At first, my trip to Phuket FantaSea has been an absolute nightmare.
The show was not due to start at 9 p.m., and it was recommended for those who are going for both buffet dinner and the show are to arrive like 3 hours before hand.
I was like… what?
And I was not allowed to ride my way to the attraction (it was located at a visible location at Kamala Beach). I have to pay an extra THB300 for a return trip by designated vans, on top of the THB1,900 I am paying for the show and buffet.
But, never mind. Since I have been here for 4 times already and never once I have visited the award-winning tourist spot, I thought it will be money well spent.
And so the van is suppose to pick me up at 5.20 p.m. I waited, and waited, seeing many, many vans full of FantaSea visitors passing me by, but not one stopped to pick me up.
In the end I had to return to my guesthouse twice to ask for help. The staff, Oui was so helpful that she called the tour operator on her own mobile and waited with me for the van.
In the end, almost an hour behind schedule, finally I am onboard the bloody van. It was another 20 minutes or so before we turned in from the mainroad towards the grand entrance of Phuket FantaSea.
My jaws dropped in amazement.
The whole place was crawling with people. Staff docked in colourful gear stood around to welcome us and show us around, patiently answering questions and soothing some freyed nerve. Everyone around me were excited by what we saw. Phuket FantaSea really does give a feel of Disneyland. Here are some photos from the entrance towards the inside of the place:
The buffet spread was to be at the Golden Kinnaree, touted as the best buffet spread in the world. I was skeptical, of course… until I see the size of the damn place and how it operates. It is like a… giant fast food chain!
Every patron is designated to a particular table. There must be like hundreds of table… with buffet lines serving thousands of hungry mouths. There is even a Muslim section. As amazed as I was by the sheer scale of the place, I wasn’t that impressed by its buffet line. It is too international for my liking. And they kept playing Christmas music. It was such an annoying contrast to the otherwise very authentic Thai setting.
I was seated at table D11, across this old gentleman. I was hesitant to make conversation, but he started it first. He was from Finland, and was in Bangkok for a 3-month stint. Was about to fly home, had a few days off, so decided to visit Phuket. He was traveling on his own as well, so he made a fine dinner companion.
After having three servings of food, we decided to take a stroll together around the place, as the door to the show venue (which is at the Palace of the Elephants) will open only 30 minutes prior to the showtime.
The rock hard abs are so defined that I thought this guy is a wax figure…
… when he suddenly boo-ed at the crowd scaring the beejesus out of many!
The glass sculptor
The crowd thronging the “fairground”. It is like Disneyland, Thai style!
The Palace of the Elephants, where the show will be held.
Don’t be deceived by the smile I had. I was totally freaked out, as the elephant was moving up and down besides me! I was so scared it will step onto my foot! We also had the fortune to see an elephant stopped in its track and crap loads onto the ground, complete with showerload of wees. You should see the shock on the visitors faces…. frozen for second before cameras were being whipped out. LOL.
Chang & Eng… we see the world in pairs!
If you know Hokkien, you’ll know why I found this signboard damn hilarious
I had to deposit my camera at the counter as no photography is allowed in the theater. The whole place can accommodate up to 3000 pax at any one time, and I think we have a full house that night.
So the show begin, and ran for a good 100 minutes. It tells the story of Prince of Kamala, the fight between good and evil, and the tradition and culture of the Thais. To be honest the storyline is a bit lost on me, but the production was stunning. Just like the rest of the theme park, it was grandiose! Everything is bigger, better, well thought off. Definitely a world class performance by the 100 strong cast, complete with live animals (elephants, oxes, chicken – how did they train them to run across the stage like that???, goats, tiger, pigeons… all choreographed. And then there were the dance sequences, including one involving 8 acrobats hanging midair. Segments of shows kept bursting from all unexpected corners of the auditorium, causing much gasp of admiration from the audience.
Needless to say, I was totally blown away by it. So I bought the commemorative DVD and soundtrack. One track of the CD stood out to me…
To be Thai is to be free…
God, I just love Thailand! This trip to Phuket FantaSea is definitely worth every penny.