Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Hongsyok House

This house is important in the part of the Baba Ceremony - it is a place where the people celebrate their culture and places an important part in the Wedding Ceremonies.

The Hongsyok family have contributed a lot to Phuket Town and still continue to to do so.

In fact I believe that 'Tiny Coffee' belongs to this family - there is a coffee shop opposite here and there is an a Tiny Coffee App. Have a look from outside, it is a home for the family still so please do not enter - if you are lucky enough to be here during the Baba Ceremony.

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Yanui Beach

This is a very small beach which we visited on the way to Cape Phromthep. The water was very clear and the beach was not very busy - a quiet hideaway if you chose to go out for a quick visit.  There were no jet skis or other activities so one may feel that it was too quiet?

We enjoyed the fine sand and the view. You are able to rent a canoe so that you can follow the coastline or cross to Koh Kaeo Noi Island - not sure what is on the island though.

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Monday, 21 May 2012

Wat Laem Phromthep

You normally visit this area to view the sunset at Laem Phromthep - but were soon inundated with coaches and tourists so we went around the corner where there were no tourists and was very beautiful and peaceful.

Apart form a solitary monk there was nobody here.

Wat Laem Phromthep

The approach road-side was scattered with discarded small Wats for the home.  The road was not one that one would normally choose BUT it was well worth it when we reached the end.

The road widened out to a small Wat and a number of associated buildings.  There was a 'prayer' room with three enormous and decorated figures - each one a menacing warrior and each one having candles to light.

There was a small bell tower which could be climbed and the bell rung.  There was a large white feminine figure (which I had previously linked to Chinese Shrines) and there were a plethora of smaller Chedi's which were all linked to people who had passed away.

 A very special place which I am surprised is not more popular

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Friday, 18 May 2012

Shrine of the Serene Light - Chinese Shrine

This is a wonderful place to visit if you have the time.  The Shrine is being updated and being given a facelift but it is still certainly worth a visit.

This visit was during the Phuket Old Town Festival.

If you do choose to visit please remember to take your shoes off when you enter into the sacred area.  I have never experienced any animosity during my visits - if you are courteous to all people who are clearly there to celebrate the religion.

There is always a bell that you can ring for good luck and to cleanse out the evil spirits - if you do ring it please donate at least 20 Baht.  You can also ask for a question to be answered with two pieces of ellipse shaped wood OR a number of numbered sticks.

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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Wat Manee Si Mahathat (near Phang Nga)

This was a wonderful surprise - as we were driving along the road I was surprised by the appearance of an enormous Buddha made out of black rock. Walking up to this Buddha was exhilarating because it was so peaceful when you were at the top - now if there was a sunset?

Wat Manee Si Mahathat was obviously taken care of an the quality and cleanliness of the building was immaculate - but I saw nobody on the site. I thought that the Wat had recently been painted?

The dragons which are in front of the main Wat were very animate.

There is also apparently a museum on the site but I was unable to see where it was.

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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Phuket Town - Chinpracha House

Chinpracha House is also known as Baan Chinpracha and can be found in Phuket Old Town on Krabi Road leading to Central Festival.

Please do not be put off by the winding dirt road that leads to Chinpracha House. Mr Tan Ma Siang, who was locally known as Praptik Chinprach, built Baan Chinpracha in 1903. The home was built in the “Angmor Lounge” style – it was the first house in Phuket that was built in this style.

There are a plethora of interesting things to see - take your time.  The owner's family and friends purchased many of the pieces in his home in Europe, for example the ceramic floor tiles were imported from Italy and the fences were imported from Holland. This is similar to some of the items and ceramic tiles at Panwa House in the South of Phuket.

The property is still in the family and the current owners are sixth-generation Thai descendants of the original builder. In fact the current family live upstairs still.

The property was used in the Oliver Stone movie ‘Heaven and Earth’, there is a signed thank you note on the wall in one of the rooms.

The property has a lot of charm and is wonderful to walk around – this is a special place to visit. For only 130 Baht it is a treasure not to be missed.

I understand that Phuket Heritage Trail will take you there if you choose to take a guided tour of Phuket Old Town with them...

Monday, 7 May 2012

Phuket Gateway

Phuket Gateway was pointed out by me when I returned for a couple of days away from home with my family.

So what is Phuket Gateway?

"On the occasion of King Bhumibol’s 80th Birthday Anniversary in 2007, the Phuket Gateway was established on 10 acres of land in Thalang District to be the first stop to welcome tourists who arrive on the Island by crossing Thao Thep Krasattri Bridge. Its outstanding feature is the alignment of 29 sculptural pillars. The number of pillars comes from the auspicious numbers 2 and 9, which respectively represent the two heroines in the war with Burma in 1785, Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Sunthon and the 9th king of the Chakkri Dynasty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej."

Text above from Thaiways

it was supposed to be a welcoming gesture to the many thousands of road visitors to Phuket BUT it never did quite work.

Here are some articles regarding it's status
Jamie's - 2009
Phuket Wan - 2012
4-arch - 2010
Phuket Index - 2010

what I found strange was the lack of new references, do i need to change my search engine?

Friday, 4 May 2012

Laem Ka beach

The access is not the easiest because it looks like a long private road - we have been when the gate was down BUT the local people tell me that the owner of the land now allows access.

It is between Rawai and Chalong and do not expect to see a signpost, in fact we drove straight past - here is it's Google Earth location

At the end of this road there is a small area where it seems as if there is something for sale sometimes. This time there were piles of plastic plates with photographs of Chinese tourists on?  We walked down the steps and there is a small beach with relatively few people on and a small shop - peace...

Then the people in the photographs turned up n their droves - coaches picking up the tourists as the disembarked from their speedboats there was approximately 15 drop off in half an hour and then it was peace again.

The beach was lovely but the water was a little rough and I very quickly found my feet on rocks which cut my feet - be careful...

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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Wat Srisoonthorn

This is a Wat that we have always glimpsed out of the car window and today (on the way to Phang-Nga we decided to stop. It is known to the locals as Wat Lipon if the taxi driver does not understand - or show him the map

We were clearly visiting a Wat which is used on a regular basis - there were some 'young monks' arriving for some 'instruction' whilst we were there.

The largest attraction here is the lying down Buddhist statue on the top of a building - to be exact I understand that the figure of Buddha reaching a state of Nirvana is 29 metres long. 

Then there is the enormous number of carved statues which are within the grounds - many are simple and entertaining and some are (apparently) simply scary, I had a look here but I could not find a scary one.... then the one with the mobile phone?

There is also a bell tower which you can walk up and ring the bell.  There is also a smaller temple where you can ask for a question to be answered BUT I am not sure what you get when you put money in this machine?

A truly special place I will write more about Wat Srisoonthorn again.

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