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Jan. 7 - 20, 2011

Vol. 1, No. 12

Lower electricity charge expected this year The energy minister expects the electricity charge for the beginning of 2011 to fall in line with the declining natural gas prices and the stronger baht. He also says the first nuclear power plant project in Thailand, scheduled to be deliberated in 2011, must be postponed due to legal complications. Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul stated that the FT electricity charge for January to April 2011 is expected to fall due to dropping natural gas prices and the baht’s appreciation. He added that it is the task of the Energy Regulatory Commission to discuss and deliberate factors that will attribute to the new lowered FT electricity charge. Regarding the proposed project to construct the first nuclear power plant in Thailand, the energy minister said he must postpone its deliberation, planned for a Cabinet meeting in January, because many aspects are not ready, including its legality involving safety standards. This will further delay the nuclear power plant project, scheduled to commence in 2020. Meanwhile, the Energy Business Department has submitted the 2011 energy report with expectation of a rise in oil prices, particularly the domestic retail gasoline price which is >> page 5

Baht 20

Bt2.4 million to repair flood-damaged roads By AKANEE THONGTHARA


The Soi Khao Phra dirt road was severely damaged by the November floods and now turns into a stream during heavy rains. This street is one of the 28 areas the municipality will rehabilitate once the weather clears up.

ollowing the assessment of the Koh Samui municipality on the extent of damage of the November floods, the government office provided Bt2.46 million to repair Samui roads banged up by the floods. The road rehabilitation project, called Facility Maintenance Scheme, was earmarked to kick of mid-December last year but was halted due to poor weather conditions that continued until the end of the month. The funding from the government will allow for damaged roads to be restored or rebuilt. “We could not start the operation because of the weather conditions in December. The rains will probably make some roads worse, especially the dirt >> page 5

community health

New health center to be inaugurated in Bophut By AKANEE THONGTHARA

After a year of construction, the new Koh Samui Health Center in Bophut will be inaugurated in May this year says deputy mayor Surapong Viriyanon. The health center has cost Bt12 million to build and equip, financed entirely by the Koh Samui municipality. It will offer full medical and dental services to residents of the area and tourists, re-

lieving some pressure from the Koh Samui Hospital in Nathon. The two-rai land plot, located near the Bonkai intersection in Bophut, was donated by municipality council member Kanit Somwong. The new facility has 24-hour emergency health cover and functions as a day hospital with equipment and personnel to undertake minor surgeries.

“The Koh Samui Health Center will open on May 2011 and it would benefit local residents and even foreigners who visit Koh Samui,” said deputy mayor Surapong. Ambulance service is also available for patients who have are in serious medical condition and need to be transferred to the Koh Samui Hospital in Nathon, the deputy mayor added.



samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

Municipality now processes commercial registration


he Department of Business Development recently transferred processing of commercial registration to the Koh Samui municipality pursuant to the Decentralization of Local Government Organizations Act. New business registration, change of registration or liquidation of business can now be conveniently processed at the Municipality. Com-


mercial businesses include (1) Persons who conduct the rice mill businesses and saw factories using machines; (2) Persons who conduct sale businesses of any one kind or several kinds of items with the income of more than Bt20 per day or such items have total value of Bt500 Baht; (3) Agent who conducts the businesses of any one kind or several kinds of products and such products that can be sold for

more than Bt20 per day; (4) Persons who conduct any one kind or several kinds of handicraft or industrial businesses and can sell the products for more than Bt20 per day or such items have total value of Bt500 or above in any day; (5) Persons who conduct marine, transportation businesses via steam launch or motor launch , transportation businesses via rail or tram, transportation via bus, sale by auction,

land trading, lending, foreign exchange, note trading, banking, gambling, pawn businesses, and hotel businesses; (6) Sale, rent, manufacturing of cassette tapes, CD, VDO, DVD or digital VDO for entertainment only; (7) Sale of jewelry or accessories decorated with jewelry; (8) Trading the products or services by electronics via internet system, internet service, renting the areas for server, being the market for

sale of products or services by electronics via internet system; (9) Internet Cafe service; (10) Karaoke service and service regarding listening to songs; (11) Game service; (12) Song booth service; and (13) Factory for processing, craft, handicraft, retail and wholesale of ivory and products from ivory. The municipality’s treasury division can be reached at 077-421421 extension 113, 118 or 121 for more info.

TAT urges Chinese agencies to offer island tours By Cherdchai Taweemuang

Chinese travel agencies should offer more vacation or travel packages to the Southern islands of Samui, Phangan and Tao, said TAT Suratthani following a recent visit of 20 Chinese tour agencies and members of the press to the island.

Phanu Voramitre, director of TAT Suratthani, said that opening up the resort islands to the Chinese will certainly boost tourism on Samui and neighboring islands. “The Republic of China is a huge market and their influence in the

Chinese tour operators pose at the Samui International Airport during a recent visit to the island.

world’s economy is enormous,” he said. According to TAT, this influence can spread through the tourism sector of the islands, where visitor arrivals from Europe went down. The Chinese group arrived at the Koh Samui International Airport flown by

Bangkok Airways. They toured the island to survey the tourist attractions. The group also headed to Koh Phangan to attend the full moon party. Using Lomprayah’s high speed catamaran, the Chinese tour operators also went to check accommodation and scuba

diving agencies on Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan. TAT acknowledges they have to market Thailand really well in other countries. This visit was made possible by a partnership of TAT Suratthani and TAT Beijing to help promote tourism on the holiday islands.


samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011


1,040 Koh Samui households receive flood relief cheques By AKANEE THONGTHARA

VIEW FROM THE TOP: Suratthani devastated by floods.

Almost 13,000 households from around Suratthani received flood relief cheques Dec. 8 to 17 from government budget. On Samui, the government received 1,040 applications for humanitarian aid from households in areas most affected by the devastating floods. Suratthani governor Theerayut Aiemtrakul said they sent teams to survey the damages caused by the floods that ripped Southern Thailand in November. Payment to each household was Bt5,000 for loss

or damage to property. In early December, the government distributed the flood relief compensation to households in Suratthani: Prachakom Pavillion in Vipawadee District (45 households), Government Saving Bank in Panom (two households) and Prachakom Pavillion in Donsak District (398 households). For Samui residents, cheques were distributed at the Kanchanaphisek Convention Hall in Nathon (369 households) and Government Saving Bank in Bophut (644 households).

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IslandNews samui gazette |

jan. 7 - 20, 2011

Outrigger to rebrand Samui resort


utrigger has signed an agreement to manage the Outrigger Koh Samui Resort and Spa in Bohput Beach. The 81key villa and suite resort, currently operating as the Destination Beach Resort & Spa, will rebrand on Feb. 01, 2011. The Outrigger Koh Samui will offer a range of accom-

modations including pool villas, spacious pool access suites and rooms. Guests will be able to enjoy a full array of services and amenities, including a beachside restaurant, a Navasana Wellness Centre, a fitness centre, three swimming pools, including one absolute beachfront pool, two bars and a Kid’s Club.

“We are excited to add Outrigger Koh Samui Resort and Spa to our growing collection of luxury properties throughout Asia,” said Darren Edmonstone, Outrigger’s Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific. “The resort is a perfect fit for us and we look forward to providing the very best in service and amenities to our guests and patrons.”

Thai leaders increase their pay, get public outcry Thailand’s government officials and lawmakers will receive pay raises of up to 15 percent this year that opponents said were too high and undeserved. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will make Bt125,600 a month starting in April, a 5 percent increase. Raises of up to 15 percent for lawmakers take effect after a general election that is due in 2011. The Cabinet’s approval of the increases shined a light on the wages of high-ranking officials, which are not common knowledge in Thailand, where minimum wage averages Bt180 a day. The government defends the raises as the first for lawmakers since 2005 and necessary to attract competent people into public service from higher paying private sector jobs. A group of 40 senators that led opposition to the raises, however, says they are too high and the Bt13 billion package comes at the wrong time amid economic troubles and political divisions in Thailand. “Private companies base salary increases on performance. Lawmakers and senators do not deserve to be rewarded based on their performance,” said Rosana Tositrakul, a senator who opposes the raises. She noted that many lawmakers don’t show up at parliament, and sessions regularly collapse due to lack of quorum. The Cabinet also approved a minimum wage increase of between Bt8 and Bt17 a day, depending on the type of business and location — a contrast that critics say illustrate Thailand’s vast income divide.


samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

Bt2.4 million to repair... roads in many areas. The municipality, however, assures everyone that this project will commence soon,” said deputy mayor Sutham Samthong in a press conference held Dec. 28. According the municipality officers, everything needed to start the project is ready and once the Thai Meteorological Department forecasts a clear

weather for Samui, the road rehabilitation project will begin. The project will cover 28 areas all over the seven sub districts of Koh Samui, including Maret, Angthong, Lipa Noi, Taling Ngam, Namuang, Bophut and Maenam. Larger-funded projects include Soi Phoon Sawat in Maenam which requires Bt201,000 for mainte-


<< page 1

nance, the area of Tessaban II school (Wat Saket) which requires Bt173,000 for repair, Soi Bangchak in Namuang which requires Bt206,000 and the dirt road in Soi Khao Phra in Bophut which requires Bt203,000. Bophut residents are hopeful the project will begin soon. “It’s really difficult to go home especially when it’s raining,” a

Soi Poon Sawat, Maenam

Soi Bangchak, Namuang

Electricity charges... << page 1 expected to climb by 60 to 70 satang per liter and retail diesel price by Bt1.30 to Bt1.40 per liter according to world oil prices. The report predicts that Dubai crude oil will climb to 83 US dollars per barrel from 77 dollars in 2010 due

to the recovering world economy that demands high energy use as well as factors like the baht’s strengthening. Every one dollar shift in oil price translates into a domestic retail oil price hike by 50 to 60 satang per liter.


IslandNews Samui reports samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

851 drug arrests in 2010

Bophut Police conduct traffic management training for volunteers A vehicle traffic management training was recently conducted by the Bophut Police to educate volunteers of the basic rules of traffic control and management on the island. Conducted Dec. 20 at the Lamai Conference Room, volunteers were gathered to help the local

police force manage traffic in major tourist areas on Samui especially during the high season. The volunteers were a welcome boost to the limited number of officers manning the roads and ensuring the safety of the motoring public. They were also asked

to take part in measures on how to reduce road accidents. Topics covered by the seminar were traffic rules, basics of using hand and whistle signals and proper dress code during duty. MP Suratthani Jaroen Janta graced the program.

In a report presented by Suratthani vice governor Chalo Wanitjaroen, a total of 851 cases of illegal drugs were filed on Koh Samui in 2010. These cases include possession, smuggling and trading of illegal substances such as methamphetamine, marijuana, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), crystal methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and others. The Narcotics Combating Operation Center of Suratthani (Suratthani NCOC) chaired the conference which summarized all drugrelated cases dealt by the local police force. During the conference, they also brainstormed on measures to combat drug trafficking in the province of Suratthani following the Thai Khem Khaeng Scheme (Strong Thailand).

