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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Goodbye to July 2013

The end of this July is in sight and it's time to say goodbye. It was quite an eventful month, especially towards the very last couple of days.

Firsts let's check the weather though for this July of 2013. Quite frankly, it wasn't good. Lots of cloudy days, lots of rain and lots of strong wind. Not typical for your average July on Koh Samui. Although you can expect some rain and cloudy days during July since it's part of a monsoon period (although the rainy days usually hit the East coast harder this time of the year), Samui got much more than asked for! 
On the other hand though, the amount of rain did the island good, the ground water levels have had time and plenty of water to fill up again. If you were here for a sunny holiday, it may have been slightly disappointing with the amount of rain coming down. We even had a few stormy days with some toppled over trees all over the island!

To compare other July's, going back since 2007, please have a look at my archives, half way down the page on this blog, right hand side. Open a month that you’re interested in and check one of the last posts of each month, starting with ‘Goodbye to…………’, just like this post and it will tell you the weather conditions for that month.
You can also check each individual post for that month if you wish to.

Koh Samed, Ao Phrao beach

Koh Samed, Ao Phrao beach covered in oil

As already mentioned, the last couple of days of this July version were filled with news and most of it not very good news. The biggest news must have been the oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand that reached Koh Samed. Very sad and not good for the environment, unsure what the long term effects on the ocean will be with the chemicals being used and scary, come to think of the fact that oil platforms are within 40 kilometers of Koh Samui.

Big local news were the killing of a police officer at a local gas station in Chaweng and the fire that erupted on a Raja ferry in Lipa Noi just a few days ago, which material damage of around 10 million Thai Baht.

Other shocking nationwide news was the revelation that Thailand has the worst traffic safety in the world, according to a recent study.

Surat Thani, half marathon pre race day winds

The day before the Surat Thani half marathon the wind wreaked havoc near the finish line

On a personal level, it was a fairly quiet month work wise, since I was all month at home, not travelling around teaching PADI IDC's. It was busy on the running front though, after my first marathon that I ran last month in Lansaka, I had four races lined up this month, a 13km race in Phun Phin, a half marathon in Surat Thani and a last minute surprise, the third weekend of this month featured the Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon, where I attended last year already the 10km run, during which I came in 2nd in my age group and this year I decided to run the full marathon distance. This time I managed to come in as 7th in my age group for the classic 42,195 km distance, the last spot that earned you a price.

A fourth race was scheduled last weekend in Wiang Sa, also in Surat Thani province, like the other 3 races, but I never made because of a knee injury I developed during the Koh Phangan marathon. It's a few weeks off running now, to let my knee heal. That's hard and not easy but necessary!

Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon

During hte first kilometers of the Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon

We enjoyed good food at some of our favorite restaurants around the island, including Juzza Pizza in Fishermans Village, pork sateh and 'raad na' at Dcheed 2 in Chaweng and Korean food at Arirang in Choengmon just to name a few.

Hope you enjoyed the blog this month and I look forward welcoming you again in next month, August 2013, when Samui should be full with visitors, looking for the islands beautiful beaches and ll the other things that make Samui such a great destination.

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!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 31st July, 2013

Today's weather;

It's the last day of July 2013 and we have some blue spots in the sky above Koh Samui with a nice breeze. There are still a lot of clouds out there but we will also have some sunshine and some wind. Current temp at 7am is 27.2C

Fisherman's Village, early evening

Early evening at Fishermans Village with a delicious dinner at Juzza Pizza

Yesterday saw mostly a mix of some clouds and blue patches, with some sunshine, except that around noon a short and sharp storm wiped over with really strong wind gusts and a hard shower. After that the sun peaked out behind the clouds again. Max temp reached 32.3C

The forecast sees a serious increase in the strength of the wind, especially over the weekend. You may also expect an occasional shower during the next 7 days.

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!

Camille

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Thailand has the worst the worst traffic safety record of any major country in the world .

The string of bad and shocking news coming from Thailand recently just doesn't seem to stop.

A recent global study has revealed another world record was achieved by Thailand last year. Thailand has the worst traffic safety record of any major country in the world, as reported by the Bangkok Post today.
What is really shocking is the knowledge that those numbers are way off, the situation is worse than reported. If a person involved in an accident dies at a later time, like in a hospital, they are not counted.

