Monday, March 29, 2010

270310 The Land of Make Believe

U gotta see to believe.
What's in store? More than you can chew...

7:30 am local time
With a smile that would melt the naughtiest boy and skin as soft as Thai silk, this petite like elf from heaven draped the garland of scented sea shells over me.

Beauty & the beast (Half Man Half Horse)
I was so hungry I could eat her (Literally). Tongue wagging...

The 45 minus bus ride from the landing strip to Phuket's main area made me drool for more.

Sino-Portuguese architecture dominates the narrow streets. Lines & lines of these old structures give a surreal feeling, as if you're thrown back in time into the early 1900. Influences can also be found in Melaka, Penang & Sarawak, straits settlement during the colonial era. Incidentally Peranakans, known as "Phuket Babas" in the local tongue, have family ties with the Peranakans of Malaysia.
There's also a large number of Muslims in Phuket, many are of Malay blood-lines, mainly descendants of the island's original sea-dwelling people. This is where the 7th generation of the famous legend from Pulau Langkawi, Malaysia was born.

Wan Aishah, pretty lass...

Indeed, Wan Aishah is the seventh generation descendent of Mahsuri which signified the end of the curse but also to those who knew the family heritage. For years, Wan Aishah has heard family members talking about the beautiful Mahsuri but she never paid much attention to the hushed conversations as she was interested in just having fun, like all young girls. But the past was not about to leave Aishah alone. About two years ago, officials from the Kedah Historical Society visited Kampung Kamala, Phuket to seek out the living relatives of Mahsuri. They made enquires and succeeded in locating the descendants. What they discovered left them a little awed. The legend of Mahsuri has not only intrigued Malaysians but also found a following in Thailand. In Phuket, Aishah's family is widely known as the 'White Blooded' family.
Why white blood? When Mahsuri was stabbed (As a result of a wild accusation that she committed adultery), white blood oozed from her wound as she bled to death!

"Although I have always heard stories about Mahsuri, I never knew that I played a key role in unlocking an old curse," said Wan Aishah. "For two years, the officers came to our home asking lots of questions to verify that we were direct descendants of Mahsuri. My grandfather, Wan Husin, told them numerous stories about our family and even showed them the Keris (dagger) and sword that was used to stab Mahsuri," said Aishah. "Although I believe that I am the seventh generation of Mahsuri, I find it hard to believe that with my birth, a curse that drove a once prosperous island to poverty, has been lifted," said the puzzled lass in Thai. But after making an official visit to Langkawi last year, the petite Aishah, who is often called a princess in her hometown, have no doubts about her own importance. Interestingly enough, in the 1980s - seven (7) generations later - Langkawi awoke from its slumber and has in the last decade has become a thriving tourism destination both for domestic as well as international travelers. That's another story...

Spectacular view - lousy seafood

The introduction of our tour guide was often interrupted by his unstoppable hyena like laughter resembling my granny, the shaman - going into a trance. No doubt Don is quite informative & well versed about the local customs, culture, historical and contemporary heritage interpretation - Speaking in Tinglish (A mix of Thai & English), It can be pretty amusing & ticklish trying to figure out what he's really talking about. He would break out into laughter at the slightest provocation. Yeah...Tinglish can be very Ticklish...

Phuket is divided into 3 districts (Amphoer), Mueang Phuket, Kathu & Thelang - which are further subdivided into 17 sub districts (Tambon) and 103 villages (Muban). We will then pass by the Amphoer Thelang (Amphoer - District), enter Amphoer Mhueang (Phuket Town) & it will lead straight to Amphoer Theraju (Phuket Beach). One of the most popular tourist areas on Phuket is Patong Beach on the central western coast, perhaps owing to the easy access to its wide and long beach. "There are many beaches as in bitches here..." & Don breaks into another laughing fit.

Transport matters, how you go about riding it - is your business.

Most of Phuket's nightlife and its cheap shopping is located in Patong, and the surrounding areas has become increasingly over-developed - blaming modernization as the cause. The actual culprits are, us humans. We encroach forest reserves, tear-up their virginity & plunder. Patong means "The forest filled with banana leaves" in Thai. When in the old days, before plastic came into picture, banana leaves was the only thing besides paper are used as wrappers.
Now Patong beach thrives with "Fruits form a different kind". As you'd see loads of lifeless bodies parading their tanned/sun-baked circular & semi-elongated imported produce, for free, by the beach. I was spoilt for choice.
Reminds me of the song by Brian Applegate which was composed by DEVO - 34C

34 C isn't good enough for me. I need to have, at least a D
Big ones, round ones, fat ones, too. Itty bitty teeny ones just won't do
Big ones, round ones, firm ones, too. I'd like to see the ones on you!

