Thursday, September 27, 2012

Boycotting dishes that are the byproduct of animal cruelty

Whilst I was waiting for my flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket yesterday, after a weekend break at the Kantary Hills Hotel, I overheard a conversation between a tour guide and one of their customers.

“Where can I find Shark Fin Soup?”

I was not pleased when the tour guide reeled off half a dozen restaurants that were selling this dish of disastrous proportions. I immediately contacted Cape Panwa Hotel to ensure that these restaurants were not listed in our Concierge.

To my relief they were not, and then I was informed that while I was away the owner of Kasemkij Hotels (the owner of 15 hotels across Thailand) and also its Executive Director and TSPCA President had announced that Shark Fin, Bird’s Nest and Foie Gras would not be served in any of our properties. 


Monday, September 24, 2012

What will the weather be like tomorrow?

image courtesy of Mr Diday
I was brought up in a small town and I was told that you were able to tell the weather by the way the birds and animals reacted.

(Ed – my dad told me the same thing, there must be some truth in it!)

As I sat in the lobby of Cape Panwa Hotel, waiting for my car to take me to Khao Lak I was reminded of this when I heard a guest asking the staff  what the weather was going to be like the next day.

The staff was very helpful – after providing the local weather bureau’s forecast, he continued to explained that there was no firm way to confirm these forecasts and that the weather might be different over different parts of Phuket Island and across the sea.

The staff even suggested that if the guest had access to the Internet he could try or download their app because it was a pretty good forecaster for sun.

Kiteboarding at Cape Panwa
The guest, however, surprised me by saying that it was not the sun he was looking for but the wind! He wanted to go kiteboarding and needed windy conditions! The staff then calmly told the guest to visit a website called “Wind Guru” for wind conditions.

Fabulous – but I do wonder whether the predictions were correct?


Friday, September 21, 2012

Som Tum

image from Nong Sow in Phuket Town
Travel blogs and guide books are filled with so many things to see, do and buy when you visit Thailand that it is only sensible to list them all down before you arrive and wise to shortlist your priorities so that you go home having experienced everything you considered a must - be it watching a Thai boxing match, riding an elephant or eating the original version of your favourite Thai food!

(Ed – turn off your iPad Tim)

One spectacular dish that is actually more Thai and more popular than "Phad Thai" that you really MUST try is "Som Tum" – now I would have to add that Som Tum is not for everybody, especially the delicate.

This Northeastern Thai dish, which has been lovingly adopted by the rest of the Kingdom, is literally a saliva-inducing mix of spicy, sweet and sour flavours. Som Tum dish is made by pounding sour lime, chilli, salt, fish sauce and sugar together in a stone mortar. Shredded green papaya is added to this wonderful mixture and tossed.

Dried shrimp and peanuts are then sprinkled liberally over the top or mixed in - delicious!

Though street carts are the best for this dish, as a tourist it is more prudent to sample Som Tum at a proper restaurant.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Makruk – fancy a game of Thai chess?

Along the streets of Phuket and its West coast beaches you can often see pairs of men (note to the Ed – do women play Makruk because I have never seen any?I'm sure they do but you probably don't see them around as they are the more hard-working gender ;D) carefully studying a wooden board of Cocoa-Cola tops.  They may be playing draughts BUT not always.

The board game is usually "Makruk" or Asian Chess, formerly known as Siamese Chess. The pieces used to play Makruk are very similar to that of regular Western chess, so are the moves and the opening set-up.

There is also a king in Makruk that looks similar to the other pieces (so be careful), because if captured it loses the game!! There are also other rules to learn in order to play. We have a Makruk set in our Games Room – ask our staff if they know how to play.

If you are not at Cape Panwa Tim did tell me that you could always download the app.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dreams do come true

The beach of Kantary Beach Hotel, Khao Lak was like a dream come true when I visited last week – the ocean was calm and the fine white sand seemed to stretch on forever into the distance.

I sat on the wooden swing watching the sunset and fantasizing about a beautiful beachside wedding...

Imagine my surprise when I looked up to find my dream in front of me – a bride in her gown was strolling with her husband along the beach.

I think I would like to get married here…


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cape Panwa and Delicious – ‘a tasty bookmark’?

What is the connection?

"Cape Panwa", with its 5 restaurants, and "delicious" are two words one often hears uttered in the same breath.

Visit Panwa House and have the Gaeng Massaman Neua.

Visit Top of the Reef and have the Supreme de Canard al’Orange.

Visit Café Andaman and have the Chicken Ceasar Salad.

Visit Uncle Nan’s and have the Alla Milanese con Salsicce su Cestino di Parmigiano.

Visit Laem Panwa and have the Khao Niow Ma-muang.

And visit the beach and have a pizza!

This is not the only connection!  Delicious is also a social bookmarking web service – the tastiest, that allows you to keep and manage all those links to web pages and articles.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sharing your Happy Holiday Photographs – part 2

photobucket App
Which photo apps are a must on holiday?

Travelling through Asia regularly, one can't help but notice the increasing number of people carrying an electronic device that is able to connect to the World Wide Web.

This has subsequently led to websites developing apps specifically for these new platforms - ones with features that cater to smart phone and tablet pc users, such as the sites that enable you to upload photographs taken with your phone directly to them!

The simple way to do this is to use the associated app. After chatting with fellow travellers at airports and at various places around Phuket these are my choices.

Deja Mi





WiFi Photo Transfer