March 12th, 2008 Posted in Articles/Reviews, General Info., Getting around Phuket, Phuket Attractions, Phuket Travel Guide, Tips | 1 Comment »
Phuket is a tourist destination which is getting more and more popular everyday where relentless stream of tourists keeps flowing in. It is simply because this Thailand’s biggest island possesses all factors conductive to tourism promotion. Phuket offers multitudes of tourist attractions, e.g. splendid beaches of distinct characteristics for tourists to choose accroding to their lifestyles (some are lively and some are primitive and peaceful), unspoiled coral reef, beautiful Sino-Protuguese style buildings and dwelling hourses, and superbly enjoyable entertainment places. There is a large selection of accommodations ranging from budget hotels up to luxurious ones. For tourists who are perfectionist, Phuket is and undeniable destination.
In downtown Phuket, the so-called “rotsongtaew” or 4-wheel tuk-tuks(both are usually painted red) are considered the easiest modes of transport. There are a large number of rotsongtaews and 4-wheel tuk-tuks parking at their ranks and running around wverywhere. For those who wish to do a sight-seeing around the island, renting a car probably a better idea as you may want to go to somewhere beyond the regular routes of the public transports. However, care should be exercised while driving because some streets are one-way traffic and some are two-way. Make sure that you watch the traffic sign before making every turn.
Although Phuket is famous for its beautiful white beaches and crystal clear sea, there are other things that are not less interesting, particular those that we can trail to trace back to the history of this wonderful island.
The Old Town of Sino-Portuguese Architechture.
The charm of the old town Phuket is on the Sino-Portuguese style building and dwelling houses with a mixture of Portuguese architecture and Chinese interior decoration and furniture.
The old town sight-seeing route begins from Phang Nga Street, and down along the Thalang Street, Krabi Street, Deebook Street, Yaowaraj Street and Rasda Street, respectively. The old row shop houeses along many streets are also used as the living places of the owners. Some of them, the owners continue to run the businesses inherited from their ancestors such as phamacy. Some are leased to young people who turn the places to be art shops, selling their works of art.
The best preserved Sino-Portuguese style residence is Chinprcha House that Mr. Pracha Tanthawanich, who passed away not long ago, inherited it from his ancestors, and it presently taken care of by his wife. This house is located on Krabi Street. It is so beautiful that it has been used as a scene for shooting may films and TV dramas. Furniture and appliances in the house, e.g. dinning table, pearl decorated chairs, electric fans, and bed, were all used in the real life in the past and remain in good repair and arranged in the same manner as they were in the past.
Traveling in the old town area is not difficult. Many roads, lanes and alleys are linked together. Driving and traveling on foot are convenient for the footpaths and roadways are in good conditions. Anyway, it is advisable for tourists to carry along the mpas of Phuket Copies of Phuket map are provided by, and available at, the Phuket International Airport.
Paying Homage to Luang-paw Cham of Chaithararam Temple (asa Wat Chalong)
Chaithararam Temple, generally called by local people as Wat Chalong, is located in the District of Muang. It is the temple of the city of Phuket, well-known as the living place of the late Luang-paw Cham, who has long been beloved by Phuket people. Any one visiting Phuket should come to pay respect to him here at Wat Chalong. Luang-paw Cham, the then about of Wat Chalong, was the one who emboldened the villagers’s courange to fight back and finnally won the battle against Ang-yee insurgents. The faith Phuket people have in him has survived his death, and remain in existence although he passed away long time ago.
When arrive at the temple, ones should pay homage to Luang-Paw Cham, Luang-paw Chuang and Luang-paw Glueam in the man chapel of Wat Chalong first. This is typically done by putting normally there lit up joss-sticks, a lit up candle togethere with a bunch of flowers in the provided places in front of the images of luang-paws, and then wai the tree luang-paws before their images. Besides Thais, foreigners also come to pay homage to those three luang-paws and to learn about the history of this temple and Phuket people’s beloved luang-paws.
In Wat Chalong, in additon to Luang-paw Cham, there are other beautiful interesting sacred sites such as “Phra Maha-that Chedi Phrachom Thai Parami Prakas” (a pagoda contains in it portion of Lord Buddha relic) with a number of Buddha images arranged around the chedi. The top tier of the chedi gives a panoramic view of Wat Chalong. The wax sculptures of Luang-paw Cham, Luang-paw Chuang and luang-paw Glueam are also interesting to tourists. Firecrackers detonations are performed at Wat Chalong by Phuket inhabitants to fulfill their vows. This practice is followed by tourists, but usually for the sake of thier own auspicious life.
Laem Phrohm-tep (or the cape of Phrohm-tep)
Laem Phrohm-tep is the point that provides the best scenic beauty of sunset in Phuket. It is the Thailand’s most famous place for this.Laem Phrohm-tep is the southernmost part of the island. Tourists may easily drive to this place for it is major tourist attraction, just follow the signs which are put up all the way down to the place. The point for viewing the sunset is up there on the cliff reachable via the staircase. People usually do homage to the shrine before taking a look at a lighthouse named Kanchanapisek situated nearby.
Kanchanapisek lighthouse was built on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of His Majesty King Bumibhol’s accession to the throne. It is 50 feet high and 9 metres wide at its base. The 9-foot width denotes the King Bumibhol as the 9ht king of the Chakri Dynasty. At the entrance gate of the lighthouse, there is a sign showing the exact time of the sunset to enable visitors to plan how much time they should spend at the lighthouse and spare enough time for walking down to the point ofr watching the sunset.
Inside the lighthouse, there is an exhibition of replicas of various lighthouses. the top level of the lighthouse gives, on one side, a panoramic view of the Andaman Sea which can be seen to the horizon, and, on the other side, the greenery landscape of Phuket Island.
From the lighthouse, there is a paved way towardd the point for viewing the sunset on the other side of the cliff. Gentle below of sea breeze can be felt while watching the sun tumbles from the sky down below the horizontal line. The sinking suns produces fabulously a variety of hues on the western sky.
Patong Beach - the beach of night life and great foods.
Patong beach is on the western side of the island. It is very attractive because of its glamorous scenery of the sea. It is well-known for superb night life entertainments, making this site very livel during the night.
The night itme illuminations are inviting. Patong Beach offers a very wide range of night spots varying in terms of tpes of entertainments (e.g. food places, public houses, bars, etc.) and pricing. the night here at Patong is especially long.
Situated at one end of Patong Beach are three distintive restaurants with nice atmospheres. They are award winning restaruants, and are recommended by international media. There can be deemed as a guarantee of the quality. The first one, name Bann Rim Pa, is a Thai Cuisine restaurant decorated in the contemporary style. The foods here are delicatedly prepared with high quality ingredients. The second one is a western food restaurant named Joe’s Downstairs, luxuriously decoraed with the white colour scheme. This place extends into the beach, giving a wide view of Kalim Beach. The foods here ar not only very delicious but also have attractive look for they are nicel arranged on the plates when served. The last one is a romantic Italian restaurant with permeating delicate scent of love, named Da Maurizio. At every table, it is nicely decorated with lit candle and roses. This place used to cater a wedding reception organised on the beach.
Apart from the forgoing, there are many more attractions in Phuket for tourists to visit as long the time allows.
Article from AirportThai Magazine
Photos by 9MOT - http://9mot.wordpress.com