Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Ring

When we took the bus into Phuket Town, we were picked up by two young lads that offered to take us around some markets for 40baht. We took them up on their offer and thought we were going to "markets" but no.....we were taken to three very expensive gem stores. All though in saying that, we did pick up a couple of bargains. One of our bargains was my ring.

I have been looking for a nice ring to add to my wedding, engagement and eternity ring....nothing seemed to fit. As it happened we spotted this ring as we were leaving.........ok, Shane spotted it, I was too busy eyeballing the huge fish tanks in the centre of the whole complex. They had a shark!! and huge eels.

As soon as I tried it on, it just suited the other rings, so Shane my very darling husband decided to buy it for my Birthday present.

I have put a photo of it on here as I have had a few people asking what it looks like. Its a nice simple design but I really like it. I wear it at the top of the set. In this photo I have lifted it up so you can see what it looks like. Its white gold with diamonds inset. My other rings are gold but with white gold settings, so it all fits beautifully.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Henry Fashion - Tailor

With all the tailors I am not really sure why I chose Henry Fashion. I had intended to go to one of the bigger and flasher places up the road further.

Every time you walk up any street, you will be approached by the tailors. They will walk up to you with their hand out and being well bred kiwi's we automatically go and shake their hand. Only trouble is they don't release and hold you there asking where you are from, how long are you here for and then the obvious.....come in side...looking is free....we make good suit for you or great dress for madame. The funny thing is once we say we are from NZ they will break out with Kiora mate etc or the Aussie version of Howz it goin mate! but they remember and every night you pass them they will call out the same thing and remind you of how many days you have left. Shane learnt very quickly that if he was caring the shopping then he couldn't shake their hands.... there is a tip for the men.

Anyway, one night from shopping we were walking back and I said to Shane, the next tailor that stops us, I am going to go in. Now it had been a week and by now they paid us no interest other than to call out hello. So when Raj stepped out and asked me how my day had been and what shopping had I done and had I brought a dress yet. I figured may as well be him. So I said that I hadn't brought I dress as I wanted one made. His eyes lit up and I was ushered into his shop as fast as he could get me in there. Turned on the air con for me and away we went. I already new what I wanted to I drew it for him. He had many books of designs so I could have picked and altered any of them. He like my design - it was a simple but elegant long dress. So he measured me up and arranged for me to come back the next night. For my first fitting. The good thing was how close the shop was. It was directly across the road from our Hotel. With you back to the hotel cross the road to the footpath, turn right towards the beach and its the second shop.

I went back the next night and was surprised to find the dress fully made. But it was way to big. We took it in and made the back split higher. Again I was to come back the next night which I did. It still was not quite right so we took in the front and made the A line of the dress tighter. I went back on the Friday before we left and tried it on for the last time. It fit like a glove. The fabric felt amazing, it clings and moves with your body. I was more than happy.

I would totally recommend that you get a dress made when over. Where else can you get a dress made for you so that it is a complete and proper fit for under $350 and that included the silk shawl. I do know that in Kata they had prices on the doors ... Men's Suits - included jacket, trousers, shirt and tie for 5000bht. That's $250 nz

So here is a picture taken today of me in my dress. I am not done up to go out, I put it on to show my mum and thought I should put a photo on here of it. The picture on the wall is one of our prize possessions that we brought in Karon. The crane represents the Thailand Empress and there are two cranes per piece as they mate for life. We liked the colours and what the whole piece represented. The shop we brought it from us up the road from the Hotel. Turn left away from beach, its up next to the pharmacy. There were many different pictures but this one was our favorite.

I will get to wear my dress soon, as I found out today I am a finalist in the Masters section of Sports Person of the Year.

Friday, May 22, 2009


This was a show that I loved. Shane wasn't so keen and didn't think he would enjoy it at all. This was to change and he did in fact enjoy it.

The show is set on a huge lot. It truly is massive. When you book you can arrange for a pick up to be included in your booking fee. With the show being further away (on the other side of Patong) we opted to get picked up and delivered back.

On the dot of 5pm the Purple Fantasea van rocked up and collected us and continued to pick up excited tourists along the journey to the show.

We were dropped off outside and only 1 person can enter to collect tickets, so I went through and got our tickets. While milling around out side there is a huge water fall that fills a large pond that is filled with huge huge Koi fish....hundreds of them. People were feeding them pop corn while they waited. Next you enter up a large hall/ramp and go through a security screening where they look into your handbag and check pockets. Then you walk through to the actual park. It is a huge carnival and the atmosphere is amazing. There are shops all around with a small theatre in the centre where they have shows to entertain the kids. There is a small zoo to walk through...entry though the jungle shop on the right hand side. It just has a sign saying free entry to see while tiger. But each room has a animal in it and each room is designed around the animal. Its really rather awesome. We didn't have our camera with us as we had read you have to hand it in before the show and I was not keen to pass it over to anyone. I wish now we had brought it.