Phuket formerly known as Tha-Laang or Talang, or Junk Ceylon in Western sources, a distortion of the Malay Tanjung Salang, i.e. "Cape Salang") is one of the southern provinces (Changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Phang Nga and Krabi, but as Phuket is an island there are no land boundaries.
The name Phuket (of which the ph sound is an aspirated p) is apparently derived from the word "Bukit" in Malay which means hill, as this is what the island appears like from a distance. The island is mostly mountainous with a mountain range in the west of the island from the north to the south.The mountains of Phuket form the southern end of the Phuket mountain range, which ranges for 440 km from the Kra Isthmus. The highest elevation of the island is Mai Thao Sip Song (Twelve Canes), at 529 m above sea level &it's the biggest island in Thailand, with an estimated total area of approximately 570 square kilometers. The region was formerly referred to as "Thelang," derived from the old Malay "Telong" which means "Cape." The northern district of the province, which was the location of the old capital, still uses this name.
Don had suggested that we all go for a "Soft-soft" program after breakfast. It got me thinking..."Soft-soft" program this early? You must be joking. 24/7 in Phuket? Whoa!!!

Oh...what he meant about "Soft-soft" was some light tour - mild shopping & sight seeing. We visited the biggest cashew nut factory & bought home bundles of T-shirts from another.

Panyee Island, the Muslim village on stilts.

Fresh produce from the sea, lunch in Panyee Island was so delicious , I was lucky to be seated in a table for eight. As four decided to go on a diet, I bloated my belly with crabs, squids grilled sea bass. Right after which we surveyed the caves via air-filled canoes.

Kuala Lumpur has the KL Tower and Thailand has Puget FantaSea. It’s packed with tourists, cameras are a required accessory, and there are an untold number of souvenir shops to spend money in. With building designs that are occasionally wacky, over-the-top costumes, and elephants milling about, Phuket FantaSea has all the subtlety of a mouthful of Thai chilies. But it can’t be avoided; everyone should go once.

The result is a stunning 140-acre theme complex, packed with a multitude of activities and entertainment with no shortage of ways to pass the time before the show starts: The magnificent Palace of the Elephants is a state-of-the-art theater with wonderful acoustics and seating 3,000 persons. Fronted by a glorious reconstruction of a Sukhothai-era stone palace, with intriguing elephant statues, the theater puts on a spell-binding show combining culture and illusion that is almost beyond belief.

“Fantasy of a Kingdom” Culture-Illusion ShowThe ultimate state-of-the-art, breath-taking Las Vegas-style theatrical show that inspires from Thailand's Myths, Mysteries and Magic.
The story isn’t easy to follow, and it doesn’t matter. Loud and funny moments interrupted by quiet, beautiful interludes do a great job conveying the emotion. The end result is a display that’s as dazzling as the sights outside the theatre. Young children, old children, and adult children all enjoy the show.
In the middle of the show, all off a sudden you'll have chickens, goats & pigeons crossing the stage. It’s not tough to believe elephants can become accomplished actors, but this show also employs goats, roosters, water buffalo, and doves in supporting roles.I mean, pigeons can be trained but chickens running across the stage is plain bizarre!!!

Superb archirtecture, trunk fountain & all.

No wonder it's billed as “The ultimate cultural theme park”. Tough for me to come up with a better description. Sets slides in & go. Flooring sinks to the abyss & reemerged as a beautiful flora & fauna. Ariel Avatar like creatures hung precariously above the skies, illuminated by fluorescent. So sexy it overwhelms your soul...
me & my twin pondering the future...or the past.

A carnival village with an assortment of choices. From t-shirts to beachwear to jewelery – Everything is big, bright, ornate, and made to impress. Be an elephant's mahout for a trip around the Songbird Luminarie. Head to Simian Adventure Center where you monkey around with Darwin's cousin, sorry he's an ape bcoz he believes so - I descended from the human race.

A sea-themed arcade full of games or hop on a carousel/merry go round till you vomit, the kids are sure to love. Or visit the photo studio and dress the family in traditional Thai costumes or cross-dress Tranny like. I know, some men have a penchant for knickers...

The Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant is a perfect example of the park’s El-Grande. It cavernous hall seats 4,000 hungry souls. Amidst a mystical Himmaphan forest setting, there is also a Muslim buffet section where visitors can indulge in a sumptuous gluttony of Royal Thai dishes and delicacies.
Here mythical Kinnarees, half-bird and half-woman of legendary beauty, voluptuous and gracious, look after their guests like proverbial queens.

Sagittarius, the positive extrovert sign. This half man half horse of masculine that oozes sensuality (Pleasure). Vainness is him but don't be apprehensive. His honesty (Blunt), believe in justice, have boundless imagination, very open-minded, wit, intellect with flashes of intuition. He can be too generous but never tie him down as he despises captivity & enjoys freedom of movement & the outdoors.

Guys, can you tell the difference?
And ladies - wouldn't you just die for a figure like that?

Once upon a time if you wanted to see boys who pretend to be girls (so well that it's hard to tell they're boys - if they still are) then you had one choice: Simon Cabaret is probably the biggest "Tranny/Transgender/Transvestite" cabaret show on earth. This show features a spectacular musical floor show performed by the world famous "Transformers". I can't help but eyeball their over-inflated assets, with a glee.

