Jay Leshark

Jay Leshark has 9 articles published.

Jay Leshark

Having spent most of his life travelling the world teaching sailing, Jay anchored down in Phuket, Thailand, where he now does creative marketing, events and a radio show.

5 brilliant things to do in Koh Samui

in Recreation by
Boating and diving in Koh Samui

The range of things to do and see in Koh Samui, Thailand is extremely varied and interesting. The island offers a host of activities for those looking for adventure, sport, nature or just relaxing and enjoying a holiday at one of our Koh Samui beachfront villas. Discover Koh Samui’s natural splendour, modern man-made attractions and religious and cultural sights. Of course let’s not forget the perfect beaches, night markets and lively nightlife, either.

There is so much to see and do on this island, it can be hard to fit it all into one trip or, for that matter, one blog. With our guests’ invaluable feedback, our own local insight and some ingenuity as longtime villa holiday experts, we’ve narrowed it down quite a bit to five essential experiences in Koh Samui.


Magic Buddha Garden Koh SamuiCopyright image from Magic Buddha Garden

This lovely and quiet place was created by a Thai farmer Nim Thongsuk. The whole area looks like a sculpture garden; it is located along a small mountain river flowing across the Magic Buddha Garden. Khun Nim wanted to build a place where people could enjoy peace and nature.

Statues here depict creatures and deities from Buddhist mythology. There are several viewpoints along the way to Magic Buddha Garden offering a stunning panorama view over the southern part of Koh Samui. There is also an artificially created waterfall named after the creator. The waterfall is located right at the entrance and greets the visitors of the Magical Buddha Garden. It’s a unique treasure best enjoyed in the morning.


Koh Samui boat tripsImage by Sailing in Samui

The Gulf of Thailand is an exciting sailing destination. There are five islands nestled closely together; Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Matsum and Koh Tan. Close by, and the famous Angthong National Marine Park. Each island has its own distinct beauty and offerings of unique terrain, beaches, and attractions.

Boutique Yachting based in Koh Samui offers luxury day trips and private charters to Angthong Marine Park and around Koh Samui. Boutique Yachting has two boats, Naga, which is a classic Turkish Gullet and Baidee, a traditional Indonesian Ketch, and if you chose the private charter or day tour you will be able to view all the stunning islands around Koh Samui from different angles and take in the breathtaking scenery from the sea.

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Through the Keyhole: Naam Sawan

in Villas by

Elite Havens’ villas come in many shapes and sizes. That they are all luxurious homes in some of Asia’s most prized locations, brimming with first-class facilities and tended to by a caring team of staff, goes without saying, but beyond that, each and every villa has its own distinctive character. Many are the fulfilment of their owners’ dreams and have interesting stories attached to their creation.

‘Through the Keyhole’ takes a peek behind the scenes and chats with some of our villa owners to find out how the dream became a reality.  Naam Sawan owners tell us about their stunning beachfront home on Phuket’s east coast.

Beachfront Phuket villa

Why did you choose to buy your villa in Phuket and at this location?

We were living in Singapore in 2004 and looking to invest in a vacation and possibly a retirement home in Asia. When you look into it properly and consider all that you may need there are actually very limited options. We had visited Phuket many times, and I had viewed many properties up and down the busier crowded west coast towns, beaches and developments. An agent showed me an undeveloped piece of dense jungle on the east coast with a dirt track cut through the trees. Within 2 days we had staked out a lot with 4 small posts as we were the first to commit to the project. It took some time but we eventually built, and now 14 years later the estate, hotel, restaurants and all the amenities and facilities are complete. There are very few locations available with a private accessible beach, incredible jade waters, views of the Phang Nga islands and a full service resort, and city like facilities all around you. We are near yachting marinas, golf resorts, shopping malls, the hills and mountains, schools, hospitals and endless entertainment – and only 20 minutes from the airport. And no crowds or traffic. 

What is your inspiration for the villa design?

As written on the websites, the master design was by Stark and Gatthy with preset principles of external structure to show a modern contemporary vision of the Thai pavilion as the center piece. Additional features included the vaulted ceilings with tall columns, and the shade and cooling management for the villa being efficient through louvered external window and wall lattice,

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Healthy Restaurants in Phuket with a pinch of Samui

in Dining by

“Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.” – Audrey Hepburn

There are some restaurants in this list that are farm to table, there are others that just have a great choice of food with some healthy options, and most also make sure they don’t use products that use pesticides and preservatives,. The bottom line here is that it’s up to the individual to choose what they need to have a balanced and thus healthy diet.


PRU is located at the five-star Trisara resort close to Naithon beach and is a place where the wild forest meets the sea. PRU’s meals tell a story, drawing out subtle and bold flavors from the herbs, flowers, plants, and roots that grow wild in their own garden. They say their culinary style is founded on Western tradition and influenced by the exotic, and local regional cuisine. PRU at Trisara is pursuing their own culinary ambition – to elevate farm-to-table cooking to a new level. They use nature’s gifts from their own farm and do their part to give back, ensuring that life’s cycle continues to blossom.

Aged Oven Roasted Duck – 
PRU Roasted Duck
Aged duck roasted over the open fire with sweet tamarind, red onion marmalade and a duck sauce infused with pickled Thai cherries. The duck is from Petchabun and slowly roasted above the open fire for 2 days.