Motorbike accident on Koh Samui

A motorbike accident last week on Koh Samui, causing a one hour traffic jam to both ends of the road, luckily nobody died in this accident

Having just written about road safety in Thailand, this article doesn't come as a big surprise but it's shocking nonetheless!

Having lived now on Koh Samui for almost 14 years, the first couple of years I didn't see any accidents, let alone bodies, although I heard many (sometimes grueling stories) but the last couple of years I've seen an increase in road accidents, seen bodies and hear the ambulances almost on a daily base passing our house. Even in front of our house, a few meters to the left in a slight curve, a few people have died this year and in previous years.
It's bloody dangerous out there and Samui, Pattaya and Phuket rank among the more dangerous places in the country.
Unconfirmed (but fairly reliable) sources say that on Samui twice as many people die per year in road accidents compared to the Netherlands. That's just on Samui!
To top this off, I have a handful acquaintances and friends that died in road accidents over the span of those 14 years, let alone the amount of people that I personally know that had serious accidents.

Be careful out there when you decide to participate in Thai traffic: use common sense and don't try to manage or learn how to ride a bike in Thailand and drive defensively!

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!

Camille

The oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand and Ao Phrao beach on Koh Samed

Here's the promised follow up on the oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand. The situation is grave and the reason I'm writing about this is because of the proximity of oil rig platforms being located within 40 km of Koh Samui. A scary thought if something would happen on one of these platforms and Samui beaches would look like Ao Phrao beach on Koh Samed.

Ao Phrao beach on Koh Samed

The English newspaper 'The Nation' calls it a 'Black day for Koh Samed' but the most interesting article yet to emerge I found to be this article from the Bangkok Post, where the an opposition MP lashed out towards the government, claiming 'PTT is hiding the truth' of the oil spill. He claims the mentioned amount of spilled oil. 50,000 liters, has to be more and he said the government had not taken a needed hands-on approach to the problem. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment did not take any action, asserting that PTTGC had the situation under control, he said, among others.

Tracking the oil spill

The route of the oil spill

Koh Samed was yesterday declared a marine disaster area, according to Rayong Governor Wichit Chatphaisit, who said action was being taken to prevent the leaked oil from spreading from Ao Phrao to other beaches on the island.

"The spill is definitely having an impact on the environment, but we have not detected any deaths of marine animals yet," he said.

It is expected to take about 15 days to restore the polluted beach of Ao Phrao, according to Sumet Saithong, chief of the Laem Ya Samet Islands National Park.

He said about 500 officials from the Pollution Control Department; Depart-ment of Environment Quality Promotion; petrochemical firm PTT Global Chemical, from whose pipeline the oil leaked; and those sent by the Rayong provincial governor, were cleaning up oil that had washed ashore.

Ao Phrao beach, Koh Samed oil spill

Very sad for the environment is that more than 100 rai of the stag horn and giant clam coral reef surrounding Kudee Island, 6 kilometers to the east of Samet Island, is now threatened by the oil spill if efforts to contain the leak fail. Although, considering the size of the spill, this news was to be expected.

Interesting is that now State agencies are preparing to file a lawsuit against PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC) for compensation over the environmental damage caused by the oil spill from its offshore pipeline on Saturday. 
This will be government versus government (PTT is state owned).

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!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 30th July, 2013

Today's weather;

There is a light cloud cover this morning around Koh Samui and hopefully this will disperse during the morning, just like yesterday. Current temp at 7am is 26.2C

Koh Samed Ao Phrao beach, oil spill

Ao Phrao beach on Koh Samed, the oil spill that ruined the beach, an update can be found here. Very sad to look at this

Yesterday saw cloud cover at the start of the day but during the morning more and more blue spots crept in and we could enjoy some sunshine. There were still plenty of clouds but it was also sunny at times or rather for most lart of the day. Max temp reached 32.7C

It was a busy day yesterday with some interesting and in the same time, unfortunate events happening, first I reported about the Raja ferry that caught fire and after that the results of the oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand became apparent with oil reaching beaches on Koh Samed. 

The forecast still predicts wind over the next 7 days, especially over the weekend although the likelihood of rain has diminished, there still may be a shower or two coming our way.

