Thursday, 30 October 2014

5 Thai Meals Visitors Must Try!

Thailand is home to many world-renowned dishes which gained favour among gourmands and gourmets because of their spicy, savory, and delicious flavours. What’s also enticing about Thai cuisine is that each part of the country often has its own specialty. Home-grown Thai meals are also typically inexpensive, further adding to the allure they have to visiting foreigners. Here are five must-try dishes to try during your stay at ShaSa Resort and Residences.

Salad first: the papaya som tum

Unripe papaya is the main ingredient for this tangy salad which is a Thai cuisine staple. The other ingredients that go into it can include dried shrimp, crabs, garlic, chilis, fish sauce, palm sugar and lime. It provides a refreshing counterpoint to the warm Thai climate, although its spicy taste can be a challenge to the uninitiated. This salad goes well with pork, fish, rice, chicken BBQ and steamed rice.

Khao Soi soup noodle

This noodle dish is one of the meal delights from Chiangmai. It is also spicy and comes in a broth prepared in semi-thickness using coconut milk. The full flavor of its wet rice noodles comes out with its ingredients of pickled mustard leaves, fresh chopped onions, and lime. A whole chicken leg is its typical viand companion.

Well-rounded Massaman curry

Amongst the many Thai curried dishes, this one earns points for its wide variety of ingredients. Its distinctive flavor comes from a rich mix of tamarind and fish sauces, chilis, coconut milk, palm sugar, star anise, and a host of other spices.
Chiang Mai sausages, the sai ua

This is another hot Thai entrée. Minced pork is its main ingredient which draws its fiery reputation from a potent combination of spices and herbs. Sai ua is a particular favorite in the northern part of Thailand which covers Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, and Chiang Rai. For under $1, you can partake of these sweet and savory sausages in roadside eateries at these localities.

Pat gra pao

Minced pork or chicken forms the main ingredient of pat gra pao, another spicy Thai meal offering. It is cooked with garlic, chilis, and basil, a searing combination that brings out all the spice and flavor with every chew of this Thai favourite best served with a bed of steamed rice.
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Monday, 27 October 2014

Chai Dee Cooking School

Chai Dee is one of the family-oriented attractions in the island resort of Koh Samui that you just have to see while staying at ShaSa Resort & Residences. This place is located in the island’s northeast coastal corner, cozily tucked amid tall coconut trees.

Essentially, Chai Dee is a restaurant where visiting families can enjoy a sampling of Thai home-cooked meals and snacks. The international dishes served here are as equally delightful.

Delightful meals and menagerie

But there are other wonderful things to do and see at Chai Dee. It is a cooking school and a petting farm as well. Children will be delighted in particular that while dining, they can feed their food scraps to Chica Dee’s charming pets which roam freely around the restaurant. These pets include not only dogs and chicken but a pig and a pair of goats as well.

The kids can also buy special treats for these lovable animals and for the resident bunnies, squirrels, turtles, and fish. Chica Dee is also home to cute sugar gliders, two myna birds, several budgies, and a talking cockatoo (only Thai please) and an Indian roller.

If the kids get bored with this amazing menagerie, which is highly unlikely, there’s a trampoline for them. And while the children are busy with their antics, the parents can try cookery at Chai Dee.

Temptations to stay longer

This Samui attraction is located near the Big Buddha temple, another must-see attraction in the island. Chai Dee was constructed in such a way that the activities it offers go as smooth as silk. A simple, roofed building houses the restaurant itself with all of its four sides open and looking out towards a garden and the resident animals’ domain. Chai Dee opens its doors to customers for breakfast and closes shop in the early evening. Homemade cakes and pies are also available here for possible take-outs.

Tarrying for some time at Chai Dee would be quite tempting. It is a place that is more than a restaurant, petting farm, and cooking school. The pastoral setting it provides is ideal for watching the beautiful island sunset. Moreover, its staff members are courteous and friendly, making Chai Dee truly ideal for all family members.
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Friday, 24 October 2014

