Page 1

Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 14

Police inspect Samui prison for illicit drugs By CHERDCHAI TAWEEMUANG

SOME 200 government personnel from the drug enforcement office, marine police, health workers, public authority and police officers from Suratthani and Koh Samui police stations swooped down on the island’s prison facility recently to check for illegal drugs.

DRUG SEARCH INSIDE PRISON - A police inspections team conduct body searches on inmates of the Koh Samui prison during a surprise visit to the facility recently. e move was part of the government’s intensified effort to crackdown on the proliferation of illicit drugs. Some of the inmates failed the urine test and were taken for further investigation.

Suratthani Police Station commanding officer Pol. Maj. Gen. Witoon ammarak, Koh Samui Police Station superintendent Pol. Col. Samran Majaroen, Bophut Police Station superintendent Pol. Col. Payoongsak Saksurin and Koh Samui assistant district officer Poonsak Soponpathumrak led the inspection team. e visit was coordinated with prison commander Arkom Muanyam. e prison facility has some 600 prisoners, including women and foreigners from Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. According to police, 80 percent of the cases of the inmates involve drugs. e prison commander took the inspecting team to the men’s sleeping quarters where the in-

mates were asked to stand in rows and were bodychecked one by one. Even the beds were inspected but no illegal drugs were found. e health workers also took urine tests and many of the inmates who yielded purple urine were investigated. e inspection of the prison was part of the police’s intensified campaign against the proliferation of illegal drugs. Earlier some 70 Samui police officers, including director Pol. Col. Samran Majaroen, voluntarily took drug tests which yielded negative results. Called “e White Police Project” launched in honor of HM the King’s 84th anniversary and Turn to page 5

German businessman attacked in his room A GERMAN businessman residing on the island was seriously injured when a still unidentified attacker hit him in the head with a blunt instrument in his room in Chaweng recently. Peter Stefan Reichwald, 67, was found by police seriously injured in his room in Baan Suan Sook Resort. He was still conscious but was described as having difficulty breathing and speaking. He was immediately taken to the hospital where he allegedly

lost consciousness. In the room police found on the bed a loaded .357 revolver, which was later confirmed by his wife, who lives in Bangkok as his. Some of Reichwald’s valuables, including his iPhone, notebook computer and safe box, were allegedly gone. e attacker, however, left behind some gold jewelry belonging to the victim. An employee of the resort said Turn to page 3

GOURMET WINE DINNER - Justin Phillips (extreme right), general manager of Conrad Koh Samui and executive sous chef Joe Diaz (third from left) joined hands to welcome the renowned Austrian wine maker Dr. Bertold and his wife Gertrud Salomon (second and third from right) of the Salomon Undhof, a wine estate with grand tradition in crafting masterful wines and the couple Jan and Benjawan Ganser (first and second from left), the organizer of the wonderful event “e Gourmet Wine Dinner with Dr. Bertold Salomon” during the sunset aperitif dinner reception held recently at Jahn Restaurant of Conrad Koh Samui.



SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

Chlorine mixtures for swimming pools can be dangerous ON February 18, 2012, after being exposed to what was initially called an explosion, the later downgraded to a “blast” and then later spun to be a “cloud of white gas released,” 36 people, including 10 ais and 26 foreigners and were rushed to the hospital from the poolside of a major resort in Phuket. Although all guests and workers were reported back at the resort by Feb.19, and no major injuries were reported, the incident served to highlight a little acknowledged fact that the various forms of chlorine used to keep pools clean and sanitary can, without extensive knowledge of the chemistry involved, be quite dangerous. A short search on the internet revealed that when various forms of over the counter chlorines compounds were mixed, and then water added, the result can be both explosive and emit dangerous chlorine gases. Chemaxx, Chemical Accident Reconstruction Services, based out of Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A, an expert witness company for chemical accidents and fires, reports on their online site that: ere is the explosive incompati-

bility of two seemingly very similar pool chemical products Calcium Hypochlorite or Ca(OCl)2 and Trichlor or Trichloro-s-triazinetrione. Since both products are sold as a form of "pool chlorine," consumers most likely would not expect them to be incompatible

with each other and might even consider them to be the same pool chemical product. e site shows a video clip of what happened when the two products were mixed together and a small amount of water was added. hemical_explosion5.htm To say the least, the evidence is explosive and Chemaxx goes on

they cited the following preMix dry acid thoroughly with to say that in other tests, another cautions to prevent explosions, water in a plastic pail until the soform of pool chlorine generally fire, or toxic fumes: lution is completely clear. en referred to as Dichlor was also (1) Never allow any type of pour carefully around the pool. shown to be explosively incomchlorine to come into contact (5) Never pour acid down a patible with calcium hypochlowith any type of acid, except skimmer. It will rapidly destroy rite. when in in the normal quantities the pool heater and any other It is unfortunate that the pool found in pool water. metalic components, and may chemical industry sells these two CHLORINE + ACID = CHLORINE GAS enter an erosion feeder and generexplosively incompatible chemi(2) Never allow two different ate large quantities of chlorine cals side-by-side in retail outlets. types of chlorine to come into gas. Consumers need to be aware that these seemingly similar pool chemical products are explosively incompatible but the ordinary consumer is not likely to appreciate the full seriousness of the hazard via conventional warnings. Until that changes, it is recommended that consumers purchase only one type of pool chlorine to avoid even having the two different types available at their homes. It is further recommended that Photo source: when pool chemicals are purPhotograph of incompatible "pool chlorine" products side-by-side on retail shelf chased, single-shot packaging contact when in concentrated (6) Never pour chlorine granshould be used to avoid having form. Fire, explosion, or toxic ules or liquid down a skimmer if large quantities of unused, exfumes may result. you have an erosion feeder inposed, granular chemicals that (3) Never, when mixing stalled. e chlorine will enter the might be easily contaminated or chemicals, add the water to the erosion feeder and cause it to exco-mingled. chemical. Always add the chemiplode. Most swimming pool chemical to as large a quantity of water (7) Never allow people to stay cals can be hazardous. as possible. in the pool while you add chemiToo many chemical manufacWater added to concentrated cals. Commercial pools should turers and distributors give the chemicals can produce violent rehave the pool hall or area comimpression that it is perfectly safe actions. pletely cleared before any chemito throw a handful of something (4) Never throw dry acid cals are hand dosed. into your pool. powder directly into the pool. It Always allow time for the ey also sometimes suggest dissolves slowly and will quickly chemicals to mix and dilute bevery exaggerated acceptable and destroy grout between tiles, or fore letting bathers return to the safe levels for some chemical cause "pickling" and damage to a pool (suggested time - at least 15residuals. From the website vinyl liner. 30 minutes).,

ISLAND NEWS New Muay Thai stadium opens Feb. 28

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

A NEW Muay Thai stadium, with the biggest seating capacity in Samui and even Suratthani, will be opened on February 28 along Chaweng Beach Road. The opening of 1,000-seater Chaweng Stadium and Events Center, the newest stadium on the island for Thailand’s most popular sport, which is also fast gaining worldwide recognition, will coincide with the 16th anniversary of Chaweng Stadium in Soi Reggae, one of the two existing professional stadiums in the Chaweng area. Reportedly the biggest indoor Muay Thai stadium even in Suratthani, the stadium will also have a big bar and food area, a DJ booth, multiple VIP seating, and a full size 7 meter square Muay Thai ring. Another feature of the new stadium is a mixed martial arts cage that can be lowered from the ceiling. Richard, a spokesman for the stadium management, told

An artist’s perspective of the soon to open Chaweng Stadium and Events Center

Samui Gazette they will not only be hosting Muay Thai but also MMA boxing as well. “A lot of MMA fighters are coming here to learn Thai boxing so we decided to put up a cage for them and this cage is raised up in the ceiling when not in use,” Richard said. “We will also be known as “Chaweng Stadium and Events Center” so when it’s not a fight night, we will use the stadium as a club that will host big name DJs and will also be available for private hire,” Richard

said. The grand opening cum anniversary celebration of Chaweng stadium and events center will also feature a list of fantastic Thai and foreign fighters, fireworks show, Muaychaiya show and a great after party featuring resident DJs on Samui. Muay Thai boxing is described as a very popular event on the island which takes place every week from the small outdoor ring setup in Lamai to the two bigger more professional stadiums in Chaweng.


German businessman. . . From Page 1 Reichwald had been staying there for more than three years. He allegedly earlier rang the management to say his air conditioner was not working and after a couple of hours later, when staff went to the room to fix it, they found him lying on the floor. He was taken to Bangkok Hospital Samui, where he lost consciousness, and was reportedly still in that

condition. Police alleged Reichwald was involved in a number of businesses in Koh Samui, and are investigating two possibilities – his money-lending business and a dispute over a wall he built between his land and a neighbor’s. ey are also said to be investigating the possibility of a romantic conflict.

The stadium and events center, located behind Solo Bar on Chaweng Beach Road, aims for

a more modern and upper class stadium that is still affordable.

THE GAZETTE’S PAGE 3 NEEDS YOU. Because we like to keep things fresh, we invite you to send us your cool photos. Email them to or

ISLAND NEWS 4 Keeping cool on Koh Samui

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

By CLAUDE FELLER, Samui Service Co. Ltd. WHILE reading this newspaper you might be sitting on your sofa at home or lay down on lying on the bed in your hotel room – or you might be standing in your neighborhood convenience store and reading this paper for free – naughty-naughty! But these places all generally have one thing in common. ey all have air conditioners running to help you feel more comfortable. At your home you might only need a temperature of 25°C to feel relaxed. If you are a tourist you will need maybe 20°C to stand the tropical heat. At the Family Mart you might even shiver, “cool is really cool” at these locations! What is an air conditioner? Being from Middle Europe I noticed the first air conditioner in my life in Bangkok some 25 years ago. For me, it was nothing more than a strange box on the wall with another remote control to fight with. In tourist areas like Samui, the cooling load of Villas, Hotel rooms, convenient stores, malls etc. are in fact causing approximately 70 percent of the total electricity demand. Without air conditioners there would be very little tourism on Koh Samui.

Cooling systems were the precondition for the huge boom on Samui during the last decade. So it might be interesting to have a closer look into this matter. What is the difference between an air conditioner and a refrigerator? e latter has a door. e working principle is the same. A refrigerant gas is brought as a liquid to your room under high pressure. Inside the indoor unit this liquid is expanding, losing pressure and changing to gas. is changing of the physical state forces the refrigerant gas to lose a lot of heat – the temperature of the gas drops to 10°C and the spinning fan of the indoor unit distributes this as cool air to your room. In exchange the liquid is warmed up by the room temperature. e return pipe brings this gas back to the compressor unit, where the physical state is changed back to liquid with high pressure and high temperature up to 85°C – compression generates heat, same as an air pump getting hot when you inflate the tire. is liquid is still keeping the excess heat from your room – to restart the cycle this heat is blown out to the environment by a huge, fast spinning fan. at’s the only reason why this

box on your wall is so big, so noisy and blows out a huge amount of hot air. If you want to reduce the energy consumption you should think about using this “wasted heat” to heat up water for shower, bathtub and sink. It is pretty easy to retrofit a heat exchanger, this will reduce the energy consumption of your air conditioner by 10-15 % and you will get hot water for free. Air conditioners use a chemicals gas because water cannot easily be converted from a gas to a liquid and back again. e cheapest, most efficient and, here in ailand, always used refrigerant gas is called “R22”, which is a Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), an ozone depleting substance. In Europe since 2011 chemical manufacturers are not allowed to produce R-22 for use in new A/C equipment. Production is allowed only for service issues of existing air conditioners. So if you need a new air conditioner please ask your supplier to quote one with R-410A refrigerant gas - which is not Ozone depleting. Don’t accept “No have in ailand”, that’s just not true. Meanwhile all major brands also offer R-410A as an option.

Waste Heat Recovery

Compressor of the AC

New UK ambassador to Thailand MARK Kent has been appointed Her Majesty's ambassador to the kingdom of ailand and Her Majesty's non-resident ambassador to the Laos people's democratic republic. He will succeed Asif Ahmad who will be transferring to another diplomatic service appointment. Kent will take up his appointment by July 2012. Kent joined the FCO in 1987 and has spent most of his career working with the emerging powers of South East Asia and Latin America, and with the European Union. He is a fellow of the institute of leadership and management

Ambassador Mark Kent and has language qualifications in ai, Vietnamese, Spanish, Dutch, French and Portuguese. On his appointment as her majesty’s ambassador to the kingdom of ailand and Her Majesty’s non-resident ambassador to the Laos people’s democratic republic, Kent said: “I am honored to be given the op-

portunity to serve again in South East Asia. Relations with the rising powers of this region are important for the UK's future prosperity, ailand is the second largest economy in Asean and trade and investment will be high on my agenda. Consular work with UK tourists and residents will also be a priority. e UK aims to play a constructive role with both countries in helping to create a political, social and economic environment which is conducive to fostering further growth in trade, investment, tourism and enhancing our wider relationship, as well as encouraging a strong role within Asean and on wider global issues.”

