Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Food on Wheels; Balut, Philippines street food par excellence

After last month's post about bread at Panagsama beach in Moalboal, we're back in the Philippines for another episode of 'Food on Wheels'. 
This month with probably one of the most controversial street foods around South East Asia; Balut, it's considered a delicacy in the Philippines. The pictures were taken during an early evening stroll along Dumaguete's promenade along the ocean in early June.

Balut eggs

Balut eggs on display, marked to know their age

In case you don't know what it is; A balut is a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. Pictures of an opened balut can be found here.
Balut comes in various 'ages', from a few days to possibly 15 days, which may be the limit of when the eggs still can be eaten.

Balut eggs being looked after

Balut eggs being looked after and covered up

It's very popular around the Philippines although not all Pinoy will eat it. Over the years I've eaten a lot of 'weird' and strange things and in general I like to try new things. Balut however is something where I don't have that urge to try it out!

Enjoying balut

Plenty of folk enjoying balut in the evening at Dumaguete's promenade 

If and when in the Philippines, you probably will stumble over balut sooner or later. If you feel adventurous, go for it! I would love to hear how you liked your balut.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 23rd July, 2014

Today's weather;

It's grey and cloudy and I can only hope that it stays dry, since the yearly Kila Amphur event is taking place this week in Baan Namuang and today both our oldest children are participating, plus a couple of hundred others! Current temp at 7am is 28C

Samui airport landing strip

This is the Samui airport landing strip, taken from a dirt road that goes around the landing strip and is closed every time an aircraft lands or takes off. One of the entrances/exits is near the old airport arrival/departures hall

Yesterday saw a cloudy but dry day besides a trace of rain around noon. Max temp reached 30C

The forecast shows a breeze to slightly stronger wind after the weekend with occasional showers.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 22nd July, 2014

Today's weather;

There's a clouded sky over Koh Samui this morning with a light breeze and it's dry. Current temp at 7am is 27.5C

Lunch in Maenam

Lunch at Djeh Mui in Maenam yesterday

Yesterday saw some sunshine and blue skies early in the morning but soon clouds moved in and it was cloudy and dry all day long where I was at the Northern part of the island. Other parts may have had rain Max temp reached 32C

The forecast shows a strong breeze during the next 7 days with an occasional shower.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Monday, 21 July 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 21st July, 2014

Today's weather;

There's a nice blue sky above Koh Samui this morning with a few clouds. Current temp at 7am is 27C

Nathon during sunset

Nathon during sunset yesterday afternoon

Yesterday saw a lovely, sunny start of the day, but by the time we reached Surat Thani and during our dinner there, it rained and on the way to Donsak it poured down most of the time. Samui had some serious rain as well yesterday with a max temp of 32.1C

Rajjaprabha dam

Rajjaprabha dam which we visited yesterday, on our back home from Khao Sok to Samui

The next seven day will see a nice breeze most of the time with an occasional shower but also with enough time for some good sunshine moments!

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 20th July, 2014

Today's weather;

It looks like a lovely day is in the making over Koh Samui, plenty of blue spots in the sky with a couple of clouds. Current temp at 7am is 27.2C

Ban Bang Kao

Samui old style near Ban Bang Kao, on the way to Sweet Sisters Cafe

We're on our last day in Khao Sok and it looks lovely here as well, with plenty of blue in the sky, chirping birds and mist still hanging in the mountains. Current temp at 7am is 24C
Later this morning we will make our way back to Koh Samui with a stop in Surat Thani for lunch.


