The thorn is back again

Just came back from a trip to Similan Islands, the most beautiful island groups of Thailand situated in the Andaman Seas, and rated as one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world.

The water is real blue, crystal blue and clear. The sand is literally as fine as powder. A good place to relax and unwind, snorkels and scuba dive..

I have taken some nice scenery and will post it in my flickr later.

Will start writing again now that my batteries are recharged.

Wish all of you  a very good year ahead.


21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Justin Choo
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 10:21:35

    Welcome back Dr Hsu,

    After reading your post , I just went to Similan Islands a few seconds ago by a click of the mouse. Did not cost me anything.

    Take a look:


  2. Justin Choo
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 10:29:49

  3. Justin Choo
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 10:48:31


    Just curious; why do you show in your headmast, the half photo of your face?(It’s you I think)


  4. Mr Smith
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 11:13:44

    In your write up, do let us know how to get there, where to stay and what to do there.
    I have been to islands off Kerabi, Phuket and Trang but have not heard about Similan.
    Am planning a trip in a month or two.


  5. Frank
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 12:55:30

    I haven’t been to Similan but last year, was at Halong Bay, Hanoi managed one hotel’s ID works. Halong Bay is said to be one of the world’s wonders and ranked the 7th position in the listing.

    There are said to have more than 1,600 limestone isles floating on the sea, a bay according to the narrated history of the local people, a thousand years ago, a dragon which descended from the heaven to this sea bay and rescued the Vietnamese they were entrenched in the caves of the thousand islands during the war, thus the name Halong Bay was created! Halong means the ‘desceding dragon’.

    It was indeed a fantastic wonder of the world where in the serene and calm environment of nature, you are embraced by the thousand islands all floating on the sea! As if they were constructed with RC sub-structures propped up the islands, some as big as Pulau Jerjak, Penang! For those who are worshiping the Heaven God, there is a cave named ‘Thian Kong Tong’ which means the cave of the Heaven God therein contains the features of the Deities made of stalactites and stalagmites! It’s so fascinating to cause us to believe that there was truly a Great Creator who’s the greatest Architect of nature building! It’s another life experience for me and probably for you guys too!

    Perhaps we can request to plan a trip with Dr Hsu and all his readers to visit the place of interests by next CNY. Meanwhile, we can help out AA, Tony Fernandes by buying flights from KL to Hanoi, so as he can buy more planes to serve us well!…………


  6. Dr Hsu
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 13:45:13

    Justin, the last masthead showed the left side of my face and so this time I chose to post one which shows the right side.

    Mr Smith,

    There are several ways tog et to Similan ISlands which are a group of 9islands, totally unspoilt, since not many people go there.

    What we did was to go to Phuket. Then from Phuket , we took land transport, crossed the bridge linking Phuket and Phang Nga (main land), and reached one of the piers in Phang Nga. The car ride took about 2 hours.

    From the pier by Medsye, which is a company speciailised in going to Similan Island and run by a European man, e took a speed boat ( 3 engine one) and went to Similan. The journey by the speedboat took about 1 and half hour. (at full speed).

    Another way is to take a speedboat from Phuket to SImilan, but that would take more than 3 hours of speedboat ride through open sea.

    Perhaps you can goolge Medsye and get theri help to plan your trip. My trip was planned by a Japanese lady running a tour agency in Phuket, and I got to know her in my previous trip to Phuket one year ago.

    Compared to Phi Phi islands , the latter is so commercialised now, that the sea and the beach are no longer as nice as before.

    We went to 4 of the nine islands since some of the islands are closed to tourists…. for conservation purposes.

    We were not allowed to take even dead shells/dead coral from the beach,not even the saand which is like powder, as ASimilan ISlands are located in a national marine Park and everything is protected by law, unlike PHI pHi and Khai Island near to Phuket.

    For nature lovers, they will definitely love this unspoilt jewel.


  7. Justin Choo
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 15:31:54


    What is this left side and right side? Is there any hidden message?


  8. Dr Hsu
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 15:57:47

    There is no hidden message.
    When I first started my blog, i was thinking of not showing my face, since i am basicaly quite shy and content to be in the background most of the time. But i was persuaded to show a bit of myself.

    So this time i decide to show the other side of my face when I changed my masthead.

    If you put 2 sides together , you see my face.


  9. Justin Choo
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 16:07:32


    How to to put the 2 sides together when now you only show one side.

    You are a 100% politician!!!