Vice governor Chalo also reported that a total of 5,000 drug-related arrests were reported in all of Suratthaniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s districts and a total of 6,147 suspects. More than 900suspects were arrested in Suratthaniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Muang District while 442 cases were reported on Koh Phangan. Since 2006, Thailand has implemented hospital accreditation for addiction treatment and rehabilitation to make access to the services easier. This year, a total of 3,531 drug users are attending the treatment program in Suratthani. Almost half of them voluntarily attended the treatment program while the others were forced to undergo rehabilitation programs. Some are in compulsory drug treatment centers.

Police Burglar does Xmas

samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

shopping in Plai Laem

Michael Thomas

Kristuie Blumrich

Thieves did their rounds of Christmas shopping in Plai Laem – looting three rooms of a quiet guest house in the area. The Christmas day burglary happened late night of Dec. 25 when a thief broke into three rooms of Mansion YLO Guest House and stole Bt11,000 in cash and an Acer laptop. The perpetrators took advantage of

the holiday celebrations and pried open locked doors while the guests were out for the night. Pol. Lt. Col. Phongkajorn Sukkasang, duty inspector of Bophut Police Station, said rooms 202, 203 and 204 which were rented by foreigners were ransacked. Victims include German Kristuie Blumrich who lost cash and South

African Michael Thomas who lost his laptop worth Bt35,000. “I went out around 10:30 pm of Dec. 25 and I am sure the door was locked before I left. When I came back from the party around 7:30 am of Dec. 26, I found my room was ransacked and my laptop gone,” said Thomas. The Bophut police are now searching for the suspects.

Thai police officer accused of helping Cambodian drug dealers

A local police officer has been accused for his role in helping two illegal Cambodian nationals trade illegal drugs and smuggle illegal laborers to Koh Samui. The suspects only identified by their first names, Janda, 47, and Kaew, 16, were arrested following a sting operation midDecember in Bophut. Authorities found in the Cambodians’ possession 340 methamphetamine tablets hidden inside a doll in Janda’s bedroom. Maj. Yuttana Sirisombat, inspector of suppression department, said during a media presentation of the suspects that the two were caught on the act of delivering illegal drugs. In their sworn statements with the police, the Cambodians involved a Thai police officer who lives on the island. They said the officer took

Cambodian suspects Janda and Kaew

them in when they illegally entered the country. Whether or not the police officer knew of their illegal activities and their other connections are still under investigation.

The authorities are also looking at a report filed in the Bophut Police station involving a Cambodian who threw stones at a member of the press who wrote about a tourist being

threatened. The police are looking if this incident is related to the drug case leveled against the Cambodians. Both are now in police custody pending court trial.


Russian dies of broken neck in postXmas road accident A man riding a motorcycle ended his Christmas revelry with a fatal accident. Mikhaie Sutyrin from Russia, 28, died of a broken neck when his motorbike skidded and crashed on a sharp bend near Takieng Restaurant in Ban Plai Leam. According to Pol. Lt. Col. Phongkajorn Sukkasang, the victim was heading back home drunk from a Christmas party morning of Dec. 26 when he tackled the sharp corner and lost his balance. His white and green Honda Click skidded. Authorities said “there is a sharp corner, his motorbike skidded on the bend and he may be going at a slightly fast speed.” He was thrown off the vehicle and hit the ground head first. It is believed he died of a broken neck. The Samui Rescue team brought him to the Koh Samui Hospital.

Man shoots wife’s exhusband A jealous new husband could not cope when his wife’s former husband continuously saw her and their child and dealt with his love rival with a bullet through the torso, the police reported. Sutham Deawvanit, 53, gunned down his wife Wantanee’s ex husband at their grocery shop in Ban Lamai Old Market. The victim, Atchariya Kongyam, was reported to be drinking at Wantanee’s grocery shop after midnight of Dec. 22. Wantanee argued with her ex husband to leave the premises but the victim refused. Sutham joined in the argument later. Multiple gunshots were fired and a bullet went through the victim’s right torso. He was brought to Koh Samui Hospital in critical condition. Upon further investigation, the Bophut police said that the victim frequented Wantanee’s grocery shop because he missed his child. Sutham felt insecure about the visits and thought Atchariya was trying to get back together with his wife.



samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

Thousands stranded by blizzard in US Northeast Thousands of travelers trying to get home after the holiday weekend sat bored and bleary-eyed in airports and shivered aboard stuck buses and subway trains, stranded by a blizzard that slammed the U.S. Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow. The storm worked its way up the coast from the Carolinas to Maine with winds up to 129 kph that whirled the snow into deep drifts across streets, railroad tracks and runways. Planes began landing again Monday evening at two of the New York metropolitan area’s three airports. A Royal Jordanian flight was the first to arrive at JFK, shortly before 7 p.m., said Steve Coleman, of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oper-

ates the airports. An Air Canada flight from Toronto landed at LaGuardia Airport at about 7:40 p.m. (0040 GMT). Just before the plane touched down, the captain came over the loudspeaker and informed passengers that it was the first flight to land at LaGuardia since the blizzard hit. “Everyone was clapping toward the end,” said Patrick Wacker, 37, who had been stranded in Toronto for a day while trying to get back to New York after visiting his parents in Frankfurt, Germany. Wacker and other deplaning passengers said there was some turbulence on landing and the plane had to be towed to the gate because it couldn’t get through the

snow on the runway. Flights were expected to begin arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport later in the evening. The storm walloped the Northeast on Sunday, stymieing most means of transportation. Flights were grounded. Buses sputtered to a halt in snow drifts. Trains stopped in their tracks. Taxi drivers abandoned their cabs in the middle of New York’s snow-clogged streets. Even the New York City subway system — usually dependable during a snowstorm — broke down in spots, trapping riders for hours. Snowfall totals included a foot in Tidewater, Virginia, and Philadelphia, 29 inches in parts of northern New Jersey, 2 feet north of New York City, and more than 18 inches in Boston.

Cold, hungry and tired passengers spent the night in airports, train stations and bus depots. Some were given cots and blankets. Others used their luggage as pillows, curled into chairs, or made beds by spreading towels on the floor or overturning the plastic bins used for sending items through airport security. Some airline passengers could be stuck for days. Many planes are booked solid because of the busy holiday season, and airlines are operating fewer flights because of the economic downturn. As bad as the storm was, it could have been worse if it had been an ordinary work day. Children are home from school all week on Christmas vacation, and lots of people had taken off from work.

More detained in drug cases in Venezuela in 2010 Venezuelan authorities have detained a sharply higher number of suspects in drug cases this year, the country’s drug agency said Monday. Authorities have detained 12,376 people in drug cases this year as of midDecember, up from 8,741 detentions reported during 2009, the National Anti-Drug Office said. President Hugo Chavez’s government released the figures saying they show Venezuela is making important efforts

to fight drug trafficking. The country has in recent years been an important route for cocaine from neighboring Colombia being smuggled to the United States and to Europe via West Africa. The government said 17 of those detained this year were suspected of being major traffickers, and most were wanted under international arrest orders. They included two suspects deported to the United States in September, including an alleged boss of

Colombia’s powerful Norte del Valle cartel. The government did not immediately provide figures on how many drug suspects had been tried or convicted in Venezuela. The drug agency said Venezuelan authorities have seized 24.6 metric tons (27.1 tons) of cocaine this year through mid-December, slightly lower than the 27.7 metric tons (30.5 tons) of cocaine seized during 2009.

2 Germans detained in Iran meet family members Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman says two German journalists detained while covering the case of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery have met their family members in a visit approved by authorities. Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in Tehran that the meeting took place in the city of Tabriz. The two Germans have been held since early October after being arrested while interviewing the son and lawyer of 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. They were reporting on the highly publicized case for the mass-circulation tabloid Bild am Sonntag. Iran says they entered the country on tourist visas, which would prohibit journalists from working.

Jackie O half brother spent Christmas in jail The half brother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis spent Christmas in an Oregon jail for a possible probation violation. The program manager for the Jackson County Community Justice sex offender unit did not give details but told the Medford Mail the arrest and jailing of James Auchincloss was standard procedure. In August, the 63-yearold Auchincloss pleaded guilty to two felony counts of encouraging child sex abuse for having computer images of naked boys. A judge ordered him to serve 30 days in jail as part of three years of supervised probation. The Ashland man was arrested Dec. 22 and is being held without bail until Jan. 21. As a boy, Auchincloss carried the wedding train of his half sister up the aisle as she married John F. Kennedy.

Business&Finance samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011


8% GDP growth projected for 2011 The expansion this year will be driven mainly by private & state investment instead of export.


he National Economic and Social Development Board believes the economy is expected to grow by 3.5 to 4.5 percent in 2011. Secretary general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, or NESDB, Akom Termpittayapaisit reported that the economy in 2010 grew

can eight percent given the strong expansion of export. The expansion this year will be driven mainly by private and state investment instead of export, which is expected to grow only 11.7 percent this year compared to the growth of 25.1 percent last year. Akom attributed the negative outlook to the uncertainty of the global

economic conditions and the second phase of the qualitative easing implemented by the United States. Under such circumstances, foreign capital is expected to continue flowing into Asia, fueling the ongoing baht appreciation. He urged the government to prepare itself to deal with the situation and sug-

gested it boost domestic spending after the rise of the daily minimum wage. The NESDB chief noted that the world economy remains weak and thus affects the exchange rate. He said if the baht strengthens by ten percent next year, it will shave the country’s gross domestic product by a third of a percent and dampen

Thailand’s export competitiveness against that of Vietnam and China. The inflation rate is expected to stand at 3.5 percent this year, which is not so high, because the government’s Pracha Wiwat populist policies and the restructuring of energy prices will help delay the increase of product and energy prices.

Playboy pins hopes on clubs, license deals in Asia February marks the start of the year of the rabbit in the Chinese lunar calendar. It may be an auspicious sign for Playboy Enterprises Inc., which opened a nightclub in Macau last month as it seeks to expand its business by licensing the trademark bunny head logo on lifestyle products in Asia, its fastest growing region. The company, founded by Hugh Hefner in 1953, also plans to open a Playboy Mansion in 2012 in Macau, a former Portuguese colony on the southern coast of China, and has been busy cutting deals to sell Playboy-branded merchandise across Asia. Its namesake magazine, which is banned in China and defunct in Indonesia due to violent backlash from Muslim hard-liners, has struggled with competition from the Internet, losing readers and advertisers. Playboy

Enterprises hasn’t turned a profit since the third quarter of 2007 and last month reported that losses widened to $27.4 million in the most recent quarter. The renewed focus on Asia is something of a door-die move for the com-

pany as it tries to transform itself from the publisher of a magazine synonymous the world over with centerfolds of bare-breasted women into an entertainment and lifestyle brand. “It’s our biggest and fastest growing market, and

obviously there’s a mass appeal,” said chief executive Scott Flanders. “I think we’re more popular even in Asia than we are in the U.S. We’re more of a fashion brand. We’re more like Louis Vuitton.” Playboy had been trying

to open a club in Macau for a long time, Flanders said. The company finally managed to reach a deal with Sands China Ltd., a unit of casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp., which is led by billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The 12,000-square-foot (1,115-square-meter) club opened Nov. 20 atop the Sands hotel-casino, staffed by 18 Playboy “bunnies” wearing an updated version of the signature outfit of bunny ears, fluffy cottontail, corset and cuffs. The bunnies — from the U.S., Australia, Estonia, Hong Kong and Macau — serve drinks and chat with customers. The club, decorated with black tile and dark velvet curtains, features private gaming rooms and offers sweeping views of the neon-lit Macau skyline. The club aims to attract the wealthy, high-spending Chinese who flock to Macau, the only place in China where gambling is legal.


