ISSUE 8 - November 2010
Last month saw the sometimes-gruesome-but-always-fascinating
Phuket Vegetarian Festival. Colourful processions, lurid possessions and self-
mutilation, all in the name of purification and regeneration formed a bubbling
cocktail of trance and trauma. Tim and guests attended. We also present a 2 What’s on in Phuket 5 Guest’s Birthday
deeply-researched guide on how to spot a katoey (ladyboy), a bizarre news snip-
- Phuket Zoo Crossword & Quiz
pet concerning an underwear knicker (thief) and several other disparities of the
- Katoeys The Winner of C & Q
‘only-in-Thailand’ type, along with the usual ‘Meet the Staff’ slot that Khun Pavinee
in her inimitable style manages to turn into a hoot. Take a tongue-in-cheek look at Strange but true
Thai superstitions as well as our regular article with the often misinterpreted title of - Knickers Nicker Nicked in 6 Guest Writing
‘Fruits in Thailand.’ What more could you want? Enjoy
the Nick of Time Meet a Member
Sam Wilkinson - Your editor
Strange but true 3 Cape Panwa Staff Corner
One of the most recent bizarre suggestions
Happenings Staff News
to have arisen from the murky waters of
- Loy Krathong Up and Coming
Siamese bureaucracy is one put forth by
the ‘BITB’ – the ‘Boys in Tight Brown’ aka - Vegetarian Festival Phuket - Cape + Kantary
the Thai police. If you, a foreigner, are - The Real Cape Panwa Magazine
subject to a crime, they suggest you
beetle along to the nearest 7-Eleven
to report the misdemeanor. But don’t 7 9 Questions
panic: This ‘original’ idea doesn’t yet 4 Thai Traditions
apply to Phuket, but the next time you
- A Superstitious Lot
get your motorcycle stolen (unlikely on
- Thai Fruit
this island) simply order a fruit smoothie and
a monster Coke as you file your complaint - Weddings
with a bewildered clerk. As the veteran newshound Bernard Trink likes to
observe, T.I.T. (this is Thailand).Always go protected.
The newsletter is named Otterʼs Tales after Bobby the friendly Otter who was a resident of the Cape Panwa Hotel for nearly 10 years
What’s on Strange but true
I N P H U K E T
Knickers Nicker Nicked in
the Nick of Time
A motorcycle taxi driver was recently apprehended in
possession of a hold-all bag jam packed with ladies’
underwear. So far so bizarre, but what really takes the
funny-in-Thailand cake is that, when accompanied by the boys in brown
(the Royal Thai police) back to his apartment, the intrepid constabulary
investigators were amazed to find some 5,000 items of female underwear
hanging from the walls, stuffed into closets that, when collected and trans-
ported to the police station, formed a mound a metre-high lingerie-loaded
Phuket Zoo pile of colourful underwear. Police are now inviting the local feminine
The island’s zoo contains many tropical fauna and flora and is situated populace to come and claim their undergarments, just as if… And to add a
almost beachside on Soi Palai, just north of Phuket Town. At the end of this twist to an already twisted story, the guy who shopped the knickers-and-bra
‘soi’ or lane, you will find about four locally renowned seafood emporiums thief was the ‘pu yai’ or local leader of the local transvestite community. The
– most worth checking out for their food, but not for their rather compla- moral? Never get on the wrong side of a ladyboy – you have been warned.
cent service. The Zoo is double-priced, meaning that foreigners pay a lot (From our underwear, er sorry, undercover
more to get in than locals. It features elephant-and monkey shows and is, correspondent in Bangkok.)
quite frankly, not the best zoo in the world when it comes to dedicated
animal care. And here’s the dilemma: Do we go to support the animals in
a dodgy environment or do we go to give the (thankfully
insouciant) kids a great day out? Your call.
