JumBlog - Archives - April 2005

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17 July 2005

Ahahn talay, anyone?


27 April 2005
Just going thru my picture archives today and ran across this boatman picture, so I'm posting it because I like it. Click for larger.

25 April 2005
It's been a busy week at KJO.com. The link to Anders amazing pictures from 2Bangkok.com was picked up a handful of big websites and we've seen approx. 40,000 people stream thru here to take a look. Fazed.net, KuulNyuuz.hu, Forteantimes.com, blogger Attu, 10E.org have all linked, and this morning big French Taulard.net picked it up and is sending people here at the rate of 200+ per hour. This is big news for this little site and if you've come here thru one of those links and made it to this blog...welcome to KJO.com. Take a look around and if you like what I've done here drop me a line. Thanks for visiting.

I have added a couple more reader submitted picture pages to the Gallery section. Sybille (Germany) sent these pix of Ko Pu Valley Resort when she was on Koh Pu this past winter. Johan (Sweden) was at Andaman Beach Resort on TDay and he sent me these shots of Koh Jum before and after the tsunami. Thanks to them for their contributions to KJO.com.

I have also added a couple links to the blogroll. If you're looking for all-things-Bangkok with a nice sense of humor then you need to look up Bangkok Bob. He's put together a superb website on how to negotiate around the City Of Angels. His page on how to get around BKK is really terrific and he has the best explanation of the SkyTrain/Metro/Subway I've seen. Go take a look. What BKKBob misses (which isn't much) Bangkok Phil covers. He's an ex-pat and longtime BKK resident and he's got a good feel for the City. Check him out.

18 April 2005
Thanks are in order to Ron Morris at 2Bangkok.com for linking to Anders remarkable tsunami wave pictures in the Gallery section of KJO.com this morning. He does a great job covering Thailand for us English speakers and his coverage in the days and weeks following the tsunami were amongst the best. If you're interested in keeping up with what's happening in the Land-o-Smile go visit him often.

If you are here thru the 2BKK link please have a look around the site and let me know what you think. The Forum is a good place for your comments. If you have pictures from a past trip to Koh Jum that you'd like to contribute to the site just email them to me and I'll put them up, no strings attached. Enjoy your visit and thanks for dropping in.

17 April 2005
I have added several pages of reader submitted pictures over in the Gallery section of KJO.com. Annie (UK) sent me a bunch of shots of the tsunami damage at Green Bungalows, plus a couple classic pix of her and her gfs sailing off into the night aboard the FUBAR. Her new page can be found by clicking here.

Jan (The Netherlands) has a new Gallery page also. That's his second gallery and he continues to offer up really nice pictures of the local Koh Jumbians. His contributions are always welcome.

16 April 2005
If had a choice (and if I had enough money) I would upgrade my current home page into something like this. As it is, I can only dream about what KJO.com would look like in the hands of these folks. If they wanted to do it for free I'd let them, but I would have nary a clue how to fix it if it ever broke.

I got a very nice email from the  owners of Koh Jum Lodge yesterday. Jean Michel and Jane Limandas tell me that the reconstruction of the Lodge is continuing apace, and they expect to reopen for business sometime in July. That is fantastic news! KJL was hit hard by the tsunami (along with next door neighbors Season, Golden Pearl, and Green Bungalows) and when I was there in January and saw what was left of his beautiful resort I thought there was just no way NO WAY they were going to get things sorted before the 2005-06 tourist season. Evidently I was wrong about that and they'll be having the Grand Re-Opening sometime this summer. I'm happy for them. I had the opportunity to meet them in March when I was taking pictures of the resorts for this website, and the three of us sat and chatted on the veranda of the bungalow they had rebuilt as their home for about a half hour. We talked about what happened to the Lodge on Boxing Day and they were optimistic that thru hard work (and lots of baht) they would get back on their feet and recover. I was impressed with how they were handling their misfortune (26 December was the day KJL opened for business and one of their first customers was a series of 5-meter high waves) but that's kinda how it worked in the tsunami. You were either lucky or unlucky and the Limandas had plenty of the bad luck, but they seem to have gotten off the mat and are moving ahead. Good for them. I really like them and I'm looking forward to the pictures they promised to send me of the OK, Let's Try This Again Re-Opening later this summer.