Opinion Shopping

samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

The Samui Gazette would like to welcome the tourists who have arrived on this island, our wonderful little slice of paradise. We encourage you to enjoy the natural wonders of the beaches, the ocean, the mountains, the wildlife (the real animal variety), the jungles, the fresh fruits (even be brave and try the durian), and our wonderful varieties of dining both Thai and every other ethnic type of 3-4-5 star culinary delights. The daytimes and night-time social scenes are various and broad ranging enough to satisfy everyone, from family to hedonist; from the hectic mind and ear boggling Lamai Beach and Chaweng Beach; the more laid back attributes of Fisherman’s Village, Bang Rak, and Maenam; and the totally mellow native pace of Lipa Noi, Thong Krut, or Taling Ngam. The shopping experience is also quite eclectic and improving each month. The almost endless supply of less expensive knick-knacks to the high end unique items are there to be found, with a little patience and shopping ingenuity. Understand that there are no concentrated shopping districts, like Orchard Road in Singapore, Fifth Avenue in New York; or Sukhumvit in Central Bangkok, for the nice stuff. The finer shops are interspersed with the, shall we say, more casual and local shops, after winging your way through various street vendors. Bargains can be had, in the real stuff and counterfeit offerings. The local merchants have been patiently waiting to offer you products; through political trials, flooding, world economic upheavals, the decline of currencies, and various local idiosyncrasies. Haggling seems to be the norm, but a few real facts of local life need to be enunciated for you to understand the local shopping etiquette. The street vendors pay little or minimal rent, whereas real shops are having to pay enormous and often extortionate sums (sometimes two or three years in advance) just to get these shops on premium “near beach” locations. They wait for you for months of break-even or money-losing months, to eke out what, by Western world standards, are very miniscule profits. So if you are the type of traveller who wants to be something other than a back-packer, have a little heart, and be willing to pay real establishments reasonable sums for what they are offering to sell you. Try not to buy your beer at a grocery store and then listen to the live bands at the bar across the street. Do a little less haggling in premium store offering fine goods at reasonable prices. They need to make a little profit so they can wait it out for you all to come back the next winter season. Excessive bargaining will eventually force them to jack up prices artificially, to cover anticipated haggling and unreasonable discount demands. A smile in Thailand is your ticket to all things good. We hope you have a wonderful holiday and hope to be able to continue to offer you a wonderful holiday experience for years to come!

lighthouse cartoons

Etiquette… or lack thereof

RAMBLES ON Charles Rambles

Politics and Religion A clever man once said, “you wanna start a fight? Talk about politics or religion.” So, hope everyone is well recovered after the seasonal festivities and time to start a new year afresh. 2011 already, doesn’t time just fly? Seems like only yesterday everyone was worried about the Y2K virus and all what disasters it was supposed to bring upon us. But don’t you worry you little worry mongerers! It is soon to be 2012 and as the movie with that same title has shown us, it is the year the earth implodes due to the Mayan calendar saying so. That was a Hollywood movie so it must be true. Any old road up! I just ‘appened t’ be watching an old movie on my black ‘n’ white television set t’other day. We were lucky to have a television set, we once lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank.Sorry just went all Yorkshire on you there… it must be all that tea I’m drinking…ahemmm….the star studded The Magnificent Seven what a movie I just happened upon it via satallite, so many stars and young fresh faced actors all doing their best to out act each other. Yul Brinner a superstar actor from the stage took the main role followed by a plethora of greats Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James

Coburn even the Man from Uncle Robert Vaughn and the other one. I really enjoy watching some of the classic movies. Now if you’ve noticed many films are now available in 3D. Many people have raved about it when they went to see the Academy Award winning Avatar. I have had only the one chance to watch a new 3D movie in Bangkok but I was with child and the film wasn’t too clever, several trips to the toilet and a bit of bother later on my son to blame, so I missed the experience. You cannot see them here in Samui as the Major Cineplex in Tesco Chaweng does have three large screens perfectly kempt with lovely lush deep velvet seats at such a cheap price. You can get a double seat for you and your loved one, a double helping of pop corn and fizzy pop by your side also not just pop corn but new red snapper and chilli banana flavored or some silly concoction and why is it you can buy a hot-dog pretty much anywhere in Thailand except in the cinema I am befuddled as to why and what about a chock ice. Unluckily they don’t have the capability to show the new 3D movies, which is a shame. I must say the cinema is great and hardly ever full so I cannot see it making much money. I only hope they can supple-

ment it and keep it here on the island. It is one of not many things to do on a rainy day but it is also an escape from the extremely hot days as the air-con in the cinemas can only be called icetastic. You get 90 percent of all the top movies and all the Thai films. Horror fans get fed a lot and then there are the silly comedies and then the silly romantic comedy ghost horror love stories. That genre is my favorite! You don’t get many from the main Hollywood film studios but the Thais love ‘em. And is it just me or are the same 2 or 3 actors seem to be in most of the Thai films. I would like to see a few of my old favourites ruined for the next generation by making them into 3d holographic movie experience. The Godfather and you could be in bed with the horses head, or have Robert Deniro and Joe Pesci stabbing a pen in your eye ala Goodfellas. Or the best one would be The Ride of the Valkries blaring as the helicopters fly past your head. Well I’m off to the cinema. Happy New Year. Charles has been living on Koh Samui for over 12 years in this life with no plans on leaving and thinks he was probably here before in one or another shape or form.

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Publication Information YuCiNo Enterprises Co. Ltd. publishes Samui Gazette. All content of this issue is © Copyright 2010 by YuCiNo Enterprises Co. Ltd. and may not be reprinted or retransmitted without the expressed written content of the publisher. Samui Gazette is available throughout Koh Samui.


samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

Letters to the Editor Love us? Hate us?

Send letters to or 124/524 Moo 3 Lamai Centre Unit 6 1/2 Lamai Beach Road, Koh Samui Letters may be edited for length and clarity. The opinions are those of our readers and not necessarily those of the Newspaper.

Fallen wallet returned Here’s some good news for Christmas and New Year. A few weeks ago I was in Chaweng riding through the short cut which runs from the Wave guesthouse to the lake road where there are some girly bars and a bumpy road in the rainy season too. As usual, the girls in the bars were trying to get some passing traffic to stop for a drink and so shouted out but with my eyes on the bumps busy navigating the lunar landscape I drove on. I did notice however, I was getting shouted out by the girls a little louder than usual and started to think all that work in the gym was now beginning to pay off. It turned out however that all the extra shouting was because my wallet had fallen out of my pocket while driving through one of the potholes. Before you think the extra noise was them uncontrollably celebrating, I have to say the girls in the Tong Bar were trying to call me back but with no joy they had quickly notified the bar owner and then called my mate in Bangkok whose number was in the wallet. He then called me and said your wallets in Chaweng and then gave me the bar owners number too. I dropped my half eaten subway sandwich and immediately rode off to Chaweng at the speed of light because inside the wallet there was about 23,000 baht. Once i arrived, I introduced myself as the owner, and with cheese and mustard still falling out of the side of my mouth I quickly checked to see if everything was all there and thankfully it was. Normally coins are put away in my pocket for so long they sometimes turn into lumps of coal but after my lucky break I bought everyone in the Tong Bar a couple of rounds, had one for the road (sorry!) and then headed off home thinking to myself there are some cracking good people on Koh Samui. -- Tom Roberts



A snowstorm in knitted trunks That’s one more Christmas over and done. Now that my kids have grown up, and I am still waiting to become a grandparent, Christmas is now just an excuse for two days of over indulgence. It puts me in mind of Monty Pythons Mr. Creosote, who sits in a restaurant and eats and eats until he is offered one last “wafer thin mint” he takes one small bite and explodes. After two days of turkey and honey roast ham I have a rough idea of how he felt. It does seem however that the whole point of Christmas has been side stepped. It has and always will be a celebration of the birth of Christianity, but for a number of years it has become a commercial extravaganza. It’s Christmas so let’s see who can max their credit cards the fastest, and then spend the rest of the year paying them off, just so we can do it all again next year. If little Johnny wants the latest Wii box X station, it doesn’t seem to matter if it costs more than a month’s salary, he has told all of his mates that Santa is going to bring him one so he mustn’t be disappointed. I can remember as a child being happy with an apple, orange and a stick of rock that, according to Mum said, “snowstorm in Felixstowe” down the middle of it. Of course it actually said “summer in Felixstowe,” but it was bought six months previously during our one week family holiday and had gone soft. All the letters had merged together, and the color photograph of Felixstowe sea front had faded so much it actually did look like everywhere was covered in snow. She had sneaked off and bought it while me and my brother were happily splashing about in the North Sea, water temperature at about ten degrees C, being blasted by a force eight gale and trying desperately to hang on to our brown woolen swimming trunks that Granny had knitted for us. As soon as they became wet the waist doubled in size, the crotch hung down around your knees and all the color ran down your legs, giving the impression you were suffering from the worst case of diarrhea in medical history. Ah, happy days. As I sit here pondering

about Christmas, I seriously wonder how long it’s going to be before the beardy faced men and corseted women of the politically correct brigade manage to dismantle Christmas altogether. They have already made inroads in some parts of the U.S.A. In case you might give offence to other religions, in some states of America you are no longer allowed to wish somebody a happy Christmas, instead you must wish them a happy holiday. When I was very young my parents happily told us that if we were good, at sometime during the night before Christmas, an elderly gentleman with a beard, red nose and rosy red cheeks, wearing a big red coat, would come to our house and leave sweeties and presents, and as a thank you we should leave out a tot of whisky and a mince pie. I can just imagine the speaker at the P.C. brigade A.G.M. “Ladies and gentlemen, children these days grow up quicker and are more street wise. If we tell them about Santa we may have children lying in bed terrified that some fat, unshaven, drunk old man, wearing a red flasher mac is going to come into their bedroom and offer them sweeties. Therefore all those in favor of banning Santa say aye.” That may sound a little extreme but I wouldn’t mind a small wager that somebody somewhere has already suggested it. Christmas has always been about the birth of Jesus and Christianity, but how many of us visit church on a regular basis? At a rough guess I would say about five percent of the population, excluding middle America of course. When was the last time you went to church other than for a funeral, christening or wedding? When was the last time you went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve? Hang on, when was the last time you went to midnight mass sober on Christmas Eve? Christmas is now more about families coming together, watching the children tear their presents open, ignoring their contents and playing with the boxes and wrapping paper. So let’s keep it that way. Dear reader, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and may I wish you a prosperous and healthy new year.



samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011






FOR TODDLER ABSOLUTE SANCTUARY COURSES Absolute Sanctuary has a whole series of courses ranging from intensive Yin & Yang Yoga Teacher Training with Simon Low and The Yoga Academy from 8 Jan - 1 Feb 2011 to 2 hour Classical Pilates Workshop Sessions with Liz Kaloczi on 9th, 16th and 23rd January Please see their calendar for other courses in 2011. http:// yoga_05.html

Playpen and reins for 9-month old toddler. Tel 0880279335 English, 0831463852 Thai.


