Some observations from travels

Thailand

Travel Theme: Beaches

I love beaches and I love that Where’s My Backpack chose this for this week’s Travel Theme.

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A Word a Week Challenge: Island

Sunset at Tanah Lot, Bali

Sunset at Tanah Lot, Bali

Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Penjor from Ubod, Bali

Penjor from Ubod, Bali

Offering rituals, Bali

Offering rituals, Bali

Welcome, Koh Samui

Welcome, Koh Samui

Large budha overlooking the island of Phuket, Thailand

Large budha overlooking the island of Phuket, Thailand

Please don’t forget to visit here for more interesting stories about beautiful islands around the world.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

One of the things I love to do is go for a walk.  I explore places, both old and new, by walking.  My favourite place to walk through is a rainforest – it’s just magical!  Here are some photos for this week’s photo challenge – Beyond.

Lamington National Park, Gold Coast Australia

Lamington National Park, Gold Coast Australia

Mossy lake water, Great Falls, Virginia, USA

Mossy lake water, Great Falls, Virginia, USA

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand

From the hallway of Lincoln Memorial looking beyond is the Washington Memorial and the Capitol, Washington, DC

From the hallway of Lincoln Memorial looking beyond is the Washington Memorial and the Capitol, Washington, DC

Arlington National Cemetery, VA, USA

Arlington National Cemetery, VA, USA


Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

I just love these photos I took of a solitary dog at the beach in Koh Samui, quite content with the peace and quiet.  Scenes like these would not have been possible in some overly crowded holiday places.  This scene also represented how beautiful life on this island was – dogs were still welcome to wander and laze around.

Solitary is a state of being alone.  I treasure solitary moments.  Some people are not comfortable with being alone – they feel it’s always lonely when you’re alone.  I don’t think being alone and solitary is lonely.  Do you think this dog is lonely?  I don’t think so..he seemed content.

How about you, are you comfortable being solitary in a busy world around us?


Phuket on my mind

This was our second time to visit Phuket.  Previously we stayed at Hat Kata on the South Western side of the island.  This time we stayed at Hat Patong on the Western side.  Our hotel was old and seemed like it had seen better days.  Excellent location, though, right across from the beach and perfect view of the sunset.  But I would have to say Kata is still top on my list of the Phuket beaches.  Patong is much too crowded and messy compared to Kata.

Patong Beach

These colourful shrines are everywhere and they present with so much detail in them.

And then we chanced upon this Wishu Center which seemed deserted and neglected, but still showed its intricate details.

And some other interesting sights around the beach area.

As another day ends you’ll realise that the maddening crowd that you bumped into whilst walking around were probably here for the same reason…Phuket has its own appeal.  The Thai people are warm and friendly, the food is great and then you are shown some of nature’s best.

And it’s images such as these that stays on my mind about Phuket.


Sunrise over Samui

4am.  The duet of bells clanging and dogs howling sounded off to welcome a new day!  I wasn’t startled this time, I have embraced this sound on the third morning, as it woke me up from a fitful sleep after a bone breaking Thai massage last night.  I learned from one of the staff at the resort that this sound was to invite member for the 4am (and 6pm) prayers.  This is similar to the mosques’ call for prayers.

Went back to sleep but was determined to step out early so I don’t miss the sunrise this time.  The first image that welcomed me with an amazing display of yellow, grey and orange.  I thought I missed it, yet again!

The moon goes to sleep on the west.

But good things come to those who get up earlier.  Here it was, wait for it…

There it is…

This was such a glorious experience for me.

And day three of the banana flower from my backyard.

Our villa was generously appointed with an outdoor lounge with a work area but I much preferred this as a workstation as I could look up and enjoy the view.

The resort was practically deserted as it was low season, which I preferred, until it picks up again early in December.

This had been a wonderful and very relaxing experience for us and quite sad to leave behind.  We move on to Phuket.


Hat Maenam, Koh Samui, Thailand

On our second morning at this quiet part of the island I got to witness the sunrise, bit late, but I tried.  Earlier this morning I was woken up by the sound of bells clanging along with dogs howling to it, checked my watch, 4am!  The beach was waking up and everyone was on their way to start a wonderful new day.

Some remnants of past beach activities and a buddha on the edge of our resort’s property.  After a hearty breakfast we explored the neighbourhood.  We chanced upon a temple/learning centre/cemetery.

This grotto must have witnessed many a prayers in the past…

One of the oddities we saw on that compound was this wooden phallus.  Obviously important for them so I had to look it up!  The ritualistic belief of the phallus symbol started as a legacy to a Bhutanese saint -Lama Drukpa Kunley, before Buddism came.  It is widely used in paintings around Bhutanese homes and believed to ward off evil spirits and bring about good luck.  Popular amongst visitors on pilgrimage to the Chimi Lhakhang monastery, a shrine dedicated to Drukpa Kunley, being blessed by these wooden phalluses for their prayers to bear a child or for their child’s welfare.  Interesting!

And some more images around the resort to settle your minds down…

As the sun started to set I couldn’t help but capture the effects it had around me.

Reflections on the pool were amazingly clear.  I love it!

So off we go to experience Thai massage.  Another relaxing day ends and looking forward to tomorrow.


Sawadikah Samui

So we have moved on to Koh Samui, an island on Thailand’s lower western gulf coast.  Our resort is one of the many that line along the Hat Maenam beach northwest of the island.  It is known for is quiet beach and laid back atmosphere, compared to the busier and more touristy beaches.  We arrived at night but still had a good glimpse of the resort and the beach.

You will be welcomed at this thatch style airport.  It gives you a feeling that you are in a tropical island straightaway.

Temporary workstation, unfortunately, this will have to do for now.  Life here is unhurried.  So what do we do?  Sit back, cocktail in hand and chill!  I guess.

Sunset on Hat Maenam.  Gorgeous!  I just love the colours of sunset.