today's weather on Koh Tao;

It's slightly overcast and some sunbeams are struggling very hard to break through. It's 26C right now.

Yesterday it wasn't until very late, around 10 pm that the almost daily rain arrived.

Wednesday 16 May 2007

Update on the IE

My two candidates, Paul and Ton are doing fine so far. We're on day two of the Instructor Examination and they got back from their Open Water presentations/dive and they both passed. Ton even had two 5's on his Open Water presentations, out of 5 that's pretty good!

This morning they had their classroom presentations and although they were a bit nervous, they both passed that part.

Yesterday they already passed their written exam segments. Three down right now and one, Confined Water, to go. All systems are go!

16th May 2007

Koh Tao's weather today;

It's some serious overcast this morning and only 25C.

Yesterday max temp was 32C and around 6 pm the daily downpour arrived. It was nice since it cooled Koh Tao down a bit. We arrived around 10 am and it was fairly hot and humid until the rain came.

The ride over on the Seatran was uneventful with a flat ocean.

See you tomorrow,

Tuesday 15 May 2007

15th May 2007

Today's weather;

It's a greyer cloud layer today than the last week in the morning. No sunshine around today, as of now. Current temp is 27C.

Yesterday there was no rain in the afternoon, which was nice for a change.

Today I'm off to Koh Tao for a PADI Instructor Examination, so I may report from there.

See you soon,

Monday 14 May 2007

14th May 2007

Weather today;

It seems that there's a repetitive pattern in the weather recently. Nice and sunny in the morning and than hard rain in the afternoon. Right no it's 27C.

This morning it looks good again, just like yesterday, but yesterday around 3 pm it started to rain and at 4 pm it was raining relentlessly and it didn't stop until the late evening.
Max temp yesterday was 31.4C

Today my IDC finishes and tomorrow we're off to Koh Tao for the PADI IE (Instructor Examination).

Sunday 13 May 2007

13th May 2007

Today's weather;

It's looking really good this morning. Sunshine with a very thin layer of clouds and no big cloud formations in sight. Current temp is 27C.

Yesterday it was great in the morning, like the day before but this time around 2 pm strong rain and wind ruled for about half an hour and it took the sun a couple of hours to find it's way back.

Saturday 12 May 2007

12th May 2007

Today's weather;

It's looking fab right now. Sunshine, blue patches but clouds in various degrees of 'threat'. It's 27C.

Yesterday the quicksilver reached 33.5C but around 3 pm there was a massive shower that lasted for about three quarters of an hour.

Friday 11 May 2007

11th May 2007

Today's weather;

There are big blue patches in the sky with thin layers of clouds and over the ocean a thicker pack of clouds. It's already over 27C and it looks like another promising day, despite the weather predictions.

Yesterday it reached 33.3C, pretty warm.

Yesterday Samui also had a visit by one of the Royal Family, the first wife of the King's son.

When I finished working at World Resort for my current IDC, I left but was immediately waved off the road by a police guy. The police guys where posted about every 3 to 400 meter! I got out of the car and she cruised by in her creme coloured Mercedes as part of a large car convoy a few minutes later. All the Thais where sitting to pay their respect and I was asked by the police guy to sit down as well.

The whole road was cleared of cars and bikes all the way where she travelled. It's fascinating to see how the Thais respect and interact with their Royal Family.

Thursday 10 May 2007

10th May 2007

Today's weather;

It's looking good this morning. The sky is covered with clouds but they don't look like rain clouds and it's bright. It's 27C right now.

Yesterday stayed dry all day and the max temp was 32.8C.

Wednesday 9 May 2007

9th May 2007

Today's weather;

It's starting out nicely, a blue sky with a really thin white cloud layer. It looks like another nice day coming up. It's 27C right now and it looks promising.

Yesterday there was a max temp of 32.8C but funnily enough, after I wrote my weather blog piece, within 10 minutes it started to rain very hard combined with a very strong and hard wind. It rained a few more times during the night but now it looks fine again.

Tuesday 8 May 2007

A friend in Thai prison

Hi all,

Here's a post that's not weather related, or maybe if one wants to include it into the Thai political climate.

It's about an old friend of mine, Crispin Paton-Smith who I know since I came to Samui 8 years ago now. At the time we worked both for the same dive shop and we shared the dive deck on the boat more than just a few times.

He started his own dive shop at some stage and he has been very successful with his enterprise.

About nine months ago he was arrested on a wide array of charges of which only two very minor charges remain for which normally bail is granted. However, not in Crispin's case.

In my opinion, he's just guilty by association (of being a member of a motorbike club) and he needs our support.

Please have a look at this website, dedicated to him and his case and I leave it up to you to do what you feel is right.