Inside a CDU

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012



Nikki Beach to host “White Party” anew

NOW! AN ADDITIONAL STORE AT BEAUTIFUL WORLD FURNITURE STORE IN MAENAM Address: 69/35 Moo 5 Ring Road Maenam, Koh Samui Suratthani Thailand and At Nikki Beach 96/3 Moo2 Lipa Noi, Koh Samui Suratthani Thailand

NIKKI BEACH Koh Samui, South-east Asian iteration of “the sexiest place on earth” is pleased to make an announcement that Jet Set clubbers and partygoers across the region have been waiting for. e Nikki Beach White Party, one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable social events for globetrotters, celebrities, socialites and VIPs, descends on Nikki Beach Koh Samui on 6 April 2012 for a top-drawer party that’s head and shoulders above the countless “white” imitators that have come and gone over the years. Celebrating Nikki Beach Koh Samui’s third birthday, the White Party will feature an awesome display by the Miami Energy dancers, spectacular fireworks over the crystalline waters off Lipa Noi Beach, breath-taking musical entertainment and a line-up of hot DJs who will rock the party ‘til the early hours. Nikki Beach Koh Samui features haute cuisine, a spectacular Sunset Terrace, freeform swimming pool, opium beds and beach bars with a sophisticated ambiance and world-class service. e White Party is the spirit of Nikki Beach personified; an unforgettable evening of sexy people revelling in the company of a beach club brand that exists without equal. For guests who have never had the full “white-out experience,” then self-respecting partygoers owe it to themselves to come and see what all the fuss is about! Visit for more information.



Police bare gains in anti drug campaign

ANTI-DRUG CAMPAIGN - Police officials bares accomplishments during the press confernce held at the Bophut Police Station recently.

THE Drug Enforcement Office held a press conference recently announced its accomplished in its anti drug campaign. Held at the Bophut Police Station last Feb. 5 and Drug Enforcement Office commanding officer Pol. Maj. Gen. Chirdchai Seknan, deputy commissioner Pol. Maj. Gen. Jiraroth Kisiri and police station commander Pol. Lt. Gen. Santi Pensoot, police officials say the visit to Koh Samui and Koh Phangan area has resulted in some 496 gms of ice methamphetamine, 6,571 amphetamine tablets, 128 kgs of marijuana, 700 bottles of cough syrup, weeds, four guns and two bombs. 32 people were also

accused. National Anti-Corruption deputy commissioner Pol. Gen. Watcharapol Prasanratchakit said some 406 personnel from the Drug Enforcement Office, marine, police, public authority and immigration police have been deployed with a mission to clear Koh Samui and Koh Phangan of illegal drugs. The move was part of the anti-drug campaign in 2012 covering 77 districts in seven provinces. The 198 areas targeted for the raid has resulted in 303 accused, property in dispute, over 100 guns and some Bt9,606,585 confiscated by the authorities.

Man dies in car mishap A THAI man died when the motorbike he was driving recently was hit by a speeding pick up in Bang Por recently. Police identified the victim as Santi Kaewraksa, 41, reportedly a contractor. Koh Samui Police Station inquiry official Pol. Lt. Phuriwat Rodkerd said they received a report on Feb. 5 that a pick up crashed with a motorbike near the Santithani Village in Bang Por and police and the Samui Rescue found the dead body of Santi whose neck and waist were allegedly broken. A witness told police the pick-up was coming from Maenam on the way to Nathon and the motorbike driving very fast from Bang Por. The witness added that when both vehicles were near the bridge, the pick-up

tried to overtake another car and collided with the motorbike. The pick up allegedly took Santi and his motorbike along the road around 30 meters then the driver escaped. Santi’s wife Saifon Jaithon, 42, arrived at the scene and said that her husband went to have a party and drink at his friend’s house not far away from the accident scene.

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

Valentine’s Day snub drives woman to commit suicide AFTER allegedly failing to make her boyfriend spend time with her on Valentine’s Day, a 24-year-old ai woman committed suicide by hanging herself in their rented house in the Khao Phra Village area in Bophut. Police identified the victim as Mornruedee Sornsai, originally from Chaiyapum, Issan and who works as a waitress at a bar and restaurant. Her boyfriend, Waichaya Sawangjun, who works as a manager of the same bar and restaurant, told police Mornruedee has resigned from her work and was lately always resentful of him and jealous at work. Waichaya said on Valentine’s Day he bought her a rose in the evening but afterwards

Waichaya Sawangjun (seated, left), a manager at a bar and restaurant and the victim’s boyfriend, giving statement to the police.

he said he had to go to work. He said the victim wanted him to stay but he said he told her he cannot stay as it is Valentine’s Day and there will be many customers at work. Waichaya said he came back from work at around

3:30 a.m. and found the door locked and tried to call her but there was no answer. He said he forced a window open and went inside the rented house where he saw his girlfriend already dead.

3 arrested for stealing motorbike A YOUNG ai man and his two female friends were arrested recently for driving a stolen motorbike. Bophut Police Station inspector Pol. Lt. Col. Sayan Sathsri, chief of police box Pol. Sr. Sgt. Maj Rangsan Muangkaew at Baan Sam Yak and other police officers arrested Korawit Prempon, 19, from Chaiyapum, Ms. Jintalar Suwankum, 20, from Udonthani and who works in a ai massage parlor in Chaweng, and Ms. Atchara Pinitjamontri, 20, and who works as a hotel near Big C, while the three were driving along Bonkai Road last Feb. 5. Police stopped them – Korawit driving a white and red Honda Click with no license plate and Ms. Atchara and Ms.

The victim’s motorbike

STOLEN MOTORBIKE - Korawit Prempon, 19, points to the stolen red and black Honda Click which he was driving when stopped by police at a check point in Bonkai Road recently. The license plate was removed from the motorbike and placed in the other motorbike driven by his female friends Atchara Pinitjamontri and Jintalar Suwankum.

Jintalar on the back of a red and black Honda Click with forged license plate. During interrogation, Ms. Atchara alleged she bought the motorbike from Korawit for Bt7,000 but Korawit denied the allegation and said he didn't know anything. e three were taken to the ai International Hospital to take urine test and was found positive. e three confessed that they have using ice methamphetamine. Earlier,

Mr. Weerapat Manee reported to the police that his motorbike, a red and white Honda Click, was stolen and that he saw it being driven along Bonkai road and that the license plate have been taken off placed in another motorbike. e license plate was then used in Ms. Atchara’s motorbike. Korawit, Atchara and Jintalar were charged for stealing the motorbike and for using illegal drug.

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012


Firefly teams up with TAT to promote Koh Samui “ese foreign tourists arrive here, spend a few nights visiting various destinations in Malaysia and then continue their holiday to Koh Samui to fulfil their wedding and/or honeymoon plans.” KUALA LUMPUR - Firefly, a wholly-owned unit of Malaysia Airlines, is working closely with the Tourism Authority of ailand to promote Koh Samui as an upmarket leisure destination for weddings, honeymoon, corporate team-building and incentive travel. In a statement recently, Firefly’s head of marketing and communications, Angelina Fernandez, said demand for the destination for weddings and honeymoons came from not just the locals but also from foreign passengers from medium- and long-haul markets. “ese foreign tourists arrive here, spend a few nights visiting various destinations in Malaysia and then continue their holiday to Koh Samui to fulfil their wedding

and/or honeymoon plans,” she said. She said Koh Samui was also a popular destination for teambuilding programmes, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises because of the direct air access Firefly provided and its close proximity, which was within a twohour flight time from Subang. — BERNAMA

DIRECT AIR ACCESS: Unit of Malaysia Airlines, Firefly providing its close proximity access to Koh Samui to promote the island as an upmarket leisure destination for foreign passengers from medium - and long-haul markets to continue their holiday to Koh Samui from Malaysia - most likely for wedding and honeymoon plans.

7 Culinary first for Samui FAST becoming one of Southeast Asia's most exciting dining destinations with its host of fivestar properties and first-class chefs, Koh Samui is hosting the first International Samui Fine Dining Festival throughout the month of March. During the festival, executive chefs at 16 top restaurants on the island will be creating special menus for dinner and charity gala events. At Tawann, the al fresco restaurant with a stunning view of Lamai Beach at the Renaissance Koh Samui Resort, a seven-course dinner menu, priced at Bt2,250, will be served every evening in March. e array of dishes will reflect the creative use of herbs, grown on the premises and gathered shortly before cooking. Dinner will start wih a selection of canapes (cocktail caviar on blinis, Serrano ham with Japanese rock melon, gazpacho with poached prawns) and be follows with a complex starter of grilled Cajun prawn wrapped in Caesar salad, salmon terrine with dill-mustard sauce and Canadian lobster tortellini with

tom yum foam. Next up is chilled avocado soup followed by a portion of pan-seared snow fish. After a palate-cleansing lemongrass and pomelo sorbet, it's time for the entree: duo of Australian lamb rack and beef tenderloin in port-wine sauce. For dessert there's strawberry millefeuille and home-made mangosteen ice cream. roughout March the same venue will also be hosting an exhibition by German-born artist Nartana, entitled Inspirations on Canvas. e paintings are a reflection of the artist's striving for harmony and beauty via the spiritual, visionary and mystical.



SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

Thai PM praises close military ties between Thailand and Laos BANGKOK – ai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has recently met Laos PDR deputy prime minister / minister of national defense Lt. Gen. Douangchay Phichith, praising the close military relations between ailand and Laos which she said this will help to build up border trade between the two nations. Gen. Douangchay recently attended ailand –Laos Joint Border Commission (JBC) meeting, courtesy call on Ms. Yingluck at Government House. During the discussion, he said the ailand and Laos armed forces have enjoyed good

ties and cooperation. ai and Laos border was peaceful during the past 10 years, no fighting and no conflict; two countries could smoothly operate the Border Trade and Exchange. In return, the ai premier expressed her gratitude to Gen. Douangchay who led the Laos delegates who participated in the ailand -Laos JBC meeting. She hoped that the meeting about nation’s armed forces would achieve progress and further strengthen the good friendship between the two countries. Ms. Yingluck told Gen. Douangchay that ailand has

encouraged more to encounter between countries leaders at all levels, stressing that ailand is willing to give full support to its neighbor countries, both are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Moreover, PM extended an official invitation to the Laos prime minister to visit ailand in the future. In September last year, Ms. Yingluck official visit to the Laos PDR, met her counterpart Tongsing Tammawong, and paid a courtesy call on President Lt.Gen. Chummalee Xayasone. (MCOT online news)

BMA progress on BTS Silom line set extension for services next year BANGKOK - e Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will go ahead with its BTS Skytrain Silom line extension for a distance of 5.3km (Taksin-Petchakasem), expected to be ready for services by Aug 12, or Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's birthday next year, 2013. Bangkok deputy governor Teerachon Manomaipiboon spoke after going for an inspection at the construction area. e BTS Silom line extension to the onburi side of Bangkok, West of the Chao Phraya River, comprises the four stations - Potinimitr, Talad Plu, Wuttakad, and Bang Wa. For additional operations, the existing Wongwian Yai (S8) and the Talad Plu (S10) regions provide commuters with Park & Ride Services, while a skywalk will be at S10 to link with the BMA's express bus service, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) - at its

Ratchaphruek station. e route between S8 and S10 is expected to be open on the 5th of December, which His Majesty King Bhumibol's birthday falls this year.

