Gangnam comes to Cape Panwa

This made me smile this morning.

Congratulations for the dancing and the effort.
I will take my hat off when I pass you all on the way to work.

View Cape Panwa in Phuket in a larger map

Reinvention of the On On Hotel

Much has been written about the On On Hotel and predominantly I believe that it was because of that very brief piece of film of 'Leonardo DiCaprio' in 'The Beach'.

However despite the sign above I imagine that there is more than a bit of renovation occurring here.

Let's wait and see - what do you think?

Phuket Museum Festival

having a coffee break at Koffie Terrace

Jemma and I decided to get the local bus into Phuket Town to visit the special Museum Festival in Phuket Town.  After visiting a Chinese Temple to give blessings we wandered through the back streets, along Yaowarat Road and then turning into Krabi Road.

Along Krabi Road is the Phuket Thai Hua Museum - this museum celebrates the special relationship that Phuket has had with the Chinese people and the Museum investigates the humble beginnings of this relationship. (The museum will be written about in another posting - today we were collecting stamps).

After this we then walked to the Phuket Thai Hua Club. Normally the Phuket Thai Hua Club is a small coffee shop and cafe but today there were a number of stalls celebrating the heritage of Thailand. We played with the traditional puppets and collected our second stamp.

 Now Daddy decided he need a coffee and Jemma wanted air-conditioning -
Koffie Terrace was our next stop. After refuelling we turned down Soi Romanee and onto Thalang Road. 

Here was where there was the Tourist Information of Phuket City Municipality - this was very busy so we did not spend a long time in here - but we got our third stamp.

Our next stop was the Chalermraj Center (Baba Phuket) - (The museum will be written about in another posting - today was collecting stamps).

In here we had a lot of fun - the staff showed Jemma the old toys that were common for children, we had a wonderful time - thank you.

View Phuket Museums in a larger map

Suvarnabhumi International Airport - safe

image from timinphuket - things2do
I have written about the Giant Yuks which are there to protect the travellers but I have now read about the actual things that are dangerous for me as a traveller.

"Its construction was widely believed to have been riddled with corruption and mismanagement. The terminal had to be reconfigured shortly after it opened, with offices having to be closed so the space could be converted into toilets. The facility was designed with a capacity of 45 million passengers when it was opened in September 2006, a year late at that point. It now handles 51 million passengers a year as Thailand’s tourism industry booms."


"The west runway closed for repairs 209 times in 2011 and has been closed 55 times since the beginning of 2012. The eastern one has been closed 66 times, mostly to repair existing cracks. The east runway is now expected to remain closed until Aug. 9 while repairs are made, with aircraft backing up overhead in holding patterns for up to an hour and more as they wait to land. In June, Cathay Pacific warned that there could be delays because of the runway would be closed for months of repairs."

text from asia centinal.

Apart from the long queues I thought that Suvarnabhumi was okay.
Was I wrong?

Sleeping with the dead in Phuket?

As I relaxed in a new coffee shop just outside Phuket Town, just on the way after dropping Jemma at school I was shocked into consciousness by the screaming noises of ambulances hurtling (no other way to describe it) down the road - both ways.

I was reminded of a blog post that I wrote concerning book that I had read - 

Sleeping with the Dead 

about a farang who works with the emergency ambulances in Bangkok and during the Tsunami.

Does this happen in Phuket?


With the ever changing technology and the ever changing tools how is one supposed to keep up?

Well you can't - unless you are plugged in all day...

Whilst exploring Travel Apps for the iPad and came across a real paper magazine and then it showed me the next big thing - Pinterest.

Easy to use but I have no idea how other people see your pics - unless you go from here BUT then how did you get here?

Baba Weddings 2012

After the Por Tor Ceremony and Parade in the last post I took a quick coffee break (three of them) and then made my way to Hongsyok Mansion for it's Second Day.

Hongsyok House
The Baba Wedding Ceremonies have a great deal of history and I believe that it was initially set up as an 'Introductory Service' for the parents of the wealthy Chinese (living in Phuket) to find wives for them.

It has been a ceremonial weekend which I have attended previously (2011 and 2010) but this year I was only able to witness the arrival of the grooms to Hongsyok Mansion.

I was in Phuket Old Town and it was clear - ready for their procession - I proceeded to Hongsyok House (where they decided that I was 'from the media') and fitted right in.  The House was decorated beautifully and adorned with flowers, very soon the 'Baba Ladies' began to arrive dressed in their finery.

Swiftly I found myself in the actual house, this was a very special opportunity because this is an actual home and out of these two days one the home is not open to the public.

