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December 28, 2013

Baileys Chocolate Mousse

This rich and creamy chocolate mousse spiked with Baileys Irish Cream  is fantastic. I added  more of the liquor  for improved taste and  made it a  perfect dessert for our Christmas brunch. I made it with  twenty percent bitter chocolate and eighty percent sweetened dark chocolate, freshly brewed espresso, whipped cream, icing sugar and Baileys Irish Cream. Simply irresistible! I only had a couple spoonful as I was afraid of getting a spinning sensation. Some would think it's just a little amount. I don't drink because of religious purposes so that small portion would be enough to get me drunk - for real.

December 27, 2013

Sweet Mince Pies

Learning about food is an ongoing process. One of the things on my long list of Christmas treats I had to make for the big day was this sweet mince pies. It was not a complicated recipe.All I needed was batter and mincemeat filling. I thought I had everything ready. I piped halfway through when my boss came to check on me. The minced meat I put on the batter caught her attention. I knew something was not right when she gave me a puzzled look. Then she asked what was the thing I put on top. Minced beef. I exclaimed! Her eyes widened! That's when she explained what mincemeat was. Ha! I felt  dumb. My ignorance cost me a good deal of time. I had no choice but to remove the rounded minced beef and replaced it with candied peel. Imagine how guests would react if they tasted beef in their sweet mince pies! It would be a disaster.

December 25, 2013

Chocolate Yule Log

It's nice to think of the  first stages of my culinary journey where I struggled completely in creating cakes that would pass the scrutiny of my former pastry master. (Hi Master Chef).  Making this buche de noel or yule log took me back to my culinary school days. (What an experience!) So this is the first yule log I made since I left Le Cordon Bleu. Yeah, that long!  The cake and the frosting were simple to make but rolling it up was a challenge. Well, I did a good job rolling up my first yule log at school although it was quite a struggle. This time I made a better looking cake.  Kudos to me!

December 24, 2013

Christmas Cake - Creating My Own Winter Wonderland

There would be no white Christmas for me again this year. Being in the tropics gives me the chance to enjoy perfect weather but I kind of miss having a snowy, cold Christmas. A perfect Christmas scenario for me is being all bundled up, sipping hot chocolate while watching the snow fall through an icy window. Similar to what I had experienced in China.  Oh well, it ain't gonna happen in Thailand. So with white Christmas in mind,  I decided to create my own winter wonderland with the Christmas cake I made 2 months back!

December 20, 2013

Limoncello Mousse

It's hard to believe after making a lot of stuff  last Friday, I managed to make dessert for Sunday brunch and go home right on time. (Well, I went to work earlier than my usual start time so I could get everything ready). Two staff who usually do dessert for the event  took their holiday at the same time leaving the job to me and  the demi chef de partie. Like me, she also had things lined up for the day but we had to cover for the ladies. So here's one of the three mini dessert I made for brunch. Limoncello Mousse, a sweet concoction with a mild citrusy kick.

December 16, 2013

Bread Conversion

The idea of converting  whole wheat bread into a soft, fluffy loaf had been running through my mind for ages. I  was aware that replacing ingredients could affect the texture and taste. Well,  baking is a science and experimenting is crucial in learning the science of baking. I took the plunge and was surprised at how tender and fluffy it turned out. It tasted good too!

December 14, 2013

Going Japanese on Our Post Thanksgiving Dinner

I took a trip to the capital city for my four-day holiday last week. It was nice to be with  family and friends even for a short time. I took advantage of the time and went Christmas shopping . I also had a post Thanksgiving dinner with my sister and closest friends. The original plan was to have a traditional Thanksgiving  dinner complete with roasted turkey and cranberry sauce but my cousin J had to leave the country for her visa renewal. Instead we indulged in a delicious Japanese set meal at Ootoya Restaurant not far from home. Despite the absence of  Thanksgiving dishes, we had a wonderful time spent catching up. To me, that mattered most.

December 11, 2013

Pain Au Chocolat

What a comfort to have hot, soft and crisp pain au chocolat in the morning with coffee or tea. It's tempting to partake these chocolate-filled yeast rolls each time I make them but I try not to give in to my desires. Self-control is the essence so I won't have to suffer the consequence of consuming foods which are fattening.

