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Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019)

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Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Trick Eye Museum in Phuket Town

We can’t all afford to stay in the lap of luxury in five star properties, and spend our Sunday’s at extravagant hi-so brunches. Good luck to those who can! In Phuket you can have fantastic experiences that either cost you nothing or not much more.

Here is, in no particular order, our Top 10 things to see in Phuket on a budget….

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Simon Cabaret/Simon Star/Aphrodite

Nothing like a big lady boy show! The ones in Phuket are family-friendly, world-standard presentations with astonishing costumes, sets and, mostly, appalling dancing – there’s only so much you can do with a metre high headpiece and gaffer tape holding all your ‘bits’ in place. If you haven’t been you MUST. Hard to not to enjoy yourself. Does it rival the big shows in Las Vegas? No. Is it worth the 1000 baht and a few hours on a humid night? Definitely.

At the end of the show you will get the opportunity to have your photo taken with the performers. Although they don’t tell you before, you will be expected to pay for the pleasure. 100-200 baht is about the going rate. The three shows are in different parts of the island – the most famous Simon Cabaret in Patong which has been going for an astonishing 27 years without missing a beat.

OK, it’s not ‘cheap cheap’ but it’s worth every baht of your Phuket budget! Simon Cabaret. Aphrodite.

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Trick Eye Museum

Right in the heart of Phuket Town and deserves your time. Bring a camera. You’ll walk around various elaborate large interactive art and find you can pop yourself into the scene in a very clever way. Tickets start at 500 baht and you can spend an easy two hours or so. There’s some car parking next door to the old Pearl Hotel otherwise go by taxi, plenty around that part of town. Popular with local and international schools for day trips too. The Trick Eye Museum will easily fit into your Phuket budget, no tricks!

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Massage

Almost anywhere, anytime and something to fit into your Phuket budget. For less than 500 baht you’re going to get to relax and indulge in one of Thailand’s unique pleasures. In Patong you will hardly walk 10 metres without hearing the cry ‘massage!?’ But the better massages are out of tourist town, and usually much cheaper. Leaving out the more infamous massage available in less-reputable venues, there is usually a selection of different massages you can enjoy. If the sweet little Thai lady asks if you want it gentle or hard, be warned if you go for the ‘hard’ option you’ll be screaming at times! The Thai massage can be quite firm and a challenge for the uninitiated, and those ‘sweet’ 5 foot Thai ladies will wind you up in knots, despite their petite stance. Start tame and go for a 1 hour foot massage. Read up more about massage and spa locations around Phuket HERE.

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Upside Down House

Located on the ByPass Road in Samkong this is a curious wander around a house that’s, well, upside down. Too many photos would spoil the fun but you’ll fill an hour and snap off plenty of selfies in this attraction that will make you see the world from a whole different angle. Tickets for adults are 350 baht and children 190 baht. The Upside Down House won’t turn your Phuket budget upside down

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Any Temples

Of course you should visit a temple, or ‘Wat’. Wat Chalong is largest complex of temples on the island. Buddhist temples have their own conventions and rules to read up about before you visit so you’ll get the most out of your visit. Some of the temples have become distinctly commercial in recent years so best to try and find the ones that will give you the most authentic experience. Free unless you choose to make a donation.

THIS article about ‘Things NOT to do’ in Thailand will provide a bit of guidance for first time temple visitors. When it comes to budget tourism in Phuket you’ll find nothing more fulfilling and low cost than visiting the island’s magnificent temples.

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Coral Island

So you’ve already come to a tropical island in Thailand. But many enjoy exploring the 30 or so other islands around Phuket. Some are a LONG way, some will have you travelling in a van for a a few hours before you even get on a boat. Others are really close, like Coral Island, just off the coast of Chalong. There are plenty of organised tours to Coral island and, depending on your tour and the beach you end up on, you’ll have a great day or an awful day battling crowds you probably thought you’d be getting away from.

Coral Island has become really popular in the past five years so be prepared your tropical island getaway experience with a few others as well. We don’t recommend any particular tour company but here’s a start for you HERE something for all Phuket budgets. (In the website it says Coral Island is ’10 kilometres south of Phuket’. It’s not. It’s only a kilometre or so of the shore from Chalong)

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Khao Rang

A mid-island diversion from the history of Phuket Town and shopping at Central Festival, Khao Rang (also known as Rang Hill) is a popular viewpoint hangout for locals. It is located on the north side of Phuket Town and has stunning views over island. There are a number of restaurants and bars located on the hill offering local dishes and their most famous specialty is ice coffees.