Then the grooms arrived in their Limousines and dressed in their white suits - each groom  with the 'introductee' and introduced with a band - fabulous.


Por Tor Parade and Shrine Offering

What started out quietly did not end quietly.

The Por Tor Ceremony is a special Festival in Phuket Town which is called "The Hungry Ghost Festival". 

The Chinese Community (which is quite large in Phuket Town) believe that the spirits of their dead ancestors come back each year and so the cakes are made to feed them, turtles because they indicate a long life and red for prosperity. There are a number of postings which can tell you more if you are interested and I did visit Phuket old Town previous to this day.

What was different this year was that there was a parade from Sapan Hin organised for the last day.  There were a great many girls dressed in Chinese costumes and after some fire crackers were lit it was time to leave. Thanks to the staff from the TAT in Phuket Town for their red turtle kanoms.

We paraded from Sapan Hin into Phuket Town and we ended at Por Tor Kong Shrine - passing by more turtles for sale and people watching us.

At Por Tor Kong Shrine there was unquestionably 
'Organised Chaos'.

Our parade (see pic at top) turned onto Takuathung Road, which in fact is a tiny little Soi. 

As we approached Por Tor Kong Shrine I understood where all of those turtles crawled from - where do they go to next? On entering it was clear that there was a high level of cooperation between everybody but as a visitor it was fascinating.

Fire crackers were lit, turtles everywhere, offerings made and blessings asked for - the tables were covered in food and drink but I do wonder whether the offering of the Thai Whisky was... 

Happy Por Tor for 2012

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More than just the Por Tor Festival

I visited the Por Tor Festival last week (Hi Jamie) and spent time taking photographs of red turtles and the organised pandemonium and finished off in the Phuket Backbacker Hotel drinking beer.

After the beers were drained and Chuen and Jemma arrived we walked through the winding backstreets to find our car.

Imagine my surprise when we stumbled upon a film screen with a film being projected onto it – by a real film projector and a handful of Thai enthusiasts.


We then wandered through more back alleys and we stumbled upon a Traditional Thai Shadow Puppet Show (Nang Talung).

The show was managed by 4 elderly gentleman – 2 men taking care of the music, 1 man holding the puppets and making the sound effects and 1 man passing the puppets.

I can only hope that these skills are not lost.


Motorbike accidents

Contrary to popular opinion motorbike accidents do not always happen 
at night and the drivers are inebriated.

View Accident black spots. in a larger map

Phuket News - August 2012

Chuen with a Passion Fruit Lolly at Mee Ton Poe 2

In 2010 landfills were full and a new incinerator was built
but there is too much rubbish still!

Two more elephants given a licence to work in Phuket's entertainment industry 
(Siam Nimarit)
but this is over the quota in 2003?
and silence surrounds the DNA of a newly born

Looking forward to the new Toh Seh Hill Park
hope 'Monkey Hill isn't ruined!
we love it - have a look.

Areas and or companies to be 'investigated' with encroachment of land 
1: Arcadia
2: Laem Singh Beach
3: Bang Kanoon Forest
4: Nakkerd Hills
5: Kamala Hills
6: Trisara
7: Peninsula Spa and Resort
8: Andaman White Beach
9: Layan Phuket
10: Rang Noi Island

BUT the landholders have the paperwork!
a casino Rang Noi Island
why does this take so long to see?
it is not spiteful 
police are suspicious of hundreds of titles
no wrong doing on Big Buddha Hill
so where's my geocache?

build a Patong road through protected forest
they are going to build a tunnel?

the French Expat who might lose his 100 million baht home
the stories continue...

Phuket Town operation to remove overhead wires is near completion
and the rest of the island?

Tiger Fire in Patong is a disaster
how many more clubs are like this 'after hours'?

An illegal sand mine is raided.

Beach Clean up by Andara Resort Villa
Well Done

Phuket Marine Biological Centre rescues oil soaked turtles
great stuff BUT stop the dumping
they don't save the dolphin

Phuket cop arrested and linked to Ya Baa Trade
but declines to appear
Indian man arrested - a Ya Baa Trader
this is just the tip of the iceberg

Road accident 
Driver fled the scene
but in another accident a crash helmet saves someones life

The Blue Flag Fair - behind the Mazda Showroom
Missed this one :-(

Dinosaurs headed to Phuket for the Holiday
which hotel?

Chinese drownings in the sea
nothing suspicious
there seems to be a lot reported here...

do they really want to build a Patong Tunnel?

Ukranian nabbed for take driving test for friend
do people really get away with this?

Alcohol prices going up - 400 Baht a litre
Quick buy your alcohol before it goes up - whoops - too late