11 Things to Enjoy in Samila Beach, Thailand

Samila Beach is one of the two beaches in Songkhla Province in Thailand, the land of smile. It is famous to locals and tourists alike; one’s visit to Songkhla is never complete without stopping by Samila Beach. It’s a 2 kilometers stretch of beige sand, from the mermaid statue at the south end, near PB Samila Hotel, to the northern end where the magnificent sculpture of Nag the serpent is.

It is a major stop over for tourists coming to Songkhla from Malaysia, Singapore, or nearby provinces. A tour of Songkhla is incomplete without coming here, after all the symbol of Songkhla is found here.  For now, let me share with you some of the things that you could enjoy in Samila Beach.

Here are list of things you can do when in Samila Beach

1. Frolic in the beach, and the best time to do this is late afternoon, when the sun is still out; it’s warm, but not scorching hot. The water is low and calm; it is safe for children, and a perfect time for swimming and sunbathing. In terms of swimwear, there are no rules. Wear whichever you are comfortable in. People are tolerant, courteous, and generally are just minding their own business.

2. Picnic or read a book. A large portion of Laem Samila is shaded by canopies of tall Pine trees. Benches are available, lounging at one of them with your favorite read is another awesome way to relax at Samila beach. If you are with friends be sure to bring a picnic mattress and some snacks from the nearby 7-11 or local food stalls, lie down, relax and gaze up at the blue skies, feel the cool sea breeze, and “chat the noon away.”

3. Enjoy local snacks. Along Laem Son Rod, there are variety of places where you could grab something to eat. As mentioned there’s 7-11 just outside BP Samila Hotel near the roundabout. There’s an Amazon Cafe for coffee aficionados, which is right in front of the beach, on the hillside. And there are plenty of local food stalls along the road selling variety of street food, deep-fried hotdogs, deep-fried shrimp-pancakes, papaya salad, grilled meats, variety of local drinks, and Thai ice cream.

4. Play bubbles. This one is for the kids and kids at heart.  There is no need for you to make your own bubble concoction, you can rent it there for 30 baht (0.91USD or 3.81RM).

5. Horse riding. Yes, you read it correctly. For 150 baht (4.55USD or 19.07RM) you can go on a horse ride, and gallop the whole stretch of Samila beach. I know what you’re thinking, horse manure. Of course, horses do their thing there (they can’t help it ^_^), but it’s owners look after this and see to it that their horse is not soiling the beach. So what they do is they use tissue paper to collect the manure, and place this in a plastic bag (yep plastic bag), and dispose of properly in a bin.

6. Fly a kite. The beach is a nice place to fly a kite. There is no shortage of space and wind. In the afternoon when the water is low, it exposes a vast area of the beach, a totally great place to enjoy kite flying.

7. Beach volleyball. Samila beach has been a regular venue for Beach Volleyball competition which includes the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships and  the AVC Asia Beach Volleyball Championships. Next year, June 19 to 23, 2019  Samila Beach will host the 2019 edition of the men’s and women’s FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships.

8. Take a photo with Samila mermaid statue. One of the most photographed part of Samila Beach is the Bronze Mermaid Statue.  It had been the symbol of Songkhla for over 50 years. Sculpted in 1966, this blackened bronze statuette was the work of master Jitr Buabut who was honored as a national artist and awarded a visual arts award in 2002. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 100.

Another prominent statue found in Samila beach are the Cat and Mouse which represents Songkhla and the Island in front of Samila Beach respectively. There is a bit of wonderful history behind these statues which I will be sharing in the next post.

9. Sunset photography, Wedding photography or selfie. Samila beach can be a sight to behold especially during sunset. Visitors could not help take photos of the beach or take a selfie with the sunset, or the long stretch of khaki sand, or the bright azure sky, or the lush green, shady Pine trees, or mermaid statue at the background.

