The Serenity Destination Guide

Celebrate Songkran 2013 at Serenity Phuket

Edward Kennedy   |   March 26, 2013   |   Events & Celebrations   |   0 Comments

‘Songkran’, which means “to pass/move into” in ancient Sanskrit, is the name given to the annual Thai festival, which celebrates the ‘Thai New Year’. Songkran is a nationwide holiday and is a time when younger generations pay respect to the elder generations by sprinkling their hands with water.

What is songkran

In recent years, Songkran has been adopted by the fun-loving younger generations as a great excuse for a nationwide water fight! Expect to see hundreds of people in the streets throwing water at each other, which is symbolises wishing someone ‘good luck’ for the coming year…during April, the hottest month of the year, you will be grateful for the splash! Songkran is a wonderful day for families and friends to get together and a truly memorable occasion for tourists.

When is Songkran

Celebrate the Songkran festival with us at Serenity & East 88 on Sunday 13th April 2013, where there will be food, drinks and some great entertainment. From just 880 Baht ++ for adults and 440 Baht ++ for Children, enjoy our wonderful Buffet dinner, DJ and Water entertainment by the sea at East 88 Beach Lounge. Don’t miss this magical event, contact us at east88@serenityphuket.com to make your reservation!

Songkran2013-2

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The Top 10 Events & Festivals in Phuket

Edward Kennedy   |   March 15, 2013   |   Events & Celebrations   |   0 Comments

Top 10 Events in Phuket by GeeThinking about booking your next visit to Phuket? Not sure when to come? To help you decide, here is a mix of some of the coolest, most fun, most different and most interesting events and festivals coming up in 2013 in Phuket. Gee, our very own Events & Marketing Manager, is ‘in-the-know’ about all the best places to see and be seen in Phuket, from Traditional Thai festivals through to International shows and Charity Events. So, without further ado, here are Gee’s Top 10 Events & Festivities for the remainder of 2013 in chronological order:

1. Phuket International Marine Expo (PIMEX) 2013 / Phuket Boat Show

When: March 21 – 24, 2013
Time: 11.00 – 19.00h
Where: The Royal Phuket Marina (RPM), Kho Keaw

The Phuket International Boat Show (PIMEX), this year celebrates it’s 10th anniversary. Located at The Royal Phuket Marina (RPM) in Koh Kaew, the boat show takes place in a purpose built exhibition area, overlooking the marina, with a selection of fine dining venues. PIMEX showcases a range of luxury yachts as well as marine accessories, equipment, yachting services and more.

2. Black is Back Fashion Event

When: March 24, 2013
Time: from 19.00h
Where: Da Vinci Restaurant, Nai Harn Beach

Black is back, perhaps the most fashionable happening this spring, is the 3rd charity fashion show at Da Vinci Restaurant, in Nai Harn, not far from Serenity. This glamorous fashion event features special collections from European and Thai designers and an excellent selection of Italian food. Designers, models, photographers, stylists and all the islands fashion followers will be there.

3. Songkran Festival

When: April 13 – 15, 2013

Songkran is a magical time of year, where Thailand celebrates the Thai New Year. Family and friends gather together to ‘liberally’ spray each other, and often passers-by, with water as an act of wishing good luck for the coming year. Songkran is a unique and wonderful festival and is great fun for families and friends alike. Don’t be surprised if you get embroiled in a water-fight though!

4. Phuket Bike Week

When: April 14 – 21, 2013
Where: Patong Beach

This year is the 19th Annual Phuket Bike Week, dubbed “ASEAN Ride Together” and is the biggest motorcycle event in Asia. Phuket Bike Week attracts more than 5,000 motorcycles of all shapes and sizes, with more than 30,000 visitors from 26 countries. Featuring Bike Exhibitions, live music, custom bike competitions, beauty competitions, motocross and more, Phuket Bike Week is a great event to see.