METAL DETECTOR Model ‘White Beach Hunter’ Call Chai 0855640240. Price Negotiable SUPER SAVINGS 15 - 40 % discount on all Beds and Mattresses on Stock at Rainbow Assets Co.,Ltd., Located near Lotus in Lamai. Call: 0841872170 (Carmen)


CIRCUS TOUR Another group Samui Mala has helped over the years is SPARK! And we will keep you informed about the 2011 circus visit in February to refugee children in Thailand. Please see www. where you can find a button that allows you to donate, either through Paypal, or with your credit card if you care to. SPARK! can certainly use your support! On the site you can find out lots about the project, and what they do with your donations, and see the glorious results in the beaming smiles of the kids!

BEACH HOUSE Bt15,000/month. Located in Bangrak near Big Buddha & Plai Lem. Fully furnished. Call 081892-4162.

APARTMENTS FOR RENT APARTMENT IN MAENAM With fridge, tv, dvd, fan, fully furnished. Monthly Bt8,000 (including electricity and laundry service). Contact: 089-7255610.

LAND FOR SALE VIEW-LAND View-Land-for SALE, in beautiful and peaceful Lem Sor village area. 800 mtrs. from ocean. Two plots/or as one piece, 65 TWAH 1.25 Mil THB-Chanot Next to it: another 63 TWAH 1.2 Mil THB-Chanot title. Or as one piece together:2.25 Mil THB Tel. Lak 087-0975889


Samui Tropical Villa Small & cozy boutique villa. Bantai only 5 km. from Maenam on ring road 4 Villa w/ 1 BR and 1 Villa with 2 BR with nice garden pool, sauna room, Jacuzzi Short and Long term stay. Contact: Ralf M:0819043575, Email : stv@samuitropicalvilla. com BEACH FRONT HOME Four-bedroom, two bath beachfront home. Fisherman’s village of the beach and pier. 8 modern fully service apartments with all furnishing, for Bt1 million per year or Bt20 one time payment, land ownership option. Lowest price on the market financing option, good location for beachfront fine dining club. com. For information, call 0850438122.

TREE OF LIES Sunday 9th January 2011 at 7pm June’s Art Cafe Samui Town Centre. Tony Assassin started part one of his eleven series talk on ‘The Tree of Lies’ in November. This is the second in the series.

PERMACULTURE DESIGN CERTIFICATE 14-27 March 2011 Phanganearthworks will hold a two-week Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course with internationally acclaimed teacher Mustafa Fatih Bakir, to take place on its property on Phangan island, Southern Thailand.


LAMAI BEACH RESIDENCE 18 luxury apartments for rent daily or monthly. Special rate starts at Bt990. 100 meters from the beach and town center. Walking distance to all amenities in Lamai. Call 077-458314. BOPHUT AVENUE APARTMENTS Furnished apartment for rent, opposite Anantara Hotel. 1 br, kitchen, A/C, wifi, free parking. Mobile: 084-7213675

SHOP Located in Fisherman’s Village. Bt13,000/month . Pay 3 months in advance. For more info, call 077-246399. COMMERCIAL SPACE No key money. Bt12,000/month including water, toilet. Located in Chaweng. Near all amenities and top tourist destinations. Call 077-601072. BEACH FRONT SPA & RESTAURANT Fisherman’s Village, beach front hotel location with beds and furnishing for rent 3 years. Start at 25,000 rent plus key money. Call 085-0328122. OFFICE/CLASSROOM CONFERENCE ROOM FOR RENT Capacity of 10 persons, air condition, wifi, with projector. Located at Chaweng (near Boonchoo Ceramic). For info, please call 077-425480.

HOUSE FOR RENT HOUSE IN BANGRAK 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large living room. Garden. Own water tank. 10,000 baht, discount available for long term rent. Call 086-9850126 English & Thai.

CLASSIFIED DISCLAIMER/CONDITIONS All advertisements are published by the advertiser that the advertiser is authorized to publish the entire contents, and subject matter thereof, that the contents are not unlawful and do not infringe the rights of any person or entity and that the advertiser has obtained all necessary permissions or releases. In consideration of the publication of advertisements, the advertiser will indemnify and save Samui Gazette from and against any loss or expenses arising from publicaton of such advertisements. The publisher reserves the right to revise, reject or omit without notice any advertisement at any time. Samui Gazette accepts no liability for its failure, for any cause, to insert an advertisement. Liability for any error appearing in an advertisement is limited to the cost of the space occupied. To qualify for an adjustment, an error must be reported within 10 days of publication date. Drawings, artwork, and articles for reproduction are accepted at the advertiser’s risk and should be clearly marked to faciliate their return. Samui Gazette reserves the right to revise the advertising rates at any time. Announcement of an increase shall be made at least two weeks in advance. No verbal agreement altering the rates and/or the terms shall be recognized.


samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011


Please patronize our advertisers and tell them you saw their ad at the Samui Gazette.


To advertise, call the SAMUI GAZETTE at 077-430789

SERVICES DANY LOPEZ PROFESSIONAL HAISTYLE. FEMALE MASTER STYLIST. 10 YEARS EXPERIENCE WITH VIDAL SASSOON LONDON/MUNICH. HOME AND HOTEL SERVICE. CALL 081 7874893 INKWORLD Printer services, ink refill, ink supply system, Computer maintenance Thai Inter Hospital Road Tel. 077-427111


WorldGenius Co. Ltd. Wireless Outdoor-indoor solution. Install Wifi hotspot, house and hotel. Tel. 081-2710580 Samui Tattoo Studio (รับสักลาย ออกแบบลายสัก) Soi Solo, behind Starbucks Chaweng Beach Tel: 087-3811 137, 086-992 4772 Call 089-588 1249 or 081-569 5033


knowledge. Commission and bonuses. 081-9791964

BUSINESS FOR SALE Chill Out Cafe Renovated to include 38 more table settings and a 4 meter projection screen for sports on the outdoor patio. Located between Fisherman’s Village & Maenam, known for its delightful staff and superb cuisine. Bt3 million, comes with an 11-year lease. Rent Bt40,000 per month & services about Bt5,000. Sold with ALL fittings and fixtures, pool table, large tv, satellite. Bar Restaurant & 5Storey Guest House Located in central Chaweng. 9 rooms w/ AC, bathroom, cable TV, big ref; 9 rooms w/ fan, bathroom, ref. Durther 2 AC rooms on top floor of the 5-storey building w/large terrace area w/ nice overview of Chaweng. Busy Irish Pub and Restaurant. Call 081 892 1990 for details and pricing. Popular Thai Bar in Soi Reggae Very popular bar located in an amazing location on Soi reggae

Koh Samui. Large bar with tables, bar stools, pool table, great lighting and sound system fully staffed with bar staff and 15 hostess. Large front patio seating with sit down bar makes this a comfortable place for customers to enjoy. Full toilet facilities. REDUCED TO ONLY Bt1.5 million. Selling price includes 1 year paid lease.

STAFF WANTED various positions Resort in Lamai Looking for the following Thai Nationals staff: 3 x housekeeping 3 x reception (must speak English) 1 x restaurant manager (must speak English) 3 x bartenders 1 x security 5 x restaurant service staff (must speak English) 077424208 RECEPTIONIST/MARKETING Receptionist and marketing position in quality spa in Koh Samui. Good English, look representative, some computer

RECEPTIONIST Receptionist in luxury spa in Koh Samui. English, representative, some computer knowledge. 10am-19pm and 1pm-9pm shifts. 077-601134 MAIDS/CLEANERS We are looking for Thai National Maids and cleaners who have a minimum of 5 years experience and ideally worked in hotels. Basic English would be good but not essential. Ironing is also an advantage. Must have own transport. 0835905241 GRAPHIC/WEB DESIGNER • Initiate new ideas and provide visual solution to the communication needs • Create and execute graphic material for printed advertising and various marketing tools (catalogs, magazine, advertising, leaflets, packaging, etc.) • Thai nationality, male or female • Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Graphic Design, Communication Design, or related field • 1- 2 years of relevant experience in graphic design for non e-media (advertising, printing media, etc.)

• Strong computer literacy in Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign, etc. Send complete portfolio with your picture, experience, expected salary and CV. 0831387047 RECEPTIONIST One Position as Receptionist at The Laem Din Hotel Chaweng, Ko Samui. Good coomand of english language, Computer literate. Applicants can be trained, experience in Hotel Reception preferred. Meals provided, shared accomodation can be arranged. RICK TEW’S NINJAGYM Duration: 1-3 month per phase starting February, 2011 in Thailand/ Month-to-month contract / 2-8 hours per day – Five days a week (weekends are off). Job Requirements: * Applicants must list their SKILLS and be able to teach at either one area they are an expert in or 30 subjects from NinjaGym 1-5 levels list (to be given) * Previous training with Sensei Tew will put you as priority * Only non-smokers are welcome to apply

CLASSIFIED DISCLAIMER/CONDITIONS All advertisements are published by the advertiser that the advertiser is authorized to publish the entire contents, and subject matter thereof, that the contents are not unlawful and do not infringe the rights of any person or entity and that the advertiser has obtained all necessary permissions or releases. In consideration of the publication of advertisements, the advertiser will indemnify and save Samui Gazette from and against any loss or expenses arising from publicaton of such advertisements. The publisher reserves the right to revise, reject or omit without notice any advertisement at any time. Samui Gazette accepts no liability for its failure, for any cause, to insert an advertisement. Liability for any error appearing in an advertisement is limited to the cost of the space occupied. To qualify for an adjustment, an error must be reported within 10 days of publication date. Drawings, artwork, and articles for reproduction are accepted at the advertiser’s risk and should be clearly marked to faciliate their return. Samui Gazette reserves the right to revise the advertising rates at any time. Announcement of an increase shall be made at least two weeks in advance. No verbal agreement altering the rates and/or the terms shall be recognized.



samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011


Universal Crossword

{REVIEWS} ‘Young Mandela’ tells of his early career “Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years” (Little, Brown, $27.99), by David James Smith: Nearly half a century ago, a South African judge pronounced a life sentence against Nelson Mandela for planning guerrilla war against the racist state. Mandela had expected hanging and, with his co-defendants, decided in advance not to appeal. “Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years” — at age 46 Mandela hadn’t yet lived half his life — covers only the years before that. His career as an international symbol of freedom began only when the South African government, under international pressure, released him at age 72, after 27 years confinement. Now, 20 years later, he’s a revered ex-president of the Republic of South Africa. He shared a Nobel Peace Prize with F. W. de Klerk, South Africa’s last white prime minister, whom he helped dismantle South Africa’s extreme segregationist system. Author David James Smith writes that he wants to rescue his hero “from the dry pages of history, to strip away the myth and create a fresh portrait of a rounded human being, setting his political achievements in the context of his natural character.” According to Mandela, his African name, Rolihlahla, can be translated as “trouble maker.” His first English teacher, who found African names hard to pronounce, dubbed him Nelson. The reference to the British naval hero may have encouraged unfriendly critics to think of him as a “black Englishman.” He liked keeping fit, especially with amateur boxing. His tall, slender frame went well with fashionable three-piece suits. He acquired the best legal education South Africa could afford — part of it by correspondence with London while a prisoner on South Africa’s Robben Island. Smith traces the problems of his two failed marriages, mentions his third at age 80 to the widow of a president of Mozambique, and makes discreet references to relationships with other women. Much of this information comes from Mandela’s children and grandchildren. Readers with the American, French or Russian revolutions in mind may find Mandela’s revolutionary activity on the tame side. A busy fundraiser on a foreign trip, Mandela planned in his early 40s to get six months of military training in Ethiopia. The six months shrank to about one; colleagues had called him home to handle a problem with another dissident group. On the way, he crossed paths with the first 21 South African recruits going in the opposite direction.