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!

Camille

Monday, 29 July 2013

Oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand hits Koh Samed

Yesterday an oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand caused by a pipe leak at an offshore platform yesterday has led to concern about the possible adverse impacts on the environment.

More than 70 tonnes of crude oil spilled into the sea following a leak in a crude-oil pipe at an offshore platform operated by PTT Global Chemical, a subsidiary of petroleum company PTT.

Koh Samed beaches with oil spill

A Koh Samed oil spilled beach

One of he main people in charge came with this statement yesterday "We still have some concern about the chemical being used, even though it is clear that the oil leak will not reach the beaches or coral," said Phuchong Saritsadeechaikol, director of the government's Marine and Coastal Resource Conservation Center in Rayong.

Unfortunately he has been proofed completely wrong, as the pictures here speak for themselves, since the oil reached Koh Samed beaches.

Oil spill on Koh Samed beach

Koh Samed beach today

The platform that had the leak is government owned (PTT), so that won't make things easier from a legal point of view, it'll be a case of the government going after the government? Very unlikely to happen.

Aerial view of oil spill moving to Koh Samed

An aerial view of the leak moving towards Koh Samed

The scary part however, is that similar platforms are in front of Koh Samui now and very nearby, less than 40km away from Samui beaches, as reported in March. With a spill on one of these platforms, Koh Samui could look like this.

Containing the oil spill damage at Koh Samed beach

Some of the work on the beaches, involving army personal among others

A sad state of affairs and we can only hope that the Thai authorities do their uttermost best to contain this environmental disaster.

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!

Camille

Raja ferry fire at Lipa Noi update, no injuries apparently

Here's an update on the Raja ferry fire at the Lipa Noi pier near Nathon, check here for the first post on the fire;

According to a report on Channel 3, the fire was on a ferry undergoing repairs at a pier in Lipa Noi sub-district of Samui at about 9:20 a.m. The fire spread quickly and completely engulfed the boat. There were no reports of any injuries. The cause of the fire is unknown at the moment.

Raja ferry on fire at Lipa Noi

Photo credit by Matchima Kunkaew

Raja ferry on fire at Lipa Noi

Photo credit by Matchima Kunkaew

Raja ferry on fire at Lipa Noi

Photo credit by Channel 3

Good news that nobody seems to be injured.

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!

Raja ferry burning at the pier near Nathon

About an hour or so ago it became apparent that one of the Raja ferries is burning at the pier at Lipa Noi near Nathon. There's an update available here.

Raja ferry burning at the pier near Nathon

Details are sketchy at this moment and it's unclear if the fire is raging on an active ferry and if anybody is injured. Let's hope nobody is injured.
New information may indicate that it was a ferry undergoing service and was not active in service at the time of the fire.

Raja ferry burning at the pier near Nathon

All pictures copyrighted by Krung Samsuwan

Raja ferry burning at the pier near Nathon


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!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 29th July, 2013

Today's weather;

Just a few more days to go around Koh Samui in this not so great July and it's grey and cloudy, once more. Current temp at 7am is 26C

Check out my post about our 4 baby cats and if you know somebody on the island that wants to take care of one of our cats, please let me know.

Choengmon beach

Outwards view from Choengmon beach two days ago during the late afternoon

Yesterday saw a few and rare sunbeams around the island, at some places a bot more than in others but overall it remained dry and mostly cloudy. Max temp reached 32.9C

The forecast is unfortunately not predicting a very good stretch of upcoming weather for the next 7 days. The wind is supposed tom increase again with some heavy wind and lots of rain over the weekend. Right now, it doesn't look too good.

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!

Camille

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Food on Wheels; construction site delivery

It's time to get my contribution in for the monthly Food on Wheels series addition. This time around I found an interesting variation to the same theme; an older lady selling fruit and veggies to workers on construction sites.

Food on Wheels, construction site delivery

Whilst driving my bike along the Bang Rak - Bophud coastal road, I saw this bike with side mount parked next to the road and after a quick U-turn, I took a few pictures. The lady in the pictures was picking leaves off a tree however and quickly came out of the bushes when I started to take the pictures.
The sign on the side of the bike is promoting non food products.

