Welcome to the original Koh Samui info and weather blog with lots of information on things to do and see around tropical island destination Koh Samui in Thailand including weekly weather updates, brought to you by long term resident Camille Lemmens since February 2007.
My 5th year of blogging, who would've thought that! Around 2.500 posts on this blog alone in those 5 years, wow! Anyway, welcome to a bird's eye view over 2011.
With this blog I try to show people who are interested in travelling to Koh Samui or who have been here, those that keep coming back or those that already live here some interesting places to visit, things to do or restaurants to visit.
Fo an update on my diving adventures in 2011, please visit my dive blog.
This year I have been travelling extensively and besides Koh Samui, lots of other destinations have passed by, inside and outside of Thailand and still I managed to keep you updated on the daily weather reports on Koh Samui and kept the monthly Food on Wheels series rolling.
I think that I have a fairly unique insight on local island life and events because I'm married to a local Samui woman and through her and her family I am able to witness events that may not be possible for somebody visiting the island.
I hope you enjoy my musings and what follows here is a list of highlights during the last year;
Early April saw clean ups start all around the island and the damage done was extensive and rather stunning. Due to donations on my blog I was able to help some people personally affected by the floods. Shortly after the flood, it was time for some more water; Songkran was there.
September saw me participating in the 10km run on Koh Samui as part of the Samui marathon. It was also time for the yearly Thaa Yai celebration. The first visit to Arirang, a Korean restaurant was on the schedule.
In a very busy Kuta I relaxed for a day or two before taking the plane back home to Koh Samui, where I only spend two nights before I was on the road again in order to start another PADI IDC in Khao Lak this time.
A good time was had in Khao Lak and after the completing the IDC and PADI IE all candidates and myself went for a three day live aboard to the Surin islands.
On the live aboard
The weather in Khao Lak was good, just as the weather was good the first two weeks of the month on Koh Samui. The second part of the month saw a bit more rain and especially some strong wind. It's been not that much of a good weather month for the island as in previous years, although last year saw a small storm on the 31st, which is still a small option for this year as well, although the forecast has toned down the possibility.
Right now I'm relaxing and enjoying a couple of days off. Time to wind down for me. Once the New Year kicks off, I want continue to work on a new website about PADI IDC's in the Philippines.
For now however, all the best for the remainder of this year and a prosperous New Year to all of my readers.
Before the month is over, here's another edition of my Food on Wheels series. During the last visit with the family to Bangkok in October, a few nice picture taking opportunities arose, one of them being the Lao Khao or better 'yadong' pictures below.
The Lao Khao bottles and two shot glasses in front
Lao Khao is a rice based whiskey, often times home brewed and almost a guaranteed recipe for turning blind, despite what the local brewers tell you! Often it contains a variety of small animals liek snakes, centipedes or scorpions and the like. This is 'yadon' and is made with Lao Khao as base and various herbs or parts of animals are inserted in the 'yadon' base.
Receiving two shots of Lao Khao
It's also dirt cheap, a shot is about 5 Baht. Bottles of Lao Khao are only 40 Baht in every shop around the country. This yadon vendor was located in the Sukhumvit Soi 22 area bit of you keep your eyes open, you can spot them in many places.
Sweet potatoes on the left and mango's on the right
Near a subway station these two vendors were selling fruit, deep fruit sweet potato balls on the left and mango's on the right hand side. Many side walks in Bangkok will have vendors selling all kind of food, varying from drinks to complete meals and everything in-between.
Thais love to eat and snack all day long and a small, quick and simple meal like BBQ-ed bananas will be a typical snack. Bangkok's streets are littered with vendors like the ones in these pictures. Go out, find them and enjoy them! Good luck.
Yesterday saw a merely clouded but dry day around Samui with a few bursts of sunshine during the afternoon. Max temp reached 30.3C
The forecast for tomorrow is looking good, no rain is predicted but during the afternoon is about to pick up, culminating in 25 knots wind speed just after midnight, accompanied by rain (just for two days). This pattern will soften each day and by next Thursday it should be sunny and almost wind free again.