‘The Gift’ for young readers is action-packed “Witch & Wizard: The Gift” (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $17.99), by James Patterson and Ned Rust: James Patterson has a formula for young adult novels, and it works. In “The Gift,” the latest in his Witch & Wizard series, Patterson continues the saga of Whit and Wisty Allgood, a pair of magical brother-and-sister teens on a mission to save the world from The One Who Is The One and his army of brainwashed New Order soldiers (cleverly described as the N.O. soldiers). The One is trying to rid the world of any creative stimuli, including art, books and music. In doing so, he is turning everyone into loyal, zombielike followers. Magic is banned above everything else. The One is the only person who is allowed to use it, and he does so on a regular basis to send people to the “shadowland,” a place where souls roam eternally. Wisty has a self-destructive streak. She talks back to her captors, makes quips in the face of death and sarcastically baits her mortal enemy. Whit is brooding, strong and introverted. But since “The Gift” is told from both siblings’ point of view, the audience is allowed inside Whit’s head, which humanizes him. “The Gift” is action-packed, but very little headway is made. Each Witch & Wizard novel chronicles no more than a few weeks in Whit and Wisty’s lives, so readers will likely grow up faster than the characters. But if Patterson, who is best known for his Alex Cross novels, gets kids to put down their remotes for just a few days, then he’s done his job.In the end, McLean and Nocera note, the net benefit of the housing boom was a less than two-percentage-point gain in home ownership, and it quickly evaporated in the crash. Not for a page do the authors let any political theory or party off the hook as they deftly weave arguments, refutations and facts upon facts in this gripping account.

ACROSS 1. Make fit for something else 6. Chitchat 9. m in F = ma 13. Robin Hood’s companion Tuck, e.g. 14. 2nd largest bird 15. *Yo-Yo’s instrument 16. The A in AV 17. Sea in Spain 18. Kitchen tear-jerker 19. *”Dueling ______” 21. What lawyers often do 23. Pine juice 24. It’s been called “a good walk spoiled” 25. Piping material 28. Wine country 30. Card carrier 35. Birdbrain 37. Type of poker 39. _____ 66 40. ____-de-camp 41. Chased up a tree 43. Chills and fever 44. Frown with anger or disapproval 46. *Type of vest used by marching band drummer 47. Skidded 48. Non-physical aspect of a sport 50. St. ____, patron saint of Norway 52. Female suffix 53. *Black Eyed ____ 55. Roman three


57. *Popular instrument of modern heros 60. Heavy windbreaker 63. Explorer who served Kublai Khan 64. Take more than one’s share 66. *Singer-songwriter Kravitz 68. Famous fabulist 69. “You ___ what you eat” 70. *Not mainstream 71. Architectural drawing 72. Recently deceased Kennedy 73. Bird homes DOWN 1. School for cadets 2. Beat thoroughly 3. *Verdi’s famous opus 4. No gains without these 5. USC player 6. Diamonds and rubies, e.g. 7. American Medical Association 8. Donkey in Mexico 9. Carte du jour 10. Alight, past tense 11. ____ gin fiz 12. Daughter’s brother 15. Valuables storage? 20. Abstractionism using optical illusion 22. Freddy’s scary street 24. Shade providers 25. Colorless watery fluid

of blood 26. *Human instrument 27. DNA strand of bases 29. Actor’s role 31. Extinct flightless birds of New Zealand 32. *”Reveille” instrument 33. Ladies’ pocketbooks 34. *Woodwind mouthpieces 36. Salamander 38. Ardor 42. Sink hole 45. As opposed to desktop 49. Unit of length of yarn 51. *Stradivari’s instrument 54. Buddhist in state of nirvana 56. *”What A Feeling” singer Cara 57. Celt 58. Sky bear 59. Desktop picture 60. Matured, as in wine or cheese 61. No ifs or buts either 62. Make with needles 63. Traveler’s helper 65. Metal-bearing rock 67. “Oui” in English

15 samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

Calvin & Hobbes


For better or for worse

Cul de sac



samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

100-word reviews

‘Tron’ makes you feel trapped in the Grid Hugely high-tech and forwardthinking in its day, “Tron” now looks cheesy and quaint in retrospect, with its blocky graphics and simplistic blips and bleeps. The original film from 1982 was all about the possibility of technology and the human imagination, and the adventures that could result from marrying the two, but only now are the computer-generated effects available to render this digital world in its fullest potential. And at over two hours, we are indeed trapped — there is no justifiable reason for such a lengthy running time, especially given that the original got in, did what it had to do and got out in about an hour and a half. The whole point of the story and the aesthetics are that they’re meant to convey an immersive experience. We’re supposed to feel just as trapped inside this challenging and dangerous electronic realm as the film’s characters. “Tron: Legacy” is rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language. In 3-D and IMAX 3-D. Two and a half stars out of four.

‘The Tourist’ a mindlessly enjoyable trip It’s probably best to head into “The Tourist” with the mindset that you’re going on an actual vacation yourself. If you are in the mood for mindless, escapist fun — dazzling scenery, elegant evenings, decadent hotel suites and expensive clothes — you will be fine. There are all the obligatory chases and shootouts you would expect in a romantic action caper, but you never get the sense that anyone is in real danger. There are twists, but they won’t make you think too terribly hard, and in the end you will have devoted fewer than two hours of your life to a decent diversion. Watching Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie bounce off each other isn’t torture. Pretty people went to Venice and made a pretty movie. Joining them will not be thoroughly satisfying, but it won’t kill you, either. “The Tourist” is rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language. Two and a half stars out of four.

TV’s late-night fiasco tops 2010’s stories


—4. INTERNET AND TV MOVE CLOSER: Netflix transformation from a DVD company to a streaming video company came at the same time that devices such as Google TV were pushing the Internet and television closer. By the end of the year, fears were growing that cable customers were beginning to cut the cord and depend on Web access for TV shows. —5. COWELL LEAVES “IDOL”: Simon Cowell made his exit from “American Idol” official in January. He left to focus on his British TV hit “The X Factor,” of which an American version is in the works. —6. BEATLES COME TO iTUNES: The most famous of the few remaining holdouts from iTunes, the Beatles, finally caved, signifying the end of a chapter in the digitizing of music. More than 2 million individual songs and 450,000 copies of Beatles albums were sold in the first week. —7. PRINCE WILLIAM GETS ENGAGED: After years of dating, Prince William proposed to his girlfriend Kate Middleton with his mother’s diamondand-sapphire engagement ring. They’ll be wed at Westminster Abbey this spring. —8. BULLOCK WINS OSCAR, DIVORCES: Sandra Bullock had a remarkably eventful year, winning a best-actress Oscar, adopting a baby boy and divorcing her husband Jesse James after it was revealed that he cheated on her. —9. “LOST” ENDS: More than 13 million watched the ABC desert island mystery conclude after six seasons of twisted plot lines, alternate realities and stupefying cliffhangers. —10. LARRY KING QUITS: Larry King hung up his suspenders, calling it quits after 25 years of “Larry King Live” on CNN. The 77-year-old talkshow host made his last broadcast of the show in December. British talk-show host and “America’s Got Talent” judge Piers Morgan takes over the time slot in January.


What began as a grand, highly promoted experiment in late-night, ended in a fiasco that made NBC a laughing stock and captivated the country. In January 2010, NBC sought to displace its newly crowned “Tonight Show” host, Conan O’Brien, by restoring late-night host Jay Leno to 11:35 p.m. O’Brien, however, didn’t go for the demotion, and the fallout made for one of the most public debacles in network history. The dramatic upheaval of late-night at NBC was chosen as 2010’s entertainment story of the year, as voted on by Associated Press members. Here are 2010’s top entertainment stories: —1. NBC LATE-NIGHT ERUPTS: NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker presented NBC’s reshuffle plan in the first week of 2010, claiming something had to be done about the ratings for both the primetime “The Jay Leno Show” and O’Brien’s late-night “Tonight Show.” The fallout lasted weeks before O’Brien left with millions in tow and a galvanized fan base. Equally surprising was his final destination — TBS, where his show “Conan” premiered in November. —2. “AVATAR” MAKES HISTORY: For a substantial part of 2010, James Cameron’s sci-fi epic “Avatar” was playing to packed movie theaters. It smashed the record set by Cameron’s “Titanic” and, by early February, became the highest grossing film of all time, domestically and globally. It took in nearly $750 million domestically, a number further padded by the later release of an extended cut. —3. TABLETS UNLEASH APPS: Before Apple CEO Steve Jobs debuted the iPad in May, there was plenty of skepticism about the potential of tablet computers. But as people began to familiarize themselves with the device, it became clear that it had further unlocked an app universe of games, entertainment and media. Other tablets have since been released, and media companies have increasingly developed apps.





