Sunday, 29 December 2013

Phuket Walking Street

The attraction of Phuket Old Town got one step more for us on Sunday!

"Thalang is a 350m-long commercial and cosmopolitan street which hosts a mix of Baba (Chinese migrants settled in Phuket at the beginning of the 20th century during the tin mining era), Thai Muslim and Indian shops. Phuket Walking Street allows visitors to discover some typical southern Thai culinary specialties as well as local handicraft and gift stalls. This weekly event (every Sunday from 16:00 – 22:00) is definitely family-oriented with the presence of toy stalls and a (free-of-charge) trampoline to entertain the little ones."

"The main entrance of Phuket Walking Street is on the eastern (Phuket Road) side of Thalang Road at which a superb wooden Chinese-style gate has been installed. The gate boasts a sign with LARDYAI written in three languages (Thai, Chinese, and English) and is a popular photo op. Thalang Road was one of the first Phuket Old Town streets along which electric cables were buried in 2012, in an effort to revive its vintage splendor. Thalang Road’s Baba house facades have even been further enhanced by the addition of colour-changing lighting effects – from blue to green to magenta - on many of the townhouses along the street, giving the place a ‘history meets technology’ feeling."

"Phuket Old Town has always been a commercial hub, and nowadays, Thalang Road still hosts many shops selling fabrics/tissues, tools, sports equipment, clothes, and traditional medicines (the oldest drugstore in Phuket is located here) between coffee shops, restaurants and bars; it is indeed an active and lively street, and a great place for a Thai-style weekend market."

Text is from Asia Web Direct

We visited the Walking Street - getting there at 4:30 seemed to be just right!

Check out our visit here :)

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Monday, 23 December 2013

Karon Beach

This is a beach that we have always enjoyed because of it's proximity to Dino Park Mini Golf Course and of course a Starbucks.

The sea front is very long and it will take a big effort to walk from one side to the other - if you are looking for a bit of exercise than this isn't a bad idea.  I have posted here previously of the red flags which are posted but in November there are no red flags and the beach is really quite lovely.

Okay the beach does get busy at times but this is dependent on the busy hotels near to the beach - there are quite a few. Karon beach is also a destination for a great many tourists on motorbikes.

Lately there has been an increase in the number of people selling Flying Lanterns in the evening to any of the guests which are still on the beach.

We always enjoy visiting this area but we like to buy of the street stalls and they are not always there? You are able to buy food from the sellers on the beach but I do not know where they go to get the food because it is not prepare on the beach - but this is common to many beaches in Phuket.

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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Weekend Market - Clothes and Shoes

There are a great many number of places that can sell you clothes whilst you wander around the Weekend Market and there is an even great amount of places which you can buy shoes!
Muay Thai Boxing shorts - a common request
Not being a 'clothes person' I am not that keen on taking photographs of the clothes that are for sale. But I do notice a number of things -

note the Dr Beats Headphones
1) There is not a wide range of clothes in terms of their sizes
2) There is not a lot of choice of the labelled clothes - here Patong is the winner.
3) Many of the clothes are for the Thai people and may not be appealing to the Foreign Visitor.
4) WOW - some of the clothes, particularly dresses are extremely cheap!

There are a great deal of shoes for sale - more than I could imagine and they are extremely cheap. But this means that the quality is not the best - the shoes here will probably last as long as your holiday. Do not be surprised that when you keep them for a year and you use then again the glue has dried out and they fall apart almost immediately.

The number of different items for sale are enormous and I have blogged about this previously but on reflection I think that it may be easier to look at the types of thing for sale here. I have started a list.

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The Weekend market opposite Wat Naka is open from 16:00 until 10:00 each Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wat Puttamongkon OR Wat Mongol Nimit

I have walked past this temple any number of times – the two that stand out is when I have visited Hongsyok House as part of the Baba Wedding Ceremony and when I have nipped into Tiny Coffee for a coffee and cake (note: the App is worth having for discount).

This temple has one entrance on this side and there is another one around the corner – opposite Koffie Terrace and Soi Rommanee.

1) Entrance from Debuk Road. 

This entrance could be missed because it is opposite a petrol station which always seems to be busy. The actual Wat is very close to the entrance and is (like many well kept Wats)  a lovely thing to look at.

Before you enter into the actual temple I suggest that you take the time to look at the buildings surrounding it. I am not clear the function of the buildings but they are old and they are well kept.

There is a smaller building with a smaller Shrine in front of it.

Then there is the actual Temple itself. 

I was lucky to visit here when there was a Monk ceremony but very often you will find that the building is closed. When I visited this day there was a ceremony, remembering to take my shoes off I crept in.

Even if the Wat is closed the doors can be beautiful.

I have read somewhere that the shiny glass material on the walls of the temple is special but I think I may have been mistaken?

Getting to the back of the temple I noticed that there was a selection of Pagodas at the very back - not just one but 6 or 7.

As I walked closer to them I noticed that there were printed notices in the branches of the trees and they really were quite profound. I have uploaded them all onto photobucket but if you intend to visit them don't look.

Turning away I noticed that there was a side road leading out of the temple.

2) Entrance from the Thepakrasattri Rd.

When we visited this temple the entrance on this side was under construction but it looked like it could be quite lovely.

