Spot Cool Stuff has been to many restaurants that are next to a waterfall. We’ve even been a few that are above a waterfall. But we’ve only seen one restaurant that’s in a waterfall.
At the uncreatively-named Waterfalls Restaurant near the city of San Pablo in the Philippines, the Labasin Falls literally flows through the eating area. The water tumbles down nearly on top of the diners, passes below the (strongly bolted down) tables and then continues flowing on its way down a river.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And if you are a Buddhist monk and life gives you empty beer bottles . . . build a temple out of them.
That was the philosophy of a group of Thai monks in the early 1980s who looked at the innumerable glass beer bottles littering their eastern Thailand hometown of Khun Han and saw more than trash. They saw potential.
At first, the monks picked up a few of the bottles to create artistic decorations from. Then they gathered more discarded vessels to build a modest monk living quarters. Eventually, they decided to construct an entire temple out of found beer bottles.
There may be as many as three million (!) oil rigs and platforms scattered throughout the world’s waters. A decent percentage of them—no one seems to know the exact figure—have already been abandon or fallen into misuse. And as underwater oil fields start to dry up and as people implement alternatives to fossil fuels (we hope) many more oil rigs will be rendered useless.
So what should we do with all these discarded drilling platforms?
Here’s a cool idea: Turn them into hotels.
Spot Cool Stuff first visited Koh Panyee on a trip to Thailand a few years after the story of the YouTube video below takes place. “Koh” in Thai means “island.” But Koh Panyee is an island more in name than reality. The place is more accurately be described as a floating village, built around steep karst mounds and upon bits of rock that stick out from the sea. To walk around the inhabited areas of Panyee—the inhabited areas being virtually the only parts of the “island” one can walk around—is like exploring a scene from Waterworld come to life (minus Kevin Costner).
Bangkok is a city full of luxury hotels, each of which offers a high level of personalized service. However, one luxurious hotel (with a high level of personalize service) rises above the rest, literally: The Tower Club at lebua.
The Tower Club suites occupy the top floors of the State Tower, the tallest hotel and third tallest building of any sort in the whole of Thailand. But, is higher better? The Tower Club at lebua invited Spot Cool Stuff to stay in one of their suites for two nights. Here’s what we found:
To monks, the monastery represents the victory of good over evil. To travelers, it represents the victory of architecture over gravity.
Spot Cool Stuff previously reviewed five towns on cliff sides—villages where drinking and driving . . . or drinking and walking . . . or simply walking could be especially perilous.
Following up on that, here are five religious buildings—a shrine, temple, church and two monasteries—built at a cliff’s edge. Gazing down the rocky drops from these structures, and out upon the magnificent vistas they offer, and perhaps one can’t help but believe in God.
The Eco-Villa is made from locally sourced materials, is powered by renewable energy and features a private natural swimming pool that uses plants to clean the water.
Spot Cool Stuff has reviewed a pod bed, a pod ski resort and a pod treehouse hotel. But this is our first ever pod restaurant.
And what an amazing location our first pod restaurant is blessed with: on the grounds of the gorgeous “six star” Soneva Kiri beach resort located on Thai island of Ko Kood.