Samui’s normally all about long lazy days spent on soft sandy beaches being drenched in the hot tropical sun, followed by balmy nights of gastronomic indulgence in world-class restaurants with perhaps some shopping and a spot of dancing with a drink or two before retiring. And during November and December things aren’t much different – you’ll be doing all that with maybe the occasional drop of rain to cool things down a bit. But there will be three huge events also taking place during this period to shake things up a bit. And they’re Loy Krathong, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Loy Krathong is one of Thailand’s most beautiful festivals and it’s celebrated this year on November 17th. It’s a true spectacle and one that everyone can take part in. Christmas and New Year’s Eve need no explanation, other than to say that all the major resorts, restaurants, clubs and bars really go to town and a great time is had by all. Although this is a Buddhist country, the Thai people are happy folk more than willing to join in when it comes to having fun, and hosting a celebration is just that!
THE LAS VEGAS OF THE EAST
Why a trip to Chaweng should be on your itinerary.
If you’ve been to Las Vegas, you’ve probably spent time on the famous (or infamous) ‘strip’. Out of nowhere, it appears and suddenly blinds you with bright lights, neon signs, loud pumping music, grand hotels, strange people dressed in costumes enticing you into clubs, stands selling everything from fake gambling cards to clothes, people on hen and stag nights drunkenly stumbling from one bar to the next, and even fairground rides whizzing over people entering the hotels. It’s completely overwhelming and a total sensory overload.
Except for the fairground rides (that we know of), Chaweng, on the north east side of the island, is Thailand’s answer to the Las Vegas’s Strip. Before reaching it, the pretty countryside is dotted with palm trees, the sea ebbs and flows quietly along the coast, and all appears normal. Until, that is, you hit the top (or bottom) of the road through Chaweng Beach. The atmosphere itself is a living, breathing thing, a heady mix of colours, smells, sounds, luxury resorts, upmarket restaurants, tailors, cabarets, street food stands, unusual jewellery, clothing shops and rickety market stands selling everything from lamp shades carved out of coconuts, kids clothing, carved wooden statues and even cosmetics.
There are few places livelier than Samui at Christmas. Well, actually, there are probably quite a lot! But how many of them can also offer the sheer relaxation of a lovely tropical island? It’s Christmas away from home – and that means no hassles, no stress, no need for all that shopping, and then a whole day spent in the kitchen. If you’ve been here before you’ll know what to expect. But if you haven’t then you’re probably in for a few surprises.
On quite a few occasions, visitors in June or August have smiled in amusement and commented about the Christmas lights and decorations that are still up around the island. Well, of course! For the Thai nation, it’s probably the best bit of the whole business. They don’t celebrate Christmas, you see. Not officially. But this is a land with no general annual holidays, and where most people regularly work six, if not seven, days a week. So they will let their hair down when it’s the New Year (and they’ll enthusiastically embrace three of those, one each for Thailand, Europe and China!).
But are you expecting Christmas Day to be on the 25th? It all depends where you come from. Our visitors have changed of late – the demographics have shifted. A decade ago, Samui was mainly visited by the British,
Breeze Spa has created some unique spa treatments specially for men.
Tucked between hundreds of shady palm trees and located on both sides of Chaweng Beach Road, Amari Palm Reef is a peaceful oasis where you can escape the stresses and strains of modern day life. Even though the resort is only a short walk from the centre of Chaweng, it’s far enough away to enjoy the peace and quiet that most people come to Samui to enjoy.
Nestled in their beautiful tropical gardens, you’ll find Amari’s own Breeze Spa. Open from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm every day, their selection of luxurious spa treatments will realign both your body and mind, and leave you feeling like a whole new person. The combination of centuries-old traditions with modern training allows the therapists to tap into a variety of different skills to tailor the treatment to suit you.
Breeze Spa offers oil massages, body polishes, body wraps, facials, water treatments and a whole manner of beauty therapies. But if you’re a man, don’t stop reading there. They have a great selection of treatments specifically geared for men … and they’re proving very popular.
RockPool is more than just a restaurant – it’s become a genre all by itself!
