Monday 30 November 2009

Goodbye to November 2009

Goodbye to November 2009

It was an amazing month indeed! In my 10 years here, I can only think of one similar time, a few years back, before my blogging days, when there was also almost no rain during both November and December.

Just looking and browsing through the November 2008 and 2007 versions gives you an idea how it usually is during November.

For the tourists that visited Samui during November, it was a great month and experience indeed, I think we had exactly one day in early November with monsoon like conditions and rain almost all day and around mid November there was some rain, when I was on an almost dry Koh Tao.

For the people living on Koh Samui, locals and expats alike, the situation is different though, the monsoon or November rain is supposed to fill up the wells and adjust the water ground levels. Obviously that didn't happen during this month and consequently there will be a shortage of ground water, which can cause problems all the way up to May/June next year.

For us living here,w e can only hope that December will bring some rain, although the forecasts don't look that good right now.

I'm glad that I could get two more restaurant reviews up this month, Tang in Nathon and Little Holland in Chaweng. November also saw the yearly Loy Kratong festival and I was also very glad to at last make it to the Magic Garden in the Lamai mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog and hope to see you next back next month in December!


30th November, 2009

Today's weather;

The last day of November 2009 starts in a splendid way with sunshine in an almost clear blue sky with a current temp of 24.8C at 7am.

Yesterday was a lovely day, including some dives on Chaweng reef where we spotted a small Grey Bamboo shark, very unusual.
It was a warm and sunny all day long with a max temp of 31.5C.


Sunday 29 November 2009

Little Holland bar & restaurant, Chaweng north

Little Holland bar & restaurant, Chaweng north

This restaurant has since closed it's doors

After some great diving this morning on Chaweng Beach, where for the first time I saw a small shark, a Grey Bamboo shark, I was very hungry when I got back home and decided to take the children to a newly opened Dutch place in the northern part of Chaweng.

The restaurant is named 'Little Holland' and has just opened since a day or two, three or so. Since my oldest kid, our daughter, is fond of pancakes, I thought it a good idea to get her some Dutch pancakes or who knows, maybe even some poffertjes.

Little Holland is run by a Dutch couple, no surprises there, Rob and Marleen have been visiting Samui since a few years and now want to stay here permanently, hopefully with their Dutch hospitality.

Since the kids aren't that familiar with Dutch food, it was a bit of a risk to order the poffertjes, which were indeed on the menu, but with Julia, my daughter, they were a big success and she pretty much finished off both her own and her younger brother's portion, who wasn't that impressed with the poffertjes at all. There are plenty of children meals on the menu by the way.

I ordered a portion of hachee, I hadn't eaten hachee for over 20 years or more I guess, so a nice Dutch touch for me.

The menu is in Dutch and has some interesting, good and also plenty of Dutch food on it, ranging from 'broodje kroket' or frikandel to poffertjes and various other typical Dutch treats.

Go and have a look for yourself and find out what we Dutch like to eatyou may even like it. Little Holland can be found at the very Northern end of Chaweng, on the way to the airport, past the Kandaburi hotel and than opposite the Bhundari hotel.


Tarmac, here we come!

Tarmac, here we come!

Having reported earlier on the bad state and safety of the roads around Samui, there's some good news at last. Since about 6 months or maybe even longer, the Nathon beach road has received a tarmac surface.

Road construction between Lamai and Hua Thanon

This tarmac surface is now being extended all around the island and a start has been made between Hua Thanon and Lamai. Hopefully this tarmac layer will prevent the current potholes and cracks around the ring road and all secondary roads around the island.

It makes for a lovely driving experience and your car isn't bouncing along the roads anymore and on a bike you don't have to look out for potholes all the time. The only downside I can see is that because of the great surface, both cars and motorbikes will speed even more than they to currently do.

Other than, Tessabaan, congrats to a job well done and I seriously hope the progress on this project will continue as scheduled and somewhere next year the whole of the island has a nice tarmac layer!


29th November, 2009

Today's weather;

The almost unbelievable good November weather holds on with some overcast and blue spots in between the clouds and a current temp at 7am of 25C.

The nights are getting colder but the day times are still warm, yesterday 31.9C, not bad for one of the last November days on Samui!
The rain is predicted once more, late next week, let's see. Wouldn't surprise if the rain will come in December, it has to come, hopefully!


