Category Archives: South East Asia

Planning your trip to Koh Samui

Sarah Marshall has kindly written this guest post for Jamoroki. She is the content writer for Horizon Homes, a property and relocation company based in Koh Samui, Thailand. When she is not busy at work, she can be seen travelling around Thailand, enjoying the sunshine and food.

Koh Samui

A trip to Thailand is not complete without visiting the coastal islands which are rated the best in the world. If there’s one island you cannot miss, it’s Koh Samui. Only 700 kilometres south from Bangkok, Koh Samui is located in the beautiful aquamarine waters of the Chumphorn Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand.

There are roughly 40,000 people who live on the island, making it feel like a secluded tropical paradise. Samui is the second-largest island in the Archipelago and noted as one of the best for doing outdoor sports. There are many snorkelling trips, boating tours, fishing opportunities, and many other nautical activities. We’ve created a guide on what to plan for your island trip to Samui.

Visit the Angthong National Marine Park

One of the attractions that should be on your list of things to do in Samui is visiting the Angthong National Marine Park. This is the park made up of 42 smaller islands in the Archipelago. It’s a protected area with many great snorkelling spots and islands to hop around. Enjoy a splendid day exploring the natural and marine wildlife of Samui.

Pack Lots of Sunscreen, Hats, and All-Weather Clothes

For all the fair skin people who burn easily, it’s best advised to pack a lot of sunscreen. This isn’t because there isn’t any to buy on the island, but it’s much more expensive than buying it on Amazon or your local supermarket. Since locals don’t wear suntan lotion (or even need it for that matter), they know it’s a hot commodity for tourists who didn’t pack well.

It’s also best to bring hats and cover-ups to avoid sun poisoning if you plan on being in the sun for a long time. You might enjoy tanning for hours in the sunshine in a bikini, but be aware that you could potentially damage your skin. Many people prefer not to expose their skin to too much sun since they want to keep their skin young and fresh.

Dine at Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village

You must plan to have dinner at the local and historical Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village located right on the water. There are lots of different seafood restaurants cooking the freshest catches of the day. Each Friday night, the village has an open street market. This is where you can buy the best souvenirs for your friends and family back home. You can also find the best street food snacks and local desserts if you’re still hungry.

Temple Touring and Buddha Sightseeing

With all the historic Wats (Buddhist temples) on the island, you must plan to at least visit one. Wat Plai Laem is one of the most magnificent temples on the island. There is a huge Goddess of Mercy Buddha statue displayed in front of the temple grounds. Another popular must see is the golden Big Buddha statue located on the northern coast of Samui. No matter where you go around the island, you’ll surely run into an epic temple to tour.

Drink the Local Rum

You’ll soon discover after visiting one beach bar that drinks are pretty affordable on the dreamlike island. Yet, there is a local rum distillery on the island known for making the best tropical elixirs. Magic Alambic Rum Distillery has been a favourite amongst locals and it’s 100% homemade rum. You can visit the distillery on the southern side of the island or you can ask for it at the bar.

Relaxing at Your Island Homestay

One of the best parts about vacation is living somewhere else with a change of scenery. You won’t want to stay at a mediocre hotel on the trip of a lifetime. Why not stay in a luxurious vacation rental where you can not only have a room to yourself but a nice private house or condo?

Horizon Homes provide the best beach rentals at an affordable price. You shouldn’t stay anywhere that doesn’t have a private pool or a comfortable living room area. View all the holiday villas for rent Horizon have available on Samui. Have a fantastic time on the island!

What is the truth behind the continuing persecution of the Rohingyas?

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. (Ghandi)

Myanmar chief of general staff Mya Tun Oo  said at least 160 people were killed in the conflict between the armed forces and ethnic armed groups in Shan during the last three months.
Myanmar security forces are “very likely” to have committed crimes against humanity against Rohingya Muslims in recent months, U.N. human rights investigators said.