Around 126,000 passengers / day are expected once the full line is open for services in August next year. Bangkok deputy governor Teerachon also inspected the BRT route and cited it is to be expanded to meet the size of greater Bangkok's mass transit network and to support the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup,

to be hosted in November at a new stadium in the capital's Nong Chok district. Other types of buses of Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) may additionally be used for commuters at the Futsal World Cup, as previously discussed with transport. According to deputy governor Mr. Teerachon, three routes are planned to the Nong Chok to reach stadium from Suvarnabhumi airport, Hua Mak sports complex and Min Buri. e deputy governor said, this will be discussed with ministry, if this will be supported by the government. BRT was launched in 2 010 to assist commuters travelling to offices and homes from Sathorn Road to Ratchapruek Road in the a Phra area in the onburi side of Bangkok. (MCOT online news)

Korean embezzlement suspect arrested at Sa Kaeo SA KAEO - A South Korea Man charged with embezzlement in his homeland was detained recently by Thailand authorities at an immgration checkpoint in the Eastern Province of Sa Kaeo, bordering Cambodia. Kim Dong KOREAN ARRESTED- Kim Dong Woo, a 34- year-oldSouth KoWoo a 34- year- rean national (seated), was arrested at Sa Kaeo bordering Camold South Korea bodia. He was said accused embezzlement in Korea. National was migration checkpoint in taken into custody at the imSa Kaeo Aranyaprathet district while

he was showing his passport to the officials for stamp before leaving Thailand going to Cambodia. According to Pol. Lt. Col. Somsak Jiamkorakot, Sa Kaeo immigration police inspector, the arrest came after the embassy of the Republic of Korea in Thailand had coordinated with relevant authorities in to arrest Mr. Kim,


PDR deputy prime minister / minister of national defense Lt. Gen. Douangchay Phichith and PM Yingluck Shinawatra. (Photo courtesy of MCOT News)

PM denies Ayutthaya flood is water mismanagement BANGKOK - Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected possible criticism that the new flooding in Ayutthaya's Sena district was caused by water mismanagement, and instead, ordered the province's governor to extend assistance to

PM said she has ordered the Ayutthaya governor to help the flood victims in the district, which all data on the water discharged, should be collected for the Ministry of Agriculture and the Royal Irrigation Department for Planning.

residents who are affected by the overflowing Chao Phraya River. Ms. Yingluck said that the incident was caused by the normal discharge of water from the Bhumibol and Sirikit dams in Tak and Uttaradit respectively to prevent possible flooding later in the rainy season. PM said that formerly the dams maintained a minimum water storage level at the 60 percent of their capacities, but water storage levels of both dams were now expected to be reduced to 45 percent of their storage capacity in preparation for the new rainy season.

e volume of water released from the dams may be reduced to give more time to let the floodwater drain. Asserting that the flood was not the result of water mismanagement, PM said that Ayutthaya is situated at a lower elevation (than upriver locations) and the incident should be taken into consideration regarding future actions on the water management plan. e current experience could be used to adjust the plan, noting that the flood prevention measures must be improved. (MCOT online news)

accused of embezzling EUR $ 333,500 (Bt11 million) in Korea and fleeing an arrest warrant. As a result, immigration police, Khlong Luek police and Thailand paramilitary personnel monitored crossing the border travelers in Aranyaprathet. Upon checking the passport, immigration officers found that Mr. Kim had overstayed his visa.

Then he was sent to Khlong Luek police station for further investigation as the suspect was charged with the illegal entry and overstaying his visa. Meanwhile, authorities coordinated with the embassy to pick up the suspect and repatriate him to South Korea for the prosecuting embezzlement case. (MCOT online news)

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012



Consumer Confidence Index rises in January for 2nd consecutive month BANGKOK - ailand’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) in January rose for the second consecutive month after the situation returned to normal following the flood crisis last year, said Yanyong Puangrach, permanent secretary for commerce. Recently he announced the results of the CCI survey for January, conducted among 3,024 people from all walks of life. e survey found that all indices including CCI on the current and future situation as well as index on future income rose for the second consecutive month in

January, said Mr. Yanyong. e increasing indices were attributed to the rise in start-up salaries for civil servants, the government's rehabilitation measures for flood victims and consumer spending during the Chinese New Year. e CCI in January stood at 24/2, higher than the 2.21 listed in the previous month. However, as the index is still lower than the 50th, it indicates that the public are still concerned over the local economy - particularly the cost of living, oil prices and the volatile global economy.

Meanwhile, those surveyed urged the government to control prices of consumer goods and the cost of living to ensure that they are in line with current income. ey also wanted the government to speed up tackling rising energy prices, unemployment problem and minimum wages. Respondents also urged the government to build confidence among investors, layout systematic water management plans to prevent possible massive flood this year and speed up the country's post- flood rehabilitation. (MCOT online news)

Commerce Ministry targets ai exports to grow 15 percent this year BANGKOK - The commerce ministry has targeted exports to grow Thailand pushing the 15 percent this year while they are in the first quarter projected to expand by 1-5 percent. Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the Department of Export Promotion (DEP) said that exports in the first quarter are likely to shrink following last year's flood crisis which suffered heavy impact to the industrial estates and the manufacturing sector. The senior official however said she was confident that Thailand exports in the first quarter will not be negative but yet it will grow from 1 to 5 percent because many factories revived that fast to resume than earlier expected production. Although many parties are still concerned that the Thailand crisis will affect its exports, due to European Union debt according to Ms. Nuntawan. She believed that there is

still demand for high fashion of Thailand products and food in the European market. According to Ms. Nuntawan, Thailand still needs to maintain European and EUR markets despite slow growth, while at the same time targeting emerging markets in Asia, Latin

America, Local and Africa. Commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and deputy commerce minister Poom Sarapol meets the heads of Thailand's trade representatives’ offices based overseas this month to assess Thailand's overall export outlook for this year and in each quarter. The minister will give guidelines for key policy implementation and review this year's

marketing strategies to push Thailand exports to reach targeted growth at least 15 percent. In addition, the directorgeneral said the DEP will gear up to promote Small-and Medium-Enterprises (SMEs) as there is still high demand for foods, beverages and handicrafts and these SME businesses still have room to grow, particularly in ASEAN markets. Exports of these products in three categories to the ASEAN market were valued at more than Bt240 billion in 2011. The DEP will instruct the SMEs to expand their markets to serve the integration of the ASEAN community in 2015. She conceded that some exporters did not understand Thailand’s tariff preferences under the ASEAN framework. In fact, she said, they need to register their businesses with the commerce ministry in order to exercise their rights under the agreement. (MCOT online news)

Bt200-300-M airport loss due to floods BANGKOK - Don Mueang Airport lost Bt200-300 million (US $ 6.6-10 million) in revenue during the flood crisis last year which forced the airport to halt its services, Don Mueang airport general manager group captain Kanputt Mungklasiri said. Capt. Kanputt of Airports of ailand (AOT) said executive vice president flight opera-

tions at the airport after its runways were ceased on October 25 flooded. e closure affected income by Bt50-60 million monthly with an accumulated loss of Bt200-300 million for four consecutive months. He said the airport has expenditures of around Bt70 million per month which AOT would shoulder.

Civil Aviation Department (CAD) director-general Woradet Hanprasert said that the CAD and AOT would jointly officially reopen Don Mueang airport on March 2 to show the facility's readiness for commercial use and that flights would begin on March 6, as for the progress on commercial use of the airport, he said. Business development depart-

THAI ECONOMY- e growth in indices in all categories was due to the recovery from the late 2011 flood crisis. Seven percent growth targeted by the government is possibly due to the satisfactory growth of the ailand economy and exports.

Nearly third of flooded firms resume production BANGKOK - About 30 percent of ailand factories hit by flooding last year have resumed production, lower than the number originally targeted, according to Witoon Simachokdee, permanent secretary for industry. Among the total of the 838 plants forced to halt operations due to flooding, 30 percent have already resumed production, while at the end of March, about 60-70 percent of closed plants are expected to restart production. Industry minister ordered his ministry's senior officials Pongsvas Svasti to visit the factories to gather information about their problems so as the ministry says to help them rehabilitate their operations as soon as possible. Regarding construction of dykes to protect seven industrial estates, the permanent

secretary said they will be completed in August as planned ahead of the upcoming rainy season. e ministry of industry is now working together with finance ministry to follow up the submission of dyke’s model to the ministry of industry to certify managers of the industrial estates, which will later seek loans from the Government Savings Bank. e news said that there were some business closures in some industrial estates, and were just about 10 operators at the Saha Rattana Nakorn industrial estate in Ayutthaya dissolved their businesses. e head of the ministry’s committee has checked the facts regarding them. Meanwhile, there are not shutdowns in six other industrial estates hit by flooding. (MCOT online news)

Now at new location just across Farmer’s Restaurant

ment is studying some plans to generate more revenue for the airport. Under the development plan, there are six activities for the airport including maintenance centers for narrow-bod-

ied aircraft; medium and small aircraft; an international trade centre; a regional flight simulation centre; and a chartered flight terminal. (MCOT online news)



SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012


Time for businesses to unite? RECENTLY a friend of mine visited from Mongolia, and he was in charge of an organization to which 200 or more foreign owned businesses in Mongolia had joined, to socialize, and more importantly, express their joint will and opinions to the government regarding business/governmental policy issues that affected their businesses wellbeing. Maybe the businesses with foreign shareholders here in ailand and Koh Samui should set up a similar organization. ere seems to be little, if any, unity, or sharing between the foreign businessmen and women in ailand. ere are many talented, world class retired or active business people on the island, and it seems that it might behoove the local government to have a vehicle with which to hear the opinions of these extremely experienced people on how best to make local governments more efficient and how best to make Koh Samui a more attractive to tourists. For instance, whereas many countries welcome outside investment from international sources, and provide generous economic incentives to get capital inflow and investment that will provide jobs for its local citizenry, the various ai government agencies seem to want to make it as difficult as possible for foreigners to invest in job producing enterprises. e amount of paperwork to create a company, get proper visas, get work permits, open bank accounts, open telephone lines, get proper licenses, get internet connections, is staggering and counter- productive. Hopefully someone will step forward, from both the international side and the ai side, and get the ball rolling on such an organization.

Awards SOME say you do not need many photographs if you have a great library of music as the memories that come flooding back when you hear a certain song is just as good or even better than a photo album. I am a lover of all types of music (classical to drum and bass) and films (Singin' in the Rain to Pulp Fiction) and I always find it interesting to watch on the old goggle box who is this years winners of the latest awards. It is priceless to see the superstars faces when they have won or especially lost. Also waiting to see who will make the biggest faux par. The Grammys have just been done and dusted along with the Golden globes which are touted as the pre runners for the Oscars. All the stars of today and of yesterday all come out to be photographed on the red carpets and all will get rated by the press for wearing the right or wrong designer clothes. But let me stay focused on the Grammys because the night before the presentation the music world was rocked

by the sudden untimely death of superstar diva and one of the best voices ever to have sung a song, Whitney Houston who was apparently found in her bath drowned, we await the truth to be told. What a shame she was only 48 and especially as she had several aides outside the door (who could of and should of been able to save the life of our Whitney) as the pop diva breathed her last breath. Well the show must go on and it did and congratulations to the English born singer Adele who won an amazing 6 Grammys. That's more than most great singers have during their entire career. Diana Ross was on stage that night and then I found out that she has never won a Grammy. I thought this was quite an abnormality until I researched who else has not won a Grammy and I was amazed at the list of greats who have never been rewarded by the Music industry worldwide. A few died quite young so I can understand while such

artists like Buddy Holly, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix all were left without a single Grammy but as I looked deeper how could have the greatest band of all time Led Zeppelin be without a Grammy? But then there were several other bands without a little gold gramophone the list includes Queen, The Who and The Doors even the Beach Boys?I was shocked at how such great musicians as these could not have ever won. It certainly isn't based on album sales because the amount of fans who have bought music made by Led Zep and Queen alone are well over 100 million album sales worldwide. I am quite sure they have enough money to get them by without these small golden trophies but you can imagine it must smart not to have the coveted Grammy. The way in which the Grammys are voted for are by the music industry itself so I am clueless in to why Lady Gaga , Enya, and Hootie and the Blowfish could can have won a Turn to page 11

A BRIT ABROAD Stephen Larkin

To fly or not to fly? HAVING endured my fair share of long haul flights between Thailand and the UK, I feel I must pass comment on how different taking to the skies was thirteen years ago when I first flew long haul, compared with today. Different and an altogether more pleasant experience. I used to embrace my long journeys to the Far East, arriving at the airport on a cold November day in England, knowing that the next time I would be stepping outside it would be into balmy thirty degree heat; passing through immigration and suffering nothing more than a brief fondle of the legs and buttocks before being ushered into the Duty Free area, then a spot of window shopping and a gentle stroll to the departure lounge where I seem to remember the staff greeting you with a smile that wasn’t forced. Now, much as I relish the thought of seeing my girlfriend and basking in the tropical heat, I greet the long

haul journey with a grimace rather than a smile. The main reason for this of course is that every passenger is viewed as a potential terrorist. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need to step up security in the post 9/11 era, but not the need to make us all feel like criminals. Sure, the powers that be may insist that I carry only liquids less than 100ml in a clear plastic bag, but why do they then employ someone to eyeball me as he’s checking my hand luggage and scowl as if he believes I would blow everybody to pieces if I was left to my own devices? How rude. Then it’s shoes off, belts off, assault with a metal detector (a little tip – feign pleasure and emit a few sensual groans, they’ll soon move on in search of easier prey), not to mention naked body scans for a lucky select few; before we, the ones keeping the body probers in a job, are allowed to board our flights.