December 5, 2013

Food plating at BR Restaurant

 Stir-fried Thai rice noodles comes with chilli powder, grind roasted peanuts, sugar and bean sprout)

The kitchen and bakery at the resort where I work are in two separate buildings. The distance makes it difficult for me to see how the kitchen staff prepare food and plate dishes. One time I was blessed to get a glimpse of how the dish was cooked and plated. It just so happen that I had my phone with me when I rushed to the kitchen to get something. I shoot the moment each dish was arranged nicely in to a plate.

December 1, 2013

Christmas Cake : How to make and mature

Preparations for Christmas is underway at the resort. It's going to be busy again come December with all the travelers escaping the cold winter months. All departments are getting ready for the biggest event this year. There will be a  brunch on Christmas Day. The F & B employees are organizing things ahead of the holiday season. Yours truly has recipes lined up  for the festivities. The first on my long list of holiday treats is this Christmas cake, a kind of fruitcake served at Christmas. I made it six weeks  ago to give it time to mature.

November 26, 2013

Apricot Tart

The main kitchen hands down any excess of its supply to the bakery.Lucky me! A recent surplus was a huge can of apricot. I have used it to make Danish pastries but there's more left. I have to finish it before it goes off. I dislike wastage. I hate seeing food get thrown away. To reduce the cost, I find ways to minimize  bakery's expenses. A smart way   is to make something which serves dual purpose.  I made two tarts. I cooked twice the amount of pastry cream so I could use the other half as my base for apricot tart.

November 23, 2013

Apple Pastry Cream Tart with Crumble Topping

One time last week, a commis handed me a bag of apples and told me to make something out of them. Apparently, someone had purchased more than what was needed. Apple tart came to mind. Not the classic French apple tart. I was thinking of combining cooked apples and pastry cream, then top it with crumble. Sunday was a few days away. I had enough time to do a trial run and if it passed the taste test of my loyal fans I could proceed :)

November 20, 2013

Breakfast Muesli Bread

The off-season is an opportune time for recipe testing. Less crowds means less demand.And less demand means more time to explore new things.  I did a few trial to test this muesli bread recipe. I lack the right ingredients so I resorted to using a mixture of different stuff. "A little bit of this and more of that" kind of experiment. It was a trial and error for days. In the end, I finally got  the texture  I was targeting. I served it at breakfast a couple weeks ago. When I collected the bread basket after breakfast, I was thrilled to see an empty container.The resort's occupancy at the time was the lowest this year. Only a handful of people came to eat. It only meant one thing. The bread must be so good. I was grinning inside.

November 18, 2013

Loy Krathong Festival 2013

It is this time of the year when Thai people  flock to a river, canal or pond to float their krathongs (floating boat or floating decoration) which symbolizes  letting go of anger, hatred and defilements. Many Thais, however,  use krathongs to thank the Water Goddess, Phra Mae Khongkha (WIKI). For others, it is a time to pay respect to Buddha and ask the Goddess for forgiveness  for polluting the rivers. As for me, this was a chance to take my mind off the heartbreaking situation in my country. Well, at least for a moment joining in the merrymaking did help.

So I was with two friends. We went to the main beach where locals and tourists alike gathered together to celebrate the festival. We brought our krathongs with us. We walked through a crowded walking street. Stalls selling food, drinks and floating decorations lined both sides of the streets. It was busy.

November 15, 2013

Triple layer wedding fruit dish

I have been preoccupied with the devastation that my country is facing following a super typhoon that struck last week. My family are safe but seeing  reports of suffering of my countrymen is too much for me to bear. I keep track of the rescue operations  in Philippines as often as I can. It's been a few days since my last post. A lot has happened at work in that period of time but given my curiosity of what is going on back home, I spend more hours on the internet to get answers than write emails and update my blog. I am eager to know what measures have been done to help those who survived this calamity.

Now that I have  time to spare, let me share with you this wedding fruit tray prepared by the cold kitchen staff for a wedding.  A friend of mine painstakingly carved roses out of  papaya and cantaloupe. Both were used as  topper of the wedding fruit dish. Other fruits were peeled and sliced for guests' ease and comfort.

