Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Thai and Chinese celebration shops

A place to visit in Phuket is Phuket Old Town - there is so much to see and so much to investigate.

I was lucky to meet the manager of this shop on Talang Road to take some photographs and there was so much today - but there was always something to look twice at.

There is always the Maneki-neko to be found in every place and it was not until I looked at the site previously that I found that there were so many different types.

Then there is the fireworks that are there and when it is the Phuket Vegetarian Festival then there are even more! Do you think that there is a degree of Health and Safety here - I have heard nothing regarding problems... yet....

I have no idea what this bed is for but it could be for part of a Wedding Celebration?

Then there are the wooden necklaces that are popular during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival as well.

Then there is the piles of yellow monogrammed sheets - I see them burnt at the Chinese Shrines in Phuket and I also see them placed under the chairs which the possessed sit during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival or burnt at a funeral or at a Por Tor Ceremony.

Then there are the Buddhist figures - wonderful - I do have to add though that I did like the Buddha figures below at Radsada Handmade though.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tiger Kingdom - Phuket

So much has been written about Tiger Kingdom I no longer know what to believe BUT this was a treat for my daughter Jemma and we chose to visit it.

It is new so obviously it looked clean and well managed. It was on a smaller site than I had anticipated.

This does raise the next point - are they docile because they are hand reared to be so?

The pamphlet raises the question:

Are any of the tigers here drugged?
And in the following statement it does not say NO - bad English, bad marketing or this was not read as a naturally English speaking person?

There seems to be so many 'packages' for sale - all size tigers / with a photographer / only one size that it all became quite bewildering.

There were a number of smaller cages within the enclosure and these held some large tigers in a very sterile environment.

Other large tigers were playing in the grassed areas or in the water - the staff were playing with with the tigers - with what looked like a bamboo stick with rags on the end BUT the tigers were jumping about and following it. There were large tigers on the grass being embraced by the human visitors and the tigers seemed to be quite docile.

The smaller enclosure for the smaller tigers was also quite sterile but none of the smaller tigers were enclosed on their own cage.

On entering the 'pen' with three 'small tigers' I noticed that this was an experience that my daughter was totally enthralled. She listened carefully to the guides and did exactly what she was asked (maybe I should carry a small bamboo stick - JOKE!)

The staff were extraordinarily attentive and encouraged Jemma to carefully stroke the tiger.

Then Jemma lay on the tiger - beautiful and then Jemma wanted to do this with each of the three tigers in the pen

I understand that looking at the paperwork you will be given 10 minutes in the pen with the tiger and I am happy that Jemma received more - it was not busy and only one couple came into the pen whilst we were there.

What is it like when it is busy?

After the three small tigers Jemma was excited and wanted to meet a big tiger and I was happy to read that she is not old enough to enter a cage with a large tiger.

Would I approach and stroke a big tiger? - NO.
Do I think that this is the best conditions to keep the animals? - NO.
Do I think that we could use it as a source of education - YES.

BUT this approach to mix the education of the environment is not done very well here in Thailand - the company that excels would be John Gray Sea Canoe - learning and protecting the environment at the same time.

BUT then I receive this article from my father - this is (again) about the Tiger Temple where the tigers are raised by the monks BUT it does mean that it is not entirely safe!

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Thursday, 16 January 2014

5 best Thai traditional Phuket Town Noodle Shops - Mee Ton Poe, ถูกปาก ก๋วยเตี๋ยวไก่มะระ, Ao Ke Noodle, เยาว เยนตาโฟ สาขา-3, หมี่อ่าวเก

Instagram in Phuket
I have to admit that I was not (at first) someone that was at the front of the queue to visit these Traditional Noodle Shop. After enjoying this then I will try the noodle carts!

Once I started to go I could not get enough - but they are not for everyone.

NOTE: don't forget to add the condiments at your table to enrich your food and experience - the condiments are sugar, fish sauce, chilli in vinegar and dried chilllis

This is my top pick for Noodles in Phuket

1: Mee Ton Poe (1+3)

This is certainly a place to have your noodles from. 