5. 2nd Rawai Nai Harn Health & Fitness Festival

When: 18-19 May 2013

Featuring activities, seminars, classes and a party, the 2nd Annual Rawai-Nai Harn Health & Fitness Festival kicks off on the 18th May. For the fitness enthusiasts amongst you, this is not to be missed.

6. Phuket Raceweek

When: July 17 – 21, 2013
Where: Cape Panwa Bay

The 10th Annual Phuket Race Week is a 4-day world class yachting regatta, with award ceremonies and parties after each day’s racing, with the races broadcasted to 140 million people worldwide. There are 7 racing divisions, with everything from small mono-hull yachts to large multi-hulls competing for honors.

7. Phuket Vegetarian Festival

When: October, 2013 (Date to be announced)
Where: Chinese Shrines on the Island

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is a colourful and unique event, usually held over a 9 day period, celebrates the Chinese communities belief that abstinence from meat and other kinds of stimulant for that period, promotes good health and peace of mind.

8. Challenge Laguna Phuket Triathlon

When: November 24 – 1 December 2013
Where: Laguna Phuket

The Challenge Laguna Phuket Triathlon, is Asia’s number 1 destination triathlon, with a 12 kilometer Run, 1.8 kilometer swim and a 55 kilometer bike ride, through some of the world’s most spectacular tropical scenery. Entrants come from all over the world and are from all different age groups and is a fun day out watching and supporting.

9. Loy Krathong Festival

When: November 17, 2013

Loy Krathong is Thailands ‘festival of lights’ and is held on the evening of the full moon of the 12 month on the Lunar Calendar.”Loy” which means to float and “krathong” which means a leaf cup or bowl, is a must see event for Phuket’s visitors and is a great evening for for families and couples. Krathongs are released into the ocean or rivers, at sunset, with a prayer, to promote good luck for the coming year.

10. Phuket King’s Cup Regatta

When: 30 November to 7 December
Where: Kata Beach

The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, is Asia’s biggest and most popular Yacht racing event.Inaugurated in 1987 to celebrate the 60th Birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand, the King’s Cup Regatta is more than just a boat racing regatta, with parties and events throughout the week.

 

Do you agree? Do you think there are other some better local beaches that we didn’t mention? Think others would agree? Let us know your thoughts at blog@serenityphuket.com.

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Top 10 Beaches in Phuket

Edward Kennedy   |   March 6, 2013   |   Expert Travel Tips   |   0 Comments

One of the most popular ways for visitors to spend their vacation in Phuket, is to go to the beach. Phuket is blessed with many beautiful beaches of all kinds, from secluded and un-touched beach spots with golden sand and crystal clear waters, through to bustling party and water sports beaches and everything in-between.

Beaches in Phuket

Having consulted the avid beach-goers amongst our team, I have come up with a selection of our favourite 10 beaches around Phuket for you to check out on your visit to Phuket:

1. Nai Harn Beach

Just a short distance from Serenity, is Nai Harn Beach. The south facing beach, which stretches for hundreds of meters, is surrounded on both sides by tree covered mountains and spectacular scenery. Nai Harn Beach has clear water and soft golden sand making it one of the best beaches in Phuket. A free daily shuttle service is available from Serenity to Nai Harn Beach, but book early not to be disappointed as spaces are limited.

2. Coral Island Beach

Coral Island or Koh Hae (as it is known in Thai) is a wonderful and secluded stretch of beach on a small island in the Chalong Bay, not far from Serenity. Named after the stunning snorkeling and diving coral reefs, Coral Island is just a short long-tail boat ride away from Phuket Island and is a great day out.

3. Ao Sane Beach

Ao Sane Beach, on the southern most tip of Phuket Island, is just a short distance from Nai Harn Beach and from Serenity. Secluded and quiet, Ao Sane beach’s tree lined shores make it one of the islands best beaches. Ao Sane is just 200 meters long with clear waters with a rugged charm and character.