Do you realise you’ve got a problem? Probably not! If you’re fortunate enough to be visiting our lovely little island then you’re most likely content. There’s plenty to do and see, and even just strolling around is an adventure. There are shops, stalls and restaurants aplenty. And when it comes to dining out, there are so many places to choose from, just on the main streets alone. And there you have it. That’s the problem. You’re spoiled for choice. Because, although there are many good ones right out on the road, many of the best restaurants are hidden away. And that’s particularly true of RockPool.
Although, it has to be said right away, it’s not at all hard to find. Nor is it a long haul to get there, particularly if you’re close to Chaweng. RockPool is the boutique signature restaurant of Kanda Residences Samui, which is situated just a little way north of Chaweng on the coast road leading to Choeng Mon.
Kanda is one of the island’s more refined boutique resorts, but even the generous dimensions of the reception area don’t hint at the size of the spread of walled villas that wend their way down the hillside below. But, picking up a golf-cart from reception and whirring through what seems to be
Combining the weird and the wonderful at Drink Gallery.
Cocktails. Where would our tropical island be without cocktails? The first recorded use of the word cocktail is found in ‘The Morning Post and Gazetteer’ on March 20, 1798 in London, England, but according to the Oxford English dictionary, the word ‘cocktail’ actually originated in America.
In 1806, in an edition of ‘The Balance and Columbian Repository’, a publication in Hudson, New York, the definition of a cocktail appeared as follows; “Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters - it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.” If you’ve ever enjoyed a cocktail or three, you’ll understand that this is indeed very true!
There are many interesting stories as to where the actual word itself comes from. One story which sounds remotely believable is as follows: old taverns kept their spirits in casks and, as the level of liquid in the casks lowered, the spirits would lose both their flavour and potency. This liquid
Nature Art Gallery offers bespoke jewellery using only natural materials.
Nature Art Gallery, on Chaweng Beach Road, is just the place to go should you be looking for something a little different. Co-owner, Michael Trav, describes their style as ‘ethnic’, and believes in using only natural materials when creating the pieces. A variety of materials are used to create an interesting array of pieces – leather, precious and semi-precious stones, shells, fossils, silver and gold. Their range includes rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, belly chains, anklets, earrings and buckles, as well as larger accessories such as handbags and belts.
The Rasaili family, led by Hari, hail from Nepal, and are now based on Samui as Nature Art’s four onsite goldsmiths. The team makes the majority of the jewellery on display and the rest is sourced from talented designers around the world. The family has been crafting jewellery for generations, and can proudly say that Hari, his father, and his grandfather before that, were all ‘Goldsmith to the King of Nepal’ – quite a feather in their cap. So Nature Art are quite lucky to have this family based at the studio upstairs. Taking a look through the workshop, you’ll see them tinkering away old-school style, heating and hammering the metal. Jewellery is designed as a team, with input from owners Michael and Shai, and also from customers requiring personalised pieces.
Hotels aren’t the only ones offering ‘all inclusive’ deals.
Let’s face it - school fees aren’t cheap. But when you think about what is being provided for your children at school, it’s hardly surprising. But what is surprising is finding out that a whole host of things are in fact included in the tuition fees, and then it all becomes worth it.
SCL International School are already a well-established and respected school on the island. They are proud of their family-oriented atmosphere, their caring environment and their excellent British and Thai curriculum. And along with their dedicated team of teaching staff, the school is a wonderful place for your children to be educated.
The school offers a varied ‘After School Activities Program’ for both their Primary and Secondary students, and they also have specialist teachers who teach various languages. On the subject of languages, let’s talk first about the advantages of children learning a second (or even a third) language. Children have flexible ear and speech muscles that are able to differentiate between the sounds of another language, and therefore are able to reproduce them easily. In the first six years of life, a child’s brain is learning more during language acquisition than any other cognitive ability.
Samui’s first ‘Soap Box Derby, Music & Beer Festival is coming this December.
Singapore has the Formula One Grand Prix. Hua Hin has elephant polo. And Samui now has the first annual ‘Soap Box Derby, Music & Beer Festival’, to be held on 14th December 2013. OK, so it might not get quite as much international coverage as the Formula One… yet. But, over 5,000 spectators are expected to gather for the occasion, which will involve around 2,000 hotel staff from the island competing in the event, organised by the Thai Hotel Association of Samui (THA).
