Real life, is it interesting?

I'm back home now and I doubt anyone is reading this any more but I want to keep writing, only when I have something I want to remember though.

I've taken up two summer jobs to help chip in to the debts travelling left me with, one bingo calling on my old stomping ground, the other doing PR on the streets of Southampton for a club.

The club:
My first night was a busy Tuesday and it was easy enough, paid by the hour and just sticking stickers on people then my next shift was a Saturday.

On Saturdays the PR folk work solely on commission split between the group, last week each of them took home £1.50 as the place was empty. To get commission you walk people to the door and get a tally next to your name, I didn't mind, I'm okay chatting to strangers and it would help pass the time making it a competition. That was until our team briefing explaining their new brand of Saturday nights.

The boss of the club spoke: 'Even though I love dirty house, 700 people in Southampton don't so we're bringing in more commercial house tunes so that we can appeal to more people. We're going more Marbella than Ibiza, actually we're going for more Pacha than Amnesia'. It was just words, I had bugger all idea what that meant and I could feel my face reddening as I over enthusiastically nodded as if I wasn't confused. I looked around in the hope that someone else would be able to share a look of 'Que' with me but they all seemed to let the sentence pass as if people they knew actually spoke like that.

Unperturbed I took to the streets of Southampton with a girl who was a tall, blond and a model, with legs up to her armpits (I figured our team might be a bit one sided for who was going to get most people in the club). Despite looking like the elephant man next to this girl I managed to get the first group of people I spoke to to walk in to the club and have a drink. A great start that did not reflect the rest of the night, at a guess I took a total of 20 people in, although I'm sure hundreds more went in with my flyers.

The worst part of the job was that I was doing good chatting and felt like I was promoting well, wheras the man supervising us was less impressed. In teaching and bingo you get immediate feedback from lots of different sources and I've been lucky enough that most of it has been good. Here the supervisor was the only one to give feedback. At one point he phoned up to ask where we were as he was in my spot and when I told him in a very proud voice we'd taken a group down to the club - our second of the night - he said 'It only takes one of you, you should always have one here' then he watched me chat to a group of people and told me my technique was rubbish. I disagreed, the approach went like this:
'Hi guys coming to [insert club here] tonight?'
Their response: 'No it's shit'
'Fair enough have a good night'

Apparently what I should have said was 'Free entry to [club] you coming down'
I'm guessing they would still have held the opinion that the place was not their cup of tea but I did as I was told and spent the night chatting to strangers, doing my bit to get people in.

Bingo hall:
I like it, although it wasn't very nice starting the job finding out about which customers were still there and who had kicked the bucket but it's inevitable that some would have gone over the 5 years I've been away. Other than that very little has changed and I felt like I was back in the swing of things after my second shift.

The Phuket Photo Walk 2010

Last Saturday (24th July 2010) was the date for the 3rd annual Worldwide Photo Walk, an event which aims to get photographers out snapping pictures of their home towns, all on the same day. According to the website, this year there were over 1,000 walks and a total of over 33,000 registered walkers. I took part in the 2009 walk in Phuket, and signed up for 2010. Last year I had been worried that everyone on the walk would be a super pro with 5,000 dollar cameras, but was happy to see all kinds of people and all kinds of cameras. Part of the idea is to get people to see their town in a different way. You can walk the same street a thousand times, but if you go down the same street with a camera and open your eyes, in the company of other people with cameras, you might just see things in a new light!

In 2009 there were at least 40 people on the Phuket walk, so I was surprised to see less this year. Only about 15 or 20 people met at the Royal Phuket City Hotel. Yeh, the weather may have been to blame. Morning had been wet, did not look promising, but I was determined to be there with my daughter who was 9 years old that day and was equipped with her birthday present, a new Sony Cybershot - her first camera. As it turned out the weather held off. Not sunny, but no rain. Of course the real reason for meeting at that hotel was this:

Nice Hammer

Sexy girls holding tools.. don't tell the wife. My daughter thought I was silly to take a photo of the sign. We met the other walkers inside Cafe 154, a rather nice coffee shop which is part of the hotel. Good coffee and a huge selection of cakes. I got my daughter a doughnut while our walk leader Kim started to explain about the walk. I think the idea is to walk around in a group, but everyone left before the doughnut was finished, so me and my girl headed off alone.

Cakes

The Royal Phuket City Hotel is on Phang Nga road, opposite the bus terminal, just a couple of blocks or about half a mile east of the old town which was to be the focus of the photo walk. The exact boundaries of the old town are hard to define, there are older buildings all over town, but in particular Thalang Road and Soi Romanee, which have recently had all overhead cables removed, are of most interest to photographers. The cable removal scheme is due to step up a gear starting next month with other roads around the old town being made cable free. The area just east of the old town has rather more modern buildings and "attractions" ...

The CAT in Phuket Town

Wellcome or We'll come?

We soon reached Thalang Road which is great for photography, day or night. There are small interesting shops, cafes and houses, and with the old "Sino Portuguese" (actually more like Sino-British, as this style originated in Singapore) style architecture and with many of the businesses being run by old Phuket families, the area retains an old feel. One guy showed us around his hardware store, in the center of which was his house, old style around a courtyard with old teak furniture. He said the business had been started by his grandfather. There are many well kept houses around Thalang Road. The area is looked after by the Phuket Old Town Foundation which is headed by a big local family who also own the Butterfly Garden. Other members include the head of the Chinese Thai Hua school and the Mayor of Phuket who we met a bit later on...