By this time I’m feeling stressed, and that’s before I squeeze into my meagre seat space next to a burly man who weighs twice as much as me and my luggage put together and who hasn’t had to pay any extra for his ticket. Stressful indeed. And this is assuming you can get on the plane in the first place. Increased security seems to have coincided with freak weather which is bringing the airports to a standstill. In the UK we cannot cope with snow. Last winter when snowstorms brought a halt to virtually all air traffic in and out of the UK, other countries such as Canada and Russia who typically put up with far more severe conditions, were operating as normal. Last year I narrowly avoided being delayed by the snow on my outbound journey to Thailand, and when I touched down in Samui it was only a matter of days before our own airport was Turn to page 11

Samui Gazette

A publication of YuCiNo Enterprises Co., Ltd. with office at 183/9 Moo 1, T. Bophut, Koh Samui Telefax: 077-430789 | Email: |


Sales/Advertising & Circulation

Managing Editor: Patrick T. Roxas Editor: P. Meepien Reporters: Cherdchai Taweemuang, Atthasith Khupratakul

Ad Sales and Circulation:

Contributors: Alister Bredee, Peter Diver, John Greenwood, Stephen Larkin, Rob Newman, Dr. Chris Hertzog, Rosanne Turner, Geoff Whitlie, TAN Network/MCOT News

Art & Production: Design: YuCiNo Enterprises Co. Ltd. Production Asst: Kanlayanee Seamkung

YuCiNo Enterprises Co. Ltd. Directors: P. Meepien, Joseph A. Noble 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 re-transmitted without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Samui Gazette is available all over Koh Samui.

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012




Tips for men to stay healthy as they age

Oh to be in England...

FOR many years, hundreds

of years, the English have been proud that like a few other nations they have offered their country as a refuge for people suffering persecution in their own country. Until insanity took hold among the ruling classes in Britain through most of this second Elizabethan Age, the English only expected from their immigrants that they bring assets or skills to contribute positively to their adopted country and accept for at least one generation that they had few rights in their adopted country. Thai people are no different in the present day. Welcoming and tolerant. As a result of the tolerance displayed by the English, Britain prospered the more and the British, a relatively small number of people, had a disproportionate effect upon the whole world. It is ironic that this people who always championed logic and freedom of thought have now been brainwashed into believing they must accept a massive and disproportionate number of immigrants including many not contributing to their society at all. Multi-culturalism was the clarion cry. This the model for the ideal society for which Brits should aim, was the message. That would never happen in Thailand. The Thais have far more common sense, though sometimes one might wonder. You now find weakness and confusion in English society. The cause is nothing to do with the slide of the British pound which is now worth thirty per cent less than only a few years ago when we used to get seventy baht to the pound. A double whammy for the Brits because prices in Thai-

land have risen fifteen per cent or more over the same period. It is everything to do with an insane mindset in Britain, and possibly in much of Europe too. On the day I am writing this in February 2012 the leading news programme on BBC radio 4 broadcast items from which an expat over here can only deduce that British society has finally collapsed. The country's courts have forbidden a public authority to spend any time, even a few minutes, on a Christian ceremony before proceeding to its business. I suggest that if you suggest to a Thai that any lighting of a candle or the honouring of a shrine to the Buddha in similar circumstances should be made illegal you would be met with derision, if not anger. You would have lost all credibility and, probably rightly, would be considered insane. Have you not seen even the bargirl with her incense sticks smouldering between small brown hands, held together in prayerful mode, before starting the business of the day? It is a practice to be seen in every aspect of Thai society. But I have digressed, although in doing so my purpose was only to show that insanity really does now reign in England. Perhaps it does in most of the West. The future is inevitably going to be the East. Another item in the same news programme was about schools. One school in Tottenham, north London, where there were riots last year, does not teach just in English. But it is not for any understandable reason, for example that another language is the lingua franca of international rela-

tions. Someone from that school told us authoritatively that in that school forty different languages are spoken. Yes, that's right. I did NOT say fourteen, which would be bad enough. No wonder the school is struggling. Children are getting nowhere. Multiculturalism has manifestly failed. Logically one would expect immigrants to show they are contributing to the host nation or integrating by at least learning the language. Instead we see that the stupid English have let them be a burden on the country. Thai people would never be so silly. So why are the Brits? I think that as a general rule immigrants over a certain age should be required to speak the language and have taught it to their children before any free State education or welfare is provided for them. Residents in nearly every non English-speaking country in the world outside Europe would see nothing exceptional in that applying in their own land. In one "amphur" (district) in the "changwat" of London, a schools administrator told the listeners to this radio programme, English is not the language used in the home for twenty-two per cent of the children in that district's schools. The schools are struggling to deal with what has happened as a result of the course adopted by the politicians and social planners. Are they mad, those leaders of society in England? Or are they mad? What mystifies me is that nobody or no majority with the power to do so wants to change it.

them back after it was proved that they hadn't even sung the songs they had won awards for and as soon as the story broke they had to hand them back. And dont get me started on the movies that

should have won Oscars and didnt. So the moral of the story is that musicians who vote for the Grammys don't know what good music is work that one out and stay fashionable.

the UK, that I wouldn’t be flying back to England because Mount Eejafallakilli ... whatever the volcano is called, had erupted for the second time. Back to Samui I went. A week, an extra visa run and nearly a thousand pounds later, I managed to get home on a belated flight. And then, if you manage to avoid snow, floods and belching volcanoes, there is a fair chance that your airline will either go bust or go on strike just as you’re packing your flip flops and Speedos. Take it from me; if you fancy an ex-

otic getaway, you’re probably better off taking the boat. So there we have it. My foolproof theory that flying, once an enjoyable and exotic experience, is now a major chore, guaranteeing that if you didn’t desperately need a holiday before you left home, you’ll certainly need one when you arrive at your destination. And finally, I’d like to propose a toast – to being molested by security guards; because if that’s the worst that happens to you during your flying experience, then I think you’ve gotten off lucky.

Awards. . . From Page 10 Grammy but some of the greatest artists of all time have not. e greatest joke winners of all time at the Grammys though had to be Milli Vanilli who after winning their Grammys had to give

To fly. . . From Page 10 closed due to flooding. At times I think we’re lucky to be travelling anywhere anymore. And then, when the

weather lets up, out pops a giant cloud of volcanic ash. Thanks Iceland – yours is a beautiful country, but please try and keep your farting mountains from blowing south over the rest of Europe. I was in the firing line – in May 2010 I was at Suvarnabhumi Airport at the departure gate just about to board my return flight to Manchester when I was informed along with a dozen or so other folk from

“With age comes wisdom.” Unfortunately, it also comes with an increased threat of developing certain health problems. Prostate cancer and other diseases affect a disproportionately large amount of American men. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), more than 16 million men are affected by the disease globally, and American men represent nearly 2.5 million of that figure. Given these statistics, American men should be especially vigilant about their health. With a few lifestyle tweaks and attitude adjustments, you can help stay healthy as you age. Eat Right If you’ve eaten a particular way your whole life, you might find it difficult to change. But cutting out the junk in favor of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is well worth the effort. Not only will you look and feel better, certain foods have even been proven to reduce your risk of developing diseases like prostate cancer, coronary heart disease and diabetes. Opt for fish over red meat. Evidence from several studies suggests that fish can help protect against prostate cancer because it contains "good fat,” particularly omega-3 fatty acids. Choose olive oil over margarine. While monounsaturated fat found in olive oil is beneficial to health, transfatty acids contained in margarine contribute to clogged arteries, high cholesterol and an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. A free nutrition guide and tasty recipes are available at .

Stay Active A sedentary lifestyle contributes to your risk of obesity, heart disease and cancer. You don’t need to become a marathon runner, however, to experience benefits from a more active lifestyle. Start with what you can handle, like a 20 minute walk once a day. If you have bad joints, consider a low impact activity like swimming. Get Checked While it’s always important to be open with your physician about your health and your family’s health history, starting at age 40 it becomes crucial. e older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and other diseases. In fact, more than 65 percent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65, according to PCF. Your doctor can help you determine your risk of developing various diseases, and make recommendations accordingly. Regular doctor’s visits are also an important component of early diagnosis. While these tests may not be fun, they can save your life. If you have a history of prostate cancer in your family, consider a yearly rectal examination and a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test starting in your forties, or even earlier if your doctor recommends it. Broader awareness and understanding of the health risks associated with aging can save lives. So don’t shy away from talking to your friends and family about your health, and theirs.






In front of the New KC-Beach hotel on T-days (Tuesday and ursday) from 9 till 10. Come and join Serge and connect with the elements : Fire/sun, Mineral/earth, Air/ guaranteed not conditioned, and Water: and after float in the Sea and relax Watsu-style. So bring nothing but decent swim attire and 400 baht. No mats no props. Fellow teachers welcome at half-price. If you bring a new friend after two classes, get your one class free.

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012



Soi Solo, behind Starbucks Chaweng Beach Tel: 087-3811 137, 086-992 4772 Call 089-588 1249 or 081-569 5033

DANCE CLASSES IN ARGENTINE TANGO & SALSA Argentine Tango, the most sensual dance around Salsa, it’s fun, it’s “inClasses and workshops with international instructor in your area limited time. Ongoing weekly follow thru/practices/dances arranged Call: 089-9960406

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

AMAZON KINDLE Read thousands of books Chris 084 054 5510 Learn to dance to the sensual rhythms of Salsa, Bachata, Merengue Every Saturday 2.00pm or 3.30 pm at Big C, ai Dancing Studio. Bring socks or dance shoes. Beginners welcome. Call for more information: 08-36330365 or visit

GARDEN VILLA Stunning house, peaceful & serene, set in 1 rai tropical garden. 2 Bed. High standard, fully furnished. South of Samui, Laem Sor. Monthly 25,000 Bht. Contact 087 385 1663


ai lessons for foreigners. All levels. One to one instruction. Bt200/hour. Located between Hua anon/Tiger Zoo. Call Kaew 081-9289146.

SAMUI SOUND & LIGHT Musical instruments, small to medium-sized sound and lighting for rent. High quality equipment & friendly professional service 087-5050354

Planning a PARTY?

Call the Party Divas! for decorations, catering, music, venues. contact 084 8506220 or 081 8951978 FAH KITCHEN RESTAURANT ai, European and vegetarian foodGreat taste and friendly staff Maenam, opposite hot pot Tel: 077-247-541 LIFE COACHING & HYPNOSIS: Reach your goals and clear your life. English and French speaking, 081 749 35 09

Professional Hypnotherapist Available now on Koh Samui Quit Smoking-Lose WeightFears-Phobias-Panic Attacks Anxiety-Stress-Depression and many more treated Quickly and Effectively! Contact 084-931 3546 for more info ; Because it works!


Massage, beauty and nail care Home or resorts We will come to you

Call 0862374655

CALL 081 7874893

Koh Samui Chiropractor 30 years experience, house/resort calls available. Phone: 0828058195

No key money. Bt12,000/month including water, toilet. Located in Chaweng. Near all amenities and top tourist destinations. Call 077-601072.




FOR SALE Panasonic TV + DVD player Surround Sound, Subwoofer and high quality 3 tier wood stand Sell for 7,000 Baht Tel: 0881788443

Do you live on Koh Samui? You could take over the local branch of a growing real estate portal enterprise. We want your commitment not your money. Franchise like, we will provide all the infrastructure, the know-how and the contacts and will help you to establish your local real estate business. Should you be prepared for a long term engagement, we look forward to hear from you. Please e-mail to: stefan@

FullCapacity of 10 persons, Air conditioned, wifi, with projector located at Chaweng (near Boonchoo Ceramic) For info, please call 077-425-480

Baan Arisara Bophut 1-2 bedrooms luxury Fully Furnished Fully Equipped Apartments for rent with Free Wifi swimming pool, fitness, car parking, security 16000 to 30000 Baht PM call: 0871050841


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 publication of such advertisements. e 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 facilitate 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 | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012









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.

