Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Phuket to Shangri-La

Sussing out spots to stay in Luang Prabang in Laos..... I think I'm into colonial style design and architecture at the moment, there is an embracing appeal to this style in the tropics, maybe it's all those old movies?! (Note the phone on the night table.)

I have been wanting to see for an absolute age this beautiful country the French had romantically described as Shangri-La.  All the pictures below are from the very lovely Satri House (loosely translated meaning House of Women).  A beautiful old French colonial mansion, it is owned and operated by women. Furnished lovingly with antiques,  Laos silks and linens the original terracotta and wood floors warm the spare colonial design style and create a welcome for the traveller with unmistakably a woman's touch.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shouldda, couldda, wouldda at Les Puces de Vanves

All this Christmas and Hanukkah blog gift giving chat really makes me wish I had started shopping at the flea market in Paris last month...oops! Somehow our markets here in Phuket aren't quite the same. Although I might just be able to locate a water buffalo head here!

Les Puces de Vanves is a treasure hunters paradise that attracts bargain seekers every Saturday and Sunday morning no matter what the weather. Here  there are over 400 stalls filled with just about everything you could imagine. I do believe the French never throw anything out without someone discovering it to recycle in someway or another. Famous designers such as Phillipe Stark and Paul Smith are known to head here for inspiration and shopping.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Phuket Sunday Brunch

The best brunch spot on Phuket is at Indigo Pearl Resort on Nai Yang beach at the north end of Phuket. The very talented Bill Bensley brought an out - dated 80's style resort into the new millenium with  a unique design theme based on Phuket's history of tin mining.

Beautiful service combined with one of the most amazing buffets you will ever find, free flow cocktails and good wine, mean one spends the whole afternoon in this fabulous spot. (Somehow I only ever get shots of dessert!)

It was so busy this past weekend we had to sit in the bar area above the dining room. Sparsley populated, we loved it as the breeze flowed through and the noise level from diners and the live music was suitably muted for fun and creative conversation with good friends. The design of this open air room is simple and suits the tropics to a T.  (This first picture is of the lobby entrance of the resort the rest are at The Rebar Lounge)

As you can see by the darkness, we never know when to go home!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Travelling Plans

Starting to plan trips to Shanghai and Laos ......just to get in the mood..... Here's colour!
All pictures from Shanghai Mansion

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pomp and Ceremony - A Princess on Phuket!

She is one of Thailand's hardest working Princesses! HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is the King's third daughter, never married she works tirelessly, especially now as the King and Queen are older and travel less.
This week she flew down from Bangkok and officially opened SOS Children's Village, a new orphanage which is in our neighbourhood. Watching the tidy up and decorating that went on ahead of her visit lead us to watch her arrival. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take pictures of the princess unless accredited, but here are some of the morning's happenings.

A display at the temple entrance with a picture of the Princess, bunting lined the bridge entrance.

The temple across the road from SOS Children's Village all decorated.

The band awaits the arrival of the Princess.

Will she remember the day the Princess visited?

The red carpet goes down and the royal parasol to shield the princess from the heat of the sun is readied.

Flower offerings for the Princess from the children at the orphanage, having just been blessed at the temple.

Phuket has a strong naval presence and the whites of dress uniform look very smart.

Through the gates.

Must check to see if this is the Princess's own Royal standard gently waving in the breeze.
No, it doesn't appear to be her standard from my brief research, does anyone know what this flag is?

Invited dignitaries wait.

The very well connected seated under the same tent as the Princess.

All and all it seemed to go smoothly and I did catch a fleeting look at this very hard working royal Princess.

A little about SOS Children's Villages from their site. This new village was built as a result of the tsunami when a number of children in the surrounding provinces lost their families.

SOS Children's Village Phuket has been constructed on a piece of land near the main road towards Phuket City. It is about 6 km from the town centre and 5 km from the beach. Half the plot of land was donated to SOS Children's Villages by the Bankers' Association of Thailand for free. It is located in a middle-class neighbourhood with mostly one-family homes. Next to the property, there is a Buddhist temple. A famous private school is very close, and the nearest public school is at walking distance (about 1.5km away).

The SOS Children's Village consists of twelve family houses where up to 120 children can find a new home, the village director's house, a house for the so-called SOS aunts (women training to become SOS mothers and family helpers who support the SOS mothers and fill in for them when they are sick or when they go on holiday), a service building and a community house with a medical room, a store and an administration area.
There is also an SOS Kindergarten with three classrooms for up to 75 children. The kindergarten includes a multi-purpose hall that can be used for functions of both the kindergarten and the SOS Children's Village. The SOS Kindergarten is open to children from the SOS Children's Village and from the neighbourhood.