*** Excursion to Phuket ***
One good turn deserves another! We enjoyed ourselves to the excursion to Kuala Lumpur, we were looking forward to the excursion to Phuket.
Before boarding the cruise, we were presented with an array of choices for the land excursion. Phang Nga bay was the one I picked with Catherine. The night before the cruise, we were told there was a change of plans. The organisers decided my new partners will be Estelle and Christine. (aka the Bikini girls)
“Tender”, that’s a new term I learned on this cruise.
Definition from wikipedia: “A ship’s tender, usually referred to as a tender, is a boat, or a larger ship used to service a ship, generally by transporting people and/or supplies to and from shore or another ship”
This was a photo of the tender beside the cruise ship. You can see how huge the cruise ship is!
If you are a photo buff, you should grab your camera and get ready to take photos! I think I took at least 20 photos of the cruise ship while I was on the tender. The first photo above was where the Legend of the Seas anchored in the Andaman Sea.
Everyone on the tender was taking photo, when you stop taking you seemed like the odd one out!
You know you have reach Patong Beach when you see men and women ready for sun tanning!
Sun, sea and sand. That’s what tourist come here for right?
Juliet our tour guide was waiting for us at the floating platform. Our very chatty lady who loves to talk! She can tell you story after story to keep you entertained. Her family owns a durian plantation too! She said the next time we visit her, we can go to her place to have durians!
The moment we touched land, we were quickly escorted off to a nearby van. We were like stars! Omy and Royal Caribbean folks shielding us from the paparazzi waiting for us. The van then quickly drove off!
That was my imagination. The reality is that we were hurried up the van by the tour guide because our itinerary was jam packed! In total, it was over 3 hour ride on van and a 2 hour ride on a long boat. We were driving out of Phuket Island!
We must be lucky to have Juliet as our tour guide. Her chatty nature entertained us on our arduous long journey. She even had quizzes for us!
Something we learned about the Thais from Juliet, she said the Thais each have their own personal colour. Their colour is the day they were born. How many of you even remember the day you were born? I remember the date, but not the day.
Thai people’s personal colour is as follows:
Monday – yellow, Tuesday – pink, Wednesday – green, Thursday – orange , Friday – blue, Saturday – purple, Sunday – red.
The current King of Thailand was born on a Monday, that is why yellow is the King’s colour, you see Thais wearing yellow shirts on the King’s birthday month!
Our first stop on the excursion was to the Suwan Kuha Temple. It’s locally known as Wat Tam. It means Temple in a Cave. Inside the cave is a 15 metre long reclining Buddha.
I will post the photos of it in my Flickr later. It will be disrespectful if I post I post the photos of Buddha with the photos of people in different stages of undress in this blog post.
We also visited Koh Panyee also known as the Sea Gypsy Island. It’s a village built on stilts with a giant rock as her background. I will also load the photos I took here on Flickr later.
I found the visit to Koh Panyee boring though. I think it’s more meant for tourist from outside of Asia who have not seen life in a kampung. It’s literally a kampung.
The highlight of the trip was to Phang Nga Bay. Phang Nga Bay is a 400 km² bay between the Andaman Sea and between Phuket and the Malay Peninsula of southern Thailand. (In layman language, between Phuket and the tiny strip of land above Malaysia that connects with Thailand)
For the trip there, we sat on the long boat for over 2 hours. The area has 42 islands and we probably saw more than half of it during our long boat ride.
Oh, this huge camera and Jack the camera man followed us everywhere! He’s the real paparazzi!
If you want to see the videos he took and scripted by Alvin and Wei Ding, view it all at: http://project.omy.sg/royal-caribbean/media.html
Our boatman who navigated the complex waterways around the rocks. This bay is quite shallow, so we all depended on him to navigate us throughout thePhang Nga Bay Marine National Park.
This area was declared the a protected Ramsar Site in 2002.
Curious clickers, you can click on this PDF file on the Ramsar Website and check out site no 1185.
The area is filled with limestone cliffs with caves, mangroves, sea caves with the most beautiful natural interiors. It’s like a real live version of the geography textbook!
Look at this low lying sea cave, we entered it!
This was the other side that we exited.
I was day dreaming again and imagined we were being chased by Scaramanga. He discovered that we had the Solex Agitator with us. Christine and Estelle were spies and had made a fool of Scaramanga.
Do you know where Solex Agitator was hidden, it was inside Jack’s video camera. If you scroll up to Jack’s photo, you notice that watch, that’s the rolex watch lookalike from “Live and Let Die”.
Now that we are all in the dream, let me tell you, the blue camera that Phyllis is holding, that’s not a camera at all. In the movie, the golden bullets were stored in a cigarette packet. How old school. In modern day, the bullets are hidden in the camera.
Spending a half day excursion with them, hey, these girls are so brilliant and intelligent not at all bimbo girls that you might think they portray!
Scaramanga’s Island in the movie.
Ko Tapu the limestone rock around 20 metres high in the geography books.
James Bond Island to silly billy tourist like us.
All the long journey, we finally saw the tiny islet! James Bond Island!
We landed at Khao Phing Kan island which consists of two forest covered island with steep shores. It’s the main island where tourist will arrive from the boats.
There was a group of Korean tourist and they were taking turns taking photo at the slanting rock. Heard that they were filming a new Korean drama. It’s called Sea Cave Sonata. Look out for it!
The Singapore contingent saw the Koreans filming and Jack the Cameraman said let’s start working.
Our Bikini girls Estelle and Christine started to pose with the famous Ko Tapu.
Click here if you want to see the video that was produced!
Some of you saw a similar photo on Business Times, Straits Times or MyPaper. For those of you who saw the supposedly saw the photo of me between the two girls, it’s doctored lah. See this photo shows I was not there. LOL…
When our dear girls started to go into the water, look at the expressions of these people!
Our tour guide was in total shock! She was speechless? Priceless photo!
Techie talk again:
Everyone was sleeping on the trip back! I was bored and what do techies do when they are bored?
They turn on their phones. I was contemplating. Should I roam? It’s only $15 per day.
Bored beyond description, I decided to pay for my entertainment! First thing I did was to find out where on earth I am! Turn on google maps and ‘tada!’ I felt so comforted although that does not change anything.
It was one over hour of checking email, tweeting, whatsapping again. What an addict!
The signal is not ‘3G’ though, sometimes it is faster at ‘E’ (Edge) and sometimes ‘O’ (GPRS).
We were really hungry and our first Thai meal!
It was a Buffet Lunch at one of the local resort. We were joined by the rest of the Royal Caribbean tourist.
Thai food in Thailand just taste good! It’s probably the ingredients right? We always hear of Thai folks saying it’s not easy to find the exact ingredients for some of their dishes here.
Thai Beer. You could pick bottled water or Singha Beer. Guess what everyone picked?
After the early dinner, it was another long ride on road back to Phuket Island.
I was so glad I decided to turn on roaming. Since I know it was $15 max a day from my provider, I was not going to waste any cent of it! Did u all read by tweets that day?
We stopped by a tourist shop on the way back to get some Thai goodies. Oh man, I bet everyone could tell we were from Singapore! We bought enough to be packed into boxes! The van brought us back to Patong Beach with so many boxes of junk food!
It was another great excursion out! I heard the rest who went on other excursions enjoyed themselves too! Head over to http://project.omy.sg/royal-caribbean/ to read all about it!