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Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek


Cape Panwa Hotel recently hosted the 11th Phuket Raceweek.


4 days of racing and 4 days of partying and the best way to describe this event is in pictures.






Day One - Registration and Party




Day Two - Race 1 and Party (Thursday)




Day Three - Race 2 (Friday)


What is happening here? 




Day Four - Race 3 and Party (Saturday)



Event Organiser Byron Jones after the Prize Giving and the event begins to close

Day Five - Race 4 and Party (Sunday)

Discarded materials and beach life



Cleaning the beach today and please tell me how we are looking after the habitat of this animal?



What did you do today to help?



What can you do tomorrow to help?

Think twice before you discard something and think twice when you walk past some rubbish (however small) which is discarded on the beach.

Kathu Cultural Street Festival - 6th year


Kathu Cultural Street Festival was a lot of fun - it was designed to showcase the blend of cultures in the area of Kathu.

There was a parade which started before we were able to get there which meant we missed it - but here's a link to 2013 parade, sorry - here's Jamies 2011 parade photographs.

There was a 'post' by the Phuket Gazette but I missed that one, next year?

We arrived in the evening where there was a big opening performance at one end of the road - near to where I have fond memories of the morning Phuket Vegetarian Festival Walk each year.


We found a spot to park and then wandered into what looked like a road wide Traditional  Market - this meant that there was a lot of food. The sour sausages are always my favourite and this meant a quick start - they were all mine!

Kathu was the centre of Tin Mining (and it's five different stages?) so it has undergone a number of influences (Chinese, Indian and Malayan would be the main) and the Festival intended to show that to us.

After this then began the small stands of odd things to buy - culture was not the first thing on my lips when I saw piles of elastic bands to make wrist bands with but hey they were fabulous.


Then there was the Elvis Presley stage? It was at this point that I turned to the brochure and there was nothing written in English so I pocketed that swiftly - not without realising that there was a competition in it to visit three shrines.


At this point it became a Cultural Street Fair - Jemma was drawn to the children walking on coconut shells, riding 'plant branch horses' and more fun. This gave me an opportunity for some more sausages but none looked as good as the first ones.



Then we came across the 'Floating Man' - great.


We attempted to win a fish with a paper net?



Jemma was adamant to try to shoot something off the shelf - we did and it was very loud, but we are not doing that one again!


We saw a Chinese Dragon Dance and fireworks near Wat Kathu and decided that it was enough for us. On returning I found some more sausages, Jemma fed a baby goat, Jemma rode a toy horse and balanced on a standing bicycle.


Lots of fun was had.




Wat Phra Kaew & Grand Palace in Bangkok


The Grand Palace is an impressive place that you must visit!




There is an App for the Grand Palace that you really must download OR read a lot of Background on it.


The ground was consecrated by monks in 1782 (the first year that Bangkok was the Capital City and had 'rule'. Most of the architecture (but not all) can be classified as Bangkok or Ratanakosin style - with differences.


It is impressive, colourful, clean, polished and it is clear that it is an important part of the history and culture of Thailand.


It houses the House of the Emerald Buddha (but we were too late and we were not allowed to take a photograph inside) amongst a plethora of other attractions.


In fact "photographs speak louder than words sometimes" and a link to one of the best sites which I found to give an overview to your trip into the Grand Palace.


Note: beware of the 'helpful people' who tell you that the Grand Palace is closed but they will take you somewhere special...



Phi Ta Khon Festival - ผีตาโขน


The Phi Ta Khon Festival (ผีตาโขน) is an old festival and is called the 'The Ghost Festival' that takes place in the Northwestern Province of Loei and the community of Dansai - about 450 Kilometres from Bangkok - we travelled there by Nok Air.


This festival is part of a larger festival called the Bu Luang festival - including the Bu Phra Wet (Festival of the 4th Lunar month) and Bun Bang Fai (Festival of the 6th Lunar month) but more commonly known as the Bamboo Rocket Festival. BUT I was not there for this one.


The first day consisted of a procession from the Phon Chai Temple to the river where there is a procession and sacrificial rite is performed? and then the procession returns with a symbol of Phra Up Ka Khut. Who is a monk with supernatural powers who has chosen to become a white marble and live a peaceful but solitary existence.


But there is also the story of the Prince Wetsanthon (Vessantara in Pali), the Buddha’s penultimate reincarnation.


It is on the second day that the local people dress themselves as Phi Ta Khon Figures and perform masked dances around the village.


The groups simply take turns to dance and show off their decorative costumes to the people lining the street.


I chose to visit Wat Pon Chai where there is also the museum of Phi Ta Khon - wonderful and interesting.


These groups dance and shake phallic symbols at you and take even greater delight in pointing them at giggling young women - not sure why but it was fun! The phallic symbols represent the fertility of the lands and of the coming time of rains...



Many of the groups have cow bells ('mak-ka-lang') attached to their waists and take more delight in shaking their bottoms at each other.


There were also sponsored groups of decorated people - AIS and a local bank both embraced this festival.


As the day grew on many of the younger groups of children sat on the benches set aside and watched the procession of the older people - who seemed to be enjoying it more and more.

It was at this time that we needed to find somewhere to stay - we could not - until Chuen (my wife) found a camping site with a spare tent!


The next morning we woke up early and drove into Dansai Town. It was here that we saw the more traditional procession trucks and the Thai ladies dressed in Traditional Thai dress.


At this point there were a far greater number of people watching the procession.






These people covered in mud actually resemble the mud fertility of the growing rice in the paddy fields around the town.


Then there were these larger creatures with very large phallic symbols resemble - Giant Phi Ta Kohn. I chose not to take a photograph of the float of a bull and the cow copulating though.



Then there were the two strange creatures carrying larger tins behind them resemble?


Followed by this happy figure?


Lots of fun was had by everyone.

Information from Richard Barrow 
Information from Tour with Thai 
Information from the Government 
Information from TTR Weekly