    Hahahaha!!! 🙂


  10. A true Malaysian
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 20:03:10

    Dr. Hsu,

    I really envy you spending CNY in paradise. Welcome back ‘thorn’. We would expect to see more happenings with the run up to Mar 09. Politics condition in Malaysia is very fluid now. Umno will do whatever it can at all cost (very mad indeed) to remain in power.

    Whatever, General Election is inevitable.

    Also, just read a Penang doctor’s view in Lim Kit Siang blog. Apparently, this doctor has no emotion attached with Gerakan.

    Bother to give your view after reading this doctor’s view?


  11. sgbertih
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 20:13:42

    sawatdee pee mai, khun mor Hsu.

    similan as in sembilan, 999….
    their sea gypsies are called chao-lay…
    the similan islands, an archipelago of nine(sembilan)islands running from north to south and peppered with numerous outcroppings of rock, provide spectacular dive sites in crystal clear waters.the december 26 2004 tsunami badly damaged the coral ecosystems. as the local tourism industry depends on scuba-diving, damaged reefs could have long-term economic repercussions for the area. thailand’s marine tourism industry now has its collective gaze trained on the similan marine national park. the survey of the tsunami’s impact on local reefs found that most dive sites had suffered damage of between 20 and 50 per/cent.but that was 4 years ago and betcha that those marine polyps been working overtime… and time is a great healer, no doubt about that. heaven on earth… and in the water too…555.

    yindee tonrap, welcome to thailand…:)


  12. Borneo Warrior
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 22:22:28

    Good to be back after a deserved vacation isn’t it, Dr Hsu! Wah what a wonderful and scenic place those islands are. Envious of you!
    Well,here we are back again blogging!
    Dont mind me linking to your site, tks and keep in touch.
    tedewin ngumbang (borneo warrior)


  13. Dr Hsu
    Feb 01, 2009 @ 21:53:01

    tedewin ngumbang,
    you are welcome.

    You have a great blog too. I shall be linking to you too, and we need more bridges between Peninsular Malayalsia and East Malaysia..


    A True Malaysian,

    what that doctor has mentioned is what we doctors have gone through. Most doctors , including MMA, are against the Private Health care Act.

    All these, including making it compulsory for drug companies to manufacture drugs in strip packing and small bottles, has pushed up the cost of medicine, at a time when cost of living has been rising at an unprecedented rate.

    I can only conclude that those who make laws are totally out of touch with the poor people on the ground. TO them , sitting in nice air con offices, an extra spending of a few dollars here and there does not matter much, but they forget most people on the ground are struggling to keep up with the cost of living , and even a few dollars here and there add up to become a big burden to them.

    What we need is a more caring civil service and to have that , we need to have a more caring political masters. BUt we are not getting that..


  14. Borneo Warrior
    Feb 02, 2009 @ 21:47:34

    Dr Hsu,
    Are you a member of Gerakan Supreme Council?
    Hope you dont mind me asking. I gathered likewise from comments in some of your postings.
    Its a coincidence, I mean if you are sill a Barisan man and yet a very “constructive critic” within!
    Am presently a supreme council member of PRS, a component party of Sarawak BN,and am too is a “constructive critic” (which is a rarity indeed especially at these trying times!) as well! Hows that?


  15. Dr Hsu
    Feb 02, 2009 @ 23:10:51

    I am a central committe member of PArty Gerakan, elected last October, but i consider myself a grassroot member bringing the voice of grassroot inot the central committee.

    I am always considered to be a heretic by many in my party.

    I am not a politician, since i have no wish to devote full time to politics. I am just a sociopolitical worker, who happen to be drwn deeper into this party because of circumstances.


  16. Borneo Warrior
    Feb 03, 2009 @ 00:08:42

    Tks for the info, Dr. Now the scenario is much clearer.
    As for me, several of my colleagues commented that I am sounding more like “anti Barisan” on many issues,esp in Sarawak.Its just that I will say white is white,thats all,of which judgement is purely based on my own.
    As for your party, am so sad that it is as it is now,perception wise. Honestly Gerakan is a great party and it is so unfortunate to being dragged away after the last GE.
    Best for everything then,Dr Hsu.


  17. Observer
    Feb 03, 2009 @ 22:25:15

    Different parties, same dilemma. Both are thorns in the back for their respective party. These are roles thrusted upon you to voice out the unpleasants but necessary constructive opinions .To prick the conscience of your party in order to check and pressurise them. Prescribing of bitter medicines.

    It is not easy to play this uncherished role for thee will be construed as disloyal and anti establishment. Gentlemen do not seek the easy way out but to toil and toughen themselves up mentally and spiritually. Eventually, one will be recognised for the efforts they put in and not be haunted by past misdeeds.