We then went and found the restaurant. We had booked the meal too. To enter the buffet hall you cross over a bridge that goes over a small lazy river. All the trees are filled with twinkling lights and hall is decked out in gold. Both of us must have looked stunned. When you enter the hall it takes your breath away. It is huge. The whole complex would easily fit on half a foot ball Field. It was broken down to 3 rooms and each room was lined with tables of 10, all plated up and ready to go. The ceilings were all painted in the theme of the park. The buffet food was wonderful. You could chose from Thai, Western or Japanese.

Once we had eaten we went back to a shop I had seen that dressed you up as a Thai Queen. I really wanted to do this so Shane waited around while I got my make up done and my hair. Then we were off around the park getting photos taken everywhere. I then had to select my top 5 to keep. This is one of the 5.

Next it was announced that the show was about to start and so we made our way through the elephant rides to head into the theatre. As we made our way through the large open corridors I noticed people milling around up ahead and wondered what they were all looking at. When we got closer I saw people feeding baby tigers. Shane and I both said...wicked lets do that too. We joined the long queue and while waiting I noticed that there was one bay that no one was waiting for. We zipped up to it and was faced with a much bigger tiger than the others and no one wanted to go near it....more fools them. We jumped in and got to cuddle and fuss over the cub. Then once the photo was taken I had another chance to actually have a cuddle. It didn't feel starved and was not sucking for life on the bottle, just feeding as any baby would. It was such a special thing to have done and certainly not something I had planned to do.

We then carried on to watch the show. It was a huge spectacular show. All your senses are hit.....there are glowing trapeze artists that are on bungee cords bouncing around above your heads. Huge elephants walking through the middle of all the seats, birds flying, goats racing across the stage...even a few roosters too!! The whole show is sung in Thai but with the art of body language you soon pick up on what the story is about what is happening. I left breathless and just buzzing from it. We leave and find our way back out side to where we are collected and are returned to our hotel at 11pm.......the night just whizzed by. I cant recommend this show enough. It is costly depending on all the extras you get but it really is worth it. The other show I would have liked to have seen was Simone (the lady boys show) but Shane really really was not interested. Next time......

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just some snap shots

These street vendors zip along and toot at everyone. This one was making fruit shakes. We didn't see a great deal of these selling actual food. But I am told now that if we had gone up the street and along the main street we would have seen more of them.

The view as you step out side of the resort and look left. When we first arrived all these shops were open but with in 3 days most had shut. I am told that during the low season it is not worth it being open so they just shut up and come back in September.

This is the view from beside our room. The only places that had walls were the rooms and the lifts. Everything else was open. As you walk past restaurants on the street you think it is one big restaurant but as you go past you can see that there are 7 different restaurants...just no walls between them.

Here is a shot of the floating village as we were leaving. The only thing built on land is the Temple (in gold) and the cemetery. The rest is floating and joined with small planks. They have to buy in their water so flush toilets are a no no.

This one is for the blokes. These boats looked like they grabbed any V8 engine and just stuck them on the back attached a long pole and propeller ... and away they go.

This is the view from on top of the elephant looking down over Kata.

This is the viking cave that is found on the way to James Bond Island. Monks live here still. No one can land so the boats pull in as close as they can. In the left hand side of this photo is a rock formation (hanging between the two boats) it is said to be a dragons head like that of what the vikings had on their boats.

Shane feeding our wee baby elephant. Ok so she's not really ours but we saw her every day and her trainer got to know us really well.

Karon and Karon Beach

I thought now I might add some photos and make little comments as we go.

First up... here is Karon Beach. We have stepped onto the road at our resort, turned left and have gone directly to the beach which is appox 400mts away. The sand does squeak when you walk on it and in bare feet feels really odd under foot. We swam most nights. The water being like a luke warm bath. But it is not a calm beach and is rather "wavey" .. great for body surfing.

Looking left towards the "rock" on webcam
Look Right towards Karon centre.

The main round a bout in Karon
A dragon statue along the beach road walk as you walk towards Karon.
An enterance way to another resort just up the road on the beach road from our resort.

Phi Phi Island

I cant believe I missed this out. Especially after the effort we went through to get this. On our first day we were approached by a really nice friendly Austrian named Frank. He told us that he was offering a special deal to all new holidaying people. So we took the cards and scratched away. He made such a big deal about Shane getting 3 stars (a great performance when I look back..) Any how he was able to give away tour trips to only a few people and so he gave us the free Phi Phi Island Tour. We were promptly put into a taxi and speed away to Patong. Both of us rather wide eyed as we had no idea of where we would end up. We got given another free breakfast and our host was Marley (who thought he was rather shit hot) any how...after 4 hours of total boredom I could finally see light at the end of the tunnel and when it came time to give a yes or was a loud NO and we were shown the door. But they were true to their word and gave me my tee shirt and booked our tour. We had no idea of if the tour would happen but as optimists we got up on Thursday and waited to be collected at 7am.