10. Walk and feel the sand. During the late afternoon when the water is low, it exposes a long, off-white powdery sand, a perfect time and place to re-connect with Earth; ditch your footwear, walk, and feel it. After a days work or a long, cold stay in a conference room, or after long hours of being cramped up in a vehicle, wake your senses up and get your daily dose of vitamin D and “sea” by hanging out on the beach.

11. Dine. And after all these, it is time to fill your growling tummy with fresh, yummylicious seafood or any Thai cuisine of your choice. You don’t have to look far, as there are several seafood restaurants along Laem Son Road just outside the beach shore.

So there you go. I will keep this post updated for what’s up and what’s new with Samila beach.

If you have comments, suggestions, and questions please leave them at the comment section below or you could send me a message at my Facebook page which you could find at the right side bar of the post. Thanks.

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Hotel Review: Golden House Prathum Wan Bangkok

Accomodation: Golden House

One of the many accomodations in Prathu nam Bangkok district, but one of the few affordable ones.

Location: 1025/5-9 Ploenchit Road, Lumpinee, Pathum Wan, Bangkok

Website: http://www.goldenhousebangkok.com/

Telephone No: Tel : +662 252 9535 (36, 37)

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/goldenhousebkk

Golden Houses’s location is probably the best feature of this accommodation.  It is right at the heart of everything. It is only a walk away from the most interesting places in the area like Lumphini Park, National Stadium, and major shopping centers such as Siam Paragon and Central World, and Gaysorn Plaza.  It’s also a stone-throw away from budget places we all love to go like Platinum Fashion Mall, Prathunam Plaza and  Mahboonkrong (MBK) Shopping Center. Also it is surrounded by some of the posh hotels in Thailand and those commonly used for conferences and other business related travel. Also it’s a minute walk from BTS Chidlom station.

Hallway

Room

The room we stayed in has two single beds with a tiny table in between, and a narrow space at each sides and in front. A big flat screen TV is placed right in front of the beds that plays local programs only. Adjacent to this,  towards the door is a dresser/table with a large wall mirror and where the usual compliments (small bottled water and coffee) and amenities such as hairdryer, electric kettle are placed. A personal fridge is also available. Directly in front is the bathroom. Oh it’s important to note too that  the room has no closet of any sort, although it has two wall clothes hooks.

Bathroom: Strange

It is big and clean with towel holders which I find convenient. Strangely though, the bathroom wall and door are made of stained glass, which do not hide much of whatever your doing there. To some degree, it can be romantic, but nevertheless, everyone wants privacy when doing toilet business, right?

WiFi: Good

The internet connection is good quite similar to Hatzanda in Koh Lanta, Nadivana Serviced Apartments in Ao Nang Krabi, and The Lake House Ko Yo in Songkhla. I was able to blog,  stream a movie,  watch videos in Youtube, and face time with my family.

Price 
We stayed for three nights at $40/night without breakfast.

Client: Mixed

Their clienteles come from all walks of life. Travelers both young and old whether on a holiday or work/business related travel flock the place.

Over-all
Aesthetic wise, the room we stayed in is moderate, and pretty small,  yet,  if I happen to be in this part of Bangkok again I would certainly stay in Golden House. The price may be high for the kind of room and services offered but because of its auspicious location,  it’s worth it!

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Hotel Review: Nadivana Serviced Apartments

Location. 159 Moo 4, Ao Nang Muang
Krabi, Muang Krabi 81180 Thailand
☎ 011 66 75 661 358

big pool in nadivana serviced apartment
Hotel Review: Nadivana Serviced Apartments

Room. The room we stayed in was pretty spacious and clean with a huge wall mirror, and a bunk bed which our kids loved so much. In reality though, Summer and Derick used the lower bunk only, as the upper bunk was way too near the air-conditioning. The bed was soft, but shaky. It’s a bed with wheels, wheels that couldn’t be locked, so it’s super unstationary. Pillows were tiny and uncomfortable, the kind that gives you a stiff neck but they’re clean though, which is super important for an asthmatic family like us. There were two dainty lampshades and a huge photo frame of Nopparat beach on the wall. The huge flatscreen TV had several cable channels which we enjoyed as well. The bathroom waa big and clean except for those icky smudges on the black-tiled walls. Other things we appreciate about the bathroom was the big mirror in front of the big sink and having a number of towel rails/holders. We love the vibrant looking, marble bathroom floor of The Lakehouse better though.