15 April 2005
KJO.com reader Sanne (who's adventures at Season Bungalows are documented here) has sent me the snail mail addy for Season and I have added that to the Connections page. Reader Annie (UK) sends along the information that Seasons and Green Bungalows are owned by the same people, so I have added that to Green's contact information. She's also sending me some pictures she took of Green before and after the tsunami which I will use to create her gallery here. Thanks, ladies! Every little bit really helps.

Speaking of the tsunami, I ran across these satellite photos of "Unusual Wave Patterns at Thailand's Coast" about a month ago (pix taken from space December 26, 2004...TDay) and didn't pay too much attention to them. Just a bunch of tsunami waves on some unknown coast. I revisited them again yesterday when I was looking for something else and upon further review I noticed something remarkable. The city in the upper left-hand corner of this picture is Krabi, and further down on the image is Koh Jum:

If you look close enough you can almost see Billee's sidekick standing on Lubo Beach:

14 April 2005
I've added Utterly Boring to the blogroll, because I really like what UB webmaster Jake (USA) has done with it, it's content is always entertaining, and he gave me a lot of advice in setting up the final version of KJO.com so I thought I'd return the favor by linking to his site. And if I say enough nice things about him he'll help me take this blog to Movable Type in the near future. If you want to see what the state-of-the-art in blogs looks like, check out Utterly Boring. Welcome to the island, JO.
I just received word (via email) from Ray at Woodland Lodge that the Krabi-KJum-KLanta ferryboat has stopped it's once/day service for the season. It will resume with it's usual twice/day runs sometime this fall. This means that if you are going to KJum this spring or summer you have to take a bus or taxi from Krabitown to Laem Kruat and take the longtail taxiboat to either Baan Koh Jum or Baan Koh Pu........Also, today is the last day that Andaman Beach Resort will be open. They are closed until the fall tourist season begins.  Woodland is open all year.....Thanks for the tip, Kn. Ray.

Happy Songkran!


Picture from 2Bangkok.com. They have a lot more pix of the water festivities at Khao Sarn Road here.

13 April 2005
After the past few days of being online it's become obvious to me that a page (this one) devoted strictly to what happened on Koh Jum during and after the tsunami was limiting me as to what I wanted to add to the site and in which direction I wanted to go with KJO.com. This page was "Tsunami Tcentral" and it was going to be a place for the latest pix and news about the disaster, but several people have emailed me suggesting that I was getting too "tsunamicentric" (and that's a great word btw) and that I needed to stick to what I did best: compile pictures of the island and the resorts from readers.

The original version of KJO.com looked like a manifestation of my Goth Side (a friend of mine described it as "dark and depressing, kinda scary"). I thought it was colorful, but it was hard on the eyes so I took the hint and changed it to it's current design. Good thing I had a lighter template in the drawer or I'd probably be giving people nightmares instead of attracting people to KJO.com. The original design had an "Instant Koh Jum" page where I could add any updates (ferryboat schedules, resort opening/closings, etc) that I ran across to the site in a timely fashion, but that idea was just never going to work because nobody would ever be able to find it. Quandaries abounded.

It's never been said that I'm not open to change so I've decided to take off in yet another direction by making this page the Official Blog of KohJumOnline.com. I've been running across lots of non-Koh Jum related things from around the Southern Kingdom that I wanted to post but had no place to do it. I also wanted to link to a few sites not on KJum because I happen to like what they've done with their sites, so I'll add a blogroll to the left side of this page shortly.  I also wanted to get back into blogging again after a 6 month absence and this will give me a place to post my "thoughts", strange as they may be.

Most important of all is that this blog will make KJO.com an ever-changing place with new material and information about SThailand posted every day or every few days. When I get an interesting email from a reader I can excerpt it here, so try to say something humorous when you write. Always got to keep 'em laughing, doncha know?

Speaking of laughing, go over to and say hello to mythicaldude, based in Koh Lanta (and the first to go up on my blogroll)  but this week he's blogging from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Check out this dude's pictures. He's very good.