The boats all getting loaded up to head to Phi Phi Island. There were about 8 boats.

To our surprise we did get collected and along with 3 other couples we headed to the boats. On our boat were 40 other people of all races. Not many spoke English. The couple that fascinated Shane the most was the man from Istanbul who had two wives. They had a baby girl (approx 7 months old) but we still cant work out which women was the mum as she called them both mum. They wore black robes but showed their faces. The younger one had a white head scarf with pink and the older one had a black one. Shane joked that he was offered 2 camels and 50 goats for me...he thought it was a good offer....I thought 3 camels would have been better!!!

Anyway ... it takes 90mins to get to Phi Phi Island. This is where the beach was filmed. On the way they circle around a couple of smaller Islands.

A small bay on the way.

These are I guess hollow is the easiest way to explain and at low tide the small cave entrance can be seen. This is where the sea kayaks can enter. Inside it is lush with rain forest and a small sandy beach. The rocks are so soft that the trees can actually grow threw the rock. The tree roots make their way down to the water and then when the tree dies the roots dry up leaving a hole. Then water runs through this and creates stalagmites that hang into the water and all along the rock walls. It all looks so pretty.

Some Rock formations along the way

We stop and are given the chance to go snorkeling over the coral reef. We jump at this and sadly didn't by an under water camera as we had no idea this was on the tour. It was amazing....I just laid in the water with my arms hanging down...and watched all colours and sized fish swim through my fingers. 40 mins went by so fast!!

The view as you pull up to the wharf at Phi Phi Island

Next we were off again to pull into Phi Phi Island where we had lunch (which was a really nice buffet type) and then were given an hour to stroll and shop. Our main purchase here were DVD's. Paying 100bht each or 6 for 500bht. These are all working fine in our DVD player at home and also in the laptop. They are latest release that are still to come to the movies here.

This shows left and right of "The Beach" on Phi Phi Island

Shane was disappointed when we crossed the island to where the beach was filmed. He thought it would still look the same...but you can hardly recognise it. So we headed back to the shops and brought more DVD's.

It wasn't long til the horn blew on the boat and we had to head back. It was an awesome day and well worth it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The day to leave

We woke up at 7am and went down for breakfast and slowly enjoyed every mouth full of the most amazing breakfast buffets we have ever seen. Every day they set this buffet up. Fresh fruits, home made yogurt, bays of potatoes, rice meals, fried tomatoes, baked beans, pancakes, waffles, and eggs anyway you want them. I always had omelets.

After eating we strolled back up to Kata as I wanted to buy a necklace I had seen. The plus was we got to see the wee baby elephant again and this time her owner let us have lots of time with her. She is 3 years old and he has had her since she was 2. While we were watching he asked her to lay down and roll over. Like a dog does. I had to video this as it was just the most amazing sight to see an elephant as tall as us rolling around on the ground and each time she rolled she would fart....I mean really much so that the guard of the next hotel was having hysterics about it.

We then had to go back and pack. We sat out side for a wee while soaking in the street and the warm before putting on our jeans and getting picked up at lunch time.

At the Phuket Airport we had an hour wait so we brought some lunch. As we had spent all our bht we could only get food from one shop as we had to use our visa. So we both grabbed a chicken roll and a drink. The rolls were really dry and mine tasted a little stale. Plus they were not chilled so probably not the best thing to have brought.

As we flew out of Phuket it poured down. Same weather as when we arrived so I figured it was good luck.

We landed at Singapore and spent a couple of hours checking out the airport and using the sky train to transfer between stations. Here I brought the most coolest MP3 player. It has only been released a week ago and not for sale in NZ yet. It clips on to your ears but there are no cables it is held together by a bendy that goes round back of the head. I also brought the biggest CareBear I have ever seen. It is bedtime bear and its for my Grand Daughter.

We flew out of Singapore at 8pm and decided that we will sleep on the plane. Ha!! how stupid am I!!!! with Shane in the window seat, me in the middle and some guy in the isle was not happening. We tried to sleep but couldn't get comfortable at all. About 4am I felt my tummy start to grumble and hurt...hmmmmm....this felt rather uncomfortable and the guy next to me is sound asleep....about 6am we got served breakfast and it was then that I made my first of many bolts to the loo. I was not well. We landed in Christchurch at 9.30am and had to hang around the airport till 12.30pm to fly home. Neither of us had slept and I was struggling to keep my eyes I had to check which direction to run...when the urge came.

Finally it was time to board our plane and we arrived home with out any hic ups. Called a taxi and walked in our door at 1.30pm...home has never looked so good. My son had house and dog sat for us and so he was excited about the presents we had brought home. Next arrived Shakara and then Teagan and Josh. I was thrilled to see them and by now we had both woken up of sorts, so we entertained the kids with our stories. We never did get to bed til about 9pm but I slept until 11am the next day. We were both shattered.