Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nai Harn - a special beach in Phuket

 

Not everyone goes to this beach but there are at the other end, near the hotels.  We mostly meet people who live here when we go to this beach.


Jemma loves the pool off the main beach and then loves to roll around in the waves with us - beware the waves are strong.



Then the ice cream man comes ringing his bell....... heaven is here.








Old Phuket Festival..... whoops missed that one



I was too inundated with seating plans for New Year at CPH, weather blogs and people to greet whilst all this was going on.










Please read Jamie's blog for a full report.










There are a number of other sites - 
Phuket index.com and Asia Web.com.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Banana Adventure Camps




Now this looks like fun - I wonder if I can join them?


I wonder how successful it is?


Go here for more information.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kite Surfing at CPH - amazing!



Well I never thought that I would see this so close to where I work - but I did - AMAZING, thought that this needed a lot of patience, especially for the loyal partner on the shore organising the kite for him.  
It was exactly like flying a kite by hand - you definitely need a hand!
But once you get up it was fabulous. I have found this company in Phuket who indicate that they can share this experience with you - Good Luck.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Get married!


One of the things that I do in Phuket at the Cape Panwa Hotel is take care of the weddings - and sometimes I get to dress up and say a few words.


If you need any further information please do not hesitate in contacting me on my email address - am@capepanwa.com.


On Monday we had a wonderful day – Dr Vikas and Siobhan had a Thai Wedding at the Cape Panwa Hotel.  They wore traditional Indian clothes and were joined by a baby elephant.





Sacha proposed to his girlfriend Satyam on the beach followed this special day. Sacha had been planning this day for ages and the nerves and excitement showed when it all worked and Satyam said, “YES”.





Then at the end of the week Andrew wed Camilla. Their clothes were made here and their friends and a baby elephant joined the couple!  This Wedding took place on the beach and was followed by cocktails and a barbecue at Panwa House – enjoyed by them all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Loy Kratong night






Wow - Loy Krathong was certainly festive and a celebration BUT it did rain and nearly the whole night was lost but it was rescued by the staff, Wirat's dancing and the Thai staff.


There is a review on the Cape Panwa blog - please click here.



How about making a Krathong?





Wow - what a night - what a party





A celebration for everyone!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A game of golf in Phuket?






Fancy a game of golf?  


I don't do very well but I enjoy the walk and hitting the ball - I do have a 'hybrid / gatoye'  on order from China which might help me get better but.......


Interesting fact - I found out that my golf bag contained an umbrella last week!!!!


There are a number of other places to swing a stick;


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Loy Kratong 31 Oct - 2 Nov





Living with water all their lives, Thais worship and apologise to the goddess of the river by floating beautifully decorated krathongs away into the river on the full moon night of the 12th month of the lunar calendar.


Falling on November the 2nd this year, the Loy Krathong Festival is celebrated throughout the country.  The festival in general, is celebrated with a krathong (a basket decorated with flowers containing a piece of your hair or a nail) that's supposed to float away your bad luck.




In the North of Thailand they also celebrate this by lighting floating lanterns......we have a play in the South as well - but not when it is windy!!!





We had fun at The Cape Panwa Hotel - when the report is published then I will provide a link BUT i do have some videos coming - watch this space.............

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Vegetarian Festival in Phuket - A MUST






Did I understand it all - not a hope.  The people who were part of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival were people who believed in what it was.


The day started early and we quickly met some people who were part of the Festival.





This MUST have hurt - i am unable to understand how they are able to this unless they are possessed or 'out of it' - click here if you would like to see more of this stomach wrenching displays.


The carnival atmosphere was electric and i was totally drawn into it all - even picking up a wrist bracelet given out by a spirit medium.  There was a plethora of people who were pierced in a plethora of different ways - click here if you want to see some photographs of them.  


The procession included people outside their homes with a table of offerings set up to welcome the blessings of the spirit mediums.





Following this came the noise of the firecrackers and **** they did make a noise - many photographers and people involved in the parade did have ear plugs or ears stuffed with cotton wool - click here for a small flavour of what I saw.





I tried to collate a number of videos together but nothing could encompass the feeling of being in all that chaos.  I have compiled three videos which I have uploaded











The meeting with the Firecracker Man was amazing (above) - I was totally taken aback and it I will certainly be going again to see the Procession next year - I will read more of my text book so I will understand a little more about it - The Chinese Festival in Phuket.


Following this I took a trip into Phuket to watch the Fire Walking - but this was a disappointment - I think that Fire Running would have been a more appropriate title to give it! I did hear that one person did fall over whilst he was running over the flames however ............... BUT I have since read that the injured party failed this because of his own failure to stick to the rules!!