4. Kata Beach

Kata Beach, which links to Karon Beach, is very popular with families, with it’s wide, tree-lined beach and plentiful restaurants and bars. Kata Beach is also popular among surfers, who are often seen enjoying the low season waves.

5. Karon Beach

Karon is famous for it’s beautiful 5km long stretch of golden sandy beach, with a variety of shops and restaurants. Karon is a great place for a secluded stroll on the beach or for a quiet relax on a sunbed with a book.

6. Freedom Beach

Freedom Beach, just south of Patong Beach, is a hidden gem, with emerald green water and white sand. The best way to get to freedom beach, is by long-tail boat, to what is one of the most isolated beaches on the island.

7. Bangtao Beach

Just a few minutes away from the town of Cherng Talay, Bangtao Beach is a 6km stretch of beach, with a few bars, where you can sometimes find yourself all alone on the beach.

8. Kamala

Kamala Beach, Patong’s quieter neighbour to the north, offers a relaxed and chilled-out atmosphere, in an enclosed bay, surrounded by trees. Popular among older visitors, Kamala, is a great place to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

9. Laem Singh

Laem Singh beach has the feeling of a secret beach. About 150 meters long, Laem Singh Beach is nestled in a hidden bay beside Kamala Beach and Surin Beach.

10. Patong Beach

No trip to Phuket, would be complete without a visit to Patong Beach. By far the most popular beach, Patong bay is home to bars, shops, restaurants and shopping centers, as well as water sports and more. If your looking for a bustling beach atmosphere, look no further than Patong.

** Please note that during the low season months or bad weather conditions, swimming can be very dangerous, do not swim when the red flags are displayed on the beaches. **

Do you agree? Do you think there are other some better local beaches that i didn’t mention? Think others would agree? Let us know your thoughts at blog@serenityphuket.com.

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Top 10 Water Activities and Water Sports in Phuket

Edward Kennedy   |   February 13, 2013   |   Sport & Activities   |   0 Comments

In keeping with our ‘Top 10′ theme, this week we have decided to showcase the ‘Top 10 Water activities and water sports in and around Phuket. As a keen sailor, this was perhaps the article that i was most looking forward to writing…and researching!

Serenity Sea Canoe

As Phuket is one of the world’s leading beach destinations, this was much harder than i first thought it would be, with a wealth of water based activities available, ranging from the thrill-seeking extreme water sports through to the water activities for children and families. Here i have presented a mix of the two, enjoy…

1. Long Tail boat trip to Coral Island

Take a local long tail boat from the East 88 Beach Lounge to the local Coral island, where you can enjoy the pristine beach, crystal clear waters and great snorkeling. Contact our concierge for details.

2. Phuket Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Phuket is among the top 10 diving destinations in the world, with some fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving locations. With spectacular reefs, rock formations and a stunning assortment of marine life, Phuket is a wonderful place for beginners and advanced divers to enjoy. There are a myriad of day trips, dive points and you can even complete PADI dive courses. Contact our concierge for details.

3. Sea Kayaking

For the energetic amongst you, Sea kayaks are available to Serenity Guests free of charge from the East 88 beach lounge. Contact the East 88 team to find out about Tides.

4. Cable Ski and Wake board

Phuket Cable Ski & Wake board park offers fun and challenging water sports activities for adults and children from beginners to experts, with facilities for Water skiing, wakeboarding and knee boarding. Full safety and sports equipment can be hired with basic lessons given to beginners. Located near Kathu, the cable ski is a great place to spend an afternoon

5. Surf House Phuket

Great for surfers of all skill levels, the Surf house in Kata, is every surfers dream, offering all year round surfing, no matter the weather conditions. The surf house is an artificial surfing platform with a high-pressure wave machine. Safe for beginners as well as experts, the Surf house is great fun for all the family.

6. John Gray Sea Canoe

Tour the various caves and mysterious ‘hongs’ (caves in English) by Sea Canoe in one of the romantic and beautiful day trips, exploring the wonderful scenery that the Phang nga bay has to offer. Contact our concierge for details.

