Sunday, 23 November 2014

Phuket Cultural Centre

what are these sticks with the book? - book marks?
Phuket Cultural Centre was a find purely because i was asked about it and I knew very little about it - so i visited it the next week.

The centre is on the grounds of the Rajabhat University and there was one sign to it as we drove the road. 

The Phuket Cultural Centre is described by Rajabhat as - 'A presentation of arts, culture and artefacts from the area of the Andaman Coast'.

The actual building is not one that one who have thought housed such a treasure of artefacts.The building is unassuming and looks in need of a degree of care BUT it is there and this is what matters.

On entering the building it was a little disarming because there was nobody there and there was no indication or directions that we could go in but we did. I was taken there by Thai person and this did help as they knocked on a door and the staff came to assist us (reminding me of a visit to the Thavorn Museum where they put the lights on).

When they did I was immediately taken with the plethora of items that there were on display in and out of the cabinets.

this is a weighing tool for the dredged tin?
The actual building was divided into areas with a different focus.

an example of the Baba living in Phuket
do you think they need a DJ?

Fascinating things - do you remember when a camera was a camera?

a seeming well used or old Mahjong set - is it Ivory?
- Ron Thai Phuket Room: showing us the life in Phuket
an example of a floating device for very young children
a beautiful Chinese Calligraphy box (i also have one)

- Cultural Information Room: collection of information in a variety of formats
Military Caps? - reminding me of A Town Like Alice

 - Cultural Heritage Room: ornaments, implements and more locally made

 - Buddhism Room: sandalwood carving, Thalang history and details of the Heroines actions

Phone Number: 076 240 474 (ext. 148)
Approximate Price: Free
Address: Phuket Rajabhat University, Thepkrassatri Rd
Hours: 8:30 - 16:30 (closed weekends)

Monday, 17 November 2014

Jeng Ong Chinese Shrine

Jeng Ong is a Chinese Shrine which is on the outskirts of Phuket Old Town but is still within Phuket Town (see the map).

Jeng Ong is a temple which is tucked backed from the main road and is easily missed - it is at the end of a small road opposite Vachira Hospital. I visited it only briefly the first time because it was such a surprise to find it - now I am more used to finding things in Phuket which I was not previously aware of.

I visited this temple because of the Fire Walking which took place there during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

The Shrine has the traditional tiles on the roof and until I get a better camera this is as close that I can get.

Inside the Shrine it is traditional - with the Fortune Telling Sticks (Kau Cim), 

and the answers.

Then the Moon blocks to help answer a question.  

There are a plethora of Chinese Figures in the Shrine and I am still working on being able to name them all (here's a start).

Next to the main temple is an area where they take care of the Sedan chairs which are common in the Phuket Vegetarian Festival

The Sedan Chair has a Nine Emperor Statue on it and is carried through the streets being bombarded with fireworks and rocked violently outside the Chinese Shrines - mimicking the action of the rough seas that were travelled on.

Previous Visits
 1) May 2011 
 2) Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2012 - Fire Walking
 3) Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2014 - Fire Walking

View Chinese Shrines in Phuket in a larger map

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

a pacing caged tiger
Tiger Temple near Bangkok and Tiger Kingdoms are places which exploit the Tigers

One cannot disagree with what people write on the links below BUT are the Tiger places feeling the pressure? NO - they are not.

a caged tiger
My daughter had the most wonderful time BUT we will not be going again.

The animals are bred in captivity and their diet does not allow them to grow into the normally athletic animals that they would if they were fed on a correct diet - I believe that they do not have red meat?

a tiger with a lot to do?
I do wonder what happens to the old tigers? 
Are they used for medicines etc before they become 'old and $*(@)*(@$(%'. The business will not go away so I am sorry to preach but I believe that the only way forward is education and protection. People must be shown that the tiger belongs in the wild and it is not 'toy' - look at how people see the dolphin!!!

sign the insurance for removing blame
I believe that the Government - or even better the Tiger places should give part of their money to protecting the wild tiger, I do not think that a bred tiger can be reintegrated into the wild?

But we could go to some way to protect the livelihood of the Wild Tiger and these companies could help this to be done?

Use Social Media - Facebook, blogs (7 reasons you should not support Tiger Tourism in Thailand), twitter, foursquare, Instagram (#tigertemple) and more to share your opinion

Animal Right Tourism 

Tiger Farming 

Since this was written there has been an 'incident' where a guest was bitten....

Previous Visit
 1) Jan 2014

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Jor Ong or Thye Guan Tong Shrine (ศาลเจ้าจ้ออ๋อง)

Jor Ong is the name of this shrine which I first visited during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

A Ma Hong stood in front a waved and blessed all of the possessed past. It is a very sparse Shrine, I imagine that the Shrine next to it is the Premier Shrine for this area - Sanjao Sam San.

This shrine seems to have very little depth to it and has very little on the table of the actual shrines themselves and there is no smaller shrines with toy footballs and a tiger in.

But it does have the common beautiful doors that are the sprits which protect the shrine.

Then the common 'paintings' on the walls.

The traditional 'piercing' tools.

Le Loh Chia

I am still trying to give all of the Spirits a name though - can you help me?

Phuket Index has a number of photographs on their site but the photographs do not give any real understanding. As an aside - I was searching in the Internet for information about this shrine and then the tour that I wrote for an App appeared!

View Chinese Shrines in Phuket in a larger map