November 11, 2013

BR's Sport's Day and Annual Staff Party Outtakes

The staff of BR Resort gathered together for a day of fun, sports, music, food and laughter. The big day kicked off with a morning parade attended by most of the staff,  followed by a whole day of games with four teams competing  against each other.

November 7, 2013

Dark and White Chocolate Mousse Cake

It's quiet at work at the moment. There aren't any events this week. Well, except for  dinner booked by a group of HK tourists for  tonight. The guest requested a birthday cake. I  made a one pound  vanilla  and chocolate sponge cake. I covered vanilla cake with white chocolate mousse, the latter with dark chocolate mousse. I glazed the cake with white chocolate glaze. I decorated the side with tempered dark and white chocolate. The guest wanted the wordings "Healthy n Wealthy n Joy. Happy Birthday. I wanted to put a chocolate fan on top but I failed to make a nice one. I have this urge to refine my chocolate making skills. I was  doing better when I was working in Bangkok. Since I left my old job, I had not done any chocolate decorations. This is bad.

Anyway, I hope the taste does the cake justice.

November 4, 2013

A visit with German friends in Koh Samui

The next best thing for me to do is tour friends around. My German friend and his friend came to Thailand for a holiday. They toured Bangkok, the north, Phuket, Krabi, and finally Koh Samui. I wasn't expecting to see him in Samui since he had just visited the island few months back. When I got the email from him saying he and his friend had decided to come down here, I was so glad.

As the host, I wanted them to have as much fun as possible. The weather didn't permit it for the first two days though. We got lots of rain when they arrived. They were supposed to do island tour. Due to wet weather, they chose to stay and relax.

October 28, 2013

Going Korean on my birthday

When I moved here on the island, I was back to living on my own after four years. The feeling of not having someone to talk to everyday is surreal. I started immersing myself in my surrounding, making friends and guess what? Watching Korean drama.  I  got hooked on Korean drama once again after a  long hiatus. I watch one after another. It's my way to relax and take my thoughts off of work.

One thing I like about Korean drama is showing how the food plays an important role in Korean culture. Whether fine dining, eating at home or  in food tents, or just grabbing a ramyun (instant noodles) in a convenient store, eating is always portrayed in their dramas. The scenes make me drool. And for so long, my palate had been craving for Korean food. So, on my birthday, I thought it was just right to treat myself to Korean food indulgence. I took two friends in tow. We went to Arirang Restaurant located in Chong Mon.

October 25, 2013

Daily Turndown Desserts

Two weeks after I started with my new job, a new duty was assigned to me. Make turndown desserts daily for the resort's guests. I'm  new in the hospitality industry. When I joined the resort, I had no concept of what kind of services the resorts/hotels offer guests. I had seen staff make small desserts in glass a couple weeks back. All I heard from them was they were making turndown for guests but I  failed to inquire more.I was in my adjustment period at the time so I didn't bother much. My focus was more on getting my bread and pastries right because it was during the taste test period.. When the task was handed to me, I  did some research. It was then when I fully understood the idea of turndown service.

What is turndown service? In the hospitality industry, turndown service refers to the practice of staff entering a guest's room and re-arranging the bed linen of the bed in the room to the state it was before the guest slept in it. An item of confectionery such as a chocolate[1] or a mint[2] is typically left on top of a pillow in the bed that has been "turned down".
Some hotels have more elaborate turndown services, such as bed-time stories for children and cocktails served to young couples.[3]  Source: WIKI

That's it. I like the idea of someone preparing my bed for me before I crash :).  Getting a confectionery is not a big deal for me. Anyway, here's some of my miniature desserts.

October 21, 2013

Mai Tai Restaurant

Gai Pad med mamuang (Chicken with cashew nut)

There is a restaurant I frequent on weekends. It's called Mai Tai, located just opposite Samui's IT Center in Lamai. Eating on a resort island can be costly but the food at MT is affordable. The owner is a good cook and she does most of the cooking (as far as I know).  She has an assistant who takes over when she's not around. I became friends with the ladies after two visits. The restaurant is  meters away from where I live but I chose to walk and even brave the weather just to have that delicious Thai meal.