A Buddhist Temple is always worth a visit.

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

King Rama IX Park - an update

There is a park in the middle of Phuket Town where there are a number of things that you can do there.

1) Feed the catfish
2) Go for a run around the Park with everybody else

3) Have a coffee at Glua Nam Wa (at the front)

4) Use the exercise machines 

5) Go Geocaching

6) Go for a walk round the lake

7) Play in the Playground

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Tesco Lotus

Tesco Lotus is just on the outskirts of Phuket Town.

Tesco is an International name and Lotus is it's partner in Thailand. The shop itself has the standard Supermarket items from fresh food to nappies to crisps to felt tip pens.

Tesco Lotus stores currently operate in 5 formats: Extra, Hypermarket, Department Store, Talad and Express. Extra, Hypermarket and Department store formats have an extensive fresh food, ambient food and grocery offer as well as a non-food offer including electrical appliances, apparel, toys, stationery and household goods. Talad is a "supermarket format" selling mainly groceries and Express is a convenience "mini-supermarket" format. Many of the products on the shelf are Tesco house brand products.

The bigger stores are often set in Malls and have food courts and many other shops and stalls available as well as a large car park. Tesco Lotus also offers a range of retail and financial services including bill payment, personal loans (Tesco Premier), a Tesco Visa credit card and as Tesco General Insurance Broker, a range of insurance products.
text is from - wiki
Outside of the shop are a plethora of small coffee shops and fast food outlets (KFC McDonalds, Dunkin DonutsBlack Canyon, S'n'P, SubwaySwensen's and a lot more.

On the side of the shops are a number of telephone shops, Homeworks and smaller stalls, really quite a number of places.

Then you can choose to go upstairs - upstairs there is a young children's 'soft room' and some simple arcade games to play. There is also a place where you are able to have your nails painted in a number of different ways - Jemma chose to have butterflies on her nails but that was before she went to school and she has not asked since. 

Adjacent to this a Traditional Thai 'food court' restaurant - well worth a visit if you are willing to have a try at some of the local foods - i have always chosen a simple fried rice up here whilst Jemma was playing in the 'soft room'.

They do not accept the Tesco Loyalty Card - sorry.

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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Find the Sunset - Cape Phromthep and more

This may seem quite easy but it not aways is - the most popular place to watch the Sunset is usually recognised as Sunset Viewpoint

Cape Phromthep Sunset (this is Jamies photograph) - used with permission

Cape Phromthep is at the Southern most point of Phuket Island and it is wise to get there possibly an hour before the sunsets. This is because there may well be a coach of people also trying to see the sunset and you don't want to miss the Sunset because you were stuck in a traffic jam.

A way to find what time the sunset is is to use an App - my choice for an App which shares the information is Sunset Countdown.

There are a number of other places to visit - here is my selection.

The Sunset Trip with John Gray Sea Canoe

Cape Panwa Promenade

The Beach Bar

The Beach Bar

The Beach Bar is an excellent location that I have found to take photographs of the Sunset - if I was more organised I would try to take pictures of the sunset with Big Buddha in the background but not yet.

Wat Laem Phromthep

A place to go is the Buddhist Wat next to Cape Phromthep - Wat Laem Phromthep - quiet and serene (because all the tourists are next door)!

Then there is 'After Beach Bar' - a good place for a sunset and the restaurant is pretty good - when I wrote this I had not written a review yet but the review will be here - here's Jamie's review.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Wat Phra Thong (History)

This text is directly from a post on the walls of Wat Phra Thong.

The history of Wat Phrathong and Luang Pho Phra Phut was never written before just the old people telling the younger ones later and later.

In frormer times the area of this holy monastery was only the rich land field where the villager used for raising cows and buffaloes. The next day a young boy took his buffalo to this field. Usually he was able to tie his buffalo's rope with burhes in that area, but now he could not. He had to walk around and around to look for something to tie his buffalo's rope. Then he walked to the bank of the river and saw a stage piece of stone covering with mud. So he tied the rope with this stone and returned home. 

At home he suddenly got sick and died later the morning. His parents and neighbours were so surprise. He was burried that day. His father went to the field to his buffalo and again he was so surprised the second time. His buffalo was already dead. 

He returned and at night he dreamed that the cause of his son and buffalo's death because his son had tied the rope with the head of the GOLDEN BUDDHA image. 

The next day the villagers went to see the strange muddy stone. They all washed the mud out and saw that this was the GOLDEN BUDDHA IMAGE. They all prayed respectfully.

They reported this exciting news to the Governor of Thalang. The Governor ordered his men to dig up the GOLDEN BUDDHA IMAGE. But they all failed in digging. They tried very hard but there many strange things occurred during the digging. 

For instance the one who dug would be assaulted by wasps, hornets and bees. The one who prayed wouldn't get any harm. 

The governor ordered his men to build the big building covering the GOLDEN BUDDHA IMAGE. Thai people called "PHRA PHUT" meaning the buddha image coming up from the ground. PHRA PHUT is only the head of the golden Buddha image just about one foot from the ground.

Chinese people called "PHOO PHUK" which they all believed that this Golden Image came from China. The Chinese and the Thai people in neighbouring town came to make worship during the Chinese New Year's day in February every year.

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