Yummy China Buffet and Sushi Restaurant, East Meadow, New York

For years there has been an Asian buffet in East Meadow, NY, that my wife and I refereed to as "the little Asian buffet". I have written about it a number of times. It went from fair to poor to terrible and back to almost fair over the years. It never had much business and we always wondered how they could stay in business, especially with the competition near by. It finally closed - at least it

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Ciejay and Malcolm

Exploring Phang Nga Province

Phuket is an island, more or less ... it is surrounded by water, but is connected to the mainland by the Sarasin bridge - well, Sarasin bridges actually ... there are now 3 spans across the 500m gap between Phuket and Phang Nga Province which lies on the other side. The first bridge was only built in 1967 and 2 more have been built in the last 15 years to allow a bridge for traffic each way, while the oldest bridge is now for pedestrians and is a popular evening walk for locals.

Sarasin Bridge Sunset

Phuket is not just an island, it's a province of Thailand in it's own right, albeit the smallest! The total area of Phuket is less than 600 square kilometers including smaller offshore islands. Over the bridge is Phang Nga province, with an area of over 4000 square kilometers. Sometimes it feels like we have explored every inch of Phuket, and driving over the bridge seems like a big day out! We have spent many days exploring Phang Nga and I noticed that the Phuket Blog now has over 20 pages relating to places in the neighbouring province, so this blog post is a way to tie everything together. Tempted to start a "Jamie's Phang Nga" blog actually, but not yet. Everything on this page is within a few hours drive of Phuket. With favorable traffic we can be over the bridge into Phang Nga in 45 minutes. There's plenty yet to be found, but here's what we know of Phang Nga province so far.

Phang Nga Bay

First on the list ... Phang Nga Bay including James Bond Island and Koh Panyee village, with limestone karst islands and beautiful scenery .. this has to be on most tourists "to do" list, which means avoiding the crowds can be tricky! We have that figured out now - just get there late when all the standard tours are on the way home. Read more : Phang Nga Bay - Doing It Our Way!

James Bond Island View

(above) James Bond Island

Koh Panyee Village

(above) Koh Panyee Village in Phang Nga Bay

Restaurants in Phang Nga

I am sure there are plenty more, but here's a few restaurants and cafes that we like in Phang Nga .... I am not suggesting a drive all the way just for lunch, but in combination with visiting other attractions, one of these places should hit the spot. Our favourite I would say is Tha Sai Seafood, which is quite a drive, past Phang Nga Town and on the way towards Krabi. Great food and a great view!

View from Tha Sai Restaurant

Another one by the water is Samchong Seafood (below), from where we have hired longtail boats a few times to head out into Phang Nga Bay. We heard that it gone downhill, but visited again in 2016 and it was still good.

Samchong Seafood, Phang Nga

Another we have been to a few times is Dairy Hut Seafood, a 2nd branch of the Dairy Hut restaurant in Phuket Town. Next door they have now opened Dairy Hut Farm with animals to pet and feed including some llamas.

Dairy Hut Phang Nga Restaurant

(above) Dairy Hut Seafood restaurant in Phang Nga

And there are a couple of little cafes which we know with nice views, just (for us) a place to stop for a drink - the Phang Nga Viewpoint Cafe, near Phang Nga Town and the 360 Degree Viewpoint Cafe which is just a few km north of the bridge. We have also recently visited a couple of restaurants near Wat Khao Waterfall which will be blogged in the near future.

View from 360 Degree Coffee

(above) That's me at the 360 Degree Viewpoint Cafe

Khao Lak

Phang Nga Province has plenty of beach property and it's mostly way quieter than Phuket. Khao Lak was really just becoming a destination in it's own right when the tsunami hit hard in 2004. Khao Lak suffered a lot more damage than Phuket, though of course now nearly 10 years later there's no obvious evidence of the disaster. I had never stayed more than a couple of hours in Khao Lak before 2013, but we booked a couple of nights to explore the area, and liked it so much we have had several more overnight trips there! See : Holidays in Khao Lak and One Night in Khao Lak.

