Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Have you written your postcards?

We are immersed in information technology at work, and we willingly let it assail us at home and when we go on holiday – for example I am currently downloading Temple Run 2.

(Ed – you are supposed to be working!)

We (myself included) find it vital to be  “connected” at all times – nowadays even possible when we are flying! I wonder how many of you have written a postcard recently? I can still vividly remember the pleasure I used to get upon receiving postcards from friends whilst they were on holiday!

Why don’t you try writing a postcard to your friend? Actually, there is an App that can do this for you. 

(Ed – delete sentence)

A postcard to Europe costs 18 Baht and if you want to mail it in an envelope it will be 24 Baht.

So go on send your friends a handwritten postcard and surprise them!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

The fair Leelawadee at Cape Panwa Hotel

One of my daily rituals when I stay at Kantary Bay in Phuket is to pop over to Cape Panwa Hotel for an early morning stroll on its beautiful private beach.

Cape Panwa Beach on instagram
Before 7 a.m the beach is usually very quiet and deserted – apart from the crabs that is. 

However, I did spot a guest sitting in a crossed-legged Yoga position on the sand last week though – it made me briefly think about taking up Yoga… but that’s not what I wanted to share with you.

I wanted to tell you that the walk through Cape Panwa hotel’s garden is just as pleasant and refreshing. The flowers in the early morning are beautiful – of the many types you find there, my favourite is the Frangipani, which is known in Thai  as “Leelawadee” or  ลีลาวดี.

Thais once believed that the flower gave you protection from the demons and evil spirits – me I just like the colour and think that they look lovely.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day

The elegant ‘Top of the Reef’, Cape Panwa Hotel’s Fine Dining Restaurant, which is adjacent to the Otter’s Bar, was the popular choice for couples on Valentine’s Day – especially after all the fireworks and lively celebrations that everyone took part in on Chinese New Year a couple of days earlier.

The service at Top of the Reef is always first-class but on this day the staff surpassed themselves. The special Valentine’s Set Dinner created by our chef was out of this world… it started with a rock lobster salad and finished with exquisite Valentine petit fours of praline chocolates.

The couples that chose to celebrate their commitment to one another at his lovely restaurant were all happy with their choice of venue and it was our pleasure to see Top of the Reef abound with so much love.

image courtesy of Cape Panwa News

Now I just need to find someone to share this special day with.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Welcoming the Year of the Snake (蛇)

The Chinese had a very great influence on Phuket and this is especially prevalent in  the architecture of Phuket Old Town. If you are really interested in the origins of this influence, I suggest you visit Phuket Thai Hua Museum.

At Cape Panwa Hotel, we did not celebrate Chinese New Year for the traditional fifteen days but just the last night.

Chef Chanman and his team put on a Chinese buffet fit for an emperor featuring all the traditional delicacies, whilst guests were entertained by Chinese Cabaret, Chinese musicians and the traditional Chinese Lion that evening.

Some of our guests benefitted from further entertainment at Phuket Old Town Festival where the celebrations lasted for three days.

Stay tuned for highlights in the Otter’s next blog.

新年快樂 (xīn nián kuài lè)


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bamboo and rice

I love to visit Phuket because some of the food I am addicted to is not easily available in Bangkok.

(Ed – you are at work in Phuket, hopefully!)

One of them is "Khao Lam" – sticky rice in a bamboo tube. The rice is first soaked in coconut milk and sugar, sometimes black beans are added to the mixture, which is then pressed into a hollow bamboo tube. The tube is then sealed off with banana leaves and roasted.

The result is delicious and the best place to taste Khao Lam in Phuket is Koh Sirey.

Just a word of advice – ask the vendor to break the tube open for you because it can be quite difficult.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Useful Apps for your holiday to Thailand

Ever since friends persuaded me to buy an iPad, my family has had enough of me going on about apps that I discover, which means that I am left with only you, my Otter's Tales’ followers, to share my findings.

I have already tried out all the apps that Tim recommended here previously (post one and post two), and though I am not quite ready for iCloud I have found some wonderful apps of my own.

One of the questions that I hear repeatedly around Cape Panwa Hotel lobby is:

“What time is the Sunset?”

Sunset Countdown’ tells you the exact timing of this beautiful natural occurrence wherever in the world you may be – when in Phuket consult the app and then head to Cape Phromthep to experience a glorious sunset.

A question I hear all the time from touts at the Grand Palace in Bangkok when I stay at Cape House is:

“Would you like a guided tour at a special price?”

Grand Palace’ is an audio guide that surpasses all others – the detail of the description is superb – walk around the Grand Palace plugged into this one for an educational and entertaining tour.

My last recommendation is for the many of you who have fallen in love with Thailand. 

There are a number of apps to help you to learn to speak and read Thai but I found this – ‘Learn To Write Thai’ is for those of you who are serious about learning Thai – for whatever reason it may be!?! 

(Ed – does Tim know how to read and write Thai yet?) ;)