Food on Wheels, construction site delivery, front view

An interesting side of life on the island, since Samui is plastered with construction sites for the last 20 years and there seems to be no end in sight! Obviously, the workers, how low paid they may be, need to eat as well and this is one way they get their supplies in.

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!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 28th July, 2013

Today's weather;

It's back to grey and cloudy skies again over Koh Samui, although it's dry! Current temp at 7am is 26.4C

Don't forget to check out the picture of our 4 young cats (9 weeks old) and let me know if you know somebody who would like to have one!

Choengmon Beach

A food vendor at Choengmon beach yesterday

Yesterday saw mostly a cloud covered sky, it was still warm but there was not much sunshine to be enjoyed. Max temp reached 34.2C

The forecast shows an increase in wind power over the next 7 days with some very strong wind, almost storm like, over the weekend. An occasional shower may occur.

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!

Camille

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 27th July, 2013

Today's weather;

It's a little bit more cloudy this morning around Koh Samui and there are no blue spots to be seen at the moment and no wind to speak of. Current temp at 7am is 26C

Don't forget to check out my post about our young cats who are looking for a new home!

Our garden on Koh Samui in Thailand

The recent rain period did wonders for our garden

Yesterday saw a second day in a row with nice blue skies, scattered with clouds. It was hot again! Max temp reached 34.3C

The forecast is fairly steady for the next 7 days, a bit of wind, plenty of clouds, occasionally some sunshine, maybe a shower and than all of a sudden strong wind for next weekend! We'll see how that pans out.

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!

Camille

Friday, 26 July 2013

Our baby cats are looking for a home on Koh Samui

Our 4 baby cats (all males) are now 9 weeks old and we're looking to place 3 away. Who's interested or knows somebody who wants a baby cat on Koh Samui, please contact me.

Baby cats 9 weeks old

We're looking for homes that will love the cats and will take good care of them. They already had two anti worms pill treatments and a rabies shot.

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!

Camille

Road safety in Thailand

With a night time tour bus crashing two days ago which killed 19 people, Thailand's road safety has once more been put in the spotlight. A truck driver who fell asleep went into the adverse lane and had a head on collision with a tour bus. The bus almost completely burned out.
The same night two more bus accidents happened around the country without fatalities and a week before a 3.2 meter high bus was 'decapitated' in Surat Thani whilst it went under a 2.5 meter high bridge, injuring a dozen or so people.

Bus crash Saraburi

The recent bus crash in Saraburi

Some of the problems are that Thai drivers don't have enough experience in real life driving, the drivers license test consists of parking in between some cones, driving backwards and a theoretical test. Up until a few years back it common practice on Koh Samui to just pay 500 or 1,000-THB and you received your license without test at all.
Once on the road, these drivers have no clue about real life dangers like taking over other cars at high speed or in front of corners with a blind angle.
Last years death count on Thai roads was around 14.000. That's massive, a country like the UK has around 2 to 3.000 road accidents victims.


Bus deaths chart for this year

The following part and translation of the chart was originally published on Richard Barrow's blog;

The UK government recently came out to say that ”In Thailand, a country with 50,000 British residents and over 870,000 British visitors per year, there were 68,582 road traffic incidents resulting in 9,205 deaths involving both Thai residents and tourists in 2011.” But how many of these accidents involve tour buses? The true extent of accidents seems a remote issue until you check the above graphic on the Channel 3 breakfast show. Here is the run-down for bus accidents that had fatalities in Thailand this year:
  • 6th January: Songkhla – 2 dead and 40 injured
  • 9th January: Chumphon – 2 dead and 20 injured
  • 6th February: Chumphon – 5 dead and 35 injured
  • 15th February: Chiang Rai – 2 dead and 15 injured
  • 17th February: Phrae – 2 dead and 30 injured
  • 20th March: Singburi – 3 dead and 14 injured
  • 8th April: Phitsanulok – 6 dead and 51 injured
  • 9th April: Kalasin – 3 dead and 35 injured
  • 23rd April: Ayutthaya – 1 dead and 40 injured
  • 24th April: Tak 2 dead and 59 injured
  • 6th May: Phrae 3 dead and thirty injured
  • 7th June: Chiang Rai 1 dead and fifteen injured
  • 23rd July: Saraburi 19 dead and 18 injured

About a year ago there was a deadly bus crash with a night bus from Bangkok to Samui, near Surat Thani, as the link shows you.