The most popular at Khao Rang Breeze Restaurant and Tunk Ka expect to pay slightly above local prices for food and beverages. They call it a hill, but it’s actually only 150 metres high which is not so tall at all, however the views are amazing from the viewpoint even at the low height and the landscaped gardens are beautiful under foot. Be careful of the monkeys up there who come out around sunset to forage for food… and iPhones! We’re sure a visit here will fit into any Phuket budget.

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Spend the Day at the Beach

It’s one of the highlights of coming to Phuket, so go and get some sand between your toes. There are busy beaches and you’ll also find almost totally deserted beached. At just 100 baht for a subbed, including the beach crew who sweep away your sand from your chair, it’s a steal (on the major tourist beaches).

The Andaman Sea has crystal clear water during high season (December through May) however during the green season (June through November) the ocean is rough and it is not recommended to swim on the West Coast. With restrictions being enforced with the number of chairs allowed on the beach, and in certain zones, it can be fun trying to secure one later in the day.

Layan, Kamala, Surin and Patong Beaches are all zoned for chairs. Also note that at Patong Beach there are dedicated smoking zones too so if you are going to indulge you must do it in the smoking zones otherwise large fines could be imposed.

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Catch the latest movie at the cinema

Especially great on a wet day in Phuket or if you need to take a load off from all the shopping at Central Festival or Jungceylon going to the cinema is well priced and features all the latest movies, including in English or with English sub-titles. Starting at just 140 baht a ticket (on selected days) for a standard seat through to 350 baht for a lazy boy style chair, right up to 900 baht for first class (totally worth the money) it’s a cheap way to spend a couple of hours.

First Class in Phuket is comparable to a standard ticket in most Western countries, the doors open one hour before and you can have refreshments and a light snack before heading in, included in the price. Waiters bring in “complimentary popcorn, soft drinks” as well as a blanket for your viewing pleasure and the lazy boy seats go almost flat so you can enjoy the movie in comfort.

Thailand is very traditional, and respectful to the Royal Family, so before any movie they play the King’s Anthem. All patrons stop munching, stand up and pay their respects.

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Bang Wad Dam

Located in the middle of the island, South to North and East to West, the Bang Wad Dam in Kathu is a water reservoir that services much of Phuket. It has a 6km circle road around it and is shaded from the sun by lush trees and fauna. It is incredibly popular with the locals and expats who are getting in their daily exercise. There is (usually) minimal traffic and, if you don’t mind the odd snake and creepy crawly, a perfect spot to to pound the pavements or ride your bike or motorbike.

If your up early on a Sunday morning there are regular runs/walks as well as charity events to participate in. It is also recommended to run/walk all in the same direction – if you don’t know which way you soon will! Buy a fresh coconut or cold drink on your way round and support the local community.

Top 10 things to see in Phuket, on a budget (2019) | News by The Thaiger



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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    nazanin

    March 13, 2018 at 2:10 am

    I’m crazy about Thai massage and calm after that

  2. Avatar

    thaitor

    March 13, 2018 at 2:20 am

    I dare to say that Phuket is one of the most beautiful islands that I have seen to this day

  3. Avatar

    reddy

    April 22, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    In fact: Coral Island (Ko He) is 10 km south of Chalong Bay or 6 km south of Rawai Beach.

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Entertainment

‘Game of Thrones’ finale rates high, fails the landing

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‘Game of Thrones’ finale rates high, fails the landing | The Thaiger

WARNING: GOT Spoiler alerts!!

“This final season has obviously been divisive, and a good deal of the criticism, especially of the penultimate episode, was justified.”

by Brian Lowry

After eight seasons, 73 episodes and a much-debated flurry of plot developments, that signature first-season line proved the key to unraveling the “Game of Thrones” finale, which, after a season that was at various times exhilarating, exhausting and aggravating, came as something of a relief.

Given the passions ignited (somewhat literally, given all that dragon fire) by the penultimate chapter, the finale couldn’t possibly please everyone. While there was validity in many of the criticisms, a degree of silliness crept into the discussion, starting with those who actually signed a petition petulantly demanding some kind of cosmic do-over.

From Mash to Friends to Seinfeld, the most watched series finals HERE.

“Flaws and all, ‘Game of Thrones’ rewrote the rules for a TV epic, providing a brilliantly cast serialised storyline, produced with a scope and scale that rivaled theatrical blockbusters.”

In the final analysis, the first half of the last episode, both written and directed by show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, was strong, logical and satisfying. Overall, it wasn’t a one-for-the-ages finale, held up against the best examples of them and the abundant hype, but it wasn’t an unworthy one either.

