Monday, December 31, 2012

Phuket, Thailand - Part VII

Day 09 - our last day in Thailand, sadly the return journey had to began. Our Phuket to Bangkok flight was early in the morning at 6.55 am. We settled all our hotel payments an other formalities on last night itself. Alex (our driver and guide) picked us up from hotel at 5.00 am. The sky was dripping but at a slow pace. Air Asia flight took off at time and we reached Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International airport after flying 45 minutes. There was big difference in climatic condition between mainland of Thailand (Bangkok) and the island city Phuket.

In Bangkok we had a big break - almost 4 hours. Earlier in Phuket, Thailand - Part I I mentioned that, Bangkok airport is very beautiful and well maintained. Four hours though a big time if you have to waste by sitting and waiting but bit small time to explore Bangkok. We decided not to go out but to explore and shoot the Bangkok airport.

Mythological culture of Thailand is well influenced by our Indian mythology. Stories of Ramayana's and other Purana's are well sighted in their culture as well. Twelve giants are the prominent features inside the 2nd floor of the Concourse Building in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International airport. The statues of the giant characters based on Ramayana mythology symbolize the kingdom’s guardians. They are not only meant to manifest the airport’s grandeur but also to attract the visitors attention. Besides, the display of these giant statues, which are the reproduction works from the giants at the Emerald Buddha Temple, the airport also introduces the oriental literature to the visitors, and serves as and invitation for tourists to visit the Emerald Buddha Temple, where the actual giants stand to protect the temple from all devils and ghosts. The sculpture of these giant statues is a testament of Thailand’s intriguing art and culture.

12 Giants (characters of Ramayana) inside Bangkok International airport
Each has difference name: Tosakanth or Ravana Giant, Sahassadeja Giant, Askan-mara Giant, Cakravarti Giant, Inthrachit Giant, Mangkornkan Giant, Maiyarap Giant, Suriyaphop Giant, Tosagiriwan Giant, Tosagirithorn Giant, Wirun Jambang Giant and Wirunhok Giant. 

Presence of Buddhist art and culture also equally prominent.

By the time we were done with these and our breakfast it was time to check-in and immigration. There were more beautiful and features were waiting for us. After passing trough the immigration we came across a bronze sculpture depicting characters from mythology based on the story of the Churning of the Milk Ocean (Samudra Manthan). 

Bangkok airport kept on presenting good things to us. Happily we board our flight and made an wish to visit again this beautiful country.

Here I conclude my Phuket (Thailand) trip. Hope you enjoyed. See high resolution images of my Phuket trip here in Flickr.

Please feel free to comment. All comments (criticisms & appraisals) are welcome. Please do not reproduce the images for commercial purposes without prior permission.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Phuket, Thailand - Part VI

Day 06 and 07 completely lost due to heavy rain in Phuket. Day 08 was bit better than the previous two days. Early morning we called Alex - our Thai guide-n-driver. 

We visited Cher Aim spa village (situated opposite to Central festival shopping center in Phuket) and had pearl massage for an hour. It was necessary to lift our mood. The massage did the magic. We forwarded with our plans to visit Phuket Butterfly garden and some shopping (we were heading towards end of our trip). Drizzles of rain made sure that, we are not alone - accompanied us regularly.

Once we are done with Butterfly garden, we did some shopping - mainly some souvenirs. We visited the snake garden as well - due to heavy rain I kept my camera inside the car only, did not dared to expose my camera. Then it was time for another splendid Thai lunch. And then back to hotel.

Please feel free to comment. All comments (criticisms & appraisals) are welcome. Please do not reproduce the images for commercial purposes without prior permission.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Phuket, Thailand - Part V

Day 05: Phang Nga bay

Our day 5 itinerary was booked for Phang Nga bay visit. Phang Nga bay is an wide spread area in the Andaman sea between Phuket and the mainland of southern Thailand. An extensive section of the bay has been protected as the Phang Nga National park. 

Starting of the day was similar to Day 03, when we visited Phi Phi islands. Though few differences were there like it was a different jetty (much smaller than the previous day), the travelling boat (also the the group of travelers) was smaller in size (for a maximum of 20 tourists) and the tour guides were more friendly this time but the weather was not.

From here we started our journey.

And we progressed towards the Phang Nga bay.

Rain interrupted in between as much as possible.

Through all the interruptions, we cut through the rough sea to Phang Nga bay National park.

In Phang Nga bay, we traveled in a small canoe/kayak through the mangrove jungle and captured the scenic beauty.

On return trip (from kayak to speed boat), we saw a Thai snake (do not know the exact species).

It was a superb journey of good half an hour in the mangroves. 

There is a small fishing village in Phang Nga - Koh Panyee, the village is built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen. The population consists of roughly 200 families or between 1500 and 2000 people descended from 2 seafaring Muslim families from Java. We had our lunch in this village.

After having delicious lunch, it was time to capture this beautiful village in my camera.

Wooden jetty of the village
View of the village from jetty
Inside the village

A falcon (pet) in the village
Typical Thai boat
I tried a bit of tone mapping in the above image of the boat (single image). I tried to capture few human beauty as well.

One of our co-travelers from Malaysia

From here, we headed towards Khao Phing Kan - popularly known as James Bond island (since the island was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974). About 40.0 m from its shore lies a 20.0 m tall islet Khao Tapu. Rain tried its best to spoil our visit.

Khao Tapu in James Bond island
From here we began our return journey towards mainland. By the time we reached mainland, we were all wet - courtesy rain and rough sea.

Please feel free to comment. All comments (criticisms & appraisals) are welcome. Please do not reproduce the images for commercial purposes without prior permission.