Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Panit: I Do Love To Be Beside the Seaside ...

Panit with his then-pregnant wife on a ferry to Phi Phi Island.
As someone who loves spending time near or in water, sailing, diving, fishing or just swimming, Khun Panit Boonyaratvej has chosen a great place to work ... Cha-Am, adjacent Hua Hin on the coast just a couple of hours south of Bangkok, with its quaint seaside atmosphere and really affordable seafood restaurants right on the sand.

There, he is now the General Manager of the Veranda Resort and Spa (www.verandaresortandspa.com), which made it to the Conde Nast Hot List last year. 

"Hua Hin reminds me of our family holidays to the beach when I was a boy," reminisces the very young-at-heart 49-year-old. "Even though with all the recent developments in the town, it still holds its charm as a Thai seaside family retreat with a great choice of restaurants and markets." 

His story is an interesting one, starting from the very day he was born. Listen to this ...

"I was born in Dad’s police car on a bridge crossing the Chao Pra Ya River in Bangkok, going from the Thonburi side where our family home was then located." Of mixed Thai-English parentage, he grew up in the small coastal town of Sheringham, North Norfolk, UK, where he "attended high school, fell in love for the first time and discovered my calling for hospitality."

Panit's favourite part of Thailand is Trang Province. "Quiet beautiful beaches and islands to visit, small family run resorts and the best Thai southern cuisine. Trang spit roast suckling pig and traditionally made coffee is a must for breakfast in Trang city."

Panit's Thailand Top 5 travel tips:

1/  Phi Phi Island Village Resort: www.ppisland.com "I try to visit every year with my wife for our get away from it all retreat. Private beach, choice of diving sites, no cars."   

2/ Khao Sok National Park, Surat Thani Province: "The largest national park in Thailand with reservoir, rain forest, waterfalls, lots of trekking trails and good fresh water fishing. We stay in a National Park lodge deep in the jungle and located next to a waterfall. No WIFI, no mobile phone services and off the grid."

3/ Rom Mai Restaurant, Hua Hin: "Located near to Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, it serves excellent local food and cold beers at very reasonable prices. Run by a Thai Chef who has worked in 5 hotels in Thailand and overseas. Steaks are popular order items for many overseas visitors, very tender and inexpensive."

4/ Cicada Art Market, Hua Hin: "Also located near to Hyatt Regency Hua Hin. Local artist and crafts men and women sell hand-made wares at reasonable prices. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 pm to 11 pm."

5/Ampawa Floating Market, Samut Songkram Province: "This is not the more famous Floating Market usually visited by bus loads of tourist. Ampawa Floating Market is an evening floating market held weekends only. Very authentic and still very cheap -- bowl of Boat noodles for just 10 Baht. Canal side eateries, bars with jazz bands and waterfront family-run home stays."

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