My bedroom window overlooks the impressive statue of Big Buddha. Waking up, my first view is that of a smiling Buddha, the morning light reflecting on his golden skin, almost creating its own sunrise to compete with the golden globe rising out of the bay. There is something quite calming about this first-light view; a feel-good way to start the day. You don’t have to be Buddhist to appreciate the positive energy surrounding Big Buddha. Walking up the ornate stairs towards the 15 meter high, cross-legged figure serenely smiling down at you, and you can’t help but feel a sense of tranquillity. Perhaps it is the positive energy generated by the resident monks and the worshippers paying their respects, or perhaps it is the spectacular view of the sea, fishing boats, yachts and neighbouring islands from the upper platform, but whatever it is, a true sense of serenity is present. I am trying very hard to understand the ways of the new culture that I have been immersed into. When do I wai, when don’t I, and who should wai who first? When it comes to meeting a monk, so many rules apply that it is sometimes easier to just look away and pretend you haven’t seen them, rather than do the wrong thing and offend. The thing that I admire most about the Buddhist religion and its culture is the fact that it encourages its followers to be tolerant of others. It is this practice of tolerance that makes me not avoid the monks even though I may do something inappropriate, and these encounters have led to several interesting conversations. For some reason, the monks seem drawn to my 7-year old daughter, and always approach her, presenting her with “blessings bracelet.” Maybe it is her blue eyes amongst a nation of brown-eyed children. Whatever the reason, she enthusiastically wears these bracelets with respect and understanding beyond her seven years, refusing to take them off. Messages and prayers for loved ones can be written on clay roof tiles at Big Buddha for a small donation, the idea being that these tiles are used to repair roofs of temples and “wats” on the island – the message then permanently set in a spiritual place. The idea, in principle, is lovely. However, a few people have their reservations, and I overheard some tourists commenting on the fact that they thought it was “... just a money-making scheme to get donations, and that the tiles are probably dumped or used at landfill...” I am pleased to inform that this is most certainly NOT the case, and that the tiles are in fact used as they are intended. On a recent visit to Wat Plai Laem, I saw a wheelbarrow of roof tiles, with personalised messages lovingly written on them, being used to repair the roof of the entrance gate, after the November storms. With photo as evidence, I longed to bump into the cynical tourists again, saying “See, you were wrong! They do use them!” Big Buddha is one of the first sights that tourists see when flying in to Samui, guarding their final descent to the runway. He is also one of their last spectacular views as they leave the island, bidding them farewell and a safe journey home. Taking my cue from Buddhist teachings, I try to be tolerant of all – including cynical tourists. I am reminded of a story I heard of a Buddhist priest explaining the concept of blessing EVERYONE you come in contact with. “However,” he said, “There are times you come into contact with some people that you just CANNOT think of a blessing. So I give to you, my emergency blessing for such circumstances - At least his/her exhalation feeds the plants.” Love it! Rosanne Turner has recently relocated to Koh Samui from Africa, and is relishing the adventure. She is a trainer at Island TEFL, as well as being a travel writer for several international publications. Share Rosanne’s discoveries of all things Eastern, curious and extraordinary.


“Life coaching isn’t psychotherapy!”

Rosanne Turner

Big Buddha – icon of Samui’s north coast

samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011


Alister Bredee is a freelance author living on Koh Samui. He is a health care practitioner (working with the amazing CoRe system), trainer and a partner in The Health Ambit Consultancy. He also works as a Detox Consultant and Locum with extensive experience. He can be contacted via his website: He publishes a regular blog at: You can find him and the Health Ambit Consultancy on Facebook.

ife coaching is a future oriented process that sets out to correct areas of life that don’t appear to be working. Life coaches come in many guises offering support in myriad avenues ranging from financial coaching to that of relationship even to the more esoteric regions of spiritual coaching. Denis Casarsa was born and brought up in Switzerland. He grew up in the French speaking city of Lausanne which squats on the shores of Lac Leman. His life might have been very different if he had not had a near fatal motorcycle accident at the age of 19. As a result he lay in a coma for two months and tossed and turned between life and death. Life prevailed, but he emerged suffering severe nerve damage, some of which can be seen today. However, his injuries set him on a path to “look for relief from the relentless pain,” that he was suffering. The doctors prescribed morphine to which he became addicted. He dreaded stopping but he knew he must and he came to realize “that the alternative path” would be his only salvation. Thus he began to work on himself to find relief through psychological release. He explored pain management techniques and went to a Jungian Psychoanalyst. It was here matters began to improve as he realized the teachings of Jung gave him the support he sought. This led

him to his work as a health care professional and it was here that he had his first encounter with Coaching. “Life Coaching,” he repeats “is about change!” “It is a change that has a specific affect on some area of life.” “The idea is to be present with the client in a supportive role. People have problems but what we do in coaching is to find solutions.” “Clients frequently start coaching when they get stuck. The Coach’s job is to help get them unstuck!” To my mind there has always been a fine line between coaching and therapy. I had dismissed the Coaching phenomenon as an easy route into the therapy business but Denis disagreed vehemently. He insists that coaching is “different from therapy because it’s goal oriented. It’s not about looking into the past, but to how people find their own resources to come to terms with now.” “There are specific coaching techniques that work on balance. We need to get out of the mind and into the senses. It’s quite intuitive!” “Effectively the purpose of coaching is to get you to now! We seem to miss that important notion in Western Society.” OK, I then asked him what sort of clients were drawn to see him. “Women and also young people; they are more questioning than older types, less likely to put up with things they find difficult to accept and they don’t want to be victims!”

Next I was curious to know how the coaching program was put together. Denis explained that the construction was “a contract. You really need a few meetings to tune into the process. This develops into a working symbiosis and gives everybody the opportunity to clarify exactly what outcomes are truly wanted. The clients then have a picture of who they want to be and a grasp on what is limiting them.” As for the time frame he confesses that he “prefers weekly sessions particularly at the beginning as this makes establishing a working relationship easier. It is necessary to shift from thinking in a logical manner via the conscious mind to a more unconscious process.” As this concept will be novel to many people who might well eschew it as being too much like psychotherapy, Denis offers a free session so the would be a client can really get the feel of how it is to work with a Life Coach. During the session “you have the opportunity to identify the area or areas you want to work on.” And he insists “it is fun, an enjoyable process!” Denis Casarsa coaches in English and in French. He works face to face as well as by Skype and telephone. Although based in Lamai he is prepared to come to you. So why not take advantage of his generous offer of a free coaching session? You can contact him via his website http//: www.


Both men and women say ‘I do most of the chores’

Who does most of the chores around the house? A recent survey by, an online calendar for busy families, found that both men and women claim to do most of the work!

73 percent of the cooking, while men claim they do 48 percent. There must be lots of leftovers! * Apparently the laundry is getting done twice, since mom does 76 percent of it and Dad does 47 percent. * Mom says she does 77 percent of the grocery shopping while Dad claims 52 per* Women say they do

cent. Clearly those cupboards aren’t bare. To keep your family from overstocking and over-washing, be sure to schedule chores on a family calendar.


Health Go loco for coconut

samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

Jo Rowkins dipNT MBANT is a nutritionist and the executive health adviser at The Spa Resorts, Lamai. She is available for one-on-one nutrition and lifestyle consultations (or online). Contact 082-2813078 or

You can eat it, cook with it, spread it on your skin. It aids weight loss, makes your skin look younger, treats skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, makes your hair silky, cures fungal infections, heals burns, scars and insect bites. What is this magical elixir? It’s coconut oil. Coconut itself is remarkable. You can drink its nutritional water, eat its delicious flesh, cream it and its husk is used in tropical countries for bowls, baskets, roofs and many other practical things, but it’s the coconut oil that hails numerous health benefits earning it a reputation as a remarkable food and medicine. Coconut oil has been described as the healthiest oil on the planet. It was once considered as unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content. Now however, it has been discovered that the oil in coconut is different from other fats with many unique health giving properties.

What makes coconut oil so different from other saturated fats? It’s all about the molecular structure. All fats are made of fatty acids, which are made up of long carbon chains with hydrogen atoms attached. Different types of fats can be classified by their level of “saturation” of hydrogen. A saturated fat cannot attract more hydrogen atoms and is therefore very stable. A polyunsaturated fat has many free spaces for hydrogen atoms and is therefore very reactive and a highly unstable molecule and a monounsaturated fat has only one available space for hydrogen, making it relatively stable. Flax oil is a polyunsaturated fat and too unstable to cook with, olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and can be healthily cooked at low temperatures and coconut oil is a saturated fat, which can be safely heated to high temperatures. Unlike saturated fats from animal sources, coconut oil does not raise cholesterol levels in the body or contribute to cardiovascular disease. In fact, it does the opposite. It can effectively lower LDL cholesterol and has a protective effect on the arteries. It does this because of the size of its molecule. Why is size so important? The size of the fat molecule is important. Fats can be classified based on the length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. There are short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) or long chain fatty acids (LCFAs). The size of the fatty acid is extremely important as the body metabolizes the fatty acids differently according to their size. Coconut oil is comprised of MCFAs, whereas the saturated fats from animal sources are mainly LCFAs. It’s the long chain fatty acids that lead to weight gain, raised cholesterol levels, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and put a strain on the liver, pancreas and digestive tract. Medium chain fatty acids on the hand lower the risk of these conditions. Not all fat makes us fat Long chain fatty acids are also known as long chain triglycerides (LCTs) and the body needs to package them with carrier proteins requiring special enzymes to effectively metabolize them. The medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil however, are smaller and can easily cross cell membranes without the need for the special enzymes or carrier proteins. MCTs go straight to the liver where they are converted to energy that the body can use rather than being stored as fat. The MCTs don’t even need bile or pancreatic enzymes to be used by the body and are therefore perfect for those who have no gallbladder.

Mother Nature’s Milk Coconut oil, like mother’s milk, is rich in lauric acid. Once inside our bodies, lauric acid gets converted to monolaurin, which has powerful anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties and does not harm our natural defenses, like medicines can. Coconut magic Coconut oil really is a miracle food. It stabilizes blood sugar levels, helps balance hormones, stimulates thyroid function, leading to increased metabolism and fat burning, reduces stress on the liver and pancreas and boosts the cellular healing processes of the body by destroying dangerous microbes and enhancing tissue repair, hence its ability to aid the healing of skin wounds, cuts, burns and bruises. As it is so easy to metabolize, it effectively boosts our energy levels. Skin deep Coconut oil is the perfect anti-aging treatment keeping the skin soft and supple and the connective tissue strong. It has an antioxidant effect which protects the skin from free radical damage and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Not only does the skin benefit from the marvelous oil, but the hair and scalp too. Hair becomes soft and silky with regular use and coconut oil can effectively treat dandruff and dry scalp. Coconut lifestyle • Use it to cook with. Its stability at high temperatures makes it a healthy oil for cooking • Take it raw off the spoon daily for its health giving properties • Use it as a body and facial moisturizer • Rub it into your hair and scalp for healthy, shiny hair • Apply it to underarms as a natural deodorant • Apply it to insect bites, stings, burns and skin irritations to aid healing • Spread it on bread or use it in smoothies, shakes and desserts • Eat the coconut flesh, dried flakes and drink the coconut water Here on Samui, coconut island, we have an abundance of this magical elixir. There is no other natural product like it. Where else can you find an oil that has so many uses? Make coconut oil a part of your daily routine and you will shine both inside and out. I simply couldn’t live without it!

