Beach Life

How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?

July 3rd, 2015 | Posted by Salad Daze in Activities - (Comments Off on How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?)

The answer to this question is probably something you asked yourself after you learnt to swim and you had time in a pool to muck around. When I was a kid I had competitions with my best friend as to who could hold their breath the longest. I often won with times of over 3 minutes.

Freediving is something similar. It is diving without scuba equipment. It’s you, flippers, mask and swim suit. You dive down and experience the underwater world as you hold your breath.

There is more than a knack to it; it is a proper regulated sport, like scuba diving; complete with accrediting body. On the neighbouring beach of Haad Yao, a new company has set up that offers freediving lessons. The company is called Apnea Koh Phangan Freediving School. They are located at Baan Haad Yao Villas on the beach.

As with a scuba school, Apnea Freediving offer a range of courses from 1 day introductions to courses leading to qualifications allowing you to teach free diving. They do free dives at Sail Rock so that students get an exciting aquatic environment to plunge the depths on a single breath.

There is theory and training. Key to the training is learning breathing techniques. Apnea Koh Phangan guarantees you will be able to hold your breath (above water) for 3 minutes after the training.

Here are the details:

Discover Freediving – Max depth 12 meters. 4,000 Thai Baht or 4,500 Thai Baht with a trip to Sail Rock. 1 day

Freediver – Max depth 20 meters. 6,500 Thai Baht or 7,000 Thai Baht with a trip to Sail Rock. 2 days

Advanced Freediver- Max depth 35 meters. 9,000 Thai Baht. 3 days

Master Freediver – 4 to 5 weeks internship. 25,000 Thai Baht or 30,000 Thai Baht with breakfast and lunch included

For qualified freedivers a fun dive costs 1,400 Thai Baht (group discounts available)

There are other courses available for those keen on pursuing the sport.

It should be mentioned that freediving takes you deeper sooner than equivalent scuba courses. If you fancy learning more and you are in Haad Salad why not pop over to Haad Yao and chase down Apnea Koh Phangan. Alternatively their email address is

Chef Tummy Thai Cooking School

May 8th, 2014 | Posted by Salad Daze in Activities - (Comments Off on Chef Tummy Thai Cooking School)

One of the chief pleasures people find in Thailand is eating. Thailand boasts a unique style of cuisine that combines hot, sweet and sour. It is rich in flavour and full of great ingredients. Thai cooking is gaining in international popularity with Thai restaurants appearing all over Europe and America. Such dishes as green curry and tom yum goong have become part of that list of international dishes that include such favourites as pizza and balti curry.

A great way to impress your friends when you return home from your dream holiday in Koh Phangan is to hold a dinner party and produce some Thai classics. You might think this is a tall order, but not at all. For a start it has become much easier to find some of the key ingredients for Thai dishes such as coconut milk and sweet basil in supermarkets. Such is the global market that we live in.

For those lucky souls that have chosen Haad Salad for their beach holiday one of the best places to learn how to cook a couple of Thai dishes is the delightfully named Chef Tummy Thai Cooking School.

The cooking school is located on the beach at Haadlad Prestige Resort. It is run by a friendly and rotund man who is happy to laugh at himself and call himself chef Tummy. Don’t be deceived by the joviality – he is very serious about making delicious Thai food.

You can choose from a wide selection of Thai dishes for your cooking lesson. In a session you can normally make 2 or 3 different dishes. There are sessions both in the morning and the afternoon.

The cost is 1,500 Thai Baht per person. This includes a trip to the local market where you can get a feel for the natural produce as well as pick up some negotiating tips from Tummy. It’s then back to the beachfront school. Each student has a wok and is given careful guidance from chef Tummy.

Naturally when the cooking is over you get the chance to try your own delicious dishes. Make sure to take notes so that you can replicate the dishes back home.

Who knows it may lead to a new career for you!

H3>Contact Details

None available at the moment. If you want a lesson just stroll down the beach to Haadlad Prestige Resort and ask for cooking lessons at the restaurant.

Climbing Khao Ra and Blogs

August 5th, 2013 | Posted by Salad Daze in Activities - (Comments Off on Climbing Khao Ra and Blogs)

The original meaning of blog is an ellipsis of the words ‘web log’. In the late 1990s the word ‘blog’ came along to refer to someone’s personal website. The word carried connotations of an online diary full of photos, opinions and the quirkiness of a first person point of view. Nowadays, when you type the name of a destination followed by ‘blog’ in a search engine you get results dominated by corporate sites. Algorithm changes are about making more money, not delivering ‘value’, whatever that is.

I have climbed Khao Ra. I did it several years ago. I went with a couple of friends and a guide called ‘Nop’ that our resort organized for us. I remember going off the main road wondering where we were going in the pick up. Just as with the German couple in this blogger post I believe the only reason to get a guide is to get you to the start of the trail up to the top of Khao Ra.

As a slight digression: from a Brit’s point of view Khao Ra is definitely a ‘mountain’ rather than a ‘hill’ because it is well over a 1,000 feet in height. (It is 627 meters in height). Moreover, any 2 hour ascent is worthy of the honor of being designated a ‘mountain’.

When you climb up Khao Ra, one of the things that hit you the most other than the beauty of the jungle and the views that appear as you get higher is the scarcity of other people doing the trek. It is a great thing to do, and it is surprising that more visitors to Koh Phangan don’t take the challenge on. I see plenty of slightly daft folk running up and down the beach to get their middle class exercise fix; I see plenty of youngsters live the dream of being a Muay Thai fighter; but what I rarely see is someone attempting to go off the beaten-track in Koh Phangan.

Now, the path to the top of Khao Ra is well marked and following it is not exactly going off the beaten track, but it is a challenge that few seem to take up. It is a shame because it gives you a unique perspective of the island and makes you realize that the Koh Phangan people experience is actually just 10% of what there is to explore.

What feels me with joy is that this German couple did the trek with 4 liters of water and a snicker bar each. They went with no more information than a few notes they could pull from a forum post. Since I am posting an old skool blog this time, I feel (in my humble opinion) that this is real traveling rather than treating a visit abroad as a consumer item. Massive respect to the pair of them and I hope they keep the blogger up.

I also hope that someone reads my blog post and the blog post I am discussing and feel inspired to take on Khao Ra. If they do, I suspect they will look back on their holiday in Koh Phangan and consider that trek to be more memorable and worth doing than the clichéd night at the Full Moon Party.

Read the blog post here –