October 18, 2013

Macaron Wedding Cake - A Labor Of Love

The dreadful days had come! Macaron making made me restless for a few days. I had an early start to give myself plenty of time to correct things that might  go wrong. I made about 500 macarons in a period of three days. Not all cookie turned out good but I managed to come up with the required amount of colorful, decent looking macarons for the cake.

I learned the process at the French culinary school. As required I made them a few times. I thought it was my last encounter with the famous French cookie. Never had I imagined rekindling my relationship with it three years later. To play it safe, I did the macarons per color. The whole process tensed me up. I said my prayers each time. I am not an artisan macaron maker so you can imagine how much effort I made and patience I gave into each procedure.

October 9, 2013

Oh So Delicious Macarons!

There is a wedding coming up. The bride had requested macaron cake. I was  asked if I could make them. Having no confidence with my macaron skills, I refused. I learned about macaron procedure at the culinary school but that was ages ago. I had not done it since then.  Working with macarons need a lot of patience and precision. I was afraid of failing to live  up to the bride's expectations so I told the manager to outsource it. A couple of days had passed, the manager approached me again and asked if I could do a trial run of macarons. Apparently, macaron is expensive here. It is sold by piece so it would cost the resort a fortune if they order from a supplier.

So here's what I made. Pink macarons with vanilla and chocolate filling. After two failures, I had finally got the right texture, size and color. I was so ecstatic because I didn't know I could pull it off. I will be making multi colored macarons for the wedding. Let's hope and pray I can do it without a lot of hassle.

October 4, 2013

The Queen of Ravioli

My weekly ravioli making routine  bestowed on me a new name - The Queen of Ravioli. Yup, you heard it right. Ravioli is served during Sunday Brunch and is recently added to the restaurant's new menu so you can imagine the amount of this Italian filled pasta I make each week. Ravioli resembles Chinese dumplings. In China where I lived more than seven years,  dumplings are a must on Chinese New Year's eve. I had made them numerous times with former students, friends and adoptive Chinese family but my wrapping skills weren't up to par. With ravioli, I don't have rules to follow. I manage my own work and no one bugs me at how I should wrap my ravioli. Haha. (对不起 妈妈!)

October 1, 2013

Vanilla Sponge Cake

 I do a lot of dough related stuff each day, a contrast of what I used to do at my old job. I miss working with cakes and butter cream. I miss being creative. I do get a request for cakes at the resort only on some special occasions. Working with dough is my stress reliever but I  find contentment in making cakes. Perhaps because I am in full  control of the transformation that takes place. Oh well, cakes are beauty to behold.

Last week I made this cake for our guest. The only request she asked was to make her a vanilla sponge cake. So here's what I made for her- a vanilla sponge cake coated with vanilla butter cream. I wrote the inscription using  melted dark chocolate.

September 22, 2013


Sunday Brunch is a major event at the resort. It is also the busiest day of the week for us. As for me, I do the usual baking when I get in early in the morning then help at the dessert and cold kitchen section once I finish up.  There are times when I stay at the bakery the whole day prepping up for the days ahead. Some Sundays, I get extra request from the chef.

A week ago, there was some misunderstanding with the market list for Sunday. The grissini, which the restaurant usually orders from the supplier were not delivered. I was in the middle of making pastries when the chef asked me to make grissini (bread sticks) for brunch. I only had an hour before the brunch started so I hurriedly wrap the rolled out pastry in cling film, put it back in the chiller, cleared my work table and mixed bread stick dough. I had not done it before so I referred to my guide the whole time. Looking back and forth actually made the process longer but I wanted to get the recipe right.

September 18, 2013

Authentic Thai Food at Sabeinglae Restaurant - Lamai, Koh Samui

Sabeinglae is probably the most popular Thai restaurant in Samui. When you go round the island, you will see the restaurant signs plastered all over. My friend who works at Banyan Tree had so wanted to eat there after hearing good reviews from her guests. She was so excited when I said we could go later in the week.