It's the time of the year again that the red flags on Samui's popular beaches of Chaweng and Lamai have the red flags up. PLEASE DO HEED THEM and take them seriously and don't drown!
A few years in a row I have reported about rip currents occurring on the island's beaches and each year people still drown as a result of these rip currents and tides, despite plenty of warning signs on the beaches in forms of red flags and signs at some of the hotels.
A rip current as seen from a beach
Don't have your holiday spoiled. Be aware of them being around and know what to do if you get caught in one. Swim to the side of the current and most importantly don't fight the current.
A rip current as seen from an elevated position
There's some good information out there, maybe check these websites;
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
A rip current is a horizontal current. Rip currents do not pull people under the water–-they pull people away from shore. Drowning deaths occur when people pulled offshore are unable to keep themselves afloat and swim to shore. This may be due to any combination of fear, panic, exhaustion, or lack of swimming skills.
In some regions rip currents are referred to by other, incorrect terms such as rip tides and undertow. We encourage exclusive use of the correct term – rip currents. Use of other terms may confuse people and negatively impact public education efforts.
Now go and out and enjoy your holiday and like Tom Hanks said; see you at the beach! Be careful on the beaches though during this time of the year and watch the warning signals, check the flags, red flags mean don't enter the water so do yourself a favor, don't enter the water when the red flags are up!
The sky over Koh Samui looks promising today. Still plenty of overcast but a sunrise can be noticed, meaning the sun is out and about and the wind has become a lot calmer. I wouldn't expect a sun bathing quality day but rather a dry day. Current temp at 7am is 26.2C
Today I will be diving around Koh Tao, the waves have gone, more or less and the dive boats are all going out again.
See that small orange stripe just over the houses; sun rise!
Yesterday saw a dry day around Koh Samui but it was still clouded almost all day long. No luck for the beach lovers yet. Max temp reached around 29C
The forecast for the next two days is good but on the 31st December the wind gusts are now predicted to have speeds of 32 knots. Plus rain! Looks like if you're planning New years eve on the island, you better plan something in a dry location.
The sky over Koh Samui looks nice again, there are still grey clouds but also big patches of blue spots. The wind seems also to have disappeared. Current temp at 7am is 25.5C
There are still some big waves pounding the Gulf of Thailand's coast line and although Chaweng beach has red flags up, the dive operators on Samui will be happy that the boats should be able to go out again.
The sky this morning
Yesterday Samui's sky showed a glimpse of sunshine but that was very quickly replaced by clouds and bits and pieces of rain. Rain kept coming and going all day long but the sun did make a few attempts to break through but didn't have a lot of success. Max temp reached 27.8C
The forecast is still showing rain and some very strong wind during New years Eve.
It's already 7 years ago this boxing day that the 2004 Tsunami raged along the Andaman Sea.
Having just been to Khao Lak to teach my second PADI IDC there, things have changed drastically along the coast and one can safely say that Khao Lak has made the turn and everything seems to be up and running again. Since a few years already, actually. It's good to remember though.
View over Khao Lak beach, just over a week ago
My thoughts go out to all the people that lost relatives and/or friends during the Tsunami. I wish you all strength, not only during this day but every day and moment you think about your loved and missed ones.
This video shows the same beach 7 years ago
I can only hope that a similar Tsunami or natural disaster won't hit Thailand again, since unfortunately we saw earlier this year what happened in Japan.
The weather seems to be easing up a little bit today around Koh Samui, there's a cloudy sky but not that grey anymore and there are a few small but surely blue pockets out there. Current temp at 7am is 26.2C
Fisherman boat at Tab Lamu, the harbor near Khao Lak were 7 years ago the Tsunami raged
Yesterday saw a cloudy day around Samui with some strong wind. There was just a little bit of rain though. Max temp reached 28C
Due to the hard wind and an unusual high tide, there were some flood issues along the Chumpon and Surat Thani provinces coast line.
The forecast shows less wind until 31st December, when 25 knot winds are predicted with some serious rain to go along with it. Oh, at midnight the wind peaks at 28 knots. Not looking good for New Years Eve right now.
