Archive | December 2013

New Years Eve Thailand.

The Thai people get very excited about New Year and as soon as it was midnight last night there were flurries of firecrackers going off. We were woken up this morning by fireworks too.

We spent the day in Chaweng. I had nothing to wear out tonight and we wanted to explore a bit. Hubby was very pleased with our discovery of a KFC with halal meat. So that was our lunch stop.

The BIG C shopping centre has lots of smaller shops as well as a big supermarket where you can buy almost anything as long as you can work out what it says on the packet in thai. For those of you heading this way….monosodium glutamate is in a packet with red writing and salt is in a blue.

I managed to find the perfect outfit in the small boutique on the right hand side as you go in……got some lovely white harem trousers and an ethnic long cotton too for just 780 baht. They also had some beautiful silk kimono type tops…..will definitely be sneaking back there at the end of the trip if I have money left to treat myself to some more. Hubby had a really good quality Koh Samui TShirt for 299 baht.

Feeling very pleased with our purchases we set off to locate the halal butchers we had heard about. Turn right out of the Big C and it is about 75 metres on your left. The sign says Specialist French Bakery and Butchers. All his beef is halal and very good quality. He also has some delicious looking cheeses and French breads and pastries. I came out with some smoked salmon, some Brie and some French bread in addition to the beef.

Home to shower and change before our big night out. We started the evening at a private Thai party in a little village near Chaweng…..you could hear the music from about a km away. Set up in a car valeting forecourt there were two long tables of guests and big pots of traditional Thai food to feed everyone. We ate some chicken and rice but some of the other dishes were just too spicy for us. The party throwers wife is from a Muslim family so all the meat was halal…….again one very happy husband.

We left at about 10.45pm as we had an invitation to W resort to watch the fireworks. It’s strange but as you get older you suddenly find yourself with friends in strange places and my sister knows the owner. We arrived at the party, were given our VIP wrist bands and everything was on the house. We drank champagne, and some very expensive wine. The fireworks were incredible and the view from Woo bar let us enjoy all the surrounding fireworks including those on Kho Panang. At about 3am we headed back to Mae Nam and the Chill Out Bar on the beach where we partied until after 4am and then made our way home to bed by 5. One of the best New Years Eves I ever remember.

In Thailand there are some very dodgy toilets…. And tonight I experienced the full range…..a private very clean squat…..but unlike Turkey where they are flat on the floor in Thailand they are raised just enough to be dangerous if you have had a few drinks. the W resort….I suspect certainly the most impressive on the Island and Chill Out……. if you can find an alternative do it…truly horrible.

Happy 2014 everyone

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Not Koh Phan Ang.

Well our trip to the island was cancelled as the people we were going with had a funeral to attend today.

We got off to a leisurely start….lazy breakfast and then headed into Mae Nam to collect a scooter and have some food. Collected out scooter from a friend of my sisters……negotiated a good price and am pleased to report that I can reach the floor so can drive it. Having transport will make a big difference to our Koh Samui experience.

We stopped at the Sea view in Maenam for a late lunch……and I can recommend the thai curry fried rice with prawns…spicy but lovely. We then took a stroll along the beach to see where my sister usually stays and stopped at a beach shack for some drinks. Windy and not particularly warm but still lovely to sit on the sand and listen to some Bob Marley.

Back to the house for a chill and then to Poos place aka Sunshine Garden for dinner. Fried white snapper with garlic and onion and rice. I really enjoyed mine…hubby was upset that they had filleted and chopped the fish as he was hoping for a whole one.

A stroll to Mamas supermarket for more drinks and some bar girl watching…..a fascinating sport….. Hubby was surprised that some of the girls weren’t and horrified when two lady boys invited him to play pool. He won’t be so smiley and sociable tomorrow night me thinks.

A birthday in Thailand

No….not mine…but my little sister’s. Not even a special one…although in someways it is as it’s the first birthday I have spent with her in more than 30 years.

We got up and went to a special restaurant known as Poos for eggs Benedict…sadly Poo wasn’t expecting us and wasn’t open……change of plan and it was off to Fishermans Village in BoPhut for a cooked breakfast at an Australian bar called Billabong on the sea front. Very nice it was too…once we were all stuffed full of fried stuff all reasonably priced my Sister headed off to run some errands leaving me and hubby to have a meander around the shops……..what can I say? Very….very overpriced and obviously geared to parting the unsuspecting tourist from their hard earned cash. We had bought a shirt at walking street for 100 baht the identical shirt 450 baht in Fishermans Village.

We then met at a hand made shoe shop……too many to choose from and headed towards Choeng Mong beach. It was beautiful…white sands….dotted with small beach bars, hammocks and a great hotel which has rooms to rent shaped like boats.

