Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Monkey Seeing" and seeing the monkeys

photographs used with permission
How would you like to feed the monkeys? And I am not referring to those kept in cages because I know my editor frowns upon the abuse of animals in captivity here in Phuket.

The closest place to Cape Panwa Hotel where you can see monkeys is the local village of Borae (Ed – near Tim’s house).  Here, there is a local evening market adjacent to the Klong Mu-Dong, a canal famous for its annual canoe races. Walk to the end of the canal's pier, next to the boat huts, and you will find the locals feeding the monkeys that gather around every evening in that area.

You can also feed the monkeys on a hill in Phuket Town – Monkey Hill, whilst you are there you should also see the nearby Chinese Temple and drop by ‘Green Forest’ a local restaurant worth paying a visit.

‘Monkey Seeing’ on Si-Ray island is another place to feed the local monkeys. ‘Monkey Seeing’ is a small point built into a mangrove swamp, adjacent to a little car park where food to feed these monkeys is sold.

View Wild monkeys in a larger map


Thursday, April 26, 2012

cape+kantary Summer Sensational Issue

Yesterday, after much anticipation we finally received our copies of the cape+kantary magazine's summer edition with great excitement – the Summer Sensational cover (and inside fashion spread) were taken at Cape Panwa Hotel!!!!

This edition is packed with surprising and fun things that one can actually do.

Do you fancy taking a road trip from Bangkok to Phuket? Have a look at all the interesting places they visited enroute.

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of people you meet whilst you are on vacation in Thailand, is like - say the sunglasses vendor or jet ski operator on the beach? Have a look…

If you enjoy walking in beautiful parks or gardens do you want to know where in the world the best gardens are?

I know that Tim (who helps write this Cape Panwa Blog) will enjoy the article about Travel Apps, he can’t stay off his iPad!!!

My personal favourite was a guide about where to go in Ayutthaya to eat the local delicacies – chillies and Krua Tan restaurant for me ☺

There's also an "insider" guide to the best shopping and dining here in Phuket - though nothing for me to get excited about, I strongly recommend it to all visitors wanting to experience the best Phuket has to offer!!!

BTW, you can now enjoy the magazine wherever you are at 

Happy reading :)


Friday, April 20, 2012

Songkran - splash, splash and thanks

Thank you to Mr Diday for his photographs.
The Songkran Festival is widely documented as the “World's Greatest Water Fight

A rather one-dimensional view, which overlooks the beauty and true meaning of this famous Thai festival. Songkran is the Thai New Year – which is traditionally celebrated over three days, from April 13 through 15 – April 13 is the end of the old year and April 15 the beginning of the new one. Like Easter, it marks the beginning of a new life cycle on earth – and signals the beginning of the rains in Thailand, that will become more frequent and thus start the growth of new crops in the fields.

The Thai people celebrate this occasion by visiting the temple in the early morning bearing alms for the monks. Wirat and Tim took a number of guests to Wat Thepnimit temple in the morning where the monks received these alms to use for their own benefit or distribute to the needy.

Thank you to Ann and June for their contributions
Songkran is also a celebration of “family”. April 14 is known as “Family Day”. Elders and parents are visited by their children and grandchildren.  The young pour scented water over their elder’s hands, who in return, wish them good health, happiness and prosperity.  This tradition of paying respect is called “Rod Nam Dam Hua”.  Note again the use of water.

After visiting Wat Thepnimit temple in the morning, they took the guests on a tour through Sapan Hin to allow them to experience celebrations first-hand and, of course, get soaking wet!!! 

At the bottom of the hill to Cape Panwa they were ambushed by Russell (the owner of Sunset Bar) who had been lying in wait there.

The tour was followed by a “Pong-Lang” parade and a number of embarrassing games – thoroughly enjoyed by all on the hotel beach that afternoon. The day closed with a delicious Thai buffet in front of  Panwa House that had to be rapidly moved indoors because of rain (more water) – yet another blessing from above for our lucky guests!

Happy Songkran from all of us at Cape Panwa.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Can I take these seashells home, please?

Many of us have collected seashells from beaches we have visited and have purchased some useless items made out of seashells from our holiday destinations.  I, personally, have collected larger seashells from diving expeditions, which currently decorate our bathroom.

But where does this leave the country?

 which will no longer have homes and are left to fend for themselves.

The broken seashells make the sand of tomorrow; 
do you want your grandchildren to visit a beach?

permission granted - photo from timinphuket
In Thailand it is illegal to sell the seashells of the land – if you walk along Rawai Beach there is a plethora of seashells, but these are not from Thailand, they are from Indonesia, so it doesn’t matter?

However, I have read that Phuket is the "hub" of seashell collecting in Asia.

Thus this is a personal request to ask you to leave the seashells on the beach. 

Thank you.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Sunset Cruise and a Privilege

Jessie and Arthur recently visited us at Cape Panwa Hotel for the tenth time.

They were very happy to receive the gifts and the Gold Privilege Card presented by the hotel to commemorate the milestone and happy to be surrounded by a lot of familiar faces whom they had gotten to know well over the years. 

They also got to enjoy one lovely new experience, a privilege we provide all our guests with on their tenth visit - a free sunset cruise aboard our luxury yacht the Panwa Princess

They were eager to use the Panwa Princess but more importantly they had family with them on this visit and they wanted to know if they could invite them along on the cruise.

Yes, of course!

So Mona, Lisbeth, Nicklas, Claus, Jorgen and Camilla joined Jessie and Arthur on a complimentary sunset cruise through the nearby islands - a gift from Cape Panwa Hotel on their tenth anniversary visit.  Drinks were shared, the Jacuzzi was filled, smiles were abundant and fun was had by all.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Driving in Thailand - Part 3 - NOT hiring a car

all photographs used with permission - timinphuket
Shuttle buses
Many hotels run shuttle bus services to the most popular places, Cape Panwa offers a twice daily service to Phuket Old Town, Central Festival and Patong for a small fee.

Local buses
There are local 'songthaews' or open-air mini buses that run throughout the island. Fares range from 15 to 40 Baht per head, depending on the distance you travel (subject to change).  The centre for all these buses is Phuket Town – the front of each bus will display its destination.

Metered taxi
These are only available at Phuket Airport, come out of Arrivals 
and take an immediate right.

Motorbike taxi
An interesting experience BUT NOT for the faint hearted.

These are available all over the island – stick your hand out and flag them down.  Always negotiate a price before you get in and if it is possible take a map to show the driver where you want to go, many hotels have an address card written in Thai as well.

Local drivers
You can meet a lot of lovely local people who are drivers (just not 'registered' taxi drivers).  If you decide to hire their services please heed the above tip given for Tuk Tuks. 

Pink buses
These are relatively new.  They drive around Phuket (and specific outlying areas), 
for a 10 to 20 Baht fare.

No matter which mode of transport you opt for – be careful, it never hurts to be careful.