Places to See…
- Big Buddha
- ‘Local Markets’
- Monkey Cave (Suwan Kuha Temple)
- Phuket Town
- Phuket Zoo / Botanical Gardens / Bird Park / Orchid Farm
There are also ‘excursions’ which include a number of the above places and activities which include a tour guide and set programme or you could visit any of them on your own. Again there are brochures available at all the information kiosks with directions, costs, etc.
The Big Buddha is one of the island’s most important and revered landmarks. The huge image sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata and at 45m high it is easily seen from far away. The site offers the best 360-degree views of the island. Travel along the 4022 (road name seems to vary between 402, 4021 and 4022!), passing Central Festival on your right. The turn off to The Big Buddha is 8km along the road.
A trip to a local market is well worth the visit. There are markets in most of the little towns and villages around – possibly the best one to visit is the market on the way to Nai Yang Beach which takes place on the large piece of land directly across the road from the temple. Local markets sell everything you can dream of – fresh food, fresh fish, lots of fruit and vegetables, clothes, shoes, etc. Bargaining is definitely part of the experience.
Monkey Cave (Suwan Kuha Temple):
The turn off to the Monkey Cave is 30km from the Guesthouse and is only indicated in Thai along with a turnoff to Raman Waterfall National Forest. The temple is a couple of hundred metres along the road. You will be in the grounds of a Buddhist Temple of which the Monkey Cave is a part.
There are stalls selling fruit, drinks, snacks and bananas – and plenty of monkeys who’ll happily take the bananas from you !
Inside the main cave is a large reclining Buddha, a number of other Buddha images, a very large Chedi which contains the bones of a family who were the local governors in the area. There are a number of other caves leading off the main cave which include bats and cave dwelling birds. The main cave leads out into the forest – all in all a very worthwhile experience !
Phuket Town is the provincial capital of the island with a mix of cultures, traffic, etc. and is well worth a visit. There are markets and curio stores within the town, both during the day and at night. Take care when parking to be sure to park on the correct side of the road for a particular day ! Alternately, hire a tuk-tuk or taxi to get you there.
A large department store by the name of Robinson’s has a wide range of foods, clothing, shoes, luggage, etc.
Phuket Zoo / Botanical Gardens / Bird Park / Orchid Farm:
Worth a visit if you enjoy these type of activities.
There are an ever increasing number of shows available, the most ‘well known’ being
- Siam Niramit
- Simon Cabaret
FantaSea – ‘The Ultimate Cultural Theme Park’:
A Las Vegas style production blending the beauty of Thai culture with magical illusions, 4-D effects, aerial ballet, acrobatics, pyrotechnics, special effects, an Elephant circus featuring over 30 elephants, etc., etc. – not to be missed !
The theme park includes Sumptuous Buffets, Tiger Jungle Adventure, the Similan Entertainment Centre and a Carnival Village with shops, pavement shows, games, etc., etc.
A journey to the enchanted kingdom of Siam – experience a traditional Thai Village and Floating Market, try your hand at Thai Dancing and Weaving, watch the Elephant War Procession and the Light and Fountain Spectacle followed by a stage production highlighting Thailand’s history and culture.
A live cabaret show, comparable with what one would experience in any upmarket resort venue – the difference being the cast are all transvestites and transitioning transvestites – very professional light hearted entertainment !