Good English level, outgoing & positive personality. Have own transport, Good computer knowledge. Base Salary of 12,000 THB, and very exciting commission & bonus structure. Contact us: 088 530 2828 or 088 530 2929 Email CV to

INTERNET CAFE Small investment, low risk! Fully fitted coffeeshop and internet , good location, 2 bedrooms, 1 year left on the contract, low rent, good opportunity to start your own business. 0862680548 LOOKING TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS? We place your business on a global market place via the internet. We take the photos, write the ads and market to pre-qualified clientele. See immediate results. Call 089 589 3907 RESTAURANT FOR RENT

Fully functional kitchen offered at a very low rent (no key money). Business needs a self motivated experienced professional to take over a prime location within the very busy Fisherman’s Village 0896491971




Beautiful range of colorful beach bags and home design (basket set, pouf, table mat) for wholesalers and hotels for further information: mobile: 0895 893 507/ 0854 786 494 WANTED TO BUY Looking to buy a kayak preferably an open kayak for two people with paddles.

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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 077458314.

MAID WANTED International family in Nathon area is looking for an English speaking help. Please call: 0870 21 21 42 WANTED TO BUY “Restaurant” Interested in buying Preferably on beach Open to all propositions. Please contact: 088-8214300

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

FOR SALE Many English magazines - cars, motorcycles, science, history and many more. For sale together or in small parcels Call: 0879365501

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ROOM FOR RENT BIG ROOM 64qm, Maenam town, 150m from the beach, 3BR, fridge, DVD, sofa & fan. Incl laundry service. MONTHLY-7500 B, WEEKLY-2500 B, DAILY-500 B. CALL 089-7255610



CLASSIFIED RATES: 25 THB PER LINE (all categories) / BOXED ADS quote available upon request SEND TO: Clip this classified coupon and send to: Samui Gazette, 187/1 T. Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320 or Email: or call 077-430789



SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

Famous books made into movies When asked about how many books have been published throughout history, no expert can give a definite answer for this question. True enough to say that to be included in the list of popular books is a priceless honor and of course a transitory blaze of glory to the authors. What more can we expect when by virtue of popularity a book is adapted on the wide screen? Here’s a sneak of ten popular books which film makers set eyes on: 1: THE LORD OF THE RINGS (1954)

“e Lord of the Rings”, a three volume fantasy adventure epic authored by J.R.R. Tolkien has acquired what is in all truth a justified air of victory as it is the

second best selling novel ever written with over 150 million copies sold. is highly praised novel is a cliff hanging trilogy, namely, “e Fellowship of the Ring”, “e Two Towers and the Return of the King. It elicits an indulgent escape from reality and takes the readers to the fictitious world of Middle Earth. Indulgently mindset to destroy the “One Ring” the weapon of evil, Frodo Baggins, the young hobbit vigilantly surpasses all the terrifying

2: A WALK TO REMEMBER (1950) Nicholas Sparks had to write to divert his depression and pity for his sister, who is dying from cancer, hence the absolutely romantic novel, “A Walk to Remember” was born. Driven by emotion, “A Walk to Remember” conveys giving in to destiny and holding on to the test of faith, hope and love. Landon Carter, an aimless, moody, and stunning hunk in Beaufont High departs from his glamorous world for the girl he

is least likely to fall for, the last person he would choose to date and the girl who is totally his opposite. Call it fate or destiny, Landon was left with no option but to seek Jamie’s helpful

3: BEASTLY (2006) Who doesn’t know the fairy tale, “Beauty and the Beast”? For the sake of modernity, Alex Finn wrote a new version of this tale focusing on the beast’s perspective which she entitled “Beastly”. “Transformation” this word would push readers to take grips to discover in this timely piece. Kyle Kingsbury- tall, blonde, rich and handsome son of Manhattan News anchor; Lindy

Owen- a plain girl with red hair, green eyes and crooked teeth and the daughter of a drug lord; Kendra Hilferty – the witch who was disgraced and punished to work as a servant in New York City; the blind tutor and his dog. Behold! eir lives are intertwined with all bewitching, amazing and mysterious unforgettable occurrences to create the reminiscent of the beast. Beastly, though this creature

4: SCHINDLER’S LIST (1952) In the midst of brutality from the death camps in the NAZI occupied Poland, Mr. Oskar Schindler outrageously risked his life and rescued more

than 1,100 Jews. is heroic deed of Mr. Schindler inspired omas Keneally to recollect the true story from the real survivors of the Holocaust and from Mr. Oskar chandler himself and to con-

obstacles and dark forces. e One Ring is bound to be returned to Mordor, the only place where it can be destroyed; unfortunately this place is also the Dark Lord’s lair. e search is a never-ending maze as the One Ring has the mind power to transfer from one owner to another and the Dark Lord’s wrath continues to destroy the Middle-Earth. Not surprisingly, Frodo’s quest is a treacherous labyrinth which doesn’t throw even a few crumbs of comfort.

unfolds in each chapter. Each page reveals the lamentations and sufferings of the Jews who

were tortured by the horrible iron hands of the unmerciful German troops. In between the torments, rises the flamboyant, German profiteer and womanizer Schindler in favor of the Jews. No guns, no armory, no troops, he won and saved thousands of lives. is documentary novel unravels Mr. Schindler’s sublime effort and innate confidence: an overdose of rare and precious principles that uncaps his bottled virtue.

hands, the chance that triggered the breath-taking realization that this guy who makes use of his looks to cope in school is irresistibly in love with the girl he once called old fashioned. Loving Jamie took him worlds away from the world he used to know, yet he lets the love take him worlds away. Not until, Jamie had to give in to destiny, they both need to face the twist of fate, tear drenched but they need to be strong and cling to their only hope.

5: THE SECRET GARDEN (1911) A novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett “e Secret Garden” depicts the childlike adventures of Mary Lennox, a rich, spoiled, unaffectionate and unwanted British young girl who was abandoned in their house in India. Being left alone she has to live with her uncle in England, the very place where Mary explores the unknown. is girl experiences an irresistible invitation to discover two big secrets in the house

where she lives. What lies behind the locked gate? Who weeps behind the locked door? e revelation of these secrets opens up a whole, new and colorful world yet elicits brand new secrets to keep.

appears, has a heart that grieves and repents and a love that is pure. Unfortunately this heart and love are boxed in the beast’s new found world. dense every single detail in the documentary novel entitled “Shcindler’s List” or more commonly known as “Schindler’s Ark” among the British. A significant part of history

6: ANGELS AND DEMONS (2000) “Angels and Demons” is a 2000 best-selling mysterythriller novel written by Dan Brown. Robert Langdon discovered a brotherhood called Illuminati. is anti-Christ underground movement creates a viral frenzy in the Vatican City, coinciding with the murder of a physicist, the death of the pope and the abduction of four cardinals. e Illuminati threatened to kill each cardinal every hour and then put the Vatican City to dust with the antimatter. Robert Langdon, a religious symbologist together with Vittoria, a scientist, raced against

time to unravel the clues and discover where the destructive weapon was hidden. e two heroes, Vittoria being the researcher of the dan-

gerous prototype of the antimatter and Robert being an expert tour guide must travel throughout Rome to discover the horrific truth behind the Illuminati’s wrath in merely 4 hours. Turn to page 15

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012


15 ISLAND NEWS How to reduce your home’s carbon footprint inside look in New York and International fashion with full references to designers, models, clothes and glamour, from the trendiest to the most expensive, name it. Andrea and Miranda symbolize the reality at the workplace where the boss is always right. As a whole, the depiction of work life, fashion statement and success of a newbie cast a spell to the readers.

8: TWILIGHT (2005) Stephanie Meyer undoubtedly justified her sensibility to enable the readers to thirst for more in her very own version of a vampire story, the “Twilight”. “A vampire story for people who don’t want vampire” is just one of the many unified notions for this novel about the impossible love, the family mystery and the extraordinary life of Edward Cullen and Isabella Swan.

2003, this delightful novel about landing on a first job with a devilish superior maintained to stay six months in the New York Times best-seller list. “e Devil Wears Prada” takes the readers to the hilarious world of Andrea Sachs. Her mishaps as assistant to Miranda Priestly, a high profile editor, a sophisticated woman, and an iron-clad fisted boss, elicit humor and inspiration to readers. is book also gives an Each page is savored that compels and touches the readers to feel like they are unwilling to give up hope for a seemingly doomed relationship. Bella’s undying love and Ed-

9: THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE (2003) Although “time travel” suggests a science fiction genre, Audrey Niffenegger successfully conveys a timeless love story beneath the title “e Time Traveler’s Wife”. Henry is 36 and Clare is 6 when they first met yet the truth is Henry is only 8 years older than Clare. Yes, Henry was plagued by time travel a genetic mutation

disorder, as he traveled he discovered much of the future and he could even go back in time. Clare on the other hand was love driven so she opted to live with Henry’s curse as part of her life. Henry be-

came her deepest secret. Clare’s struggles were devastating yet the love they shared was passionate and enduring. is wonderful novel also explores the multiple ages of Henry and how he foresees his death. “e Time Travelers Wife”, published in 2003 literally buries the readers and gets everyone immersed with Henry and Clare’s life, love and destiny.

10: TAKEN (2006) “Taken” a novel written by Edward Bloor tackles life two decades from today and lets the readers expect the unexpected. In 2035, what would life be? e rich will be twice as glorified and the poor will be twice as forsaken where kidnapping will become the menial job of the meek. On a New Year’s Eve, Charity Meyer is kidnapped, as it is a common situation and every rich kid is well trained on kidnapping protocols, initially she is very calm just waiting to be ransomed.

However, when she identified one of the kidnappers, she knows a ransom will not save her. She has no way out but to fight for herself. Scared as she is, there are even much scarier things she has to take to flee. Clueless, unguided and lost, who will save Charity Meyer? On the whole, it is quite obvious that these written works have become bedrock to the writers and a silent force of economic advancements: the books are bestseller; the films are highest-grossing. Nevertheless, the popularity

of the books make the films vulnerable to unfavorable reviews such as slaughtering the real story due to chronic rush of sequences, exaggerations and

Did you know that “e Devil Wears Prada” is Lauren Weisberger’s first written novel? Published in

ward’s hidden monstrous character lead the romance to a bloody twist. On the one hand for the sake of trivial pursuit, “Twilight” was rejected by 14 agents, right before it was published in 2005 with a print-run of 75,000 copies. “Twilight” peaked at Number 1 at New York Times Bestseller list and later went on to become the Bestselling Book in 2008.

overtones. e question is, what beholds the viewers’ eyes? (Source:

IT may be your dream to make a big impression on the world, but as far as the environment is concerned you’ll do everyone a favor by reducing your impact. In addition to recycling and composting, you can do your part for the planet by learning your carbon footprint and taking steps to improve it. A carbon footprint measures your contribution to

favor, as well as your health. If that’s not possible, consider taking public transportation or starting a carpool. You may find it convenient to share rides with neighbors who work close to you. At the very least, consider cars with greater fuel efficiency and avoid commute times that keep you idling in traffic.

global climate change, taking into consideration factors like the size of your house, the type of transportation you use, and the source of energy you use at home and work. You can calculate your carbon footprint online by visiting and clicking on “Carbon Calculator.” If you’re surprised by what you learn, don’t worry. You can make minor changes to your lifestyle that will reduce your carbon footprint (and save you money!). Here are some ideas to green your daily life: Turn It Off There’s no reason to keep your electronics and appliances running when you’re not using them. You may find you prefer living in a house without the din of a constantly droning television set. Better yet, unplug your electronics. Some products consume energy even if they are just plugged into the wall, including chargers for your phone and camera. According to ENERGY STAR, the average U.S. household spends $100 per year to power devices that are off or in standby mode. Commute Green Walk or bike to your job or school if you live close enough. You’ll do the planet a

Choose Clean Energy Building the infrastructure to make renewable energy sources like wind and solar a reality will take years. But you can make a responsible energy choice in your home now by using natural gas, the cleanest burning fossil fuel. When it comes to water heating, home heating, cooking, generators, and laundry, consider opting for natural gas. According to the Department of Energy, 90 percent of the natural gas delivered to your home is useful, as opposed to electricity, which loses more than two-thirds of its usable energy in its generation and transmission from the producer to your home. And the carbon footprint for a home using natural gas appliances, instead of electric appliances, is up to 46 percent smaller. Go Veg A United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report found that the meat in our diets produces more greenhouse gases than transportation or industry. If you can’t forgo burgers for life, consider a day without meat here or there. Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t need to be painful. Little changes can go a long way.



SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

e calcium myth exploded Rosanne Turner relocated to Koh Samui from Africa, a year ago, and is relishing the adventure. She is a trainer at Samui TEFL, as well as being a travel writer for several international publications. Share Rosanne’s discoveries of all things Eastern, curious and extraordinary.

Elements Resort in Taling Ngam TALING NGAM is a pristine, unspoilt bay, on Samui’s south-west coast, with views across to five limestone islands. Taling Ngam is a secluded part of the island, but Nathon is only a 20 minute drive away for shopping, and Lamai or Chaweng only about 30 minutes away for some nightlife. Spectacular sunsets can be observed from the beach, as the sun sets in the west with the Marine Park islands in the distant background. For those wanting a little tranquility, and a splash of pampering, you can do no better than Elements Boutique Resort and Spa, Phangka Bay. Elements Resort offers luxury in a tasteful way. Rather than being opulent, the décor focuses on the use of natural materials such as aged bamboo flooring, sandstone tiles, soft fabrics, hand-painted wooden screens and wall murals. Fresh orchids and feature walls add a splash of color. e accommodation is beautifully furnished in a contemporary Asian style, with large flop-in couches, interesting art pieces and light fittings. Besides all the essential facilities, extra touches such as soft cotton robes and beach bags with towels show the resort’s attention to detail. Elements Resort is small and intimate and offers three types of accommodation: Luxury beachfront villas, garden villas as well as studio and deluxe apartments, all of which offer ample space to call your own, rather than a cramped hotel-type room. Garden villas offer a choice of jacuzzi or private splash pool, and the beachfront villas offer private infinity pools as well as jacuzzi and salas with spectacular sunset views. In keeping with the resort’s approach to using natural elements, all swimming pools are fresh-water filtered, and no chlorine is added. A large swimming pool, ideal for doing laps is lined with comfortable padded sun beds and bean bags and leads to the beachfront, which is not shared with any other resorts, only a few local fishermen which adds to the beach’s charm. One of the resort’s key features is the Serenity Spa. Here wonderful treatments are offered in beautiful settings, by professional staff. Treatments include sessions in the herbal steam bath or jacuzzi, a variety of body scrubs, body wraps, massages, facials, mani and pedicures as well as an assortment of packages combining the above. I recently had the opportunity to experience the ‘Elation’ package, lasting a blissful three hours, and consisting of half an hour in the herbal steam room, followed by a body scrub, massage and finishing with a facial. My only regret is leaving my free gift of after-sun balm in the restaurant afterwards. Elements Resort offers a residents card, which entitles one to 25 percent discount on accommodation and meals, and 20 percent discount in the spa. e resort can be commended for this very generous offer to locals, and take this as an official ‘hint’ for other resorts and spas to follow in their forward-thinking footsteps. As the resort is located in a secluded part of the island, locals checking in for a night or two will feel as though they have left the island. With the discount card, ‘girlie day trips’ are far more affordable, so come ladies, why not escape to the south, for a spa and lunch session, followed by an afternoon chilling at the pool. at gets me thinking… I don’t have anything on this Saturday, and could do with a little ‘me time’.

WE are told the best source of calcium comes via cow’s milk. Like many stories, this one was put out by the publicists employed by the dairy industry to sell their products. e power of advertising is such that people begin to believe the propaganda in time. Cows produce milk from eating grass. is is excellent as we need to get out vitamins and minerals from a vegetable source, too. For the body to absorb nutrients like calcium, they have to come via a photosynthesis process. e nutrient is in the soil; it passes to the vegetables, we eat the vegetables and gain the benefit. A mineral that has been photosynthesized is said to be organic. One that hasn’t is in-organic. Limestone deposits are a rich source of calcium, but they are useless for humans, as we cannot break down the rock into a substance that can be digested and then metabolized. Cows get their calcium from their food which is fresh and grassy because it has gone through photosynthesis. at means the nutrients can be digested. Vitamins also need to be present in the ground to enable this process to take place. e animal needs lots of calcium, because it has large bones. Cow’s milk is produced to support young cows and not humans! Calves grow up to become cows which weigh on average between 700 and 1000 lbs. Seven hundred pounds converts to 318 kilos, and that’s a small cow. How many humans do you know of this weight? Cow’s milk is a superfood designed to feed a large animal, so it grows up quickly. It is not the same as mother’s milk. When humans start drinking the recommended three glasses of milk per day, they begin to put on weight, just like the calf. Many people find milk difficult to digest. is is true of Asians who often lack the digestive enzyme, lactase. Milk produces much mucus in the system that clogs up the digestion. Let's return to the calcium issue. Calcium and magnesium are antagonists, but in order to digest calcium, you need magnesium in the correct ratio which is 2:1. Here’s the problem, the cow absorbs these things for itself or the calf, but not for the human; there is a deficiency in magnesium, which makes cow’s milk a poor calcium source. Another factor is the earth itself. To absorb the essential vitamins and minerals means they

have to be in the soil in the first place. Old farming methods demanded the field be left fallow to rest between crops, whilst the preferred fertilizer was cow manure. is has stopped because it does not suit the industrialized nature of large scale farming. Cow dung has been replaced by chemical fertilizers, usually of a petrochemical nature. e industry says artificial fertilizers are necessary because of the need to increase crop yields. is is not true. In the current situation, where factory farms separate livestock from plant crops; it is just too expensive to move the methane rich animal manure to the plants themselves. is has reached such a serious condition that most land is now so depleted, that it won’t produce anything without the aid of these artificial stimulants. Six micronutrients and 7 macro are required in the production of the popular nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer. is artificial nitrogen is causing monumental problems; it is a leading source of nitrous oxide. is far outstrips carbon dioxide as a purported cause of the greenhouse effect. To remedy the issue they have to put the vitamin/ mineral mix back into the soil, but there is a serious problem. e new petrochemical products are inert, whilst the old waste form, coming from an animal origin is organic. It’s the old story of natural versus un-natural. e soil is becoming nutrient poor because we are feeding it un-natural substances. is alarming trend did not start yesterday. As evidence sperm counts in males, in the US, have been declining since the 1930s. A study that appeared in the Journal “Environmental Health Perspectives” showed a sperm density count of 113 million per deciliter in 1940 which had dropped to 66 million in 1990. is is a decrease of almost 50 percent. e Journal attributed this to environmental factors already mentioned. In short don’t depend on milk as a source of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Eat fresh, green leafy vegetables from an organic producer. ese still hold adequate amounts of essential nutrients. For calcium, eat tuna and sardines because the bones of such fish provide an excellent, digestible, source. Also, take a superior quality, non-synthetic food supplement just to make sure you have got the equation right.


SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012


Letter to Samui from the roof of the world I am writing this as the sun sets over the Himalayas, with a fantastic pink hue over the incredible peak of Annapurna, standing at a height of 8,090 meters above sea-level, and only a little lower in height than Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, and just visible in the far distance Westwards. It is my first visit to Nepal, but I am sure it will not be my last. On arrival at Kathmandu Airport, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal one is immediately struck by the ex- (Source: treme poverty and unemployment, that the airport price was always double for both yet everyone is smiling and speak English to a totally stamps and postcards. unexpected degree. e post is collected there on average, once a Considering the high cost of entry visas and the week and that in the capital, and at its only airport. billions of dollars that must flow into this country I can only reflect on the ability to buy stamps and for what must be a truly unique tourist experience, postcards at any time in Samui, day or night, from one cannot but wonder where all this money goes. any branch of 7/11 or Family Mart. But that is of Clearly, it does not filter down to the people in course not only what matters. the towns and countryside, so it must be siphoned Pharmacies here are dotted around, but do not off at the top. look very inviting or well stocked. Butchers and It seems that reforms started by the King, were meat outlets have meat displayed on tables, hardly abruptly halted after the Palace Coup in 2001, never above the reach of an average sized canine. to be seen again. It is such a pity - the people here Fish shops I never saw, even though there are deserve far, far better. e roads are atrocious, the some large lakes not far away, but of course there is no coastline. Air travel is interesting. Fares are reasonable, and one can shop around for up to almost 50% reduction on the quoted price. Reminded me so poignantly of Bangkok Airway's sympathetic fares to Koh Samui. So, why would anyone want to come to Nepal? e people are incredibly friendly and polite. e scenery is world famous, hosting most of the world's highest peaks. People come for fantastic trails and trekking, Photo by Jacques Herremans and many more for climbing, part of the way up traffic in the capital, Kathmandu, is totally chaotic, some of the most famous mountains in the world. with potholes everywhere. e shops are full of artie adventurous can experience some of the most sanal and other wares, but it is almost as if in a time exciting mountain flights anywhere on earth - Lukla warp. perhaps being the most famous, or infamous, after Samui seems totally sophisticated by comparison, several TV programs have branded it as the most but the level of proficiency in English here is far betdangerous airport in the world. Maybe next time, ter - something that the tourism industry in Samui for me. has got to address very soon, or they will start to lose I see that Samui will be a welcome relief, and out. seem very civilized after a taste of life here, but the How can a resort in the north of the island, with country deserves a visit and our support. nearly 200 rooms, only have one English speaking One day, maybe, there will be a spring revolution manager, who normally goes off duty at 1 pm, so any queries after that hour are met with only ai, either in person or over the telephone. Samui is blessed with a postal collection every weekday, and if one is desperate, one can take letters and parcels to the main office in Nathon, but here in Kathmandu, firstly, the post office is only open from 10 am to 4 pm, even for the sale of stamps, so here I am, with lots of lovely cards to send, but totally unable to find any stamps to attach! I have carried them to the second City, here too, as these lovely people will not always sit Pokhara, and I shall be taking them back to the capiback and see all the money flowing into the country, tal with me. disappearing into Swiss Bank accounts and new cars Worse still, they did have a few stamps at the and property ownership at the top. bookstore at the airport, but they stated with a smile Time will tell.


see that Samui will be a welcome relief, and seem very civilized after a taste of life here, but the country deserves a visit and our support.”

17 Great tips for heart health month FOR most people, February conjures up images of red hearts, candy and messages to loved ones. But, did you know February is also American heart month? Now is a great time to focus beyond valentine hearts and pay attention to your actual heart. As the leading killer of Americans, cardiovascular disease affects one in three people in the U.S. -- approximately 81 million people. And, the Amer-

you can eat to lower cholesterol and other ways to take care of your heart. • Eat more of the “good stuff”: Be conscious of what you are eating and make an effort to incorporate heart healthy foods into your diet. For example, fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and low-fat dairy are all good choices for a heart healthy diet. Eating more fish like salmon, which contains omega3 fatty acids, may also help re-

ican Heart Association predicts that this number will increase to 116 million people, or 40.5 percent of Americans, by 2030. ankfully, there are simple steps you can easily incorporate into your day-to-day life that can make a big difference, according to Susan J. Crockett, PhD, RD, FADA and leader of the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. “Genetics does play a role in cholesterol and overall heart health,” says Crockett. “While being aware of one’s family history is certainly important, there are lifestyle changes you can make and foods you can eat as part of an overall healthy diet that can decrease the risk factors for heart disease and may help lower cholesterol.” ere are several ways people can begin to make a difference in their personal heart health and cholesterol levels, according to Crockett. To help make your lifestyle more heart-healthy, try to remember Crockett’s “HEART” tips. • Have a list: Keep a running list of health to-dos, such as regular cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, as well as questions for your physician. Find out and jot down foods

duce the risk of heart disease. • Aim for more whole grain oats: When making food choices, look for whole grain oats or whole grain oat cereal that contains beta glucan, like Cheerios. Beta glucan is a natural soluble fiber found in oats that helps reduce bad cholesterol. To reduce the risk of heart disease, you need three grams of soluble fiber daily from whole grain oat foods as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. • Run, walk, skip, jump: However you choose to exercise, just make sure it is a part of your daily routine. • Try healthy swaps: Healthier options are out there, so make the switch. For instance, instead of full fat mayonnaise, spread smashed avocado on your sandwich, which is high in healthy fats that help your heart. Also, when eating out, don’t be afraid to ask your server for healthier preparation methods, like steamed and broiled instead of fried, or ingredient substitutes like whole grain pasta. Taking a few moments each day to make heart healthy decisions can make a significant difference in your future.

