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Phuket Sights, Motorbike Adventures, and More

Posted Nov 28 2010 10:37am

Since the last update, I visited Wat Chalong, the biggest and most ornate of Phuket’s 29 Buddhist temples:

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I also visited The Big Buddha, one of Phuket’s most important and revered landmarks (though still under construction). The Big Buddha sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills and is easily seen from miles around because it is about 148 feet high! 

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Inside the temple by the Big Buddha were some papers on the wall with a wonderful message:

“May we close our eyes and we look inside. We make strong wishes. May I be happy 5 times.

Then at first we think of our mother. May our mother be happy 5 times.

We wish every happiness for our father. May he be happy 5 times.

Happiness for our family. For our sons and daughters, for our wives, our husbands, our brothers and sisters, our grandparents. May they be happy 5 times.

For our relatives and friends, for our neighbors who are close to use who like us. We like them. May they be happy 5 times.

5 times we send happiness to the leaders of our countries, the kings and queens, the prime ministers and presidents, may they be happy 5 times.

To all people who are suffering in the hospitals, with diseases and pain. May they find happiness, may they be happy 5 times.

Happiness for all without freedom, the captives and prisoners around the world, may they be happy 5 times.

Happiness to our enemies, the ones who don’t like us, who don’t understand us, we send them every happiness 5 times.”

The view at the top was gorgeous!

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It actually reminds me of my hometown of San Diego.

Since I am not training yet, I feel like exploring Phuket while I have the time. Not only that, but there are certain things I need which require me to go places to get. Case in point: my pink flip flops were tearing up my feet! Because you take your shoes off before you go into places, everyone wears sandals that they slip on and off. My flip flops were not cutting it. I need a different pair. You can purchase some at a big store called Big C, about a 15-20 min motorbike ride down the way.

Without a motorbike, you would have to pay a lot of money for someone to personally drive you there….So I realize I need my own motorbike. Since I’m here for a month plus, it’s a necessity.  So my life’s mission became to get some sandals. And, correspondingly, rent a motorbike and learn how to drive it.

So I picked up a yellow baby from Tony.

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I rode up and down the streets around Tiger Muay Thai which are relatively quiet. The hardest part is that in Thailand, they drive on the opposite side of the road than in America, so that really throws me off!

I rode down a side street to practice turning, and a guard dog came at me!! I picked up speed to “outrun” it, but the dog picked up speed too!!!! It was growling and barking and looked ready to attack!! I screamed HEY!!! at the top of my lungs, and miraculously, the dog stopped and I sped off, heart pounding, terrified! I returned back to my place after that, having had enough close encounters on my motorbike for the time being.

The next morning, I woke up early so I could explore some of the busy roads before they got too congested and crazy. You see, here, their “rules” are crazy. The incidence of mortality while driving a motorbike is ridiculously high. There are no “lanes.” Well, they’re painted on the ground but no one follows them. Tony had recommended that I don’t go out on the main roads for a few more days. But I was determined to get my sandals. I had practiced and practiced as much as I could on the dinky little road by Tiger, but I needed to try to go on the main roads…So I did my lil workout in my room, showered, and crept out as the sun was rising. I strapped on my helmet, rolled out my motorbike (anyone have a good suggestion for a name for a yellow motorbike?) and off I cruised, the weather perfect for my tank top and capris, at 6:30 AM ;)

I came back and had breakfast. Feeling good about my trip, I decided that today would be the day. I decided to be confident in myself and trust I could navigate these insane streets on the motorbike. I would get my sandals and not rely on anyone!!!!!

I headed out and went went went. It was about 20 min down this busy road, hitting speeds up to 40 mph but luckily it was just straight. Once I handled my business and bought my sandals (SWEET VICTORY), now was a challenge of making a U-turn. This requires me to go towards the right hand side (the fast side) of the left lane to make a U-turn!!!! Turns are the hardest part. So not only did I have to have the confidence to stop in front of the speeding cars, I also had to time my U-time with oncoming traffic and bang it out!! And I did! With ease! I felt so victorious as I jetted back on my motorbike within the crazy traffic, we’re all zipping past and through one another, and it’s a great feeling to have the wind cooling you down on the hot and humid day…Freedom!

(Post-note: not freedom the way, though, because there are a lot of places I want to go but don’t know how to get to and it’s kinda scary to navigate these roads when you don’t know where you’re going and don’t know exactly how to drive here!)

After that, I stopped by Tiger Muay Thai to have them call the place I got my excruciating massages from, so I can go get another one. I also took a walk around the complex, to see if anything interesting was going on. I did spy some SLOSH PIPES and was very excited because I have never seen a place have slosh pipes aside from our magnificent gym, Functional Core Fitness in Mountain View, CA, U-S of A! Not only did they have ONE slosh pipe, they had FIVE!! (2 pictured- the big blue pipes)

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Wow, I’m very curious about what they do with them! I wonder if they do different things with their slosh pipes than we do with ours. Here’s a vid with Omar doing some slosh pipe exercises.

I bet the conditioning with the slosh pipes is part of the Body Fit Program at Tiger Muay Thai, which everyone is raving about!  I actually hadn’t even known it was so popular (as one always thinks of Muay Thai when thinking about Tiger Muay Thai) but apparently this program is hella-legit, if I may be so eloquent.

Saturday night was the BBQ Beatdown, which is a monthly event with smoker fights in Muay Thai, Western Boxing, and MMA. Of course, mostly Muay Thai. I had to go to scope the scene ;) Sadly, no girl fights : /

Sunday morning I tested out my toe and TOOK A JOG OUTSIDE!!!!!! I taped it up and decided to go for it, just a brief warm up…there is no treadmill at Tiger, so everyone runs on the street. So…I had my go. I haven’t run in AGES due to my broken toe, and prior to that I didn’t run much either, being the iron addict that I am. I LIKE LIFTING HEAVY SHIT. Despised cardio. Until I started getting interested in fighting and realized I needed to run to increase my stamina. The last time I ran consistently was about 3-4 years ago, when I would frequently run 5 miles daily, sometimes more. Then I tore my ACL and that’s a whole different story. Anyway, I was proud of myself that I ran without stopping up and down the hills (okay fine I admit they weren’t that steep but STILL), and infinitely relieved that the toe felt fine :D Then I came back to my room- since I don’t yet have access to the weight room at Tiger since I haven’t started training there- and busted out my beloved JC Band:

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I always take it with me when I’m travelling. I did some rows, some bicep curls, a little this, a little that, so that my body remembers resistance and remembers how to MOVE!

Monday morning (tomorrow) I plan to test out the bod and do some training at Tiger for the first time!!! So excited! Will definitely let you know how it goes :)

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