It was my second time to the restaurant. I was there many weeks back with a friend. I only had tasted a couple dishes as the people I was with ordered more seafood dishes. Just so you know I don't eat seafood (sea creatures without scales) for religious purposes. Good thing she and I both love fish so we decided to get two fish dishes

September 15, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread

I have tried several version of whole wheat bread  and this one stood out among others. I adapted it from  Dutch whole wheat bread called Volkorenbrood. It became my  trusted recipe and have used it since.

I used a mixture of wheat flour, Imperial whole wheat mixed flour and wheat germ. It's surprising how the combination of the three makes a delicious, good textured whole wheat bread.

September 13, 2013

Night Out with Kath at Ark Bar

My friend Kath took some time to visit before flying back to America. It is probably our last rendezvous in Thailand as her family is moving back to the US for good. I can't imagine not seeing her family in Bangkok when I go back.

Anyway,  it was only a short stay but I had a wonderful time visiting with her. On her first night on the island, I took her to Ark Bar where a DJ friend works. Unfortunately, we're not able to meet him as he was on holiday  again.  AB is a good place to chill out, away from the busy Chaweng streets so we decided to stay and get a drink. We talked, laughed and reminisced the past years while we sat comfortably on the beach and sipped our mango shake.

September 9, 2013

Mango Sticky Rice Pudding (Khao Niao Ma Muang)

Another addition to the dessert menu is this classic Thai mango sticky rice. I have eaten it countless times but I had never cooked it until today. The executive chef asked me to cook the  pudding and arrange it on a dessert plate.  I used banana leaf as the base. I molded the sticky rice in a mousse ring and laid it on the banana leaf. I put diced mango on top, poured coconut sauce on them and sprinkled roasted black sesame seeds. To garnish, a fresh mint leaf or Thai orchid can be used. The chef was in a hurry and neither of us wanted to sprint into the kitchen to get  mint leaf. (The bakery is in a separate building, on the other side of the resort) . He needed to show it to the big boss immediately so just for the photo taking purpose, he used basil leaf instead. :) I had no idea where he got it though.

September 5, 2013

Plating dessert is a daunting task for a beginner like me

 Cheesecake is a new addition to the dessert menu. The executive chef and I tried different plating designs for cakes. Some staff joined in. We designed the plate  by putting together ideas based from our experiences and what we got from internet. Both were too fancy for the big boss. She liked it simple and the chef wanted a dessert plate that is quick to assemble so we settled for a simple design  another staff had come up with. Funny eh? Sorry I don't have a picture of it as it was devoured by the staff before I could even click my camera. I managed to take a picture of the two though.

September 4, 2013

Danish Envelopes, Pinwheels and Cinnamon Rolls

There was a  time when making pastries scared the life out of me. I still recall the struggles I faced when I encased the  butter in  dough. That was so long ago. Now, making croissants and Danish pastries has become my stress reliever. That's something I look forward to doing when I go to work. I am in a world of my own once I start working with pastries. When I see them double in size and finally smell the rich buttery aroma that fills the bakery, I feel my mission for the day is accomplished :)

August 30, 2013

Chocolate Walnut Tart for the BR Restaurant's New Menu

The restaurant of the resort where I work is overhauling the entire menu. The first of such in four years since it started operation. That long, yeah. The new menu debuts today. Lots of new dishes and desserts await eager customers and patrons. As the person in-charge of desserts, I was asked to make chocolate walnut tart for the opening.

August 27, 2013

Bread Winner

I have started baking bread in full force. Two weeks have passed since I  laid my hands on  bread dough and yet I still feel intimidated in dealing with it. What I need to acquire to become proficient is the knowledge and technique of handling bread dough - from the kneading time, to resting, shaping, proofing and finally baking.

I consider myself beginner. The workshops I attended at the culinary school did not cover everything but they helped me in so many ways.  Going back to the time during my  first few weeks struggling  at my old job in Bangkok, (I was a pastry cook) it gives me hope. I keep reminding myself that everything starts from the beginning and all will be well eventually so I have nothing to worry about.

August 23, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

There's a saying which goes "Practice makes perfect". True. I made a lot of pastries this week and I must say my laminating dough skill is improving. I am still struggling to get the right crescent shape though but it will come around. It's only a matter of time until I'm well on my way to mastering it.