Khao Lak Sunset

(above) A Khao Lak Sunset, we really liked the uncrowded beaches

Khao Lak Tsunami Memorial

(above) One of the tsunami memorials in Khao Lak - this police boat was carried more than 1km inland and was left there as a reminder.

Khao Lak is also the start point for most trips to the Similan Islands and other offshore islands. The Similans are a big destination for divers - it's why I came here in 1999, looking for work as a dive instructor. I wanted to dive the Similan islands and diving is still in my veins as manager at Sunrise Divers! A bit north of the Similans is Koh Tachai Island - I had dived there before but never been shore until 2013 when we did a day trip from Khao Lak. Wow.

Koh Tachai Island

(above) The kids enjoying the day at Koh Tachai

Khao Lak is about a 1 - 2 hour drive from Phuket, depending where you start in Phuket. From our house near Phuket Town, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Carrying on further north from Khao Lak you reach Takua Pa, which (100+ years ago) was an important trading port, just like Phuket. Now it's still a big fishing port and just outside the main town is the old town of Takua Pa which is similar to old Phuket Town only quieter. We've been a couple of times. On Sundays in the high season they have a street market which we visited also, kind of like the Sunday walking street market in Old Phuket Town, but .. older!

Old Takua Pa Town

Old Takua Pa Town on Market Day

(above) In Old Takua Pa, and on market day.

And further north still, and still in Phang Nga province, in between Takua Pa and Kuraburi is Sri Phang Nga National Park which features several waterfalls and we really must check out more of them, because once we found Tamnang Waterfall we decided that would do us just fine! It was more impressive in low (rainy) season although that meant you could not swim in the pool below the falls and a park ranger came with us to make sure we stayed safe.

Tamnang Waterfall at Sri Phang Nga National Park

(above) Waterfall at Sri Phang Nga National Park

There are quite a lot of waterfalls in Phang Nga, we have stopped at quiet a lot. Lampi waterfall and Ton Prai waterfall south of Khao Lak are well worth a look - again, they are more spectacular in the rainy season, but still great places to cool off on a hot day in April!

Natures Shower - Ton Prai waterfall

(above) Yeh, that's me enjoying the cool water at Ton Prai waterfall!

Another place with waterfalls that we like is Sa Nang Manora Forest Park, just north of Phang Nga Town. No big cascades, but a lovely forest setting, popular with locals at the weekend. There's another place called Raman Waterfall Park south of Phang Nga Town that we do mean to check out one day!

Waterfall at Sa Nang Manora

Temples in Phang Nga

I do like my temples! And Phang Nga has several interesting ones to visit and I am sure there are more to be found. The most famous is Wat Suwan Kuha, also called Wat Tham, which is built into a cave featuring a large reclining Buddha and lot of monkeys!

Reclining Buddha at Wat Suwan Kuha

(above) Wat Suwan Kuha is found a bit before Phang Nga Town if you are coming from Phuket. Before that, on the left side is Wat Manee Sri Mahathat, which is home to a large statue of a famous Monk called Por Than Klai.

Wat Manee Sri Mahathat

(above) Wat Manee Sri Mahathat

In Phang Nga Town is one of the oddest temples I have seen - Wat Thamtapan features visions of heaven and hell. The Buddhist version of hell is all about different punishments for your worldly sins. We ascended the steep stairs in the heaven section where you can find a view back across Phang Nga to the sea.

Stairway in the jungle

(above) The somewhat dizzying stairway to heaven at Wat Thamtapan, Phang Nga

And one more temple, well worth the long drive past Phang Nga Town near the small town of Thap Put, is Wat Bang Riang. I had seen pictures, but we did not really know where it was, finally "discovering" this place in 2012.

Wat Bang Riang, Phang Nga

(above) Wat Bang Riang

Little Amazon River Tour

North of Khao Lak is the town of Takua Pa (as mentioned above). Just a couple of kilometers from the town you can start the Little Amazon tour along a small mangrove river looking out for wildlife such as snakes and monkeys. We did the trip in 2016 and it was fun!

