Monday, March 2, 2015

Thailand and Singapore Trip: Chalong Temple, Big Buddha, and Phuket Weekend Market

On Saturday, our first full day in Thailand, after swimming and playing at the beach in the morning, we went out and explored a few cultural spots in Phuket.  First up, the Chalong Temple.  I honestly don't know much about the history of the Chalong Temple, but the buildings were beautiful and it was fascinating to see all of the ornate architecture and gold statues of Buddha.

There were vendors lining the streets along the temple, selling everything from toys to food, and some of that food being roasted bugs!  Peter was lucky enough to try some silkworm!  GROSS.

After we visited the Chalong Temple grounds, we drove up to the Big Buddha.  And, let me tell you, that thing deserves its name!  It was HUGE!  Their goal is to make it the biggest Buddha in Thailand and they seem to me to be well on their way.  It was incredible, and the whole time we were there, there were monks inside of it chanting their prayers.  It was a really cool experience to see such a magnificent structure, hear the melodic chanting, and see the view of Phuket and the ocean below.  

Last on our list for the day was to visit the Phuket Town Weekend Market.  This was actually one of the top 5 things I wanted to do while we were in Thailand!  I'd heard that the markets were awesome, with food and clothing and souvenirs for super cheap.  And, we were not disappointed!  The weekend market was bigger than I had expected and had more than I could have imagined!  I wish we had taken more pictures of everything, but honestly, I think we were too focused on not losing each other and our kids in the madhouse to stop and take photos!  Peter grabbed a couple of pictures of some of the quail eggs and street meat that was being sold, but they had booths and booths filled with every other type of Thai food you can imagine!  And probably some that you can't imagine as well :)

In addition to food, you could really find just about anything your heart desired.  There were stores and stores of clothes--Clara and I each got a pair of Thai harem pants for about $3 each, and Will got a Japan National Team soccer uniform for $15!  (Although I wouldn't put money on its authenticity . . . )  Will and Clara also got a couple little knock-off Big Hero 6 toys and we picked up a cool, wooden carving of an elephant to hang on our wall at home.  

The market was insane--crowded, loud, and huge--with winding aisles, making it almost impossible to not get lost or find the exit, but it was a blast!  With Peter's and my love of shopping and of unique trinkets, had we not had 3 tired kids with us (it had been a long day--they were troopers!), I think we could have spent all evening there and done quite a bit of damage!  But, we're happy with our purchases and it's probably better that we saved some of our money for the rest of our trip!

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