5 Must-Try Thai Desserts

Thailand is famous for its delightful desserts, a spillover of the country’s reputation as home to spicy and savory dishes. Typically, the sweet tooth amongst us can draw much pleasure in the indigenous flavor of Thai desserts as generously provided by fresh fruits, coconut, and sticky rice. Be sure to try the following desserts during your stay at ShaSa Resort.
Khao niew mamuang
This is the perfect combination of coconut cream, slow-cooked coconut sticky rice, and ripe mangoes. It has become so popular that Thai restaurants overseas also offer this dessert. Partaking of this offering though is best in Thailand because of the superior quality of the local mangoes. This dessert can be found in classy restaurants as well as in makeshift street stalls.
Khao niew bing
Also known as khanom bing, this dessert is prepared with sweet sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. It is slow-cooked within a Thai traditional basket and mixed with sugar and coconut milk prior to being molded around chunks of sweet taro root or banana, all wrapped in banana leaves. Its sweet taste isn’t overpowering and what dominate are the quaint undertones of fruit and coconut in addition to the hints of smoked banana leaves. Sidewalk stalls typically sell this dessert.
Luk chup
This dessert stands out not only because of its exquisite taste, as its brilliant colors are also quite impressive. It is a Thai adaptation of the Portuguese sweet almond snack. Its ingredients include boiled mung bean, coconut milk and sugar all mixed into a pulp. The resulting mixture is then molded into various shapes resembling eggs, fruits, or other enticing items. For the finishing touches, colorful jellies are applied. Prepared food markets, along with a few select cafes and restaurants, are the main outlets for luk chup.
This is a yeast-less bread similar to the pancakes which originated from India. The Thai-styled roti is flaky outside and soft inside. Its preparation calls for swift and continuous flips of the dough on a greased and hot skillet. Roti comes either plain or stuffed with fillings like pineapple or banana. This dessert is a regular fare in Thai restaurants.
I-dtim mat phrao
This dessert is Thailand’s version of the European-American ice cream. It is prepared by combining pounded ice with a mix of coconut milk, sweet-flavored syrups, and sweet gelatin. Fresh fruit is added on top to complete the presentation of this dessert which is sold by mobile ice cream vendors.
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Choosing the Right Backpack

Backpacks come in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. Essentially, choosing the right backpack will depend on its durability to withstand the rigors of use and abuse. Here are a few considerations when purchasing a bag for your stay at ShaSa Resort.

Water resistance

The material of the backpack need not be totally waterproof. Preferable are packs which are made of water-resistant material which keeps the bags’ contents dry in case of a drizzle but, at the same time, allows some air to circulate. One great choice is a water-resistant pack which comes with a 100% waterproof tarp cover for use in instances of a severe downpour or torrential rains.


Go for bags which have multiple compartments. With these backpacks, it easier to organize the items brought along a hike or trip. The multi-compartment feature is most advantageous for trekking as load can be distributed to the optimum comfort of the user.

Built-in frames

Avoid the bulky backpacks with external aluminum frames which are increasingly going passé. Favored now are packs with internal frames which not only look more streamlined but easier to move around and won’t easily get entangled. These bags are lighter and easier to carry too as their frames are often made of carbon fiber composites or tough plastic.


When in use, consider a backpack already an extension of your garments which should wear as comfortable as possible. Hence, backpacks with adequate hip and shoulder paddings are strong candidate choices. So are those padded or lumbar-contoured backpack designed similar to contoured chairs. These features will not only provide comfort but also help in load distribution as well.


Backpacks with compartments having two lockable zipper ends are great for helping secure the bags contents whether from unwanted pilferage or accidental dropping of their contents. This feature can give you peace of mind especially if the backpack will be a checked-in luggage in a plane flight.


Choose a pack proportionate with your weight. As a starting point, try a bag which has a capacity of 30 pounds or 15 kilos to have a feel of what would be the most ideal pack size.
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Friday, 17 October 2014

Dealing with Flight Delays 

Delayed or cancelled flights are the bane of air travelers anywhere. The factors which bring about sudden and unexpected changes in airline departure schedules are varied, and many of these are unavoidable such as weather and safety considerations. Nonetheless, there are measures which you can take in order to lessen the risk of a delayed departure when you leave ShaSa Resort to go home.

Book with a more reliable airline 

Check and compare the carriers’ track record on their on-time performance. Their websites can be a good source of this information as well as the online portals of aviation authorities which monitor not only the airlines’ fidelity to their schedules but also their routes’ turnaround times, average delays, and delay frequency.

Go even choosier on connecting flights

Booking a non-stop flight should be your priority. But if you can’t avoid having a connecting flight, reduce the chances of missing it by allowing enough lead time to compensate for the possibility of a delayed schedule. Again, check info on aviation authorities’ websites on which carrier or airport have problems on connecting flights.

