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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.