Thailand: Prasat Hin Phimai

If there is one thing you will never run out seeing anywhere across Thailand, that is finding incredible temples of various kinds.

My recent trip to the Land of Smiles gave me an opportunity to visit one of its northeastern provinces, Nakhon Ratchasima. Upon googling, I have learned that place is home to Thailand’s largest Khmer temples – the Phimai Historical Park or Prasat Hin Phimai.

With over 1,000 meters length and an almost 600 meters width, this rectangular complex houses some of the finest examples of Khmer architecture in the country.

My colleague from Thailand who accompanied me in this quick visit said that the reason why these temples are unique is that they were constructed as a Buddhist temple, even if the Khmer people who built it were Hindu.

Basing it on how it looks like, Phimai’s temple style resembles that of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and maybe bit of Prambanan in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

As a travel enthusiast who has a soft spot for ruins, I can not help but be amazed while I walked around its complex. You can feel how much history is embedded among the seemingly fragile walls. I found myself musing and wanting to stay longer.

It was a short visit at this side of Thailand but definitely something I will always remember. True enough, there is beauty in everything… Something ruined included.

Don’t be wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy.

Thailand: Aye, Ayutthaya!

 

Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Ayutthaya is a city in Thailand, north of Bangkok. It used to be the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, and was then a prosperous international trading port. Today, it houses various ruins and archaeological sites ranging from palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues. Here are some photographs I took during a November 2018 visit.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be”juan”derlust. Take it easy.

Travel Memorabilia

Hello friends! It has been more than a month the last time I have made an entry here. I just came from yet another pretty tiresome, but definitely fun-filled series of travels. I will try to post some of these recent adventures sometime soon. In the meantime, here is a short sharing of what I love to buy and bring home during travel.

Traveling is a very rewarding experience. After a trip, one goes home with innumerable mementos — from incomparable life lessons to new found friends, to of course uncountable photographs, and memories to cherish a lifetime.

Aside from these, I have also developed a habit of bringing home a physical memorabilia that comes in different forms. Before, I would make sure I get to buy at least a keychain or a fridge magnet as a souvenir from my trip.

Today, i have gone beyond these usual stuff. Whenever I go on a travel, I alot a certain amount of my money to buy some of the things I personally collect. Some of these include miniature building decors/displays like an Eiffel Tower from France, a Burf Khalifa and Burj Al Arab from my Dubai travel or a Milad Tower I bought in Iran from a recent trip and many more.

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Also, I make sure that I have a paper bill and some coins to spare for my currency collection. Some of my friends actually like these as my pasalubong to them since some of them also have this kind of colkection. I happen to collect also Starbucks tumblers and diecast planes. I am even starting to collect some books and dolls unique to a certain place I have visited. And lastly, I also bring home some paintings which I plan to use as wall decors when my dream of putting up my own cafe comes into fruition.

I know these are just material mementos and the memories that go with the travel are still far more important. Nonetheless, it feels good to see tangible reminders as to how awesome one particular trip was.

 

Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Beyond Phuket’s Beaches (Thailand)

The first thing that comes to mind by the mention of Phuket, Thailand are its beaches. Most tourists come to this tropical paradise because it is lined with many beautiful beaches to choose from without going on an island-hopping. True enough, the sandy beaches and clear waters of Phuket offers a refreshing beach experience. But more than these pristine seashores, Phuket also offers other must-see, must-experience places, and activities. Read more about PHUKET BEACHES here.

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Visit The Phuket Big Buddha
Bangkok maybe the choice of place if one is up to seeing Buddha landmarks in Thailand, but Phuket has its fair share. At 45 meters high, the humongous Buddha of Phuket is one of the major landmarks in all of Phuket. It is perched atop Nakkerd Hills and is visible in certain viewpoints of Phuket. I love the panoramic view it offers. The Buddha reminds me of some Myanmar pagoda because the Burmese white marble it is made of sparkles when the sun is shining vibrantly during the day.

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Go temple hopping
There are many temples in Phuket just like most key places in Thailand. But Phuket’s largest and most revered temple is Wat Chalong. I was surprised that there is actually a lot to see. There is Poh Jao Wat, a temple that houses two statues (Ta Khee-Lek and Nonsi). However, the main landmark is the beautiful Grand Pagoda. It is beautifully adorned with Buddha images and pictures that depict his life story. Chalong Temple is located almost 10 kilometers South of Phuket town and just east of Kata beach in the South Eastern corner of the island.

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Walk Around Phuket Old Town
This is my favorite part of my Phuket visit. Phuket Old Town is the provincial capital of Phuket. I like old towns because they reflect so much of a place’s history. One can visit various Buddhist and Chinese temples, stunning and colorful “shophouses”, some street murals, and of course market that sells some cheap stuff. The best way to explore the old town is on foot. It isn’t big so it would be very much manageable to move around.

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Turn Your World Upside Down
Baan Teelanka, or Upside Down House of Phuket, is one exciting attraction in Phuket. As the name would imply, this beautiful pink house stands upside down in a garden like setting. Once you enter, you’ll be amazed as to how everything is turned “upside-down.” Posing for pictures would bring out the creative juices in you. I appreciate that their guides have some excellent pose suggestions. I am amazed that even the fishes inside the aquarium are swimming upside down. So cool!

