Phuket Day 3 (24 Mar 10) – The Greens in Phuket

Around Patong Beach

After breakfast I went to walk around at Patong beach, never really been on that beach in the day so I figured it might be a good time to see the beach, at the same time digest the heavy breakfast that I had. As I was walking along the beach front, the once beautiful beach was littered with hundreds and thousands of beach chairs. Totally spoil the beauty of the beach. As I was walking along the beach, saw a few touts try to get their first catch of the day. Usually the Caucasians are the ones being targeted, as an Asian i felt relieved that I was not being disturb with “sir you want beach chair” chatters. I managed to snap a few pictures before more tourists appear to disturb the tranquillity of the beach. After taking a few pictures, I crossed the road to walk around the road side stalls. They looked sleepy as the stall owners took their time to display their merchandise. Guess the real shopping timings are not that early and the locals really couldn’t be bothered to entertain anyone who walked past at this time (include the farangs). As I was walking towards the famous Bangla st, I came across an interesting sign. Couldn’t help it but to take picture of it, very interesting sign. The shops kept repeating itself and the goods they sell are really targeted at the tourists. I saw alot of imitation goods and T-shirts, but nothing unique to Phuket itself.

Around Patong area
Around Patong Area
Patong Beach
Patong Beach
Patong Beaach
Around Patong area
Patong Beach
Patong Beach
Rows and rows of tanning chairs on Patong Beach
Patong Beach
Patong Beach
Patong Beach
Sign on the road
Some of the eateries on Patong Beach
I find this sign interesting
One of the pubs along Bangla Street

Soon I reached Bangla st, it looked totally different from the night time when i passed it last night. The whole street looked dead, as if it has not woken up from the partying of the foreigners last night. The pubs are opened (well this whole street is full of pubs) but the staffs in the shop are busy cleaning and wiping their glasses in preparation for the night. I passed by this tour booth as I was trying to find tours to Bang Pae waterfall. Found out from the booth owner that there is only 1 company doing tour to the waterfall, and that if I were to take a taxi there and back would cost more (I agreed with her, the night before I had inquired from the tuk-tuk drivers along the street). So i went ahead to book the tour to the waterfall for the afternoon. Since i was there, I also booked a trip to islands around Phi Phi island. The lady gave me an excellent price for the 2 packages i booked. And so i hurried back to the hotel to prepare for the Bang Pae trip.

Buffalo Cart Ride

The tour agency guy popped by to pick me up for the tour, I was impressed by the efficiency of the tour arrangements. It only took them a few hours to get things organised and commenced the tour. We were drove towards our first itinerary, the buffalo cart ride. The journey took around 2 hrs to arrive at the place. As we arrived the farmer pulled the buffalo towards the cart and we were told to board the cart. Man the bull was strong at the same time i thought was quite cruel of them to “torture” the animal like that, although the ride only took around 10 mins. But then again, i was thinking this is probably good for the farmer, i mean how much can you earn from selling vegetables? At least the tourism provided the farmer some extra income to feed his family and of course the buffalo.

This is where we had our buffalo cart ride
This is where we had our buffalo cart ride

Khao Phra Thaeo National Park

After the buffalo ride, we went towards Khao Phra Thaeo National Park. On the internet, the park was boasted as the last virgin rainforest in Phuket. This is on my itinerary list when i was planning for the trip. I figured many people come here for the beach, but do they know the green behind the sands? The first thing that we were showed was the rubber tapping and rubber producing. I am quite surprised to know that there are certain timing in the night to tap and collect the latex from the rubber tree and for latex to be harvested from the tree, the tree must be at least 13 years old and they will stop tapping the tree when it is 30 years old. After which the tree will be cut down to make into furniture and new tree will be planted to replace the old tree

Khao Phra Thaeo National Park
Locals enjoying the cool water
Forest trek in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park

After the rubber tree explanation, we were driven to the waterfall. The trek from the entrance of the park to the waterfall was not far. Took around 20 min of walking to the waterfall. The trek was nice as the trees was sheltering us from the hot rays emitted by the merciless sun. Along the way we saw a few water holes and locals went there to escape the heat. After some walking, we were shocked when we arrived at the waterfall, only at this time we then understand what the tour guide (well she dun speak alot of English, she merely brought us from point A to point B) when she said no water no water. At first i thought water is not allowed to be brought into the park (a weird restrictions though). After seeing the fall then we understand what she meant. The water flowing from the falls is really pathetic, only small steams of water flowing down. Previous i was told by some of the locals that it hasn’t been raining in Phuket for the past few months (and here we are complaining in Singapore when it hasn’t rained for 1 week). No wonder the water from the falls failed to impress us. After we saw the falls, we were brought to the Gibbons Project place. Well this centre again failed to impress us. It was merely a compound with a few cages locking up the gibbons. Kinda felt like this project is either the efforts of a few individuals or it has not been given the blessings by the Thai government (or even both). What a disappointing trip so far.

Waterfall in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park
The trek to the waterfall
Locals playing in the water holes
Very disappointing waterfall
Not too much water at this time of the year

Elephant Trekking

As we were headed back towards the main road, we were at our next item on the list – elephant trekking. At first i was rather against the idea of riding on the back of the elephant, however it is kinda fun and the trainers treated the elephants well. It was a 20 mins ride on the elephant around the area. The elephants walked into a small stream, and then up a small slope towards a pathway.

Riding on an elephant
The elephant even went into a small stream
and back on the roads
The elephant I was riding can’t resist some food along the way
Me on the elephant
Me on the elephant
Me on the elephant
Me on the elephant
Me on the elephant
Me on the elephant

Canoeing in Mangrove Swamps

After some 20 mins, we got off the elephant and headed over to the next destination. Canoeing in mangrove swamps. The last time i saw mangrove swamp was when i was trekking in Pulau Ubin with a friend, then even though we were walking on the planks on top of the swamps, it was as close as this canoeing trip. It was fun, relaxing and refreshing! After the canoeing trip, we were served dinner. The food was so-so, but the fish is really fresh! After eating the tour had ended and we were driven back to our respective hotels.

Mangrove Swamp that we will be Canoeing in
This is the waterway where we did our canoeing
Took this picture on the Canoe
Scene of the waterway where we canoed
Peaceful time canoeing
Just love the tranquility
Approaching the mangrove swamp
The waterway where we canoed
Our guide showed us to the mangrove swamp
Mangrove swamp close up
Mangrove swamp where we canoed in
A peaceful canoeing time
I find this session rather therapeutic

As the night was still young, i decided to see the Simon cabaret show, it was boasted as a must-watch show when you visit Phuket. The van came to pick me up as stipulated. Well this show is about a bunch of lady-boys mimicking sounds and dance of famous songs. Well kinda boring to me! Maybe my expectations were set abit higher for this show after reading the reviews on the net. However i gotta say their costumes, the stage props was impressive and elaborate. The show lasted for 1½ hrs and we were driven back to the hotel.

Lady-boys posing for picture for a fee
Lady-boys posing for picture for a fee


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