Saturday 28 November 2009

Magic Garden, Lamai

Magic Garden, Lamai

This has been on my list of places to visit on Samui since a very long time and finally I got to got there yesterday, after my visit to the Transport office Surat Thani, branch Koh Samui, renewing my drivers license, always an adventure in itself!

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai; The road signs opposite Wat Kunaram

One of the reasons I finally got around visiting this place, is that since very shortly, it's been more accessible than ever before. Directly opposite Wat Kunaram with it's mummified monk, near Lamai is now a brand new road that leads through the very steep hills to the Magic or Buddha Garden, see the sign above. You can't really miss it. In typical Thai fashion, there are no pre-warning or other signs though, if you miss it, that's it!

The road leading through the hills is impressive but stick to the main road, I took some other roads and all were dead ends where I had to back out of with my car, which can be interesting on a very steep hill with curves in it and a drop down at one side of a couple of 100 meters.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai

The "Magic Garden" or "Secret Buddha Garden" is located in the hills of Samui. A Samuian fruit farmer, Nim Thongsuk, started to build the garden in 1976 when he was 77 years old.

The old road leading to the Magic Garden, coming from Nathon led through a Military section of said road but the last couple of years, the guards used to let you pass. With the new road originating near  Lamai it's a lot easier to reach the Magic Garden.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai

Once inside the magic garden, after having paid an 80,-THB admission fee, you enter a beautiful piece of nature with small, miniature waterfalls and small statues are all over the place. It's a fantastic transition into a different world, walking down the stairs to the actual 'garden'.

A little stream runs through the whole garden and the above picture has two stone bodies (can you see their feet?) lying in the flow of the stream. It seems that they used some imagination and created a few unexpected scenery's. Very nicely done!

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai; This is a statue of the founder of Magic Garden, Khun Nim Thongsuk.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai

I'm pretty sure that all the statues have meanings but it's difficult to near impossible to find out their (Buddhist?) meaning since there are no guides or brochures with an explanation. Near the entrance is a small sitting area with the typical Samui souvenirs but unfortunately with no actual information on the Garden.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai; This series of statues is the 'piece de resistance' and shows a troupe of around a dozen dancers.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai; The group of dancers with a group of musicians in the front. A lovely sight and beautifully located in the middle of Samui hills.

Magic Garden, Lamai
Magic Garden, Lamai

After I left the Magic Garden, I rode around in the hills, passing Durian gardens, bamboo trees, looking into steep valleys and having fantastic views over Samui, all the way down to the distant ocean.

There are plenty of restaurants and view points along the way and it's well worth stopping at some of these places and have a cold drink or get something to eat and just enjoy the scenery.

The picture above shows the road block leading into Nathon, marking the Military area. Just after I turned around, a jeep of one of the organised trips around the island came down the hill and I guess that they just pass by the blockade and continue on their way down on the main road.
The road leading to the right, as suggested on the signage was another dead end road, but I enjoyed travelling back and taking the same road down to Wat Kunaram again.

Rent a car or bike and travel around the island as described in another post on this blog but don't forget to include the Magic Garden!

Please do 'like' my Koh Samui blog Facebook page and enjoy the beaches around the island or in front of your hotel or resort and get some well deserved rest and a break. If you're done resting or need something else to do, there's plenty of things on offer on and around Koh Samui, you can go snorkeling or diving or take a dive course. You can also enjoy some of the trips I recommend, like a half day gourmet lunch and snorkeling trip at the Southern part of Koh Samui or a photography trip where you get to see the most photo genetic spots on the island or go for a drinks tasting tour if you like a tipple or two.

Contact me for more detailed information on any of the options mentioned.

If you like to donate to this blog, use this secure link PayPal.Me/CamilleLemmens


28th November, 2009

Today's weather;

This month went by like a flash, it's already the last weekend in November and the amazing weather holds on with once more a lovely blue sky over Samui however with a 'chilly' 23C current temp at 7am.

Yesterday saw the same ol' same ol', sunny and warm, a max temp of 30.5C.


Friday 27 November 2009

Renew or obtain a Thai drivers license, an experience

Renew or obtain a Thai drivers license, an experience

Besides an adventure, it's also a lesson in keeping a smile on your face and remain patient, regardless of what they tell you or sometimes not tell you.

In all the years that I've been visiting the Transport office Surat Thani, Branch Koh Samui area supervisor, which dates back as early as 2002 when I obtained my first drivers license, I went back a couple of times to renew my drivers license, two times for a one year renewal and now the second time to renew for 5 years.

