The Scenery, The Thoughts, The Journey
Phuket Travel Blog› entry 7 of 18 › view all entries
So much to update so little time to do it within. First, I will update my location: I am currently sitting in Phuket Ocean Resort a stone's throw from the Andamon (spelling?) Sea. Literally, I could throw a stone and hit the water. Of course, that would be definitely not accepted, but I could do it. I won't. But I could. LOL
We left for a brief flight, less than one hour, to Phuket yesterday morning. I was so embarassed though because I could not pay the taxi. It's not that I didn't have the money for it, I only had Baht in the 1,000 currency, the fare was 180--he did not have change. I had a 50 and maybe 5 or so 20's so he just took that and was apologizing so profusely. I felt horrible. I asked him to pick me up on my return flight to America on December 14, he said OK, but I don't know given our past payment history. If he does--I suspect he will receive the majority of the remaning baht I have, which may not be much.
ANYWAY, so Monday I went to the former Capital Ayathuya. It is a city of ruins currently, with exception of the Grand Golden Buddha. There was a war way back, and the Burmese learned of the gold on the statues--they beheaded the golden heads of the Buddhas. I have been told so many different stories, so I am not sure which is true...the books say one thing, locals say another. Seems different manifestations of history transcend local, eh? I have also been told the Burmese burned everything out of disrespect to the Thai people, King and Buddhism. Either way, it was amazing to see all these massive statues, temples and Pagodas in ruins. Rest assured, I took MANY pictures! The tour guide was nice. So nice, in fact, he gave me his cell phone "if you need anything while you are here...what are you doing this weekend?" how should that be taken? Just as they are nice people, right? :)
Tuesday my friend Paul and I went to the new Grand Palace in Bangkok and Wat Pho. There were something near four Temples I wanted to go to, and we got through two only. The pictures simply will NOT be able to express the awe evoked from Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. wow! At the Grand Palace, this is the king's former residence (I think?), the Emerald Buddha is housed. The lore w/ this statue is it was once covered in concrete/plaster. only after a strike of lightning was the stone underneath revealed. It was moved around for a time and spent some of its life in the Northern regions even in Laos until it found the current home in the Grand Palace. I found it interesting the Emerald Buddha has three outfits...one for each season: rainy, summer and winter. What an honor it must be to be the one to redress the Buddha--it is, naturally, presided over by the King who sits on the massive royal throne. Speaking of which, I learned you are able to tell the level of royalty and importance by the number of circles/cylinders (spelling?) on the thing above the King's head. Nobody has been able to translate what this thing is called, but that was still interesting. I wonder if it is true in other Countries/Continents with royalty as well?
On to Wat Pho--home of the Reclining Buddha. first, this Buddha was too large to fit in a single picture, though I mercilessly tried. A pic of his head on the pillows was one full frame (as a sıde noteö I had to waıt a moment because the keyboard suddenly swıtched to thaı scrıpt, YIKES!). A got a pic of his feet too and the soles of his feet which include extremely intricate mother of pearl work! they had a tradition at this temple I have not seen at others--you "purchase" a bowl of coins, there is a long line of bowls, you walk the line of bowls depositing a coin in each one. This is to get rid of your bad luck and bring only good luck to you. Though I have good luck, can't hurt to seek a bit more. now to the most decadent part of this Wat Pho adventure:
MASSAGE AT WAT PHO:
Wat Pho is internationally known for its traditional thai massage school. This is where the REAL thai massage are learned. For 360 BHT plus a 60BHT tip, this one hour of pure pain and torture amounted to about 12 US. I say pain and torture because this little thai woman was inflicting so much pain on varioyus parts of my feeble body--most painful was the time she spent poking and prodding my outter thighs. However, once she was done, WHOA! Every muscle, bone and pore in my body seemed to be in perfect alignment and delight. While sitting in post-massage splendor, I got suckered into buying some crappy souvenir waiting for my friend to finish his. One of you will be the lucky recipient I am sure. haha
I will be a tourist in Phuket Island. I have no local contacts so I will probably spend the day lounging on the beach, taking naps, sipping fresh fruit beverages and enjoying the good luck brought to me by depositing those coins (read above). We return tomorrow and I may go to another local island this weekend if I can convince myself to part with the 4000BHT required. Otherwise, I will remain in Bangkok and go to the floating market, the flower market and meditate with my tour-guide friend at his Temple (Wat). So many choices...so little time.
I will attempt to upload some new pics later today or perhaps over the weekend. I apologize for not getting many pics up here...I forget my cord often.
STILL LOVE YA!