Other amenities in the room include several hangers, fridge with beverages (for sale), complementary bottled water, electric pot, safe box, two comfortable, sturdy, plastic chairs, toiletries but without shampoo, weird!

two kids in the swimming pool at nadivana serviced apartment
Hotel Review: Nadivana Serviced Apartments

Amenities

The Pool- adults and kids, both are huge! The pool for adults has a bar that allows swimmers to enjoy their drinks while in the water. Next to it is the kids pool, a proper kids pool, not a jacuzzi/kids pool type. It has a teeny weeny slide that adds to the fun. The pool is awesome! Water is a bit murky but not as murky as the Lakehouse Ko Yo Guesthouse during our stay there. Our kids enjoyed chilling out by the pool and had the time of their life!

WiFi is excellent! No glitch at all. The connection is even faster than Hatzanda Lanta Resort and Lanta Riviera Villa Resortwhich we ranked number 1 in our list prior. We were able to open and stream pretty much everything we thought of watching, in the room and even at the pool side.

Restaurant is located at the main building. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, eating outside is better. There’s a nice restaurant which serves great food at a local price just a few meters away, Sakeereen Halal Food.

Food. We opted for breakfast and paid extra $16 for it. Thinking that Nadivana is a big company, we were expecting a good breakfast on our first morning. However we were disappointed big time! The complimentary buffet includes toasted bread, steamed ham and tiny hotdogs which were re-cooked the following morning, cereals, khaw phat (fried rice) which has nonexistent meat and thinly sliced veggies. Eggs are available upon request but you to pay extra.
We had an excellent breakfast experience at Rimlay Park Resort, a relatively small accomodation. Breakfast there was truly a treat.
Anyway, the complimentary buffet breakfast is Nadivana’s weakest link.

Resort ground is wide with the pool occupying the main central portion of the main ground. Behind is where the deluxe quad rooms are situated facing a vast grassland (not a garden) where one could be visited by cows and/or snakes. Yaas snakes! I saw one (on our first morning) slithered into a bushy part of the main building. But don’t worry they have got this silicon cover attached at the foot of the door to keep snakes, frogs, and bugs from coming in through the gap.

Parking. There were no proper onsite parking for those staying in the deluxe quad rooms. They have got a few spaces right in front of the reception/restaurant area but this however is a long way from where our room was, anyway, it’s full the whole time. So we had to park on the grassy vacant lot near our room. We didn’t mind it really, the hiccup was, our car tire got punctured by a nail or metal screw.

Services
The room is serviced everyday and complimentary items are replenished too. The ladies at the reception were friendly, accommodating, and they could communicate in English pretty well.

Clientele

A great choice for those who come in groups of 4 or more.

Price

We stayed at the deluxe quad room for three nights with breakfast, for $178 (5,543.00 baht). Booked at bookingdotcom (https://www.booking.com/s/27_8/b84f891f)

Over-all

If you’re tolerant enough of small nuisances like having the water sprayer on the left side of the toilet, off road parking, possible snake sighting especially if you’re staying in one of the deluxe quad rooms then posh-looking Nadivana Serviced Apartments is a good choice. I strongly suggest however to opt-out breakfast!

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Handmade Bamboo Umbrella: Chiang Mai Thailand

Fancy a DIY hand-made bamboo umbrella? Borsang umbrella making centers are certainly experts on this. Here’s how they do it. Enjoy!

