The Por Tor Festival

There are a plethora of websites (a. b. c. d.) which can tell you about this festival and they all tell a slightly different story.

I think that the essence of the reason for the festival was told to me by one of our staff at work - he was unable to come to the English class because he was going to his home to 'honour the dead spirits of his family'.

Whatever the reason; Phuket Town was amass of stalls, cooking smells, colourful ribbons and RED TURTLES with offerings!!!

There was a beautiful atmosphere in Phuket Town late at night - it was a carnival. 

I visited again on the next day - the market road - Ranong Road was closed to all traffic - well some traffic - and stalls were scattered along both sides and the middle.  We bought candyfloss, toys, fruit drinks, ice cream and more.

My question which I posed last year - Can you eat the turtles? - was answered - YES!

I went to visit the celebration a little more closely with my daughter who could not be happier - after 5 hours of walking through Phuket Town she conceded that it was time to go home in a Tuk Tuk.

There was inherent beauty in the celebration but what struck me most was the way that all the Thai people welcomed a farang - with a pushchair holding hands with a little girl eating candy floss, holding a floating balloon - this was enough to remind me how lovely the Thai people are and how lucky I am to live here.

Thank you.

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Panwa Mini-Golf - coming soon?

After riding through the rain listening to strains of the Electric Light Orchestra and 'Mr Blue Sky' last night it was sunny today.  I cycled slowly with James Taylor this morning and  I looked at the poster regarding a development near Cape Panwa.  

The initial artist impression had a Mac Donalds, a Pizza Hut and a Starbucks. 

Now there is a Panwa Mini-Golf course - looking forward to that one.

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Miss Thailand's Belly button

After being reading about the shocking display of Miss Thailand's belly button I surfed the net and found that this atrocity was not as easy to find as I had been led to believe 
- she then won 'Miss Photogenic"!  

Then I read some more to find out that this was not the only time that 
Miss Fonthip Watcharatrakul had courted controversy! 

She does not look attractive here - who did her make up?
She had been caught posing with her 'leg up' and in this world of social media has been criticized severely on the net - and responded via her facebook....

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Killing in Phuket - Caught

The man has been caught trying to enter into the UK at an airport - 
more can be read here - the Phuket Gazette.

He has a criminal record already?
The US can extradite him because he killed a US Marine?
He will not return to Phuket because he will face the death penalty?

More questions BUT I am glad he was caught!

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Killing in Phuket

A Muay Thai boxer from England 'Pitbull' kills a fellow boxer - outside of the ring........ then I read that he tried to bite the ear of an opponent off..... then reading the comments on youtube i read the degree of hatred to this man to be very great - I watch with a great degree of care where I will be going.

I read that the Freedom Bar was a great place to hang out - Good Luck to them to bounce back from this type of publicity.

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Baba Weddings in Phuket - Part Two - The Special Day

Smiles all round
I arrived early - well 7 am - and treated myself to a local coffee in a very local coffee shop - opposite the Honda showroom on the corner of Talang Road and Thepkrasattri Road.  A very strong kick start to the morning.

The men arrived dressed in their white suits and were escorted into the TAT office.  Then the crowds began to swell with many of the Thai people dressed in their 'Sunday best'.

There was commotion in the TAT office and I politely had a look inside - the men were being introduced and then escorted upstairs to meet their selected partner.  At this point I can only assume that the grooms 'passed through gates' where money was exchanged.  

Following this all the couples came downstairs and were taken to the Chinese Dragon adjacent to the TAT office.

Click photo for more photographs
Here a Chinese shrine was erected and the couples were taken to the shrine where they were blessed - after which they burnt some paper money in respect for these gods. During this time the Governor of Phuket arrived debonair in his tin-mining period clothing.

The couples then entered the TAT office again where tea was shared with their respective parents. 

The VIPs were then taken by rickshaw along Thalang Road and were followed by an entourage of children dressed in traditional Thai clothing and the bride and groom with their 'matchmakers'.
Click photo for more parade photographs

We stopped for a photo opportunity at the Thaihua museum - worth a look.  Then they got into cars adorned with pink ribbon and drove around the corner to Jui Tui Temple - a Chinese Temple in Phuket old town.

Click the photograph for more photographs in the temple
All the couples paid their respects to the Chinese gods with candles and incense sticks lit - fascinating, I was left speechless .....

Note: if you want to know more about the culture of this event please visit Jamie or Alisdair

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