Friday, February 26, 2010

The Golden Buddha, next to the Big Buddha.

Here is a photo of the Golden Buddha with Sue (Steph's patient and long suffering wife) next to it to give an idea of scale.

The Golden Buddha is sitting in Bhumisparsa Mudra....that is 'Subduing Mara and Calling the Earth to Witness'. During meditation, Siddhartha is subjected to many temptations.....demons, and monsters are sent to him by the evil Mara as are storms and Mara's three daughters who try to tempt him.

Siddhartha calls on the Earth Goddess (Mother Nature) to help him overcome the evils Mara has sent. She does this by flooding the area by wringing water from her hair and drowning Mara and his demons.

Good story, eh?

The Buddha has a three fold 'umbrella' above his head....the number three represents The three pearls of Buddhism; the Buddha, The Dharma (everything to do with Buddhism) and the Sangra (the monks, the teachings).

The Buddha sits on two Nagas. These are the mythological snake like creatures that feature throughout Asian culture in various forms. The Nagas guard the Buddha and the entrances to temples amongst many other things. The hill of which this Golden Buddha sits is part of the Naga Hills.

In front of him is the Chakri or Wheel of life. Achieving Enlightenment (through the teachings of the Buddha) will result in an individual leaving the Chakri to attain a state of Nirvana.

The small Buddha statue at the front of the picture is guarded by the seven headed Naga...prince of all the spirits...........................

Beware.......Steph (alias Old Scroat) on the loose.

Here is our beloved Yan Nui Beach where we like to go diving and snorkling, sunbathing and having great Thai food for lunch.

Steph (Old Scroat) is not content with the above passtimes and wanders the beach taking snaps of innocent young lovelies............

As can be seen, a few chat-up lines from our Steph and the gals have scarpered...leaving their meagre possessions behind in their haste to leave.

Now look, lads, we ain't as young as we used to gotta leave the gals alone. You'll only get bitter and twisted when they run away........
Shark Point and Koh Doc Mai

There's plenty of lovely coral reefs to dive to the south and south east of Phuket.

Emma joined Clem and I to dive two such coral reefs. The first is called Sharp Point with 3 pinnacles. Pinnacle 1 breaks the surface and pinacle 3 drops to 30 meters.

The pinnacles are crammed with life plus a few caves to explore........all very beautiful. Emma descibed here holiday in Thailand as being on permanent 'sensory overload'....and that is HOW it is. It's great to hear so many of our guests telling me that they have done many things for the very first time. That's EXACTLY why I wanted to set up this little provide a welcoming and friendly base from which you can explore Phuket and experience new things...

The corals are very colourful and there's fish life everywhere.

Here's a final shot of the young lovers...even 'down under' that Clem just can't stop romancing Em......ah, sweet eh?

Wreck Diving on the King Cruiser

Charter Skipper Clem Carter (Wild Frontier) and the delightful Emma were with us for the past 10 days. Clem is a very experienced scuba diver so it was great to go with him to the wreck of the King Cruiser about 25 km south of Phuket. The wreck lies in about 30 meters but the top is at 14 meters so it's fine for an Open Water Diver on a good day.

Sometimes the current is very strong on this wreck and the viz is limited but Clem and I chose to dive on neap tides (half moon)n and we were lucky that the viz was so good.

Here's a few pics of us wandering around the wreck. It would be very unusual (but NOT impssible!) to get such a dive in UK with such great visability. As you can see, the wreck is covered in many thousands of fish....but they are all small...well, apart from the lionfish and pufferfish.
There's stacks of barracuda there hovering above the wreck. Great sight with the sunlight bouncing off them.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Messrs Bridson and Baker

What a team, eh? Baker and Bridson........what fish they caught!!!!

This lake fishing is set to be a feature of your Thailand Holiday....excellent!!!!!!!

Look how happy the lads are! Steph Baker (above) and Paul Bridson (above right).

Sunday, February 21, 2010


You've got to hand it to him. After last night's ridiculously bad behaviour with the local gals and copious quantities of Chang Beer, Steph was up early today and raring to go.

Today's plan was to visit the Phuket Fishing Park and try for
some of the various exotic creatures lurking in it.

Steph was joined by Paul Bridson, who has now been here for 30 days and refuses to go home,
and charter skipper Clem Carter. They will be featured when I've got their photos off their phones etc....

The lake has several guides. Steph had the company of Khun X who is an extremely enthusiastic angler (and a Chelsea supporter???). Khun X showed us the size of fish that Steph was going to catch...yeah, yeah, yeah...we've heard it all before!

But....good news all you freshwater's true!!! The fish are monsters and the 3 lads caught 15 fish between them with Steph landing an 11kg carp as the best fish of the session.

There's some pretty impressive beasts in the lake including paku, koi, catfish, giant arapima plus the various species of carp. There's a LOT of fish in the lake and they are very hard fighters.

