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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vegetarian Festival, #Phuket.

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival
is a colourful event held
over a nine-day period in October,
celebrating the Chinese community’s belief
that abstinence from meat

Various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar
will help them obtain good health and peace of mind.

Though the origins of the festival are unclear,
it is commonly thought that the festival was bought to Phuket
by a wandering Chinese opera group who fell ill with malaria while performing on the island.

They decided to adhere to a strict vegetarian diet and pray to the Nine Emperor Gods
to ensure purification of the mind and body.
To everyone’s amazement the opera group made a complete recovery.

The people celebrated by holding a festival that was meant to honour the gods
as well as express the people’s happiness at surviving what was,
in the 19th century, a fatal illness.

Subsequently the festival has grown and developed into a spectacular yearly
event that is attended by thousands with participants flying
in from China and other Asian destinations.

One of the most exciting aspects of the festival are the various,
(and sometimes gruesome) ceremonies which are held to invoke the gods.
Fire walking, body piercing and other acts of self mortification undertaken
by participants acting as mediums of the gods, have become more spectacula.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Baan Teelanka $Phuket.

Baan Teelanka Phuket
Opening Hours: From 10:00-18:00
Location: two kilometres from the North entrance of the By-pass Road.
Price Range: Bann Teelanka: adult – 250 baht, children – 150 baht;
A-Maze-in-Phuket: adult – 150 baht, children 100 baht

Baan Teelanka – Upside Down House has opened in April 2014
and is certainly one of the most innovative and original attractions in Phuket Island.

Located on the By-pass Road in the northern outskirts of Phuket Town,
it is a three-storey house built leaning on its roof and adorned
with a maze-shaped garden in its backyard; two different attractions in one place!

Initiated, designed and managed by a charming Swiss-Thai couple,
this well-thought project brings visitors into another dimension
and offers sensational photo opportunities.

In addition to Baan Teelanka and to A-Maze-in-Phuket,
the small complex features already a modern coffee-shop (selling drinks, snacks and sweets)
and will host in a near future a souvenir shop and two other boutiques.

Baan Teelanka is the first and unique (as for today) upside-down house in Thailand;
there are about a dozen upside-down houses in the world,
the first ever to open was Wonderworks Upside Down Building in Florida in 1998.

Baan Teelanka is certainly one of the most accomplished of them with its 13m height
and the outstanding research and imagination it has required to making it so detailed.
Leave all logic behind as you enter the house from its roof.

You will pass the attic before to reach the second floor.
You can visit all the rooms like in a standard house;
the only difference is that you do so as if you would be able to walk on the ceiling!

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Khao San Road #Bangkok.

In addition to being great for adjusting to the culture and climate,
Khao San Road is also a great place to ease yourself
into the intense sensory m-lange that is Thai cuisine.

 Restaurants, shacks and stalls on wheels abound,
and most of what’s sold at them toned down to cater to the unadjusted Western palate.

In particular, the spiciness of curries, salads and noodles is much less than locals enjoy eating.
If you like spicy, the phrase ‘ped maak’ should do the trick.

Don’t think its all tame variations on Thai cooking and Western junk food
(Burger King, McDonalds and Subway are all in attendence).

Recent years have seen an upsurge in upscale restaurants and bars,
and the variety and sophistication of the food
available on Khao San Road has rocketed proportionally.

Menus offering interesting fusions of Thai with Western cuisine are now common,
and many establishments and stalls specialist in gourmet international cuisine.
Pizza, sushi, felafel, seafood, fish and chips, and pasta all get a look in.


James Bond Island, Phang Nga Bay

James Bond Island is a famous landmark in Phang Nga Bay.
It first found its way onto the international tourist map through its starring role in the James Bond movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’.
A distinctive feature of this famous bay is the number of sheer limestone cliffs that vertically jut out of the emerald-green water.

The bizarre, why-doesn’t-it-fall-over outline of James Bond Island or Koh Tapu,
lies next to the equally well known Koh Ping Ghan (sometime spell ‘Ping Gan’ or ‘Ping Gun’).
The entire area surrounding this island is indeed spectacular, but it can get crowded with tourist boats in high season.

Phang Nga Bay covers an area of 400sqkm and is home to some 100 islands,
many of which could feature in The Guinness Book of Records either for their beauty or for their freakish shapes.

 James Bond Island, with its signature rocky pinnacle, has been a major attraction ever since it featured in the 1974 Bond movie.

Luckily it is under national park protection and as a result no boats of any kind are allowed to go
too close to the island because of its precarious position big on the upper part and relatively slim at the bottom.
The two best ways to view James Bond Island are from boats or from the small beach on Koh Ping Ghan.