US: Avastin should not be used for breast cancer U.S. health regulators recommended Thursday that the blockbuster drug Avastin no longer be used to treat breast cancer, saying recent studies failed to show the drug’s original promise to help slow the disease. The Food and Drug Administration’s decision is supported by many cancer experts but drew a fierce response from cancer patients and some doctors who defend the drug and say it should remain available. If the FDA ultimately removes Avastin’s breast cancer indication, doctors will still have the option to prescribe the drug “offlabel,” or without a federal

approval, but many insurers do not reimburse drugs for such uses. Without insurance coverage, Avastin’s enormous cost would put the treatment out of reach for most patients. The FDA’s action is a significant setback for the world’s best-selling cancer drug and will likely cost Swiss drugmaker Roche hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. Avastin is also approved for various types of colon, lung, kidney and brain cancer. FDA officials stressed that the recommendation is only a preliminary step toward revoking the drug’s approval for breast cancer. Roche has refused to voluntarily withdraw the indication,

and the company said in a statement it would request a public meeting on the issue. Drug companies almost always follow FDA requests, and agency officials said a meeting over the fate of Avastin would be the first of its kind. The agency said it will consider Roche’s request and whether to hold a meeting in coming months. “Today’s decision was a difficult one for the agency but certainly not unique,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of FDA’s drug center. “The FDA is responsible for assuring that the products we approve for patients are both effective and safe.” The FDA approved Avas-

tin for breast cancer in 2008 based on studies suggesting it halted the spread of breast cancer for more than five months. But follow-up studies showed that the delay lasted no more than three months, and patients suffered dangerous side effects. “Given the number of serious and life-threatening side effects, the FDA does not believe there is a favorable risk-to-benefit ratio,” said Dr. Richard Pazdur, FDA’s chief of cancer drug review. In a separate announcement Thursday, the European Medicines Agency said it would keep the drug available for breast cancer. “We are pleased that the

Dead chicken found on Hong Kong seashore had H5N1 A dead chicken found on a Hong Kong seashore had the H5N1 virus, and officials are trying to determine how the bird got there. There are no chicken farms within three kilometers (about two miles) of where the carcass was found Dec. 18 on western Lantau island. There also was no evidence of any backyard poultry being kept in nearby villages. Hong Kong banned backyard poultry in 2006 to prevent bird-to-human spread of the virus. Agricultural officials said Friday lab tests confirmed the bird had H5N1. A woman who visited mainland China was confirmed last month as Hong Kong’s first human case of H5N1 in seven years. Her condition has since been reported as stable. Bird flu has caused about 300 deaths worldwide over the past seven years.

UK cancer patients fare worse than others Cancer patients in Australia, Canada and Sweden had a better chance of surviving for five years than those in Denmark and the U.K. in recent years, a new study says. Researchers tracked 2.4 million cancer patients in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the U.K. from 1995 to 2007. They focused on patients with cancers of the breast, lung, colon, rectum and ovary. Scientists found the difference in death rates in the U.K compared with a country like Sweden equated to 11,400 more deaths in the U.K. every year. The study was published online Wednesday in the medical journal Lancet. Survival rates rose everywhere, but were highest in Australia, Canada and Sweden. Norway came in the middle, while Denmark and the U.K. had the worst survival rates.


samui gazette | dec. 3 - 16, 2010


A year of

iPads, Betty, ‘Glee’ & multiple Palins

Politics and pop culture. Remember when they used to be, well, separate? In recent years these two worlds have seemed to inch ever closer, or maybe to overlap, but in 2010, nobody traveled between them more successfully than Sarah Palin.

iPAD The iPAD tablet debuts, briefly raising the vexing philosophical question: Do we really need yet another gadget? Answer: Yup, apparently we do. BETTY WHITE The spry, sly BETTY WHITE scores big in a Snickers Super Bowl ad, beginning an incredible year for the 88-yearold actress that will include a Facebookgenerated “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig. As Betty rises, TIGER speaks: “What I did was not acceptable,” the fallen golf great says with economical understatement in a carefully stage-managed appearance that will be analyzed ad nauseam. SIMON COWELL etc. After a disappointing “American Idol” season, SIMON COWELL exits the formidable but slumping franchise. Speaking of slumping franchises, the second “Sex and the City” movie, set largely in Abu Dhabi, debuts to some of the most scathing reviews in memory, not to mention accusations that it lampoons Muslims. POP HERO OF AUGUST RIHANNA, who made headlines in 2009 when she was assaulted by then boyfriend Chris Brown, collaborates with rapper Eminem in a charttopping song, “Love the Way You Lie,” that graphically depicts a physically abusive relationship. The pop culture hero of the SOCIAL NETWORK month, though, is STEVEN The movie “SOCIAL NETSLATER, the JetBlue flight WORK” debuts, becoming an attendant who, having had instant Oscar front-runner quite enough, leaves his and beginning Facebook job — and career — via the co-founder MARK ZUCKER- plane’s emergency chute, BERG’s year of pop culture beer in hand. fame. SARAH PALIN

Sorry, JULIAN ASSANGE: Facebook may be nearly 7 years old, but ZUCKERBERG, its 26-year-old CEO, is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, the youngest since Charles Lindbergh in 1927. Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and a top contender for the honor, sure is ticked off. OPRAH WINFREY launches the final season of her talk show with a typically understated gesture — bringing her entire audience on an eight-day trip to Australia.

● becomes a commentator at Fox News Channel ● During a speech to tea party activists, the words “energy,” ‘’tax” and “lift American spirits” are seen scribbled on her hand. ● Heavyweight TV producer Mark Burnett pitches her Alaska-themed reality show, which lands at TLC. ● The word “refudiate,” her unintentional splicing of “refute” and “repudiate,” enters the lexicon. ● A Washington think tank finds that Obama was the most joked-about political figure this year. Coming in second? A certain former Alaska governor. And at year’s end, though she’s dropping more and more hints of a 2012 presidential run, she’s still not telling.



samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011

Papillon’s Le Café des Arts By SUZANNE BUCHANAN

If you are looking for a really special restaurant that is hidden away in a deliciously secret spot that offers tranquility, stunning ocean views, and the most delicious French and Thai cuisine imaginable then you are looking for the “Le

gizzards, duck breast and goat’s cheese, homemade soups and a tempting tuna, anchovy, olive, rice and vegetable salad. For lighter meals in the restaurant or by the pool choose from a nice selection of eggs, sandwiches or sample the Arabic spicy

year after year to enjoy the combination of French and Thai hospitality. The dedicated team of staff at the “Le Café des Arts” has a great deal of experience in catering for your needs, many have been working with Laurent for over

Café des Arts” at the stunning Papillon Resort, the last resort on the north end of Chaweng beach. The beautifully tropical, immaculately maintained resort has 23 bungalows that are all tastefully decorated with natural slates and wood in Lana Thai Style. The resort is owned and run by Laurent, a delightful chap from Marseille in the south of France who has been delighting guests and diners to his resort for over 20 years. The large stylishly decorated restaurant offers spectacular views of Koh Matlang and the sweep of Chaweng beach that sparkles romantically in the evening as you sit back and enjoy French joie d’ vivre. Located right next to the pool the restaurant, that has a Mediterranean feel, can seat up to 60 both indoors and out so you can enjoy superb food and the spectacular views no matter what the weather is doing. The unbelievably reasonably priced menu is just bursting with delicious dishes for you to choose from while you enjoy the complimentary tapas that are delivered to your table. The menu offers a superb selection of hors d’oeuvres that include salads of chicken

sausage with French fries, its mouthwateringly delicious. The main meal French, Thai, Italian and seafood dishes are all cooked to perfection and beautifully presented. Particularly noteworthy is the deliciously tender boeuf bourguignon that comes accompanied with gratin dauphinois potatoes, the confit de canard, king prawns with pastis and of course imported fried frogs legs with garlic and lemon. The menu also offers mussels, prawns, fish and chips, steak tartar, steak with blue cheese and deliciously tender lamb. The desert menu has a wonderful selection of fruit salads, fritters, pancakes and flambés as well as a tempting selection of ice creams such as rum and raisin, chestnut cream and pistachio. There is also a very nice children’s menu to keep the smaller tummies satisfied. The well selected wine list is as reasonably priced as the food and allows Laurent to enjoy seeing people being able to enjoy fine wines and fine dining every day and not just on special occasions. It comes as no surprise that this stunning restaurant and resort, with its strong focus on family, has a large number of dedicated followers that return night after night and

ten years and speak both English and French. Laurent knows that happy staff means happy customers and treats his staff as part of the family. The Thai chef also has a large fan base and has expanded his knowledge of French cuisine by inviting guests from France into the kitchen to show him how to prepare the things they like the best! If you have special dietary needs or want to enjoy something special that is not on the menu all you have to do is ask, culinary delights to please all palettes can be arranged here. Before your meal why not enjoy a glass of Pastis, Richard, Kir or Campari or try one of the special tropical cocktails at the large and friendly bar, the perfect place to enjoy the company of old and new friends. It is hard to imagine that you are only a stone’s throw away from the Chaweng night life and shops as you enjoy a meal in this oasis of peace and tranquility that is so conveniently located and has lots of parking. I am not sure if this stunning resort and restaurant is French style with a touch of Thai or Thai style with a touch of French, I will let you decide, but I do know you certainly won’t leave disappointed!

& Food Wine Wine 2011: Look forward to

samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011


good prices and choices

Riesling will rise. The market for wine in Asia will boom on. Customers will continue to hunt for vintage values. And the market for fine wine will continue to rumble back to life. That is the sort of year industry observers say the world of wine will bring us in 2011. In 2010, the economy remained a top issue for American highend winemakers, many of them in California. They saw sales of wines priced at $30 or more a

bottle slammed when consumer spending collapsed. “Since so much of the economy of high-end wine is attached to a robust economy and wealth creation, we have clearly seen a difficult couple of years for Napa and other high-end growing areas,” said Barry Schuler, former chairman and CEO of America Online and now proprietor of Meteor Vineyard in the Napa Valley. Now, “the market’s definitely coming back,” which means

producers have to decide what to do next, he says. “I think people are looking at Asia, where all of a sudden there’s an interest in fine wine and high-end wine, both from collectors and young entrepreneurs who are acquiring some wealth for the first time.” American consumers, meanwhile, who had been staying away from premium wines, or, if they were going to shell out $50 or more, sticking to tried and true brands, are getting a little more adventurous, says Doug Shafer of Shafer Vineyards, the Napa Valley producer of the highly regarded Hillside Select cabernet sauvignon. “People are feeling a little more confident,” he said. One trend from 2010 that Shafer expects to see continue in 2011 is restaurants teaming with wineries to sell wine under their own name. That trend got a boost from the recession, with premium grapes and wine becoming cheaper and more available. Consumers used to getting good values in wines likely will continue that hunt. “There can be some really good finds out there,” Shafer says. Some consumers are going to be looking to imports for values, exploring the wellpriced varietals of Argentina, Chile, Portugal, the Rhone in France, and Spain. “As the economy continues to rebound (we hope!) consumers will be looking for flavor and value, and these countries are providing them,” say Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, award-winning authors of “What to Drink with What You Eat,” now also available as an iPhone app. Dornenburg and Page expect riesling — “Which we’ve long termed the single most food-friendly white wine.” — to become more popular, along with similar wines such as Oregon pinot gris, Argentinian torrontes and Spanish albarino. There also will be more bubbly, including new varieties such as sparkling cabernet sauvignon, sparkling malbec and sparkling torrontes. In 2010, wine drinkers found bargains on Internet sites such as and Lot 18, where wine is sold at a discount with usually a limited number of bottles available. This was another recession-fueled marketing shift; smaller wineries found traditional distribution channels narrowing as consumer spending dropped.



samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011




Bamboo Bar still on top The Beach Retreat wins again

The KSSSC team were totally deflated after their second straight defeat this time to the Bungy Bar with an eclectic display which saw them run away with a unexpected score of 4-2 albeit the frames being level 9-9. The Elephant and Castle now breathing down second placed KSSSC’s neck and having a game in hand due to a postponement with the Lazy Coconut. The Bamboo Bar trampled all over Arada bar 5-1 to keep them on top on the league. Someone has got to do something to stop their domination of this league. The B.O.B went to the Cork and Cask with their hopes high after their first win and came away with a great 4-2 win which takes them up to 6th place. The last game of the week was a 3-3 draw between Lords Bar and Riks. Tams vs The Premier was also postponed. The League of Gentlemen now has a winter break and play restarts on Wednesday Jan. 12.