Khao Sok river, at the bridge, a great place for a swim and the start off point for many tube and kayaking trips

Yesterday saw a mostly cloudy day around Samui with a bit of rain. Max temp reached 32.8C

The forecast is easing up, a couple of days easy on the wind, by mid next week that should slowly pick up again with some stronger wind possibly in the weekend. Be prepared for an occasional shower.
Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 19th July, 2014

Today's weather;

The sky over Koh Samui is mostly cloudy with a few blue spots. Current temp at 7am is 27.8C

Hua Thanon

A traditional, Hainan style house in Hua Thanon

We are for two nights at the Khao Sok National Park and here it's very similar, mostly clouds but single blue spot can be seen. Current temp at 7am here is around 26C

Khao Sok national park

Dramatic scenery at the Khao Sok national park

Yesterday saw a mostly cloudy day and only sometimes we saw the strong wind along the road as was predicted and it stayed dry. The ferry ride over to the mainland was a breeze. Max temp reached 32C

The forecast still shows some strong wind for today and medium strong wind with lots of cloud cover for next week.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Friday, 18 July 2014

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 18th July, 2014

Today's weather;

It's cloudy and windy over Koh Samui this morning, as a direct result of the remains of tropical storm Rammasun moving over Thailand. A warning by the Thai Meteorological Department has been issued. Current temp at 7am is 27C

We're off today to Khao Sok national park to see my sister, when she arrives next weekend on Samui, I will be at work in South Korea with a PADI IDC at hand.

Koh Matsum

The beach at Koh Matsum, check out Island Gem Gourmet Picnic tour for a trip down there

Yesterday saw a lovely day until the early evening when around 7.30pm some showers moved in. Max temp reached 33.7C

The forecast predicts strong wind today and slightly less tomorrow. The remainder of the week still remains slightly windy with an occasional showers.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Island gem gourmet picnic, a different experience

Yesterday I was invited for an inspection trip of Island Gem Gourmet Picnic with front office staff/managers of some high end hotels on the island. The Gem Gourmet Picnic gives a different twist to a day time activity and the most interesting part is, they don't take up your whole day. 

Island gem gourmet picnic, longtail boat

Long tail boat used for the trips although speed boats are available on request

Pick up doesn't start until 10am, so you can enjoy breakfast at your hotel and you will be back before the start of the happy hour at the hotel pool bar! This is one of the few half day trips available on Koh Samui.

Island gem gourmet picnic, snorkeling

Snorkeling at Koh Tan

Transfers to and from Thong Krut pier in the Southern part of the island from your hotel are included, as is snorkeling and a gourmet lunch with unlimited drinks. Two islands will be visited, Koh Tan for snorkeling and Koh Matsum for a gourmet lunch and relaxing.

Island gem gourmet picnic, Koh Tan

View on Koh Tan

The transfer alone will give you a great possibility of seeing the more untouched Southern part(s) of the island with it's roads and villages with some stunning views on offer. Our family loves to take day trips to this part of the island.

Island gem gourmet picnic, long tail ride

Relaxing transfer between the islands

Once in Thong Krut, everybody gets on a long tail boat and the trip si ready to start. Within 15 minutes, Koh Tan has been reached and with it's pristine coral reefs along it's coast, the snorkeling part of the trip can start. Since all tours are private, it's you who dictates how long you want to stay at the snorkel site. Mask, snorkels and fins are provided for!
There are plenty of fish and various kinds of coral to be seen.


Koh Matsum as seen from the boat

After the snorkeling, it's off to Koh Matsum for the gourmet lunch. Another short trip on the traditional but comfortable long tail boat which is shaded.

Island gem gourmet picnic, swing

Prosecco on the swing

Once on Koh Matsum, a naturally shaded area by a big tree is waiting with some swings and a glass of Prosecco bubbles are waiting for you whilst Gavin, the owner and guide prepares the lunch. Time to kick back and enjoy the pristine beach.

Island gem gourmet picnic, lunch

Lunch

The standard lunch as we had yesterday included; Couscous with roasted veg. Pesto pasta. Mixed green salad. Potato salad. French bread with Italian ham salad, Egg mayo, cheese salad and coppa ham olive salad, Cayun chicken and for dessert fruit cake and fresh watermelon. It was delicious! Gavin cooks himself and he had some very good teachers!
Gavin has a F&B background, having been F&B manager at the Silavadee and it sure shows!

Island gem gourmet picnic, Koh Matsum

Another view of Koh Matsum beach

The area that Gavin uses is secluded and you're the only ones on this stretch of beach and once lunch has been finished, there's ample time to either relax and enjoy some more drinks or play some games or go for a swim.