    Doc, if you truly believe in the 2 party system, whichever divide you are in…you will still be able to play your part to uphold your belief and principe.

    Quoting Raja Nazrin, “Genuine nobility originated from the feeling of great respect that emerged out of true love based on the fine characteristics of individual and not because of his rank, position, title or throne.”


  18. Dr Hsu
    Feb 03, 2009 @ 23:18:03

    Well said.

    Political parties are just tools to achieve certain political agenda or aims.

    SOmetimes it is not as clear cut as ‘if you are not with me you are against me”. Different routes can lead to Rome… That is why I am still in Gerakan, even though my views are sometimes viewed as very anti establishment.

    it is indeed not easy to play this role when those who do not see things as me will view me as a non team player, a disloyal member.

    But it is precisely because I am loyal to the ideology of a fair and just society that I am still carrying on my struggles in this party.

    I think Malaysia’s future lies in realising that we have to go ‘multiracial ‘ in all our policies… Without fair competition, we will never stand a chance to counter the waves of globalisation. Competition begets excellence, and it is excellence that will propel this nation forward.

    Many may not see this point now. But over times, they may realise that there is really no other choice but to have policies that are based on fair competition; not forgetting of course, the poorer section of the people, which must be given certain assistance/training to stand up on their own feet.


  19. Borneo Warrior
    Feb 04, 2009 @ 07:11:25


    Thank you very much for your very kind and encouraging words to me and to Dr Hsu with regards to our self-styled predicament in our respective parties, (Gerakan for Dr Hsu and PRS for me, Borneo Warrior, Tedewin Ngumbang) both component of the BN.

    Already, Obeserver, several of my colleagues in the Supreme Council and Division Chiefs have subtley complained to my President that I am disloyal and basically anti-Barisan and should be “disciplined”! But deep inside I know my President and several ministers and the legislators in my Party know fully aware of most issues I raised especially in Sarawak are there for all of us to see. Its real, it is happening,admittedly.

    The wealth and power in Sarawak is controlled by one MAN!!


  20. A true Malaysian
    Feb 04, 2009 @ 11:05:10

    Of course most of us are aware of the noble intention of both Dr. Hsu and Borneo Warrior to remain in their respective parties so to bring good and righteous values back to their respective parties. It is just that even if both gentlemen succeed in bringing back such values, both parties of theirs cannot do much to BN as a whole simply because of Umno dominance and arrogance.

    Dr. Hsu is aware of this and this is why he is working hard to convince its party leaders, especially KTK to pull out Gerakan from BN. I am not sure Borneo Warrior has the same plan.

    But, I can tell Gerakan is not going to pull out of BN however hard Dr. Hsu is working on this, as long as KTK is there. Even romerz, who knows so well KTK has given up hope on him, what more about me, a small fry?

    The point here is that, if Dr. Hsu’s hard works are applied to PKR, I would think the effect will be greater to PR as a whole.

    We know that a large part of PKR Malay members are ex-Umno. These ex-Umno PKR members, I should say, more or less, still have the mentality of ‘patronage politics’ and ‘ketuanan Melayu’ with them. So if people like Dr. Hsu is in PKR, his ideas of multiracial, meritocracy, fair competition, helping the weak & poor etc etc will, I should say, have much influence on these ex-Umno PKR members and thus, his efforts will be much appreciated than in Gerakan.

    So, let see how things go since there is time frame set. The question is, will the time spent ‘worthwhile’?


  21. Borneo Warrior
    Feb 04, 2009 @ 23:03:06

    A True Malaysian,

    Tks so much for your thoughts, more so on Dr Hsu’s noble intention to awaken Gerakan from its slumber.
    The fact of the matter is that all of us,the smaller parties in the BN has been taken for granted by UMNO. Most decisions are the prerogatives of the UMNO leaders and without meaningful consultations with others within the coalition.
    Than, whats the use of the coalition?
    As for me in PRS, I have laid my cards for the President to gauge. Now its up to him, knowing fully aware of his predicament.
    PRS is the offshoot of the deregistered PBDS and we had harsh and bitter experiences whilst being in the opposition. Probably our leaders are more careful and cautious,bearing in mind that both Anwar and Najib directly or indirectly had played their “parts” to cause all those heardaches and miseries,even leading to PBDS demise.
    PRS situation is much more complex than that of Gerakan.
    PRS is thus still cautiously waiting…timing…etc..


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