Little Amazon Tour - In the Jungle!

(above) On the Little Amazon River Tour

Koh Yao Noi Island

Also part of Phang Nga Province, sitting in Phang Nga Bay, just a short boat ride from the northeast coast of Phuket, are the islands of Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi. The former we have not visited yet. Koh Yao Noi we have been several times for day trips. It's a very quiet island with a mostly Muslim population, the main business is fishing and farming, though for sure the tourism is evident. We have enjoyed a couple of family day trips taking the boat and then renting scooters on arrival to explore.

Kids playing football at Koh Yao Noi Island

(above) - My favourite football pitch, at Koh Yao Noi island

Koh Yao Yai Island

To the south of Koh Yao Noi, and larger, but actually less developed (although it does have a bunch of hotels of varying standards) is Koh Yao Yai island. We'd not been until 2016, and had a very nice overnight trip including a morning tour round some other islands such as Koh Hong. A beautiful place to stay. See - Koh Yao Yai Island.

Thiwson Resort Pool

(above) View from Thiwson Resort at Koh Yao Yai Island

White Water Rafting

We did a very enjoyable little white water rafting trip in Phang Nga, north of Phang Nga Town near Tone Pariwat Waterfall. Trips like this can be booked with my friends at Easy Day Thailand.

White water rafting in Phang Nga

(above) That's me and the family on white water!

Bang Pat Fishing Village

A place I had meant to visit for a few years, Bang Pat sounded very interesting, a little village hidden away in the mangroves with fresh seafood and homestays available. We stopped there in 2015, and I felt like it was like a poor man's Koh Panyee, we did not eat there, just looked around. Might go back for some food someday!

All smiles at Bang Pat

(above) At Bang Pat village

Great Scenery

And pretty much no matter where you are in Phang Nga, there's some amazing scenery. Especially along the roads near Phang Nga Town or on the way to Krabi. Those limestone karts that are found in the bay can also be seen on land. Hills jutting up everywhere. A drive can be worth it just for the views. I took the photo below one morning quite early (about 7:30am) with the mist hanging around the hills.

Phang Nga Scenery

And in June 2015, we did go looking for some back roads, a very nice area called Klong Kian, which is just over the bridge from Phuket to the east and covers an area half the size of Phuket. Quiet roads and some unexpected views from little fishing villages. We like this kind of exploring!

Mangrove canal and view of Koh Daeng

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint

A real WOW! I saw images on Instagram in early 2016 and realised we'd been near here before when visiting Klong Kian, but I had not seen any viewpoint signposted. Seems that someone has made a rough road up a hill, you pay 300 Baht, there are a few food and drink vendors and the views are amazing from here. Read more : View from Samet Nangshe, Phang Nga.

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint

(above) Samet Nangshe Viewpoint

Khao Kai Nui Viewpoint

In between Phuket and Khao Lak, a place I tried to find a couple of times, it's not well signposted! Khao Kai Nui is a viewpoint on a hill, which you really need 4WD to drive up though we just about made it with a 2WD pick up truck. Great view in the day time, but it's meant to be best early morning with the fog lying in the lowlands. So we'll have to do it again!

Looking West from Khao Kai Nui

(above) View from Khao Kai Nui

There's still more to explore in Phang Nga. I have seen signs to interesting looking restaurants, I want to check out some back roads, I want to go back to the viewpoints in the early morning. Need more time! Oh, to be a full time blogger! If you drive east through Phang Nga you get to Krabi which is just about close enough to visit in a day trip from Phuket. North to Phang Nga is Khao Sok National Park which makes a very long day trip, better to stay a night or 2, which we have done many times. Keep on exploring!

