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April 15th 2014

15 Apr 2014 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >


Another amazing Songkran
songkran-simmoYesterday saw pretty much the entire Island of Koh Tao suffering from a collective hangover- literally! Today it's business as usual, but two days ago locals and tourists alike were celebrating Songkran- the traditional Thai new year. This is where people spray each other with water pistols or buckets of water, in order to cleanse and purify the soul from whatever debauchery it accumulated over the previous year. It seems that everyone felt that everyone else needed a lot of cleansing!
At Big Blue it all kicked off at around 10am, with some very civilised light-dousings, interspersed with moderate imbibing of alcoholic beverages. Obviously it only took around an hour for the bar and restaurant to resemble a scene from the hunger games, and it quickly became every man for himself. Most people just wanted to shoot water all day and night, some just wanted to sit and watch it all unfold, but everyone had a great time. At around 2pm, SSI instructor trainer, and part-time brigadier-general Simon Garrity commanded the Big Blue divemaster trainees to raid another dive school, and the bar was temporarily slightly quieter than before. But then they all returned victorious and immediately forgot about their dive school alliance of not 5 minutes prior, and proceeded to turn on each other again! There was also a makeshift water slide going from outside the office to the sea. I've been told that health and safety officers had inspected it and certified it as safe for use, and the rumours that some drunken people thought it would be a great idea to build it were completely unfounded....!
Details of the day became more and more sketchy, but what is recalled is that the whole day and night was all very good natured and everyone seemed to have a great time. Songkran is easily the best day of the year for people who live here, and it must come as a big of a shock for people who find themselves staying here when it all kicks off! Ah well, only 363 days until the next one..

Star watching
Living in a city, it's easy to forget that you can't see anywhere near as many stars as you can in places where there is little or no light pollution. In Koh Tao, as long as the squid boats are not out in force, it's pretty damn dark outside of Mae Hadd and Sairee village. So you can get a bit of stargazing in. This month is particularly good for planet spotting; last night I could see Mars next to the full Moon, Saturn, and Jupiter. Pretty amazing. Electrical storms are also common at this time of year, as we approach the hottest time of the year and the warm and cooler air battle it out. The light shows can be mesmerising and you can easily find yourself watching them for hours. So the next time you stumble home from your night out, remember to look up!


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