10 Travel Problems solved by Technology

Jet Lag - Jet Lag Genie App (I played with the phone too much)

The JetLag Genie helps you by creating a customized plan of action that is based on your specific flight info and sleeping patterns. This customized plan provides you with daily lists of necessary actions to take, and includes live notifications that inform you of the the appropriate times to:
-Get sunshine
-Sit in the dark
-Take melatonin (a naturally occurring sleep aid)
-Change the time on your watch
-Take a nap 

Packing Decisions - Packing Pro App (pack less than you list!)


- CREATE unlimited, 100% user-customizable packing lists
- BUILD lists quickly & easily with multi-item selection
- MULTI-EDIT your lists however you wish (add, delete, rename or reorder any category or item)
- DISCOVER new ideas & suggestions from included sample lists
- USE any list (sample or your own) as a template for future lists
- MONITOR a running tally of total items per category & how many of them are checked off
- COLLAPSE categories for less scrolling & better management

Noise cancelling headphones (I watch the movies)

Fitbit Flexy Activity Wristband (but you are on holiday?)

Worry - Travel Safe Pro App (but it might not work)

What does Travel Safe do?
Be it two minutes from your house, or two days, Travel Safe gives you lightning-quick access to the emergency contacts you need; from police, fire, and ambulance, to your parents, partner, or best friend. All from one single screen, and always just one finger-tap away.

Wireless Mini Pocket Router (coffee shops are great for me)

Language - World Lens Translator (can't find it)

Lifeproof Waterproof Smartphone Cases (this is a good idea)

Mosquito bites - Anti Mosquito Sonic Repeller (I eat Marmite)

Portable Charges (this is a good idea)

Here are some Apps which I reviewed.

When you get it wrong...

This has nothing to do with Phuket. This was a post on Facebook. This is so accurate... Apparently it was from this website. What do you think?

Best Khai Krata

Thai style fried eggs with seafood stick and minced pork

The Avenue  

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2016 - the last night

This night has always been a wonderful night for me (see the links below).

For me the centre of the chaos and a great place to watch it all has always been the Surin (or Clocktower Circle)I arrive at about 7pm and watch people gather.

Then there is the noise that comes from outside the Metropole Hotel - lots and lots and more and more - there seems to be so an inexhaustible supply of fireworks...

Then the smoke begins to get more intense and the bigger fireworks come out. I still marvel that there are so many fireworks exploding around people.

Then so many wander about with bags with full of fireworks...

I remembered my foam ear-plugs this year and was wrapped up pretty tight.

Then the sedans started to arrive and the world around me exploded 
- again, again and again.

  The thrill of being in the midst of the pandemonium is still indescribable and yes I would do it again...

The sedans passed and I tried to get a photograph but I think that I am too close (with the camera I have) so I did not get a great photograph - maybe I should stand back a little bit?

But I enjoy it a little too much...

I caught a couple rushing to be blessed by one of the possessed - this is truly wonderful. 

The circle was then covered in smoke - very different from the image above...

Previous Visits
 1) 2015 - the last night
 2) 2014 - the last night
 3) 2013 - the last night - 'fainted on the floor'
 4) 2012 - the last night - 'visit to the hospital'

Jui Tui Shrine - Piercing and Parade

Jui Tui Shrine has always been special for me - I think that it was the first time that Jamie introduced me to so much that I did not know. Arriving early (5:30) I was surprised by the amount of people that were at the Shrine. 

I moved swiftly and carefully (remembering to remove my shoes) and was very pleased to see one of the regular possessed - see pictures above and below - his body is a work of art.

It really is - he is covered in tattoo and on top of this his body is pierced in a different way each year.

A very real pleasure was finding this man - beautiful art, wonderful.

chose to be blessed by another possessed (as above) and it is becoming more important to me to have this done at the beginning 

- similar to wanting to have a number of bracelets given to me. After the quick trip into the shrine I circulated the grounds outside the shrine to see all of the people being pierced.

Then the possessed began to leave - wow, did this possessed guy really crawl all the way and then the sedans followed with the entourage of fireworks following them.

Then came the sedans carrying the effigy of the Chinese Spirits. 

But this photograph gives me the creeps every time - what movie does this remind me of?

It was now that the pandemonium began - magnificent chaos - it gets me every time. I did mange to catch Jamie run across the film.

I had my foam ear plugs in and I tried to capture some photographs but was not quite able to - I think I like to be a little too close for the telephoto to be really effective... 
Then began the long walk...

This was where I was able to get a little closer to some of the pierced - and wow it was close...

Some were really quite grotesque...

But then it was only until afterwards did I realise that this man had his finger through his tongue AND look at the size of the blades on his arms!!!

And more explosions...

  Wow - this still holds something for me - this is the Facebook Live that was posted.

Then the serene quality of some...

Previous visits to Jui Tui for the Vegetarian Festival - 

 1) 2015
 2) 2014
 3) 2013 
 4) 2012

Parade and Piercing - Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2016

The possessed were pierced in Jui Tui Chinese Shrine in the early morning (see previous post) and then were ready to walk to Sapan HinThen the parade through Phuket Town began. It was a relatively quiet time because I had so got used to the explosions of the sedans.

But this made is really quite picturesque - I don't know how to explain the feelings of everything stopping for this, the people lining the streets and families gathering in front of their homes to receiving a blessing from the possessed.

After the initial confusion of leaving the temple petered out the parade gathered a momentum where there were spaces between people and I certainly had less anxiety about bumping into people (possessed or not). There was certainly a lot more management on the streets that there was in previous years!

There was also a rather serene quality to some of the photographs that I took because the lens (thanks Dad) was far more powerful and sometime I was able to just focus on the piercing and out of context I did not know what to make of some.

I am still a little perplexed - maybe that is more understanding?

I took more photographs of the blessings that people received - this is what I enjoyed more - in all this pandemonium there could be this level of peace.

What I did find this year was the presence of monks taking photographs of the festival.

Even someone had prepared a chair!

I saw my friends at the camera shop next to Bang Neow Chinese Shrine - ClinicKong - who took photographs of our wedding.

But we want to see the piercings - so here they are

Some do look a little... or was it just the way I took the photo?

Well until we had a traffic jam of the possessed at the junction near Bang Neow Shrine - but we all knelt and waited...

I do wonder whether the person with the iPhone took the offering though...

Possession and Piercing - Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2016

Phuket Vegetarian Festival began early for me today when I visited Jui Tui Shrine to watch the piercing and then the parade.

Arriving early I was able to watch people arrive and the sun rise. It was true beauty.

People seemed to be waiting for something...

and then it began - people began to be possessed and then subsequently pierced. I have read so much about this I am not quite sure about it - all that I know is that they do make extremely large holes in peoples cheek and then put things inside them.

Yes it really is quite gruesome to watch but obscenely interesting. However it is deeply respected by the local community  and I really do not know how a tourist in shorts taking selfies in the temple is a mark of respect?

But some were not pierced and were simply possessed...

There were more women being pierced this year...

But it was largely ignored by the local people - who were more interested in the spirits...

As more and more people began to file into the temple a lot more people began leaving and I do not know where they all were - there was just too many people!

The atmosphere is wonderful and I am amazed that it is actually so calm in the temple and the piercing can take place in such chaotic calm with little accident.

Then there was - someone fainted?

The chanting began and we all left the Shrine on our trip to Sapan Hin. (Post coming)