As in each country, public service offices tend to like red tape but the Thais seem to take the strudel, the first time still has to be seen when everything goes smoothly and I didn't 'forget' anything, whether it's not sufficient copies of this or that, bringing a motorbike or bringing pictures, there's always something.

The office itself is in Lipa Noi, a bit further down the road from Nikki Beach, coming from Nathon, pass the crossing where Samui immigration is located and take a right at the next red light. It's the crossing that leads to the old and still functioning Raja ferry pier. The sign on the previous picture hasn't been up for too long, so it's not too difficult to miss nowadays but if you didn't know where it was before that sign was put up, it may have taken you a while to find it, since the building, as pictured above, is completely hidden from the road.

One of the things you need is a letter from Immigration, stating that you behaved well and hence can apply for a drivers license. Cost; 500,-THB. If you don't know anybody at immigration, this may take a couple of hours to get sorted, renewing your license is something for the next day.

Since I'm applying for two different licenses, one for driving cars and one for driving motorbikes, I needed a copy of that letter made by immigration. All other paperwork and copies were fine! Not too bad, in my early years at this office I had to drive back to Nathon on my motorbike to get more copies sorted which was rather time consuming. At last, somebody had the bright idea to start a copy, oops sorry, a coppy shop in the middle of nowhere but with a steady supply of people in urgent need for copies; each copy 5,-THB, so one copy wasn't too bad but that shop is a copy gold mine. The shop also acts as an insurance broker for cars and motorbikes.

Inside the building nothing had changed much, since my last visit 5 years ago, except the new purple signs with English translations, a nice touch and helpful.

I arrived shortly before 9am and after picking up a number and handing over my paperwork and quickly getting one more copy of my immigration letter sorted out, I was told to sit down and wait until 9.30am. Mmmm, that would be an early day than, in and out and rather efficiently.

Well, not to be! At 9.45am, whilst I was reading my Dirk Pitt novel, I was approached by a Thai guy who was apparently sent down by the office staff because he could speak some English and he came to tell me that I needed to go to the 2nd floor. Following him I ended up in a classroom where a lady immediately went into an explanation in Thai about what was going to happen, what I could make out of it was that we all, a group of 27 people, 24 Thai and 3 Westerners, where to take a 'simple' test on some kind of machine, do a test for recognising colours (red, yellow and green, sounds familiar in relation to traffic?) and once that was done take an exam. Hold it, take an exam? I had done mine 7 years ago when I got my first drivers license. What is going on here. During the colour test, I finally got a chance to ask the lady in charge and found out that I just needed to complete the two tests but not the exam. Thanks for explaining straight away.

The color chart is visible in the background but the machine in front is piece of work! There are three tests in this machine, one that tests field of vision, by looking at a point in front of you, colors appear left and right of you and you need to state the color codes (red, yellow and green), it also test field of depth, by which you need to line up two white plastic tubes with a remote control and last but not least, it involves a reaction test, push the gas pedal and when green lights start to appear, hit the breaks before they lights turn red.

Do each test twice and you pass. Fail one test, do the test again, fail the test again, come back Monday and try again!
Since I had no probs with all the tests, I was home free but since we Westerners were the last in line, it was near 11am before we finished this.

Now it was off to pay the fees (increase of 100% since 5 years ago) and get my licenses, however, since I lost my motorbike license (needed to give it as deposit on Koh Tao for a bike rental and upon returning the bike the next day, the guy with the deposits had run off, incl my motorbike license), she somehow couldn't find me on the system so I only left with my brand new car drivers license. Price 655,-THB.

The lady who I was dealing with was actually nice and very helpful and she gave me her phone number in order to call her back on Monday so she could do some more research and give me the result since I wasn't listed on the ID # that was on my old drivers license and as it turned out, once I could double check back home, my first set of drivers licenses where issued on a different passport #, a way older passport. Well, most likely time for another run down to Lipa Noi early next week.

Something I didn't want to with hold, the practical part of the Thai drivers license exam. Drive around the building, park on the curb and park backwards. When I did my exam, after passing the written exam, I was asked to do exactly this with my rented car. Back in those days I didn't have my own car yet. However, than they found out that I didn't bring a motorbike and if I wanted to get a motorbike license, I needed to have a motorbike to complete the practical test. OK, off I went to Nathon to rent a bike and upon returning I was asked to drive twice around the building. That was the practical test.