Materials

Softwood for the upper head, lower head, and upper head sleeve
Bamboo for the ribs and strut
Palm leaf stalk for the stem

These parts are assembled to form an umbrella. Then, the umbrella is saturated in an insecticide-solution for a certain period of time. Thereafter, these are fumigated in order to prevent pests and harmful microorganisms from destroying the wood.

 

Paper Making from the bark of mulberry

Botanically named bronssonetia papyrifera, Saa paper is made from the bark of mulberry tree. Initially, the bark is soaked in clean water for about 24 hours. Then it is boiled with several kinds of ashes for about 3-4 hours and rinsed with water.
Next the material is beaten with mallets until tender and thereafter fibers are put into a water-filled tank and stirred with a paddle until the fibers are suspended in the water. The fibers are then sifted with a screen and dried under the sun for about 20 minutes. Once dried, sheets of paper are formed which can be peeled off easily. This is the paper used in double layer to cover the umbrella frame and later painted.

To cover the umbrella

Saa paper or cotton (ramie)
The covering material is pasted onto the umbrella frame by a special mixture of paste and persimmon fruit secretion which helps tense and waterproof the umbrella. This special mixture glues the Saa paper firmly onto the ribs of the umbrella which stays glued sturdily even when wet. This is because of the botanical property of the fruit.

The secretion can be obtained by pounding a certain amount of persimmon fruit in a set of gigantic mortar and pestle. Therafter, they are fermented for a month or two before the secretion is used for the mixture. And Parianri anamese hanee oil mixed with desired color is added to protect the umbrella from weathering effect of the sun and rain.

For coverings pasted onto the umbrella frame by regular glue is good for sun and indoor decorative only.

Hand-made bamboo umbrella painting design

In olden days, there was no design painted on the umbrella. It was only until the last 2 decades, villagers began painting umbrellas. Designs include floral, animal, scenic and nature.
Most painters working in centers have never attended any art school at all. Most of them obtained their painting skill on the job training, practiced and honed this skill while working.

If you happened to be in Chiang Mai, Borsang umbrella centers are a great way to bond with your family for they allow individuals to design their own umbrellas. Find out more about this at family bonding at Borsang umbrella center.

 

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Cha-Manaw: Lemon Iced Tea

lemon iced tea

My ultimate favorite Thai drink is the Cha-Manaw or the lemon Iced Tea, which comes in variants of hot (Cha-Manaw-Ron) and cold Cha-Manaw (Cha-Manaw-Yen). It’s main ingredients are tea juice, extracted from dried tea plant, and Manaw or lemon.

For the cold lemon iced tea, this is how they do it –  mix the extracted tea juice and sugar together in a small cup.  Pour this solution in a bigger container or cup full of ice.  Then squeeze a quarter of lemon into it.  You may increase the amount of lemon according to your own preference.  I personal like it with a lot of lemon juice.

For the hot lemon tea, just follow the instruction above except the ice part.

It is served by peddlers on the street and even in the most posh restaurant in Thailand.  Thai people from all walks of life, from kids to oldies drink Cha-Manaw.

So it’s no surprise if Thailand like India, China, and Japan has low incidence of gout, a form of arthritis. Lemon (Manaw) is an integral part of their diet.  Lemon juice is extremely beneficial in combating joint pains and gout.  It helps expel uric acid in urine. Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of purine-rich food like legumes, nuts, anchovies, organ meat, meat extracts, spinach, mushrooms, and alcohol and other beverages.  Excessive level of uric acid results to its crystallization and deposition in joints, ligaments, and tendons.  Consequently causing joint pains.

Below are food that help lower uric acid;

Oranges,  Papayas,  Kiwifruit, Strawberries, Bell pepper, Broccoli, Bananas, Celery, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Parsley, Pineapple, Cocoa, Vegetable oils, and Water

qqeust  What is your favorite health drink?

Leave your comments and creative responses below ^_^

 

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jelly

 

Jelly with a twist