7. Whitewater rafting

Relatively new to Thailand, are the whitewater rafting tours though the tree-lined rivers of Phang Nga. Whitewater rafting is an unforgettable day out with visits to the local waterfalls, which are a sight to behold. Be prepared to get wet though!

8. Kite Surfing Phuket

Not for the feint-hearted and classified as an ‘extreme sport’, Kite surfing is rapidly becoming one of the most popular water sports. Phuket is a perfect destination for Kite Surfers, with the gentle breezes of the south-east coast ideal for less experienced kite surfers and the North-west of the island ideal for more advanced kite surfers. Kite surfing can be dangerous however and should only be done through a certified kite surfing school, of which there are many in Phuket, contact our concierge for details.

9. Splash Jungle

The new splash jungle water park in Mai Khao, has a range of water slides and rides, Ideal for children and families. The splash jungle features a 335 meter lazy river as well as the heart-stopping ‘boomerango’ slide to name a few. Splash jungle is also home to a kids aquarium and kids slide pool, making this a great day out for the kids.

10. Game & Sport Fishing in Phuket

While everybody knows that Phuket has some of the most amazing beaches, many people do not know that Phuket is also a world-class sport fishing and angling location. There are many great fishing tours available, contact our concierge for details.

 

Do you agree? Do you think there are other some better local water sports or water activities that i didn’t mention? Think others would agree? Let us know your thoughts at blog@serenityphuket.com.

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Skal Phuket donates funds to ‘Phuket has been good to us foundation’

Edward Kennedy   |   February 8, 2013   |   News & Features   |   0 Comments

On 8th December, SKAL Phuket, with the help of some familiar faces from the Serenity Team, hosted the ‘Full Monty’ charity event to raise funds for local charities. The event was a phenomenal success with over 300,000 Baht being raised for Phuket Children’s charities.

Full Monty Charity Event

The event was held at The Bliss Beach Club, with our very own General Manager (Urs) and our Executive Assistant Manager (Pascal) taking part in the show! From the 300,000 baht raised, SKAL Phuket was able to donate 150,000 to the ‘Phuket has been good to us’ childrens educational charity and 150,000 was donated to SKAL Phuket’s own educational charity programs benefiting children in Rawai and Khao Lak.

SKAL Phuket is the world’s largest travel and tourism organisation, made up of the top executives in the industry, to promote global tourism and friendship.

Click here to read the Skal Phuket Press Release.

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Serenity Supports the Phuket has been good to us foundation

Edward Kennedy   |   February 4, 2013   |   News & Features   |   0 Comments

The Serenity Team take our Social Responsibility seriously and recently joined the Burns supper auction event at Pullman Phuket Arcadia, in support of the ‘Phuket has been good to us’ foundation. By providing one of the auction prizes, Serenity were able to help the Burns Supper raise over 474,000 Baht, which will fund an English teacher for a year.

Phuket has been good to us

The ‘Phuket has been good to us’ foundation supports more than 900 underprivileged children around Phuket, helping to “improve the economic opportunities and life chances of young people around Phuket by funding and implementing high quality, practical English language Education in government schools on Phuket Island”.

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Celebrate Chinese New Year with East 88 at Serenity Phuket

Edward Kennedy   |   January 25, 2013   |   Events & Celebrations   |   0 Comments

In Phuket on Sunday 10th February 2013? Celebrate Chinese New Year and bring in the ‘Year of the Snake’ in style at the East 88 Beach Lounge at Serenity Resort & Residences Phuket! The East 88 2013 Chinese New Year Party features Asian style chillout, Chinese-Thai Drum show, flying lanterns and more. Enjoy our unique buffet with Asian delicacies as well as our tasty cocktails.

Chinese New Year

Here is some of the history about Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is literally translated to ‘Spring Festival’ and is the start of the ancient Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year is by far the most important of all the Traditional Chinese holidays and marks the end of the winter season.