I wasn't done yet however, since some Thai guys showed up without a car. I was more or less summoned to give them my car for their test.
My explanation that my car could be rented and if they wanted to use my rented car they would need to pay for the privilege didn't go down very well but since they had me go all the way to Nathon to rent a bike for just driving around their building, this was the perfect opportunity to cover my combined rental costs of the day.
In typical Thai fashion, the Thais that came to the exam with a car where never asked to hand over their car to the people that showed up without a car.

This is the highly modernised and computerised classroom where the written exams take place. A far cry from the simple wooden table that I had to sit at 7 years ago.

This is the final result, my brand new Thai drivers license, valid for another 5 years. Now I just need to get my hands on a new motorbike license and all is good again for the next 5 years on the license renewal front.

All in all less stressful than expected but a lot more time intensive than I expected with a rather friendly and helpful desk person. If you need your license sorted out, make sure you got time and make sure you know what to bring, makes life a lot easier.

Hope you enjoyed this rather long post.


27th November, 2009

Today's weather;

Fairly cloudy with plenty of blue spots this morning. Current temp at 7am is 26.3C.

Yesterday saw a lovely sunshine filled day, once more not a single drop of rain. Max temp reached 29.5C.


Thursday 26 November 2009

Tang Restaurant, Nathon

Tang Restaurant, Nathon

It's been a while again since I posted a restaurant review on one of Samui's restaurants, but today it's time again for an all time fave in Nathon. Tang restaurant is simple, has good tasting Thai food and is cheap. What more could you want.
Many times during the daytime when in Nathon and we need or want to eat, we come to Trang's.

It's a pretty standard Thai place and it seems that every time we are there, there are just about two or three tables occupied.

Looking out to the street, on the right hand is the 'a la carte' part of the restaurant and come to think of it, never ordered from yet!

What we order from is the very typical ready meals, just sitting and waiting all day long for somebody to come along and point at it, so it's dished out to you on a plate. As we're in Southern Thailand, plenty of spicy curries, but they don't do it for me, most of the time. I usually go for some soups, veggies or Penangs etc. The price says it all, all meals here are pretty much 40,-THB, for those amongst my readers that don't speak Thai, just point and you get a plate of it for just 40,-THB, don't like it, get a different plate!

Here's what I had today, on the bottom a lovely pork Penang curry, on the top two different veggie dishes, one with squid and some mushrooms on the bottom right from my wife's soup. More additional veggies come on a separate plate at no extra cost, top left! All of this, my wife's soup, an additional soup to take home and a bottle of water for 115,-THB, can't go wrong, right? The taste is also very good. There are plenty of similar places around the island but probably only very few that have the comfortable seating arrangements inside in contrast to sitting at a table on the road.

Last but not least, this is how Tang's looks like from the outside. When in Nathon, I can highly recommend this place if you need some simple, easy and good tasting food.

26th November, 2009

Today's weather;

A very blue sky with some clouds on the edges rules surprisingly over Samui this morning with a max temp of only 23.3C, which is a drop compared to previous days.

Bang Rak beach, two days with lots of boats in the bay, hiding for the bad weather that just seems to have evaporated.

Yesterday saw once more a lovely day with flat seas and plenty of sunshine and a max temp of around 30C.


Wednesday 25 November 2009

25th November, 2009

Today's weather;

The strangest thing happened overnight, the nonstop rain for a whole week that should start over the weekend and and the one day storm raging over Samui just vanished overnight on the forecasts and it all looks nice and dandy again.
Unfortunately this is a reason to worry for the people that live on Samui since all water wells will run dry very soon.
Today's it looks nice, a blue sky laced with plenty of white clouds and a current temp at 7am of around 26C

Yesterday saw more of the same, no rain and plenty of sunshine with a moderate wind in the morning. max temp reached around 30C.


Tuesday 24 November 2009

24th November, 2009

Today's weather;

It's cloudy and the sun is trying hard to break through but right now that sun is looking very bleak, however, last week I saw similar days and in an hour or so the sun probably will break through when it's heated up enough and the blue spots grow in size. Current temp at 7am is 26.3C

Yesterday saw once more a dry day and plenty of sunshine with a max temp of 30.1C
This coming Friday lots of rain are predicted for the following week, with a massive storm during Friday.


