Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nam Prik Goong Seab

Nam Prik Goong Seab is a must for me when I stay at Cape Panwa Hotel or when I  visit Phuket Old Town – it is what we recognize in Thailand as a Southern speciality.

This dish is a very spicy dip. It is actually a small bowl of spicy, sweet and sour chilli paste mixed with dried shrimp - a dish that is not for those without a high tolerance level of chilli.

The lethal mixture is served with a collection of fresh and boiled vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, bean sprouts, cabbage and deep-fried eggplant. These vegetables are meant to balance out the strength of the chilli paste. People like to eat these dipped vegetables with some rice.

Good luck if you want to have a go – I was amused when Tim joined me but was unable to eat more than a spoonful – all the more for me :)


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The fish have gone but now there is nail painting.

When I was  last at Cape Panwa Hotel there was a local Halal Festival going on in the village of  Borae nearby which I decided to visit.

As expected, there was a delicious array of foods and the normally quiet village was alive with activity that day.

The next day I decided to visit the Fish Spas on the hill to Cape Panwa Hotel that I had noticed on a previous trip – despite my mother’s objections I have always wanted to try one.

Well, no such luck – one fish spa had closed down and the other one had been transformed into a nail painting shop. I do have the most exquisite nails now – to remind me of Phuket I had the beach and the sun painted on each nail.

Nothing can beat lazing on the private beach at Cape Panwa Hotel though – but my “seaside nails” are an adequate reminder as I tap away on this computer.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Do you dream of a tropical beachside wedding?

Getting married is one of life’s “big moments” and I know that at Cape Panwa Hotel they can make it special for you – because I keep seeing people getting married there…not to mention they have a beautiful private palm-fringed beach.

The most remarkable thing is that each wedding seems to be different. I mentioned this to one of the Front Office staff – the chatty, happy and gregarious ‘Pavinee’ – and she told me it is because the entire team at Cape Panwa Hotel find it a pleasure and consider it an honour to help out with a wedding.  Her favourite bit is helping the bride and groom to pose for photographs on Cape Panwa Hotel’s private jetty.

While Tim, the Guest Relations Manager, takes care of the bridal couple on their special day as well as posts a record of the ceremony on his ‘wedding blog’ for people who were unable to come and the bride and groom to share instantly.

I also found out that Krittaya, the Wedding Co-Ordinator, is in charge of organising everything else before the couple arrive. If you would like them to organise your special day for you please contact Krittaya

Do you think they can find me a groom?


Monday, March 11, 2013


A foreign friend of mine  assumed that I was taking him out for dinner when I mentioned that I would take him into Phuket Town to see where they made ‘Pla-ta-pian’. 

Pla-ta-pian are in fact a local freshwater fish known in English as the java barb and similar in shape to the carp; while “pla-ta-pian sarn” refers to the popular, locally crafted wind mobiles in the shape of these fish because they are believed to be a symbol of prosperity. 
The mobiles are woven (“sarn”) out of palm fronds (bai larn) that were chosen because the frond is tough but not brittle and it is also believed that the palm fronds were used as manuscripts for Buddhist scriptures.

If you visit Phuket Old Town you will able to find Thai handicraft shops where these colourful mobiles can be bought.


Friday, March 8, 2013

The raising of Laem Panwa

I was pleasantly surprised when I revisited Laem Panwa Seafood Restaurant last week – the garden it is set in was resplendent in Christmas lights and the restaurant itself had been raised onto a platform.

The Kantary Bay Hotel had their Christmas lights on and so a festive mood still surrounded us - making even my cold Singha Beer taste better!

Sitting at the newly elevated tables felt special even though they were only a few steps up it felt good.

I chose the Seafood Basket as usual because the Laem Panwa does it so well - I love to watch the cooks grill the fish! From the Seafood basket, I always choose the fresh squid first and dip it in the chilli sauce – followed by a gulp of cold Singha, of course.

See you up there.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chinese New Year in Phuket Old Town

Phuket Old Town with its charming old-word ambience is always a pleasure to visit.  And during the loud and colourful Chinese New Year festivities it is even more alluring…and extremely crowded.

The main streets were all closed to traffic and were festooned with Chinese Lanterns. A stage had been erected in the Queen Sirikit Park, which also has a fountain in the shape of a golden dragon, and there were a number of shows held here – my favourite was the Dragon Dance.

The streets were full of Thai food stalls that you can normally see at the local markets. There were balloons for sale adjacent to the man who was selling Candy Floss. For the more adult of us there were a number of small bars set up, which specialised in colourful cocktails.


Then there were various bands scattered along the street – all performing different types of music (some better than others mind you). There were also ‘Human Statues’ painted in black charcoal and standing as still as possible.

I am unable to tell you how much more there was that evening because after a while  I stopped taking pictures and just enjoyed myself – see you all next year.