Chinese New Year, based on the lunar calendar, is celebrated by China and many Asian countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and more. Chinese New Year is a family orientated festival, starting with a family feast, culminating with fireworks. Tradition says that Chinese New Year is a time to forget all grudges reconcile and wish those around you peace, happiness, health and prosperity for the coming year.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with us at Serenity & East 88 on Sunday 10th February, where there will be food, drinks and entertainment. From just THB 888++ for adults and THB 333++ for Children under 12. Don’t miss the magical evening, book early, contact us at east88@serenityphuket.com to make your reservation!

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Top 10 Bars and Night Clubs in Phuket!

Edward Kennedy   |   January 19, 2013   |   Food & Drink   |   0 Comments

Now that your ‘In-the-know’ about the Top local restaurants, its only fair that we dish the dirt on the best bars and nightclubs in the area. First of all you should know that Phuket is home to an eclectic mix of Bars and night clubs, ranging from the chilled-out nightspots, through to the downright bizarre…here, we will focus more on the former.

Balu's Bar Rawai Phuket

Once again, our in-house connoisseurs (Urs & Pascal) were consulted for their recommendations, so here they are, our local Top 10 bars and nightclubs in Phuket.

1. Balu’s Bar

What list of great bars in Phuket would be complete without Balu’s bar i hear you say. Balu’s bar offers friendly staff, a cool relaxing setting beside the sea and a range of unique cocktails, excellent wines and International drinks of all kinds.

2. O2 Beach Club

Chalong’s newest nightspot is the O2 beach club, a chilled-out beach club / night club, with a kids corner in the day time and lively music in the evenings. Popular with tourists, the O2 beach club is one of the larger beach / night clubs in Phuket’s south.

3. V Lounge at Da Vinci

The V lounge in the Da Vinci Restaurant, is an upmarket lounge bar with comfortable sofa seats and a large range of wines and cocktails. Offering a chilled out environment, the V lounge is popular for after-dinner drinks.

4. Timber Hut

The Timber hut in Phuket Town, has been one of the most popular night spots in Phuket for almost 27 years, popular with tourists and locals alike. Timber Hut has a live in-house band who perform a mix of Thai and International Pop songs.

5. Sofa Pub

Sofa Pub in Phuket town, is a modern style nightclub complex, often featuring live bands and even livlier DJs. Sofa is a late night night club popular with tourists and locals in Phuket’s town centre.

6. Sanaeha Bar

Sanaeha is a hip young bar in Phuket town centre, known as ‘old town’, with live music a few nights a week. Ideal for a date or a night out for a small group of friends, Sanaeha, offers an intimate and vibrant setting and a range of wines, beers and spirits.

7. Factory Bar

The factory bar in Patong is perhaps the most lively of our Top 10, set in the heart of Patong. The factory bar is a lively night club/bar with chilled-out sofa seats, popular with the younger tourist crowd.

8. Freedom Bar

Freedom bar in Rawai, is a lively local hang-out and a sports bar. Showing all the major sporting events, Freedom is popular among the younger visitors to Rawai.

9. Orange’s Irish Pub

The brand new Oranges Irish Pub in Nai Harn village, is the newest edition to the Nai Harn Bar scene, offering all the traditional Irish and international beverages.

10. Friendship Beach

Friendship Beach, Serenity’s neighbour, offers a chilled-out setting beside the sea, ideal for after dinner drinks, with it’s romantic setting and large range of drinks and cocktails.

Do you agree? Do you think there are other some better local bars to visit in Phuket? Think others would agree? Let us know your thoughts at blog@serenityphuket.com.

 

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Serenity Celebrate Childrens Day in Phuket!

Edward Kennedy   |   January 12, 2013   |   Events & Celebrations   |   0 Comments

The 2nd Saturday in January in Thailand…today…is national childrens day or ‘Wan Dek’. Childrens day is a wonderful time, where families and children get together to celebrate and give kids the opportunity to have fun. The streets are awash with local events and festivities for the kids, with many government offices open to families and their children.