Monday 23 November 2009

23rd November, 2009

Today's weather;

It's more clouded than previous days but it still doesn't look like some serious is to come down on Samui. Current temp at 7am is 26.4C

Yesterday's morning clouds turned into very blue skies early on and there was no rain, once again but plenty of strong wind. Max temp reached 29.3C


Sunday 22 November 2009

22nd November, 2009

Today's weather;

Cloudy and very windy with a current temp of 26.9C.

Yesterday saw a lovely day with plenty of sunshine between the cloud layers. Max temp reached 30.2C and once more no rain.


Saturday 21 November 2009

21st November, 2009

Today's weather;

It's the same mixed bag as yesterday, a partly clouded sky with plenty of blue patches, there just seems to be a stronger wind compared to yesterday. Current temp at 7am is 27.5C

Yesterday saw a surprisingly nice and sunny day and no rain at all. Sometimes the clouds looked threatening but it stayed dry. Max temp reached 30.5C.


Friday 20 November 2009

20th November, 2009

Today's weather;

It's a bit of a mixed bag with bits and pieces of blue skies and lots of heavy, dark clouds. It's good to be back on Samui though. Current temp at 7am is 28C.

Yesterday saw dry days on both Samui and Koh Tao. Max temp reached 29.8C.


Thursday 19 November 2009

19th November, 2009

Today's weather;

More clouds than blue sky over Koh Tao but, there is still blue sky! Current temp at 7am is 25C.

yesterday saw one or two showers over Koh Tao and plenty of blue skies but Samui was swamped in rain yesterday and several flights couldn't land on Koh Samui yesterday after 5pm.
Max temp reached 29.3C.


Wednesday 18 November 2009

18th November, 2009

Today's weather;

Koh Tao is looking a lot better than the prediction would make us believe, the sun is out and about although there are also big grey clouds surrounding the sun. The current temp at 7 am is 26.3C.

Yesterday saw a little bit of rain on Koh Tao during the day time and it wasn't too bad, it actually rained only once. Max temp reached 27.5C which is a steep drop compared to the rest of the month.


Tuesday 17 November 2009

17th November, 2009

Today's weather;

It's cloudy and sunshine this morning, it seems the rainy season is knocking at Samui's door. Current temp at 7am is 26.6C.

Yesterday was once more a lovely day and with a max temp of 32.6C, very warm indeed. It seems we have to brace ourselves for some rain during the coming week.
First I'm off to Koh Tao though for a couple of days to give moral support to my IDC candidates during their PADI IE.


Monday 16 November 2009

16th November, 2009

Today's weather;

The sun is out and about again although some heavy and big clouds are around. Current temp at 7am is 27C.

Yesterday was sunny, dry and warm all day long with a max temp of 30.5C.
Tomorrow I'm off to Koh Tao for a couple of nights for a PADI IE.


Sunday 15 November 2009

15th November, 2009

Today's weather;

Another unusual blue November sky is shaping up with a current temp at 7am of 25C.
Enjoy it whilst it lasts, since Wednesday wind and rain are predicted for several days in a row.

Yesterday saw another dry day with lots of sunshine and a max temp of 31C.


Saturday 14 November 2009

14th November, 2009

Today's weather;

A bit more cloudy than previous days but still it looks like the start of a nice day. Current temp at 7am is 25C

Yesterday saw another beautiful, dry and unusual November day with a max temp of 31C.


Friday 13 November 2009

13th November, 2009

Today's weather;

Friday the 13th but no full moon and the weather remains gorgeous for November, a blue sky with just a few clouds in it and a current temp at 7am of 27.5C.

Yesterday was a lovely day with blue skies all day long and a max temp of 30.8C.
We're also about to finish the current IDC, have a look at my dive blog for an update.


Thursday 12 November 2009

12th November, 2009

Today's weather;

More blue skies are over Samui with a current temp at 7am of 28.1C.

Yesterday was sunny and without rain with a max temp of 31C.


Wednesday 11 November 2009

The yearly reminder, don't drown on your holiday!

The yearly reminder, don't drown on your holiday!

I don't want to spoil your holiday mode, but unfortunately each year people lose their lives on holiday in ways that can be easily prevented. One of these ways is drowning because of rip currents or under tows. Each year I report about this, look here for 2007 and here for 2008 posts.

Each year, people drown on Chaweng's, Koh Phangan's, Phuket's and other Thai beaches because of these currents.