So what’s the concept behind the Soap Box Derby? The idea is to bring all the hotel staff on the island together to celebrate the end of another successful year in tourism. The race and accompanying festivities replace a previous event which was a dinner held annually solely for the general managers of the hotels. Now, all staff are able to participate and let their hair down.
The main event involves a ten-hour soap box relay race around a two kilometre track circumnavigating Chaweng Lake. Participants will race in teams representing their hotel or business, and teams can have as many as 30 members, which allows staff to come down to the race in shifts, so that
Splash out with the pool parties at Chaweng’s KC Beach Club!
Over the last year or so, our little island has sprouted quite a few ‘beach clubs’. This is really quite a trend. It’s set the style right across the board. And you’ll find that many of the more with-it resorts have taken a leaf out of their book. Although they might not have gone the whole nine yards, almost overnight certainly all the furnishings around the pool and on the beach have changed. Sun beds are out. Now it’s daybeds and beanbags, together with low lounging-tables and canopied pagodas to screen out the sun. More than a few places actually do have party sessions too, with a visiting DJ or live musicians. But the true ‘beach clubs’ work this way all the time. One or two are very smooth indeed. A couple seem to try very hard to get it all to work. But some are just plain fun – laid-back and unpretentious. And one that’s firmly in this category is KC Beach Club & Pool Villas, right in the heart of Chaweng.
This is one of the few places that has been designed in true beach club style – coming in off the road, the path bypasses the enclosed reception block and heads straight towards the party area around the pool. Visitors from outside (and there are often as many as there are residents; it’s a popular venue) can boogie on through without having to run the gauntlet of the front
Samui Shooting Sports offers a whole range of explosive fun!
Just about everyone I’ve spoken to about this has mixed feelings. Some can’t abide it. Others shrug and can take it or leave it. Many seem to like it, although many can’t quite see the point. It also depends where you come from. America has a deeply ingrained gun culture, and members of both genders take this all very seriously. Not right throughout the country, of course, and not everyone. But for a variety of reasons, many people think it worthwhile to be familiar with a handgun, at least. And thus regular trips to a shooting range are in order, several times a year, to keep in touch.
But this is Samui. It’s a holiday island with a resident base of maybe 60,000 locals, and a million short-stay foreign visitors a year passing through. Gun laws in Thailand are particularly strict, with extensive paperwork needed to be even able to possess a gun. And then it’s almost impossible to (legally) get one if you’re not both a Thai national and a homeowner. And then, finally, having spent months getting this all sorted, the gun permit applies solely for protection in the home. Woe betide any proud new owner who fancies taking his latest shiny possession down the pub to show his mates – if he’s copped on a spot check, that is. The only time
Absolute Sanctuary offers a new yoga class that not only tones and strengthens, but keeps you fit too.
Lithe and cat-like, she paces in front of the group, keeping a watchful eye on their postures and movements as she gives instruction over a microphone headset. She smiles and manages to look elegant, even while performing near-impossible poses in the bright studio, with its inspiring jungle view.
This is Jana Brauer, full-time yoga instructor at Absolute Sanctuary, a Moroccan-inspired detox and yoga resort in Choeng Mon, part of the Absolute Yoga group. Hailing from Berlin, Germany, Jana originally encountered Absolute Yoga when she came to Thailand to do a yoga instructor course with the group. Her love of yoga came about after it was the only successful cure to her long term back pain. She started her training with Absolute Yoga’s Hot Teacher Training Program in 2007, and continued her training under various highly regarded teachers. She started working for the group, moving to Absolute Sanctuary when it opened in April 2009.
Jana’s approach to teaching is a perfect combination of gentle and relaxed, yet disciplined when required. She encourages and motivates her students to try just that bit harder to achieve their goals – and she’s testament that regular yoga produces results with a toned, healthy body.
Why The Cliff makes people want to stop and go inside!.