Old House in Phuket Town

The Printer

(above) This is an old printers shop on Thalang Road. I'd like to go back and take some more photos. The printing presses look old. No computers or laser printers here - this place is all about printing by hand, old style. Thalang road has many interesting shops and businesses.

Soi Romanee is the most photographed street in town. It's a narrow street that heads north off Thalang Road to the Mongkhon Nimit temple. It is said that the street used to be full of whorehouses in the old days. Now there are several small cafes, at least one small guesthouse and other private houses. Most of the buildings have been painted up, all the overhead wires are gone, and a lot of that is thanks to Mr Puchong who is a lawyer and owns the Glastnost Cafe. Very nice man. My daughter and I stopped to say hello and found Alasdair (another photo walker) there also. Mr Puchong very kindly made us some excellent Vietnamese coffee.

Mr Puchongs Kitchen

There will be monthly live Jazz sessions again at Glastnost in the high season starting in November - we went one time earlier this year and we'll go again! As we left the cafe (after all, can't sit around drinking coffee all day! There are photos to be taken!) we met the Mayor of Phuket City, Khun Somjai Suwansupana who stopped to talk to Mr Puchong. My daughter snapped a photo:

Meeting the Mayor of Phuket

Now, I could walk around all day, but my poor girl was getting tired. We stopped for some food at a little restaurant called Wilai next door to the Oldest Herb Shop in Phuket. Took some photos first of course. This shop is great. The smells are wonderful. Many Chinese believe in the powers of herbal medicine. I reckon if you walk in there and take a deep breath it might cure a few ills! The owner kind of posed for a photo...

The Oldest Herb Shop

The Oldest Herb Shop

Now, the restaurant next door (Wilai), where we ate our fried rice, has a secret. The restaurant is on Thalang Road, but if you ask nicely, they will let you walk out the back door, through the stores and you enter the Shrine of the Serene Light, the main entrance to which is up a narrow alley (now being widened) on Phang Nga Road just west of the On On Hotel. It's a lovely little shrine, one of many Chinese Shrines in town, but this one is well hidden!

Chinese Shrine

Well, it was time to head back to the cafe for the post walk gathering.. only half a mile to walk but some little feet were getting tired, so for the first time since Lord knows when, I hailed a tuk tuk. Braced myself for some crazy price to be given for the very short ride, but he only asked 60 Baht and was so friendly and smiley that I gave him 100. If only tuk tuks could be like this at the beaches...

In the Tuk Tuk

Oh, you can find more photos of the walk here:

Phuket Photo Walk 2010 - 35 photos on Flickr

Back at Cafe 154 for a cold draft Heineken and some chat. Maybe there will be another local walk for photographers next month, Kim suggests Koh Sirey fishing port, early morning. If you want to know more, please do ask! This Phuket walk was very nice for me to walk around with my daughter. I am sure there will be another official walk next year in July, but anytime is good for a walk around Phuket Town.

Related blog pages...

Phuket Photo Walk 2009
Photo Walk 2011
Phuket Old Town Street Festival
Glastnost Cafe on Soi Romanee
Thai Hua School Museum

Retirement--"I love It "(Most of the time) no really "I love it"

This is what the house looked like when we bought it one year before we moved to Thailand
Me acting like I am helping , when most of the time I was just in the way

We are seeing some progress , we really did a lot

The folks that did the work remodeling and almost rebuilding, were great and it took a lot of work and reconstruction work to get the house the way we wanted it .

We're very happy with the way it turned out ,and we have added a lot that I will show in the post to come .


Malcolm and Ciejay Retired in Thailand

I love being retired and especially ,being retired here in Thailand , but loving it and enjoying all the benefits that come with being retired and accepting all the not so fun things, and some of the lack of benefits that come with being retired also, all this and more (of which I will share in later post ) took quite a while to get use to and even longer to get my mind, to accept the fact that I was indeed retired .
Almost all the things I will write about will be from my own experience, being retired here where we live in (Kanchanaburi) in the small village of Wang Pho, Thailand , from time to time I may mention other places and people , but for the most part it will be about us and OUR retirement life .
The first couple of months , it was life as usually , just in another country , we were busy remodeling the house we had bought pr yer to our retirement in the USA.We were there everyday watching , and sometimes complaining about the way the work was progressing , we were, trying to make this little house into a home , that we could live and enjoy, the rest of our lives in comfort and with as many of the conveniences that we were use to back in the good ole USA . Little, did I realise that some the things I hoped for , would never happen, and that this is not the good ole USA and they don't think , live , work ( or even think important ) many of the things we just take for granted , living in our homelands. I had to wrap my mind around these facts real quick or go crazy , fly into fits of rage, and show my anger and disapproval, just as I would in the good ole USA, have a long , hard and intense, talk with everyone and end up getting things done MY WAY. Well it don't work that way here in the LOS they will just pack up their tools and leave ,and you will not see them again and no one else in the village will come to work for you because the first folks that you ran off are all related to everyone in the village, and now you are on a Thai black list , which can take years to get off of , and then only if YOU learn how to be Retired in Thailand and Loving It . Some things I have learned the hard way , but for the most part I was at least smart enough to do a lot of research and learn a lot about Thai life and customs and Village life before we arrived and I have to say up front ,that I have the most wonderful Thai wife in the world (Ciejay) and she saved me from many a pit fall , and kept me from making a lot of mistakes along the way, starting in to this new way of life , Retiring and living in a strange and new country all at the same time .
Once all the work on the house was done, furnished like we could afford and learning how to get along without the things we could not afford right away, and we had things almost like we wanted them , we moved in , Then the real life of being retired set in, and believe you me , did this time in my life ever take some getting use to .You ask "like what ", well these are some of the things I am going to write about in the up and coming post :
Family , food , shopping , money ( having a lot or a fixed income based on a small to medium pension) , market days , health care , exercise, (enjoying or lack of ), village life ( how much to get en voled,)Kids , grand-kids , neighbors , animals, (yours and the neighbors) social life, together time with wife or husband, time for self (hammock time ), and any other subjects that pop into my mind or that you as my readers and folks retiring or thinking about retiring(in Thailand) would like me to write about , from our point of view, and from mine and Ciejay's experiences.
I hope you will enjoy this post subject and the follow-up post and that you will be kind enough to take a moment out of your retired or not retired life and leave a comment. Malcolm

