One place that was a delightful surprise was the Shrine of the Serene Light, or Sangtham Shrine – a place of worship to Chinese deities. In my weeks and weeks of research, one of the blogs, or TripAdviser, or somewhere mentioned a beautiful shrine tucked away in Phuket Town, and that it used to be accessible only by 2 discreet entrances. There was no way we weren’t going to hunt it down! Walking in, we knew we were somewhere special.
Although small, the grounds and temple itself are quite extravagant and full of beautiful colors – my fave! The temple at night is STUNNING! Minus the telephone wires of course.
The day we went happened to be their Annual Vegetarian Festival, and it was a BIG deal – I mean, HUGE flippin deal. I’m unclear regarding the seniority of Vissuth (sitting next to me in the photo below) but everyone scurrying about getting ready for the festival made sure he knew what was going on. Upon sitting down, he offered us a noodle dish and tea – FOR FREE! And I have to say – the noodles were LEGIT. Seriously the best we’ve ever eaten, period. We spoke to Vissuth for a good 2 hours, which was much longer than we expected to stay; but the conversation was wonderful. You really can’t beat getting to know locals!
Everyone was in preparation mode the whole time we were there, including the children. We learned that the cute kid in video below – the one banging the gold plate who messed up the beat on purpose – lost his parents and is now under their care. He was full of spirit and made us laugh quite a bit – he even took the above pic for us! I wish I had captured the entire music interlude b/c he was hysterical the whole time.
I would highly recommend making the trip to Phuket Town and especially to the Shrine. We were in awe of the colors, the intricate architecture, and most definitely the people!