A year or so back, one of the bigger tour operators held a survey. Amongst other things, he wanted to get some idea of where people went when they left their resorts. How many went on daytrips, what sort of trip, whether it was an organised trip or if a rented bike or car was used – this kind of thing. Quite a lot of interesting information emerged. One thing of note was that just about every visitor went to Fisherman’s Village at least once during their stay. That aside (and more importantly!), 70% of our visitors rented a vehicle of some sort. And every single one of these drove over the hilly road between Chaweng and Lamai at least once.
Taken by itself you might just be tempted to say “so what?” Well . . . firstly it indicates that 70% of our readers – you! – will be travelling on this road. Whichever direction you choose to cruise around to explore, you’ll pass this way either going, or on the way back. On your travels, you’re going to pass many interesting places, the majority of which you’ll sail right past. But there’s one place that people just seem to be drawn to. And that’s The Cliff Bar & Grill, just outside Lamai.
Max Murphy’s Irish diner elevates pub grub to a whole new level!
Thailand’s got a lot going for it. The friendly smiling people, the climate, the modest cost of living and the terrific food – and that’s just for starters. If this is the first time you’ve come here, then just discovering the real taste of Thai food is a whole adventure by itself. It’s nothing like tuned-down stuff you’re probably used to back home. But, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned Thai traveller, there are often times when all you need is a sandwich. Or a really nice homemade burger. Or to maybe catch the football on a Saturday night. Or the Formula One. Or all of these things combined. And that’s where the so-called ‘sports pubs’ come into the picture.
Tropical Murphy’s seems to have been around forever. It first came into being in 2001, in fact. And it not only rapidly became one of the most-favoured of all Samui’s pubs, but it gained (and has continued to maintain) a reputation for some of the best plates of food that you can get anywhere. Big portions. Excellent and (more to the point) consistent quality – for example, if you return for the sausage and mash, then the onion gravy will be precisely and exactly the same wonderful composition and taste as it was the first time. For a long time Tropical Murphy’s has been an ‘institution’ in its own right. But now something even better has appeared!
This popular resort has been closed for renovations, but it’s open again and looking better than ever.
There’s a saying that goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. So it was a big decision to close a resort that was working well and had a high occupancy rate. But with a general manager who has vision, such as Manish Jha, the potential to make Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa even better was an obvious choice. So the 106 room hotel closed in April this year, and reopens on 16th November with some interesting additions and improvements.
Anantara caters to both the family and honeymoon market. With this in mind, a new Kids’ Club has been built, with plenty to do both indoors and outdoors to keep little ones entertained while mum and dad relax. Another novel idea that’s sure to be popular is the hotel’s new ‘Hospitality Room’. Samui has many international flights that arrive early in the day, yet hotel check-in is usually only available from 2:00 pm. Now while Anantara will usually let a guest check in early when the room is available, with a high occupancy this isn’t always possible, as staff need to wait for guests to check out and clean the room. This is where the Hospitality Room comes into play – it’s set up with a bathroom with shower, a place to store luggage and a comfortable lounge area with TV and DVDs so guests can at least relax and unwind while waiting for their room to be ready.
There’s no stopping Khun Virach Pongchababnapa when it comes to new projects on Samui.
At an age when most people consider retirement, Khun Virach is just getting started. This bubbly, dynamic man is eager to tell his story to anyone who’ll listen. But that’s okay – as in this case, his is an interesting tale to tell. It’s easy to stay captivated as he chats about not only his past and heritage, but also his many ventures.
Khun Virach is passionate about Samui, as well as the island’s strong Chinese history – he was born on the island, his father Hainan-Chinese, and his mother Thai. With this in mind, he was recently the driving force behind the construction of the Guan Yu shrine in Hua Thanon – noticeable from the road by the ominous head of Guan Yu protruding from the building’s dramatic architecture. (Guan Yu was a warrior during the late Eastern Han Dynasty of China, and has been given god-like status over the centuries, playing a big part in Chinese culture).
Khun Virach has made it his mission to build awareness of the Hainan-Chinese heritage on the island, feeling that Samui’s youth has lost sight of their history, and he wants them to learn about and be proud of their roots. So heading the committee, he gathered donations and constructed this shrine
9Gems Lounge Restaurant may be a little off the proverbial beaten track, but it’s well worth the effort to find it.