Finding Friendly Farangs, Part II ...

I find it enlightening to look back on how things have unfolded over the last three years.  The first year was pretty much taken up by the construction of our house.  The second years was an extension of that, with moving in, finalizing the relocation from Bangkok, internal decor, garden and various other projects.  The list of hobbies and interests grew as I settled in.  Eventually, a greater curiosity about the local expat community began to surface.

Of course there were still Bangkok, Hawaii and internet friends, but lacking was the sense of companionship and intimacy that comes from having a best friend or the sense of community that develops when one casts a broader net, allowing for spontaneity and casual interaction.  Our trips to town are now brightened by chance encounters, friendly smiles and casual greetings.  Small things that mean a lot to me.  Some would find the constant press of people in the village, sufficient for their social needs.  My wife and I, unfortunately perhaps, have grown to want and expect more than what can be found in the village.

Thought I might share, briefly, what has worked for me, here in the Rai.  Keeping in mind my established status of lone-wolf and non-joiner by nature, I have found groups and organizations still have there function even if not a member.  I met a couple of friends and a few acquaintances by attending two Hash (HHH) events.  Not a fan of the whole Hash House Harriers thing, I still got what I wanted from it.  The same can be said of the Chiang Rai Expats Club.  The event itself is not that interesting but I have met a couple of interesting people there.  With just a few connections, a network begins to grow.  It is no longer uncommon to bump into people we know in BigC, Makro, various coffee shops, and even at the veterinarian. 

Not being a golfer or an elbow bender in the local bars, I cannot comment directly, but do know people who indulge in both, and claim to enjoy the company they find there.  There is a book club and art events but due to our distance from the city, we have yet to attend any late night events.  Well, there was one evening party recently at a friends house in town, but that was an exception as it included my birthday and his son’s.  Parents with young children will benefit from school activities and the friends their kids bring home.  I’m sure the religious could join churches and there are missionaries a many in these parts.  They figure the locals need saving, I guess.  I had best refrain from heading down that path, so moving on...

Most of my friends are aghast that I frequent the pages of Thai Visa, but they do have a Chiang Rai Sub Forum, through which I have met a few interesting and a few not so interesting members.  Not having previous experience with online forums I have approached it as a sociological experiment and a form of entertainment at times.  In spite of the nastiness that can surface in these online environments, I have witnessed people both giving and receiving help on many occasions.

Some old-timers, myself included, will warn against hanging out in certain places or with certain groups or types of individuals.  I have softened my position on that more recently, not for myself but for others.  Given the preponderance of men who discover Thailand late in life, burdened with failed marriages back home, meager pensions, and questionable choices in Thai partners, there is a good chance they will indeed have much more in common with the average punter in the bar than they would have with me.  For them, taking my advice or emulating my life choices, would no doubt bore them to tears.

My new and improved advice, would be to give it all a go, and formulate your own opinion about others and where you fit in.  There are no universally right or wrong answers in life, or in Thailand for that matter.  There is just what works for you.  My route has been a little bumpy at times, but it has suited me overall and I am burdened with few regrets.  I now have a best friend in the Rai, an ever growing network of acquaintances, expanding interests, and my wife once again has a visa for the States, after surrendering her Green Card a few years back.  Perhaps we will start to travel again, as our home base has been firmly established here in the Rai. 

I think we made the right choice moving here.

