We went to the Philippines for about a month long vacation in October. Within that time, I went to Singapore to visit my brother. Within the time I was in Singapore, we made a quick weekend getaway to Phuket, Thailand. Talk about maximizing your travel plans.
Phuket is the largest island in Thailand. It is almost as big as Singapore. Where Singapore is the epitome of cleanliness and efficiency, Phuket is quite a charming mayhem!
We stayed at Patong Beach, the most popular beach in Phuket. If you’re the party type, Patong Beach is for you. The nightlife is unbelievable. Where during the day the only establishments you see are the restaurants, tour agencies and the souvenir shops, at night, Phuket transforms into a different animal. Bangla road, to me, was like a wild circus. They close this entire stretch of a road at around 5 or 6 pm. A little bit seedy and gaudy to my liking though, but educational nonetheless. I simply just wanted to see those infamous ladyboys in the flesh. That was the only reason we stayed at Patong Beach. You have to see it to believe it.
Majority of the Thai people are Buddhists. As we walked around the streets, I noticed that most homes or buildings have shrines standing outside with incense and flower offerings. A quick google search told me that these are called spirit houses. The Thai people believe they are dwelling places for the spirits of the land and that they protect the people and bring them good luck.
Our half day city tour took us to lots of places. We had the van and the tour guide all to ourselves, which was even better.
The drive went uphill and downhill and almost everywhere along the way, the views were just gorgeous. I didn’t expect Phuket to have lots of hills. But along those stretches of flat land, I wish we can just randomly stop at a secluded beach and take a quick dip in the turquoise waters!
Karon viewpoint, or the 3 beaches viewpoint. Self-explanatory. And no, you can’t see Patong beach from here.
Big Buddha. As the name implies, the biggest and the most revered in Phuket. It is located on top of a hill with breathtaking views of the island.
There are so many temples in this island alone and yet, we were only able to visit two. I wonder how many of them are in the entire country. Unless you’re a temple person, then this is the place for you. Cambodia IS another story. Once you’ve seen one or two “wats” here (local term for temple), you’ve seen them all. They may come in different sizes and designs but there will be a point when you’ve just been “templed out.”
Construction of the Big Buddha has been going on for years since they rely mostly on donations. You can either buy souvenirs or pay to write your names or scribble blue messages on marble squares to be used in the construction of its walls and pillars.
Or you can also purchase a brass bell. There were hundreds of them all over! Listening to them gently chime when a breeze blows just adds to the serenity of the place. It is quite magical!
Before entering the temple grounds, female tourists have to cover up with a sarong that you can borrow to hide those exposed legs and bosoms. Modesty is practiced because this is a place of worship.
I love this snapshot of a monk! I wonder what he was thinking that day…
“In the end these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?”