Sunday, July 24, 2011

Looking back at Phuket FantaSea

A few weeks ago, I started blogging about my Phuket experience (see the posts here and here) while on a reminiscing mode about beaches and vacations. Well, my Harry Potter fanaticism was rekindled when the last film came out, and so I failed to follow up with more posts. So I'm back at it starting with the first of four posts about Phuket FantaSea.

We bought a pair of tickets to Phuket FantaSea from a tourism counter at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok while waiting for our flight to Phuket, which was delayed. I already knew about FantaSea somehow from the internet, and the tickets they were selling us were a bit cheaper than the price I've checked on the internet. What's more, we got a complimentary half-day city tour around Phuket. Sweet deal!

I only thought FantaSea was a Las Vegas-style production that featured elephants. I was surprised it was more than that -- it was actually a cultural theme park of sorts. There were a couple of rides, shops, a glammed-up zoo, elephant rides, a gigantic buffet restaurant, and more. So let me show you around this 140-acre wonder that I wouldn't mind visiting again.

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This was right outside the entrance to the park, our shuttle service's drop-off. The pickup service was free because of our hotel's proximity. I think if you're staying in a hotel like in Patong or Karon, there's a corresponding charge.


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The entrance. They really don't make it simple in Thailand. Everything has just got to be grand.

Phuket FantaSea was reportedly built to the tune of over $100 million.  I must say that it shows. There are grand "set pieces," highly stylized structures -- the works. And there's just so many intricate details in almost everything!

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The ticketing area. Don't you agree it's just so grand?

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Some nice little touches: blowers to keep you cool while waiting in line in Thailand's humid climate.

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I mentioned details. Just look at all the intricacies involved here. And it's just one column in the ticketing area!

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How grand could the way to the restrooms get!

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We were ready to go inside. This was just me being stupid.

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My Bibe with Thai ladies at the entrance greeting you "Sawadee ka!"

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A sampling of stuff sold inside the park: decorative pieces fashioned out of wire. I found it a little too expensive at 1,000 baht, though. Or am I just being cheap?

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I've seen lots of stuff made out of recycled materials like cans before, but the tuktuk made out of a beer can is just cute.

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Here's a man in the process of making glass art. You'll see samples of his work in the next photos.

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Glass sculptures like these aren't really uncommon. I just admire all the attention given to detail.

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They do have a lot of fancy stuff here, like this fake gem-encrusted pup.

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If I remember it correctly, this is the roof of one of the many shops around the park.

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The exterior of a jewelry store. It looks like the building itself is "bejeweled."

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Some may find it kitschy but I admire how the Thai people put value on packaging or presenting something. Hats off!

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Talk about packaging! I love the vintage car inside one of the shops.

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Geez! Even the computer monitor wasn't spared from all the glamming up.

Next up, I'm showing you how all the Thai glam extends to animals. I'd like to call it a mini-zoo but it's a highly-stylized one. (See post here.)

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