After finally managing to get out of my bed, I got ready for the day and went downstairs to the hotel lobby to arrange my bus and ferry transportation to Koh Samui (the hotel manager took care of everything). The manager then found me transportation to Wat Chalong (formally Wat Chaiyathararam), which is the most important Buddhist temple on Phuket. The transportation ended up being a motorbike and I sat behind the driver, without a helmet, and we drove through the dangerous streets of Thailand. I don’t mind riding as a passenger on a motorbike through non-busy park roads like I did twice in Indonesia, but through busy city streets with many poor drivers is not something I want to repeat (I’ll take a taxi cab or tuk-tuk from now on). Once I reached the wat (wat means Buddhist temple or monastery), my eyes were immediately drawn to the first hall in sight, with its ornate windows, doors, and roof. I walked around the hall, but could not enter. The neighboring hall was open for visitors, so I walked in that beautiful hall (which was similar in style as the first hall, but the layout was different with the addition of a main entrance hall on the side of the building) and saw the gilt covered statues of Luang Poh Cham and two ex-abbots of the temple; this hall was also crowded with worshipers and tourists alike. During my visits to these two halls, every now and then loud explosions broke the silence; these explosions came from firecrackers going off in what looks like a brick oven (located next to the first hall I visited). I then walked to the next hall, which was a dark brown wooden building that was elevated on stilts; the inside was darker than the others and it contained three life-like statues – one of Poh Than Jao Wat and two others of Grandpa Khee-lek (a local man who won the lottery several times after asking the Poh Than Jao Wat statue for the winning numbers). I then exited this hall and walked to the most impressive building in the temple compound, Wat Chalong Chedi, which has a grand pagoda (named “Phramahathatchedi-Jomthaibarameepragat”) on top. The building consists of three levels, with Buddhist statues and artwork adorning the first and second levels; the third level has a glass case with (supposedly) a bone fragment from Buddha (brought over from Sri Lanka) inside the grand pagoda; outside the pagoda, on the third floor, visitors have access to the rooftop and can gain a bird’s perspective of the entire temple complex. I then walked back down and around the wat some more before exiting and stopping at a nearby convenience store for some liquid replenishment.
I then stopped by a store with a taxi sign on it and inquired about a ride to Promthep Cape, located at the south end of the island. We then negotiated a price and the driver left to get his car; about ten minutes later, he came back, not with a taxi, but his SUV. He then drove me to the cape and on top of a distant hill, I could see the big Buddha statue (another popular tourist attraction). After reaching the cape, I paid the driver, and then walked up the steps to a circular shrine filled with statues of elephants in the center and along the rim. I then walked to the lighthouse, which has displays of other lighthouses found on Phuket and Thailand; it also has a patriotic statue next to it. I then walked down to the actual cape, walking on path in the red clay (like in Georgia, United States) through palms and bushes. The cape looked absolutely beautiful with the sun being about eighty minutes from setting, casting shadows and a yellowish light on everything. I also received a very light rain shower which helped cast a rainbow in the distance. I walked along the rocks at the edge of the cape and saw a number of small crabs. Then I walked back the way I came and all the way to the parking lot. Once at the parking lot, I asked a taxi driver for a ride and he agreed as long as two women who had asked first agreed (which they did). When the women came back to the taxi cab, we all got in and drove off, along the west coast through the cities near Kata and Karon beaches before reaching Patong. He dropped the women off and then dropped me off at my hotel.
At my hotel, the manager gave me my transportation ticket for tomorrow, then I relaxed in my room for some time until venturing out for dinner. I went to the same place I had eaten at two nights ago, but strangely the wall decorations had changed (it had many photos posted on it that were now gone); I had to do a double take around the whole restaurant because it seemed like a different place. For dinner I had stir-fried chicken with ginger, mushrooms, and vegetables, as well as fried rice with cashews and shrimp served inside half a pineapple (excellent presentation). After dinner, I walked back to my hotel, researched Koh Samui, and then went to sleep.