Phuket is a beautiful island with balmy beaches, bargains, palaces ans stunning temples. The name Phuket is derived from the Malay word "Bukit" which means hill; true to it's name, lush green hills dominate much of the island's interior. There are still some rubber plantations and relics of the island's tin mining operations remaining. Most visitors come for the beaches or the hedonistic nightlife scene.
Hailed as the "Pearl of the Andaman Sea", this island off Thailand's long Southern coast boasts a colorful history. A crossroads for trade, Phuket has been a melting pot of Thai , Malay, Chinese and Western influences. It's importance over the past 500 years stemmed from the island's natural resources, which include tin, hardwoods and rubber. In the past half century, Phuket has enjoyed wide popularity as one of the premier travel destinations in Southeast Asia. Travelers are drawn to the island's beaches, crystalline waters and dramatic forested hills.
I hired a private car and driver today because I wanted to only do my chosen activities one of them being able to visit TIGERS!!!! What a day I had, truly ticked off items on my bucket list!!!
First we were off to Cape Promthep which offers a panoramic view of Phuket. Next we were off to Wat Chalong Temple the largest and most respected of the island's temples. The architecture is typical of wats (monasteries) found throughout Thailand. 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.
We then made a stop at the Big Buddha which is a 45-meter tall white marble statue visible from anywhere in the Southern part of Phuket.
On the way down from this statue we made a charming encounter, a baby elephant which I got to feed and hug then he gave me a kiss! This is the kind of experience I love when I travel.
The highlight of my day was when I went to Tiger Kingdom and got to actually pet a tiger!!!! OMG this was a dream come true!!!! I actually spent almost 25 minutes with these beautiful animals ..... I will never forget this day!!!