As part of our Princess Cruise of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam we stopped at three destinations in Thailand – Phuket, Bangkok and Ko Samui.
We joined the Princess arranged Best of Phuket shore excursion. Our first stop was Cape Promthep with views over the Andaman Sea at the southernmost point of Phuket. Lots of little shops around.
We then stopped at the Wat Chalong Temple. Wat Chalong is associated with the revered monks, Luang Po Chaem and Luang Po Chuang, both famous for their work in herbal medicine and tending to the injured.
Next was a stop at Phuket Thai Village. The village presents examples of the culture of all parts of the Thailand. This is set up for tourists but it was lovely to see the Thai costumes and the dances they performed.
Something that caught our eye was the tangle of electrical wires as we travelled round the town.
The tour included lunch at a shopping mall and then they took us to an upmarket shopping centre. We would have preferred going to markets or some more of the sites of Phuket.
In Bangkok we took another shore excursion organsied by Princess. Our first stop was
Wat Trimitr, the Temple of the Golden Buddha. The statue of Buddha is carved from solid gold. In the 18th century the Buddha was covered in plaster to protect it from invading armies. In 1957 it was ‘rediscovered’ when the statue was being moved by a crane. The plaster-covered Buddha slipped and landed in the mud, only to be found by a workman. Through a small crack in the plaster, he saw a sliver of gold and the magnificent work of art was revealed.
Next stop was the Grand Palace. (A quick note here – your shoulders and legs must be covered to enter the palace grounds.) We were taken on a walking tour of the Grand Palace through its ornate and elaborate courtyards. The city’s most spectacular landmark, the palace complex, once the residence of the Kings of Thailand, is now reserved for royal ceremonies and state occasions.
After our palace tour, we walked to the Chao Phraya River to board a riverboat which whizzed along the river to take us to the lunch venue.
The ship docked within walking distance to the local shops and there were plenty of taxis and tour guides touting for business.
We visited the Big Buddha Temple, the Na Muang Waterfall, and the Guan-Yu Koh Samui Shine.
Categories: Asia - Cruise