Thursday, February 11, 2010

Phuket Day 1: Arrival & Nai Yang Beach


It was almost half a year ago, when a dear friend Chun Chow suddenly sprung up a question “Hey why not go Phuket? Theres cheap tickets !!”.

I did not even have any second thoughts, and jumped into the water and said “YES!!”. Originally the group only consisted of three crazy people, but somehow more and more friends heard about our little planned adventure, and it finally grew to a pack of 8 wacky people who come from Kuching. It has been quite a long while since I have a proper long holiday, and I have not been out of the country (with exception of my Singapore trip in Christmas 2008) ever since. Therefore, just before Chinese New Year 2010, at the brink of destruction falling apart due to overworking myself, it was just the perfect get-away holiday trip I seriously needed.

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The morning sun was harsh, but not scorching hot.

From the very brief research I have done online prior to the visit, Phuket has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The island itself is a full fledged area for tourist activities. The Beach (a movie starring Leonardo Di Caprio) was filmed in one of the beaches there. You can imagine the excitement when my friends and I were actually going there !!! OMG PHUKET !!!! I still can’t believe I was actually there.

Due to some miscommunication (probably my own fault) I ended up on an earlier plane to Phuket, alone. I have a couple of hours to kill. Knowing this, I have looked up wikimapia, and from the overview of the airport area I noticed a beach nearby. From the wikimapia it seemed very close, hence I decided to have a morning beach walk and probably grab some food before heading back to the airport waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive. I left my luggage at the storage facility in the airport (it cost around RM8 per day) and I walked out of the airport. As I was on the streets, I was stunned to see that ALL the road signs were in Thai, and there was no English translation. The beach I was heading to was Nai Yang Beach, and it was a good thing I have done my online research before hand. At least I knew which direction I was walking to, and based on my instincts and mostly pure luck, I found the beach.

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Some creatures I have found on the beach. Oh, and yeah, I have not given up on macro just yet. Not even on a foreign land.

The weather was hot and clear, the sky was blue and the water was just fantastic. Nai Yang Beach is not exactly one of the popular beaches, in fact, when I was there, I bumped into less than 10 people along the beach. Even so, I thought the beach beats the crap out of the Damai Beach, Santubong and any other beaches you can find in Kuching. Knowing that this beach was not the best, the thrill grew even more intense as I was imagining how much better the other beaches, yet to come. This was a quiet and calm beach, just the thing I needed to empty my mind off from all the dramas and traumas from work, before I started my holiday with my friends.

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If you call this beach not one of the popular ones in Phuket, I do not know how you rank local Malaysian beaches such as Port Dickson.

If this Nai Yang beach is not the best beach, why would I spend my time there? Apart from the reason it is so darn near to the airport and I did not intend to travel too far before everyone arrives, the beach is also well known for another attraction. The fact that it was situated just next to the airport made it quite a unique place itself. There were scenes that cannot be seen at other places in the world. The one I was after, was of planes coming down very low, passing through the beach on the way to land on the airport. Since the landing pathway was very close to the beach, the plane has to come down extremely low, so low that it did look scary at times.


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Magnificent sights of plane flying in from far, landing just next to the beach.

It was not a short walk after all. It took me one hour walk to reach the beach after a couple of wrong turns, no thanks to the non-English signboards. From the arrival point of the beach it took me another one hour walk before reaching the point where I felt I was comfortably close enough to capture the photos of the plane coming down from the sky. After all that, I dare say, it was worth every single sweat, every single burned skin cell and every single effort I have taken.

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A plane, a couple, and a dog on a seaside.

The view was just spectacular. At first, there was a faint sound from the distant blue sky, and all you saw was a dot appearing from the far horizon. In just a couple of seconds, the dot grew larger and larger into a plane, and the sound got louder and louder. As it approached the beach, the sonic boom was so deafening that it would put 100 subwoofers to shame. As the plane passed by overhead, the feeling was just something one can only imagine, or be seen from the movies. I do not think there are that many places in the world you can have such access and be able to bring yourself so close to the plane landing, and even better, smacking the ocean view in the background. It was just magnificent.

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My first meal in Phuket. I had a hard time ordering a fried rice, since the shop I went to knew zero English. I pointed my finger to the rice pot, and then gestured at the wok as if I was frying something in motion, and picked my ingredients to be added into the rice, pointing to the raw meat, prawns and vegetable. You know what, this plate of fried rice may look nothing out of the ordinary, but it was definitely one of the best Fried Rice I have tasted in my life !! No kidding.

After grabbing the photos that I went there for, I made my way back to the airport and waited for the others to land. Along the way, I stopped by a local kopitiam-alike-shop, and ordered myself a plate of local fried rice. It was the best Fried Rice I have ever tasted in my entire life.

More adventures to come !!

13 comments:

  1. Ouu... Nice.

    I want to have holidays on beach too!

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  2. the beach was filmed on phi phi islands. its become over crowded with tourists ever since.

    the fried rice reminds me of phad thai....currie hall version LOL!

    -Marcus

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  3. hey chong,
    yeah, why not? go to one !!

    hey marcus,
    The Beach was filmed in Maya Beach, which is located on a smaller island off the main Phi Phi Island, accessible by boats.
    I had plenty of phad thais, and they are waaaayyy better than what we find in currie !!!

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  4. i stand corrected! i love the shot of the dog!

    -Marcus

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  5. hey marcus,
    the dog was like so friendly and playful !!!

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  6. omgosh, your photos are amazing. I love all the plane shots. I want your 11-22 lens!
    looking forward to more posts and photos! :D

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  7. hey ally,
    thanks !!! So far the photos on this entry are not really exhibiting what the 11-22 can really do yet. Its capabilities will be shown in the coming entries !!

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  8. hey rustiez,
    ahahaha, thanks man. The good ones are not up yet !!

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  9. No wonder the beach is not so popular. How can anyone enjoy tranquility with a 737 looming on top?

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  10. We are planning to visit Phuket in mid-March.
    Thank you for posting.

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  11. Thank you nice article.
    your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
    I love here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.

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