Katoeys, or transvestites with rubbery extra bits; he’d bedded a katoey, he promptly jumped off
out-and-out trans-genders (the ones with their his second-floor hotel-room balcony, ostensibly
waterworks suitably aligned); and all sorts of exotic to avoid a fate worse than death, and ended up
creatures in ultra-shorts and bursting halter tops, in hospital with two broken legs. Other online
are a big attraction along Soi Bangla in Patong. testimonies include the immortal line, “By the
Wobbling along on f**k-me shoes with mincing time I found out, it was too late…”
chops that would shame a cruising Manhattan
gay around midnight, they, to put it diplomatically, Countless websites run rather jaded but at the
provide a sexual cutting edge to the area. same time interesting lists of How to Spot a
Katoey from Three Paces: The Adam’s apple, the
Stories about farang/katoey encounters run oversized hands etc. But one thing’s certain; if
concurrent with fables of the many bar busi- you wander down Soi Katoey, off Bangla Road,
nesses opening and abruptly closing here: That late at night and wonder why you’re surround-
is, they’re Hot or they’re Not. ed by bouncy and bodacious beauties who
are more forthcoming than the average Thai
One tale concerning a Scandinavian visitor in ‘bar hostess’ you haven’t done your Thailand
Kata Beach, recounts that upon discovering that homework yet. A Tiffany Performer
Cape Panwa H o t e l
H A P P E N I N G S H A P P E N I N G S
at Cape Panwa Hotel
The beautiful feast of Loy Krathong is held on the full
For a Vegetarian Festival,
moon of the seventh month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the
Phuket’s version has a lot of gore. Disciples don white clothing, abstain
western calendar this falls in November.
from meat and a whole lot more, then pierce themselves with all manner of
objects – bicycle spokes and all manner of kitchen implements notwithstand-
Loy Krathong literally means ‘to float a basket’ and the small vessels are
ing. Then they parade the streets from Kathu Town to Phuket Town, bang-
made from the sliced trunk of banana trees. They are adorned with nail
ing drums and gongs, ad nausea. It’s a colourful (red and white, mostly
or hair clippings, one-baht coins (that local children snap up as soon as
spectacle that attracts many Chinese visitors and, funnily enough but true,
possible) and candles. The krathong is pushed away from the river bank
many western body piercing enthusiasts. Lots of veggie food to be had, but
or shore. A wish is then made, with hands in a traditional prayer-like Thai
if you’re an out-and-out carnivore there’s always Cape Panwa’s Friday-night
‘wai’, as the krathong floats away with the current. At Cape Panwa, the Loy
all-you-can-eat meat buffet on the last night of the festival to get that Vitamin
Krathong festival is one of our favourite events to share with our guests.
B rush after days of chewing on rabbit food.
The Real Cape Panwa
is not Sri Panwa
There is always a bit of confusion with these two
names when they are discussed as a destina-
tion – be you English, Scottish, South African or
from wherever. This confusion is exacerbated
by the fact that the two hotels are located quite
near each other. How to tell the difference: Cape
Panwa is located on the actual cape/beach – just show your driver Proposal at Cape Panwa
a picture of the Cape in the brochure or on your multimedia phone...
Gerry Bonne and Vanessa Princen
Gerry had a secret that he shared with Tim at the
W the slightest misunderstanding taxi drivers will take you to
Front Desk – he was going to propose to Vanessa
where they want to take you or what they think you want to
at Panwa House that very night!
go.This is a common problem throughout Thailand and they do
not like tell you that they do not understand as in their culture it
He wanted a very special table on the sand and
would be construed as ‘losing face’ on their part – many of us have experienced this.
asked if they could organize this for this special
occasion – and they obliged.
So that’s why we recommend everybody to take a map with them before they leave and
Vanessa said yes!
keep a Cape Panwa Hotel Card or brochure in your pocket.
Congratulations Gerry and Vanessa
See you soon, even after you have been where you didn’t want to go.