According to unconfirmed statistics, Koh Samui had as many fatal road accidents a few years back as the whole of the Netherlands in a year.

Be careful out there on Thai roads. I drive around a lot myself, mainly in Southern Thailand, and I see a lot of scary road behavior including almost zero anticipation, no awareness of what's going on around them and driving drunk or under the influence.
You can add to this already lethal mix an almost complete lack of police control on speeding, alcohol abuse whilst driving or general checking of road fitness of vehicles.

Be careful out there and if possible, try to avoid long distance night buses and wear a helmet once on a motorbike. Unfortunately I know too many people including a few friends, who had fatal (motorbike) accidents on Samui.

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!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 26th July, 2013

Today's weather;

A very thin cloud layer hovers over Koh Samui and it looks like this will be evaporated once the sun starts to heat up. Current temp at 7am is 26.6C

Wat Jeng school, Nathon

Wat Jeng school in Nathon in 1986. I love these 'old Samui' pictures like this and thanks a lot to Dawn in Phuket for sending this to me

Yesterday turned out to be a lovely day, after a long time of clouds, rain and wind. The early blue spot in the morning turned in a nice blue sky with scattered clouds and it was warm again with a max temp of 33.5C
Yesterday we also had lunch with some friends at Djeh Mui in Maenam, always a pleasure to eat there especially in good company.

The forecast is changing slightly, for the better! Still a bit of wind and apparently a lot of rain on Sunday but the possibilities of sunshine are growing.

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!

Camille

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 25th July, 2013

Today's weather;

It's cloudy this morning over Koh Samui but not as grey as previous days and I spotted a small blue patch and there seems to be no wind right now. Current temp at 7am is 26.1C

Guan Yu Temple in Hua Thanon

The Guan Yu Temple in Hua Thanon, run by the Hua Thanon Hainanese Temple Association

Yesterday saw a cloudy day with some drizzle and traces of rain during the day and very strong wind in the morning. Max temp reached 30.7C 

The forecast still predicts cloudy skies, moderate wind and an occasional shower for the next 7 days.

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!

Camille

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 24th July, 2013

Today's weather;

We just had a massive bout of wind accompanied by some rain, so wonder that the sky is cloudy and grey around Koh Samui again this morning. Current temp at 7am is 25C

Jaow Meh Guanim at Wat Plai Laem

The Jaow Meh Guanim statue at Wat Plai Laem is surrounded by scaffolding for a paintjob

Yesterday saw a fairly nice day but during the late afternoon there was some rain. Max temp reached 29.8C

The forecast predicts more strong wind today with less stronger wind for the remaining 7 days to follow, with occasionally some rain. 

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!

Camille

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Samui Latin and Jazz week, 29th Sept - 6th Oct. 2013

It's time to get smokin' again with some cool Latin and Jazz tunes. Hipcats united, it's time to visit Samui between 29th September and 6th October 2013.

Samui Latin and Jazz week 2013

Samui Latin and Jazz week 2013

The schedule is shaping up and you expect Latin American rhythms with electrifying percussion – this music will make you dance! Dina Medina from Cape Verde, Nando Vanin from Columbia, Amik Guerra  from Cuba and Nils Fischer with Cabo Cuba Jazz are just a few of the names who will bring the ‘Latin Fever’ to Koh Samui.

Uplifting, energetic & danceable Latin music, combined with relaxed Jazz tunes and big voices: Taking on the stage from the US is Deborah Brown, one of the finest jazz vocalists in the business, who will enchant the audience as she sings from the American Songbook with classics of Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and more.

Pure virtuosity, Saskia Laroo, a dutch jazz musician who has long been dubbed ‘Lady Miles Davis’, will perform with her Quartet ‘Jazzkia’ a perfect fusion of jazz, funk and dance – a truly unique and fun listening experience.

Add to all of this the world class jazz act Peter Beets, presenting his newly released album ‘Portrait of Peterson’ and you can be sure this music festival will be one to remember.