Phang Nga Province - Location Map

View Phang Nga Province in a larger map

Shady Maple Smorgasbord Off-Season Special Theme Dinner Weekends - East Earle, PA

If you are a regular reader of this site you know about Shady Maple - our top buffet pick for a number of years now. You may not know that when the winter comes, Shady Maple features special theme weekend dinners on Friday and Saturday nights. Those dinners started tonight but this weekend's special continues tomorrow. I am going to list those theme weekend specials and their dates here for your

Phang Nga Viewpoint Cafe

We do like to go exploring in Phang Nga, the province which is just north of Phuket, just over the Sarasin bridge. It's a much larger area to explore than Phuket Island, so we keep finding something new. Phang Nga includes such attractions as Phang Nga Bay and Wat Suwan Kuha, as well as many waterfalls, restaurants, temples and quiet roads with great views. We first found the Phang Nga Viewpoint Cafe on January 1st 2013, and though it was not 100% complete, it seemed open and the views were very nice, so we stopped for a drink. And then we found that we had met the owners before at a friend's house. A husband and wife team, he had been a policeman in Phuket before, now "living the dream" or something in Phang Nga. We enjoyed the views and said we'd visit again sometime. Here's the view looking south...

And the kids enjoying their New Year's Day in Phang Nga ...

We have now eventually returned! We had an afternoon in Phang Nga on Christmas Day. During 2013 we did head into Phang Nga province several times but we stuck to the west coast, staying several times in Khao Lak and exploring that part of Phang Nga province. On December 25th we drove towards Phang Nga Town, stopping off at Wat Manee Sri Mahathat, and planning to see if the new Dairy Hut Farm was worth a visit. We sidetracked up the left turn before Phang Nga Town to the Viewpoint Cafe. Note - the signs are only written in Thai to this place! The seating had been increased since a year before including many outdoor tables and a balcony with the view below ...

So we had a very relaxed half hour chatting with the owner. He recommended coming back for a sunset beer. Sunset is great there, he says - that will have to be next time! Certainly a nice spot to stop off if you are in Phang Nga, have a drink, enjoy the scenery. Oh, they allow people to stop and camp there too. The location is marked on the map below, although the satellite image is too old to show the cafe.

Phang Nga Viewpoint - Location Map

View Phang Nga Viewpoint Cafe in a larger map

Related pages on Jamie's Phuket

Koh Panyee in Phang Nga Bay
James Bond Island
Samchong Seafood Restaurant
Dairy Hut Seafood
Sarasin Bridge

Christmas Dinner at D. J.'s International Buffet, Garden City, NY

For the past several years we have enjoyed a very special Christmas dinner at a buffet that is no longer open - Best Buffet in Huntington, NY. When we saw during this past year that Best Buffet had shut its doors for good, we wondered where we would find a reasonably priced and good buffer for the holidays. We decided at the very last minute to go to International Buffet in Garden City, New York.

Review of 2013 on the Phuket Blog

It's time for the annual review on the Phuket Blog. The year 2013 (or 2556 in the old Thai calendar) is just about done. New Years Eve tomorrow and my family and I have just been discussing our options. We are not heading to any big parties. I think we all find kind of tired. A fun family movie and an early night might suit us! Followed by a nice day out somewhere on January 1st. Hope everyone has had something to be happy about this year. Best wishes for 2014 from Phuket!

Way back in January 2013, which seems like more than a year ago we did have a nice day out on January 1st including a New Year lunch at the new Dairy Hut Seafood restaurant in Phang Nga, north of Phuket Island. Later in the month I blogged about a temple between Phuket and Phang Nga that really should get more visitors - Wat Manee Sri Mahathat - featuring a huge black statue of a revered monk.

(above) Wat Manee Sri Mahathat

(above) Sunset 5th January 2013

A new blog post was written about Rang Hill in Phuket Town, and later in 2013 I also updated an older blog post about the Tunk Ka Cafe which sits at the top of the hill.

In February, a new blog post about an old restaurant called Naowarat, near the main market in Phuket Town. And another post about one of those days when we just go exploring, heading to a remote corner of Phuket Island called Laem Sai. And also in February we had the Phuket Old Town Festival, which was a lot of fun.