Baan Teelanka is open daily 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Price for the House: Adult 250 Baht, Kids 150 Baht (4 to 11 years old) Price for the Maze 150 Baht, Kids 100 Baht (4 to 11 years old) Tel: 076 376 245

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Learn more about Cashews:
I looove cashew nut, so when I was told that Phuket is also known for cashews, I didn’t mind visiting one of its cashew factories. In fact, the Sri Bhurapa Orchid was the first cashew factory in all of Phuket. A stop at this shop will give every visitor an opportunity to be shown around. There are various stations where one can have a taste test of the juice of the cashew nut, an area where cashew nuts are processed, and another one where the nuts are packed. I was so happy to see also various flavored cashew products. True enough, a tour of a cashew nut factory in Phuket is a must for cashew nut lovers like me.

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A night out at Bangla Road
If you are a party-person, then a night out at Bangla Road will surely delight your soul. After sundown, Bangla Road gets closed to traffic, and the street turns into a big party place. Restaurant and bar owners will lure you with beer, girls and other forms of entertainment. It surely is a fun-filled district of Phuket!

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Learn more about Elephants
I am pretty sure, riding an elephant is on your bucket list. But wait, I hope that instead of riding, why not just visit the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary and learn why you should never ride an elephant. I highly support ethical elephant tourism, so I discourage people I meet not to ride on them. A picture with them is more than enough.

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Feed Monkeys at Khao Rang Viewpoint
Khao Rang viewpoint offers a good look out over Phuket, its islands and hills. One can also dine in one the restaurants in the area. Just be mindful because there are monkeys here. I have an unforgettable experience in this place when one money attacked me because of the food I was eating. Good thing nothing bad happened to me although for a moment I thought I’d die. Hahaha. So next time, you should have some extra food for these monkeys.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be Juanderlust. take it easy everyJuan.

If you happen to be in Phuket and you want to be assisted with your tour, check out TAKE ME TOUR and their various itineraries. Check on the link! And mind you, they also have other organized tours all over Thailand!

 

 

Phuket Beaches (Thailand)

The beach is almost always a great place to invigorate our mind and senses. The scent of the saline air, the sound of crashing waves and the amusing feel it imparts as they touch one’s toes – seem to give an outright relaxing feeling. While I am a self-confessed mountain lover, the beach will always have a soft spot in my heart. The beach is my favorite place for watching the sunset… it’s a place I enjoy whenever I want to go surf or skim or just bask in the sun… it’s where I find happiness and bliss.

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My recent trip to Phuket in Thailand was one for the books. The place is dotted with many beautiful beaches to choose from without going on an island-hopping. The sandy beaches and clear waters of Phuket offers a comforting beach holiday. Who would’ve thought that this beautiful place as once ravaged by an unforgiving tsunami more than ten years ago?

Here are 4 of the beaches I got to visit in Phuket:

Patong Beach –perhaps the most famous beach in Phuket. With its wide variety of activities and nightlife, Patong is an ideal place to party and play. I spent one night walking around Soi Bangla (Bangla Road). Believe me when I say it is packed with tourists! The place sure has a vivacious nightlife which includes hundreds of restaurants, bars of various sort, and night clubs. The beach, however, in my opinion, isn’t that outstanding as it is pretty crowded, and isn’t as pristine as I have imagined it to be.

Karon Beach, the third longest beach on Phuket Island. If there is one beach I loved for its more serene feel, it has to be Karon. Located on the west coast, between Patong to the north and the south, Karon Beach is not as crowded as Patong. I had an excellent morning at Karon Beach road for a stroll. Unlike Patong, Karon’s coastline is way better. Karon also offers an exciting range of restaurants, hotels and a meek nightlife to enjoy. Again, Karon Beach is a right place whether you are looking for somewhere peaceful with the little bit of exhilaration.

A few minutes away from Karon Beach is the more tamed waters of Kata Bay compared to Karon and Patong whose waves are bigger (at least during the time I was there). Kata Beach also boasts off a stretch of off-white sand and clear waters that are ideal for skim and surfing beginners. This beach maybe smaller than both Patong and Karon, but its palm-dotted shore and non-boisterous nightlife makes it perfect for family and friends who likes a quiet stay at the beach.

Finally, there is Rawai Beach. According to a person I talked to, it is considered to be Phuket’s first tourist beach. This casuarina-fringed beach would welcome visitors with the many docked long-tail boats as it serves as a launching point for day boat trips out to Phuket’s surrounding islands. Furthermore, the area is also used as a berth point for fishermen who live in the area. The area is also where one can find Phuket’s most photographed location – Promthep Cape. Located at the southernmost part of Phuket, atop the hill stands a park and a viewing deck can be found. It is said to be the best vantage point to marvel at the sunset. (Too bad, I was there in a broad day light).

The sand, the sea, and the sun… elements that inevitably makes the beach a well-loved place… it surely is a place of healing where the salt cleanses the weary soul and the sun hugs us in its warmth. So don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Hi fellow travelers! If you happen to be in Phuket for some really fun-filled island hopping activities, and you want to be assisted with your tour, check out TAKE ME TOUR and their various itineraries. Check on the link! And mind you, they also have other organized tours all over Thailand!