Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Soi Rommanni Shrine (gone)

Much has been written about the improvements being made in Phuket Old Town and one of the places is Soi Rommani.

As we walked along I was suddenly aware that there was the smell of Chinese Incense and I had not encountered this here previously. There was a small Shrine there - the Shrine looked like it was actually someones home - but I was welcomed in.

The Shrine was obviously tiny but had everything that I encountered previously in the larger Chinese Shrines in Phuket. There was the whip and the dress which I have only seen during the Vegetarian Festival and the metal tools were highly polished - I felt honoured to have been welcomed inside

There are small places to stay on this road and there are also some small local restaurants to visit - the company Art & Culture who make the best map of Phuket Old Town can be found along this alleyway - pop in and get a map.

Then afterwards I popped into into Since 1892 for a coffee.

View Chinese Shrines in Phuket in a larger map

BUT now (Mar 2016) this is it...

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Monkey Hill - Phuket Town

We have visited here previously but Jemma enjoys feeding the monkeys so we chose to visit Telegraph Hill again - there are other places in Phuket to feed wild monkeys.

At the very bottom of the hill there were a couple of shops selling bananas and other fruit and we chose to purchase them before we went up - a good idea because there is no where on the hill to purchase things like this.

As we drove up we first visited the Buddhist Temple Wat Charoen Samanakit (link to be added) on the left hand side of the hill before we continued to slowly drive up to the top. We continued to a  position where there was some exercise equipment. When we opened the doors we were were inundated with monkeys!!

I have to say we were a little worried (they are wild monkeys) but they kept their distance and we tossed their food. Tourists joined us so there was now a choice and I think that the tourists had better food, so we continued up the hill.

Here was a beautiful view and the monkeys were a great deal calmer - we had a wonderful afternoon.

View Wild monkeys in a larger map

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Antique Store

What started as a meander into Phuket Old Town from Central Department Store after dropping my daughter off at school made me aware that there was so much I had not yet discovered. There is a lot of shopping in Phuket but I believe that this is the only shop like this?

What I found this time was an Antique Shop and I can only describe it as an Antique Shop but I do not know what value the items would have to the purchaser.  

What does spring to mind is the enormous plastic Oil of Olay container 
- who would purchase that?  

Then the hairdryer - does it work?

Monday, 22 October 2012

Wat Charoen Samankit

Peace and Tranquility
This was not something that I expected to find in Phuket Town.

We were going to say hello to the monkeys on the hill and visit Green Forest Restaurant with Jemma after school. As we began to drive up Telegraph Hill I spotted a large entrance way adjacent to the bottom of the steep hill.

We drove in and found ourselves in a large parking area and a small temple - being a little adventurous we went for a wander - and goodness me the secrets the Phuket holds! We came upon the steps which you can see in the picture below!

Jemma took it all in her stride and began to walk up the steps - even Jemma did not realise how long it would take!  

We walked through past the monk's living quarters (sanghawat เขตสังฆาวาส we were surprised at how much space there was at the very top - there was a Wat, a Sala and a Ho Rakang - หอระฆัง ).

Jemma rang the bell to bring everyone to prayer - went into the sala to pray. 
After this we went to feed the monkeys on the hill.

Be careful they are wild!

View Wat Chareon Samanakit in a larger map

View Buddhist Temples in Phuket in a larger map

Friday, 19 October 2012

More than just Sandy Beaches

There are sandy beaches for those of you who like to relax in the sun and watch the beauty of Phuket surround you AND there are others who like to explore.

View tim in Phuket in a larger map

Fo me though the real interest is in Phuket Town and there are a plethora of interesting places to visit - some I have covered are - Chinese Shrines, Por Tor ceremony, Wats
the Vegetarian Festival, coffee shops, shops... the list is endless.

But what I noticed last week as I gazed in to the distance was that I could see the sky!

Previously there was an abundance of wires and now they are gone



Phuket Old Town - worth a visit

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sapan Hin - Naval Museum

I have posted here previously about the multitude of things to do - in fact only last week there was the Por Tor Ceremonial walk into Phuket Town.

In the middle of this large expanse there is a rather rundown building. It is rundown to the degree that I am not sure exactly what it is - but I believe it to be a Navy Museum - you take a look?

The small building is surrounded a the front and the back by the aft and stern of a boat. Inside the small building seems to be a place where old Naval artifacts are stored and also a place where blessings can be asked for.

Then around this is the Naval Equipment - there is a flag, rockets, mines and other artifacts appertaining to this being a Naval Museum.

Then there is a small 'Shrine' where they light firecrackers - sometimes.

View Sapan Hin - South Phuket in a larger map

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Hok Ngoun Kung Shrine

This shrine is a popular one to visit because it is near to the Surin Clock Tower Circle in Phuket Town so it is easy to find.

Hok Ngoun Kung Chinese shrine is set back from Surin Circle.  The shrine was built in 1926 and actually replaced a shrine that suffered a fire and was destroyed – where this original shrine was placed I am unable to confirm.

