Wat Chalong Temple Fair 2012

Wat Chalong is very different for the Wat Chalong Fair.

Wat Chalong is a beautiful example of a Thai Wat.  Visiting it whilst you are visiting Phuket is a must and don’t forget to visit Big Buddah which is close.

For three days each year (for the last 50+ years?) the front of Wat Chalong is festooned with a plethora of different market stalls selling almost everything. At the front there are great number of different foods for sale - mostly Thai snacks.  Then there are people selling fresh fruit and vegetables in season when I visited there were a number of people selling tamarind pods of varying sizes – not my choice – beware.

Then there were the more common market stall holders - children's apparel, DVD, religious items and much more. BUT do you need that Ninja blade? Have a look.

Then there are the more common Buddhist amulets that are for sale here - I even saw monks sorting the amulets and examining them very carefully - for more amulets visit Amulet Alley in Phuket Town. I do not know how these two vastly different items are sold in the same vicinity I do not know - but this is Thailand.

There are also fortune tellers that you can sit with who can tell you your future – but only if you can speak Thai. This is something I really should investigate more...

Whilst you are here please take the time to visit the Chalong Temple as well BUT please remember to take you shoes off before you enter.

Sapan Hin Local Food Fair

At the Local Food Fair in Sapan Hin there was a plethora of different foods that you can have a taste of and all of them are produced locally.  There is a scheme introduced by the government that is called the One Tambon One Product (OTOP) scheme and I believe that this has been organised with this in mind.

Whilst I was here I could try a large variety of lovely dishes. I settled down to watch the entertainment – and entertaining it was.  There were a number of different groups of people ready – the small children dressed with little antennae, the girls dressed in traditional Thai costume and the men elaborately made up in Thai costume.

Jemma loved it and played old traditional Thai 'playground' games with the children
- I wandered around and bumped into these strange men.

Then the entertainment changed – the singers were ‘ladyboys’ and they were miming to Western music, quite risqué actually…  They left with cheers and clapped and dancers returned dancing to danced to Thai pop music.

THEN a clearly enhanced ladyboy arrived amid cheers and whistles to entertain us evens more….  Not just a Local Food Fair AND it was taking place for another two days!


500 Baht - keep them handy....

So what do you need 500 Baht for?
 ....and I do not mean all those shows in Patong where they....

Fines for driving

No helmet: 500 Baht (max)

No Driving license: 500 Baht (max)

Traffic violation: 500 Baht (max)

Parking violation: 500 Baht (max)

Chinese New Year - in Phuket

January 28 – 30, 2012, at Phuket Old Town 
– Klang Road, Thalang Road, Thepkasatri Road, Phuket.

The festive highlights include 
1) a procession in honour of His Majesty the King, 
2) Baba Yaya Peranakan Procession, 
3) journey back in time as Old Phuket turns back the clock and visitors are treated to a rare performance of a Portuguese-style stage play presented by the Thai Peranakan Association based in Phuket town, 
4) local cultural showcase with colourful presentations of local culture, traditions and way of life on the tropical island paradise of Phuket, and 
5) Phuket residents observe time-honoured traditions and pay homage to the highly revered Goddess Kuan Yin and other Chinese deities and guardian spirits.

Thanks Richard

Chinese New Year (23rd January)

Another New Year will be celebrated tomorrow.  The Chinese New Year is not linked to the dates but to the cycle of the moon – which is why the celebration date changes each year.

I was born in the Year of the Goat – what is your year? (click here)

Families and their friends will traditionally thoroughly clean their houses to sweep away any ill fortune that has visited their family in the hope of welcoming good luck into their homes.

Windows will be decorated with red paper to welcome in good fortune and wealth to those families.  Doors will also be opened to welcome in the Chinese dancing dragons that will dance through the streets where the Chinese community is large.

The Chinese New Year is the Year of the Dragon

The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile with each other, forgive all grudges and wish peace and happiness to everyone.

I feel that this is a good sentiment for us all.

Happy New Year 
and welcome to the Year of the Dragon.

English Teachers needed in Phuket

"We need about 100 English teachers, but right now we have only about 50 teachers and some of these are not very good in English."