T h a i
Fruit of the month: Dragon Fruit
Thais are a superstitious lot Looking suspiciously like a small turnip with
They say Thais are a superstitious people. Well, so are the Irish but at least some Irish people get a a bad skin problem, the dragon fruit doesn’t
haircut on Wednesdays – it’s considered bad luck here. And Thai superstition forbids cutting your reveal its exotic nature until sliced open to
nails in the dark but when you think about it that’s sort of common sense, isn’t it? The Thai dictum show its slightly bizarre black-and-white
forbidding the use of a broken comb would also pretty much fall into the same category. Still, “If you dotted interior. The dragon fruit’s crisp flesh
run backwards seven times around your house and then look backwards between your legs you will contains a high vitamin C content that, along
see a ghost” is utter nonsense – I know because I tried it and ended up seeing a psychiatrist instead. with other plus points, makes it a favourite
dessert choice on Thai tables – and just when
History teaches that King Herod was warned of imminent death if he espied an owl – it nutritionists tell us
proved to be true and eerily similar to the Thai superstition that “If an owl sits on your not to eat fruit
roof you will die soon” so keep Tibbles well fed with cat food and on the lookout. after a meal.
Finally, who can doubt for a second the wisdom in forbidding women to sing while When will they
they’re cooking because they’ll end up with an old husband? Break dancing is fine, playing make their
a double bass ditto, playing the Simpsons’ theme on alto sax absolutely acceptable but do minds up?
NOT sing while you’re cooking: You have been warned.
Paul and An
our Newly Weds
Emma and Ian
Paul and Ann
Emma and Ian
>> Click here for photographs of more weddings at Cape Panwa.
thday at C
We took great pleasure in wishing Pat a happy
sixth birthday during her visit with her family at
Cape Panwa Hotel!
CROSSWORD & QUIZ
Inside a Wat
1. Decorative edges of temple roofs
5. Structure containing a relic of
6. Ordination hall for the monks
7. Sacred boundary stones around
9. Tree under which the Lord Buddha sat
to gain enlightment
10. Bell tower to summon monks
Where to visit in Bangkok
2. Where the holy scriptures are stored
3. Main part of the temple
4. Assembly hall
8. Square-based structure with a spire
THE WINNER OF
L a s t I s s u e
Crossword puzzle winner: Ammalia Wong
receives a prize from Khun Somjai, the General
Manager of the Kantary Bay for his correct
answers to our newsletter online puzzle.
Win & Prizes: Please post or email your answers to us and we will announce the winners in our next Otter’s Tales. Prizes include T-Shirts,
baseball caps and more and can be collected on your next visit or email Tim to have it posted out to you.
Guest M E E T A ME MB E R O F
W R I T I N G STAFF
Mr Jaran in Cape
Carlo and Jacci Whittern are a couple
who have chosen to return to Kantary Khun Carlo and Ms Jac
ci with our staffs Where can one meet such a happy person,
Bay again and again so we decided to ask
full of smiles and grace. You will meet Jaran in
them a few questions about their vacations with us.
the Fitness Center, around the swimming pool
and at breakfast. Then you might meet Natasha
Hi, Carlo and Jacci.
somewhere else – dressed for special
Tim: So, just why do you both choose to come back to stay with us at Cape Panwa?
Jacci: All these people (gesturing to the staff members) are our family and friends. We come back
regularly to see them all the time. We’re surrounded by our family, and it’s a wonderful thing. Lately,
Carlo impressed me with a few words in the Issan northeastern dialect (while speaking with the staff) Staff
but I didn’t have a clue as to what he was talking about.
Tim: What did you think of the latest Vegetarian Festival?
Carlo: If I had some of that stuff that makes them go into a trance then maybe I could walk a bit
Jacci: The atmosphere of the event, the buildup of the day, it was something else; nobody could
ever understand what it is really about from just looking at a photograph. The atmosphere that the
Thai people create here is amazing are Cape Panwa going to sponsor someone next year?
Tim: Did you understand the beliefs behind the Vegetarian Festival?
