Phuket, Thailand is known for its beaches and the tsunami that hit it in 2004. Our guide said first the water level dropped leaving small pools with fish flopping in them. The locals went out to to grab some fish for dinner and had no chance when the water came poring back in. We had a brief stop in Phuket, so there didn’t seem to be time for the beaches. Instead we took a tour that included one of the best view points for the sunset and a famous Buddhist temple.Promthep Cape is at the extreme southwest end of Phuket Island. Unfortunately, we were there in the morning so there was no hope of seeing the sunset.The Cape is named after Brahma, the Hindu God of creation. People have brought hundreds of elephant statues here of all materials and sizes as offerings to him. It is popular to drape the elephants in flower garlands.This lizard was busy taking in the view of the elephants.We visited Wat Chalong. Wat means temple in the Thai language. Typical of most temples, it consists of many buildings. You have to remove your shoes to go in the buildings and both men and women are supposed to have their shoulders and knees covered, though enforcement was pretty lax.You often see ribbons tied around the trunks of trees in the temples.Firecrackers were set off repeatedly in this kiln. There seemed to be an employee whose job was to set off a string of dozens of firecrackers in the kiln and then sweep up any litter that came out on the sidewalk. I do not remember fireworks in previous temples we have visited.People prayed and burned incense in front of religious statues.This tall Pagoda dominated the site. It had three levels and was filled with numerous gold statues on the first two levels.The top level featured a sliver of a bone of Buddha in the top bulb of this container. The sliver was too small for me to see. The floor in front of the glass doors on the right is covered with offerings slipped through the crack between the doors.The window on the top level of the pagoda has a commanding view of the Temple complex. The white building in the upper right of the picture caught my attention.It appears to be a marble temple in the final stages of construction. It will be quite a contrast to the normally colorful Thai Buddhist temples.
We have two days at sea before reaching India. Viking announced their 2020 world cruise last night. It is 245 days (not a typo) from London to London. You can also buy it in two segments. The Los Angeles to London section essentially duplicates our present trip. The London to Los Angeles section is mostly new – but not to worry. We think one World Cruise is sufficient. I plan to do a future blog on what I see as the advantages and disadvantages of the different ways we have traveled. It will be a good project for the six days we have at sea after Oman.