Thursday, April 18, 2013

Phuket, Thailand

On April 9, we arrived in Phuket, Thailand. I have been looking forward to Thailand for awhile because when I visited 8 years ago (back in November 2004) I had a great time. Granted, I had met up with a couple friends from college and was in my 20's but I was looking forward to sharing the awesome beaches with Paul. Back in 2004, I had flown into Phuket from Bangkok but didn't spend much time in Phuket - my friends met me and we headed straight to Ao Nang. This time, Paul and I stayed in Phuket Town, about 40 minutes from the Phuket International Airport and we really enjoyed the little town. We stayed in a very friendly and clean hostel and walked around the neighborhood after getting settled in.

We stayed at Ai Phuket Hostel on Yaowarat Road
Walking down Soi Romanee

The Buddhist Temple called Wat Putta Mongkon Nimit 
Entrance to the temple

A closer shot

Sino-Portuguese shophouses
Sun getting ready to set

Grabbing some dinner at a local restaurant

The next day, on April 10, we were ready for exploration. Paul was ready to take on the motor bike and I was ready to not freak out. Our hostel rented out bikes and Paul picked the newest one on the lot. A blue Honda bike. We got our helmets on and headed off.

The bike on the very right...

Here we are, getting ready to go!

We had plans to explore Phuket - see some beaches, go to some temples, maybe even the outlet mall for some cheap clothes! We had to get some gas first so we went to the Shell station right around the corner. Gassed up for about 160THB (about 5USD) and then were really ready to head out. Except Paul didn't really remember which way we were supposed to go…and at a crossroads he made a turn…right into a pole. I didn't lean like I was supposed to and we were going a little too fast but thankfully we weren't going very fast when we hit the pole. The only thing injured was Paul's left big toe and his pride. He decided we should turn the bike back so I walked back while he drove the bike back to the hostel. We got our money back for the rental and they didn't notice the scratch. After patching up Paul's toe, we ended up hiring a car to take us to the temple, Wat Chalong (the most important of the 29  buddhist temples in Phuket).

Wat Chalong

Entrance to Wat Chalong

The top of the Grand Pagoda

The Grand Pagoda from the front

Grand Pagoda at an angle

Here are some photos from in and around the Grand Pagoda

After climbing a few flights of stairs in the Grand Pagoda, we were able to see the Big Buddha!

Big Buddha sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills and is 45 meters high

We did end up going to the outlet mall in hopes of some good deals but it was just a sad, sad place.


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