Read the rest of the CNN review from Brian Lowry HERE

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Bangkok

Buddha with a beat – Wat Suthi Wararam transformed

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Buddha with a beat – Wat Suthi Wararam transformed | The Thaiger

It’s Visakha Bucha Day like you’ve never seen it before.

Bangkok’s Wat Suthi Wararam has unveiled a bold and modern makeover to entice young people and a new audience to Buddhism. Wat Suthi Wararam is coming alive with Monks chanting to electronic music, projection mapping and a digital art exhibition.

“Bodhi Theatre: Buddhist Prayer Retold” combines vivid animation and Buddhist chants set to electronic dance rhythms in a contemporary effort to attract more people to the teachings of Buddha.

The temple’s main chapel has been transformed with modern theatre tech magic.

Visakha Bucha Day is one of the most important Buddhist holidays in the Thai calendar and this year it takes place on May 19, 2019. It is important as it was the day of three important incidents that occurred during the life of Lord Buddha. They all happened on full moon of the sixth lunar month.

The show will be presented every weekend until June 9 at Wat Suthi on Charoen Krung Road, Bangkok.

Buddha with a beat - Wat Suthi Wararam transformed | News by The Thaiger

Traditional and ornate on the outside. Funky and modern on the inside.

Abbot, Phra Suthee Rattanapandit says, “The aim is to encourage more young people to study Buddhism at the temple.”

“We teamed up with young artists and designers who used modern technology to create this contemporary digital art in the temple. The artwork is intended to help people more easily understand Buddhist teachings.”

Supported by the National Innovation Agency, “Bodhi Theatre” was conceived and executed by a network including the Why_Not Social Enterprise, Awakening Creative, Another day Another render, Art of Hongtae, Korky and What_If.

Thawatchai Saengthamchai, managing director at Why_Not and manager of this project, acknowledges that it’s not easy changing the “young generation’s habits”.

“But we decided to find a way to modernise the temple experience to attract a changing society. We selected hi-tech tools to get people back to the temple.”

The team has not only re-visualised and simplified a complex message, but it also created fun activities for visitors to the temple. They can paint cloth bags and send themselves best wishes on a postcard stamped with the chant’s emblem.

All proceeds from the sale of coffee go to the temple. Admission to the event itself is free, but seats can be booked in advance at BodhiTheater.com.

The show runs every 35 minutes from 2 to 6pm.

Buddha with a beat - Wat Suthi Wararam transformed | News by The Thaiger Buddha with a beat - Wat Suthi Wararam transformed | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Entertainment

Now you can ‘Grab’ a hotel as well

The Thaiger

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Now you can ‘Grab’ a hotel as well | The Thaiger

If you’ve used Grab you’ll realise what a big announcement this is. It immerses yet another service within their intuitive App. Grab, already a leading App in Southeast Asia, has announced the launch of its ‘Hotels’ booking service.

The company says customers will now be able to book hotels and other accommodation from Agoda and soon, Booking.com directly from their Grab app, and additionally enjoy special hotel offers when they book through Grab.

The company said its customers can access and easily compare prices across millions of places to stay, ranging from a wide choice of luxury and budget hotels to apartments, vacation homes, and family-run B&Bs.

“Travellers are an increasingly important audience for Grab. With more Southeast Asians travelling than ever before, the launch of ‘ Grab Hotels’ highlights our commitment to provide the most relevant services to our customers as Southeast Asia’s leading everyday super app.

“Our ‘Hotels’ service adds to the multiple benefits we already offer travellers, including the most comprehensive miles and travel loyalty program for any O2O platform, discounts at lounges and F&B outlets at major airports in Southeast Asia, and exclusive Grab transport pick-up points at airports in Indonesia and the Philippines,” said Jerald Singh, Group Head of Product and Design, Grab.

More features and benefits will be added to the ‘Hotels’ service throughout the year. Grab customers will get free travel personal accident and flight delay insurance with each hotel booking, as well as special ride offers. In addition, customers will be able to pay with GrabPay, Grab’s cashless payment mode, and earn GrabReward points with each booking, which can be redeemed for more deals and discounts around other travel services, F&B, retail, entertainment and more.

“Grab’s ‘Hotels’ service is ideal for young professionals who travel frequently for holidays, or families looking for the best deals.

“Our partnerships with Agoda and Booking.com allow our customers to easily find the right accommodation – anywhere in the world – for their holiday, and within their preferred budget too! With the special Grab discounts and free insurance, we’re confident travellers can find the most value-for-money deals when booking hotels with Grab.”

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