Busy, Busy Day
Trip Start Oct 31, 2011
20Trip End Nov 25, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Our originally planned trip to Phi Phi Island went pear shaped and has been rebooked for Saturday, now to decide what to do to fill our day. Started by meeting some dive buddies at 'Pier 42' to sample the strangest sounding coffee I've seen yet ... I'll let the picture explain it :-D
Up on top of the highest peak in Chalong, sits the 'Big Buddha'. The official name is " Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha". When completed, the Buddha will have required 135 tons of Burmese white marble, will stand 45 meters high and be 25 meters across at the base. There is a second Buddha image (much smaller at 12 meters high) that is made our of 22 tons of solid brass.
The road leading up to the Big Buddha is very steep
We head into the building where many items are sold in order to fund the building of the Buddha. We purchase a marble square for 100 baht ($3.00) and write our names and message on it. It will join many, many others in completing the Lotus portion of the Buddha statue. There are always monks present at the site and offer blessings to all (free !). We climb the steps up to the base of the Buddha and take in the spectacular view (you can see 360 degrees). After a few photo ops, we walk through the centre of the statue where it's cool and out of the sun.
On the backside of the Buddha statue, there are two statues embedded into the openings. They look finished but their heads are still covered ... kinda creepy, but makes great photo art :-) . Also at the back is another large Buddha statue made entirely of brass (much, much smaller than the Big B) and beside that is a large pile of gold paint that is used to paint the stone statues that are around the front of the main statue.
In order to try and keep with the 'natural' theme, they have hidden the washrooms in a fake giant tree trunk
We see, to the right of the washroom area, a large balcony close to the trees where all of the monkeys seem to be, so we stroll on over. After staying there for an hour we head back home to get ready for the big festival in the evening. We have been fortunate enough (quite by accident) to plan our trip in order to be present for Loi Krathong.
During the festival, lotus shaped floating vessels are decorated with incense and flowers and are meant to hold your bad karma and send it out into the sea. The festivals take place all around Thailand and each area sets up there own. We traveled to Nai Harn beach taking our own Krathongs and paper lanterns. The floating lanterns are are released by the hundreds into the night sky ... some catch fire and plummet back to the ground and some get caught in trees ('cause it's always wise to release a bit of paper with a candle inside of it under a canopy of trees ... DUH !) Ours was a great success and rose up until it was only a small spot in the sky. Reminded me of 'Close Encounter' when the small spacecraft become part of the Big Dipper ... watch the video and see what I mean :)
The festival was fun, hot, sticky and smelled like BBQ's fish ... everything I thought it would be :-)