FEATURE 18 Green initiatives put in place at Centara Villas Samui

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

“e green initiatives put in place at the resort are part of the ongoing commitment by Centara Hotels & Resorts to reduce and reuse energy and wastage and help maintain the locations in which the resorts are located.” RENOVATION of all villas at Centara Villas Samui has now been completed at a cost of Bt27.7 million and includes green initiatives to help maintain the pristine setting of the resort. A similar renovation has also been recently completed at sister property Centara Villas Phuket under a program to standardize across the two resorts. Located on the southern tip of Koh Samui, near the traditional fishing village of Hua anon, Centara Villas Samui has its own private frontage on Natien Beach with a total of 102 Southern ai style villas set on the hillside and beach. A complete internal refurbish-

ment of all the deluxe, spa and pool villas has been carried out to give a brighter and more contemporary ambience, and 40 of the garden villas have been reroofed using environmentally sustainable materials with insulation inside the roof spaces to reduce the electricity consumption. All villas have been equipped with heat exchange systems to use the unused heat from the air conditioners to make hot water. e green initiatives put in place at the resort are part of the ongoing commitment by Centara Hotels & Resorts to reduce and reuse energy and wastage and help maintain the locations in which

Lose yourself on Samui (An article by JOHN BORTHWICK, e West Australian)

the resorts are located. Centara Villas Samui has been certified by EarthCheck, the world's leading sustainable travel

and tourism certification organisation, in recognition of the resort's environmental protection

practices. Centara Hotels & Resorts is ailand’s largest operator of hotels, with 38 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in the Kingdom. A further 17 resorts in the Maldives, Philippines, Vietnam, Bali Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Mauritius Indian Ocean, brings the present total to 55 properties. Brands and properties within Centara ensure that specific categories such as couples, families, individuals, and meetings and incentives groups will all find a hotel or resort that is appropriate to their needs. Centara operates 25 branches of spa cenvaree, one of ailand’s most luxurious and innovative spa brands, and the company’s Kids’ Club is available at all the familyfriendly resorts to ensure that the youngsters and teens are taken care of. Centara Hotels & Resorts also operates two state-of-the-art convention centres in Bangkok, and one in Udon ani in northeastern ailand. For more information and reservations, please contact tel. +662 101 1234 ext 1 or e-mail to or visit our website at Facebook: Twitter:

KOH SAMUI floats in the Gulf of ailand like a tiny Tasmania that's gone troppo. If you visited years ago as an island-hopper, packing not much more than a sarong and a change of mind, be prepared for a shock - Samui's past, present and future, telescoped into now, greet you as you step off the ferry or plane. GULF OF THAILAND "Our first tourists had free accommodation. ey had to sleep at the temple because we had no hotel," Khun Ruengnam, past president of the Koh Samui Tourism Association, told me as he recalled the first backpackers who crossed from the mainland in the early 1970s

9000 aircraft arrivals. THE BEACHES So, you arrive, draw breath and, slipping between the sepia past and the Seven-Eleven present, head for what drew those original trippers - the beaches. Samui still has them galore, with the east coast ones generally the best. Long, broad Chaweng Beach and the smaller Lamai are the most popular. eir waters are clear and calm, although the sands are thronged with tourists and hawkers. e west coast is quieter but the shallows are often coralstrewn. Uncrowded Lipa Noi is for me the standout western beach, but keep exploring side roads and you can find less trammelled shores such as Laem Nam or Natien. ere's a 51km roundisland road which, eventually, you'll ThepieratBophutisthegatewaytoatown want to take thathasbeencompletelytransformed. because and found an island without there's just so much of even roads. Chaweng Beach's cafe-bouSo much for the past. In just tique-massage- pizzeria-pirate four decades, this once-forgotclobber culture that one can ten fishing settlement 55km off handle before needing to get Surat ani in the western Gulf back in touch with ailand. HIRE YOUR TRANSPORT has become, after Phuket, aiSelf-driving here is a breeze land's second most popular is(while the taxis are pure banland destination. ditry) so rent a car, then head Last year Samui drew almost off to Samui's hideaway bays 800,000 visitors, 75 per cent of and other attractions. them foreigners, and some Turn to page 20

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

AACROSS 1. Type of eclipse 6. *1941's "How Green ___ My Valley" 9. Drink too much 13. Being of service 14. Gilligan's home 15. Chicago's ORD 16. Smelling _____, pl. 17. In the past 18. Type of beam, also an acronym 19. *Best Picture nominee set in Jackson, MS 21. "Ripley's Believe It or Not" showpiece, e.g. 23. Accused by some of breaking up e Beatles 24. Obama to Harvard Law School, e.g. 25. Bud or chum 28. Cough syrup balsam 30. To mark with spots 35. ____ vera 37. *Nominated for role in "Moneyball" 39. Like sound of pinched nose 40. Chess piece that looks like castle 41. Barges 43. Circus venue 44. Reason by deduction 46. "e Iliad," e.g. 47. *Mechanically-inclined film orphan 48. Seaman or sailor 50. Bus ____ 52. Room in a house 53. Like acne-prone skin 55. Charlotte's creation 57. Hotel meeting place 60. *"e Descendants" nominee 64. Wavelike patterned silk 65. Make imperfect 67. Home to BYU 68. Curving outward 69. "___ to Joy" 70. Pivoted about a fulcrum 71. It usually contains the altar in a church 72. Women's organization 73. Rub out





DOWN 1. A deadly sin 2. Beehive State 3. World's longest river 4. Even though, arch. 5. Wish ill 6. Smack or sock 7. Leo month 8. It has no back and no arms 9. Bangkok inhabitant 10. Kiln for drying hops 11. e hunted 12. "Ever" to a poet 15. *He played Cold War spy 20. Grommets, e.g. 22. Milk ___, popular at the movies 24. Coroner's performance 25. *Place of Woody's midnight magic 26. Unaccompanied 27. Used for washing 29. Often spread in the classroom 31. Beaten by walkers 32. Imposter 33. *Best Actress winner in "Tootsie" 34. "Crocodile Rock" performer 36. Augmented 38. Foolish person 42. Frown with anger 45. *"e Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" 49. Band event 51. "We the ______" in the Constitution 54. "30 Rock" character 56. Emerald Ash _____ pest 57. "Wolf" in French 58. Great masters' medium, pl. 59. Strong desire 60. *It works with the cast on films 61. Most luminous star 62. Day before, pl. 63. Yesteryear 64. Earned at Sloan or Wharton 66. "Much ___ About Nothing" (Answers on Page 20)

ISLAND NEWS 20 US-Thailand Treaty of Amity still in effect

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

Allows US citizens to own business 100 percent in Thailand AMERICANS or American Congress may not enact disof 50 percent American direccompanies may wholly own “Most of the accounting criminating laws against ai tors and a minimum of 51 perbusinesses in ailand and enfirms. cent of shares must be held by firms contacted on Koh gage in business on the same eir profits may be freely recitizens. Samui was either not aware American basis as would a ai national. mitted to ailand and their asUnder the Treaty, ailand A treaty between the United sets may not be expropriated. American investment of this Treaty or erroneously restricts States and ailand, contrary to Most of the accounting firms only in the following fields of stated that the treaty was no business: what most account firms on the contacted on Koh Samui was eiisland will tell you, is still in efther not aware of this Treaty or 1. Communications; 2.Translonger in effect. fect. erroneously stated that the portation; 3. Fiduciary funcNo reason was given for e Treaty of Amity and treaty was no longer in effect. tions; 4. Banking involving Economic Relations Between this lack of knowledge, but No reason was given for this depository functions; 5. Exthe Kingdom of ailand and lack of knowledge, but the ploitation of land and natural the number of Americans in- resources; 6. Owning land; and number the United States of America of Americans investing vesting on the island is was a treaty signed at Bangkok in Koh Samui is rather low. 7.Domestic trade in agricultural on May 29, 1966. One firm that is very familiar products. rather low.” e treaty allows for Ameriwith Amity companies is Sune treaty also allows for can citizens and businesses incorporated in the U.S, or in ailand to maintain a majority shareholding or to wholly own its company in ailand, and thereby engage in business on 1

the same basis as would a ai national. ese companies are also exempt from most of the restrictions on foreign investment imposed by the Foreign Busi-

ness Act of 1999. e treaty in effect allows for an equality of benefits between the countries. American companies who wish to be covered by the Treaty of Amity should have a minimum

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Solutions for Sudoku and Crossword


SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012


Tropical Murphy’s Pool League

SEA SO N 18 B EG INS League Table


Division 1 POS 1 On’s Livewire 2 Tam’s Bar 3 Lord’s Bar 4 Bamboo Bar 5 Chillin Bar 6 Jack’s Bar 7 Barb’s 8 Spicy Bar

P 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1

W 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

L 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1

F 5 5 4 0 0 2 1 1

A 1 1 2 0 0 4 5 5

+4 4 2 0 0 -2 -4 -4

PTS 3 3 3 0 0 0 0 0

Division 2 POS 1 Aussieland 2 Bamboo 2 3 Premier Sports 4 Tam’s 2 5 White Bar 6 International 7 Jordan’s 8 Samui Rock Cafe

P 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

W 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

D 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0

L 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1

F 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1

A 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5

+4 2 2 0 0 -2 -2 -4

PTS 3 3 3 1 1 0 0 0

Division 3 POS 1 Ostaria 2 Cosmic 3 Hush 4 My Bar 5 The Hut 6 The Office 7 Tropical Murphy’s 8 Queen’s Pub

P 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

W 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

D 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0

L 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

F 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 2

A 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4

+2 0 0 0 0 0 0 -2

PTS 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 0

12th Bkk Chess Open set in April THE Bangkok Chess Club and the ailand Chess Association have the honor of inviting all Chess Players to participate in the 12th Bangkok Chess Club Open 2012 from 13th to 19th of April 2012 in Bangkok, ailand. Tournament will be held in the 5-star Dusit ani Bangkok Hotel. Organizers are looking forward to attracting more than 250 players from 50 countries with the tournament expected to be the biggest and strongest ever held in ailand. e individual tournament, divided into two groups, is open to all players. e Open category is for all players while the Challenger category is for players rated below 2100 or unrated (ratings based on FIDE or ai ELO ratings – other national ratings will be validated by the organizer). When registering, players must indicate in which group they wish to play. FIDE (International Chess Federation) rules and regulations shall apply and results will be sent

for FIDE rating calculations, and are eligible for FIDE title norms. Both categories will be played using the Swiss System, with 9 rounds for Open, and 7 rounds for Challenger. For the pairings, a Swiss Manager program will be used. e matches shall be conducted according to the schedule, which will be made known to the respective players before the start of the tournament. Each player is accorded with a time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move and five minutes before the games start, the Chief Arbiter shall make the announcement accordingly. If any player is not present within an hour after the game is started, he shall lose by default. Players are not allowed to bring mobile phones or other electronic devices to the tournament hall, any violation shall result in loss of game. Officials and players are required to be smartly attired at all times while in the playing hall. ere will also be a ‘Winner-

takes-all’ blitz tournament with an entry fee of Bt100 but is free for the GMs. e Open champion will receive Bt100,000 cash prize and prizes will also be given to those in the top 10 as well 5 best ais and certificates for 3 Best Juniors and Best Lady player. e champion in the Challenger category will receive Bt15,000 and those in the top 5 will also get prizes as well certificates for 3 Best Juniors and Best Lady. Organizers say under ai law, 5 percent tax must be deducted from the prize money and all the prizes mentioned are in ai Baht. e tournament chief arbiter will be IA Markku Kosonen of Finland and deputy chief arbiter will be IA Panupand Vijjuprabha. In the event of dispute the Chief Arbiter’s decision is final. e tournament venue will be Napalai Ballroom of the Dusit ani Bangkok Hotel located at 946 Rama IV Road, Bangkok 10500, ailand.

THE Tropical Murphy’ssponsored Koh Samui Monday Pool League started its 18th season last Feb. 20 with 11 of 12 scheduled matches completed in all three divisions. Last season’s Division 1 winner Tam’s Bar waylaid Spicy Bar in Soi Reggae, 51, while Division 2 champ Barbs now promoted to the league’s premier division, faced a reinforced On’s Livewire team, also in Soi Reggae and lost, 1-5. Chillin Bar and Bamboo Bar decided to postpone their scheduled match in Lamai and Lord’s Bar edged the visiting Jack’s Bar team from Maenam, 4-2. In Division 2, Soi Reggae-based Aussieland defeated Samui Rock Café, 5-1, Bamboo 2 outscored Jordan’s 4-2, International lost to Premier Sports Bar in Soi Green Mango while Tam’s 2 was held to a draw by another new team White Bar. e newly-revived Division 3 featured matches between Queen’s Pub and

Ostaria, with Ostaria winning 4-2. Ghost Roadbased, e Hut and Cosmic drew, Bangrak-based e Office and Hush Bar, and Chaweng Beach Road-based Tropical Murphy’s and My Bar from Maenam also drew their respective Week 1 matches. League coordinator Ian announced in the league’s website most teams have already received their packs and results can be sent by sms Monday evening to 0810810340 and hand the completed form to any of the three collection points: Premier Sports Bar in Bangrak; On’s Livewire in Soi Reggae; and Jordan’s Bar in Maenam. With the addition of a number of teams and strong players, the island’s longrunning pool league is expected to be more exciting and worth watching. Schedule of the Knockout Cup competition, a side event of the league now sponsored by Tam’s Bar, is expected to commence in four weeks’ time.