Koh Ping Ghan is another sample of how the Mother Nature works her magic.
Basically it’s a very high leaning rock that has some small caves inside.
It’s pretty amazing and fun to check them all out.
On its crowded eastern beach, there are stalls and stands selling souvenirs, mostly made from shells and woods.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Phuket’s Old Town Renaissance

Fifteen years ago, the historic Old Phuket Town district in Phuket Town
was a charming but slightly faded place in danger
of being lost to modern development. However, Phuket residents
and tourism figures saw the potential in preserving Phuket’s fascinating past
and a restoration effort of the Old Town was launched.

In the years since, the five main Old Town streets,
Dibuk, Thalang, Phang Nga, Rassada and Krabi roads, plus Soi Romanee
and other small lanes have been given a facelift.

Much to every photographer’s delight, unsightly power lines along Dibuk
and Thalang roads have now been buried, allowing the beauty
of the centuries-old Sino-Portuguese buildings to shine through.
More power line projects are in the works for other streets.


Soi Romanee has seen the most striking changes.
This narrow one-way lane was once a rowdy red-light street
for Chinese immigrants back in Phuket’s heady tin-mining days.

Then it saw a decline, and up until about five years ago
most of its buildings sat in an unused and crumbling state.
Since then, nearly all of the two-storey structures lining
the Soi have been given a bright new coat of pastel-toned paint
and some hip cafes and offices have opened up.

A one-stop shop explaining Phuket’s past is found along Phang Nga road. 

This new Phuket City Information Centre has photos
and displays that explain the meaning behind
the different architectural details of the buildings in the area,
plus models of an old-style well and oven.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


A tranquil resort on tropical Siray Island in Phuket
boasting breathtaking ocean views
from every of our 257 guestrooms, suites, villas,
and a calm, secluded beach.

The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa overlooking magnificent Siray Bay,
the resort offers a rejuvenating tropical haven with all you need to be at your best.

The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa on the exclusive east coast of Phuket,
the resort boasts contemporary design, spectacular ocean views
and the renowned warm Thai culture,
welcoming guests into this respite of tropical elegance.

Each of our 257 contemporary guestrooms, suites and pool villas
offers ocean views of Siray Bay as well as Heavenly Bed, Heavenly Bath,
White Tea by Westin bath amenities, rainforest shower, LCD televisions,
DVD players, outdoor balconies, audio jack packs and high speed wireless
Internet access. Other amenities include a refreshment center, in-room safe.

Relax in one of our six exquisite restaurants or bars,
providing a range of options where you can soak up your surroundings  in style.
To nourish your body we are proud to offer SuperFoodsRX™
selections amongst our culinary choices on every menu.
The wide range of dining options, along with an innovative international
approach at all of our restaurants, ensures guests can sample different cuisines.

For added convenience and comfort, 24-hour In Room Dining is available,
complete with SuperFoodsRX™ to promote your absolute wellbeing.
Private dining options and picnic baskets are also available upon request.

The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket is a tranquil setting
for guests to restore the body and expand the mind.
Located on the east side of Phuket, it boasts the latest in modern conveniences
and facilities with warm Thai culture, and sweeping ocean views.

Phuket is an island of coves and bays. It is the leading island holiday
destination in Southeast Asia, and travellers come to enjoy some fun, sun,
great seafood, great watersports and a taste of the warm
welcome that is synonymous with Thai culture.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Flying Hanuman Adventure, #Phuket

Flying Hanuman is an adventure
like no other on Phuket.
It shows that the island’s beauty
goes far beyond the sea, sun and sand
that it is famous for. The hillsides of Phuket overflow
with thick forest that is great for exploration and outdoor activities.

What Flying Hanuman aimed to achieve was to provide travellers
with exceptional service, enjoyment, excitement and memories without
impacting the natural balance within the forest environment surrounding it.
There is no better way to take in the other face of the Pearl of the Andaman.

The site of Flying Hanuman stand almost exactly as it did before construction began.
A wide variety of trees and small animals occupy the 80,000 square metre plot,
and the natural rubber trees are harvested by locals
who are still allowed to live on the hillside. A small creek runs through the land
during the wet months and even the trees within
Flying Hanuman’s reception area have been left untouched.

Flying Hanuman is an adventure because it is part of the forest that surrounds it.
Great care has been used to make sure the zipline adventure
does not have a negative effect on the trees
it uses and the species who call the area their home.
It took hard work to put the course into place, but once it was done,
the forest is what makes the attraction so special.