Shrine of the Serene reopens (20-25 Feb)

during the night of the Chinese Festival

I have always visited the Shrine of the Serene and have watched it be renovated over the past few years and this week is their time for celebrating all of this..

         Sin Jia Geng Shrine
         Sam Thang Shrine 
         Teng Gong Tong Shrine - all seem to be the same place?

The text is from the Phuket News.

The foundations for the shrine, originally called the Sin Jia Geng, were laid 122 years ago, in 1891. Until the renovation, it was a private shrine of the Tan clan, one of Phuket’s largest and richest extended families. Its construction was funded mostly by Tan Kuad, also known as Luang Amnart Nararak.

To mark the completion of the renovations, a range of celebrations are currently underway. The programme is as follows:

February 207:30pm –Pai Chid Chae (Worshipping Seven Gods and Goddesses);

February 215pm –Sae Yid Ong Sun Tai Sai (Ong Sun Tai Sai’s Birthday); Ko Gun (Feeding the Soldier Spirits)and Pai Chid Chae (Worshipping Seven Gods and Goddesses);

February 227:30pm –Pai Chid Chae (Worshipping Seven Gods and Goddesses);

February 237:30pm –Po Un (a ceremony to drive out bad fortune)

February 245:30pm –Nguan Xiao Hoy (Chinese Lantern Festival Celebration);and Ko Gun (Feeding the Soldier Spirits);

February 255pm –Sae Yid Pud Gua Jo Si (Pud Gua Jo Si’s Birthday)Ko Gun(Feeding the Soldier Spirits)and Sang Ti Gong (Farewell to the Spirits).

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Sam San Shrine - something different

On one of my walking tours around Phuket Town I decided to enter into the Sam San Shrine - just on the outside of Phuket Town.

Now I have visited before but I was excited to find something different. I would imagine that it has connections to the recent Chinese New Year celebrations but I could be wrong.

There was a sign outside.

But all I kept thinking of was the famous Chinese Terracotta army - was there a connection.

Chinese Shrines in Phuket - always a pleasure.

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Construction outside Central Department Store

The road outside Central Department Store is undergoing some construction and  is now only 2 (and a bit) roads wide.

This means that some of your trips many take a little longer....

Chinese New Year and Old Phuket Town Festival (15-17 Feb)

We stayed at the Casa Blanca in Phuket Old Town for something new, it was a hit with Jemma and it was easy to park - until we realised that  the Festivals would be running whilst we were there!

This year it was the 14th Old Phuket Town Festival and we have enjoyed every one of them.

There was a stage built in Queen Sirikit Park where there were performances throughout the 3 days of celebrations and the park was a wonderful place to be. The performances were fun and all with Chinese outfits on - but Jemma's was too small....

The roads all around here were closed in the afternoon to traffic and the stalls and places for the shows were being set up - I missed Jamie's children playing on one of the corners, maybe Route 66 next time?

Rasada Road, Phuket Road, Phang Nga Road and Talang Road were strewn with small and big street stalls - there seemed to be every type of food for sale here - from the ubiquitous deep fried insects, pancakes, roti, sushi, potato sticks the list was endless.

Then there were the artists along Rasada Road - from the professionals with their easels, aerosols etc to the people and the chalk on the road - wonderful.

We wandered around - remembering (of course) to pay homage to the Giant Sea Dragon in the park. I popped into the Indy Market but I think most of the vendors were in the bigger festival.

Then we were met by the tall people and the ladies dressed as 1970 Superheroes? - the significance of this I do not understand but hey it was a lot of fun. 

After finding the candy-floss and the bubble tea that was me for the night.

Of course there was 'Gang Nam Dancing' - by one or three people.

We left Phuket Town and drove to Mee Ton Poe 3 for dinner - I think that we were their last customers - great Hokkien Noodles here.

Happy Valentines Day Chuen

I thought this was a great idea....

Shutterfly photo books are the new way to preserve your memories. Create your own today.

So I made this....

Then I found an App
another one to add to my collection

Wat Chalong Temple Fair (10-17 Feb)

Last year we visited the Wat Chalong Temple Fair and we had a great time amongst the variety of different things to look at.

This year was similar and we chose to visit at night time.

I am not sure how long the Wat Chalong Temple Fair has been running for but after reading articles on the Internet I understand that it was started because of the enormous response that was made to the Chinese New Year Festivities.

Not sure that I really know though.

Wat Chalong is a beautifully managed Wat in Phuket and it is worth any time of the year.