2011 WINNERS - Tournament organizers, arbiters and the winners of the 2011 ailand Chess Open pose after the awarding ceremony..



SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

Samui street art competition held A STREET art competition, designed to bring out the talent of local artists as well as beautify the surroundings was held recently at the Fisherman’s Village in Bophut. Five local artists competed with their own original design and painted a portion of a concrete fence at the Laan ong Road in the joint community project organized by Namcha Tea House and supported by Khun Wison of the e Pier Restaurant, Khun Chanai of the Tessaban, Khun Nopphatep, Khun Panat, Khun Chalo and Khun Chrismas. ree of the artists were adjudged winners with Fisherman’s Village tattoo shop and art gallery owner Khun

STREET ART WINNER - Samui street art competition winner Khun Kokiat (2nd from right) from Fisherman’s Village poses with (righ to left); Australian artist Tracy Verdugo, who judged the competition; Khun Chanai of the Tessaban; and Namcha Tea House owner and event sponsor Michelle Ho. e project was a joint community effort and supported by Khun Wison of the Pier Restaurant, Khun Nopphatep, Khun Panat, Khun Chalo and Khun Chrismas.

Kokiat winning the Bt20,000 top prize. e competition coincided with the ongoing Feb. 3 – 29, 2012 painting exhi-

Michelle (third from left) with the local artists

bition of noted Australian artist Tracy Verdugo, who also served as the judge for the street art competition.

e works of the local artists at Laan ong road

Khun Kokiat working on his winning creation

Second prize winner

ird prize winner

SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012



ESSENCE OF TRANG The southern Thai province of Trang, tucked away on the Andaman Coast between Krabi and Satun on the Malaysian frontier, is rich in history, providing a fascinating showcase for the south’s flourishing Sino-Thai cultural traditions, architecture and food – and the proud locals love to prepare and share it with visitors. ITS lovely and unspoiled coastline consists of more than forty offshore islands. Trang is a place to experience the delights of the deep south in an authentic and relaxing atmosphere. Culture and Way of Life Trang – formerly called ap iang – is a quietly prosperous town with a long history as a trading port dating back more than a thousand years to the time of the Srivijayan empire. While rural Trang is decidedly southern ai in character, Trang city retains a distinct Sino-ai feel. is is manifested in the population, in the architecture of the shop houses, Chinese shrines, and Trang’s distinctive cuisine. In its present incarnation, the town only developed as an important commercial centre in the 19th century due primarily to the settlement of Han Chinese migrants from southern China. For more than a century its people have prospered from extensive rubber plantations, rich fisheries and fertile agricultural land, attaining one of the highest provincial per capita incomes in ailand. Chuan Leekpai, who became leader of the Democrat Party and prime minister of ailand between 1992-95 and 1997-2001, is a native of Trang. Chuan put Trang on the tourism map. A third generation Sino-ai, Chuan was born in Trang in 1938, the son of a local teacher of modest means. Now retired and a popular fa-

ther figure for the democrat party, he remains one of Trang’s favorite sons. A Tour of Historic Routes by Tuk Tuk e town of Trang is relatively spread out. is makes a walking tour of the various attractions quite time consuming. Fortunately the tuk tuk hua gop, a local style of motorized three-wheeler that has been around for at least 60 years, and which – viewed from the front – looks rather like a frog, is readily available. Sacred Sites Trang is a model of cosmopolitan coexistence. ai Buddhist temples, Chinese shrines and a distinguished old Christian church exist side by side, reflecting the city’s culturally diverse past. ere are several Chinese shrines scattered across the city including Kuiyong La and Paokong. Both are a riot of red and gold lanterns, characters and san jiao images from the Chinese triple religion of Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. amkong Tia joss house in the north of the city is particularly worth a visit for its rich Sino-ai symbolism, including a leaping carp surmounting the elaborate entrance. In the centre of town, amid some fine examples of restored Sino-Portuguese shop houses along Ratchadamnoen Road, are shops selling red paper lanterns, brass incense burners, figurines of Mahayana Buddhist and Daoist deities including kitchen god al-

tars. All Trang’s joss houses are usually wreathed in smoke from burning incense coils and joss sticks, adding palpably to the mystical atmosphere. To the north of the city centre, on busy Huai Yod Road, the ap iang Church of Christ is the spiritual heart of Trang’s Christian community. e architecture of the attractive, ochre-coloured building evinces the spirit of the former straits settlements of Penang and Melaka (Malacca), and provides another cultural pointer for Trang’s former cultural and commercial links.

ai eravada Buddhist temple architecture is represented by Wat Nikrodharam and Wat Kaphang Surin. Both are close to the still wa-

laughing Buddha, the much-venerated Phra Sangkajjayana image, and a golden Guanyin Goddess of Mercy statue on a tall plinth that overlooks the entire town.

ters of Kaphang Surin, a lake popular for picnics to the north of town. More heterogeneous, and a fine symbol of Trang’s cultural ‘unity in diversity’, Wat Matchimaphum – known locally as Wat Na Khao – brings a Mahayana element to the eravada tradition by housing a large

Kantang Port Just 22 kilometres southwest of Trang at the mouth of the Trang river, the old port town of Kantang, founded by Governor Khaw Sim Bee at the end of the 19th century, still houses Trang’s lak mueang (city pillar), the traditional spiritual heart of the city, Turn to page 24



SAMUI GAZETTE | Feb. 24 - Mar. 8, 2012

E s se nce o f. . . From Page 23 locals believe it enshrines Trang’s prosperity and well-being. It is honored by the locals with offerings of incense and puang malee jasmine garlands. Heritage Homes & Museums Kantang is distinguished by a number of old Sino-Portuguese buildings. ese reflect the port’s former importance in the Andaman sea trade between Phuket, Penang and Melaka. e most interesting of these, at 1 Khai Phitak Road, is the Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahitsaraphakdi Museum, a two- storey wooden building that houses a waxwork figure of a celebrated early 20th century governor of Trang, together with a period collection of his furniture, pictures and personal possessions. TRANG CULINARY TRADITIONS Trang is well known for its various epicurean delights which, like the city itself, have developed from a happy fusion of Fujianese-Hokkien cuisine with southern ai traditions including the use of coconut milk, searingly hot phrik ki noo chillis, peanut sauce and the odiferous but tasty sataw bean. Perhaps the best time to sample Trang food is at breakfast. Nowhere else in ailand offers the unusual combination of tender roast pork served with a choice of up to 25 different types of dim sum, known locally as tae tiam. Trang roast pork, or moo yang Trang, is cooked according to a special local recipe which involves marinating the pork in a mixture of local herbs before spit-roasting it to a point where the skin is crispy and firm, while the meat remains juicy and succulent. e people of Trang think sufficiently highly of this dish to include it in their provincial motto, part of which translates: “home of generous people and delicious roast pork." Deep fried patongko Chinese dough strips or ja kuai deep fried bread served with bak kut teh pork bone soup is another popular breakfast favorite. Locals accompany their breakfasts with thick, black kopi coffee served with chasers of weak Oolong tea (nam cha) often grown locally in nearby Ranong province. For main meals, Trang residents favor a spicy-hot, sour curry called kaeng tai pla made with fermented

fish innards. A more conventionally delicious dish is kaeng lueang yot maphrao made with the heart of the coconut palm. Other local standbys are yam makheua yao or long green aubergines grilled for a smoky taste and served with half-boiled eggs and fresh mint; sataw pad koong or shrimps fried with sataw beans, and marabitter gourd diced and fried with egg. First-time visitors to Trang should be aware that breakfast dishes are delivered to the table without a specific order being placed. Instead, customers should simply help themselves to whatever they desire, then when the bill is called for the total will be calculated on what has actually been consumed, not what has been presented. Another ever-popular local deli-

cacy is Trang cake, which every ai or Malaysian visitor takes home as a souvenir snack. is is believed to be based on European-style sponge cakes, but without sugar frosting. e ai name is kehk, not the more usual khanom, and they come in several flavors including banana, coconut, pandan leaf, butter or sam rot — three flavors. Boxes of these popular delicacies are piled high in food shops across Trang, but especially at the bus and train stations for visitors to take home to their families. NEARBY ISLANDS Kantang is a major departure point for a series of gorgeous, unspoiled Andaman island that lie just off the Trang coast. Alternatively, these islands can be reached by boat from Pak Meng pier some 31 kilometres due west of Trang city, in the Hat Chao Mai National Park. e coastal scenery is striking, with mangrove creeks, karst cliffs and outcrops, hidden caves and beaches, as well as a wealth of wildlife that is under park protection. Rare dugongs can sometimes be spotted in the shallow waters and seagrass beds between the mainland and the islands.

Other mammals to watch out for include sea otters and dolphins at sea, and langur, macaque, pangolin and wild boar on land. Ko Hai (also known as Ko Ngai), is a tiny, beautiful island located about 15 kilometres from Pak Meng Pier. As tropical islands go, Ko Ngai has just about everything – a shady, green interior, lovely white powdery sand, warm, shallow waters and good coral reefs swarming with fish not far offshore. Activities, apart from just sunbathing, swimming and relaxing in a hammock, include sea-kayaking and snorkelling. Ko Muk (Pearl Island) lies 14 kilometres south of Pak Meng Pier. Until fairly recently, a remote back-packer destination with a small resident population of chao lae sea gypsies, lovely Ko Muk is fast developing into a more upmarket destination. e main beach on the island, Hat Sai Yao, offers crisp, clean white sand. e east coast of the island is undeveloped by tourism and remains the domain of the local fisher folk including chao lae. Ko Kradan lies 20 kilometres southwest of Pak Meng Pier and is just one of the Andaman sea pearls lying off Trang’s coast. e main draw of Kradan, apart from its natural beauty and isolation, are the fine coral reefs just offshore which offer excellent snorkelling opportunities – as well as a unique opportunity to get married underwater. Just off Trang’s Laem Tasae, and readily accessible by boat from Tasae Pier, Ko Sukorn is another undeveloped gem along the Trang coast. e island is home to a community of around 2,500 ai Muslims, mainly fishing families, but also farmers growing coconuts, rice and rubber in the island’s fertile interior. e island has simple bungalow accommodation, as well as shops, restaurants and cafés, but as yet no upscale resorts. For those keen to get away from it all, it’s an ideal place to experience some of the relaxed lifestyle of Trang’s offshore islanders as well as enjoy the fine golden sands and swimming or snorkelling offshore.

FLOOD RELIEF HELP - Christoph Albrecht (1st row, left), executive assistant manager of Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui led management in presenting flood relief funds to staff with homes in Bangkok. Tassanai Souphavong (1st row, 3rd left), cost controller, Wannisa Muenngew (1st row, 4th left), florist supervisor and Napat Jina (1st row, 5th left), chief storekeeper were witnesses as staff received the authorized amount of Bt13,000 per person.

ANNIVERSARY PARTY - Zico's Brazilian Grill & Bar is celebrating its “9th Year Anniversary” on Sunday, 25 March 2012, party starts at 6 p.m. Enjoy unlimited Churrascaria BBQ of over 17 varieties with great selections for salad bar and our delicious desserts. Spectacular live Samba dance show from Brazil, welcome drink, live music and bartender show.

NATIONAL CHILDREN’S DAY AT CENTARA -Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui’s chief engineer Pairoj Nawan (5th from left) and director of human resources Kanyaporn Kongfoo (6th from left) joined with hotel staff on a Children’s Day visit to Watklang School recently. Watklang School is one of 10 schools in Koh Samui selected to take part in the "Low Carbon School Project." e project is supported by the municipality and local businesses with an aim to make students learn to preserve the environment and extend their knowledge from school to community. e Centara team received a warm welcome from Arjan Tephbanjong Poolswat (5th from right), a teacher at Wat Klang School.

Samui Gazette Edition 41  

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