Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ranong & Phuket, Thailand

Gosh! Only 3 days left in April? Shocking how swift the days sneaked past me without a ruffle. A routine sort of fell into place for the past many weeks. There was inevitable work but even *that* was quite a slack as I had close to 20 annual leave days to clear BY end April. Then there was the pleasurable violin practises and classes, new songs and new positions. Then I was on Facebook regularly like how an addict would playing Scrabulous, Mental Blocks and Knighthood. Oh, please get me out of there! But what really was most routine was my very-busy-time over the weekends working on the biggest, most important event in my life. Heh! But that's another story altogether.

*clear throat*

Now ... the highlight in April has to be my trip to Ranong and Phuket, Thailand between 3rd and 8th April. Sure you've heard of Phuket but where is Ranong, I hear you ask? Ah! Geographically, it's about 600km south from Bangkok or 300km north of Phuket or put simply, bordering southern Myanmar.

We arrived on a hot Wednesday afternoon at Phuket International Airport.

Rented a car for RM100 a day (for 6 days) to travel around. Works out cheaper this way. Wasted no time and were on our way to Ranong, about approx 4 hours away, arriving on a wet, rainy night.

The next morning, we set off to visit the statue of Khaw Soo Cheang, Rajah of Ranong (or Governor of Ranong). You may read its most interesting history here

As our trip coincided with Cheng Beng, the Festival of the Tombs, we also visited the the Governor's mausoleum. The hundred and fifty acres piece of land, on the outskirts of Ranong Town was given to his family by Rama V (King Chulalongkorn) to the family in perpetuity for use as its own private burial ground. My guess was that, this particular tomb land was more than 10 acres AND for EACH governor succeeding him thereafter. Hilly, well maintained, windy and good infrastructure (leading to different tombs of the Na Ranong clan).

Public visiting and police around to make sure there was no chaos.

"Wah, so much land for the dead, eh?" I queried with a squint of an eye under the hot sun. "But of course," came the answer. "They were the rulers of Ranong," he answered with much pride. "Highly respected in the country," he added. "Yes, make perfect sense to me," I acknowledged with a nod and searched for a shade under the trees.

We had one more night at Ranong to attend a gathering function of the current generations of Na Ranong, mostly the 5th and 6th generations, who travelled near and far to be here at this event, including us all the way from Malaysia. What has this got to do with Primrose, you ask? Ahh! Primrose's other half, KCG is the 6th generation of the Na Ranong Dynasty, that's what. So Primrose was there to make her presence known. *winks*

We were back to Phuket on Sunday evening and we went for a drive around lively Patong at night. Packed with tourist and loud music, we decided to drive to Tesco at the other end of town instead to explore its similarities with Tesco at home and bought some favourite local delicacies.

Patong during the day. The many massage parlours in Patong area.

Explored a new shopping mall, Jungceylon, which was the name of Phuket back in 1511AD. Very modern architecture, displaying captivating junks which is their mascot and mall logo. The basement level offers a large array of local souvenirs, food stuff and massage services. Went for a cheap pedicure session after a long walk. I didn't stay very long as I have another place to spend my time at.

I hit Phuket Square instead. Now THIS is a place for the locals. It would be useful to know a few words in Thai like "how much" or "cheaper" to start bargaining for rock bottom prices for star buys.

Phuket Square was a compendium of hundreds of stalls of sorts, from clothes to shoes to bags to souvenirs. It was a shopper's haven, especially girls. It was a maze of streets, fully air-conditioned, spacious and comfortable. Only disadvantage: They don't speak much English. But I don't think we have a problem with that, do we? Just whip out your calculator and start punching numbers. :)

The trip came to an end on Tuesday and just before we hit the Phuket airport, we were invited by KCG's uncle, the owner of Indigo Pearl Resort, previously Pearl Village, for lunch. A 5th generation Na Ranong, he missed the gathering at Ranong and would like to meet up with us before we left Phuket.

This resort is, by far, one of the most exquisitely designed resort I have ever been to. Clad in blue gems with luscious landscape and a very unique concept of a tin mine (read history of Ranong), no wonder it is Phuket's Award Winning Design Resort.

Well-designed lobby area

Matching furniture around the lobby area

Lunch lounge, the Tin Mine. Notice the interesting cutlery set.

After lunch, we had a tour of the resort including different types of rooms. Indigo Pearl has a very romantic bath area - different rooms with different bathrooms. No doors, all glass around, no raised flooring - it's like walking into another part of the bedroom except on cool marble.

Do we get to stay here the next time we visit Phuket? It is an assuring yes. All KCG has to do is to inform his uncle and we're well on our way there, very highly likely before the year is up!

All in all, it was a good trip to touch base with the Siamese side short of remembering too many names of the Na Ranong uncles, aunties and cousins. Apart from soaking up a good amount of history, I soaked up a bit too much tan too, which I wasn't too keen of. Oh well...

Till the next post.

6 flowers for this post
Er, do I hear some sort of wedding bells?.....seems like you're hinting on a BIG day soon eh?
moomoo4u | 27.04.08 - 7:03 pm | #


Glad you took a break.. wedding bells..?? you haven't talked alot about your relationship eh..?
Mama BoK | Homepage | 28.04.08 - 1:41 am | #


Hey Primrose,

I miss you already~! You have been silent too. So, How are you? You had a great time there, I can see it, read

This year, I am seeing the world as much as I could. Bangkok and Ireland, Next. Hearing from you. Takecare
charlene | Homepage | 28.04.08 - 6:54 pm | #


Did you go to Koh Phi Phi? I like Phuket.
Titoki | Homepage | 29.04.08 - 3:39 pm | #


looks like you almost lost your April as well in the busy-ness of life ;p

the biggest most important event in your life, that would probably be a wedding plan for most females out there, wonder if it's the same for u
kruy | Homepage | 30.04.08 - 6:35 pm | #


Looks like you had fun in Thailand. I've only been to Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The traffic's really bad in Bangkok. Have fun at B.U.M. 2008 tomorrow.
James Chin | Homepage | 30.04.08 - 9:23 pm | #


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