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Old 9th November 2012, 11:45   #76
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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Maybe what she is reading is a field guide/ DIY manual on how to go wading in the sea!
I think she has swimming goggles on!
Are waterproof manuals on wading in the sea available?
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:39   #77
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It's 24th October. Bijoya Dashami. Dusshera. The last day of Durga Puja. I woke in the morning with a little twinge of conscience - I would not get to see Maa Durga this year. Not in Phuket, where there is no Durga Puja celebrated.

Back in Bangkok, there are two Durga Puja celebrations that happen. We had not kept that in mind when scheduling our travel itinerary. And somehow, this morning, I was feeling a little miserable about missing out on the last day of Durga Puja.

The feeling didn't disappear, but I didn't share it with the others. There was no point in making them feel a little miserable too. Everyone was more interested in a dip in the pool. And that is how we spent the morning - a swim, and a sumptuous breakfast.
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-8.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-14.jpg

Late morning, with the chance of a thunderstorm occurring later in the day, we went out for a drive...
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02884k300.jpg

... and I would never have imagined that we would meet Maa Durga here in Phuket today!!
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02930k300.jpg
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Old 9th November 2012, 20:00   #78
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

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Are waterproof manuals on wading in the sea available?
You get those only if you pay with waterproof notes. That's why you don't get those here.

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... and I would never have imagined that we would meet Maa Durga here in Phuket today!!
Number of hands. Or did the camera have one too many!
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Old 10th November 2012, 00:24   #79
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Number of hands.
16. Should perhaps have been 18. The Ashtadashabhuja Durga aka Mahalakshmi. Not sure what it is called in Thai. Also discovered Thailand's (Shyamdesh in Bengali, similar to Siam) mythological connection with India, while reading up on these 2 equally familiar statues I found alongside the Durga statue.

Thailand | Third Time-khanet.jpg

The appellation of Ganesha in Thailand is Phra Phikhanet or Phra Phikhanesuan, both of which are derived from Vara Vighnesha and Vara Vighneshvara respectively, whereas the name Khanet (from Ganesha) is rather rare. (Source)

Thailand | Third Time-phra-phrom.jpg

Thais worship Brahma as Phra Phrom or Thada Phrom (from Dhātā Brahma). (Source)

Interestingly, the Ramayana as we know it, has been adapted into Thai mythology as Ramakien (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramakien). All the links above make for very interesting and enlightening reading.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 10th November 2012 at 00:28.
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Old 11th November 2012, 11:36   #80
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One of Phuket's most important and revered attractions is the giant statue of Big Buddha, about 45 metres tall (that's about as tall as the Statue of Liberty). The statue is still under construction, and was started about 10 years ago. It is located on top of Nakkerd Hills (altitude 1310'), between Chalong and Kata, and gives a commanding view of the surrounding town and sea. The statue is also visible from the surrounding areas from miles away.
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02885k300.jpg

The drive up to the top of the hill is a beautiful one through forested areas, with specially constructed viewpoints looking out to sea along the way. Local drivers consider it to be a difficult climb, because there are a few hairpin bends, and 20-degree slopes.
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02937k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02933k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02935k300.jpg
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Old 11th November 2012, 11:57   #81
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Enjoy some pics of the Big Buddha. Still under construction, the scaffolding around the statue added a touch of mystery to it, I thought. Have used the Panorama feature on my Sony in some of the shots, to fit in the complete statue in 1 frame.

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02892k300.jpg

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Thailand | Third Time-dsc02921k300.jpg

The surroundings will be described in the next post!
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Old 11th November 2012, 21:28   #82
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Wow this is turning out to be a great travelogue and should definitely help me for my trip in May. We were planning to fly earlier from Bgk to Phuket, but your trip has changed my plans. I also intend on hiring a car. We plan to rent for only 5 days, the charges are around 3800 bht for Honda Civic Auto. It would be helpful if you could let me know how much it would cost for the insurance as the same is not available online. I have booked my hotel at Kantary Bay which is in Panwa and hope it is as good as the reviews mentioned in Trip Advisor.

Last edited by Chillout : 11th November 2012 at 21:30.
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Old 11th November 2012, 21:52   #83
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
... and I would never have imagined that we would meet Maa Durga here in Phuket today!!
Thai Maa Durga! wow...you will have to agree on that its a thai durga idol. But must say its very beautiful. Navratras celebrated there of just for the Indian community there?

Infact Ganesh is also Thai Ganesha!

Coming out to be an awesome travelogue! keep it up and looking forward for more...
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Old 11th November 2012, 22:51   #84
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I also intend on hiring a car. We plan to rent for only 5 days, the charges are around 3800 bht for Honda Civic Auto. It would be helpful if you could let me know how much it would cost for the insurance as the same is not available online. I have booked my hotel at Kantary Bay which is in Panwa and hope it is as good as the reviews mentioned in Trip Advisor.
3800THB for 5 days? That looks like a great price. Which agency?

However, a few things to keep in mind:

(A) Check if the car you would be renting runs on E20 (petrol mixed with 20% ethanol) or not. Some cars (esp. the higher end ones) don't (the nozzles are different in diameter). E20 is about 10THB cheaper per litre than regular petrol, and would give you substantial savings in running costs (Bangkok-Phuket-Bangkok is a 1900 km round trip, plus local running).