FISH MARKET DAY IN WHANG PHO












I've said it before and I'll say it again , "my favorite day of the week in the LOS is market day". there are soooo many reasons why I like market days soo much , I like getting to see everyone , the whole village and surrounding area comes out to buy their weeks supplies of fresh fruit and veggies and anything else you can think of that you might need to keep body and soul together and then some.I like for the folks to see the farang and see that he's still here after 10 years and not just a visitor. Right beside the market is a car wash and I can get the truck cleaned and detailed for 100 baht , and there is a great coffee shop there too and the lady always puts a scoop of chocolate ice cream in mine , yum yum . give it a try . The real reason I love the market is that everything is sooo fresh and I can pick what and how much I want with out it being wrapped in plastic saran wrap and stored in a cooler for several days and then put out as fresh , I can pick it up, and squeeze it , smell it, hand it to Ciejay for a look see and her professional, (ha ha ) approval or disapproval ,and even ask for a sample taste if I'm not to sure , and the person does it with a smile and not like I'm bothering her or him, like I have experienced in the store front markets .What a difference it makes when you are spending your money and the folks really appreciate you buying from their tent or little table , and you know you're not only getting fresh fruit and veggies , but you are helping this family , by buying the fruit of their labor .

But today was a special mission, we had company coming for dinner and I wanted to have a fish fry , soooo I was on the hunt for the freshest fish I could find, well I soon found out that there were sooo many different kind , and sizes, That I had to go back home and get Ciejay to come help me( that was a first as I always think of myself as the shopper King ), I never knew there was so many varieties of fish swimming up and down the River Kwai, and raised in all the little ponds in back of my neighbors houses.Well I picked a big Catfish to grill and Ciejay picked a Mud fish , to make Tum Yum Pla , we had a couple of Thai's coming too and she said they would like the Tum Yum , Sooo I said ok . Everyone had a great time , the Cat fish fry turned out great , I served it with grilled hot veggies and served on a chilled bed of lettuce , red and green, topped ,with my home made Italian dressing , baked potatoes with butter ,chives and sour cream and bacon bits and my very own corn hush puppies ( deep fried cornbread rolled into balls ) and served with home made cole slaw (South Carolina style ). The Thai guest jump right in and had heaping bowls of Tum Yum and a side dish of the famous Jasmine Rice (Thai guest are soo easy to cook for ).
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves , and everyone keep say the were full , and Em sooo I guess it was a success.
I am always sooo glad for the fresh things we can get at our market that make it sooo much fun to cook and it (I hope) always taste soo good and fresh , especially the fresh fish , just caught this morning.
I'm posting a few pictures of all the fresh fish I had to chose from. I hope you have a fresh market near you and if possible , buy as much there as you can, the family farmers will love you for it, and you will be eating a lot fresher and healthier.
I'm glad I'm here in the LOS and that I have a wonderful person like Ciejay to share it with, I guess you could say I'm here, I'm happy,I'm blessed, and to top it all off I'm Retired in Thailand and Loving It .

Site Map for Jamie's Phuket Blog

Since Jamie's Phuket started in April 2006, there have been over 500 blog pages published, and I admit that the navigation can be a bit tricky sometimes - there are lots of links on the left of the page to take you to various sections of the site and to popular pages, and I created main subject pages for hotels, things to do, temples, festivals etc.. but there are too many pages to keep track of now, and there are some useful pages that are kind of buried and hard to find... so this Site Map is an attempt to simplify navigation. This page will link to all pages on this blog except for a few early pages that were nothing to do with Phuket and a few older pages that are no longer relevant or have been updated. Here we go...

Jamie's Phuket Blog

Phuket Hotels
Things to Do
Places to Visit
Beaches
Festivals
Restaurants
Local Life
Hills and Views
Temples
General Information
Best of the Blog
Off Phuket
Other

Phuket Hotels

Top 10 Phuket Hotels
Some Phuket Hotel Recommendations
Top 10 Romantic Hotels
Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Phuket
Top 10 Family Hotels in Phuket
Top 10 Value / Lower Budget Hotels
Recommended Patong Beach Hotels
Recommended Karon Beach Hotels
Recommended Kata Beach Hotels
Hotels in Phuket Town

Aleenta Resort
Mandarava Resort at Karon Beach
Centara Grand Beach Resort
The Kee Resort at Patong Beach
Holiday Inn Mai Khao Beach
The Racha Resort
Marina Phuket Resort
Phuket Orchid Resort
Aspery Hotel Patong
Ibis Kata Beach
Avista Resort
La Flora Patong
Seaside Cottages Mai Khao Beach
Mom Tri's Villa Royale
Pacific Club Resort
Kata Palm Resort
Yorkshire Hotel Patong
Boomerang Village
Sala Phuket
Amari Coral Beach Resort
Sawasdee Village
Katathani Kata Noi Beach
Burasari Resort
Phuket Airport Hotel
Phuket for Backpackers
Karon Princess
The Surin
The Slate
CC's Hideaway
Phuket Island View
Merlin Beach Resort
Tri Trang Beach Resort
The Old Phuket Hotel
Novotel Panwa Beach Resort
Naithonburi Resort
All Seasons Naiharn
Pineapple Guesthouse Karon
Metropole Phuket Town
Cape Panwa Hotel
Baan Krating Jungle Beach
Nai Yang Beach Resort
The Sarojin (Khao Lak Hotel)
Phuket Graceland Resort
Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort
Baan Yin Dee
Dusit Laguna