Island gem gourmet picnic, lunch

Lunch setting

It's a ll done in a very relaxing, more or less set by you, since as already mentioned, there are no mixed groups, only private tours, starting with two and a maximum of 16.

Island gem gourmet picnic

The end of a great trip, everybody was happy and enjoyed themselves

We had a great day, all of us and we enjoyed it a lot, "sanuk maak", as the Thai tend to say! I can highly recommend this activity, it makes for something different and will be a good memory to remember from your stay on Samui.
Call Gavin for a quote and/or reservation on 08 3176 8379 or visit his website as listed on top of the article.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 17th July, 2014

Today's weather;

It's a beautiful blue sky again this morning around Koh Samui, second day in a row! Current temp at 7am is 26.5C

Boat trip to Koh Matsum

Boat trip to Koh Matsum

Yesterday saw a lovely day, with blue skies and lots of sunshine and also lots of sun burned body (parts). Around 5pm clouds moved in though and come 6pm we had a few showers, into the night as well. Max temp reached 33.8C

The forecast predicts clouds and wind over the weekend and into next week with an occasional shower.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Kobori on the menu again!

After the opening of Kobori restaurant in Maenam back in late January, we've been back a couple of times since and changes have progressed nicely at the restaurant. From a simple A4 single sheet of paper menu there's a now multi-paged menu with pictures of all dishes and the menu has changed a lot from the early days and has increased in size.

Plenty of new dishes have been added and the quality and taste are still the same; awesome! Japanese food at it's best on Samui!

Here are some of the new dishes listed;

Kobori; crab stick cheese roll

The above pictured crab stick cheese roll is deep fried and will go down well with children.


Eel California roll

This was one of my faves of the evening, very tasty and well prepared. The eel is usually a little bit more expensive but well worth the money!


Pork rice bowl

Brilliant in it's simplicity. The pork and it's sauce drip into the rice and you get a very tasty rice, tasting the sauce in every bite, without being too much in your face!


Pork cutlet bowl

Very similar to the pork rice bowl, but different! The sauce is similar but the cutlet makes all the difference. Nicely filled with egg and a great sauce, you long for more.


Ramen soup with soy sauce

An excellent ramen soup, with Japanese ramen made in Bangkok. Very special and delicious. The ramen soup comes in three variations, the pictured soy sauce, a miso and a pork variation can also be had.


Japanese style spaghetti with salted cod roe sauce

It's always worthwhile checking out the 'special of the day', usually available in limited quantities but well worth trying. This was the winner of the evening for me. The Japanese are fond of Italian food and just like the Thais, they adopt and adapt spaghetti into their own taste! The Thais may offer a spaghetti with green curry, yesterday Kobori offered this salted cod roe sauce variation. Just fantastic and very fishy and indeed, nice and salty.


Tea variations

Soon on the menu: tea variations. Starting out with 4 different teas, matcha green tea (imported from japan), lemon tea, milk tea and Oolong tea. All tea's will have little additions to make them their 'own' Kobori tea's!


Sake heaven

Kobori is offering a wide array of different Sake's. Some are only available for a short time, since they may be hand carried from Japan but the sake on offer is in a wide variation and good. If you're not that familiar with sake, try the cold variation, much preferred over the hot sake at my taste buds.


Japanese chef Kobori in person

All in all, a very good eating and dining experience was had by out whole family again and I'm glad to be able to show you the new additions to their menu. After 6 dishes in an average restaurant/cuisine you may feel very full and feel heavy, with Japanese food though, I find that you are full but you don't feel stuffed like other cuisines, where the food may lay heavy on your stomach.

I thoroughly enjoyed last night's dinner and can only highly recommend trying out their menu.
Kobori can be found at the traffic lights in Maenam, towards the ocean, about half way into the soi at your right hand, coming from the traffic lights and you can visit their website here.

Don't forget to use my Camille's Samui hotel recommendation blog and my Camille's Thailand hotel recommendation blog for all your hotel bookings on Koh Samui and around Thailand. By doing so, you will support my blog. Thanks folks!

Camille