Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Phuket trip 22-05-2006

The third day

As usual, we woke up early in the morning and took our breakfast in the hotel. Well, the breakfast is served in buffet style and they have plenty of choice. I think it might take a while before we getting bored having almost the same breakfast every morning.

Anyway, after the breakfast we went to the town by bus. It is not a bus actually, but a modified lorry with seats behind and travel around phuket to pick up customer every 15 mins. The fare is cost around RM 2.50 per person per trip. (*I always like to take the local bus and explore around the places I visit to. Because I think this is one of the better ways to get into the local culture.)

The first stop after we have arrived, we went to the nearby temple. This temple is actually a Chinese temple where most of the figurines worshiped here are quite familiar in Malaysia. We bought the candles and joss tick (except there is no lotus bud) in a package for praying. They have a lot of goddess there and it's about 11. The interesting part is that, they go by numbers (so you won't miss any one of them) and the joss tick is just enough for all of them (3 joss tick for one god and everybody has fair share :P). My gf was assists by the local personal to guide her through all the pray process; as for me, I just follow thru. (*The local resident there was really friendly. He helped me to carry around my hat and my thingy all around while I was praying. Although I don't speak Thai and he does not speak English or Chinese but I think we're still sharing the same purpose - to pray!)

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After the praying was done and took some photo at the temple, we were interrupted by a taxi driver. It is the same person that we saw when we were stepping down from the bus. (This is quite common because the taxi driver usually find their customer by this way) We were a little bit shocked because we thought we're followed. However, after couple of chat, we told him that our next destination is the Robinson Department Store. (This place is well known for shops for souvenirs and shopping.) From the map we got in our hand shows that the departmental store is very far away from the temple and it's not within walking distance. The taxi driver told us that he can take us there for only RM 1 per person. We were hesitate at first, but after couple of thinking and consideration, we took the deal.

After we hop into the car, the first stop the taxi driver took us was not the departmental store but to another temple. I was surprised and a little angry plus uncomfortable because the taxi cab didn't take us to our destination. Anyway, we believe that the driver has no ill purposes (bad intention?) since my sister told us that the crime rate at there is low or none at all. So, we took some photo there and hop back on the taxi again. I think the driver did mention to us about his working schedule or policy, that in order to earn some meal he needs to take us to some of the local store or shop. He has a coupon that needs to be chopped by those store supervisor and when the chop is full, then he can earn a free meal. I wasn't paying much attention at that time and I felt much better after clarified the issue. (*Can you believe that?! Just RM1 and the driver will fetch you to the destination! But of course along the way to the destination, he fetched us to other spots in order to get his coupon stamped. Anyhow, I do respect their spirit to earn a living though it did make us feel uncomfortable with the way!)

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So, we were taken to one of the souvenir shop. Nothing much at there except all the local handcrafting item. We didn't bought any there though and the driver said it's okay. After that, we questioned the driver again why the fare is so cheap. He told us that May is the low season of Phuket and hardly had any tourist come here. So, the store keepers offer this package to the drivers to attract more tourist to their shop.

The next stop was a jewelry shop and we spent almost an hour there to see those shiny diamonds. (Believe me, it really shiny) The price is quite reasonable and offer much better price than in Malaysia. Again, we ask the personal there and he told it was the low season where the price will be slightly cheaper to attract customer.

After the visit at the diamond store, we finally went to the Robinson store. It was around 2 PM by then and we spent around 2 hours there to get our souvenirs and stuff. Then around 4 PM, the driver came back just like we wanted and we go for shop visit again. We asked the driver whether he can sent us back to the hotel and we'll give him some money for that. He agreed and bring us to the shop visit on the way to our hotel. We went to the second jewelry shop and again, almost the same thing we saw in the first jewelry shop. Shining diamonds. (*Diamond is a woman's best friend! Haha.. You promised me to get me one in Phuket next time right?! :P) After the jewelry shop, we went to the local food product store to get some snack. Finally, the last souvenir shop before we back to hotel and i told my gf that no more souvenir visit because I had enough of it. :D:D:D

After we reached the hotel and brushed ourselves up, i called my sister and we have a evening tea break at the hotel. Around 6:45, we was pick up by a van and headed to the local famous show, The Phuket Fantasea

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We have couples of photo session and my gf bought a nice hat there. The show started at 9 PM and end at 11 PM. The van took us back to our hotel along with other foreigner who seems to like to the show very much and we also very much enjoy the show too. (*I liked the show. It was great! And the show did win the Best Tourism Attraction Award in Thailand. :) )

*Added by my gf

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