Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Phuket : Revisited

Heading towards the Airport

Had a very busy day on 12 April 2012.

For one, it was due to the fact that I was having a major shift in office, and everyone was more or less packing up their stuff into carton boxes.

For two, it was my 2nd trip to Phuket, a place of many smiles and sun tans.

Arrived late into the night, at about 10.30pm Phuket Time (11.30pm Singapore Time) to a small little resort called "Silver Resortel".

No fancy hotel luxuries. Just a space to sleep in, and a mini balcony for smokers. The bathroom is average, but big enough for some personal comfort.

Apparently, the Songkran festivities have already begun that night and both Sue and Nelson were already victims to the splashing and spraying of water. Lucky I have avoided that!

After a good night's rest on a hard bed, but soft pillow, we headed out to have our breakfast and after that, we geared up to the day's event.

Trying to act tough with Iphone4 in Dicapac waterproof casing

As we were still very early, only a few stationary water points were "active".

Tubs filled with water were strewn all over Phuket

An early morning spray from the friendly locals

Foreigners stationed at the Stationary water point

What surprised me most, was not about the fact that people were splashing water at absolute strangers, nor was it about foreigners who joined in on the festivities to play with water. It was the existence of "mobile" water squads that kept us trio entertained for the whole day.

 Family outing kind of "mobile squad"

Friends version of "mobile squad"

The Tuk-tuk driver actually had a sense of good humour, he would horn the stationary squads and/or mobile squads to alert them, wind up his side of the windows, and slow down in front of the water squads. And yes, because of that, none of us stayed dry throughout the journey.

Nelson and his "bukakke-d" look

Seriously speaking, the Thais really know how to splash!

We made our way from Patong Beach all the way to Karon Viewpoint. A rather breath-taking view of the surroundings on top of this scenic view!

Cam-whore moment. Yes, that's me.

After this quick pit-stop, we continued our journey up more treacherous hills and slopes and eventually arrived at a holy ground.

The Big Buddha - the statue is huge.

There's serenity and calmness in this whole area

Over here at the temple, they are still getting donations to do restructuring works on the Big Buddha statue and of the temple grounds.The view here is as magnificent as the one on Karon Viewpoint.

Panoramic view from the top of the hill at the Big Buddha
Taken with Dermendar app on Iphone 

What's going on a trip without goofing around? Here are some moments that were captured while we were there.

The alien got a hangover and a take home gift

Nelson Chapelin - In the flesh

Nelmeo with the rose

After the Big Buddha, we went to the Phuket Shooting Range. It is here that I got to have my virgin experience with the Shotgun.

 The shotgun shells

Me trying very hard to strike a cool pose. No good.

The shotgun is a pretty neat weapon if you can get the zeroing correct. Watching those shells fly and hitting the target? Priceless.

The last stop that we had on the little adventure was at Wat Chalong.

Me and Sue at Wat Chalong Pagoda

Another equally scenic place that is filled with little shops that sells souvenirs and foodstuff. The little peace found in this place is often broken by a little honeycomb shaped structure in which they light fire-crackers. And yes, it is very loud and scary, especially the final parts of the cracker, sounded like major explosions.

Our friendly Tuk-tuk driver couldn't take us around for the whole day, so we ended up stopping our tour early. Did some shopping and got ourselves some waterproof bags and headed back to the hotel for rest.

Day two was a very different sight from the Songkran festivities. In fact, it was very odd that they do not celebrate it over the long weekend. There was no water squad in sight at all. So since we were all dressed to get wet, we headed down to Patong Beach.

 Incoming waves!

 Help! I've been submerged!

 Need..... Air......

 After coming out from the water

 This is what the sea will do to you, check out the crossed face. XD

 Lazing around on the deck chair, with coconut.

 Nelson really enjoying his coconut. Cute French lady in the background.

 The (in)famous "stuntmen" of Patong Beach with the customer

More Para-sailing with the "stuntmen"

What never fails to amaze me is the skill that these guys have to climb up the already flying parachute, and to guide the client safely back onto the ground, WITHOUT any safety harness. Kudos to them.

One other new thing I have tried on this beach, is the Aloe Vera "treatment". This service is done by one middle-aged lady who will take a big piece of Aloe Vera and apply its cooled pulp all over your body.

 Aloe, Chilled, not Frozen

Sue getting her dose of Aloe Vera

One thing for sure, if you have stayed on the beach for long enough, and have "baked" your skin to a suitable degree, the chilled aloe does help a lot in soothing the skin from the little heat from the sun. The only downside is, after applying all over the body and inclusive of the hair, you will look exactly like a human victim/hostage that is covered entirely in Alien goo (think Aliens vs Predator).

Who could forget about food when going overseas? No, not the hungry photographer. Here, I'll let you drool and not distract you with words.






A final bite before heading to the airport

And there it was, a 3 days 4 nights tour for me (4 days 4 nights for Nelson and Sue) for the Songkran festival in Phuket.

How I wished we needn't come back to Singapore.

Nice evening weather on the last night of the trip

Photos taken with both the iPhone 4 (in Dicapac) as well as Canon Powershot S100 (with Waterproof Casing WP-DC43) courtesy of Tech65.

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