The Pavilions Romance Destinations - Phuket and Bali

The Heritage and Legends of our Surrounding HIlls

There are three hills surrounding The Pavilions, Phuket. Their names reflect the diverse ethnic heritage of Phuket Island. These names are derived from an ancient mountain grandfather spirit, an early Chinese landowner and Arabic traders.   

Phra Taeo Hill
The Legend of the Sacred Pond. The most famous and sacred dance in southern Thailand is called “Nora” or “Manora.” The performers, dressed like colourful birds with long metal fingernails, perform rituals and prayers to honour ancestors over a three-day period. One day villagers in the Thalang District of Phuket hired an outside “Nora” troupe to appease their local ancestors. The troupe entertained with dancing, singing and playing traditional instruments of drums, gongs and a flute.

After the impressive show, the villagers realised they did not have enough money to pay the troupe; a disgraceful situation. Instead, they offered the troupe three bags of a local yellow herb used to make traditional Thai curry. The troupe accepted and headed home carrying the bags but then lost their way. They dropped the bags to lighten their load. However, one performer decided to keep one piece of herb, believing it would cure his skin ailment. The troupe trudged on but curiously found themselves back at the original village, now bewildered.


But, to their surprise, they saw that the herb had transformed into a gold nugget. All the villagers gathered around and nearly went mad with desire to get more gold nuggets. One villager suggested digging in the ground, where more nuggets might be found. The whole village dug liked crazed people for a long time before finally giving up in exhaustion.

The hole was so large that it filled with ground water and became a pond, located at the base of Phra Taeo Hill. Because of the miracle, the village believed the pond to be sacred. And to this day, they treat it with respect. This legend, which explains the geography of the region, is a mixture of truth, myth and supernatural power. The mountain itself also contains a great-grandfather spirit, who protects all in the region. Before the arrival of Buddhism and Islam, local people believed in animism and respected the spirits residing in natural elements like rocks, rivers, lakes and mountains. These beliefs continue until today blended with other organised religions.  

Pae Ao Hill
This mountain takes its name from a wealthy Chinese landowner who owned the hill and much of the surrounding land. His fame was so widespread that local people named the hill after him, Pae Ao.  

Layan Hill 
This hill has an Arabic name meaning soft or gentle, which reflects the positive attitude of Arabic traders who found Phuket to be a lively international trading centre.