Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pee Daeng's Restaurant, Bophut, Koh Samui

Pee Daeng's restaurant is a Khao Man Gai restaurant, like many others you can find all over Koh Samui and Thailand. Khao Man Gai is chicken served over rice which has been cooked in chicken stock served with a spicy, tamarind-based curry sauce. Other popular dishes available in curry houses of this type include Khao Man Ruam (similiar to Khao Man Gai but served with chicken, pork, crispy pork skin and Chinese sausage), and Kaa Moo (stewed leg of pork served over rice with a thick, fragrent sauce). All dishes are served with soup and customers help can themselves to fresh chillies, garlic and spring onions. Dishes cost 50-60 THB.

If you want an authentic Thai drink, try the super-sweet Thai-style ice-tea which you can order with milk (cha yen sai nom) or without (Cha dam yen).


The food served is very tasty and even the pickiest of eaters (including the childen) should enjoy a plate of Khao Man Gai. The restaurant staff can help you with which sauces to put on though only a little is needed as it is quite spicy and salty.

Pee Daeng's Restaurant is located just opposite the large "Fisherman's Village" sign in Bophut and is generally open from around 11am to around 5pm each day. Though they do seem to be closed a lot and there doesn't seem to be any set days of closing, so you'll just have to leave it up to luck as to whether the restaurant is open or not. If not, chances are it will be open the next day.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Songkran Festival, Koh Samui, Thailand -

Songkran is probably one of the most fun days you can possible imagine on any calendar, in any country,  in any culture and probably in any galaxy. Imagine a country of nearly 100 million people having a huge, friendly and drunken non-stop water-fight for anywhere between 24 hours and 7 days. Sound like fun? Well, it's probably about the most fun you're ever going to experience...

Each year Songkran falls on the 13th, 14th and 15th of April, which are Thai public holidays and a time when most Thai people return home to visit their families. Historically, Songkran was Thailand’s (and neighboring countries of Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos) New Year and is the most important holiday on the Thai calendar.

Historically, the festival of Songkran originates from the Brahmin people of India who celebrated a "Sangkranti" festival which signified the vernal equinox when the sun re-enters Aries and finishes its orbit of the Earth on 13th April each year. The Brahmins called this time their New Year as it was the start of the Spring which signified new life and new beginnings. This celebration of the vernal equinox is deep-rooted in many cultures around the world and is also celebrated as the Indian Holi Festival, the Christian Easter festival and Chinese Ching Ming festival.

Traditionally, Songkran is a time to pay respects to elders, families, neighbours and friends and a time when Thai people clean out their homes signifying the washing away of bad luck and a new beginning. A typical day of Songkran in the past would mean visiting the temple early in the morning to give offerings of food to monks. After the monks finished eating, the temple gathering would then feast on the food. Perfumed water was poured on images of Buddha and gently over the shoulder of friends and family (especially the eldest) to signify the washing away of evil and bad luck. This use of water is very common in important Thai ceremonies such as weddings, funerals and blessings as water is seen as pure and cleaning force in Thai culture.

Nowadays, Songkran has evolved to the throwing of water, talcolm powder and even food colouring over strangers with lines of partying revellers using plastic waterguns, buckets, hoses and anything else they can get their hands onto to soak everyone and everything that moves. Lines of slow moving pickup trucks carring their lethal cargo of water barrels, plastic guns and enthusistic children and adults alike pounce on suspecting passer-bys.

On Koh Samui, the water-throwing starts around lunch-time with water fights on every street of the island. Generally, most vistors make their way to Chaweng towards the early evening where the party continues until dawn. On Koh Samui, unlike other places in Thailand which can have water fights for up to 3, 7 or even 10 days, the fun only lasts for 1 day.

Unfortunately Songkran does have its downside as the 3-day holiday is a time of the highest number of road accident deaths in the country with around 1,000 Thai people and visitors killed and many more injured during the holiday period, each year. Less seriously, Songkran is also a time of the highest number of broken cameras and mobile telephones as you can probably imagine, so don't take out anything expensive that doesn't like getting wet! offers informative articles about Koh Samui including beach and town guides, interactive maps and the ultimate portfolio of luxurious Koh Samui holiday rental properties.