(above) at Laem Sai, Phuket

(above) Street in old Phuket Town during the Old Town Festival

Having 2 kids, much of what appears on the blog is things we do with the kids.. so I finally wrote something this year about Phuket for Kids. Unfortunately the kids missed a great day out in March when I joined a trial speedboat tour circumnavigating Phuket Island.

(above) Best way to see Phuket? Take a boat trip right round the island!

Also in March I went to the main Phuket Town market one morning for some photos. If you want to see local life in Phuket, a market is a good place to be!

(above) at Phuket Town Market

During 2013 I have updated quite a few older blog posts, adding new photos or new information. The blog has been going since 2006, so a bit of housekeeping is needed sometimes. In April, a couple of updates were made to posts about the Shrine of the Serene Light and Koh Rang Yai island.

(above) Shrine of the Serene Light in Phuket Town

And a new blog post about the Bang Wad Reservoir in Phuket where many people, including me, go for exercise.

(above) It's a 6.5km walk/run around the reservoir. This is a side of Phuket that most visitors don't know about.

There was a lull in blogging during April and May, as I was on holiday, with my parents visiting from the UK. Quite an active holiday actually even though I intended to take it easy on them! The end of April was when we "discovered" Khao Lak. I mean, we know about Khao Lak but had never stayed there. We had a couple of nights, plus one night at Khao Sok, but liked Khao Lak and went back again for a couple of nights the very next week! During our stay we visited the tsunami memorials, Ton Prai waterfall and had a great day trip to Koh Tachai Island.

(above) Police Boat, tsunami memorial in Khao Lak

(above) Enjoying the trip to Koh Tachai

June was a month of work and school. The Thai school year starts in May, so the kids were busy, and I was working after the holidays. We found time for further explorations in Phuket Town, finding a new coffee shop called Since 1892, and a great place for a burger called Rider Cafe. And in June, we also had the Baba Weddings, celebrating the Baba / Peranakan culture in Phuket.

(above) Phuket Baba ladies

(above) Want a good burger? Try the Rider Cafe!

We visited Khao Lak yet again for a weekend in July, so I finally wrote a blog post about Holidays in Khao Lak. Makes a nice change from Phuket, very relaxing and only about 90 minutes drive from home. And we got lucky with the low season weather.

(above) Khao Lak beach in July

During July and August, lots of new things ... we visited the Phuket Botanic Garden which had opened in 2012, also the Phuket Bird Park, which opened earlier this year and we had a lovely evening on a sunset / dinner cruise to Coral Island with the MV Sai Mai.

(above) Sunset trip with the MV Sai Mai

(above) Palm garden at the Phuket Botanic Garden

(above) My kids enjoyed going to the Phuket Wake Park quite often this year :)

The year moves on. A couple of new blog posts in September - a whole page devoted to a single road! Not Bangla road in Patong. No, that's not my Phuket. For me, the heart of Phuket is Thalang Road in Phuket Town. And a post for monkey lovers - Where to See Monkeys in Phuket :)

Later in September we had a family holiday away from Phuket, mostly on the east coast of Thailand around Chumphon and Hua Hin. A nice area. I came back to Phuket in early October with my wife and we spent several days painting our house while the kids stayed with family in Chumphon.

Main event in October was the Phuket vegetarian festival. 3 blog posts this year about my favourite time of year .. despite the weather not being great at the start of the festival. Firstly - a post about the food, then 2 posts with photos from the Jui Tui Shrine street procession, and the Kathu Shrine procession.

(above) Some pictures from the 2013 Phuket Vegetarian festival

I gotta be honest, since the festival, since high season began and the kids were back at school I have had little time for blogging or taking photos. Indeed, I sold my camera recently, and have just an iPhone right now for photos. Will get a new camera sometime in the new year. The last couple of months has been all about school, early mornings, work and occasional days off which, while I would like to get out and see things, often end up as lazy days at home! One great evening we did have earlier this month was at the Phuket Siam Niramit Show.

(above) At Siam Niramit - we'll go there again!

