Sunday, February 26, 2012

Get rid of the Plastic Bag in Phuket!

image used with permission - Green Fins
In an attempt to reduce the environmental damage caused by the use of plastic bags, retailers across Phuket will be handing out 840,000 free cloth shopping bags over 84 days to commemorate the 84th Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

This cloth shopping bag project has been seriously embraced by many companies and they have all requested their staff to strictly enforce the policy AND staff will be rewarded for their adherence to the scheme.

The goal is one that seems to be an insurmountable mountain, especially when one considers the amount of plastic bags that each of us gathers in a day - a single trip to a 7-11 convenience store equals an average of three bags as they insist on bagging every item separately; (and many of us stop by several times a day).  If you buy a lot of food from the street stalls that's another plastic bag extravaganza – but do we really need all those plastic bags OR is there an alternative?


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Natural beauty, natural scenery and abundant smiles

The numerous websites, compiling the escapades of holidaymakers, although entertaining reading, often fails to offer the complete Phuket experience.

There are many places of stunning natural beauty in Phuket that can be easily accessed by visitors. A favourite of Tim's is Khao Pra Taew National Park - the last protected rainforest on the island.

Here, there is a beautiful waterfall set in the mountains called Bang-Pae Waterfall. The many times I have visited there have been local people swimming in it, but I never remember to bring my swim suit. 

Don’t forget to bring yours. 
Have fun!

They also have a Gibbon Rehabilitation Project that tries to reintegrate gibbons back into the wild; usually after the animal has spent years in a nappy, sitting on someone’s  shoulder. 

For a lunch of typical Thai food and hospitality surrounded by peaceful nature, try the local restaurant – "Peang Prai" – which overlooks  a serene lake.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day

This particular day is meant to be an occasion to "celebrate love", to remind your loved one to tell you how much "you are loved", to give card shops a boost in sales – the list is endless.

Here in Thailand any excuse for a celebration is a good one - love and all. This year our Valentine's Celebration took place at Top of the Reef – our fine dining French restaurant. Chef Chamnan designed a special menu for the occasion, guest couples were shown to their tables and the evening began.

Drinks were poured, love was toasted, the violin played and kisses exchanged.  

Happy Valentine’s Day

What did you do?


Thursday, February 9, 2012

“Must have” apps for Phuket

As the number of smart phone and tablet users (specifically iPhones and iPads) swell, the number of travel "apps" available to tourists have increased – all of them geared to make your travels more convenient and fun. Below is our list of picks for Phuket.

 Phuket Gazette  - Phuket's English-language newspaper, with daily news, 
                                            events and listings.
 91.5 FM  – Phuket Island Radio

 Thai Visa – News and forums about living in Thailand

 Thai iPad magazine  -  an interactive digital magazine about issues in Thailand

 Zinio – this is for all of those magazines – the world’s biggest newsstand.

 Skype - for that free phone call home

  City Walks - take a guided tour of Phuket Town

Of course, there are a lot more apps for the world traveller


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Phuket Old Town Festival

Phuket Old Town with its vibrant multicultural past still very much in evidence is a rather special place - and a must for anyone visiting the island.

The Phuket Old Town Festival, held during the Chinese New Year, is a celebration of the history of Phuket and the cultural influence of the Chinese settlers that bears very much on the island today.  Tim our Guest Relations Manager, took a group of guests to join this festival.

The normally busy streets were closed to all traffic, which meant that you were able to wander freely within the Town. Some of our guests went to Soi Romanee to check out the bars and the cafes, others went to watch the Chinese Dragon Dancing while the rest wandered fascinated among the colourful stalls selling local knickknacks and goodies.

The streets were very busy and full of the unexpected, from "living" statues, curry puffs and rainbow cupcakes to children playing ukuleles. There was a bit of rain but it could not dampen the spirits of the Thai people out for a good time.

Thank you to all.