Also coming: Nadia Basurto and Miquel Rodriques  from Spain, the dutch singer Judith Nijland , Rolf Delfos from the Netherlands, the french pianist and singer Fabio Deldongo, Thailand’s Saxophone Star Koh Mr. Saxman and Changton with the beautiful singer Buntita.

8 days of world class music, 8 days of tropical lifestyle, exquisite cuisine and stunning venues – it's time to start planning!

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!

Camille

Samui MTB XC race, 8th September 2013

This coming 8th September, the Samui MTB Racing team will organize a MTB XC race on 8th September, 2013 in Bang Rak.

Samui MTB XC race, 8th September 2013

Samui MTB XC race, 8th September 2013

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!

Asana Bucha and Khao Pansa days

Wan Asana Bucha and Wan Khao Pansa or Buddhist Lent day are very important Thai Buddhist holidays that fall next to each other, usually in July.

This year, 2013,, Wan Asana Bucha is on Monday, July 22nd and Wan Khao Pansa on Tuesday, July 23rd. This creates a long four-day weekend, where many businesses, government offices, schools and the like will be closed. There will be restrictions on Alcohol sales as well. There will be many activities around the temples, predominantly listening to sermons, making merit, feeding of monks, wiang tien, etc.

Asana Bucha Day

Wan Asana Bucha – วันอาสาฬหบูชา

Full moon of the eighth lunar month (usually in July). Monday, July 22nd in 2013.
The day before Wan Khao Pansa is known as Asanha Puja (วันอาสาฬหบูชา) Wan Asana Bucha in Thai (pronounced wan ah sa ha boo cha). This commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon in the Deer Park at Benares (Varanasi) in India. In this sermon, known as Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion, the Buddha first spelled out the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. This day is also regarded as the founding day of the Buddhist sangha (monkhood).

Many Thai people will return to their ancestral homes to worship in their local temple and to bring offerings for the monks. In the evening they will often perform a wian tian, where they walk clockwise around the main shrine of the temple carrying a candle, three incense sticks and a lotus bed. During the day, monks chant mantras or repeat the first sermon of the Buddha.

Khao Pan Sa

Wan Khao Pansa – วันเข้าพรรษา

This is the first day after the full moon of the eighth lunar month (usually in July). This year, today, Tuesday, July 23rd in 2013.
Wan Khao Pansa (วันเข้าพรรษา) means the day of entering the rains retreat. This is a three-month annual retreat usually undertaken from July to October, during which monks must stay at the same temple, and refrain from wandering around the countryside. In India, it is known as Vassa. It begins on the day after Asana Bucha. The tradition dates from the time of the Buddha, when he forbade monks to travel during the rainy season for fear that they might unintentionally harm crops or insects in the places where they walked.

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!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 23rd July, 2013

Today's weather;

Once more it's cloudy and rather grey-ish with a bit of wind going on over Koh Samui. Current temp at 7am is 25.3C

Hua Thanon market area

The market area in Hua Thanon, a small but nice market

Yesterday saw a rather nice day with actually little bursts of sunshine. Late in the afternoon we had a short but hard shower pass over though. Max temp reached 31C
In case you missed it, yesterday I posted about the shooting of two police agents who were shot on Koh Samui and one was killed instantly. The post in question can be found here and if you're interested, check out my race report about the Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon in which I participated last weekend.

The forecast predicts the last day with strong wind during the next 7 days should be tomorrow, but all other days will have wind in various degrees of strength and possibly some rain until Thursday.

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!

Camille

Monday, 22 July 2013

One police officer killed and one seriously injured in Chaweng

Saturday morning, 20th July, around 8am, police were called to the PTT in Chaweng Lake Road responding to reports of a man acting erratically. Two Officers responded and one confronted the suspect attempting to talk him down. The suspect then stabbed the officer and grabbed his 9mm weapon and shot the officer three times in the head killing him instantly. The suspect then proceeded to shoot seven further rounds into the surrounding area, luckily not injuring anyone. The suspect then attempted to escape by running back to his house. In the process he discarded the gun, roughly 30meters from the PTT. The second officer set off after the suspect on foot and, in a altercation with the suspect, was stabbed in his chest. The officer is currently in ICU at Thai International Hospital. The suspect was arrested shortly after at his residence by officers. 
Source Samuitimes

Due to me participating in the Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon over the weekend, I didn't have time to report about this until now.