2013 is done. I am hoping for a great 2014. Hoping that Thai politics, if you can call it that, calms down a bit. Hoping my kids do well at school, hoping for good health for all my family. You know, same things everyone hopes for. Hope if you are reading this, that you'll click through a few links and read more, and then come back and read something new later. Please do follow me on Twitter, and please do *LIKE* the Phuket Blog page on Facebook! Lots more photos on my Flickr page and I post things most days on Instagram too! Many thanks. See you on the other side in 2014!

A Waste of $90

Anyone who reads this site regularly knows that I would not pay for a buffet that costs $90 for two, but we were invited to one and we went with relatives. I have written of this annual Christmas Eve excursion before but this year the price is higher and the meal was just not good. The restaurant is not a buffet normally. It is a menu restaurant with a catering hall on the side that has been

Merry Christmas from Ciejay and Me

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family , have a great holiday season with your friends and family and remember that Jesus is the reason for the season

It is Christmas time and that means its time for IKEA's Julbord Smorgasbord!

I have written about these dinners for the past few years. The IKEA stores celebrate the holidays and the summer with a special Swedish buffet dinner in there store restaurants for one night each. There is a Christmas dinner, an Easter dinner, a Midsummer dinner, and a special Crayfish feast dinner in August. I just returned from the  Christmas smorgasbord and it was great as always.

I have

Golden Corral Adds More Fountains

I have written before about Golden Corral's Chocolate Wonderfall - a chocolate fountain at the center of their dessert bar. Apparently, despite the, perhaps unrealized, drawbacks of melted chocolate fountains, they must feel that this is very popular - they have just added two more similar fountains to their restaurants.

Golden Corral buffets now have THREE "wonderfalls" - fountains - the

The Siam Niramit Show in Phuket

The Siam Niramit Phuket cultural show opened in December 2011, located just outside Phuket Town, and not too far from our house. I must have driven past it 200 times and thought "we should try it one day". but we generally tend to avoid the most obvious tourist attractions and find our own favourite things to do and places to visit in Phuket, so Siam Niramit went un-visited until now! I figured the show would be similar to Phuket Fantasea which opened about 15 years ago ... we finally visited in 2011! Siam Niramit I knew was a successful show in Bangkok and the company decided to open in Phuket too, obviously creating direct competition for Fantasea. I can anticipate people asking me "which one should I see?" - I think my answer is "both"! Phuket has a lot to do in the day time, but good quality evening entertainment is hard to find. Personally I can skip the ladyboy shows, but Fantasea and now Siam Niramit - this is top class entertainment and certainly worth doing. Well, it took only 2 years for us to visit Siam Niramit. And I think we'll go again as it's just a 10 minute drive from our house and our kids loved it (so did my wife and I, but you know amazing things are even more amazing for kids!).

And next time we will go earlier to have more time to look around the grounds. We got there at about 6:30pm, but the place opens at 5:30pm. As it turned out, at least another half hour would have been useful. We were still looking around the 'Thai Village' when staff came to find us and shepherd us off for dinner. Now we know the place, we can see more next time ... Next time! When we arrived, we could pose with some of the show's characters outside ...

At Siam Niramit Phuket

Just inside the entrance is a selection of souvenir shops - first thing to see when you arrive, and last thing you see when you're heading home. Well, sure we bought a bunch of stuff for the kids :) Little souvenir items started at just 30 Baht, but there's also an antique shop with some very nice items that might catch someone's eye.

Shop at Siam Niramit

Past the shops is a wide open area featuring a giant Naga (a mythical serpent) in a pond. The way to the main stage is to the right and the 'Thai Village' is on the left. And there were elephants! Of course I bought some bananas for 30 Baht a bunch for the kids to feed the cute little ellies who (I think) would be part of the show later.

My boy and elephant at Siam Niramit

(above) My boy and the elephant :)

At the entrance to the Thai Village are some sideshow stalls of the "olde style" which is very popular at local fairs in Thailand - things like "throw a ball at the cans and win a teddy if you knock them all over" or "throw a ball to try and knock the ladyboy in the water". My boy tried both .. needs to improve his aim!