On Samui you’ll find quaint little beach bars, hotel restaurants, local Thai hangouts as well as fine-dining establishments. Some are well-known, others you’ll need an ear to the ground on the local scene to hear about. But hot on the lips of those in the know is 9Gems Lounge Restaurant. It’s most certainly not an establishment that caters to the masses, and that’s not their goal. Rather, co-owner Khun Sathit Muangprom has created a lounge-cum-restaurant that could happily entertain movie stars.
Khun Sathit believes that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising as it means happy guests are recommending the establishment to others. And he’s right, as word on the high street is that 9Gems is the place to go for something special and unique. They say that first impressions count, and in this case, it’s true. It’s hard not to be impressed by the interior and design, as there’s nothing quite like it on Samui. There are areas that are opulent, and areas where the appeal is in the simplicity of the minimalistic design. Khun Sathit has a flair for style. He’s flamboyant, and comfortable with his own unique look – which is mirrored in the restaurant’s interior. He appreciates that just because a piece is functional, doesn’t mean it can’t be
We’ve all heard the word ‘monsoon’. I remember learning about it in school, and all I can remember about it was that at some point during the year, it rained a lot in India. I didn’t realise that the monsoon season actually affected quite a large area of the world. What exactly does the word mean anyway? A common misconception is that it means ‘big rain’ but in fact it means ‘wind’. The word monsoon comes from the Arabic word ‘mausim, which means season and today, the word ‘monsoon’ is the term used for the change in wind direction that brings a change in the seasons.
The official dictionary definition is as follows: a seasonal prevailing wind in the region of South and Southeast Asia, blowing from the southwest between May and September and bringing rain (the wet monsoon), or from the northeast between October and April (the dry monsoon).!
In Asia, the monsoons are classified into a few sub-systems. The South Asia Monsoon affects the Indian subcontinent (must have been the one I learned about at school) and the East Asian Monsoon which affects southern China, Korea and parts of Japan. In Thailand alone, there is a ‘Southwest Monsoon’ and a ‘Northeast Monsoon’ so the severity of the monsoon you
The Sea tailor-makes beach weddings to suit every bride’s whim.
Samui is fast becoming known as a top beach wedding venue, with almost year-round good weather and perfect beach locations. Many brides-to-be dream of a faraway beach wedding. But in reality, many find it too difficult to organise from a distance. And with competition rife on the island when it comes to wedding venues and planners, The Sea Samui have their own in-house wedding co-ordinator, keeping communication with the bride and groom direct, eliminating the chance of errors and miscommunication.
With The Sea being situated on a quiet section of Bang Po Beach along the north coast, couples will have few other tourists to disturb their ceremony on the beach. With no other resort along this stretch for a few hundred metres, they’re also able to use the beach as a stage for the wide selection of entertainment that the wedding co-ordinator can arrange. And the choice of entertainment is only limited by imagination and budget, with suggestions ranging from traditional to bizarre, and from romantic to magical. Think not only fireworks and lucky lanterns, but even laser shows. There’s a plethora of music and dance options from classical Thai musicians and dancers to dance bands, singers and cabaret shows. Performers such as
Samui is known for its fine dining, and you can find cuisines from around the world. French, German, English, American, Italian and Russian restaurants are dotted around the island but now you can taste delicious, and truly authentic, Lebanese food.
Prana Beach Villas on the beachfront in Bangrak, were previously well known for their vegetarian restaurant, Amala. But now it has flung off its vegetarian skin and teamed up with the leading name in Lebanese food in Bangkok, Nadimos. Already a well-established name, Nadimos has a world-class reputation which has even taken it to India, to cater for a wedding with nearly 5,000 guests. Clearly they are doing something right.
Nadimos already have two restaurants in Bangkok (with a further three under construction), which are frequented by people from all walks of life. The owner, Richard Al Ghoul, is a warm host and is known for going out of his way to welcome patrons, and always makes sure that everyone leaves with a new (or renewed) love of Lebanese food.