Reading all of the books and reading the Apps then this is certainly the place to visit. I agree that you may be put off with the appearance because it does look like it needs some paint - but this is not necessary. The beauty is in the food - isn't this why we go to a restaurant?

The choice for me would be their Traditional Hokkien Noodles - freshly made and an immaculate taste. 

It is located in the heart of Phuket Town - see the locations below on foursquare.


2:  ถูกปาก ก๋วยเตี๋ยวไก่มะระ

This is certainly for someone who can read Thai - there was no possibility of the menu being available in any other language! If it was not for my beautiful wife Chuen who is from Thailand I would not know where to start.

The first difference that I noticed here was that the food is booked by ticking a piece of paper as to what you want to eat - so if you do not read Thai this may be a problem! Looking closely now I have noticed that there is a facebook site.

The noodles were definitely for the Thai people - the soup and noodles was loaded with flavour and I could not eat much of it - but it was devoured by my wife and all those around us - definitely traditional Thai noodles.

The small restaurant seemed to be run by a family and that made the visit all the more enjoyable.

It is located in near Bangkok Phuket Hospital - see the location on foursquare.

3: Ao Ke Noodle

This was another wonderful experience! This was a place which I would never have entered but because I was given reassurance from my wife (again) we entered.

I was blown away with the rich flavour of the soup - in fact I kept having just spoonfuls of soup! The noodles were certainly fresh and the added chicken, dried onions, wontons were a great mix.

It is located near the centre of Phuket Town - see the location on foursquare.

4:  เยาว เยนตาโฟ สาขา-3

We chose to go to this noodle shop simply because the noodle shop is on the way home - convenience. This noodle shop is actually 'known' for it's pink coloured noodles - which I have yet to taste.

The noodles are actually cooked for you in the traditional way - in a noodle cart in front of the restaurant - maybe this adds to it's authenticity?

The noodles were also a joy to eat and I believe that there is something special in Phuket - the soup and the condiments (again) were the joy for me.

The setting may have been sparse (as Traditional Noodle Shops should be) and the service was wonderful - we eat here quite often but this time I did notice that there was a small Chinese Shrine in the corner.

It corner It is located in the outskirts of Phuket Town
- see the location on foursquare.

5: หมี่อ่าวเก

This is a local and Traditional Thai Noodle Shop - the key to this was that there really was no tourists at all at this destination. So I guess that if you want to have an authentic experience then visit a place like this one.

The atmosphere was tremendous - people on each table seemed to know each other on entering the restaurant (I only could say that it almost felt like a business that had been here for a long period and that the people who came were relatives).

The service was fantastic - we had more than just noodles and I had no time to even finish a game on Candy Crush before some food arrive

It is located near the centre of Phuket Town - see the location on foursquare.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Karon Viewpoint

This is a viewpoint which we have visited a number of times.

One visit that we took involved me waiting for the opportunity to go on a motor-powered   parachute but we never did get a go.

However it is always worth visiting here if you are able to travel around the island. We have been here and watched the local people fly remote aeroplanes. 

Sometimes there is someone selling cold drinks - so it is worth the effort.

BUT sometimes the view is exemplary BUT what is the name of the island and the beach?

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Saturday, 4 January 2014

Laem Ka Beach

So why do we choose this beach?

Because it is small and not full of tourists and there are no speed boats, parachutes and noise. 

The road to this beach is not the easiest to find and we did miss it first time. There is also a gate across the road sometimes but i have never opened it - but it might be?

Reaching the end is that - the road stopped and there is a cleared area for you to park your vehicle. Sometimes there are merchants selling their plates with tourists photographs on because this is a point that some tours leave from - but it has not been busy.

You descend down a rickety staircase and them your are on the beach - peaceful.

BUT today it was extremely busy - every 10 minutes a speed boat arrived and 20 pax disembarked!

Then there were three weddings!

Then there seemed to be a lot of rocks near to the surface of the water - which meant that we were unable to swim this time.

This did not bother Jemma as she chose to play in the water near to the beach with the other children.

There was also the opportunity to buy some food from one person selling cheap Thai food and there was only one stall - not a lot going on but as a family we enjoyed it.
Here's Phuket 101's review and Dawn can be found on the island opposite - Bon Island.

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