The Thai Village is bigger than I thought, so we do have to go again! There are demonstrations of handicraft making, preparation of local snacks, typical old style houses, and more. The kids took a ride on a boat (20 Baht each), and fed a buffalo which would also be part of the show later. And then we had to dash off for the buffet dinner. Maybe next time we can skip dinner, tasty though it was, and have more time to enjoy things outside - we had to miss the Muay Thai demonstration, and my son wanted to see that (but he was hungry too, so we could not watch it all!). Yeh, so what I am saying is, you need to come twice :)

Feeding Buffalo at Siam Niramit

(above) Feeding a buffalo

(above) Muay Thai at Siam Niramit

Boat ride at Siam Niramit

(above) A little boat ride for the kids

Muay Thai at Siam Niramit

(above) Posing with the Muay Thai fighter, but we did not see them fight, we had to dash off for the buffet dinner. Only just got a table, the restaurant was already all but full. We were in the VIP restaurant, as we'd been invited for a "press" evening along with local newsies like the team from The Phuket News and I saw a Thai couple I know who both work in the media. Speeches were being given as we found a seat and I was happy to find some cold beer available :) The food was good, some really tasty fish dishes, in fact way too many different options to try them all! My daughter tried Khao Soi for the first time, I stuffed myself with chicken and cashew nuts. There were curries and mussels and salads and fruits and all kind of things. At this point, I should say - get there as early as you can, see the Thai Village and then spend as much time as you can at the buffet. The buffet is optional, so if you skip that you have more time to enjoy entertainment outdoors. I read that while people eat there is also dancing and a "war elephant" display outside...

And then time for the SHOW! It's a walk of a couple of hundred meters to the theater. You cannot take cameras inside. Cameras can be deposited and you get a receipt before you enter. The pictures below are provided by Siam Niramit Phuket. The show has many scenes taking you through some of the history of Siam (the country was only called Thailand after 1939) starting with the ancient kingdoms of the north, then the south (Phuket!) where you see Chinese traders coming to trade with and marry the locals. There's a Khmer scene and then the old capital Ayutthaya. The scenes are impressive, with a huge stage and many performers / dancers and some animals too. Scene changes are cleverly done, performers are not only on stage, but appear around the theater, even overhead.

(above) The South .. my area! A Chinese Junk arrives to trade with the local people.

(above) Ayutthaya. Lots of fighting!

(above) Hell (Buddhist version) ... there's a temple in Phang Nga Town called Wat Tham Tapan which has some rather scary images of hell. Certainly not where you want to end up. So be good for goodness sake.

(above) Heaven - only nice things. Can I have a few beers in heaven?

(above) The mythical land of Himapan, a place where strange creatures dwell. It's in Buddhism and Hinduism.

As you might be able to see .. the stage show is pretty spectacular at times, my son was sitting next to me and was continually pointing and saying "Dad, look at that!" and "I can see the wires" ;) At one point during the show, I think a big set change was needed, so there was a little musical comedy involving a group of players with bamboo rattles that all played different notes. An audience member was chosen to join them .. my daughter :) She enjoyed that ... was a bit stage shocked afterwards "I've never been on a stage with so many people watching before!" and people were commenting when we left the theater "that's the girl who was on stage!". My girl :) But I don't have any photos as cameras are not allowed :(

Another view of Siam Niramit .. the team from The Phuket News made a little video on the same night ...

We had a great evening! The show was great, the kids loved everything, I can certainly recommend it. The Siam Niramit show is open every evening except Tuesday. More information on the Siam Niramit Website. Many thanks to Siam Niramit for inviting us!

You can book for the Siam Niramit Show with my friends at Easy Day Thailand - and they can help with other trips, tours and days out too.

Update 2014 - we went again on January 12th! My wife's parents were visiting so we went with them and everyone enjoyed the show :)

Siam Niramit Phuket - Location Map

View Siam Niramit Phuket in a larger map