Having enough leeway for a connecting flight can also work to your advantage. Should you arrive early and just have carry-on luggage, there’s the possibility of flying on an earlier flight as a standby passenger and still have a reserved seat on the next flight. The carrier will be happy too if your original flight has a heavy booking as they’ll have an extra seat available.

Give least preference on a last flight

When booking with your airline of choice, limit your choices to those flights leaving at least an hour or two prior to the last flight. Should your original flight be cancelled or delayed, there’s still the possibility of flying in the next aircraft scheduled to depart. This way, you’d be able to avoid the inconvenience of sleeping at the airport or spending extra in a hotel which would happen if the last flight you booked is cancelled.

Input flight delays in your itinerary

Take into consideration possible flight delays in setting up appointments and schedules in your travel itinerary. This will help make your trip less stressful as flight delays are one of those things that air passengers just have to live with.
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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Expats & Thailand: A Love/Hate Relationship

Many expatriates in Thailand can’t help but harbour an ambivalent attitude of love and hate for their host country. Certainly, there are two sides in the coin for this Southeast Asian nation which prides itself as the only in the region not subjugated by a Western power. It is for this reason that the country changed its name from Siam to Thailand, taking on the word “Thai” which means free in the native language.
Akin to this free spirit is the Thais non-domineering and friendly nature. This is what has gained favor most among expats, the better half of their feelings for this country that urges them to stay despite the negatives that they too encounter here. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the Thais are among the friendliest in the world, accommodating and caring even to complete strangers.
Positive Thai outlook
The more relaxed way of life in Thailand compared to Western cultures is another enticement for expats to overrule whatever they dislike in living in this country. Thais have a very positive outlook on life. When faced by adversity, their typical approach is “mai bpen lai,” meaning “never mind and don’t worry” as the unwelcome predicament will soon pass. With this fundamental in the ebb and flow of life in Thailand, a positive outlook too becomes ingrained among the country’s expats.
Cost of living which is considerably more affordable than in developed countries is another vital reason why farangs choose to stick it out in Thailand. For a fraction of the rates in Western cities, they can have upscale living quarters in Bangkok, for instance.
Life and leisure advantages win
And while Western dishes are widely available locally at great prices, Thai cuisine compares favorably with the best of the world but doesn’t cost that much. The same is true with local shopping which not only offers competitively priced quality items but also enables alternatives from a wide range of goods, be it in shopping malls or night markets.
Lastly, leisure spots in Thailand like ShaSa Resort are plus factors that can outweigh the minuses that bother expats about this country. Even just an overnight stay at the beaches of Koh Samui can be enough for love to prevail over the hate that some expats entertain about living here.
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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Football Golf on Koh Samui

Football golf is a relatively new game. A combination of football and golf, it has quickly gained following in the Thai resort island of Koh Samui, as both sports are also popular activities in Thailand. The rules of play in golf apply but a regulation soccer ball is kicked toward each hole in order to score. The player having the lowest tally emerges as the winner at the end of the game.

As a full-fledged sport, this game is called footgolf, and already has a significant international following and is now overseen by a world governing body. A World Footgolf Championship, in fact, is scheduled for this August in Germany. Be sure to play "footgolf" during your stay at ShaSa Resort!

Special course layout

A round of football golf on Koh Samui, however, is more than just competition but a fun-filled activity wherein all members of the family and their friends can enjoy. Play is also a bit shorter, as the Koh Samui football golf course is a par 69 layout. Footgolf matches, on the other hand, are typically held at championship golf links which are longer at their par 72 regulation play.

The Koh Samui football golf course was constructed exclusively for the game. The well-manicured fairways of its 18-hole layout meander across verdant coconut plantations. A full round of play can take between one to one and a half hours, depending on the ability of the players. This whole tour of the course covers about a kilometre.

Superb design and location

This unique recreational facility in Koh Samui is very well-designed. It offers challenges to players with an eye for risk-taking in their game. At the same time, the course affords beginners easier paths to enjoy the game. A players’ mix of varying ages and gender is therefore quite possible, enabling loads of fun besides competition.

A round of football golf on Koh Samui can readily be included in visitors’ itineraries. The course is conveniently located close to most of the beach resorts and hotels in the island. Built close to the family-friendly beach of Choeng Mon, the course is just a five- to 20-minute drive from Big Buddha, Chaweng, and Lamai Beach.
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