Thursday, January 5, 2012

[ holiday stop: phuket ]



A SMALL island off the southern most tip of Thailand, Phuket is famous for its gorgeous beach resorts and became world-renowned when the tsunami hit in 2004. Patong Beach is the most popular and was hit hard but has managed to rebuild itself since the disaster and the beaches are beautiful once again.


But aside from the gorgeous beaches, Phuket is a fascinating place to visit. 95% of the population is Buddhist so temples and buddhas can be seen everywhere.





We visited the Buddha Cave Temple {Wat Suwannakuha}, also known as Monkey Temple since there are monkeys everywhere.













Speaking of monkeys, coconuts are a huge industry in Thailand and did you know that most are picked by monkeys? Monkeys are captured and sold to farmers who send their monkeys to monkey school where they are taught how to pick ripe coconuts and load them into trucks. Seriously! They receive a diploma when they graduate and go to work in the farmer's coconut plantations. They work for several years and then the farmer cares for them through their retirement.


Another thing I found so interesting were the Spirit Houses that could be seen outside every building, business and home.







Thais believe that there are spirits, or celestial beings who would otherwise reside in the heavens and could cause problems if not appeased. They believe that by providing a shelter for the spirits, they will watch over them and protect them. Regardless of the size or style of the dwelling or business, in Thai culture, it is imperative that one is erected and many people light incense every morning and ask the spirit to watch over them.

Next stop: Phuket part 2 ~ Phang Nga Bay

lisa

17 comments:

HAMPTON HOSTESS said...

Great post Lisa! Phuket is on my short list and your post has moved it up a few notches. Love all the monkey business! Happy New Year! Barbara

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

Lisa! What a fabulous Journey!
You have literally taken us around the world! I am so pleased to see that Phuket has recovered! Happy New Year, my friend!
~Lynne
[w/L]

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

What gorgeous photos, Lisa! I love that part of the world - you've captured it perfectly!!

Happy New Year, my lovely!

Sarahx

Designwali said...

lovely....i want to go travel now.

designchic said...

What gorgeous images...definitely on my bucket list!!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Gorgeous pictures such an interesting place....

Ann@Glamourshoes said...

Oh my! I love the monkey story! What a fantastic trip! I want to go too!

Alena: Oh, It's Just Perfect! said...

beautiful!!! i really hope to visit thailand someday. hope the trip is wonderful!

emily said...

I am loving all of your pictures! Just beautiful! A co-worker of mine just returned from a two-week trip to Thailand over the holidays. After hearing about her trip and seeing your pictures, I definitely want to add it to my list of to-go places!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Phuket is definitely on the bucket list. The beaches and the ocean look amazing. I love all the little temples and the detail! XOL

flowers on my table said...

Hi Lisa, it is almost like you had several holidays in one. What a contrast from the big cities! Fascinating about the Spirit Houses. I saw a miniature one on the internet recently and wondered what it was all about...now I know! Not sure about monkeys everywhere though.Thanks for sharing, love Linda x

laxsupermom said...

What an incredible trip! The monkey laborers are fascinating! Who knew? Love the pictures! Thanks for sharing.

carolyn said...

amazing! seriously impressed by these monkeys :). i am living vicariously through your photos, as we were supposed to be traveling to thailand this month also, but the timing didn't work out. can't wait to see part 2!!

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

Thanks for the tour LIsa! Phuket is at the very top of my list of places to visit. Love the story about the monkeys going to work.

Lulu and Co. said...

What a wonderful vacations spot. My parents took me there when I was 17... I loved it but wish I could go back now and really appreciate everytng it has to offer.
Wishing you an absolutely wonderful New Year!!!!
xo,
Lulu

Meeling said...

How interesting Lisa!!

I can't believe that they can train the monkeys to do that...cool!!

layana said...

Looks like you had a great time during your visit to Thailand. There are really a lot of interesting places there worth checking out. I like the pictures of the Buddhas and monkeys that you have taken. Pretty cool!

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