Friday, June 29, 2012

Lottery Tickets in Thailand

all photographs used with permission - timinphuket
Thailand is a Buddhist country where most forms of gambling are prohibited by law (including casinos, sports betting and playing cards in your own home). But as Thais love to gamble, right down to the street vendors and poor rural farmers - we have a flourishing illegal trillion Baht gambling industry instead. The state owned lottery is one of two forms of gambling allowed in Thailand, (the other is horse racing, oh! and the stock market ;)).

The 6,000,000 Baht first-prize lottery is issued by the State Lottery Bureau twice a month with drawings held on the first and fifteenth of each month, unlike the U.K. Lottery which has drawings twice a week on every Wednesday and Saturday. The numbers on the Thai Lottery Tickets are six digits.

There is also an underground lottery based on the States Lottery's Winning Number but with more betting options, which at one time seemed to overtake the State Lottery in terms of profit margins. So the state decided to incorporate some of these underground betting options in its own lottery - to both increase its margins and try to wean people of the illegal bets - on the latter it has yet to succeed.

So wherever you travel in Thailand, especially at the beginning and middle of the month, you will see lottery vendors' tables lining the pavements. You will also see lottery vendors carrying batches of such tickets attached to display boards, walking the streets looking for buyers, and approaching people in restaurants and at food stalls to buy Thai Lottery Tickets. To play on the underground lottery, you have to know "someone in the know" - try asking your maid.

(Tim - I think that my editor buys these tickets)


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More handy apps for your trip to Phuket

The world of "apps" is growing in leaps and bounds and I know that Tim tries to keep abreast but even he has trouble!

He did however manage to compile another set of rather handy apps to have on your trip to Phuket - all tried and tested and highly recommended by our guests at Cape Panwa and Kantary Bay.

 Flipboard – your Social News Magazine. Use just one app to visit your 
                      TwitterFacebook and Youtube accounts, Instagram photos, your 
                      chosen newspaper, bookmarked sites and more.

 Instagram – share images from your exotic vacation with friends 
                      and family - a picture says a thousand words.

 Google Earth – your very real map to exactly where you are on 
                      the island as Google has recently mapped Phuket!

 Pack the Bag – do you need help to remind you to pack everything?

 SF Showtimes – okay it is raining – what’s on at the local cinema today?

 Access to Insight: Readings in Theravada Buddhism – 
                    Thailand is a Buddhist country and there are a great many beautiful 
                    temples to visit (here are some in Phuket).

 Where’s my water? – it's always a good idea to have a 
                   game to play when you need to while away time, this one is 
                   simple AND clever!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Spirit Houses in Thailand

photograph used with permission - timinphuket
The Spirit House is usually a miniature model of a traditional Thai-style house or temple that stands atop a shoulder-height pillar in an auspicious spot on a property. These days they are also an attestment to the property owner's financial status - not only have they become bigger but fancier in design - mini European-style mansions and glass-walled resort homes.

Thai people believe that there are spirits residing everywhere, and when we build a house or any type of building, we may unintentionally disturb or displace the spirits originally occupying this piece of land. So a Spirit House is built for the spirits to reside in.  If not given a replacement home when the land is developed,  the spirit can cause problems for the property owner - such as failure on either the family or business front.

Where the Spirit House is placed on the grounds is usually decided upon after consultation with a monk. It is usually somewhere where the shadow of the human house does not fall on it.  

But erecting the Spirit House alone does not mean that the Spirits will be appeased. They must be looked after as well - provided with offerings of food and water, incense on a daily basis, and the Spirit House must be cleaned and adorned with fresh Jasmine flower garlands on a regular basis. If one of your resident house spirit is a man, you have to offer him some alcohol and fags once or twice a month. If it is a child, you make offerings of sweets and mini toys.

Many of these Spirit Houses – big and small – can be seen outside homes and businesses within Phuket Old Town, one more reason for you to pay the place a visit.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Thai massage on the beach.

At Cape Panwa Hotel we have witnessed a growth in popularity of the "spa" – even building one at the Cape Panwa Hotel and in every subsequent Cape property.

What has never been given its true merit though is the Traditional Thai Massage on the beach.  We built two small thatched platforms in the gardens so this art-like therapy could be given the respect that it deserves.

The Cape Spa is undoubtedly a beautiful concept but to have a Thai massage surrounded by the true elements of nature – the gentle waves caressing the quiet beach and the coconut trees stroking each other…

Think that I would like a massage now…


Sunday, June 17, 2012

The power of the traditional Thai garland

Garlands are ubiquitous throughout Thailand. Vendors at traffic lights, outside temples or at roadside tables commonly sell Thai Garlands.

Making these garlands became popular in the reign of King Chulalongkorn Rama the Fifth and it has been so ever since.

The ring of Jasmine flowers symbolizes the beauty of the teachings of the Lord Buddha and as the ring of flowers begins to wither and perish this represents the impermanence of all our lives. 

You will find these garlands in many of the cars in which tourists are driven around Thailand and on the Spirit Houses in the front of a great many houses. The garland is placed over the Spirit House in the belief the spirits within will be pleased with their smell of Jasmine.

Upon your arrival at the airport, you may be lucky enough to receive a garland from the staff at the airport. In the car, the garland is said to have the power to prevent accidents! 

(ED: Now I know why Thai people often drive the way they do).         


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Football fever at Cape Panwa Hotel

The staff were excited about the start of the football last week, the teams were all ready to go and the timetable was posted in the Lobby (thanks to Krittaya our Senior Sales Cordinator ).

The day arrived and Phillip (our new Resident Manager), asked Tim and his colleagues what to expect. Olivier (our Assistant Manger - FandB), indicated that there was very little to do except join in with the Thai staff and keep smiling.

They all waited patiently for the first match to kick off – ice and drinks were prepared and banners erected. The match was controlled pandemonium with the Cape Panwa Ladies drawing against the Hotel Management (and senior staff), with a score of 7-7.

Then the real matches started between the staff – everyone had a lot of fun and in the evening they all watched the Euro 2012.