Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Phuket Day 3: Day Tour

I know I have been neglecting the remaining episodes of my recent Phuket travel, I blame it one the constant distractions that have been visiting me, such as the Pseudo-HDR experiments. Alright I admit I was partly lazy to continue and finish up the series. Nonetheless, I do feel that there is a need to finish what I have started, and if you have been here for a while I guess you know I have been famous for letting my older series hanging without conclusions. This time, I shall try to end it.

The tour van we were in was quite spacious, though we would have appreciated more functional air-conditioning under such terribly hot weather.

Moving on to Day Three, we all crazy eight Kuching buddies woke up to a bright and sunny day. We have arranged for a tour guide package that included a van with the driver as our guide to bring us around different parts of Phuket. Basically we did not have a precise plan laid out but we do know roughly where we wanted to visit. From what we have gathered from the Internet, the must visit places were the Big Buddha Temple and Chalong Temple.

Big Buddle Temple, still under construction.

The Big Buddha temple was situated quite a distance away from our hotel, hence the ride took us almost 45 minutes to get there. It was quite a long way up a hill, where the temple was seated, and much to our surprise the temple was still under construction !! Oh well, so many engineers in the group doing online research on the location and none of us spotted the fact that the place was not even completed yet at the time of our visit. Nevertheless, even halfway through the constructions, the temple looked nothing short of breathtaking. There was a majestic feel to the entire place, probably due to the high ground, way higher than any lands around the area.

Phad Thai for lunch. *slurp

The view overlooking the ocean was quite good. And the huge statue, which had scaffoldings all around its head was quite a gigantic figure that stood out of the middle of nowhere. And the prominent white colour made it stood out even more especially under near afternoon sun, reflecting the strong flare that could very well sting your eye when you look at it too long. The fact that the temple was at the peak of the hill somehow resulted the place to be very windy. It was quite a welcome to have such strong winds, considering how hot it was at the time of our visit. The place was not exactly flooded with tourists, probably due to the fact that it was still under construction. It felt really peaceful up there, with wide open spaces, high above other adjacent lands, and the powerful gusts of wind just brought together a feeling that I have not felt before. I do not think you can find such similar place elsewhere in the world. You just have got to be there to experience it.

We stayed there for roughly over an hour, exploring its surroundings. Next we headed to a restaurant for a quick lunch. I had yet another plate of local delicacy there, Phad Thai. I just could not get enough of Phad Thai. I have had some at Perth long time ago but it did not taste anything close to what you find in Thailand.

After our lunch, we headed to the Chalong Temple, which I have forgotten how far it took us to get there, but I remember it was not so near. Once we reached the temple, it was scorching hot, that I really regretted not putting my sun lotion on before the day trip.

I am not exactly sure which one of the many temples in that location was the real Chalong Temple, and I was sure lazy enough to even bother to find out. All I wanted to do was to marvel at its beauty, and capture as many photos as I can. The architectures of the buildings there were really breathtaking, and the costs to build the entire place ran close to 3 million USD. Everything seemed to glow, outside, and even the interiors of the temples. Many people were actually there despite the unforgivingly hot weather, and many prayed there. I am not a Buddhist, so I just went in and took as many photos as the memory card could allow me to do so.

This was definitely a place where the Olympus 11-22mm wide angle zoom lens came in handy. The extra bit of wideness at 11mm really opened up a whole new perspective, although not exactly wide enough to fit the whole thing into the frame, but just sufficient to do the job covering enough edges to create a dramatic result. I was really glad to put this lens to good use here. There was definitely perspective distortion, which I did not mind at all, which added interest into the whole frame if you ask me. The sharpness of the photos were quite remarkable especially when shot at F8-F11, and I did not even apply much sharpening at all on the photos, and the details remain visibly clear even after severe resizing.

After visiting the temples, our next destination was of course, shopping for souvenirs. I shall skip this part to save you guys from boredom.

Alright, that was all for this part. I have one more entry to go to wrap up my series of Phuket adventures. What do you guys think so far? Have any of you been to Phuket before? Do let me know what you think and share your experience !!


  1. Robin, you are igniting my desire for a nice getaway. So bad of you. Haha.

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