JAN. 19

JAN. 12 Cork & Cask


Bamboo Bar

Bamboo Bar


Bungy Bar


Arada Bar

Cork & Cask


Tams Bar

Birds of Bamboo


Tams Bar

Arada Bar


Elephant & Castle

Elephant & Castle



Riks Bar


Birds of Bamboo

Riks Bar


Premiere Bar



Lords Bar


Lazy Coconut

Premiere Bar


Bungy Bar

Lords Bar Lazy Coconut


Chillin Bar hands championship to Bamboo The Techworx pool League match between the Chillin Bar in 2nd place and 1st placed Bamboo Bar was the last game of the season and so with it came the championship title. What could have been a close match just didn’t run the way of the Chillin Bar who fought hard but ran out 5-1 losers to hand the title to the Bamboo Bar who are the champs again. After speaking to the Bamboo Bar the Chiilin Bar were the ultimate hosts even in defeat, and the game was played in a great friendly atmosphere. We can now look forward to a new season starting soon. Congratulations to the Bamboo Bar and all of the teams involved in keeping this league a running success. Pos










Bamboo Bar










Chillin Bar










On’s Livewire










Lemon’s Bar




















Jacks Bar










Premier Sports Bar










Chaweng Sila









Due to the horrific weather that Koh Samui has been enduring, Novembers K.S.S.S.C. Associated Bar Golf League match was cancelled. Although the sun was certainly shining for the December contest and it was once again “SamuiPureshores: The Beach Retreat” who took the honours with a combined score of 218. With their team consisting of Johnny Greenwood, Paul , Flea and A.N. Other, they comfortably outclassed all opposition with some sublime shots and outrageous long putts. This team really is what this league is all about with all players playing with a smile on their face even with the occasional stray shot. Not that they were alone in that fact! Both Bondi Bar & Grill and Lord’s Bar had an awful day with them both having more chance of scoring at Wembley than any player achieving a par on any hole. It was for this reason that they both finished in joint 7th. Having a better day with their clubs was M&M’s Bar who managed to finish in 2nd place with a combined

score of 235. They were followed closely by “The Lazy Coconut” who with a total score of 246 managed to take 3rd place. Much fancied to win this league at the start of the season were “Bar Ice” but with yet another poor performance they only managed to finish 4thwith a score of 285, this may have been to do with the amount of liquid refreshment breaks they took but it certainly didn’t dampen their spirit! Surprisingly “GB Lounge” finished in 5th place which caught everybody off guard. With club owner Graham playing for the team and informing everyone before the Shotgun start how he had played the day before and hit everything straight down the middle, people were left wondering if he had been using a different set of clubs. With more hooks that a fishing tackle shop, every part of the course (bar the fairway) was used by all their players and it was no surprise they finished with a combined score of 292.

The best round of the day went to crowd favourite Flea who in blistering heat managed to finish with a round of 42 and certainly deserved a cold beer in the club house afterwards. All entrants were then treated to a fantastic lunch at Lord’s Bar & Grill and served some ice cold drinks at fantastic rates. The Koh Samui Sports & Social Club would like to thank R.S.G.C.C. for hosting the match, Andy at Lord’s Bar for the lunch and all entrants who made the effort to attend the day. The next match will again be at R.S.G.C.C. on Saturday, Jan. 8.

2010 SPORTS: Asia leaves mark Two major sporting events dominated the Asian scene in 2010 – Asian Games in China and Commonwealth Games in India. The Asian Games in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou started and ended without a major incident.

Powerhouse China dominated ahead of South Korea and Japan. The Chinese athletes are set on retaining its position as one of the world’s sporting power at the 2012 London Olympics. The Commonwealth Games in Delhi, on the other hand, was widely criticized for its soaring coasts and allegation of graft and poor planning. Medals were hauled by Australian athletes and ended ahead of the host country. Another highlight for the region is the performance of South Korea and Japan in the World Cup. In a historical fashion, the Asian football teams outdid themselves for neither has gone beyond the group phase on foreign land before.

In the golf circuit, some of the biggest names ventured to Asia, including Tiger Woods who drew a large following in the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, won by Italy’s Francesco Molinari. Also for the first time, the US PGA Tour brought one of its events to Asia with the CIMB Asia-Pacific Classic in Malaysia which was won by Ben Crane from the United States. 2011 looks promising for Asia as a major sports venue as top notch action is expected to be played here. These include Formula One race in India.

On theIsland

samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011


<< PAGE 24



nov. flood of 2010

TOP TEN KOH SAMUI NEWS ITEMS TWENTY FIVE YEARS FROM NOW (2036 AD) 10. Lady Gaga, now better known as “Old Lady Gaga,” performs at Beach Republic’s New Year’s Party. 9. Former actor and now newly elected US President George Clooney made a surprise visit to Koh Samui after Bangkok economic summit and went to Green Mango Club, which he visited when he first backpacked here in 1993. Said President Clooney, “Am I crazy or are they still playing the exact same songs they played when I first visited the island?” 8. Ring Road Monorail, circling island, finally finished. Most popular monorail stops: “Cupid Bar Station” in Chaweng and “Happy Bar Station” at Soi Molloy in Lamai. 7. Koh Samui voted by Wall Street Journal to have “3rd Highest Taxi Fares in the World” (for 23rd straight year), preceded only by London and Moscow. 6. Drunk helmetless English guy in motorbike accident surprised to get to Samui International Hospital and upon arrival in ambulance, given champagne reception and plaque reading: “10,000 Drunk Helmetless English Guy on Samui to Crash His Motorbike.” 5. Kamalaya Spa gives “One Millionth Colonic” in live Samui

television special watched by all islanders. 4. Eighteen Samui Regatta racers who started regatta race in May of 2035 finally cross twomile finish line in October of 2035, five months and two days later, due to lack of any winds until monsoon season began. One boat, asked what they did while floundering for five months said that regrettably, they read and reread “Decision Points,” the autobiography of President George W. Bush as “that was the only @#)($)(@#$ book” they had onboard. 3. After 40-year political struggle, Lamai International Airport finally opens and Air Asia lands first flight, their Airbus A380 and finally introduces D I S C O U N T airfares to Koh Samui. Islanders rejoice in two-day island wide celebration. 2. To everyone’s pleasant surprise, Larry “The Shack Bar and Grill” Synder, due to sheep placenta injections and all papaya diet, still alive and running restaurant, now voted #1 in Tattler Thailand and one city block long due to massive capital injection by former Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, now Samui resident. 1. 10,000th 7-11 store opens on Koh Samui.

Rob Newman is a television commercial producer who first fell in love with Koh Samui in 1995. With blessed thanks to his United Airline 1K status, he now commutes between his homes in Los Angeles and Koh Samui. Rob can be reached WaldoIsOnKohSamui@gmail. com.

The record flooding in early November put hundreds of homes and commercial establishments on Samui at risk as water levels continued to rise in the waterways the feed the swelling bays around the island. Heavy rains and powerful winds casue massive power interruptions, impassable roads and minor landslides. Ferry and airport operations were halted for several days that cause hundreds of stranded passengers going in and out of Samui.



power crisis

Council members of the Koh Samui municipality has approved the Provincial Electricity Authority’s (PEA) plans to install major transmission lines on the island, including the controversial 22-meter steel beams to ensure lesser blackouts experienced on the island.

On theIsland samui gazette | jan. 7 - 20, 2011





re earth festival

jan. The festival is a continuing effort to restore, rehabilitate, protect, and preserve the natural environment of Samui. The island has experienced harsh effects of ecological destruction such as lack of sufficient drinking water during peak seasons, deteriorating coral reefs, and massive flooding due to soil erosion. All proceeds of the project went to restoration projects of the local ecosystem including a two-kilometer artificial reef and 30 large rainwater harvesting dams.

red shirt protests

The Tourism Authority of Thailand South reported that the tourism arrivals on Samui were not affected by the heating red shirt protests in Bangkok. The protesters converged in Bangkok to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, with many supporting ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The crisis left the nation’s capital a no go zone for tourists with hotels, restaurants and shops faced with a sharp drop in number of visitors.


major tour scam

It was a shaky start for the Samui tourism industry as a Lamai travel agent faced grand theft charges, accused of taking more than Bt1 million of her customer’s money and not delivering the tour package to Krabi. Company director Suratchawadee was arrested Jan. 22. Her company, Southern Plus Travel located at 124/232 Moo 3, T. Maret, earlier joined a legit TAT-sponsored roadshow where the victims were lured to purchase the “holiday of a lifetime” tour.






multi colored shirt rally

companies. The island-wide protest decried the decisions by the Ministry of Energy to allow oil explorations in areas near the resort islands of Samui, Phangan and Tao.

For Samui residents, it was neither red nor yellow. Locals and expats expressed their support for the administration and the King during the height of the red shirt rallies in Bangkok. According to a report, tourist arrivals on Samui have not been as bad as feared during the socio-political unrest in the kingdom’s capital.



gulf of thailand boat crash

water shortage


aug. 2nd samui film festival

The 2nd Samui Film Festival recreated the bygone era of open air cinema through their two-day event held early August at the Tamarind Springs in Lamai. Among the titles screened were Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love (Senegal), Food Fight (USA) and Voice Over the Bridge (Myanmar).

Many business establishments and residences experienced low water supply and water rationing during the long dry summer spell. Water reservoirs, including Hinrad, Phru Krajud and Phru Na Muang, reached critical levels.

Forty people including foreign and Thai passengers and boat crew were injured after Petcharat Marina’s Bhumipat 59 and Sea Breeze’s Sawaddee Chalerm Chok Nava 5 collided June 27 at the Gulf of Thailand. The crash, which happened past midnight three miles off Samui, involved the same speed boat that capsized in 2005 and killed 15. The boats, one coming from Phangan and another from Samui, were filled with full moon partygoers. The speed boat and driver were suspended from operating for a month.


jul. hands around samui 52 kms

Approximately hundreds of concerned locals, expatriates and tourists on the island showed up on the main ring road around Samui end of July 31 to oppose the projects to drill for oil in the Gulf of Thailand by NuCoastal (Thailand) and other petroleum


sept. samui mala festival

In its fourth year, the Samui Mala festival celebrated all things clean and green. Included in their week-long events are the Seva Day Full Moon sharing and feast, Kid’s Day at ISS and a healing day at Kamalaya. Samui Mala is a small group of local residents on the island envisions a clean and green Samui.



ibis koh samui trophy

More than 150 adventure enthusiast teams participated in the Ibis Hotel Koh Samui Trophy 2010 played early October. The 45.5 km (adventure) and 71 km (extreme) race route took participants across water, beaches and hilly mountain areas, all picturesque locations on Koh Samui.

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Samui Gazette Edition 12