August 21, 2013

Strawberry Cheesecake for the Wedding Couple

There's a lot of weddings going on at the resort. Just yesterday, I was requested to make strawberry cheesecake for a wedding couple. I had yet to prove the owner and the residents manager I could do cakes. Here was my chance.

After I assembled the cheesecake, I thought it looked too plain for an important event like a wedding. To make the cake look nicer I masked it with chantilly cream (whipped cream). I used the leaf piping tip  to conceal the side of the cake, a small star piping tip to make the rosette decoration on the top and the base. I dab a little bit of jam on every other rossette. I then poured a strawberry filling on top.

August 19, 2013

No Giving Up

Success! My third attempt.

It has been a  mind-blowing experience at work this week.  I started to make bread  and pastries for breakfast. I have no strong background in bread baking although the basic training I got from my boulangerie class (bread baking) at Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School did help. When I think about the missed opportunities in working with bread at my former workplace in Bangkok, I feel bad. Bad because I had the chance yet I wasn't at all concerned. I had my own thing going ( I made all the cakes and other goodies). I just wished I did not take it for granted. All those times I was focusing more on pastries, desserts and cakes. Now that I am given the full responsibility of making all the bread for the resort's restaurant, I feel like exploding. Not that I am not up for the challenge but because  I am working alone. I have no one to guide me or help me. I'm on my own. It's a big responsibility alright.

For this week, I made white bread, whole wheat bread and attempted to make multi-grain bread on which I failed twice. I wondered if it was my lack of skills or lack of ingredients. As I said before, the bakery has just started operating after a year. I am still in the process of getting everything settled.

August 16, 2013

My Baking Saga Begins Anew

Muffin Trio: Clockwise: cheddar and black pepper muffin, mocha muffin and carrot-wheat germ muffin

The long wait is over. I have finally found a place where I can utilize my baking skills. This week I did some trial baking. I let the resident manager and staff  be the judges and asked their honest opinion about my baked goodies So far only two recipes failed. Some staff gave suggestions. I was happy to hear feedback so I could improve the taste and look of the things I make.

August 8, 2013

An Interesting First Week

I have not done any baking at the moment. I'm still trying to get everything settled at the bakery before I start. For now I help make dessert and hors d'oeuvres (appetizers). My biggest challenge this week so far  was a wedding cake. It was ordered from another bakery. When it was delivered, the design was not exactly the customer had expected. I tried to make some adjustments but to no avail. The whipped cream didn't work out. I made vanilla butter cream but the yellowish color made it look silly. So we stick to the old design. I put some fresh flowers on the top tier, one on the side where the two layers connect and another one on the base.

August 4, 2013

Sunday Brunch

It was my first day at my new job. I was a newcomer yet the Residents Manager assigned me to oversee dessert and cold menu items  for Sunday brunch. A big responsibility like this is something  I wasn't anticipating. The opportunity came  so I grabbed it.  I tried my best to live up to their expectations but as a newbie I could not avoid making mistakes. Lesson 101 learned today.

July 31, 2013

Another Wedding To Remember

The resort where I used to work is an ideal wedding location. Mike and his fiancee chose to get married at the P. I bet it was the biggest wedding of the year because staff from different departments came to help clean and decorate the pool deck where the wedding was held.. Talk about teamwork! When I arrived, everything was set. My job was to document the event and I snapped away as soon as I got the chance.

July 28, 2013

Beach Republic Restaurant - Lamai, Koh Samui

On the girls' last day in Samui we headed to Beach Republic in Lamai. It was the girls' first but my third visit to the resort. I was there a few weeks back to see the son of  a family friend who works as the Director of Sales. This time, it was them meeting for the first time.

The resort charges outside guests Thai Baht 1,000 per person. The price includes the use of all the resort's facilities, food and drinks. The girls were in their swimming attire and they badly wanted to go swimming so they didn't mind paying.  I had to rush back to work so I only stayed for a couple hours.

July 22, 2013

Ice Bar - Chaweng, Koh Samui

We were all bundled up

I am a people person. Everywhere I go I meet different kinds of people. My trip to Malaysia in May this year has lengthen the list of my new friends. One of them whom I gotten close to is the PR Manager of Ice Bar Koh Samui.

