Hey guys and gals!
Ok Part 3.. On the very same day we reached the hotel, we had like about 1 hour to settle our things and then get picked up by the Fantasea transport service.. Fantasea which is the ultimate nighttime cultural theme park in Phuket.. the number 1 attraction there.. you can visit their website here . You can reserve the tickets online and pay when you reach the park..
You really have to take your hats of to the Thais.. they even decorate their transport vans.. there were 2 vans, each with their list of passangers to pick up.. we got the one with the nifty elephant.. did you notice that they also semi tinted the side windows so as to make the elephant look complete? I only wish Malaysians would go to that extent to do the job right rather than just 'sufficient'.. in the end, its all about impressions or preceptions.. and me as a foreign tourist appreciates all these small things that all adds up to the big WOW factor..
The trip is about 40 minutes and soon after you'll reach the Fantasea theme park.. where you take your reservation to the counter for payment.. in the mean time outside the theme park you get the view below..
The walkway towards the left is the entrance to the theme park..
Ok on the right of the above image, is where the bus will stop and you get to depart.. actually someone will open the van door for you and will do a brief introductory of what to do and where to go especially where to go after the Fantasea show ends..
The whole system is very well done.. from the moment you complete your payment, each ticket is a square card about 2.5 inch on each side.. on it has a sticker which you stick on your clothes for easier identification.. that one single ticket contains information from your buffet table number to the show seat number down to the transport back to the hotel.. all in easy to read mini squares.. very informative and concise.. brilliant design I must add.. to top it off, behind of the ticket has the map of the entire theme park!
All in all, the whole place is so geared to making our lives as tourists so much easier and less confusion..
Some of the great views just outside the theme park gate.. those koi fishes are really plentiful and the image right above on the right is where you buy fish food for the koi..
Do note that in the entire place, its all clean! no litter what so ever.. and look, there is even a recycle bin for different types just next to the fish food stand..
There are plenty of games and things to buy.. this is of course a theme park after all.. one of the main attractions is the white tiger show.. and no.. its not that type of 'tiger' show.. and not by a 'white' kwai lo lady.. ok fine, only in Thailand must I actually clarify that.. hehehehe all you perverts!
Once entering the white tiger exhibit, its rather a multiple exhibit with the white tiger at the end of the exhibit.. the first part is quite dark, which was meant to showcase snakes.. the image below was taken with the flash of and exposed on the brightest spot which was the eyes of the snake (red).. this will create a matching scene with what I saw with my naked eyes.. anything other will just destroy the ambience..
Although its dark, the walkway is lit lightly on the ground, especially on corners..
The above is another exhibit.. I didn't take any up close shot as I felt its pretty pointless.. first of all, I'm behind a glass.. of course its for my own safety but in a photographic point of view, it just gets in the way.. like in the image above, just below the dancing stature lit in purple light, has a snake.. I can't use my flash as it'll just bounce off the glass causing a nasty white bright reflection.. nor if I used without a flash, I'll get purple colored snakes.. and besides, snakes isn't anything special so I decided not to waste time and moved on..
Upon walking further, the above signage was found..
Its a white peacock exhibit.. the gal in white is really pretty.. the whole places glows and dims in random.. this is purposely done to bring out the white peacock feathers.. as you can imagine,if the white back lighting dims, the white feather of the peacock stands out more.. I took some pictures but due to the white peacock in front of a white background = insufficient contrast to bring out the subject.. unless I post process like crazy.. maybe on a later entry when I have the time..
The white peacock exhibit is shared with the white parrot.. noisy buggers.. but both are just so beautiful in its own right.. strangely both birds aren't tied down and aren't caged.. very well behaved!
Soon after the bright exhibits, we enter the dark walkway.. the red dots on top are bats like design with the red dots being their eyes.. I purposely exposed the above image in such ways to bring out the fire at the end of the walk way.. by making the overall picture brighter, the fire at the end loses contrast with the background (as its now lighter) thus changes the feel of the image.. with this exposure, its dark and mysterious and the fire stands out prominently as if you are in a cave lit only lightly by fire.. such creative and detailed workmanship has gone into creating this side attraction.. can't imagine what the main attraction will look like..