Things to Do

Tour Booking with Easy Day Thailand
Things to do in Phuket
Koh Yao Yai Island
White Water Rafting
Scuba Diving at Racha Yai Island
Phang Nga Bay
A Tour of South Phuket
Siam Niramit Show
Phuket Bird Park
Trick Eye 3D Art Gallery
Sunset Boat Cruise
Phuket Botanic Garden
What to do on a Wet Day in Phuket
Speedboat Tour around Phuket Island
Phuket For Kids
Phuket Markets
Weekend at Racha Yai (Raya) Island
Bang Pae Waterfall
Visiting Koh Yao Noi Island
Watching the Football - Phuket FC
Walking across the Sarasin Bridge
Mini Golf at Bang Tao Beach
Phuket Museums
Yoga in Phuket
Splash Jungle Water Park
Diving Phuket with Sunrise Divers
Phuket Fantasea
Phuket Mining Museum
Visit the Phuket Butterfly Garden
Phuket Heritage Tour in Old Phuket Town
Phuket FC - Go to watch the football!
The Phuket Photo Walk 2010
Hike from Karon Beach to the Big Buddha
Elephant Trekking in Phuket
Kayaking in the Mangroves
Phuket Town Worldwide Photo Walk 2009
Sunset at Cape Phromthep
Liveaboard Diving from Phuket
Seaplane flight to Phi Phi
Phuket Weekend Market
Dino Park Mini Golf
Phuket Wake Park
Walking in Old Phuket Town (old post 2007)
Thalang National Museum
Day trip to Phi Phi

Places to Visit

Chillva Market
Sunday Walking Street Market
Phang Nga Province
The Phuket Big Buddha
Thalang Road in Old Town
Laem Sai - A Quiet Corner of Phuket
Phuket Town Fresh Market
Koh Tachai Island
Khao Sok National Park
Old Thavorn Hotel in Phuket Town
Indy Market in Phuket Town
Phuket Seashell Museum
Nguan Choon Tong Herb Shop in Phuket Town
The Big Buddhas of Phuket
Baan Chinpracha Chinese Mansion
Thai Hua Phuket History Museum
Phuket Waterfalls
Walking in Old Phuket Town
Laem Phromthep Cape
Kathu Waterfall
Phang Nga Bay Tour
A walk at Ton Sai Waterfall
Koh Panyee Village
James Bond Island - Khao Ping Gan
Phuket Tin Mining Museum
Phuket Heroines Monument
Phuket Post Office Museum
Phuket Aquarium
Phuket Zoo
Koh Kaew Yai
Phuket Gateway
The Similan Islands National Park
Suan Luang Park in Phuket Town
Bang Wad Reservoir and Dam
Sapan Hin (Phuket Town)
Tonsai Waterfall and Khao Phra Taew
Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
Koh Sirey Island
A walk on Chalong Jetty
Koh Rang Yai island
Offshore Islands near Phuket

Beaches

Phuket Beaches Introduction
Laem Ka Beach
Kamala Beach
Layan Beach
Laem Sing Beach
Surin Beach
Ya Nui Beach
Paradise Beach (needs updating)
Kata Noi Beach
Karon Beach
Rawai Beach
Naithon Beach
Nai Yang Beach
Ao Sane Beach (needs updating)

Festivals

Phuket Festivals and Events
The Amazing Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2015
Crazy Last Night of the Vegetarian Festival
Hungry Ghost Festival 2015
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2016 Schedule
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2014 - Part 1
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2014 - Part 2
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2014 - Part 3
2013 Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Vegetarian Festival 2013 Part 2
Food at the Vegetarian Festival
Phuket Baba (Peranakan) Weddings 2013
Phuket Old Town Festival 2013
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2012
Hungry Ghost (Por Tor) Festival 2012
Kathu Phuket Street Culture Festival 2012
Old Phuket Town Festival January 2012
Chalong Temple Fair

Vegetarian Festival September 26th - October 6th 2011

Bridge Crossing for Purification October 5th
Kathu Shrine 4th October - Piercings and Firecrackers
Vegetarian Procession October 2nd 2011
Face Piercing at Sam Kong Shrine September 30th
Evening Street procession at Kathu Shrine September 29th
Opening Ceremonies at Kathu Shrine September 26th

Kathu Village Street Fair 2011
Por Tor (Hungry Ghost) Festival
Vegetarian Festival - My Favourite Thing!
Phuket for Japan Tsunami Festival
Songkran 2011 in Chumphon
Songkran Festival Photos
Phuket Street Show Festival 2010
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2010 - Kathu Shrine
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2010 - Bang Neow Street Procession
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2010 - Part 1
Kathu village cultural festival 2010
Phuket Heroines Festival
Old Phuket Town Street Festival
Phuket Veg Festival 2009 Photos
Street Festival in Kathu Village
Phuket Flower Fair
Phuket Halal Expo
Songkran at Patong Beach 2009
Phuket Bike Week
Loy Krathong 2008
Vegetarian Festival Videos 2008
Vegetarian Festival 2008 Photos in Phuket Town
Vegetarian Festival 2008 Photos in Kathu
Vegetarian Festival Food
Songkran 2008 Photos
Phuket Food Festival
Loy Krathong 2007
Making a Krathong