Nadimos reviews on TripAdvisor are impressive, and time and time again phrases like ‘the food was excellent’, ‘...the best Lebanese food…’,
There’s plenty to cheer about at W Retreat this festive season.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more impressive location for sunset cocktails than Woobar at W Retreat, located on a pinnacle joining Bophut to Maenam. Having recently hosted the DJ Lab event, which sources and mentors young upand- coming DJs, W Retreat always has someone on hand to entertain guests at their bars, as well as during their extravagant beach barbecues.
And a great way to make the most of the DJ’s vibes is to take advantage of the regular events, such as Tuesday’s ‘5:25’ promotion. Starting at, you guessed it, 5:25 pm, if you have five or more in your party, you get 25% off your drinks and snacks bill (excluding wine and champagne) at Woobar. And if Thursday is your chosen night to party, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm it’s ‘Mo-hee-toe Madness’, when you can enjoy as many mojitos as you like for 999 baht per person – now that sounds like a challenge if ever there was one. And on Fridays, you can celebrate ‘TGIF’ with ‘Iced Long Fridays’, when, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm you can enjoy four variations of the long island iced tea at Woobar.
The resort’s already famous ‘Beach Bar-B-Q Reloaded’ which is served from 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm daily, now has a dedicated beach kitchen and is
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand was born on Monday the 5th of December, 1927, at Mount Auburn Hospital, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, the youngest child of Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Mahidol of Songkla. When he was just one year old, they returned to Thailand where his father took up an internship in a hospital in Chiang Mai.
Prince Bhumibol was taken, along with his brother and sister, to Switzerland in 1933, and they were all placed in Swiss schools. Due to the sudden death of his older brother, King Ananda Mahidol, in Bangkok on the 9th of June, 1946, Prince Bhumibol was crowned King of Thailand (throne name King Rama IX) at just 19 years old. After his coronation, he returned to university and changed his major to Political Science and Law to prepare him for his rule.
While he was studying in Paris, he met the daughter of Thailand’s ambassador to France, Khun Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kiriyakara, and on 28th April 1950, they were married in Bangkok.
They returned home to Thailand in the early 1950’s, and HM King Bhumibol spent the early years of his rule travelling throughout the provinces
When it comes to dining, then Muang Samui has everything from fun to 5-star!
On more than one occasion in the past, I’ve termed a resort ‘grandiose’. Or, perhaps, ‘majestic’. ‘Imposing’ also springs to mind. But right now, I’ve more or less run out of words. Exactly what do you call a place that’s not only huge but also fabulously 5-star? But it’s more than this. Many top-end resorts are off the beaten track, or hidden away behind high walls. This one is right out on the main road. And the frontage is so broad that it takes a few moments to realise that it’s all a part of the same place – Muang Samui Villas & Suites.
And it’s impossible to miss, sitting ‘majestically’ on the fringe of Choeng Mon Bay. If you’re not familiar with the area, this is the next accessible coastal bay as you head northwards away from Chaweng, and well before you come to the landmark of Big Buddha. It’s perfectly placed to draw custom from the myriad of resorts along the coast in Bangrak and Bophut, plus the Chaweng area, too – it’s only ten minutes or so from either direction.
From outside there is no hint of the 14 Pool Villas, 32 Pool Suites and 32 Terrace Suites that are secreted within; but you’ll get a clue to all of this by
Thai temples and their festivals might be more exciting than you think.
There are currently over 40,000 Buddhist temples (or wats) in Thailand, and over 30,000 of these are currently in use. This goes some way to show their importance within the Thai Buddhist community. Most Thai temples consist of two parts: the Phuttha-wat, which is the area dedicated to Buddha, and the Sangha-wat which contains the actual living quarters of the monks who reside at the temple.
Temples are holy places and when you visit them, etiquette requires that both men and women ensure their shoulders and knees are covered. Bear in mind that while you might be on holiday, this is a place of worship and needs to be treated with respect.
Temples and their associated grounds are often the focal point for many Thai festivals and fairs which can usually last a few days. Most coincide with Buddhist holidays (there are quite a few!) and others are created by the temple itself. When a fair is in full swing, you’ll find stalls selling a multitude of different things which are edible, inedible and questionably edible. Shoes, roosters, clothing, fruit, plastic toys, dishes, jewellery, furniture, locally produced food, alcohol, knives, soft drinks, vegetables, posters, and even