Saturday, December 31, 2011

Smokin’ Willy on Cape Panwa Beach?

Cape Panwa Hotel had a special visitor last week. He was spotted relaxing on the beach, strumming a few bars to the gentle sound of the surf in the background.

Baz (from the Australian duo band “The Smokin’ Willies”) was seen sitting under the bushes in front of Panwa House.

Next time he comes we’ll ask him to play at the Management Cocktail Party .

The Smokin’ Willies’ new album will be out soon.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Welcoming in the New Year at Cape Panwa

Cape Panwa and Kantary Bay have chosen to celebrate the ‘Heritage of Thailand’ in the New Year.

The New Year's Eve International Buffet will feature a host of exotic and mouthwatering Thai dishes and the Cape Panwa Band will serenade guests during dinner. Guests will then be treated to a special cultural show highlighting the four different regions of Thailand followed by a "Tapon" Competition – a Drum Competition.

There will also be fun and games for everyone to join in highlighted by a Lucky Draw 
– last year's winner has just left us.

Of course, there will be fireworks and more drums to help welcome in the New Year  - and then the night is left to the dancers. (Ed – ask the staff to dance, Thai people love to dance).

A Happy New Year to ALL


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Phuket’s Weekend Market

We have all read about the famous weekend market in Bangkok. Well, now the island of Phuket has its own weekend market, too.

Photographs of Bangkok's weekend market - Chatuchak
Phuket's weekend market lies close to the Western style shopping mall Central Festival in Phuket Town, near Prompan (a Thai supermarket for bulk buying) and opposite to the Wat Naka temple.

Originally the market catered predominantly to the local Thai residents. 

One of the strangest items that I found on sale there was ‘dog clothing’ among other interesting stuff.  However, it has now become quite a tourist attraction with more and more items for the tourist – Billabong shorts and football shirts.  But the great thing about it is that it still retains its charming Thai atmosphere – calm, eccentric, amusing and interesting.

Have a visit and try the food – though none of it is cooked for the delicate tourist palette.  Chavorit, our Assistant Front Office Manager, suggested I try the fish balls or “luk chin thod” and “sai-krok e-san” or Northeastern Thai sausage, but I haven’t as yet.

Now this is not a market to rival Bangkok’s in the least 
so if you are going to Bangkok please still go.

(PS mind your head though, the awnings are quite low)


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Driving in Thailand - Part 2 - Local driving habits

Guests arriving at Cape Panwa Hotel, often ask 
whether driving lessons are available in Phuket.

The answer is “yes”; Driving Schools offering driving lessons exist, and a driving test with a written exam in English may be taken at the Motor Vehicle Department.  Also International Driving Licenses are officially recognized and obtainable in Thailand.

However, as a passenger, be aware of some habits (and car marks) common in Phuket, such as:

1)   Drivers will sometimes lift their hands free from the steering wheel of the car and  ‘wai’, at either a Wat (temple) or a roundabout, such as The Heroine’s Monument – this is a mark of respect.

2)   Drivers will reach the top of a particularly steep hill in Patong and feverishly hammer on the horn – this is also a mark of respect.

3)   A strange set of swirls and crosses on the car’s windscreen is a blessing from a monk.

image from timinphuket with permission
4)   Drivers may touch the amulet hanging around their neck – this may be a sign that the driver is worried, and seeking assurance and protection. (If your driver does this a lot, and you do not have an amulet, I suggest you get out of the vehicle as soon as possible).

If, however, the driver lets go of the steering wheel, and starts crossing himself or herself, then I suggest you do the same.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas at Cape Panwa

The Christmas tree has been raised, the fairy lights have been draped, the star has been placed on top and the presents placed below. 

The Christmas party will feature a "Pirates of the Andaman" theme (note: this does not mean the jet-ski operators in Patong – though it is an apt description).  The tickets are ready to be picked up and the tables chosen.

Our General Manager has made sure that Father Christmas pops by to say hello to the children but we do not know how Father Christmas is arriving this year.

Merry Christmas to you all.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Phuket Heritage – discovering traditional Phuket

There are a great many things that you can do on your trip to Phuket and we are sure that you have been told about most of them – Elephant rides, Xtreme Adventure Park, Wat Chalong, Big Buddha, Bangla Road, Laem and Sapan Hin, weekend markets, John Gray Sea Canoe (he went on a Heritage Trail) Gibbon Rehabilitation Park, waterfalls and more.

a Phuket Heritage Trail with Jamie in Phuket
One of the things that you probably won't find in the usual guide books but that we highly recommend is a guided exploration of Phuket Town and there is only one way of doing it and this is by contacting Phuket Heritage Trails – contact them through facebook or through Jamie in Phuket.

photo used with kind permission - Phuket Heritage Trails
Phuket Heritage unveils Phuket’s fascinating sino-colonial history and links it to many of the island’s current traditions, explaining the Tin Mining era, the Baba Festival, the Por Tor Festival and much much more.  

This is a side of Phuket that is not normally shared with visitors. But if you are interested in learning  more about the roots of the beautiful people on this beautiful island it’s worth contacting these guys on your next visit.

Take time to have a look – you will not be disappointed, Raj and Shalini, 
our latest guests to try it, weren't.