Otter Tale _ 8.indd

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					                                                                                                                               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
                                                                                                                                         of Staff
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
                                                                                                  - Proposal
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
                                                                                                                             Tiffany Show
                                                                                                                                          in    Phuket
                                                              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

                                   Celebration of
                                   Loy Krathong
                                   at Cape Panwa Hotel

  The beautiful feast of Loy Krathong is held on the full
                                                                                         Festival Phuket
                                                                                         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

                                           Congratulations to
                                              our Newly Weds

                                                                                                           Emma and Ian

                                                                  Paul and

                       Paul and Ann
                                                                                                                                      Emma and Ian

                         >> Click here for photographs of more weddings at Cape Panwa.

                                ape Panw
                      thday at C
             Happy Bir

              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
                                                                                              Lord Buddha
                                                                                          6. Ordination hall for the monks
                                                                                          7. Sacred boundary stones around
                                                                                              the property
                                                                                          9. Tree under which the Lord Buddha sat
                                                                                              to gain enlightment
                                                                                          10. Bell tower to summon monks
                                                                                              to prayer

                     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
                                                                                                                                      Panwa Hotel

                                                                                                                                          Natasha (AKA
 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
                                                                                                                              Khun Boonsong
 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.
 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.
                                                                                                              Cape Panwa
                                                                                                              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

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