DAILY PHOTO: Phuket Town Fountain

Taken in January of 2014 in Phuket Town.

Taken in January of 2014 in Phuket Town.

There will be no Daily Photo tomorrow as I am going out-of-town to learn Toksen–a variant of Thai Yoga Bodywork that involves the use of a wooden mallet and wedge (chisel.)

DAILY PHOTO: Golden Buddha of Rang Hill

Taken in January of 2013

Taken in January of 2013

This Buddha is located at Wat Khao Rang on Rang Hill, overlooking Phuket Town. His right hand mudra conveys that the spice is just right–but you may want to verify that with a Buddhist.

DAILY PHOTO: Enter the Jor Ong

Taken in January of 2014 in Phuket Town.

Taken in January of 2014 in Phuket Town.

Jor Ong is one of Phuket Town’s numerous Chinese Shrines. You’ll note the prominent white tiger painting.

DAILY PHOTO: Wat Chalong Chedi

Taken in January of 2014 at Wat Chalong on Phuket in Thailand.

Taken in January of 2014 at Wat Chalong on Phuket in Thailand.

This tower houses the Buddha relic (a bone fragment) for which Wat Chalong is renowned. Below the chedi housing the relic there are many golden Buddha statues.

Visiting tip: Wear ear protection. They have a little kiln across from the main temple in which they regularly set off a huge amount of fireworks. It can be a bit deafening.

DAILY PHOTO: Phuket Town Architecture

Taken in January of 2014 in Phuket Town.

Taken in January of 2014 in Phuket Town.

While it may sound like sacrilege to some, if you’re like me you reach the point when it’s enough already with the beach. That raises the question of what there is to do on Phuket if you need a day away from having sand in every bodily crevice and feeling punished by the sun. One should definitely assign a day to Phuket Town. A lot of your Phuket Town day will rightly be spent admiring the many Chinese shrines  in the area (there are about five big ones.) [This, too, can be a break if your Thai travels have left you burnt out on the gleaming, golden Theravadan Buddhist temples.] However, Phuket Town also has interesting secular architecture–some of it run down, but much of it nicely restored.

BOOK REVIEW: Top 10 Phuket by DK Publishing

Top 10 Phuket (EYEWITNESS TOP 10 TRAVEL GUIDE)Top 10 Phuket by DK Publishing

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amazon page

I bought this book in Kindle format both because Amazon was having a sale on the series and because I will be traveling to Phuket soon. The sale included many—if not all—of the books in the series, not just the one on Phuket.

I’m pleased with the book given the sale price that I paid, which was substantially less than Amazon’s usual price and vastly less than list. I don’t think I would be pleased with the book at all had I paid list price, however.

As you may have realized by the title, this book contains a series of lists. The publisher tells one what they believe are the top 10 beaches, temples, bars, travel tips, etc. These lists are arranged in three sections: geographical (best of Phuket Town, best of Patong, etc.), topical (best entertainment venues, best outdoor activities, etc.) and practical (best transportation advice, best money advice, etc.)

The strengths of this book lie in its organization. It’s easy to find what one is looking for. First one finds the list one needs, and then skims the brief text of the particular enumerated items for what one wants to see. This is facilitated by hyperlinking of the table of contents and the index. There are also maps in the back that are connected by hyperlink to the text. I found the maps to be of limited use due to their small size, but I have the baseline model of Kindle, so your results may vary. The maps do put the numbers in large type, so it’s easy to find where a site is in a general sense and relative to other sites.

The weaknesses of this book have to do with lack of information and redundancy. One isn’t going to get more or better information on a given subject from this book than one would from the free tourist information one picks up at the tourism office, from a hotel rack, or online. If you’re expecting any depth or insight, and you would be if you paid the list price of $14, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

The book is only 128 pages, but, on top of that, there’s a great deal of redundancy. Because of the way the book is arranged, one will find out about the same subjects in more than one section. For example, one will read about the Phuket Vegetarian Festival in both the Phuket Town and the Festivals chapters.

A more nit-picky complaint has to do with the arbitrary limitations of the 10-list format. I suspect that some of these subjects could have benefited from longer lists, while others could have been shortened without doing harm.

My bottom line is if you can get this book on sale, like I did, you’ll probably be satisfied. If you pay list, you’ll likely be displeased. Of course, DK Books are largely about the graphics, and my black-and-white, small-format Kindle doesn’t support pictures well—so, again, your experience my vary.

Given the consistency of DK Books, I imagine the same could be said for the other books in the series.

View all my reviews