A Travellerspoint blog

Day 10: Wat Chalong!

-17 °C

For our last day in thailand, we decided to experience the Phuket culture. Since Phuket has 29 Buddhist temples spread across the island, we decided we had to see one! Our guide told us that Wat Chalong was the one to see, so that's where we headed! We were told that Wats (buddhist temples) are among the most important symbols of thailand, because the majority of Thais are Buddhist, and the temples are so beautiful! When we first arrived, we were actually quite scared by the sound of fire crackers! We found out that the local people hang strings of Chinese fire crackers near the wat's sermon hall and light them! Apparently this is only something they do at Wat Chalong! They do this to show gratitude for prayers answered! Very interesting! Wat Chalong was so beautiful and interesting inside. And we had read before going (thank God!) that when in a temple, it is best to do what the locals are doing, and never stand over or taller than a Buddha statue! We also were made aware that it is innapropriate to show shoulders, stomach, legs, or chest while visiting a temple. We had shorts on, so we made our visit brief! We spent the rest of the day shopping downtown Phuket City, visiting every shop and market we saw. Have to make sure you've bought everything you wanted! We then made our way back to our apartment/hotel and got ourselves packed and ready for our early departure home in the morning! Hope no one forgets their passport!

Posted by SydneyLiz 16:12 Comments (0)

Day 9: Karon & Kata Beach!

Since Phuket is so well known for its beaches, we decided to spend another day relaxing on the beautiful, white sand of Karon and Kata Beach! Patong beach was gorgeous, though quite busy, and we were told that these other beaches are just as nice yet not as busy, so we gave it a try! The beaches were beautiful and the weather was great and we definitely enjoyed being lazy. We also found out from a local that Karon Beach is concentrated around 3 main areas: the Karon Plaza area that features budget guest houses, restaurants, and bars. Then a side road that leads to a small art community, where we discovered, after giving it a look, that Thai painters have built a small complex of huts, pubs and art galleries, where locals live and work! It was fascinating and the local art is gorgeous. And cheap! As we know from purchasing a few things! I spent $20.00CAD in total on 4 things! Definitely worth it! We then followed the beach road to Kata, which is just as gorgeous as Karon! We walked the length of the beach, enjoying the sand between our toes, and spent our evening drinking beer and eating some delicious seafood at one of their great little pubs. After seeing and experiencing so much, it's been so nice to be on 'the island of beaches' to just relax and slow down before going home!

Posted by SydneyLiz 15:27 Comments (0)

Day 5: Cooking School!!

Today we took a cooking course at the Baan Thai Cooking School. The school offered courses in cooking northern Thai, home style food. The course we took cost 900 THB and included a pick up and drop off from our hostel. After an introduction we were taken by the friendly instructors to a nearby market. At the market they showed us different Thai ingredients essential in every day cooking. Upon return to the school we were given drinks and colorful recipe book. With the help of the instructors we made several amazing dishes including Fried Noodle Thai Style (Phat-Thai), Hot and Sour Prawn Soup (Tom-Yam-Kung), Green Curry Paste (Nam-Phrik-Kaeng-Khiaw-Waan), Green Curry With Fish Ball (Kaeng-Khiaw-Waan), Savory Minced Chicken Salad (Larb-Kai) and Water Chestnuts in Coconut Milk (Tub-Tim-Krop). Throughout the day we were given different foods and drinks to try. We also learnt how to make Thai sticky rice. At the end of the day we ate all the food me make and were taken back to our hostel. We spent the evening walking around our neighborhood and exploring the different shops.

Posted by SydneyLiz 11:41 Comments (0)

Day 4: Elephant Trekking and River Rafting

Today we went on an Elephant Trek and River Rafting trip. The tour bus picked us up at 8am and took us approximately 60 kilometers north of Chiang Mai to Chiang Dao Elephant Camp, situated on the banks of the Ping River. The elephant handlers put on a little show for us, having the elephants show their strength and skills. Then they loaded us up on our elephants, two people on an elephant with a guide in front. We were taken on elephant trek through the neighboring jungle, past bamboo trees and hanging creepers. We arrived at a remote Lisu hill tribe village and were fed lunch. After lunch they took us on a relaxing bamboo raft trip along the Ping River. We visited more tribes in the area before being taken back to our hostel. We found a little restaurant and ate some pad thai for dinner. We went to bed early again, tired from our busy day.

Posted by SydneyLiz 11:41 Comments (0)

Day 3: Bus trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai!

Today we set out early getting a taxi to take us to the Mo Chit Station where we would catch our bus to Chiang Mai. The busses depart at least every hour between 5:30 and 22:00. The trip takes ten hours so we decided to catch the 7:30 bus. It arrived a bit late but we were able to find a seat and where on our way by 8:00. The over air conditioned bus was very chilly but was still pleasant. A hostess offered drinks and snacks and a movie in Thai blared above our heads for the entire journey. When we arrived in Chiang Mai we got a taxi to take us to our accommodation. For the next three nights we will be staying at the Chiangmai Srivichai YHA a hostel in a quiet area of downtown Chiang Mai. The rooms were small but nice with air conditioning and a private bathroom. We were exhausted from our long day so we had dinner at the restaurant inside the hostel, Red Dog Bar & Restaurant. After we ate we went for a little walk then went to bed early.

Posted by SydneyLiz 11:39 Comments (0)

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