I discovered that you can find some really beautiful beaches, restaurants (and I'm using the term loosely), shops, and people without venturing that far away from the mainstream resorts and villages. Just over the hill 2 km South of the main Kata beach is Kata Noi which was just paradise and had hardly anyone there! Similarly, we walked about 500 metres from our hotel down a backroad and found a wonderful Indian "restuarant" called Royal India. Based on the reception they gave us it seemed that tourists don't eat there.
Hungry Ghost Festvial
Captain Mark and his family were going to the Por Tor Festival in Phuket Town and asked if I wanted to come along. What a fun day it was, this festival is more commonly known as the Hungry Ghosts Festival.
This Chinese ancestor worshipping festival happens in the seventh Chinese lunar month as this is when the Chinese believe that the ancestors and spirits of the dead are released from the underworld to revisit their homes.
Food, sweets, fruits and drinks are all decorated beautifully and left for Par Tor Kong who is said to be the God of Devil, the purpose of this is to feed the hungry spirits.
One of the highlights and most popular offerings are the hundreds of beautiful red turtle cakes known as Ang Ku, the turtle symbolizes longevity so worshippers believe these cakes will also prolong their own life and also bring them luck and success. The turtle cakes are made from wheat flour and sugar dough.
The festival is a very important merit making festival but it is a very happy one with lots of fun and laughter, there are also many games for the children to play and win prizes, plus they are non stop stage performances.
One of the most popular events were the huge poles that had a flag at the top with an amount of money, we watched this for ages oh by the way the wooden poles were coated in a thick grease, the aim is too get to the top and grab the flag. So many boys tried this but only 2 made it. Very entertaining and it looked like so much hard work!!
Marks daughter Elise made us try a popular local dish, not sure what it was but it looked like dirty brown water with something floating in it, I found out later it was mango and papaya. The stench from this dish was so overwhelming; I tried it though but would never buy it!! I though Mark was going to vomit ha-ha. The next dish was another murky looking broth with hunks of pork liver floating around; needless to say I gave that one a miss!
Then I tried a quail egg, just like a normal egg but so tiny!
Now we were a bit of an attraction ourselves at this festival as there was no westerners there at all, except for us, so I copped it again with mothers following me with their babies and having to hold them etc!!
A lovely Thai man also gave Elise and me a red turtle each to offer, each turtle had a different saying and mine was for all my wishes to come true. I wrote our names on it and then we were given a perfect position on the table to put them.
After that the Thai man gave us all a bunch of incense and some candles and we had to go to various positions inside the shrine, wei three times and leave three sticks of incense.
Boy it was smoky in there and so crowded and hot.
My eyes were pouring, my arms and hands burning from ash falling on them lol but it was very special. Once outside (when I found my shoes amongst hundreds of others) the last stage is to place your arm on a mans shoulder who then pours oil into containers while chanting good things, its all for good luck etc.
Oh and then we had to burn the paper that the incense was wrapped in, more luck I think!
Elise and I also saw some real turtles, wont tell you what a couple of them were doing but boy did we laugh and of course I took a photo, not every day you see turtles getting up to mischief!!
The amount of food left here for the spirits is amazing, hundreds of cooked chickens and absolutely beautiful fruit carvings. There is a photo of a pineapple as well and it is made of shredded lottery tickets!!
Beach near Phuket airport
Waiting for a flight and don`t wanna sit in a building?
Than visit beach just near the airport (10minute walk) and relax since there is very little tourist people walking around. Actually for this place we could say it has a lack of tourism. But I was glad to find this place since I enjoyed here all day long ...
The fruit is wonderful!
In the market itself but also at various placesa in the streets around the town you'll find fresh fruit stalls. They do vary in price and quality, so just walk around and check them out before you buy. prices are marked and there isn't much need to bargain. What to buy depends on what you like - or it's an opportunity maybe to try some tropical fruit which you haven't tried before. My favourite is mango, while Geina always buys longans.
Great for people watching.
Right in the heart of the action at the end of Bangla Raod and opposite the Rock Hard Ago Go bar.
No sex workers are allowed in here and evidently the staff are relaively well paid so service is very good.
It is a very open bar so you can sit here and watch the mass of humanity that is the Bangla Road pass by, especially interesting is watching the girls over the road at the Rock Hard tempting in the tourists.