Rodney Campbell's Blog

Thailand Memories…

by on Nov.12, 2010, under Life, Photography

We recently (well I guess not so recently now) returned from our family holiday in Phuket, Thailand where we spent nine days during the first two weeks of October.

The weather was overcast for much of the time that we were there (no clear blue sky days) but the biggest thing from a photography perspective was that it was very hazy much of the time. It rained on a number of evenings/nights but it was still quite hot (and humid) and the days were usually mostly rain free which allowed us to get out and explore on most days.

We stayed at the Outrigger Laguna Resort (part of the Laguna group of Resorts on Bang Tao Bay). Many of the Laguna properties are on the beach itself (Sheraton, Beach Resort, Dusit, Banyan Tree) whereas a number are also inland. The Outrigger is a little more isolated but it has large villas (2, 3 and 4 bedroom) – we stayed in a huge 3 bedroom villa with it’s own private pool.

Sunset near the Dusit and the Laguna Beach club resorts. We had dinner in one of these restaurants on the beach. Whilst the view was very nice the food was the worst (and gave my daughter and I a little food poisoning gift the next day :(). Everywhere else that we ate in Phuket however was good and we had no other problems with the food.

NIKON D90 + 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 35 mm, 1/60 sec at f / 4.2, ISO 1600

We visited Patong Beach for a day (and that was more than enough) – this is the main tourist location in Phuket. The girls all had their hair braided and beaded – for the princely sum of 1200 Thai Baht (about $40) and three hours work for all three girls. Walking the streets of Patong we visited many market shops; everything is geared towards tourists. The streets of Patong are also littered with Tuk Tuks and their drivers trying to get you to hire them at every turn.

Sunset over the resort where we were staying.

NIKON D90 + 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 36 mm, 1/25 sec at f / 8.0, ISO 3200

We went to see a fantastic show at FantaSea. The huge stage production lasts 90 minutes and showcases many performers and animals (including more than 20 elephants on the stage). The main theatre where the show is held is a huge elaborate affair, the girls and us adults all really enjoyed the show. It cost about 12000 THB – around$425 for the show and dinner for the five of us.

NIKON D90 + 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18 mm, 6.0 sec at f / 11, ISO 200

We visited and swam in the winding snakelike pool at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Resort. The baby elephants walk through the resort at the Sheraton each morning and afternoon and it was another chance for the girls to feed, pat and ride which they thoroughly enjoyed 🙂

NIKON D90 + 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 150 mm, 1/250 sec at f / 6.3, ISO 200

We booked and had Sunday Brunch @ Oriental Spoon restaurant at the Twinpalms Resort on Surin Beach. This was a ‘relatively’ expensive buffet (1190 THB – approx $42 per person) but the quality and variety of food was outstanding. Once the girls discovered the limitless supply of fresh fruit and the chocolate fountain they were in heaven.

Surin beach is in the next major bay to the south of Bang Tao Bay and is just north of Kamala beach (which is itself north of the bay which holds Paton beach).

NIKON D90 + 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 32 mm, 1/320 sec at f / 11, ISO 200

Whilst we were waiting in the Lobby in the Twinpalms resort for our ride back to our place we were asked by this resorts guest relations manager if we were busy the next day and if we’d be interested on a day trip on their luxury yacht (at a greatly reduced rate – three children for free – normally 5900 THB per person).

We spent the day crusing some islands on the very comfortable 76′ Twinpalms One. The Yacht was huge with four bedrooms and three bathrooms below deck and a large main living area indoors.

Islands in the mist.

NIKON D90 + 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 65 mm, 1/250 sec at f / 8.0, ISO 200

The girls enjoyed roaming around the large outer deck and upstairs open cabin area as we cruised between islands.

NIKON D90 + 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 46 mm, 1/160 sec at f / 8.0, ISO 200

Kai Nok Island. Our yacht anchored off shore and we transfered onto the island using the smaller powerboat on the back of the yacht. We did some snorkelling here in the warm clear waters and fed bread to the brightly coloured fish.

NIKON D90 + 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 48 mm, 1/640 sec at f / 4.5, ISO 200

A panoramamic view (about 270 degrees view from side to side) in Phang Nga Bay.

NIKON D90 + 8.0-16.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 8 mm, 1/320 sec at f / 11, ISO 200

There was a large chinese festival (over about 9 days) going on whilst we were in Phuket. The local streets were covered in stalls and night markets and the streets were jammed. I stopped off on the way and bought some large fireworks to set off when we were back at the villa.

NIKON D90 + 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 200 mm, 1/320 sec at f / 5.6, ISO 200

If you’d like to see more of the photos from the trip the following is an adobe flash based web gallery of images and I’ve added some information below most of the photos to give you a bit of the backstory if you’re interested. Depending on how large your browser window is (and I suggest you maximise the browser window for best effect) you may need to scroll this text up and down using the small arrows on the far right to read it all.

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