After a couple of hours at home to make ourselves beautiful we headed off to Johns Place for dinner…….it was beautiful. Lovely location and atmosphere. The food was fantastic and hubby overjoyed when he discovered all their beef is halal. We had the excellent beef with chilli and onions and rice….spicy but very delicious and the others in outer group had steaks or thai dishes. We lived it and will definitely eat there again.

It was lovely to meet some of my sisters friends. We laughed loads, ate loads, and drank a lot of wine…..we finally got to bed at 2am…… A fantastic day had by all.

Nathon

Yesterday we got up early and decided we would use the local bus taxis to go and visit Nathon.

We ended up spending quite a lot on fares and would probably have been better off hiring a scooter.

Nathon…..well…it has a reputation as been the best place to clothes shop but it was Sunday and lots of shops seemed to be closed. It is the Administrative Capital of the island but was by far the dirtiest place we have visited so far. The whole place seemed very grubby and was very smelly…a mix of all sorts of cooking and rancid drains.

The beach was a very thin strip and there were a few pretty long tail fishing boats dotted around. We did manage to find a bit of a market that sold cheap fruit….and also a clean looking cafe where we were able to get breakfast.

We found nowhere that did halal meat so hubby on eggs, fruit and vegetables again. He was appalled by how dirty some of the food places appeared and shocked that people didn’t wash their hands before starting to prepare the food.

We did pick up some bargains but still found most shops overpriced. We will definitely be going back to the local walking street which although geared towards tourists seems far more reasonably priced. I am now the owner of a lively new sarong and hubby got some shorts.

Last night we were too tired to go out so went and got a pizza from a place on the road to Nathon. One very large tuna and onion to share and a night with some DVDs.

We are having an early night as we are going to visit Koh Pangang tomorrow.

Stir fried vegetables

My first attempt at cooking in Thailand.

To say our kitchen facilities are limited is an understatement but I do like a challenge and we do have an electric wok.

I carefully sliced and peeled onions, peppers, garlic, carrots and broccoli……..and fresh ginger.

I chucked some palm oil in a wok and heated it…the. Figuring the carrots would take the longest to cook I put them in first with the ginger and garlic and after about 5 minutes added the broccoli. Finally I added the onions and peppers and some salt and black pepper. I kept stirring it until the onions had gone clear and then served it.

Very simple and delicious……definitely one to use again.

Day 3 – Samui the tour 2013.

Hubby didn’t sleep well last night and went out for a walk at about 6am……when the rest of us woke up he had managed to find fresh coconuts and bananas and they were piled up in the kitchen. My sister and her hubby who didn’t know he’d been out were very confused about how they had arrived in a locked house.

We had a late breakfast and then took a stroll down the the beach at Ban Po. it is small but very beautiful. There were big waves that surprised me…literally…..one very little lady with very wet shorts. We strolled for a kilometre or so and then started to get cut off by the I coming tide. a nice thai lady let us cut through a private garden rather than drown.

Once back on the main road we found a small Thai cafe where we stopped for some authentic Thai food. I had noodles and prawns and hubby had a vegetable dish. Both very delicious and inexpensive. After a stroll home and a short relax we headed out to the local fresh produce market to buy supplies for this evenings meal.

We got some lovely fresh vegetables and some very fresh fish. Due to limited kitchen facilities the fish was barbecued and we stir fried the veg……absolutely stuffed and no one could manage the lovely a fresh pineapple we had planned for dessert.

We are going out for breakfast and dinner tomorrow as it’s my sisters birthday. Looking forward to trying some more thai food.

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Koh Samui – Day 2.

After the very long journey we really enjoyed our lazy day around the house.

We decided to head into Mae Nam for the evening. Thursday night is “Walking Street” night in Mae Nam and my sister had also located a Turkish restaurant in the same area.

I have been thinking about hiring a scooter but in 2 days have seen 2 smashes and am really not so sure now. Anyway we drove through some pretty crazy traffic…… They drive on the same side as the UK here…so glad someone told me I would have driven on the right otherwise.

We managed to find so we here to park and set off to explore walking street. It wasn’t long before we started seeing things we wanted to buy. I got a great pair of trousers for about 1/3 of the price I have paid for similar in Turkey. Hubby got a great shirt again crazy cheap…..I got a hair slide…which was expensive in comparison but still cheap. We spent about 600 baht total…. 40 Turkish lira or about £13. What a haul!

At the end of Walking street we can to Mae Nam temple…it was just there in the street and was one of the most amazing buildings I have ever seen

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It was so ornate and beautifully decorated in bright colours and amazing designs of Chinese style dragons. The picture is not fantastic but you will get the idea.