PTT gas station in Chaweng as a crime scene

PTT gas station in Chaweng as a crime scene

The person causing the trouble was under the influence of Ya Baa, a methyl amphetamine based drug. A very graphic video of the shooting can be seen here, caught by the gas stations cctv recorders, it's very graphic indeed and only watch it if you can deal with it's contents.

On the video, the suspect can also be seen being loaded onto a truck, supposedly he's part of a local family running a jetski operation and he can be seen wai-ing his father and uncle, asking for forgiveness when they load him onto the truck for going with him to the police station.

A very sad event where people were unnecessarily killed, the police officer was father of two young children. The other office was stabbed and shot and is still fighting for his life in hospital. One ore more bystanders weere also injured.
More information can also be found in this Bangkok Post article.

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!

Camille

4th Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon, race day

The 4th Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon turned out to be a very hard race for me. Besides the hills, although the recent Lansaka marathon had more ascend in the route and the rain during the second part of the race, it was mainly the midnight start that made it hard. I was completely out of my rhythm and it was my first all nighter since years, although this time around no alcohol was involved, only caffeinated gels.


The start and finish on Saturday during registration

After embarking the 1.30pm Seatran ferry from Koh Samui, which was bursting with Full Moon part goers, I immediately went to register for the race and after a 500.-THB exchange and a BIB (race number) and a t-shirt in my bag, I was off to check some rooms. Since I didn't need the room to sleep in, just to relax, rest and shower, a very cheap room did the job and was easily found.


The price ceremony

After some walking around, a Thai massage, a carbs loaded pasta meal and a rest, midnight came around rather fast! With that the race start was on and the first 21km went well. It was tough though, with a gentle slope at the first km's, followed by a serious hill at 7.5km on the way out from Thong Sala to Chalocklom, where the first u-turn was and back down with the same hill now taken from the opposite side at 13.5km. I ran the whole route but later in the race I felt the effort I made here, so early on. 


Tired but happy, showing off my trophy

Up until the half way point I was doing really well, slower then expected but in good shape and mind. It started to become tougher by the 28km point. By that time it was raining, sometimes hard, sometimes a drizzle but almost non stop until the last couple of km's. The last 8 km I also had pain in my knee, which made my running almost look like a shuffle, even when I wanted to go faster, I couldn't because of my knee. Some rest is now in place!

Strangely enough, there was no marker any more after the 40km mark (which was the slowest kilometer I ran, just like in Lansaka) and before I knew I found myself at the finish, to my big relief and it turned out that I was 7th in my age category, just snapping up the last trophy.
There were about 50 participants in the marathon and it seemed that were a very high percentage of guys participating in my age category. Overall I finished somewhere half way into the field, I think and my race was 5 hours and 16 minutes, plus I can add a blister and some seriously chafed body parts to my conquests.

Besides the rain during the race, it was pouring down during the price ceremony as well, just after I received my trophy, and about 5 meters in to the way back to my hotel, it came pouring down and the ceremony had to be stopped and I was stuck for about half an hour. It also turned out that the trophy given to me was for 6th place and upon checking at home yesterday, it turned out that last years trophy for being second on the 10km race, was actually the trophy for first place!

Everything hurt after the race but I was happy to have finished although I'm a bit worried now about my knee and hope it's nothing serious. Some well deserved rest is in place now!

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!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 22nd July, 2103

Today's weather;

It's grey and cloudy over Koh Samui this morning and it's likely to rain today. Current temp at 7am is 26.3C

Big Buddha, Koh Samui, Thailand

Big Buddha  in Bang Rak, late last week

Yesterday saw a cloudy day with occasionally rain, in the morning and early evening for instance. Max temp reached 28.7C

The forecast turned even a shade worse, if that's possible at all in this July! Heavy clouds until Wednesday with occasionally some rain. First chances for nicer weather are not until Sunday now.

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!

Camille

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 21st July, 2013

Today's weather;

A very late update indeed, due to arriving late from Koh Phangan, where I finished 7th in my age category during this years edition of the Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon, a report can be found http://samui-weather.blogspot.com/2013/07/koh-phangan-full-moon-marathon-race-day.htmlhere. The Seatran ferry is always notoriously late and once I got back home I had lots of things to do, but here we are! At last!