Restaurants, Cafes and Bars

Maireab Zaap Ver (Kathu)
One Chun in old Phuket Town
Caffeine Italian Restaurant
Zaab Tae Tae
Rum Jungle, Naiharn
Wine Connection
Lucky 13 Sandwich
Zaab Kafe (Phuket Town)
Eleven Two and Company
Rimlay Seafood (Rawai Beach)
Krua Suan Cha
Wassa Homemade Bar
Phang Nga Viewpoint Cafe
Rider Cafe in Phuket Town
Since 1892 Cafe in Phuket Town
Naowarat in Phuket Town
Bang Mud Seafood Floating Restaurant
Dairy Hut Seafood (Phang Nga)
Khao Yam and Dim Sum
Abduls Roti Shop in Old Town
Sabai Corner Bar near Kata
Krua Guilin at Khao Sok National Park
Green Forest Restaurant (Phuket Town)
Tha Sai Seafood (Phang Nga)
Kin Dee Restaurant Near Mai Khao Beach
Floating Restaurants at Coconut Island
Cape Phromthep Restaurant
Thanoon Seafood
Yellow Door Restaurant in Phuket Town
Kopitiam in Phuket Town
After Beach Bar (Kata)
Bang Pae Seafood
Moo Grob Khun Yai (Phuket Town)
Peang Prai, near Bang Pae Waterfall
Andaman Viewpoint - 360 Degree Coffee
Tunk Ca Cafe (Rang Hill)
Sabai Sabai Indian Curry
Spicy Noodles for Breakfast
Laem Hin Seafood
Favourite Places - The Beach Bar
Sala Bua Restaurant, Karon Beach
Mom Tri's Kitchen
Nice Food Good View
Batik Seafood
Kaewjai in Phuket Town
Phuket Brewery (closed now)
Samchong Seafood (Phang Nga)
Rimtang in Phuket Town
Uptown Noodles (Phuket Town)
Kuay Jap Noodles
Street Food - Fruit Stalls
The Lunch Room (now closed)
Big Chicken (Thungtong)
Nikitas Rawai Beach
Pak Nam Seafood
Street Food: Pa Tong Ko
Bang Rong Floating Restaurant
The Ninth Floor
The Phad Thai Shop (Karon / Kata beach area)
Mama Noi
Kan Eang Seafood 2
Friendship Beach
Chili Restaurant
BBQ Hut Patong
More Noodles in Phuket
Phuket Restaurants
Noodles in Phuket
Leelawadee
Dairy Hut

Hills and Views

Hills and Views in Phuket
Samet Nangshe Viewpoint (Phang Nga)
New Viewpoint at Rang Hill
Rang Hill (Khao Rang) Phuket Town
Khao Kai Nui, Phang Nga
Phuket Radar Station near Airport
Naiharn / Wind Turbine Viewpoint
A walk up Monkey Hill
The Phuket Viewpoint (Karon Viewpoint)
Big Buddha Photos 2010
Radar Hill - Highest Road in Phuket
Views from Khao Kad View Tower
Hiking up the Highest Hill in Phuket
View from Meditation Center near Phromthep

Temples

Phuket Temples Introduction
Mosques in Phuket
3 Temples in a Day
Wat Manee Sri Mahathat (Phang Nga)
Kathu Temple
Sikh Gurdwara in Phuket Town
Wat Thamtapan (Phang Nga)
Khao Rang Temple
Nai Harn Temple
Tha Reua Chinese Shrine
Sapan Hin Chinese Shrine
Wat Tha Reua Temple
Sapam Chinese Shrine
Wat Luang Pu Supha
Wat Sam Kong
Shrine of the Serene Light
Wat Vichit Sangkaram
Wat Mongkhon Nimit
Jui Tui Shrine
Kathu Shrine
Wat Sawang Arom (Rawai)
Wat Thepnimit
Wat Kosit Wiharn
Naka Temple
Kata Temple
Karon Temple
Wat Ladthiwanaram
Wat Manik
Early Morning at Wat Chalong
Kamala Temple
Ket Ho Temple
Patong Temple
Koh Sirey Temple
Sam Kong Shrine
Kathu Village Shrine
Wat Phra Nang Sang
Wat Phra Tong
Sri Sunthorn Temple
Chalong Temple
Wat Sapam
The Shrine on Patong Hill

Local Life

Street Art in Phuket Town
Phuket Has No Culture or History ... Really?
Exercise at Bang Wad Reservoir
Amulet Alley in Phuket Town
Old Phuket Town - Getting a Face Lift
Karon Temple Market
Kathu Local Market
Local Street Fair in Kathu
Baba Weddings in Phuket Town
Phuket Butterfly Release
An evening at Glastnost Cafe, Phuket Town
Kathu Shrine - first day of the Vegetarian Festival
One Tambon One Product OTOP Fair
A walk in Kathu village
Chalong Temple Fair
Flowers on the Buddha Shelf
A Thai Funeral in our street
Singing Bird Contest

General Information and News

About the Phuket Blogger
Where to See Monkeys in Phuket
Live Phuket Karon Beach Web Cam
Phuket Webcam at Patong Beach
Booking Phuket Hotels Online
Phuket Taxis and Tuks
Phuket Instagram Meetup 2014
The Phuket Jet Ski Debate
Please Support Jamie's Phuket
Phuket Tourist Information by the Tourists
Phuket Hotels by Agoda.com
High Season Weather in Phuket
Phuket News - Where to find News about Phuket
Phuket Climate and Weather Overview

