Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Climb Up the Bell Tower @ Wat Chalong in Phuket [Thailand]

I should be expending my energy at the 61-meter tall Phramahathat Chedi in Wat Chalong but when i saw the bell tower in front of the main temple; i thought we might as well give it a try. 

And thank Buddha, it's open access for everyone or anyone! 

Drum that didn't seem secure; wouldn't it be safer for the ceiling anchor to hook to the drum directly instead of having to connect both ends with a wire? 

Halfway up; the design of Thai temples always marvels me with their use of eye-catching colours and unique ornamental motifs! The other kind of temples that intrigues me would be those of Taoism.

A mango tree?

Yes, we reached the top! This reminded me of the climb my dad and i did to the pavilion on the peak of Xilang Hill in Yangshuo which was a lot more tedious! 

There's something on top of the hill in front of us! 

The famous Phuket's Big Buddha! We actually paid it a visit on the same trip and you would be expecting a lengthy posting about the iconic structure in a few weeks' time.

Dad again; compared to him, i am a lot less brave as my father isn't afraid of height and if you throw him in a jungle with no lights, he can survive whereas his son (as in me) wouldn't be able to. 

Like in the above photo; i was so frightened that i would miss my footing and fell over the railing! Trust me, the fear was real and i did the one thing that i know will work; descend with my butt. It's a life-saving measure i have used twice before; once in Guilin (Yangshuo) and another time in Hunan (Tianmen Mountain).

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Location 
Within Wat Chalong
Phuket, Thailand. 


What else i did in Phuket

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Model House of Luang Por Cham @ Wat Chalong in Phuket [Thailand]

As i don't understand the Thai language in its written format (to be fair, i can't manage the spoken language too), i have no idea what the above building was all about but i figured from the number of people stepping in and out that it's likely an attraction.

In addition, there also were signs for visitors to dress appropriately and to remove shoes; key hints that it's not closed to the general public.  

Imagine my surprise shock when i got past the wooden doors and saw the three monks seated on elevated platforms. Would this be where devotees get blessed? A second later, the fact dawned on me! 

They are wax figures although their likeness were based on three former yet highly esteemed abbots of Wat Chalong; the biggest and most revered temple in Phuket. Honoured like gods, many devotees were seen paying their respects in the quiet and solemn environment. 

I was more impressed by how realistic they looked! This reminded me of my trip to Asiatique The Riverfront in Bangkok where a shop actually sells monk wax figures and in varying sizes from life-size to a few inches tall. 

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Location
Within Wat Chalong,
Phuket, Thailand.


What else i did in Phuket

Promthep Cape - The Island's Southernmost Point @ Phuket [Thailand] #PromthepCape

I was mesmerized by the spectacular sunset photographs of Phuket's southernmost point found on the web and thought it would be worth the stopover on our day trip with Mr Daj, our private driver. p.s. don't you just love the sign for no-smoking?!

As a former smoker, i have nothing against people smoking but walking and smoking at the same time can be an irritation for others walking behind. I am all for the building of yellow boxes / smokers' shelters etc for those who need to take a puff.

Coming back, i am anticipating the view ahead of us as we were about to reach the top end of the stairs. Would it be as good as seen from the online photos?

The place was rather controlled with signs prohibiting businesses without licenses and performances / shows without permission; pros and cons if you ask me as those unauthorized 'activities' can help to make the area more vibrant.

View that greeted us that reached out towards the horizon of the Andaman Sea. Pretty enough for me to request my dad for a photo with it as a backdrop!

Was that a white-bellied sea eagle in the sky? Just about an hour ago, Alex and my dad were taking photos with the large bird of prey at Karon View Point.

To the right of the path was a familiar sight; regular readers of this blog would have noticed a similar photo in the posting made on 23 September 2018.

It's the same view from the windmill viewpoint! I am too lazy to go further down the path where i would be able to get a better shot of the iconic wind turbines; hence, you may click here for my posting instead.

My objective was to the left where the tall palms were!

Frankly, it didn't feel as impactful as what i saw online; there was no proper path and if not google map, i would have deemed it more like a rocky outcrop than something of significance.

But since i am there, i might as well venture a bit further and take some photos for memory sake (and for sharing on this blog of course).

As Promthep Cape is considered a landmark in that area, it wasn't as crowded as i expected; unlike Tanah Lot in Bali where throngs of visitors made it extremely hard for me to take a decent photo without heads photo-bombing it.

I managed to secure the above at Promthep Cape, without anyone photo-bombing it!

With dad as a model. There are two islands at the back, Koh Kaeo Yai and Koh Kaeo Noi, which i had considered visiting separately as a half-day trip. It didn't materialize so i guess maybe next time.

Uneven path; surely not recommended after rain. I was contemplating if i should forge ahead towards the tail end of the cape and decided not to as the view isn't likely to be worth it. Furthermore, there were still many attractions that we had yet to visit for this day trip.

Panorama of Promthep Cape!

There's a big parade square near Promthep Cape and on it, there's this lighthouse-like structure and a statue. Thinking there might be more interesting things to be found, i walked over.

Up close, i noted that this statue was in the likeness of His Royal Highness Prince Abhakara Kiartiwonges. Also known as Prince Jumborn, he was the 28th child of King Chulalongkorn and respectfully known as the "Father of Royal Thai Navy" for his contribution to the navy.

Two models of navy ships were on display in front of the statue. Actually, this prince was quite a character as he was also a doctor and was believed to possess supernatural powers!

The building was indeed a lighthouse! Unfortunately, there was a "close" sign across its doors. There were these wordings "Lat 7' 45' 36" N, Long 98' 18' 30" E"; how many of you still remember what they mean!?

Date that day with timings for sunrise and sunset. The Thai year always confuses me and it doesn't help that the expiry year of items bought from Thailand was based on Thai year! Okay, i don't think i am making it easier for you but the Thai year is based on Buddhist calendar is 543 earlier; a number i wouldn't remember that easily!

The palm trees of Promthep Cape.

Other end of the parade square where you can see the ship anchor logo for the statue, which is also known as the Krom Luang Chumphon Monument, and an interesting sight.

It's a Thai shrine with a ton of elephant statues surrounding it; definitely an eye-popping sight! From first look, i automatically labelled it the elephant shrine even though the deity being honoured is the Hindu God of Creation; Brahma. Click here for more photos!

Current monarch of Thailand; King Vajiralongkorn! Even though his father, former King Bhumibol, has passed on for almost two years, there is still no confirmation on the coronation date of King Vajiralongkorn.

After all the walking, it's time to check out the souvenir shop, and the toilet.

I was drawn to the frozen fruit freezer; 100% real mango or durian on stick! Having heard so much on the differences of local and Thai durians, i was contemplating to give it a try. However, its exorbitant pricing (over 100 baht for one durian seed) turned me off.

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Location Map

As above.

Private Driver Arrangement 
If you are interested to engage Mr Daj for your day trip, you may whatsapp him at +66 86 274 9195 or email him at ded.chatha@gmail.com.


What else i did in Phuket

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