Myanmar’s democratic reforms will not be helped by the continuing humanitarian crisis regarding the Muslim Rohingya minority in the western state of Rakihine (Arakan) bordering Bangladesh. Arakan was neither part of Bangladesh or Burma until 1784 and the Rohingya are natives of that region (approximately 2 million) It is estimated that 1.5 million Rohingyas live in exile around the world.

Violent confrontation between the Rohingya Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists has displaced 140,000 and killed 200+, most of them Rohingya. International aid agencies were expelled from Rakhine (Arakan) in March 2014. It appears the situation has not improved since then.

Rohingya
Rohingya (Photo credit: AK Rockefeller)

I found it difficult to know who or what to believe after watching Al-Jazeera’s 2012 documentary video about the Rohingya Muslims living in Rakhine (Arakan) in 2014. The UN said Rohingyas are deprived of citizenship and the most basic liberties (which Myanmar denies) They are classified as illegal immigrants and are denied identity cards which are essential for work, housing and travel.They claim they are Myanmar citizens and are arguably one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

Is the persecution of the Rohingyas ethnic cleansing, a form of hidden genocide, religious or a human rights violation which has had little exposure internationally? Neither Myanmar, neighbouring Bangladesh or Thailand want these ‘stateless’ people or appear to recognise that they have any rights. How can this be?

It looks increasingly like  the intention of Myanmar is to destroy the Rohingyas as an ethnic group. Taking measures to restrict movement, marriage and births; denying peoples identity, denying their history and denying the legitimacy of their right to live where they do are all indications of genocide and of great concern.

Former Myanmar President Thein Sein considered most Rohingyas to be illegal immigrants (as does Bangladesh) who should be deported or sent to refugee camps.

English: Aung San Suu Kyi greeting supporters ...
English: Aung San Suu Kyi greeting supporters from Bago State on 14 August 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Myanmar icon Aung San Suu Kyi has refused to support the rights of the Rohingya, to citizenship and still remains silent about their problems. Why?

Whatever your views or feelings about the Rohingya and this long running conflict may be, denial of basic human rights can never be acceptable.

The Guardian’s expose on the Thai fishing industry’s exploitation of the Rohingyas makes for sad reading.

This is just another example of how difficult the human race finds it to live together in harmony. When there is no trust we live in fear, paranoia sets in and we believe everyone is a threat.

 

It’s a dog’s life

Shelter Manager’s office at Soi Dog, Phuket

I recently visited Soi Dog in the north of Phuket, Thailand. I wanted to find out more about the non-profit organisation that alleviates the suffering of animals by sterilising and vaccinating dogs and cats. Soi Dog treats sick, injured and abused animals. It also fights the cruel and illegal dog meat trade and shelters and re-homes street dogs and cats. Continue reading It’s a dog’s life

How did ’15 WEEKS’ become an Amazon No.1 best seller in ONE day?

15-weeks-2017
15 WEEKS  has been republished and is NOW available as a FREE eBook. The 2017 edition was only released today and it is already topping rankings at Amazon.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,523 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Travel > Asia > Thailand
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Travel > Specialty Travel > Budget Travel

I am using Pronoun to  publish the 2017 editions of Thailand Diaries – 3 eBooks. Continue reading How did ’15 WEEKS’ become an Amazon No.1 best seller in ONE day?

Fires already?

I have written many times on the subject of atmospheric pollution and although I am taking a break from blogging for a while I cannot contain my emotions when it comes to being exposed to deliberately started forest fires.

While I am managing a building project in Northern Thailand I am staying on the hill slopes of Huai Kaew village, 30 kms north of Chiang Mai, bordering the forests. The climate at this time of year is comfortable. Cool at night and early morning rising to 30c + in the day with no rain except the occasional shower.

But now the burning season starts when the monsoon rains have gone and farmers burn off the dry dead grasses and stubble to stimulate new growth next year around May/June’; then Cutting back excessive growth, clearing land and deforestation for fruit and vegetable farming. Continue reading Fires already?