All the tackle can be hired; the bait is supplied and tuition is given. This costs £26 (1,300 Baht) for the day 0800 to 2000. The lake has little huts around it to provide shelter from the sun and a place to have a great Thai lunch if you so wish.....the food served there is superb and cheap!

So, this is a really great way to spend a day or two and you anglers are gonna love's amazing fishing!!!

Master Diver Geoff French.............

Last year we had Sonja French staying with us. She was a natural at scuba diving. Sonja had never tried scuba before but after two sessions in the pool and a go in the sea....she was off! Sonja went on to take her Open Water Course at the local Padi Centre and passed it with ease.....she's hooked.

This year we are pleased to welcome her papa, Mr Geoff French.

Geoff has never tried scuba diving either but after just ONE session in the pool, it was clear he had plenty of confidence and ability. We progressed to the sea the next day and dived at the lovely coral reef at Kata Beach.

Geoff was able to drop the 6 meters to the seabed with no problems at all regarding equalizing and we were soon sorting out the fin pivot exercise to establish initial bouyancy control.

It's always great fun to watch someone on their
first ever dives; their eyes are bulging with the excitement of what they are seeing for the first time...and the face is beaming away in a big big smile!

This is when a learner's buoyancy control can rapidly evaporate!
The diver is so excited and interested in what's all around that the
'drift' (arse first) to the surface starts...folowed by strenous efforts to get back down.

This can all be a tiring process.....rising up, swimming back down...up, down, up, down. Exhausting for the novice diver and highly entertaining for the watcher!

Here's Geoff taking a well deserved break on the bottom....before launching himself into an impressive succession of underwater swallow dives and somersaults.

Geoff stayed down for 50 minutes on his first ever attempt which is very impressive indeed. In fact we only came up then because he'd worn himself out with his underwater aerobics...and the fact that he was now wearing every weight we had between us to keep him down.

But for sure, next time everything will be a lot better. Now then, Sonja, ain't you proud of your papa????

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Those of you who fish with Steph Baker will know him for the miserable old git he prepare to be is Steph like you've never seen him before!!

Sometimes there is no need for words....the pictures tell the story.
So, fill in the story yourself......remembering this was Steph on a fishing trip....but we found him somewhere else!!!

Ha Ha....Good on You, Steph. Welcome to Thailand!!

Ah, the arms of the owner of the Sunshine Bar, Rawai...
what a happy chap he is. Bless!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yan Nui Diving with Emma

Yan Nui is a small beach near Rawai and about 15 minutes away
from the house. We now have Val and Geoff; Sue and Steph
along with Clem (Wild Frontier) and Em.

Yesterday we started our first bit of diving with Clem and Em. We went to Yan Nui with Jai and Clem hurtling across the gap between the mainland and the nearby island to explore the excellent corals there.

I was under instructions to get Em 'Back into Diving' gently so that we could build up to a full blown offshore 3 dive day later in the holiday. Yan Nui is an ideal place to refresh your skills....and there's lots to see while you are doing it. There's also a couple of spots where there is usually some current which is another good thing to get used to.

Anyhow, as can be seen...there was no problem with Em...after 5 minutes she was in control and after ten minutes wandering around as if she'd never missed a day...

Some of our customers have never even put their heads under
water...not surprising considering how cold the sea is back home.
So, apart from Emma brushing up her skills, Val and I spent the part of the morning in a very big swimming pool close to the house
and Val learnt for the first time to get her head under water using
goggles. Whilst many would find that no big deal, it actually is if you've never done it before. Well, this opportunity to come to Thailand for your holiday should hopefully provide that chance for
a few 'first time. well done, Val

Here's Em back on the surface.
Nice to come up
into sunshine, eh???????

Roll on the next dive!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gentleman's Kom Loi Night.

Steve (right) helps Graham prepare the first Kom Loi of the evening.

Last week the ladies released theirs....tonight it was the turn of the chaps!

It's becoming a bit of a House Tradition now to set off a Kom Loi for each of our guests at some stage of their holiday. Last night was the final night for Gary Chard and pals....

Here Steve prepares his Kom Loi for lift off...

As usual it's Jai who does all the real she is lighting up the

paraffin saturated fuel rings..
Lift off achieved...........Jai backs, smiling as usual, and on to the next one......

And now Gary himself....each Kom Loi makes its own flight as determined by the updrafts and wind at the precise moment of lift off....the flight is long...about 5 minutes and great heights are reached. Gary's set off very gently....wandered out over the lake and hovered just a few feet off...then shot straight up to clear the Naga Hills and up into the night sky...

Today is Chinese New Year so I think the night sky will be filled with Kom

Loi's....and plenty of fireworks.......

Ha! It's great when a photo shot this beauty on time prediction....spectacular way to end of 'House Ceremony'.

Right now, as I write, Gary, Mandy, Graham, Dawn, Steve and the Gracious Lyn are waiting in Bangkok airport for their plane back to Heathrow. journey, guys, and thank you for coming to stay!!