Soon after we are back outside.. the opposite side of the main entrance.. check the photos at the very beginning of this post, we are at where those statues are.. soon after we'll reach the main white tiger exhibit.. not before being shocked by something… hehehe I'll keep this a secret, you got to go and find out yourself..
Again this picture was taken with a glass partition.. this case is different then the above snake case.. well this exhibit is properly lit with white light of sufficient brightness.. which means I can take a picture without flash and with the subject in its correct color..
There are two white tigers, one majestically laying at the center of the exhibit.. graceful but yet intimidating..
I couldn't get one to stare me at the lens.. so this is the best shot I can get.. I guess these tigers are smart enough not to look straight at the tourist in fear of being blinded by those compact camera flashes.. seriously these tigers are huge! its about 4+ feet in height.. if it stands up on its hind legs, its sure to reach 10 feet easily.. but to see these creatures walk, beautiful, graceful and elegant.. and also fearsome..
The above is the write up of the white tiger exhibit..
At the end of the theme park is the main attraction..
Yep.. its called the Palace of the Elephants..
This is where the wide angle lens comes in handy.. true that wide angle distorts but if you know that it distorts, you can always find ways to make use of it.. such as the image above.. due to the distortion, I aim to create a in your face type of image.. hence the image of an elephant which almost pops out at you..
The above doesn't require popping out.. its all real.. one thing to note is that these elphants doesn't smell! none at all! unlike the ones found in the Malaysian Zoo.. jeez frankly I thought all elephants smell.. I got my picture taken next to the elephant and nope.. nothing.. no smell what so ever.. on any of the elephants.. damn you Malaysian Zoo.. for gods sake take those elephant of yours to the car wash.. or shall I say elephant wash? get em washed! period!
Ah.. the above image.. can you imagine that's the entrance to the buffet! the design is so beautifully done and so well maintained! but the bigger surprise is inside..
The above 3 pictures is the interior of the buffet hall.. a 4000 pax buffet hall! best of which is that every group is assigned their own table.. no fighting for tables! if this was in Malaysia, we'll have to camp and wait like vultures for a table to empty.. but here? no worries at all..
Even statues are sa wa di kap ing us…
One of the lovely ladies that will greet you and show you to your assigned tables..
At about 7.45pm, there will be Bangkok Carnival Village special show..
Yes the above ladies are.. 'special' ladies.. ahem..
No idea what human butterflies got to do with Bangkok but its nice..
Ok.. Tiger men! heheh 2 of the tigers got fit abs.. the other 2 got a bit flab.. which flapped around… hehehhe.. times like these I thank god that I didn't bring my 18-200mm lens.. sure the lens will crack.. hehehe
The above picture is on one of the bars near the buffet hall…
Ok as night falls, the above is the night lighting of the buffet hall..
and of course this is the main hall.. now lit in all its beauty.. I didn't take much as I got caught off guard and had to rush in..
Oh by the way, there were no shots in the main hall as all cameras and phones will be confiscated and you'll be given a colored numbered tag.. you'll just have to give the tag on your way out to collect back your cameras.. the whole place is very well secured so no worries..
The show is simply awesome.. with live elephants, a huge stage, indoor rain and pyro technics.. one of the coollest thing everyone talked about afterwards was the chickens! yes, the Thais have successfully trained chickens! if this doesn't make them gods I sure hell don't know what will.. they trained the chickens to walk from one end of the stage to the next when surrounding them were plenty of distractions and sounds..
Ok.. when I say chickens.. I mean the livestock versions ok.. the other naughty versions doesn't seem that impressive..
Ok.. this is the 10th year aniversary of Fantasea.. by the look at it, it doesn't feel old, nothing is discolored or falling off.. everything is clean and brand new! kudos to the maintainance culture..
Now.. for Part IV.. trip to Phi Phi Island..