Wat Koh Sirey in Phuket: a Replica of Kyaiktiyo Pagoda in Burma

When my wife drove to Koh Sirey on the east side of Phuket Town, I had no idea I was on a small island. Koh Sirey (or Koh Siray) is so close to shore that it feels more like a cape. Just 20 km2, this area offers a completely different side of Phuket. Think Phuket 20-30 years ago. Think mangroves and rubber plantations. There’s even a sea gypsie village here, known locally as “Chao Ley.” Now we didn’t get to explore the island that much; we came just before sunset to visit the Koh Sirey Temple: a replica of the famous Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock) in Burma (Myanmar).


Monkey Hill (Khao Toh Sae) in Phuket Town

If you have been in Phuket Town, you have probably seen the high hill with TV and Radio masts at the top. Perhaps you didn’t know that this hill is home to hundreds of macaques monkeys. There is a road leading up to the top, where a viewing platform was built in 2015.

Some people like to walk up there for a good sweat, while others prefer driving a motorbike or car. Before we headed up to Monkey Hill, I read about an “Uncle Hog” who is there daily to do a “show” for you with his little monkey friends. But we couldn’t see any uncle here — just some Russian tourists and many monkeys.


Mai Khao Beach – the Plane Spotting Beach in Phuket

Mai Khao Beach is an 11 km long sand stretch, making it the longest beach in Phuket. The beach is deserted at most places, but the International Airport on the south end has become a popular plane spotting location. The first time we visited the beach was on a late afternoon, which was a bit of a disappointment since the planes were taking off over the beach; we came here to watch the planes landing. So we decided to go early the next morning — and yes, this time the airplanes were landing over the beach. What a spectacular sight!

Malaysia Airlines going down for landing in Phuket

Jason Statham and Jessica Alba’s Mechanic: Resurrection in Thailand

When I watched the movie Mechanic: Resurrection I was happy to see that they have filmed a few scenes in Thailand. Like many others, I wanted to know where the gorgeous beach is located, so I did some research and found out that they have been filming around Phuket and Koh Yao Yai.


Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) in a longtail boat on the way to a tropical island. I don’t think it’s a real bungalow resort; it was built just for the movie.

A Fun Walk Trough Old Phuket Town

The Old Town is the most interesting part of Phuket Town. It’s full of history and beautiful architecture. We parked the car this lovely morning next to the Hai Leng Ong statue at Queen Sirikit Park. According to a Chinese legend, this golden sea dragon is the protector of Phuket. Not a bad place to start a walk.


From here, we passed the gate of Old Phuket Town and continued on Thalang Road, the main street of Phuket’s Old Town. This charming street, famous for the Sino-Portuguese buildings, has plenty of great shops, restaurants and small guesthouses.

James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay – Just Like the Movie

Khao Phing Kan is an island in Phang Nga Bay 25 km northeast of Phuket – known as James Bond Island since it was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun from 1974. People come here to take pictures of the iconic 20-meters tall rock that vertically juts out of the greenish water. The rock is called Kho Tapu, which translates into English as “nail island.” It’s truly stunning scenery in the surrounding area and attracts a lot of visitors every day.