Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Travelogue: Phuket - Day 1 [Part 2]

It has been quite some time back since I wrote the part 1 for the 1st day when I am in Phuket. So if you have missed it, you can always read Part 1 here... :)

31st October 2010: Phuket Day 1 [Part 2]
After the hearty lunch at Family Mansion 2 with authentic and homely Thai dishes (as mentioned in Part 1), my family and I embarked on our self-planned day tour around Phuket to see the things at Phuket that we think it's worth a visit.

And after approximately about a 20 min drive on the mini bus we booked for ฿1800 (approx. SGD$75) for half the day, that can fit up to about 8 adults, we reached our 1st stop! :D

Do you know what's behind the lush greeneries? :)

Now a clearer view while I stand on a nearby bench...haha!

Located on top of a hill, the Karon View Point actually allows you to see, shaped like 3 crescent moons, a breathe taking view of the Kata Noi Beach, Kata Main Beach and Karon Beach. It was actually an awesome view if not for that fact that the sky was a little gloomy and misty while we were there.

taking a shot with the scenery behind us...

Daddy and mommy with the scenery behind...

Both my younger brother and I were on top of the short walls so we could get a better picture with the scenery as background...HAHA!

Daddy and mommy now with at a higher point with a better view of the scenery...

Cousins, brother and me... :)

By the way, the magnificent view wasn't all that we saw there!

Photo Service with Sea Eagles anyone?
฿100 with your own camera and ฿200 with their polaroid service...

cousin-in-law with the eagles...

One way to take a photo without paying is when they are not noticing! Hehe!
But nope, I'm not encouraging you to do that. Those people are just making a living, so you'll pay them to get a picture with eagles yeah? :)

 And that's us at our 1st stop at Karon View Point as a start for our day tour!

Karon View Point
Karon, Mueang Phuket, Phuket 83100, Thailand

Back on our chartered mini bus and traveling for approximately half an hour to close to 45 minutes from Karon View Point, we reached our next destination!

The Big Buddha of Phuket or also known as Mingmongkol Buddha!...

the picture is pretty self explanatory right? :)

that's us with the Big Buddha!

We made a donation to fund the rebuilding of the Big Buddha by adopting a tile!

There was different sizes of white marble tiles for you to write your wishes onto according to the amount you donate. And every single tile with names and wishes written on will be used to line the entire facade of the Big Buddha image.

Wishing for my entire family to stay safe and healthy! :)

Inside, you can get blessings the monks there, buy some souvenirs or there were pictorial boards along the sides explaining the history of the place and even showing and explaining how the Big Buddha was constructed on the hill! And following the pictorial boards, you actually find yourself being ushered towards the outside...

And to the foot of the steps to the Big Buddha of Phuket!

Ascending the flight of steps to get a closer look at the Big Buddha...

taking turns to strike the bell 3 times for luck and health...

that's us with the Bodhi Tree just right beside the Big Buddha with lots of bells hung for wishings...

If you're ever going there, I seriously recommend that you make that extra effort and climb up the long flight of steps and have a closer look at the Big Buddha. Not only that the Big Buddha looks extremely magnificent up close, the view from the top of the hill down to the town was really breathtaking from on top of Nakkerd Hill too.

And when you're done, you can always reward yourself with some local goodies available there!

COCONUT ICE CREAM for only ฿25 (approx. SGD $1.05)!!!

Coconut Ice cream! :D

It tasted a little like vanilla ice cream with coconut milk but it's no where near being as sweet as vanilla flavoured ice cream and more refreshing. For about SGD $1.00, this is really a good deal to taste their street side ice cream like what we had in Singapore with the uncles with mobile ice cream stalls on motorbikes!

Artist hard at work...

You can watch the artist working with his paintings just beside the ice cream stall while enjoying your ice cream... :)

It's really a pity that I couldn't give the exact address but The Big Buddha of Phuket is perched on the hilltop of the Nakkerd Hills located between the the town of Chalong and Kata in Phuket. I'm sure if you have a chartered mini bus like us or hired a taxi, the driver sure knows where it is... :)

The Big Buddha of Phuket or Ming Mongkol Phuket
Website: http://www.mingmongkolphuket.com/index-en.php

And our next stop after the Big Buddha was just a short drive away!

Unfortunately, the rain decided to pour a short while after we got to the Wat Chalong. We didn't manage to have a good look around the place at all, or rather, not a single bit to even let me share something about the place... :(

But anyway, somethings to take note of when you're planning to visit either the Big Buddha of Phuket or the Wat Chalong, try to make sure you're properly covered! Avoid wearing sleeveless tops and shorts even though you're in Phuket for a beach and sea holiday in respects for the fact that you're stepping into religious grounds...Or you can simply equip yourselves with a shawl to cover up when you're there! :)

Wat Chalong (or Chalong Temple or Chai Tararam Temple)
Luang Pho Chaem
Chalong, Mueang Phuket
Phuket 83130 Thailand

Since the weather wasn't on our side and it's impossible to move around inside the Wat Chalong in the heavy down pour, our driver very nicely suggested to take us somewhere else!

Pornthip Sea Store!!!