12 April 2005
KJO.com reader Anders (Sweden) was on the top of Mt. Pu when the tsunami struck the island and he had his camera at the ready. The word is wow. Just WOW!! Go take a look at these pictures of the waves hitting North Beach at Anders' Gallery. Thank you very much, Anders. Unbelievable images.
KJO.com reader Heather (USA) sent me a bunch of before-tsunami pictures of Billee Bar that she took in January, 2004. I have added a few them to Billee's page. You can see the rest at her new gallery page. Cheers, Heather.  =)

5 April 2005

Evelyn Rodriquez (USA) is a big Koh Jum fan. She left KJum on Christmas Day and was on Phi Phi when the tsunami struck, then blogged the disaster better than anyone. She reminisces about the days she spent at Seasons before the waves.

Kate (England) was at Luboa Hut on T-Day.

2 April 2005

The tsunami which struck Thailand on Boxing Day, 2004 caused an enormous amount of death and destruction all around the Andaman Sea and far beyond. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in the South Asian region, with roughly 10,000 people killed in Thailand, mainly in Khao Lak and on Phi Phi Island. That nobody died on Koh Jum was nothing short of a miracle, but 10 or 11 young Koh Jumbians who worked on Phi Phi Island were killed by the waves. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families who lost loved ones on that terrible day.

Although no one was killed on KJum many people were injured, some seriously. Many of the local residents lost their homes, their boats, and much of their possessions. It will take a long time for the native people of KJum to recover.



Ban Koh Jum


You can help. Jan from Woodland Lodge has set up a relief site called SOS Koh Jum for you to donate cash and all money raised will go directly to helping the locals get back on their feet. So far they've raised over $25,000 USD for the reconstruction of homes and boats. Go give. You can afford a few hundred baht for a worthwhile cause.

  How can you not want to help these guys? Makut is the farang in the front row.  

The resorts owners of KJum also took a swift kick in the teeth December 26th. Some bungalow operations were almost completely destroyed, all suffered damage to varying degrees. I was not in Thailand for the tsunami so I didn't see it, but when I arrived at KJum on January 7th the shock of that day was still apparent in the faces of the folks who were there to witness it. I spent two whole days walking the length of the island taking pictures of the damage and you can see what I saw at my KoPu2005 site. Click on "Tsunami".

Speaking of helping out a friend in need, Billee was one of the big losers at KPu on Boxing Day. Lee lost his beachfront bar and his restaurant, but his three bungalows were undamaged. He was over in Railay on Ton Sai Beach getting together a camping trip to Ko Pu when the tsunami hit. The first wave put his longtail up on the beach, the second wave lifted his boat off the beach and deposited it into a restaurant (or a palm tree, depending on who is telling the story and how late at night it is). The details of what  really happened are unimportant because the undeniable fact is that his boat ended up splintered on Ton Sai.

A good man

Boat. Bar. Restaurant. All trashed. And if that's not enough the beach in front of Billee took a real licking too. Coral, trash, coral, and more trash. What a mess. He's basically starting over. He's one of the hardest working people I know and he's sunk his heart and soul into his bungalow operation and deserves better than he got. Help the guy out with some cash, won't you? The Railay Tsunami Fund has set up a Billee page for your generous donation. It's a good cause that will make you feel really good when you meet Billee this winter when you come to Koh Pu.

This is an amazing picture of the tsunami as it hit Season Bungalows:

Simon and Andie have more pictures of what happened next door at Green Bungalows at their website, Sidewards.

Emma, Elias, Eskild, Gustav, Martin and Sanne from Denmark were staying in a beachfront hut at Season when the tsunami hit. Really, they were inside the bungalow when the waves crashed in. They survived, narrowly. The bungalow didn't:

Sanne emailed me when she saw my tsunami site at Pensfans and told me her story, which I put up on it's own page. She and her family were very lucky to live thru that one.

Makut was staying at New Bungalows when the waves came sweeping in. He was kind enough to put the photos he took of the tsunami on CD and snail-mailed them to me from Germany:

The rest of his pictures can be found here. Thanks, Makut.

Here's the best overall Indian Ocean tsunami information site I've seen.

This is not KJum related, but check this out.






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