South Thailand, situated briskly in the Andaman Sea lays the sun-kissed island of Phuket. A South Asian land of mystery, for a long time the island has represented both a metropolis to the native Thai people and a bright nightlife for tourists. Underneath the beer, wine, and busy urban scenes, there is a layer of finesse that not many know about. It’s an island that proudly boasts a rich culture of the finer things in life, an oasis for the rich and famous to sink away quietly away from prying eyes. You can walk the beaches, sunbathe while drinking a luscious cocktail and watch the tide go in and out. It’s easy to see why the island enjoys such a wealth of luxury because the people are so laid back. They’re proud of their history, and how their culture is shifting into the modern age, but aren’t too fussed to impress anyone. To truly experience Phuket, leave the nightlife alone and go wandering along the path.
You might mistake it for a palace, but it’s a ground of very auspicious and intricate stately homes. However since the aristocracy has passed, the Wat Chalong buildings have been converted to temples for the religious icon of Thailand, Buddha. It’s a marvel to behold in person. The shimmering pink and rose red colors lash out at your eyes, under the gleaming sun. Perhaps to represent the earth or the dragon, green and gold are smatter on the banisters and ponds with soft petals of lotus leaves surround the property. It’s an experience to witness how seriously the locals and the worshippers treat the home with. Many tourists come to Wat Chalong, and all are required to show respect and dress with modesty when they come to pay their respects. Up to 36 golden statues of Buddha have scattered around, giving enough for everyone to explore and burn incense in regard.
Wandering the path
One of the reasons why so many tourists and affluent individuals come to Phuket of all places in Thailand is for the tranquil countryside that somehow, produces its best during sunset. The Karon Viewpoint is best known for its glorious view of the Andaman Sea and the little coastal communities that it looks happily down upon. Located between Nai Hard and the Kata Noi beaches, it’s surrounded by dark and light green vegetation but is lit by the street lights hung by the wooden posts that were cut from the forests nearby. Locally, it’s referred to as the Khao Saam Haad, which stands for simply, the three beaches hill point.
At the top of the Toh Sai Hill, you’ll be surrounded by the fog and sometimes the early morning mist. Hundreds of macaques live on the hill and have become quite accustomed to the tourists and the local population. It’s the highest hill in Phuket town, so they feel safe, and because there’s a shrine at the bottom of the hill that is sacred to the various communities that come to pray, the monkeys get away with almost anything. Be careful of your belongings, but feel free to pet and feed them. Most of them are friendly, but others want you to win over their trust. Either way, as you sit and eat, watching the boats come and go at the harbor, the monkeys will be plenty entertainment for your curiosity before, during and after.
Many tourists go towards the nightlife, and others like to walk along the beaches. The real Phuket is hidden among the hills and can be found, only when you begin to wander along the outer pathways.