Best of the Blog

Jamie's Phuket Review of 2015
Jamie's Phuket Review of 2014
Best of Jamie's Phuket 2013
Best of the blog 2012
Best of the Phuket Blog 2011 Part 2
Best of the Phuket Blog 2011 Part 1
Jamie's Phuket Highlights 2010
Best of Jamie's Phuket 2009 Part 2
Best of Jamie's Phuket 2009 Part 1
Best of Jamies Phuket 2008
Best of Jamie's Phuket Blog 2007

Off Phuket

Little Amazon Boat Tour (Takua Pa)
One Night in Khao Lak
Bang Pat Fishing Village
Klong Kian (Phang Nga)
Tone Pariwat Waterfall
Lampi Waterfall
Old Takua Pa Sunday Market
Holidays in Khao Lak
Ton Prai Waterfall nr Khao Lak
Khao Lak Tsunami Memorials
Wat Bang Riang in Phang Nga
Sa Nang Manora Forest Park (Phang Nga)
Chumphon
Koh Yao Noi by Moped
Sri Phang Nga National Park
Old Takua Pa Town
Khao Sok - Cliff and River Resort
Wat Suwan Kuha in Phang Nga
Prachuap Khiri Khan
Places to visit close to Phuket
Khao Sok - Ratchaprapha Dam and Lake

Other

Uber Taxi App in Phuket
A House for Sale in Phuket
Speedboats and Helicam Aerial Photography
TravelFish Guide to Phuket
Phuket 91.5FM Radio
Thoughts 4 Years after the Tsunami
Lonely Planet Phuket Guide
Jamie's Phuket on Google Earth
World Nomads Travel Insurance
More Phuket Bloggers
Buying a House in Phuket
Phuket Links
Orchids in our garden
Life after the Tsunami Part 3
Living through the Tsunami Part 2
Tsunami memories Part 1

As new pages are written they'll be added to the site map. The Phuket blog has plenty more coming!

A walk at Ton Sai Waterfall

A rather cloudy Saturday, looks like some rain might fall. What do do? How to entertain the kids? Last weekend was like this. Certainly not a day for the beach; my wife suggested we just stay home and do the garden, but I normally take just one day off per week, and gardening is a waste of a day. We all woke up fairly early for some reason, and with the weather being undecided, we decided to play it by ear. First stop: Noodles... We drove a couple of miles to a favourite little noodle shop near Kathu Waterfall.

So... where now? We were not too far from the Phuket Tin Mining Museum, and the kids wanted to go again. My wife has not been yet. We'd heard it was all closed up now while work continues to finish it... and that was correct. Lots of work going on around the place, they are building a huge mock-up of a mine with a lake and a Chinese style bridge - looks like it will be great.

OK, so .. no museum. I had been up in the Ton Sai area last week for the Phuket Butterfly Release, and since I thought maybe we should take a little walk and get some exercise, I suggested we drive to Ton Sai Waterfall. Head up north toward the airport, past the Heroines monument to Thalang town and turn right. Ton Sai Waterfall is part of the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, a huge green area. The road from Thalang is narrow and lined with rubber trees, pineapple groves, banana trees and more. This part of Phuket is very rural, with most land used for farming. I blogged the waterfall a couple of years ago.

Low season, away from the main beaches... not a surprise that we were almost the only people there. Plenty of parking space and a walk up a paved path along a small river. Toilets are a bit scary but looks like new ones are being built. It's very green and very peaceful. I found a beautiful orchid hiding in the greenery.

Orchid at Ton Sai Waterfall

Greenery

The waterfall, like other waterfalls in Phuket is not spectacular. You can climb/scramble up a path into the jungle, and the waterfall can be seen. It's not one huge fall, just a little stream really, which plops down the hillside in a number of stages. I know it's possible to hike from here over the hill to Bang Pae Waterfall, but I have no plans for such an adventure yet! Anyway, we just walked a couple of hundred meters to the bottom of the falls...

Tonsai Waterfall

Ton Sai Waterfall

(above) a couple of views of the waterfall.. at least the lower part of the waterfall. It was too wet, and the path looked rather slippery, so we did not try to climb higher. BUT, there is a nature trail, the start of which is about half way from the car park to the lower falls. The sign says the trail is 2km long. Not sure if that is 2km each way, or 2km there and back. Have not seen another trail, so I assume you walk up and down the same path.

We decided to try it. Starts quite steeply but flattens off in the jungle. It was a but wet and my dear wife was worried about snakes and large creepie crawlies. We walked for a while but will go back again sometime to see the whole trail. There are "educational" signs along the way, some in a poor state of repair. Trees have name tags in Thai and the ever-useful Latin, but not English. Exercise with education - good for the kids! At least I could explain about buttresses...

Learn about buttresses

Tall tree in the forest near Ton Sai Waterfall

Buttress roots are common in rainforest as they serve to stabilise a shallow rooted tree in the soft ground and help to absorb nutrients in shallow soil. And they can look pretty cool! When you see buttress roots, you're in a rainforest.

Owing to the wet ground, and the fact that we were all wearing flip flops and other such unsuitable hiking shoes, we decided not to push on and find out if the trail was 2km in each direction. This will have to wait for another time. Anyway, purpose served, we got fresh air and exercise and our kids I hope learned something new. What else to do on a slightly rainy day? Well, in the evening we headed for Central Festival mall and watched The Karate Kid in the cinema :)

In the jungle at Ton Sai waterfall in Phuket

(above) My dear wife along the nature trail. Welcome to the Jungle!