The sky over Koh Samui doesn't look too promising, plenty of clouds and a few bright spots. Current temp at 7am is 27C
Desert last night at Prego; chocolate-walnut mousse
Yesterday saw a grey and wet day around Koh Samui, at various times during the day it rained. Max temp reached 27.6C
Christmas dinner was had yesterday at Prego in Chaweng and it was excellent. Good company and good food! This Italian restaurant is still going strong and seems to be full on almost every night of the year.
The third and last trip report of my live aboard of a days diving at Richelieu Rock in the Andaman Sea is up and running, have a look!
The forecast for the next 7 days predicts less wind and dry days until the 31st December, when 25 knot wind gusts are expected and plenty of rain!
Back home on Koh Samui and it feels good! The weather looks good with a mixed sky, some blue spots and cloud coverage. Current temp at 7am is 24.6C
The drive from Khao Lak went smooth yesterday although road 44 between Krabi and Surat Thani was a mad house, I don't think I have ever seen so many cars going again traffic on a 4 way high way, with the best being a motorbike in the fast lane against traffic, not giving an inch!
Samui yesterday from the ferry, covered in clouds
The weather in Khao Lak was sunny when I left around 7.30am but the closer I got to Surat Thani the more clouds and grayer it became. A few times I encountered drizzle and one shower along the way. On Samui I had another rain shower. Max temp on Samui reached 30C
The forecast looks good for the next 7 days and have a look here for a report on my dive trip/live aboard.
The PADI IE in Khao Lak has been successfully completed! For the next three days however, we will all board a live aboard boat. This is a boat on which you travel from dive site to dive site and you sleep on the boat.
The locations we will be visiting won't have internet access, so there will be no updates for the next three days, until the 22nd December.
The sky over Khao Lak is a mixed bag this morning. On one side it seems really nice with the sun about to break out and the other side of the town has dark clouds hovering over itself. Current temp at 7am is 23.7C
Yesterday saw rain during the morning in Khao Lak but it dried up around noon and remained dry for the rest of the day. Max temp reached 30.7C
Khao Lak is cloudy today with a current temp at 7am of 25.1C. Today the current PADI IDC will continue. Yesterday was nice and warm here with a max temp of 32.5C
Getting out of Phuket yesterday, after my 11km run in Kathu it started to rain just North of Central festival but once I got close to the Sarasin bridge it was dry again. All day long it was clouded though. Max temp reached around 31C
This morning had a 4.30am alarm/wake up call, so I could make it for 5am to register for the 11km in Kathu, Phuket. For a 100,-THB I received my starting number and now I had to wait until 6am for the run to start.
The finish in Kathu, in front of the Tessabaan building
It was a great run, I had a good time and the course went over some beautiful scenic areas. We had to climb one serious steep hill but at the top we had a beautiful view over a dam. I really enjoyed running here, just as I did earlier this year when I ran the half Marathon in Phuket.
Another medal to boost!
Phuket seems to be good running grounds for me and next Sunday I'm planning to run a 10 or 15km run in Khok Kloy, just North of Phuket and less than hour away from Khao Lak.
The prices for the first 10 in each age category, it will be awhile before I can queue up for on of these!
I'm glad I came here and ran, I was one of the few Westerners, which caused some smiles and excitement to the day for some but more importantly, I had a great time! Now it's time for breakfast at the Tinidee hotel at the Loch Palm Golf Club where I'm staying!
The sky over Koh Samui is sunny with a few clouds and a bit of wind. Current temp at 7am is 27.6C
Yesterday saw some rain during the morning around the siland but sunshine during the afternoon. Max temp reached 29.1C
The forecast predicts rain starting Thursday.
View over the Loch Palm Golf club in Kathu, Phuket
Had a very late arrival in Kathu, Phuket last night, around 11pm, after a late ending of the first half of the current IDC in Khao Lak, an update can expected later today. This morning I ran an 11km run in Kathu and now I'm about to go for breakfast at the Tinidee hotel at the Loch Palm Golf Club, both located in Kathu. It's cloudy and nice right now with a current temp at 7am of 26.3C