Using your common sense and watching out for signs, like this one in front of Centara Grand Beach Resort on Chaweng Beach with yellow or red coloured flags to design the danger level. Check out the warning signs all along the various beaches around Samui and other Thai holiday destinations.

In German and English, this warning sign in front of Malibu Resort, also on Chaweng Beach.

Usually it's older and weaker people that get caught out and most deaths attributed to "undertow" happen when people playing in the area where the waves run up onto the beach get their feet knocked out from under them when the water flows back down to the sea. They get dragged a short distance into the breakers, and aren't strong enough or knowledgeable enough to get back to shore.

Here's how a rip current works, if you get caught in one, swim alongshore to the left or right, to escape the seaward-flowing jet of water. Riptides can flow much faster than you can swim: if you try to swim directly back to shore against the current, you'll soon become tired and risk drowning.

Hope this helps and enjoy your holidays in Koh Samui and Thailand.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!


11th November, 2009

Today's weather;

Once more a for this time of the year rather unusual blue sky is shaping up with some nice and dramatic big white clouds in the background. Current temp at 7am is 25.7C.
Today is also armistice day, the day World War I ended on the Western front.

Yesterday saw lots of sunshine and the time we spend on Chaweng Beach as part of the current IDC had me slightly sun burned.
Max temp reached 30.4C.


Tuesday 10 November 2009

10th November, 2009

Today's weather;

A blue sky is shaping up, right now it's a bit hazy but once the sun gets burning, the clouds may disappear swiftly. Current temp at 7am is 25.1C.

Yesterday saw plenty of sunshine with just one shower around 1pm. Max temp reached 30.3C.


Monday 9 November 2009

9th November, 2009

Today's weather;

Lots of blue sky together with cloud formations and a current temp at 7am of 25.3C. The prediction for the next 7 days is sunny and no rain.
Rather a strange prediction this time of the year when we expect and also need rain to fill the water wells that most houses have on the island. Especially strange considering the fact that in the deep South of Thailand six people are killed as floods wreak havoc in seven provinces.

Yesterday saw rain in the morning and it dried up in the afternoon, still cloudy but dry! Max temp reached 27.7C.


Sunday 8 November 2009

8th November, 2009

Today's weather;

It's raining again, just started about half an hour ago, around 6.30am. Current temp at 7am is 24.5C.

Yesterday saw lots of rain during the morning but it dried up in the afternoon with some occasional drizzle. The amount of rain was only 75.3mm afor the day. Strangely enough the weather forecast of Windguru predicts sunny skies and hardly any rain for the rest of the week, except for the current day and this seems to be move on day by day it seems like.

Max temp reached 28.7C.


Saturday 7 November 2009

7th November, 2009

Today's weather;

It's very cloudy and since 6am it's raining cats and dogs with a prediction of rain all day long for today but no rain for the rest of next week. Current temp at 7am is 25.4C.

Yesterday started out cloudy but before 8am all clouds were pretty much gone and we had a sunny day all day long. Very surprising indeed. Max temp reached 31.5C.


Friday 6 November 2009

6th November, 2009

Today's weather;

It's cloudy this morning and no sign of sunshine with a current temp at 7 am of 28.7C.
There's a warning for 10 southern provinces, including Surat Thani for "Heavy rain and strong wind-wave" by the Thai Meteorological Department.

Yesterday was a lovely day, strong wind but sunshine all day long and no rain. A very surprising day when probably all on the island expected the monsoon to start full on. Max temp reached 30.5C.
Yesterday the current IDC was well on it's way.


Thursday 5 November 2009

5th November, 2009

Today's weather;

The sky broke open this morning and it's a surprising mixed bag of blue sky and clouds with a whooping current temp of 28.2C. There's a strong wind though.

Yesterday saw all morning long rain until just after noon. It stayed dry after but there was 125mm of rain yesterday. Max temp reached 28.2C.
All ferries to Koh Tao were cancelled two days ago, actually both the ferries, the Seatran and Lomprayah didn't leave Koh Tao due to the massive big waves on Tuesday and everybody is still stranded on Koh Tao.


Wednesday 4 November 2009

4th November, 2009

Today's weather;

The rainy season or monsoon has started, like clockwork according to Windguru's predictions. Rain's coming down in heaps and nonstop, sometimes it drizzles and sometimes it just pours.
It will be interesting to see if the all the efforts of the new Tessabaan with the road construction and improvement will work. Last year there was plenty of flooding, which I expect now as well, but the difference with previous years is that they only last for a few hours compared to a couple of days. Definitely time to get the good old rain protection out of the closet!
Current temp at 7am is 25C.