Serenity Bicycle Donation

Children can enjoy tours of everything from official government buildings like Government house through to guided tours of military aircraft and ships, with many businesses providing free entry to attractions and more.

In keeping with Children’s day traditions, the Serenity team took this opportunity to give something back to the local community,  here are 2 of our Children’s day initiatives:

Serenity donates Bicycles for local underprivileged children

The team of Serenity (top) led by Financial Controller Ms. Tang (third from left) and Human Resources Manager Ms. Mook (far right) recently donated bicycles for underprivileged children of the local Rawai community. The donation was received by a local representative of the village.

Serenity donates gift sets for Children at Watsawangarom School

Serenity Childrens day donation

Serenity donated 100 gift sets for the children at Watsawangarom School in Rawai for the occasion of the National children’s day.

Happy Children’s day to all!

Find more information about the Serenity Community Social Responsibility scheme here.

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The Top 10 Local Restaurants in Phuket!

Edward Kennedy   |   January 5, 2013   |   Food & Drink   |   1 Comment

One of the most common questions we get asked by our guests, is which local restaurants we recommend. One thing that Phuket has a lot of is restaurants, with a huge selection, from Fast food all the way through to International standard fine dining.

East 88 Beach Lounge

Urs (General Manager) and Pascal (Food & Beverage Manager) are our resident (and in-corruptible) culinary experts, and were on hand to recommend a selection of some of their favorite local restaurants. So here they are…10 of the top local restaurants in Phuket, to help steer you towards the ‘Good’ food of Phuket, and hopefully avoid the ‘Bad and the Ugly’:

1. East 88 Beach Lounge, Rawai

Perhaps we are being a little bias here, but no visit to Phuket’s sunny shores would be complete without a visit to East 88. East 88 offers a wide selection of International and Thai dishes, including fresh seafood and new takes on classic dishes.

2. M&Ms Pizza, Nai Harn

M&M’s Pizza is a bustling restaurant in the heart of Nai Harn Village, serving traditional Italian Cusine, with a wide selection of freshly made pizza’s, pasta’s and Italian delicacies.

3. Parlai seafood, Chalong

Those with a taste for seafood, should not miss a visit to Palai, a few kilometers north of Serenity, with a stunning range of the freshest seafood, offering fabulous value for money.

4. Da Vinci Restaurant, Nai Harn

Da Vinci Restaurant, is an upmarket International Italian fine dining eaterie, in the center of Nai Harn Village, not far from Serenity, with a selection of fine wines, pizza’s, pasta’s and meats.

5. Kan Eang @ Pier

Enjoy the marvellous view overlooking chalong bay and a wide selection of fresh seafood and Thai dishes, at the popular Kan Eang @ Pier Restaurant, 1 kilometer north of Serenity.

6. Saigon Restaurant, Rawai

The Saigon Restaurant in Rawai, provides an excellent selection of traditional and authentic Vietnamese food.

7. Wine Lovers Restaurant, Rawai

The Wine Lovers Restaurant in Rawai, offers Thai Fusion and International cuisine including a wide selection of wines.

8. Nikitas Restaurant, Rawai

Nikitas in Rawai, popular is foreign visitors, offers a wide selection of Thai and International favourites, located beside the sea on Rawai Beach.

9. Seafood Market, Rawai

Rawai Fresh Seafood Market, a favourite of the locals, is your spot for some of the freshest seafood around, offering great value for money.

10. Tamachart Restaurant, Phuket Town

Enjoy a slice of Traditional Thai food and unusual surroundings at the Tamachart Restaurant in Phuket Town, with a large selection of meat and seafood dishes.

 

Do you agree? Do you think there are other some better local restaurants to visit in Phuket? Think others would agree? Let us know your thoughts at blog@serenityphuket.com.

 

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