8th May 2007

Today's weather;

It's already past 6pm when I'm writing this and that's because this morning there was a power cut and I couldn't post. Sorry about that.

Today was a very nice day with blue skies and some clouds in it and I was diving on Chaweng Beach, as part of my current IDC and it was just lovely. Lots of folk enjoying the sun and having a ball on the beach. At last, after almost a week of rain. Currently it's still 32.5C.

Yesterday I had a problem with posting my pictures, but now it's fixed again, so you can all see our felled tree in the garden.

The other day, Dave was the first person to post a comment (thanks Dave!) in my blog and today I received for the first time an email with people commenting on my blog. Melvyn from NYC mailed, saying he followed my blog and was about to arrive on Samui for the first time, keep it up, Melvyn and I hope you will have a good time on Samui and that you'll come back many times!

People out there, feel free to post comments and make yourselves known. It's nice to get some feedback, because it's sometimes difficult to comprehend that whilst your sitting behind your screen at your homes safety, people at the other side of the world may be reading your words.

Monday 7 May 2007

7th May 2007

Today's weather;

There's a grey layer in the sky with bursts of sunshine and some blue spots, so the weather looks like it can swing both ways, sun or rain.
Currently it's only 25C, so nice and cool.
The picture to the left is an accurate display of the sky this morning.

Yesterday was a very nice day, warm and sunny and the max temp reached 32.2C. That is, up until 7pm, when it started to rain very hard with thunder and lightning and a hard and vicious wind.
There was a power cut until 8pm during which I played hide and seek with my children who were very excited by being able to play with the torches supplied.
Once the power came back on again and my wife looked outside into the garden, it was when she noticed that our tree in the front garden was felled by the wind!

Sunday 6 May 2007

6th May 2007

Today's weather;

It's a light overcast today, not the threatening and heavy clouds that we had last week. Hopefully this thin cloud layer breaks and there will be some more sunshine. It's currently 28C and I'm crossing my fingers for another dry day.

Saturday 5 May 2007

Welcome to May

Well, it seems that May was following up on April with rain and no sun, in general with monsoon weather.

During May it's possible to have an odd rain shower but nothing too bad and normally it lasts maybe for 15 minutes and everything is dry again within an hour. No flash flooding as it looked like in late April and the first few days in May.

Today was a lovely day with sunshine all day long and a nice temperature. Let's hope it stays like this for a while.

5th May 2007

Today's weather;

A miracle seemed to have happened this morning, it's a blue sky and hardly any clouds to be seen. Surprise surprise. Although it's only 25C currently, it's gonna be a lot warmer soon if it's stays like this today.

The weather predictions are not looking as bright as today's weather is starting out.

Yesterday already was a nicer day than the day before, since there wasn't any rain.

Stay tuned and let's see if this sunny weather continues during the day and hopefully tomorrow.

The tourists visiting Samui over the last week probably weren't too excited about all that rain, I know my sister wasn't!

Friday 4 May 2007

4th May 2007

Today's weather;

It remains gray and wet. It's currently 28C.

Yesterday started out pretty well, at some stage in the morning the sun was sighted but after lunch a long and hard downpour started. Last night it rained as well.

Most of the time the rain is accompanied by thunder and lightning.

Thursday 3 May 2007

3rd May 2007

Today's weather;

It's not good, grey and rain and most importantly no sunshine at this time of the day. Last night it was thunder and lightning. It doesn't help a tourist destination like Koh Samui or Thailand in general. The whole country and actually the whole region is experiencing bad weather and the predictions until next week aren't very good neither, unfortunately.

The temperatures are still OK, within the 30C range.

Wednesday 2 May 2007

2nd May 2007

Today's weather;

It's grey outside with a 27C temperature right now.

May did not start that good this year. Yesterday it rained on various spots around the island at various times but it remained dry in Chaweng all day and my family and myself had a pleasant afternoon with my sisters family at Central Resort where I did a Discover Scuba Dive with my wife's 9 year old son.

In the evening however, during dinner at Pee Soon, one of Chawengs finest fish restaurants, it started to rain very hard for about 15 minutes and when we decided to have a walk in Chaweng for some shopping, we barely made it in to our respective cars dry and decided to go for an early sleep. This shower lasted a bit longer, it was still raining when we went to sleep.

Tomorrow it's time to start another IDC which makes it a busy time for me with just being back from Bangkok, my sister on holiday and another IDC starting tomorrow.

If you're interested in diving on Koh Samui, have a look here

Tuesday 1 May 2007

1st May 2007

Today's weather;

May started off dry, which currently is an achievement. It's very cloudy though and current temp is about 26C. It looks like it will rain at some stage today.

Yesterday's temp was 30C, the nice thing was that in the early afternoon it stopped raining.