Yesterday was still a dry day in the northern parts of the island although during the night the rain started in all seriousness. A couple of times I woke up because of the intensity of the downpour. A total of 50mm came down already.
With Imad I started an IDCS course yesterday and a new IDC starts today.
Max temp reached 30C.


Tuesday 3 November 2009

3rd November, 2009

Today's weather;

It's a fairly blue sky with some occasional clouds in it, but the predicted strong wind has arrived and rain is expected later this afternoon. Current temp at 7am is 28.3C.

Yesterday saw a blue-ish sky with overcast all day long but no rain. Max temp reached 31.5C.

Yesterday we also celebrated the Loy Krathong festival and to show it's importance to the Thai people, HM the King also came out in the Siriraj hopsital in Bangkok, where he is admitted since October 23rd and this is only his 2nd public appearance since he was admitted.


Monday 2 November 2009

Loy Krathong 2009

Loy Krathong 2009

As usual this year's edition of Loy Krathong, a big Thai celebration was held at Wat Plai Laem and this time around I'm on Koh Samui, in contrast to last year when I was on Koh Tao.

We went early to the Temple or Wat to float our family Krathong. The temple was celebrating and partying since the last couple of days with bands late into the evening.

This this years family Krathong, made by my wife's younger sister and Mother in law.

All around the island handmade Krathongs were on sale and if you somehow managed to miss out on buying one, the temple had more than plenty on offer. In contrast to previous years though, no bread Krathong were for sale.

There was a big offering altar for the main building in the Temple.

As described in a previous post, there was ample chance to connect with more divine spirits. All the red flags are hanging on white ropes that somehow are all connected and lead back to the monks praying space/area.


Update on International School of Tourism, part of Surat Thani's Rajabaht University, Chaweng

International School of Tourism, part of Surat Thani's Rajabaht University, Chaweng

It's indeed time for an update since for over a year nothing has happened, see my post from July 2008.

Besides a wall being recently build around the premises of the university with on regular intervals the logo of the Uni as pictured above, it has only been used for weekend classes.

Recently I received this update from ajarn Jennifer Lloyd;

Dear Camille and other interested readers,

I have been directed to this blog by a number of people who have seen your information about the opening of Suratthani Rajabhat University, International School of Tourism Campus.

Since 2005 I have been employed at Suratthani Rajabhat University as an English teacher and the International Relations Officer for the foriegn teachers on campus.

I would like to set rumours straight with regards to the opening of the Samui campus. It will open no earlier than the end of 2010. Due to unforseen circumstances it has been delayed on a number of occasions.

I know from my own visits to Samui and friends who live on the island that rumours are rife about the opening of the campus, so I hope my message helps.

Anyone interested in applying for future positions should send thier C.V and credentials to:
Suratthani Rajabhat University, International School of Tourism, 272 Moo 9, Tambon Khunthalay, Amphur Muang Suratthani, 84100.

Please mark for the attention of The Dean or Ajarn Jennifer Lloyd. Alternatively you can send it by email to

When the time comes for recruitment to start for the Samui campus all applicants on file will be contacted.

I hope this helps.

Kind Regards

Ajarn Jennifer Lloyd

2nd November, 2009

Today's weather;

Some sunshine finds it's way through big cloud formations, it's going to be an interesting day. Current temp at 7am is 28C.
Today school starts again for my children after a month long break.

Yesterday saw another lovely day with plenty of sunshine and a great days diving at Sail Rock, my dive blog has some great pix. Max temp reached 30.9C.


Sunday 1 November 2009

Welcome to November 2009

Welcome to November 2009

A new month is on the rise and it's the wet month. As of mid week the rain is announced to arrive on Samui and just like in previous editions of November, better get your rain coats out. This is officially the monsoon month and in various degrees we will have rain, most of the days.
There even may be stretches of non stop rain for a couple of days.

We start out with Loy Kratong tomorrow and the weather forecast may just grant us one more dry day which would come in very handy indeed!

Let's hope for the best and let's make the best out of this month.


1st November, 2009

Today's weather;

A blue sky with some big cumulus clouds in it is out and about with a current temp of 25.5C at 7am.
Better enjoy it since as of tomorrow rain is predicted on a daily base.

Yesterday saw a blue sky all day long without it getting too hot. Max temp reached 30.3C.