Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hot off the Press

Otter’s Tales #7 was put online this week and was soon buzzing through numerous wires, computers, blueteeth and other electronic devices.

We even print out several copies for our guests to have a look at whilst they are staying with us - but we think the staff enjoy it as well - have a look inside the newsletter to see them reading it.

If you have any ideas of what you would like to see in the magazine or if you would like to make a contribution please do not hesitate to contact Tim at


Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Baba wedding weekend in Phuket

A ‘Baba’-style wedding is really something quite different from the norm and last weekend 18 couples decided to tie the knot in this fashion unique to Penang in Malaysia and Phuket – two destinations that share not a little when it comes to cultural similarities. Basically, a Baba wedding involves a local-born girl marrying a Chinese descended boy or any mélange of the above – but it is worthy of note if you’re interested in local Phuket culture. 

Traditionally, the marriage ceremony used to be a thinly-veiled statement of the wealth and social standing of the [mostly Chinese] parents but nowadays the tradition is simply carried on by people who wish to continue on in this vein to maintain cultural fluidity.

The Wedding that we went to witness was a typical ‘Phuket Baba’ affair.

The Wedding started early evening with a cocktail party on the lawns of Hongyok House in Phuket Town – there was a full orchestra and plenty of Thai people dressed up in their finery and of course a plethora of nibbles.

The next day started very early for the ladies (04:00) and the men had to be at the TAT offices by 07:00.  Here the men signed the necessary paperwork and were taken to their partners – a journey which involved small envelopes being passed from hand to hand and a replenished cup of Chinese Tea every few minutes.

Their partners then lit candles and burnt fake money at the Chinese Dragon shrine in Phuket Town. After this they were driven through Phuket Town to the Thaihua museum, where more photographs were taken.

After this they were driven to the Jui Tui Temple where they asked for blessings from the Chinese gods.

A fascinating weekend for us all, and good luck to the couples.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Birthday and Turtles

The Royal Thai navy chose to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen Sirikit’s birthday by releasing some turtles from the care of the Phuket Aquarium into the Andaman Sea.

We felt very privileged to be invited and took with us two of our regular guests that were staying with us at the Cape Panwa Hotel – Louise and Richard.

Louise had previously stayed with us more than ten times so yesterday the couple took advantage of being able to have a complimentary sunset cruise on board Panwa Princess and today Tim took them on a special day out.

We started at the Phuket Aquarium where they visited the turtle ‘safe area’ and saw a large turtle being tagged.  After this we were allowed into the Third Naval Command – a daunting-looking place.

But it was a different story inside – with lots of people, a tent with three turtle pools, children running up and down AND a brass band (with a drum kit no less).

We were treated like royalty, served a drink and given chairs from where watched the VIPs arrive. Speeches were made and then the turtles were released.

Good Luck to them all


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sports Day and More

The annual Fun-Run, a jog from the local village, started early (for some) – last year’s winner Kim was the favourite but most of the staff were there just for fun – check out the photographs of this hilarious event.  The staff started off at a quick pace, with Tim riding his bicycle while filming a movie: probably his favourite shots were of Pavinee and Krittaya riding in a sidecar.

Congratulations to 'Mr Big' for coming first. And a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who participated.

THEN the rain arrived… but this did nothing to dampen anyone’s spirits, although quite a few people got soaked externally. The band started up, a tiger-figure (Varoon) leapt about and the rain came swooping in.

But absolutely nothing could stop the teams from playing takraw (a Southeast-Asian ‘volleybal’ played with the feet with a rattan ball.)

Playing conditions were awful with mud puddles and squalls but the teams’ cheerleaders got the match to fever pitch.  In short, the grueling match was played out under tortuous conditions. And the winner? Who cares? This is Thailand… 

This was followed the next night by the Staff Party - but that's a whole new story


Sunday, August 1, 2010

30 Miss Thailands stay at Cape Panwa

The hotel was abuzz with the bellboys wearing bigger grins and bouncier steps to their stride than normal: and the reason? The 30 contestants for Miss Thailand were coming to stay for three days.

The mostly eighteen-year-old contestants arrived with an enormous entourage of hairdressers, makeup artists, the media and some ‘other’ people… don’t ask.  The front desk kept them busy with questions about what they were going to do and was it possible to have a photo taken with them – although some of our guests told the staff that they were more beautiful than the contestants. That must have gone down well. 

The girls tried their hand at a number of water sports – canoeing being the main one – but not one fell in and mussed her perfectly coiffed hair in the slightest. You’ve got hand it to these girls, however young they are; they’re professionals.

A not-so painful-to-the-ears karaoke party was the highlight of the last day and they left us all happy with a pile of photographs. 

If you would like to vote for your favourite Beauty Queen please visit our 
Facebook page and you could win.