Friday, July 19, 2013

PHUKET // DAY 1 - 3

Morning and lunchtime spent in Bangkok and caught a flight to Phuket

We went directly from the airport to our hotel, dropped off our luggage and head down the streets of Patong toward the beach in time to catch out first Thai sunset :) Too overwhelmed with the beauty to eat just yet we parked off at a beach bar to enjoy the sunset with pina coladas…as you do when in Thailand. Patong Beach really comes to life at night with some streets being barricaded off like the popular Bangla Road after 6pm where most of the bars and buzz is happening and the street just gets packed with people partying! 

Its still hot at night but at least a bit cooler than the Thai humidity in the day, and you can shop along the stalls till 11pm at night..and the tour operators are also open till late which we made use of and bartered our way around and got great deals on day tours and activities we wanted to do while in Phuket..besides lie and veg on the beach :)

                                                                 View from our hotel room.

It is off-peak season and while waiting for work/clients some of the massage ladies sit on the street and knit.

Interesting little ice-cream parlour. The girl was very friendly and gave us 
free tasters....yum :)

 The locals love their dried salted squid.

This street vendor is making pancakes, and yes they have Nutella pancakes!

Day tour to Phang Nga Bay 

This is one of the tours I was most excited about…I had been dreaming about what it was going to be like boating out to the mass of islands and see them layered in the distance and in reality I was not disappointed at all! I sat on the roof of our speed boat bouncing around to get a shot of the islands…was just so awesome! We got out into canoes and paddled around one of the little islands and into a cave riddled with bats. Then stopping for lunch at the floating gypsy village - which due to a Muslim holiday at the time and the people living there being Muslim, I was not allowed to explore the panda…but we enjoyed a seemingly endless buffet of dishes that just kept pilling up on our table and then head out the the famous James Bond island. Our next stop was at some 'remote' island with a bit more of a beach and deck chairs and umbrellas and a little beach bar serving cocktails, fruit and pringles chips. This was our first chance to make use of our swimsuits and plunge into the Andamen sea which is surprisingly salty and allows you to float with ease. 

With my half-British complexion I naturally burnt quite badly…even with copious amounts of sunblock at regular intervals because I'm paranoid of burning…and had a bit of sunstroke that evening with a pounding headache and nausea, we ended up spending the night in the hotel room with pizzas and the air conditioner.

I took some film photos with a disposable waterproof camera and will do a short post soon with those pics :)

Breakfast at the hotel has an option of fruit, eggs, cereals and yoghurt, chicken sausages and fried chicken noodle and veg...took some getting used to.

 My mom and I had a serious laugh at the irony of this photo!

This is the sea gypsy village where we had lunch.

Lunch - today's catch :)

The infamous James Bond island got its name from the 1974 Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun".

Was fascinated by this local lady that wanted tourists to pay to hold and take photos with her two little monkeys.

Tropical fruit. The red and spiky green fruit to the left is dragon fruit and right of that a type of mango.

Elephant trek in the jungle and dinner and show in the evening at FantaSea 

Feeling rehydrated and well rested after the sun stroke drama of the previous night, we explored the streets of Patong Beach before our taxi collected us to enjoy our tourist day (lol) and took us into the tropical jungle bit of the island where we did some elephant trekking. The trekking sounds more glamourous than what it is, but it was a great experience none the less :) 

Back to the hotel we dollied up and went to Phuket FantaSea which is buffet dinner and show in a mini theme park that only opens once its dark because it caters to visitors with mesmerising lights and sounds. There were rooms completely white and then lit up with UV lights and they became colourful and illumines…soo pretty! We also got to see some white tigers that are treated like royalty there. The buffet hall seats over 400 people at a time and its an all-you-can-eat!!! Catering food from every corner of the world including desserts…I obviously overindulged haha!!

The show part of the visit is very dramatic and people get summoned by drums and music to let you know its showtime and you HAVE to hand in all phones, cameras and recording devices - they are very strict about it. The show included dancers, acrobatics, real life animals like elephants, goats, chickens and the music and colours were just amazing - very entertaining show :)

This little guy fell out of his nest in a palm tree and onto the beach.

We saw this on the streets wherever we went - the locals give sweet drinks to their gods and idols.

This guy was so funny - first baring his teeth and then giving me a smile :) 
An eerie reminder of the tsunami that flattened this beautiful town in 2004.

(I would look away for the money shot...hahahaha!) 
Notice the sunburn from Phang Nga Bay the day before.

This is the massive palace like building where the show was held. To paint you the picture - there were 15 elephants performing on stage at one point so it really is massive!

One of the 'street performers'....she was a jellyfish

This is where the tigers sleep.

Was taking photos of the building when all the performers came parading past with the elephants...nearly missed it.

The huge banquet hall - btw this is just the one half!

1 comment:

Selma said...

Wonderful photos Taryn! Even though I have never been - feels like I have done the trip too! Love the ellies :-)