Quote Challenge Day Three: Travel

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“We travel,

some of us forever,

to seek other states,

other lives,

other souls.”

~ Anaïs Nin ~

Here it is, my final post of the 3 Day Quote Challenge. A big thank you to Estelea for thinking about me! That wasn’t too hard, eh?

Well, actually, the hard part for me was looking for bloggers who would possibly participate in such things. Most of them have a “no-award policy” in their blogs and that makes for slim pickings. But no worries. It is what it is.

The rules are simple. Publish 3 quotes that inspire you over the next 3 days and nominate 3 of your fellow amazing bloggers. Or you can skip the last part which I am doing this time around.

*Now we are back to your regular programming!*

Phang Nga Bay on a Speedboat: Part 3

Finally, the last of the Phang Nga Bay trilogy series!

It took me a while to finish this because #1. our Mac computer decided to crash on me which led to it being sent to an Apple computer repair shop #2. it took forever for the Apple guys to do their job #3. I got distracted with this Blogging 101 class. Excuses, I know.

So anyway, after exploring James Bond Island, sea kayaking was next on the itinerary. We then proceeded to a floating platform where hundreds of tourists were either waiting in line to get on a kayak or already floating on a sea of orange and reds. To me, they all looked like shipwreck survivors from some boat. I panicked! This is not my style at all. My brother simply just laughed me off and told me to go with the flow. I wanted to back out. Some tourists were pushing one another to get to the line first.

Others were too eager grabbing life vests and hitting people in the process. Arghh!!!

I said to myself if they wouldn’t let all three of us go in one kayak, I would not join this madness with another unknown rude tourist. Well and good, the kayak accommodates four people (that includes our boatman/guide). So this Thai boy starts paddling while we do our obligatory shots. Phang Nga Bay is just so beautiful that my earlier foul mood dissipated. Or maybe I just decided to go with the flow…IMG_2594IMG_2604 There was this open limestone cave where ALL THE HUNDREDS of tourists went through. Of course, we were tourists too so off we went to follow the masses. PicMonkey Collage And then we were led to this mangrove area where our guide showed us some tourist tricks.

IMG_2623 IMG_2628 IMG_2625After this tourist trap, we proceeded to another tourist trap. Yes Belle, what did you expect?

You signed up for this. Go with the flow.

The Koh Panyee floating village is a fishing village built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen. This was our lunch stop. IMG_2664IMG_2670IMG_2675IMG_2677 But I had to admit, it sure looks pretty. Colorful roof tops and long tail boats dot the landscape with the imposing limestone cliffs as its backdrop. Reminds me of the Badjaos in the Philippines. I am just as amazed at how they managed to live here at the mercy of the ocean.

After lunch, we had enough time to roam around and check out the village. Close to the restaurants were souvenir shops and stores all catered to the tourists. As we went deeper into the maze of concrete pathways, we soon saw that behind these stores were their dwelling places. Families lived here. Children played with their pets. They even have a postal code! 2PicMonkey Collage 3PicMonkey Collage Some had shanties, some had big concrete houses. All co-existing with each other in this harsh environment that they call home. 4PicMonkey Collage As soon as the tourist season is over, they all close shop. And they go back to their main livelihood which is fishing. IMG_2718Before heading back to Phuket, we stopped at a cave hidden amongst all the limestone cliffs along the area. Stalactites and stalagmites (and bats too!) can be found. Someone switched off all the lights and it was pitch black! I wouldn’t want to be stranded here for sure.

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We went back to our apartment tired and hungry. It made up for a very interesting nature-filled day indeed.

Next visit hopefully will be Phi Phi Island. And I will make sure to do it my way and away from this “cow herding” tourism mentality. It just ruins the whole experience for me. Or maybe it is just the rude tourists that need to chill and learn some travel manners.

Do you have any stories of “cow herding” too?

A Haiku on “Express Yourself”

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Entrance to Wat Chalong Temple, Phuket, Thailand

Itchy feet I have
Wandering, traveling nurse
Go, express yourself!

(In response to The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge on Express Yourself)

Yesterday’s assignment on Blogging 101 gave me a light bulb moment. I would participate in the Weekly Photo Challenge and at the same time compose a haiku for my photo. I am no poet but haikus are short and easy enough to manage. They’re good for those times when I am out of fresh blogging ideas. Let’s see how far I can go with this challenge.

Wat Chalong: A Photo Journey

After Big Buddha, our tour proceeded to take us to Wat Chalong. It has a much longer formal name than that but for purposes of simplicity and recall, Wat Chalong is easier on the tongue.

Wat Chalong is one of the 29 temples in Phuket island**. It is the largest and the most visited. The main temple has three floors. At the very top is a glass display containing a splinter of bone from Buddha.

Again, like in Big Buddha, women must dress conservatively inside this place of worship. Sarongs and shawls are provided for (and to be returned upon exit) at the main entrance of the temple. No shoes are allowed inside too, and that includes flip flops.

** I finally know how many temples are in Phuket. Thank you Google!

I’ve taken LOTS of shots, as you will soon see. All the details and intricate craftsmanship are just begging to be photographed. And for a photo nerd like me (and my brother), I am just too happy to oblige!

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This is the very top of the temple that houses a fragment of Buddha’s bone.

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The round glass casing that contains a tiny bone splinter from Buddha. I couldn’t help but wonder if the cash scattered on the floor are donations or religious offerings.

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Surrounding buildings around the Wat Chalong grounds have different purposes. This was a crematorium.

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Can you find the Big Buddha in this picture? It does not look that big anymore!

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These colorful scarves wrapped around a tree have been blessed by Buddhist monks. The trees then are considered sacred and cannot be harmed in any way. I saw them at Big Buddha too. It is just amazing the things you learn when you travel!

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** Photo credit to my brother for some of the shots here. Thanks dong!