Jacci: Not really, but I want to go next year and we simply could not believe that you led us into the
parade this year!
Khun Wittaya and
Tim: So, how would you describe to your friends about what’s happening here at the hotel?
Jacci: I’d say that we are at a very real place and surrounded by very real people who talk to us
A big welcome to two new Front Office
about their families this is not simply a product and you could not find a similar beach in the world as
Managers for Kantary Bay and Cape Panwa.
Tim: What would you like us to do with the hotel? Up &
Leave it as it is! The best word to describe it is quirky. There is so much here, Panwa House is a treasure
C O M I N G
trove of interesting things and there is so much atmosphere and this is something that you can’t
›› Xmas and New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Tim: Thank you Carlo and Jacci ›› Opening of our new Junior Suites
Jacci and Carlo: No problem Tim; see you next year, and don’t forget to get some T-shirts for the
trip to the Vegetarian Festival! ›› Opening of our new rooftop pool
u e s t i o n s
One of Cape Panwa’s most lasting first impressions is of a svelte, self-confident, glamorous young lady
called Pavinee in the lobby, who easily could transform an icicle into boiling water from 20 metres.
She is your greeter and helps Tim (Guest Relations Manager) in all things to do with… well,
everything – from the choice of a book from the lobby’s ever-changing library – to suggestions as to
where to eat on the island.
Questions prepared by Sam, distorted by Tim:
Q So please tell us, Khun Pavinee – why do the guests nickname you Legs?
A Why don’t you ask me something serious? Like how long I’ve worked here? Do you think people
care? I thought this was supposed to be serious…
Q It is a serious question – and it’s to be posed again; why ‘Legs’?
A. Oh Darling – before I used to wear a short skirt and everybody talked about my legs – and the We have just released the second issue of our
guests wanted to know where they could see pictures. (Ed. ‘of what?) brand new brand magazine, cape+kantary.
Focused on the best in lifestyle and travel
Q So what is the one thing that you would like to change about your physical appearance? throughout Southeast Asia, the magazine
A My boobs! About six years ago I went to the hospital with ready money but they sent me away, is filled with original and interesting articles,
telling me to think about it because I had [big] enough boobs already. entertaining stories, fashion tips, photo essays
and more. Keep an eye out for it next time you
Q A common question that I get is about your hair and how beautiful it is. How long does it take to stay with us and feel free to take a copy or two
do it in the morning? home with you.
A Oh, about 30 minutes and my makeup takes around 40 minutes; if I did all my own hair it would
take two or three hours – oh no, not for me – not every day.
ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Q You have had a number of uniforms while working at Cape Panwa, please could you share with
us which one is your favourite and why? Get to know the very lastest
A You know which one already… the sexy one! Just kidding, sexy is not easy for me because I cannot happenings at Cape Panwa,
wear it at my mum’s house!
check these out:
Q (Tim; clearing his throat and bravely carrying on) If a guest were to try to make the best impression
>> Happenings at
on you, what sort of chocolates should he bring on a date?
A Celebrations of course!!! And Jammie Dodgers for biscuits Cape Panwa
>> Share photos, ask
Q And what perfume? questions, share experiences and
A J Lo or Estée Lauder. find old friends..
>> Be the first one to
Q And where should he take you for dinner?
know about our offers.
A Thinking hard… Maybe Ratri Jazztaurant on the top of Kata Hill, to watch the sunset, to have a
>> Check out Photos
dance and dinner, you know.
taken by You & Tim around
Q Where’s the best place for guests to buy sexy lingerie for their wives? Cape Panwa.
A You want to know about for me or for your wife? I don’t know whether your wife likes G-strings or >> Watch Videos of
not – the second floor in Jungceylon in Patong – that’s where I go! Cape Panwa
Thanks, Khun Pavinee, for one our most (ahem) illuminating and revealing staff member interviews.
You can contribute too! Please send us your holiday photos and we’ll post them in
Otter’s Tales. Please post to firstname.lastname@example.org