I can teach Russian and Japanese but I'm not very good,can I have a job?

A Christmas Paddle on the Chao Phraya in Bangkok

John Gray is a man with principles that he will always share with anyone who would like to listen – if you want to know please read his blog

John has championed the protection of our planet before it is destroyed. Tim (http://timinphuket.blogspot.com) has always listened to him since they first met 20 years ago.

John has always paddled on the sea on Christmas Day since he was 16 years old.

John and Tim met on Christmas Day (2011) in Bangkok for a very special day and whilst John prepared his bits and the boat Tim snuck out and drank coffee downstairs.

John and Tim were in Bangkok on Christmas day so they popped in to see a designer of John’s special jewellery and then made their way to the Grand Palace – specifically a pier.

Tim was dressed as Father Christmas and John looks like Father Christmas anyway – the canoe was pumped up on the sides of the Chao Phraya – much to the amusement of the Security Guards….

John and Tim entered carefully and then proceeded to follow the directions told to them by a local.  It was fun carefully working up the river and being photographed by the both the tourists and the local.

20 minutes later John told Tim that they were going the wrong way and had to turn around – John wondered why he had not trusted himself the first time.

It was fun returning and the journey was a lot easier BUT we nearly lost a paddle and we were flooded with smiles and wishes from everybody who saw us – a beautiful experience and next year….

(thank you to the staff at The Oriental)

See you on the water, Ling Yai (Thai for 'Big Monkey') AKA John Caveman Gray

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Children's Day in Phuket (14 Jan)

image from Phuket E-magazine - permission requested

Thailand National Children's Day (Thaiวันเด็กแห่งชาติ) is celebrated on the second Saturday in January. Known as “Wan Dek” in Thailand, Children’s Day is celebrated to give children the opportunity to have fun and to create awareness about their significant role towards the development of the country.

Usually, His Majesty the King gives advice addressing the children while the Supreme Monarch Patriarch of Thailand gives a moral teaching. The Prime Minister also usually gives each Children's Day a theme and a slogan.

Many Government offices are open to children and their family; this includes the Government House, the Parliament House Complex and various Military installations. These events may include a guided tour and an exhibition. A notable example is the guided tour at the Government House, where children have an opportunity to view the Prime Minister's office and sit at the bureau. The Royal Thai Air Force usually invites children to go and explore the aircraft and the Bangkok Bank distributes stationery, such as pens, pencils and books to every child that enters the bank as a community service. Many organizations from both government and commercial sectors have celebration activities for children. Children can enter zoos or ride buses for free.

There is a Thai saying that states, "Children are the future of the nation, if the children are intelligent, the country will be prosperous."

TEXT from wikipedia

There are a couple of things that I have been involved in for 
National Children's Day in Phuket
Visiting the Royal Navy Ships
Sharing ice cream with the local children
Phuket Aquarium
Don't know what is coming for 2012...

There are celebrations at Jungceylon in Patong .

We went swimming, shopping, crab hunting had dinner on the beach...

12 Weird and fun things in Phuket

This is the property of Phuket 101
This is not my byline or an idea but Phuket 101's
- this is the original posting.

This is entertaining to me because I have lived here for too long and these things are the normal - I wonder what I would write if I now wrote

12 Weird and fun things in London, UK?

Fancy a tattoo?

Permission requested from Bitishink
I have recently posted a claim by the government that the religious significant tattoos are being seen on visitors to this county AND the tattoos can also be acquired in Thailand!!!!

Then I read another story where an ordained monk tattoos two 15 year old girls buttocks (with nine boys in attendance) - the monk is now defrocked but the girls and their tattoos?

Then I read that the two girls are behaving as if possessed...

Now I can blame my tattoo...

Weather patterns in Phuket...

Throwing the dice is about as close as I can get at the moment with predicting the weather for the rest of the week in Phuket.

But I imagine they use statistics to inform all the visitors in advance of what to expect and after studying statistics at school I do not believe... 

BUT if you really want to have a look...
BBC weather
Phuket weather
Thai Meteorological Department