The Pornthip Sea Store is absolutely a haven for local snacks and it's probably the best place where you can grab all the goodies to bring back as gifts for your family and friends! With samplers readily available for every single food product that they sell, you'll never go wrong with choosing the right snacks to bring back home! :)

One of my favourite is the tomyum flavoured fried ikan bilis with assorted peas and chilli!
A little spicy but it's really very very very good! :D

Packing services are available too!

Packer very gently yet swiftly packing all the goodies we bought into boxes! :)

I guess everyone would have gone berserk after entering the snacks haven and definitely bought more than what they can manage with two hands. But fret not, there's packing services located just right outside the store and there will be staffs of the store helping to back your loot into boxes and seal them to ensure it's ready for the flight home with you together with your checked-in luggages...Our snacks came back to Singapore pretty intact all thanks to their service! :)

Pornthip Sea Store
108/1 Moo5, Chalermprakiat Rd., Tumbol Rassada,
Muang District Phuket 83000 Thailand
Tel : + 66 76 261555

Website: http://www.pornthipseastore.com/

Before we know it and amidst all the fun tasting and deciding what snacks we want to bring back with us, the rain stopped and it's already dinner time! After dropping our loot from Pornthip Sea Store back at our hotel rooms, we were whisked off to our last stop for the day for a buffet dinner and a musical show! :)

Daddy and mommy at the entrance to our next destination...
Do you know where are we? hehe...

We are at Phuket FantaSea! :D

After a short walk through the theme park, we walked into the grandest looking place I ever seen!

Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant

Designed to be set in the mythical Himmaphan forest where the mythical Kinnarees (half bird and half woman of the legendary beauty and graciousness) is said to exist, I was seriously taken aback the moment i stepped in the restaurant's vicinities. It might be embarrassing to admit but I actually stood at the entrance for a long while mesmerized by the sight before regaining my senses and proceeding to check out the buffet spread. 

With such an extravagant interiors and over 4000 seats available, inevitably, the Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant is said to be the grandest dining facility in the world!

Individual counters with golden roofs like a royal palace...

It's made to resemble the life sized Thai architectural style and as comparing the wooden push karts we have in buffet restaurants here in Singapore for individual counters for the more unique food on the buffet spread, it's really no surprise that they can claim that they have the grandest dining facility!...

The buffet spread with a mixture of Thai food and international cuisines...

I really love the pretty chandelier hanging above the buffet spread!

Even the interiors of the toilet was well thought of to suit the theme of the place.

Daddy and mommy enjoying their dinner... :)

And now, here's a quick look at the food!

Chinese style Roasted Duck

Hakka Beef Noodle

A platter of assorted dishes like (from bottom clockwise) green curry chicken, sweet and sour pork, stir-fried cabbage and prawn tempura...

Vegetables galore!

At the entrance, they are displaying the different types of wine available...

Doesn't it really look like a palace with a lotus pond hugging the sides? Pretty isn't it?

Anyway, to be frank, the food was just like any typical international buffet, nothing as lavish as the overall design and ambiance of the restaurant. But that aside, it's really worth paying for a buffet dinner where you are served and set in a place that's deemed only for the royals!

From the Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant, you can see the Palace of the Elephants just opposite where the theatre for the show is located. Looks extremely magnificent isn't it? I had another mesmerized moment standing there and taking in every single bit of the facade!

That's us in front of the Palace of the Elephants!

Daddy and mommy with the elephants sprouting water from their trunks behind them...

Mommy and I! :)

Elephant welcoming and ushering you into the Palace...

and more of the elephants sprouting water from their trunks into the water feature surrounding the palace

After a short wait and looking around the Palace of the Elephants, it's finally time for the show!

Fantasy of a Kingdom

Fantasy of a Kingdom is a Las Vegas style Thai cultural show infused with cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art show elements. The essence of being Thai, everything from the love for freedom and fun, courage and compassion, is being represented in each scene. As the Prince of Kamala journeys through each progressive scene, he slowly discovers these aspects and learns what it means to be the perfect Thai. (picture and write-up credits to Phuket FantaSea website)

The Monkey King and his Monkey kids... hehe! =P

If you're ever going to Phuket, the 1st thing you should get hold of is your tickets to the show and buffet dinner at Phuket FantaSea which is priced at ฿1900 (approx. SGD $79.00). Actually, I've gotten my tickets at a tour agency and I've gotten the tickets at only ฿1800 which is about SGD $4.00 cheaper than buying a ticket directly from the theme park itself... :)

Whichever it is, I really love the setting and ambience of the buffet restaurant and the show was really a very enjoyable musical with the live animals and all the awesome-most graphics and effects! The night has definitely been my favourite part of our self-planned day tour in Phuket! :)

Phuket FantaSea, The Ultimate Cultural Theme Park
99 M3 Kamala Kathu
Phuket 83150 Thailand
Tel: 076 385 111

Email: info@phuket-fantasea.com

Yup and with that, it marks the end of my 1st day in Phuket last November!
Do stay tune for the write up of the rest of my time spent there!

Wishing everyone a great week ahead...
I'm outa here for now~ :D

p.s. Now you can read Day 2 here.

1 comment:

  1. We are planning to visit Phuket in mid-March.
    Thank you for posting.


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