(B) Check if the agency is offering you zero-liability insurance. Avis charged me ~200THB extra per day for their SCDW (over and above the CDW), but it's completely worth it.

(C) You don't need theft insurance under usual circumstances, though smaller agencies try to hard-sell it to you. Auto thefts in Thailand (unlike India) are extremely rare, and in any case theft insurance is a cover the vehicle carries anyway.

(D) TripAdvisor ratings are highly trustworthy, and the hotels on the Panwa beach road are desirably (for us) located in a fairly uninhabited zone.

All the best for your trip.
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Old 11th November 2012, 23:32   #85
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The area surrounding the base of the Big Buddha, and the glorious views from there:

Parking. Ours is the HiAce parked at the extreme far end on the left of the picture. Count the number of HiAces in the parking lot, and you'll know how common they are in Thailand.
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02926k300.jpg

Entrance to the complex
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02887k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02889k300.jpg

Resting a bit and enjoying the view
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02898k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02901k300.jpg

Rub your hands on this gong to be blessed
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02888k300.jpg


The way to the base of the Big Buddha statue. Essentially a prayer hall-cum-souvenir shop-cum-donation collection office. Visitors' donations go towards building the statue, and for a certain amount, you can ensure having your name inscribed on a marble block used to build the statue. (Don't expect to clamber all over the statue later on and expect to find and photograph that block later on though! )
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02904k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02906k300.jpg

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Cool cat!
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02905k300.jpg

We now climb to the base of the Big Buddha
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02923k300.jpg

A variety of statues - made of brass. I found the Durga, Brahma & Ganesh idols here.
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02924k300.jpg

The biggest brass statue is this imposing 12-metre-tall statue of the Buddha, made of 22 tons of brass, and said to cost 8 million baht.
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02927k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc00355k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02929k300.jpg

Work in progress at the base of the Big Buddha
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02928k300.jpg

The view from on top
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02920k300.jpg

Panoramas from the top
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02893k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02913k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02914k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02915k300.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 11th November 2012 at 23:36.
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Old 12th November 2012, 12:18   #86
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Interestingly, the Ramayana as we know it, has been adapted into Thai mythology as Ramakien
Thai culture is so much interlinked with Hinduism, Sanskrit etc., The ancient city of Ayutthaya is named after Ayodhya, and the king is given the title Rama. IIRC, the current king is Rama IX.

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Old 12th November 2012, 20:45   #87
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^^^
Not just Thailand, but all of SE Asia, Vietnam excepted.
The largest Hindu temple complex after all is not in India!

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 13th November 2012, 06:46   #88
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So true, I was spellbound by the temples at Bali. It was nice to see folks religiously following the rituals in their traditional attire. I also plan to visit Angor Wat and hope it materializes with my Thai trip.

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^^^
Not just Thailand, but all of SE Asia, Vietnam excepted.
The largest Hindu temple complex after all is not in India!

Regards
Sutripta
Quote:
3800THB for 5 days? That looks like a great price. Which agency?
I got the quote from Avis, Do we have a considerable traffic on this route or it is better to make the journey during the day.

Last edited by Eddy : 13th November 2012 at 12:17. Reason: Please use the edit / multiquote option instead of posting back to back posts within 30 mins on the same thread. Thanks.
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Old 13th November 2012, 12:10   #89
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I got the quote from Avis, Do we have a considerable traffic on this route or it is better to make the journey during the day.
Great quote, I must say. 3800THB plus CDW + SCDW + taxes etc should work out to <6000THB.

Traffic on Thai highways is never unruly, so whether you are driving in the night or day, conditions are a lot more comfortable than driving in India. Just keep in mind that folks drive on low beam at night even on highways - it's a little disconcerting to drive that way in the dark for us, when we keep anticipating finding a dead cow or an overturned truck blocking the middle of the highway!
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Old 13th November 2012, 13:00   #90
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I suppose a visit to the Big Buddha makes one very hungry, and there are a few restaurants (not very swanky, but spotlessly clean, as is pretty much any other there) on the road to the top of the hill. Here, one can enjoy one's meal with a commanding view over Phuket and the Andaman Sea.

We chose to go back to the shack at Panwa beach that the others had discovered the previous afternoon - and has been adequately described on the previous page (Thailand | Third Time) (posts #61, 62 & 65). It was late afternoon, and I am not sure which of us made the first suggestion, but suddenly we wanted to go out to sea.

I guess this scene triggered the desire.

Thailand | Third Time-10.jpg

The initial inquiries begin at the shack, about where we can hire a boat.
The fellow directed us to his friend in the next village.
Thailand | Third Time-10-1.jpg

He directed us to a little village at the mouth of a little river, musically called Khlong Mu Dong.

Thailand | Third Time-10-2.jpg

A laid back place, where folks fish to pass the time in the afternoon!

Thailand | Third Time-10-3.jpg

A lot of haggling later, we had a boat for ourselves for 1 hour, for 800THB. Despite all of us wishing it was, unfortunately, it wasn't THIS boat :(

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02988k300.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 13th November 2012 at 13:15.
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