What is special here is a crafted image of Ju Su Kong – which is why many of the locals refer to this shrine as Ju Su Kong Shrine. The image is all that was recovered after the fire in the original temple. Ju Su Kong is a diety but was a sheep farmer who chose to become a monk at a young age. He was very aware of the local needs an became involved in a number of public projects so was given a new title ‘Supreme Patriach’.

Out of respect to the religion please remember to remove your
 shoes if you enter into the shrine.

At the circle is also the best Hokkien Noodle Shop in Phuket Town - wonderful and full of flavour BUT go early because it will be full of all local workers - Mee Ton Poe.

Then there is the best coffee shop in Phuket Town for a Cappuccino across the road from it - Circle Coffee Boutique.

Then there is a CD and DVD shop on the circle - all very convenient.

View Chinese Shrines in Phuket in a larger map

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Blue Elephant

The Blue Elephant Restaurant is quite obviously a restaurant BUT did you know that there was also the opportunity to have cooking lessons?

We were there because we were visiting Chinapracha House - the house made famous by Oliver Stone when he filme 'Heaven and Earth'. There is a lot more to this special house but that is a longer story for another post.

We actually entered here through the gates above and I am sure that this was not the way thorough. The building was renovated in the last ten years and the owner is the same one as the Chinapracha House.

The Blue Elephant is actually an International Company who is at the moment renting the building from this owner. The price of the food is quite expensive and it was the afternoon so we could not have a snack either.

I have read reviews of Blue Elephant on Tripadvisor - if you are thinking of making a visit -  I am not thinking of visiting but please visit Chinapracha House and have a drink at Blue Elephant?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Layan Beach

We found this beach quite by accident - we were actually looking for the much debated Trisara Hotel.

We followed a number of smaller and smaller roads - crossed over a bridge and then turned down an even smaller road which took us to a deserted beach - and there was only one person, a Thai person, who seemed to be taking care of the restaurant.

The beach itself seemed to stretch into the distance and there was nobody in sight.

As I got out of the car I noticed that there was an island in very close proximity - Koh Kala Island but I am not aware of an easy way to visit there - perhaps in high season there are local fishermen on stand by?

But despite there being nobody on the beach which meant there was no chance of a nibble there were red flags up - maybe I should try a visit later in the year?

View Beaches in Phuket in a larger map

Monday, 1 October 2012

Phuket Bus Station

This is not a place that you will want to visit but there are a lot of you 
that are very keen to know a bit more.

The Local Buses leave from here at regular intervals - I have recorded some here (see below or Phuket concierge) but this is always liable to change. If you want to take a bus to other places around Thailand this is certainly a very cheap way to get around. The buses that leave from here go all over Thailand and if you have the time than it is undoubtedly a way to get around Thailand cheaply.

I suggest that you always book your ticket from here OR a reputable Travel Agent so that any booking that is made is checked that there is a bus leaving at those times.

The building itself was completed in 2012 and looks to be very much in operation.

Travelling by the Local buses is certainly an experience - always book in advance though, the timetables are subject to change

Phuket Bus Station                  Phone No. 076 211 977
Phuket Travel Service             Phone No. 076 222 107

All buses depart from Phuket Bus Station on Phang- Nga Road – a timetable is available but not always a true representation.

Transfer and bus can be arranged with a Tour Desk

Duration: 13 hours    Prices: 400 – 1,000 Baht
Times: 3 p.m. and every half hour until 6 p.m.

These buses can be mini-buses or standard air-conditioned buses. 

V.I.P Buses; refreshments are provided but not to be relied upon, some drivers will give frequent toilet breaks.

These buses are a quick way to get to Bangkok but more expensive than the standard buses

Central Travel: Phone No. 076 214 335
999 Travel: Phone No. 076 211 480

Duration: 3.5 hours     Prices: 100+ Baht
Times: 7 a.m. and every hour to 6.30 p.m.

Hat Yai
Duration: 7 hours     Prices : 200+ Baht
Times: 5:15 a.m. and every 30 minutes until 12:30 p.m.
A mini bus does leave at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Duration2.5 hours     Prices: 50+ Baht (no air-conditioning)
Times: 10:10, 12:00, 13:40, 15:30, 16:30

Duration:5.5 hours     Prices: 200+ Baht
Times: 10:00, 12:00, 15:10

Duration: 8 hours     Prices: 230+ Baht
Times: 10:00

Surat Thani  (no air-conditioning)
Duration: 5 hours     Prices: 150+ Baht 
Times: 8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 15:30

Surat Thani  (air-conditioning)
Duration4.5 hours     Prices: 500+ Baht (air-conditioning)
Times: 7:00, 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00

Duration: 3 hours     Prices: 50+ Baht (No air conditioning)
Times: 6:20 and approximately every 30 minutes until 18:00 

These times and prices may change – please confirm before you leave.

View Phuket, Thailand in a larger map