Tuk-Tuk's Love them or Hate them


All aboard

Click here for all you need to know about Bangkok http://www.onestopbangkok.com/


These folks bought this one new and rode all around Thailand , they store it in Kanchanaburi for their next trips and for their friends to use when they are here . He said made special for the 250,000 baht " I want one."

Opps-!!!! how did that get in here

Ciejay really liked this one

Alex on a Resort Tuk Tuk
Here are a few Picture of Tuk Tuk's

Here today and maybe gone tommorow

ME, I love them and for lots of reason They are cute, they are cheap , they are colorful and the guys that drive the are crazy , and you are in for the ride of your life and the most important reason is "They are a big partof Thailand" , what would a trip to the (Big Mango) hope Martyn doesn't have that name copyrighted, ha ha, without a ride in the little motorcycle that has made the big city and travel around the city famous , I know a lot of you folks don't like the smoke and the noise they make , but after all it's Thailand and you are just here visiting and to some folks it just would not be a complete trip to Bangkok with out a ride in one, when I rode in( or on) my first one I hung on for dear life , it was like riding on a amusement park ride. Ciejay was scared to death and to me it was like riding with my Mom in her little Ford Mavrick in 1975 , when she got her license ot 60 years old . Her moto was the same as the Tuk Tuk drivers "peddle to the medal" and then some . ha ha .
Well I guess they have limted the number of tuk tuk 's in certain areas of BKK and in some areas they have outlawed them all together , that was what a friend of mine told me .
Now ,they have come up with a green Tuk Tuk-- battery powered and charged with solar panels , or a 10 baht charge at a charging station for a 80 kilometres ride , I guess it was to be expected and for the Earth I guess it will be better , BUT I'll miss the smoke and noise and you can bet they want go as fast.
Here is a article I got from a link on the web about the "new" Tuk Tuk's.

The end of the line for noisy tuk-tuks?
July 5th, 2010 Health & safety, Transport posted by Jimmy Kransic
The ubiquitous Bangkok tuk-tuk is in for a revamp with the development of an environmentally friendly and silent model.
For decades, tuk-tuks, which are a form of taxi in Thailand, have been a fixture on the streets of Bangkok. The tuk-tuk moves with a sound akin to a chain-saw. Tuk-tuks are powered by petrol or gas, with little engine maintenance, and usually belch out thick clouds of exhaust fumes.
Due to the fact that the colourful vehicles can only carry two passengers comfortably, they are slowly being superseded by alternate transport options, which include taxis and public services, such as the Skytrain. Tuk-tuks are more of a tourist attraction than a viable means of transport nowadays.
With the appearance of a new solar driven model, tuk-tuks could be given a new lease of life. The only snag is the hefty purchase price. At over 300,000 Baht, this option is more than 50 per cent dearer than a standard model. The new price of the current model is around 180,000 Baht.
The initial expenditure on these green models would soon be recouped with lower running costs. Although the new tuk-tuks have batteries, they supplement the power from them by utilising the sun’s rays. The batteries cost 10 Baht to charge, which gives a distance of up to 80 kilometres.
The solar powered tuk-tuk could become more affordable if the government subsidised the cost of it. With an estimated 8,000 tuk-tuks on the streets of Bangkok, replacing them with smokeless, silent vehicles would surely lower noise and air pollution levels in the capital.

DINNER OUT

Ha Ha Ha Ha
Ciejay and La La enjoying a glass of wine

Me and my Buddy B-Bie


Three good friends

Talking Thai and catching up on the latest from Wamg Pho
Empty bottle and happy faces


One of the things I love about the LOS is that there are soooo many great places to eat , It makes for a hard choice when someone says "UP TO YOU " which is the normal saying in Thailand , when someone ask you " where do you want to eat tonight ". Well tonight was one of those nights and B-Bie my best friend from The Big City of Bangkok called and said that he would like to come to Wang Pho for a visit , and to take us out to dinner and to celebrate our adopted daughter La La's 30th birthday (I think B likes her a lot ).Well the old" Up to You" was thrown at me and right away I said Som Mai's in the Jungle , one of my favorite places to eat fried fish and cashew chicken, two of my favorite things to eat.Of course I took along a bottle of our famous Hanuman Mangosteen wine , most folks like white wine with fish , but me I am a Red wine person and served at room temperature, It just don't get any better than that . Good food , good wine and dinner out with three of my favorite people.
Took a few pictures of our dinner and evening out hope you enjoy them and if you ever get over this away , I'll take you to the Jungle restaurant , for a "dinner out" you want soon forget .
I guess you know by now that with all these good places to eat and all the wonderful friends we have made in Thailand , that it's just another reason why I'm Retired in Thailand and Loving It

I GOT AND AWARD

Today when I checked my e-mails I had a nice surprise , I had recieved a Award from Emma and Dennis from http://www.awardingtheweb.com/ and I was given an award for being one of the 2010 Top 25 Retirement Blogs Awards . This is a first for me and made me love blogging even more and more determined to post more stuff about Ciejay's and My life being Retired in Thailand and Loving It . Click on the button on the side to see a list of the other 24 winners and to learn more about the work and world of Emma and Dennis and their blog. Malcolm