The roads leading to the Wat are lined with florescent tube lighting and then side roads are opened and there are a plethora of places to park for 40 Baht.  

On entering Wat Chalong I was surprised by the number of people - it was certainly crowded with Thai people buying a number of things. The number of things to choose from was enormous - Siamese Fighting Fish, helium balloons, toys, food and clothes.

Wat Chalong was still open and many people were taking the opportunity to enter in. Be prepared to be shocked by the firecrackers which are set off every so often.

Certainly worth a visit.

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Free Wi-Fi

at Russell's Sunset Bar 
This is something which is normal in many places and people on holiday are expecting everywhere to have free Wi-Fi.

Here is a map which I have started of the Free Wi-Fi places that I have visited in Phuket.

There are apps to tell you where free Wi-Fi is but they do not seem to work for me in Phuket - as an aside the hairdresser where my wife has her hair done now has free Wi-Fi!

Chinese New Year and Phuket Old Town Festival - begins

We had a few surprises today.

After spending the day touring the coffee shops of Phuket Town and realising that I can drink volumes of coffee I can only drink two Bubble Teas before I felt quite sick!

We picked Jemma up from school and returned to Phuket Town to visit the park opposite Lemongrass restaurant...

Today was the beginning of the Chinese Festivities and the important people of Phuket (sorry - no names are known) were there to begin the celebrations. We quietly sat down on some benches and we were treated like royalty by the ladies dressed in the Baba clothes - drinks and nibbles.

We had a school brass band play a number of pieces for us and then we had an introduction to the festivities and then a local school performed a dance. We could not last until the Dragon Dance and went for a walk - and we came upon the Phuket Indy Market!

I had all but forgotten about this event - we had fun, bought a hamster, some food and stopped in a coffee shop.

Used staples - do they have a value?

Somebody tell me the truth!!

There are so many people in offices collecting these things but I read that it is really a scam.

What do you think?

Phuket Happenings - January 2013

Lee Aldhouse denies murder 
and pleads guilty to what?

Tsunami film - "The Impossible" is at the movies
- sorry not interested - but I did play with the Thai cinema App.

Did anyone you know go to the Sydictive party in Patong?
I was busy with our New Year Party at Cape Panwa.

"Only one company has been brave enough to step forward and collect an Information Pack to apply for the Government tender for the airport bus services."
Website Information 
Nuff said.

Tuk Tuks blockade Kata / Karon so they close the Russian Tour counters
I know that the dancing girls were exotic dancers on their work permits
Russian Tour Counters were politically correct advisors?
will things change really?

Russians charged with assault on the beach 
and more 
 - not quite 'fitting in with the local community'.
Iranian assaults a parking attendant in Patong 
- tourists...

Racha Yai is in trouble with the rubbish 
and this was avoidable - too late?

More police come to protect the tourist 
from who?

Good luck with the increase in bicycles for rent.
the 'bane' of Phuket still remains the taxis, tuk-tuks and jet-skis

Money stolen from the Hotel Safe's - staff given drugged coffee
2 comments to the story
1) beware of Arabs bearing gifts
2) Hotel security boxes need two keys to open – one from reception and one from the customer. How could they have been opened without the customers' keys?
and the answer...
a police sketch is released

Tourist dies in a 5* Hotel swimming pool
mystery surround as to the reason...

A new bus route is coming to Phuket in March 2013
good luck !

Hotels are to blame for a lot of rubbish on Racha Yai 
this was the rubbish I collected on the beach at Cape Panwa and yes it was from a hotel

Policeman to be transferred because he pistol-whipped a resident 
whilst they were beating up an alleged thief
more to this story...

National Disaster Warning Centre launches an App
not yet reviewed but I have reviewed these.

Locals against the Patong Tunnel because it is their homeland
Yep - agreed - no tunnel

image from Phuket News
A tourist is found drowned on Patong Beach
there seems to be more to this?

2,000 Taxis in Bangkok pledge not to refuse fares
- until the end of New Year Holiday Week
- so it's okay now to refuse fares?

Phuket Resident skimmed for 90,000 Baht 
glad I have no cashpoint card...

Australian Tourist found dead from drug overdose 
- possibly

BANGKOK: -- The number of deaths caused by road accidents during the so-called seven dangerous days spanning the New Year holiday period has risen by more than 8 per cent to 365 and the number of accidents has also increased by 2.68 per cent compared to the same period last year.
- nuff said

 i hope this gentleman was okay...

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