It was cloudy all morning long around Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, into the early afternoon with occasionally some rain, drizzle or trace. Current temp at 1pm is 27.2C

Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon trophy and medal

Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon trophy and medal, 7th in my age category after 5 hours and 16 minutes

Yesterday saw a cloudy afternoon and plenty of rain during the night, during which I had the pleasure to run. Max temp reached 30.9C

The forecast has done a 180C turn and now any signs of better weather conditions besides rain and wind is unfortunately not due until next weekend.

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!

Camille

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 20th July, 2013

Today's weather;

It's cloudy once more around Koh Samui but dry at the moment and just a little bit of wind. No such things as the recent storms seem to be around for today! Current temp at 7am is 26.6C

Later this afternoon I will take the ferry over to Koh Phangan to run my 2nd ever marathon, the Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon with a midnight start! Therefor there will be a late update tomorrow.

Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon route

The Koh Phangan Full Moon marathon route (last year I ran the quarter marathon) for tonight's midnight start, a difficult run, because of steep hills at km 7.5 and 14 plus a lot of sloping ground but mainly because the start is at midnight, when I'm usually vast asleep!

Yesterday saw a nice day, it was cloudy, yes and not a lot of sunshine but it was mainly dry besides a short shower and not too warm. Max temp reached 31.3C

The forecast shows one more burst of strong wind tomorrow afternoon and by Tuesday afternoon the wind is about to slow down tremendously and we may have some chance of sunshine again.
But first things first and I will be off to Koh Phangan soon.

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!

Camille

Friday, 19 July 2013

Recent stormy days over Koh Samui

The last couple of days has been frequently hit with short bursts of storms that are seemingly getting stronger each time and are starting to manage to do some damage.


A tree covering a car near Chaweng lake (picture by Teevara Kunkaew)

Over last weekend, when we were on the mainland in Surat Thani, we were welcomed home by a felled tree on the opposite side of the road, as this picture from Tuesday shows.


Another tree covering a car near Chaweng lake (picture by Teevara Kunkaew)

Yesterday saw another big storm moving over the island,around 2pm. This morning I already posted a picture of a toppled durian tree blocking a road in Hua Thanon.
In the general area there were also lots of coconut tree leaves on the road and branches of other trees. It looked really messy at places.


Another toplled tree near Chaweng lake (picture by Teevara Kunkaew)


A felled tree near Chaweng lake 


The toppled over tree in Choengmon, near the post office, causing a 4 hour power cut, since it fell on top of electricity cables (Picture by My Home Koh Samui)

The 'coup de grace' was however the tree that toppled in Choengmon, as pictured above. This tree fell on top of electricity cables and caused a 4 hour power cut in our part of the island, covering Choengmon, Plai Laem and Bang Rak.


The PEA out in force, working to solve the Choengmon problem

The PEA (Provincial Electrical Authority) did a good job however and fixed the problem as fast as they could. They came out with a big truck and workers, who did a great job fixing the problem as fast as they could.


PEA workers working the electricity cables

There are still a few stormy days ahead of us but by Tuesday things should slowly start to return to normal. 

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!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 19th July, 2013

Today's weather;

A dark and grey cloud layer hangs over Koh Samui this morning. It looks like some more rain may come down today. Current temp at 7am is 25.7C

Durian tree, felled by the storm

A durian tree, felled by the storm yesterday in Hua Thanon, blocking our way to the Kila Amphur

Yesterday started out rather nice, which at some early morning stage, an almost clear blue sky hovering over our part of the island. 
That changed however drastically around 2pm when a massive storm raged over the island, with very strong wind gusts and plenty of rain. Many trees all over the island were toppled over and one tree that crashed over an electricity line in Choengmon caused a power cut of almost 4 hours in our area. 
Shortky after midnight I was woken up by the sirens of an ambulance (never a good sign) and shortly afterward another big storm with strong wind and rain followed.
Max temp reached 32.2C

The forecast predicts strong wind and occasionally rain until Tuesday afternoon, when things shoudl start to become nicer again.

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!

Camille