Divine restaurant

Located in Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort on the east of Phuket and tucked into the side of a mountain, DiVine is an all-day dining restaurant, with freshly baked bread, free-range eggs and organic fruits and vegetables. The menu has been designed mindfully to include elements of local Thai favorites, raw plant-based, vegan, western, European and Asian specialties. They are strong believers in sustainable agriculture and supporting local farmers. They were one of the first restaurants to offer raw plant-based dining in Phuket, and even have a separate part of the kitchen for raw meal preparation.

Raw Food Wrap – 
Divine Raw carrot and broccoli hummus wrap
With carrot, beetroot, broccoli, chickpea, lime juice, Himalayan salt, avocado, cucumber, capsicum, kale, beetroot sheet, carrot sheet, mango, cherry tomato, pomegranate, rocket salad. Sauce – Coconut curry yogurt

Project Artisan

Project Artisan is tucked away in Cherntalay. The concept (at time of of writing they have only completed phase 1 of 2) is to create a place that embraces the culture of Thailand.

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Phuket Rendezvous 2018

in Recreation by
Thailand Yacht Show 2

Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.  – Coco Chanel 

The Phuket Rendezvous, the definitive yachting and lifestyle event

The inaugural Phuket Rendezvous is set to berth at Royal Phuket Marina from the 4th to 7th January 2018 and will bring the best of the best of luxury lifestyle and is set to boost Phuket as the leading position as Asia’s premier luxury yachting and lifestyle destination.

After successfully hosting the inaugural Singapore RendezVous, the experienced and passionate team at Asia Rendez Vous Pte. Ltd. is ready to bring their own touch of luxury to Thailand’s most desirable and upmarket destination, Phuket.

Phuket rendezvous 2018The four-day event will not only showcase high-end luxury experiences and attractions both on land and sea but will transform Royal Phuket Marina to a bustling hub for all things luxury, from gourmet cuisine to properties, watches to supercars, fashion, and art, the Phuket Rendevous will attract some of the biggest brands from all over the globe.

There will be an on water display, which will host the regions leading brokers and dealers and visitors will have access to over 40 yachts. Visitors can also meet with high-end property developers, luxury travel organizers (including private jet and helicopter operators) as well as auctions, art and investment specialists and classic cars.

VIP guests will enjoy exclusive access to selected attractions and superyachts, while members of the public are free to explore the exciting exhibits at the Phuket Rendezvous in the full air-con exhibition hall.

Luxury aficionados from Asia (China, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.), Europe (Russia, Germany, United Kingdom, France, etc.), as well as Bangkok and Phuket, are expected to attend the show and take part in this unique experience which is set to be one of Phuket’s biggest events of the year.

Thailand Yacht Show 3

An exciting programme of live entertainment and fashion shows, art exhibitions, panel discussions and sailing workshops and wine and food tastings will enhance the visitor experience and, with more emphasis on superyachts, a Mariners’ market and the prestigious Christofle Yacht Style Awards, the Phuket Rendezvous will have something for everyone!

The venue Royal Phuket Marina has hosted the Phuket International Boat Show, commonly known as PIMEX, for the past 12 years and is an ideal venue for the first ever Phuket Rendezvous which has now replaced PIMEX.

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Vodka Lovers Paradise: Phuket

in Tips by
drinking vodka in phuket

“I drink to make other people more interesting.”

— Ernest Hemingway

Vodka is traditionally distilled from fermented grains or potatoes and the word Vodka is derived from the Slavic word voda, meaning, water. It is believed that the word vodka was recorded for the first time in 1405 in Akta Grodzkie, Poland. At the time the word wódka referred to medicines and cosmetic products, which does make some sense as my Nan always used to have a little bit of vodka in the evening and told everyone it was her medicine.

Vodka has been the drink of choice for many of the Baltic countries, or what is known as the Vodka Belt. The general definition tends to include the following states as significant producers and consumers of vodka: Russia, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland.

phuket villa with full barVODKAS IN PHUKET

There are a variety of different vodkas available in Phuket, Thailand from your classic brands to new flavored bottles, from reasonable priced bottles to bottles that come with their own fireworks and entourage when you order them. Most of the Phuket beach clubs have a selection to choose from depending on your taste and budget.

Stolichnaya Vodka
The origins of the original premium vodka go way back to the beginning of the 20th century in Russia. Also known as Stoli, it’s a vodka made of wheat and rye grain.

Belvedere is a brand of Polish rye vodka. Production began in 1993 at the facility located at Polmos Żyrardów, Poland.

Beluga made its first appearance in 2009, and has gained a reputation for exceptionally clean, pure vodka. Its distillery is located in the heart of Siberia.

Grey Goose
The French vodka that took the spirit to new heights of popularity. Made from the same winter wheat that goes into a croissant, this is the vodka everyone wants to be seen with.

One of the best-known global drinks brands, Smirnoff dominates the vodka market. As well as the classic red (No. 21), blue and black bottles, the brand has added a range of flavored vodkas to its line-up in recent years.

One of the best-known vodkas in the world, Absolut is produced near Åhus in southern Sweden.

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