I already told you how amazing our resort in Phuket was. Quiet, calm, serene, and with a private pool, it really doesn’t get much better.
As much as I could have just stayed at Sala the entire time, we did go out and about. One of my favorite days was when we went to the Big Buddha. Our hotel arranged a ride for us with my favorite staff member, a sweet Thai man named Korn, and stocked the car with those amazing ice cold lemongrass towels.
Once we got there, we explored the outside of the Buddha. Entrance was free and women have to cover their shoulders. It was under construction when we were there (2014), but I was pretty awestruck none-the-less. The entire thing is made of white jade marble and weighs 135 tons!
The view around the base of the Buddha and in the neighboring gardens was a sprawling sea view.
There were also these rows and rows of bells that lined certain parts of the statue. Korn told us the bells represent Buddha’s voice, and when you hear them, it helps to remind Buddhists to pay attention to the “now.” Even today when I think about all those bells tinkling, it makes me smile.
After the Big Buddha, we went to an elephant center (I’m not posting the name). Now, at the time, riding an elephant was something I really wanted to do, and I’ll admit, it was fun. However, as I learned more and more about this practice in the past couple of years, I have to BEG you to do your research and don’t ride elephants at all. If you want to see elephants, try a responsible and reputable safari company, or try the Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, where they care for elephants rescued from abuse.
While I didn’t see evidence of abuse with my own eyes, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening behind the scenes and many people believe the act of having elephants give rides to humans at all is inhumane (they are wild animals after all). So, like I said, while we did have fun doing this at the time, now I feel guilty and could only say that it’s very important to speak your mind with your money, and go see the elephants in a different setting.
Finally, on our way home after a long (and very hot!) day, we stopped at Wat Chalong. Talk about stunning. Was Chalong is the most important of the 29 temples on Phuket, and I could definitely tell by the design and intricacy.
The temples were clean and glittered in the sunlight and a hush fell over everyone as soon as they’d go inside. I didn’t take photos inside in an effort to be respectful, so you’ll just have to trust me that the inside is just as beautiful as the outside.
On our way home, we made one more stop. Korn knew of a place where monkeys roamed freely. It was sort of a park, even though I never saw a name or fences of any sort. There were a couple of ladies selling bags of nuts and bananas to feed to the monkeys.
After my spiel about the elephants, I also don’t know how to feel about the monkeys being so used to human interaction, although I know in many places around the world monkeys live side by side with humans. I couldn’t find any info about this particular spot online, so I don’t know how they treat the monkeys or if they just live freely or what.
That being said, the monkeys were very sweet (unlike that little shit that bit me in Bali) and I had a mini heart attack when the baby above grabbed on to my hand!