As pretty as they are, they look molded from the same cast. A tray of soft buns/cup cakes sure looks alike.

However, in Thailand, I was made to believe: Due to the considerable tolerance of the culture, the theatrical performances of men dressed as women have always been accepted and a great number of males, who feel more natural as females, find a career as cabaret performers. Well not really... Armed with a pocket size point & shoot camera, like a seasoned pro journalist - interviewed 3 lady boys & all of them agreed that a lot of men somehow treat them differently.

Sauda, the lady-boy from Chiang Mai

Who are you to judge whatever their preferences are. We always talk about racism - racial segregation. What about sexual segregation? God made us different but you decide the path that you wanna follow - the choice is yours alone...

The lavish sets and brilliant costumes will amaze you. Performers lip-synch songs popular in countries around the world. Tina Turner clone who would then harass the audience. Listen-up! Make sure you're seated somewhere in between the other sea of people. If you're UNlucky she'll suffocate u with her pumpkins.

Snap a shot with them & give some tips or you'll be hounded till kingdom come. Some cheapskate had a taste of it that nite. All of a sudden, coarse voices of displeasure started to appear. Gone were the ever loving flying kisses & love calling.

Nail Island

Ko Tapu (Nail Island, also sometimes referred as Khao Tapu, nail hill) is an islet located in the Phang Nga Bay, Thailand. It's a steep rocky monolith, about 20 meters tall. This rock column lies approximately 200 meters offshore of the two-islet pair known as Ko Khao Phingkan (Hills resting on each other island). The islands are located within the Ao Phang Nga National Park.

Departing from Phuket Island, our long tail boats landed at nearby Ko Khao Phingkan. There where souvenir booths & you climb up the peak for a breathtaking aerial view of the neighboring islands. Ko Tapu has become a popular tourist attraction since it was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974; for this reason, it is also often referred to as James Bond Island (the later 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies also includes a scene in Phang Nga Bay, close to James Bond Island).
Come to think of it now I believe why the producers choose this particular island for the movie. The phallic looking rock formation of the island reflects the endless/never ending innuendo of James Bond.

For the last nite in Phuket, like owls, we roamed around aimlesslly in nearby Patong. It's loud, it's raunchy and it's utterly unforgettable. Free transvestite performances can be enjoyed in many of the open air bars. 4-5 beauties will squeeze atop small terrazzo tables. Oogle while you can, mouth wide open in awe, saliva dripping with shock but with a mixed feelings.
Unsure of how to react to the situation, as usual - this cool dude on a NatGeo coverage, I coyly (With a slight blush) took some vids of them gyrating to the heart pounding & blaring disco beat.
The prettiest "Angel" in white gazed at me, sunk an arrow thru my eyes, deep into my soul - Oh what a sight to behold...
The early morning tiger & tigress show was tops in the agenda. Located right smack in the middle of Bangla Road, we had to squeeze thru a maze of intoxicated looking men & women, merrily drowning themselves to the throbbing & ear splitting music yet again.
It was a let down. I thought they're going to tear apart, growl or gnaw or at least snarl at one another. All they did was purr, quiver & at the height of it, stiff muscles went into spasm & released an endless moan toward the end of the show. Naive me.

Bangla Road, no see any Bangladeshi here. Lotta Male-she. It should be renamed "She-Male Road".

Sin & follow the wrong path - you'll GET God's wrath!
No wonder Tsunami wiped some of them off in December 26, 2004.

Nikon compact L16, RM380 only lah
Innuendo = An incredibly pleasurable experience.

Oogle = To gaze in admiration.

A man was lying in bed with his new girlfriend in a hotel in the Thai resort of Phuket.
After having great **x, she spent the next hour just rubbing his testicles -
something she just loved to do.
As he was enjoying it, he turned and asked her, "Why do you like doing that?"
"Because", she replied, "I really miss mine."

Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

Dead or Alive - **X Drive

French kisses a thing of the past
Were too young to die so we'd better live fast
The dying is easy the urge is so hard
If your looking for funking then get into my car
I'm a mercedes benz why dont you jump on in
I got a rear view mirror you can watch us in
The harder you drive the smoother i go
I got my engine running

**X drive it sees no gender or color
So lets get together and collide with each other
**X drive aw you know how it feels
Get out of my car and get under my wheels

**X drive(x4)

Oh the suns coming down
The nights coming inI got a brain for business and a body for sin
So shoot like a rocket cuz my engine is hot
If you want whats forbidden baby thats what i got

Get under my wheels(x3

Depeche Mode - Jezebel

They call you Jezebel, Whenever we walk in
You're going straight to hell, For wanted acts of sin - they say,
and that I'll have to pay, But I need you just this way.

They call you Jezebel, For what you like to wear
You're morally unwell, They say you never care for me
But what the fail to see is that your games are the key

Open their eyes to the beauty
Open their hearts to the fun
Open their minds to the idea that you don't own someone

They call you Jezebel, Whenever men walk by
They say that they can tell, The longing in your eyes is realand how you really feel
But they can't see your appeal