I 'd been planning my visit to Ice Bar for a while. I had to cancel it a few times  because there was always something that would prevent me from going.  My work at the resort is unpredictable.  If something comes up and my service is needed, I have to stay. Well, the girls were visiting so I thought it would be nice if they experience the arctic feeling at Ice Bar. It's also my chance to see it for myself.

July 21, 2013

Le Cabanon French Restaurant at Fisherman's Village - Bophut, Koh Samui

Choosing Le Cabanon  from numerous restaurants which lined the streets of Fisherman's Village was a right decision. We loved the food. The staff were attentive and helpful. The restaurant is on the beach so any diners can get to enjoy the ocean breeze while eating.

July 17, 2013

Fisherman's Village - Bophut, Koh Samui

The big sign. You won't miss it.

My sister came down to Koh Samui with my cousin and a friend in tow. No words could describe my excitement and happiness when I saw them for the first time in three months. Yeah. Three months was not a long time but given our closeness, it seemed forever.

They were here for only four days so I made sure they maximized the short time they had. I took them to Fisherman's Village in Bophut . On Fridays the place is transformed into a walking street. It was Monday when we went. The area was quiet. Such a perfect time to catch up with everyone and enjoy dinner.

July 14, 2013

Veronica and Erik's Beach Wedding

A small, intimate wedding

I was privileged to assist the events manager in preparing Veronica and Erik's beach wedding. It was my first time and I was so ecstatic to be a part of the wedding team. Thank you Khun Ja for the opportunity you gave me.

July 12, 2013

The Terrace BBQ Night and Fire Show

Due to high occupancy,  the resort hosted another barbeque event. This time we invited fire dancers to liven up the night. Except for the outdoor bbq, everything went as planned. Our sincere appreciation to all our guests who made this evening possible.

July 5, 2013

A Celebration Of Thai Food And Culture

Complimentary welcome drinks

Holding an outdoor party during monsoon is a challenge. Getting  in-house guests to sign up for the event is even more difficult. Only a few days before Thai Cultural Night, we worked hard to convince our guests to attend the event.By the time the event started we had almost 70% percent attendees. I couldn't remember how many times I prayed for a nice weather. God heard them. The weather cooperated and we had a perfect party at the pool deck.  Yeeha!

July 3, 2013

Snake Temple - Penang, Malaysia

I had a whole day to relax before going back to Thailand so I went with a friend to check out snake temple in Bayan Lepas. It was a forty minute bus ride from George Town.

The Snake Temple (Chinese: 蛇庙; pinyin: Shé Miào; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tsuâ-biō) is situated in Sungai Kluang, Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia and is perhaps the only temple of its kind in the world. The temple is filled with the smoke of burning incense and a variety of pit vipers. The vipers are believed to be rendered harmless by the sacred smoke, but as a safety precaution, the snakes have also been de-venomed but still have their fangs intact, visitors are warned against picking up the reptiles and placing them on their bodies for taking pictures. Local devotees believe that the temple's snake population has come there of its own accord.

The temple was built circa 1850 in memory of Chor Soo Kong (祖師公), by a Buddhist monk. Chor Soo Kong (also known as Qingshui) was born with the Tan surname (陳昭應, or Tan Chhiau-eng) in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). He was very serious about spiritual attainment and was ordained at a young age. Legend has it that Chor Soo Kong, who was also a healer, gave shelter to the snakes of jungle. When he died at the age of 65 after a lifetime of good deeds, he was bestowed the honorific title Chor Soo, meaning an eminent historic figure continuously revered by a community generation after generation. After the completion of the temple, snakes appeared on their own accord. The Snake Temple was originally named the "Temple of the Azure Cloud" in honor of the beauty of Penang's sky.

 (Source: Wiki)

July 1, 2013

Little India - George Town, Penang, Malaysia

 I had no chance to see Little India when I went to Penang 13 years ago. Visiting it was on my "to-do" list. I got really excited when I learned that the area was just a walking distance from my guesthouse. When a new friend mentioned having Indian food for breakfast that day, I asked if he could take me and my other two friends to the same restaurant. He wanted to go Indian for dinner that day so four of us went.