I was interested enough to find out a bit more about Fire Walking and after reading this article about Fire Walking I did feel that it was a con.




The atmosphere in Phuket Town near the Jui Tui Shrine and the Clock Tower was wonderful - a real pleasure to visit and see a wonderful phenomena.







There are a great many more photographs that I have taken, there are links to them and these are accessed best through the Cape Panwa Hotel photographic library - I will add these links later.


There are interesting reports in the Phuket Gazette - have a look.


This video was quite disturbing but interesting - click here




Monday, July 6, 2009

A visit to Wat Chalong



Wat Chalong is the biggest temple in Phuket Town. I recently took some guests to visit it. We took the scenic route along the costal road where we could see Big Buddah in the distance and at other points could see the tide splash against the road.

When we arrived Wat Chalong was quiet and milling with people UNTIL BANG BANG…….. there were some firecrackers lit and although they were lit inside a honeycomb of bricks it was loud and it was a shock – have a look.


After this shock we visited the main temple. We purchased some temple packs that contained; three incense sticks, 2 candles, a lotus blossom and some gold leaf. We then respectfully did the following:
1: Candles were lit and placed outside - showing respect to the Buddhist doctrine and teaching
2: Shoes were removed – to show respect to the sacred ground that we were entering
3: Lotus flowers were placed in the monk b
owls – the lotus is a revered flower in Buddhist culture because even though it grows in mud it can be perfect when it is grown.
4: We carefully sat down and held our offerings in front of us, formed a wai, and made a wish. We watched some people shake containers with sticks in until a stick fell out - this stick would mean something to them – usually an answer to a wish.
5: Three joss sticks were lit - this symbolises the Lord Buddha's wisdom, the second his purity, and the third his kindness.
I did find out that you should not blow your joss stick out but wave them in the air – however in my readings I could not find a reason……….please send me your ideas.
6: Gold leaf is carefully peeled from the paper and placed on a Buddha image – this is to pay respect his teachings.
7: We politely made a wai to the images and left the temple.
We walked around the temple grounds sampling the food, the fresh coconuts and enjoyed the ambiance – maybe I should begin to practise Buddhism?


View Buddhist Temples in Phuket in a larger map

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Trip into Phuket Town


One morning some guests from the Cape Panwa Hotel and I took a trip into Phuket Town.

We drove along the coastal road into Yon Bay where we could see over to Chalong Bay and the Big Buddah in the distance.

Our first stop was in Old Phuket Town where we visited the Fresh Market. Our guests tried fruits - Durian, Dragonfruit, Lychees and Salak. After this I asked the guests to try other delicacies but they politely declined.

We walked through the market and the backstreets of Phuket and came to Thamachad (Natural) – a quite exquisite restaurant serving authentic Thai food. Not only is the food special but so are it’s surroundings – the tables have Sewing Machine legs, there is a PC with a fish tank in it, there are some 45’s on the wall and more. Click here for a look inside Natural.

Then we visited a Chinese Temple and Shrine. The Chinese Temple and Shrine is full of colour, beauty and interest. We removed our shoes and entered, joss sticks and candles were lit by many guests and bracelets were tied. The details of all the figures on the three blessing tables in the Temple were magnificent and absorbing.


After this we visited Rang Hill to enjoy the view over to Phuket Town and the Andaman Sea.



Shopping was last - but not least!!!! We visited Phuket Town and it’s plethora of Shopping Malls, CD-shops, restaurants, coffee shops and clothes shops.

AN UPDATE

Click here for an interesting article about the History of Phuket Town

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gibbon rehabilitation



We took some guests from the Cape Panwa Hotel for a trip to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GRP) in Bang Pae to see first-hand the work being done and to walk through the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park.


Gibbons are small, acrobatic primates; advanced apes from Southeast Asia which are in danger of going extinct.They are a marvel to watch! We observed them in their pens and we were very lucky to hear the mating call of the female whilst we were there.
There are a number of different types of gibbons here and a couple have successfully bred and are now living back in the forest. Originally these gibbons were wild, living in the forests but they were knocked out of the trees and picked up from the forest floor, fed alcohol and given nappies!

Once the gibbon matures they can no longer be ‘pets’ and are discarded – this is where the GRP help and their goal is to reintegrate them into the wild – unfortunately they do not have a lot of success or support.

If you do visit Phuket please take a little time to visit the GRP. There is a 200 Baht fee for entering the National Park but please purchase something in the shop as the GRP receives no funding from them. You can even adopt a Gibbon – who will stay and live in the National Park.
We finished the trip with a stroll though the jungle to a waterfall where a number of guests went for a swim and others sat around eating fresh coconuts. Delightful!