Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Miss Belgium 2010 Contestants visit the Cape Panwa Hotel & Spa

On November 16 a group of European beauties arrived amidst much fanfare at the Cape Panwa Hotel. Traditional Thai dancers, an elephant and a large contingent of our (male) staff were on hand to greet them.  

20 Miss Belgium 2010 contestants stayed with us for the week in our newly completed Cape Suites - equipped with iPod docking stations, wall mounted flat-screen televisions and whirlpool baths on every balcony. 

Mr. Claude Sauter, our GM, was lucky enough to interview two of the beauties during their stay (video posted on youtube).  

Whilst at Cape Panwa the ladies undertook a great number of activities including elephant riding, bathing, sea-kayaking, spa treatments, donning Thai dress and visiting Wat Chalong and a Thai market.
On their final night a farewell, white-themed party took place at Panwa House Restaurant on the beach with dancing, a live band and a barbecue. It was a pleasure having them and we hope to be welcoming them all back again in the near future.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A romantic few days at the Cape Panwa Hotel and Spa!

On Monday we had a wonderful day – Dr Vikas and Siobhan celebrated a Thai Wedding at the Cape Panwa Hotel.  They wore traditional Indian clothes and after their wedding ceremony they walked to the beach accompanied by a baby elephant.

The very next day Sacha proposed to his girlfriend Satyam on the beach.
Sacha had been planning this day for ages and the nerves and excitement showed when it all worked and Satyam said, “YES”.

Then, at the end of the week Andrew wed Camila. 
Friends from around the world joined them on this special day.  
Their carefully planned wedding took place on the beach and was followed by cocktails and a barbecue at Panwa House, one of Cape Panwa's delightful beachside restaurants.  The reception was enjoyed by all.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Loy Kratong at Cape Panwa Hotel

This annual celebration falls on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, usually in mid November. At this time the moon is brightest and the tides highest.

Loy Krathong literally means 'floating basket' and they are made of the trunk of a banana tree -
click here for photographs of Cape Panwa making Krathongs. The Krathong is pushed away from the water bank. A wish is then made, with the hands being raised in a traditional Thai'wai', as the Krathong floats away with the current.

The Loy Krathong festival dates back to the time of the Sukhothai Kingdom, about 700 years ago. It marked the end of the rainy season and the main rice harvest and is based on a Hindu tradition.

Another tradition of Loy Krathong is Miss Nopamas - one year, a beautiful woman called Nopamas, made some special lanterns for the festival. She made them from banana leaves and shaped them like lotus flowers. The king was so impressed with what he saw, he announced that krathongs would be floated on the water every year from then on. Today, the memory of the woman who made the first krathong is remembered in a beauty contest called "The Nopamas Queen Contest" - and Tasanee won this year.

Please vote for your favourite Miss Nopamas - look at the photographs in the margin.

Click here if you would like to see the Celebration of Loy Krathong at Cape Panwa Hotel.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cape Panwa’s Vegetarian Festival experience

What did they see? 

The procession started simply with groups of people smiling and laughing. A devotee interrupted this with a spiked metal ball on a rope that he was lashing his back with.

the facial piercing and self mutilation photographs which can be viewed 
by clicking the link can be disturbing to some people.

Click her for some more photographs of self mutilation in the festival.

A teenage girl passed by with a dummy in her mouth, running through the parade with a team of followers – this was a person who was possessed by a spirit.

Then came many more devotees - their faces pierced by a variety of objects – the main one that springing to mind was a beach umbrella!  Click here for some
photographs of self piercings - then came the man who was shaving his tongue with an axe - and more piercings!

Small explosions came from further in Phuket Town – Tim and his team decided to investigate.  Here there were groups with headscarves on and sunglasses – and they were parading on two poles a Chinese effigy.  People around them were throwing packs of firecrackers at them – THE NOISE WAS INCREDIBLE and the
atmosphere electric!

There was a brief respite when the explosions stopped and  the road was filled with cars which had beautifully adorned ladies handing out sweets to the onlookers or sitting in a trance on the back of vehicle….

Every so often a person entranced by a medium would stop outside a
building that had an offering on a table – words were said – a paper was given and fruit shared – the spirits had blessed the building.

The calmness continued for a little and then
more crashes and explosions were heard coming from town – it was from the Clockhouse Tower in Phuket Town centre.  Here they had lots of firecrackers wrapped around poles, which were then lit they lit and everybody stepped back.  There was a  spirit medium dancing in the centre of the firecrackers – a sight to behold.

Then there were more firecrackers with raised Chinese effigies – Tim retired to Swensen’s to meet his group and relax.  This did not last long as Tim had a dance with a spirit medium.

An experience that should not be missed but frankly many guests would not go again. Tim was enthralled with it all and visited more events by himself and has promised to find a text book to explain it all to him - and wants to sign up for next year.