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Day 2 of Phuket Trip 2016

Hey,

So, here goes Day 2 of our Phuket Trip. We opted to go for the Phang Nga Bay sunset dinner by cruise (1300pm onwards) which means that we have some free time to ourselves before 1300pm. We decided to walk to Patong Mosque from our hotel and maybe find somewhere to have our meal.

We stumbled upon a quaint shop (Muslim owner – halal food!) where the owner herself took our order, cooked it and personally served it to us. I got Thai Basil Chicken which is basically stir fried minced chicken with basil leaves. I swear, every time I order this dish, it gets better and better. 😀

After brunch, we walked a few more metres till we reached Patong Mosque and then immediately headed back to the hotel just in time for the sunset cruise pick up.

PPKK arranged for a van to pick us up at around 1300 – 1330pm and will bring us to Ao Poh pier. I realised that this was probably an outsourced company which provided this service instead of PPKK themselves (nothing bad about that).

Upon arriving at Ao Poh pier where we were grouped with a few other tourists (around 20 people from varying nationalities). We then boarded a lorry that brought us across the pier to our boat (around 2 mins ride).

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First stop: Hong Island! 2 passengers were assigned to each canoe which had a designated guide to paddle them around. We spent something looking at the scenery before heading into a hidden cave and then heading back into our boat.

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After Hong Island, we headed off to Panak Island. This time, the guide brought us into a secret mangrove forest.

After we spent some time taking pictures, we headed back onto the boat for our early dinner. The cooking smelled phenomenal. We were very hungry despite the tidbits, bananas and bottled coke that the tour service had provided us. There was chicken, crab, vegetables (deep fried & stir fried), onion rings, fish, rice, noodles and most importantly, tom yam soup.

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We didn’t get to see a proper sunset but seeing the clouds change colour was mesmerizing enough for me.

img_20161101_180939And now! It was finally time for the Loy Kratong~ It was a very quick affair but still an experience nonetheless.

Day 1 of Phuket Trip 2016

Hey,

So, here goes Day 1 of our Phuket Trip. We opted to take the first train to Changi Airport. The train was filled with more people than we expected and we reach Changi Airport later than I anticipated. We quickly rushed to the check in counter after some hiccups and noticed that we could actually do a self check in! However, things soon went downhill as one of us couldn’t check in (we later found out that it was because his name was too long & he could only check in through the counter).

One of the Jetstar representatives (STEVEN) told him to queue at Counter 3, which was odd considering that we were supposed to check in at Counter 2. But we followed his instructions anyway because he should be familiar with the rules & SOP (standard operating procedures).

Suddenly, I heard another representative saying that it was the last call to check into our flight (to Phuket). I rushed to Danial to double check with him whether he should head to Counter 2 instead. But STEVEN told us to just stay in the queue at Counter 3. This should have been a major red flag but like I said before, he’s the one more familiar with the company’s SOP.

I decided to go into the departure hall with the rest so that we won’t miss our flight as we should be boarding the plane now & the gate was going to close soon. Just a few minutes later, I received a call from Danial saying that the check in is now close and he has “technically” missed his flight. IT WAS ALL STEVEN’S FAULT but he vehemently denied having said anything about telling Danial to queue at Counter 3 instead. What the hell? And now we have to leave one of us behind in Singapore, have him pay another $100 for a ticket on the next available flight which was at 2pm (6 hours from now). It’s not JUST a matter of money wasted but time too.

Danial has already filed a complaint and I hope we will be fairly compensated for this huge mess. I won’t be as naive anymore when it comes to flight matters. This should have never happened and it will never happen again.

The flight to Phuket was a very solemn and gloomy one. To add salt to the wound, the plane was half empty.

Anyway, we reached Phuket according to plan. I immediately bought a 3G Tourist sim card for 299 baht (around $12) valid for 7 days under TrueMove. It has unlimited internet for the first 1.5GB (after which it will be throttled) and 100 baht for calls & text (which I did not utilize at all).

I immediately contacted PPKK to let them know that we have reached Phuket as we had booked an airport transfer straight to our hotel prior to our trip. The driver was dressed in a bright blue shirt holding a board with my name stated on it. He was extremely friendly despite knowing very little English but I could tell that was trying hard to improve himself & maintain conversation with us.

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On the way to the hotel, we stopped by a few places (a convenience store, a school with some nice scenery and Tiger Kingdom). I always look forward to convenience stores whenever I’m in Thailand. They have a wide range of selections to choose from and most of the items aren’t available where I am from so it’s always a unique experience every single time.

Finally, we reached iCheck Inn Patong at around 11. We checked into our rooms after putting in a deposit of 500 baht and getting our room keys (1 for each room).

Check out the sexy lighting! HAHAHAH~

It was already lunch time and some of us had yet to have a meal so we decided to head out to Jungceylon and check out what options we had for food.

I didn’t take much pictures but we finally settled on the Food Bazaar located at the Basement level of Jungceylon. In order to buy anything from the food court, you’ll have to buy a card and top up some value into it & use the card to pay.

Afterwards, we explored Jungceylon. At first I was surprised to see that it only had 3 floors considering that fact that the reviews online stated that Jungceylon is a shopping haven. However, it soon dawned upon me that it was a sprawling complex,  that was connected by a sheltered open area in the middle of the interconnected buildings. I went ahead and got myself my first Blizzard from Dairy Queen 😛

As you can see… I’m not very good at having my pictures taken but I very much enjoy taking pictures of others.

We walked around for a while before heading back to our hotel to meet Danial. Since his flight will reach Phuket at 4pm and the fastest way to our hotel was via taxi/van, I texted PPKK about the major hiccup we had in the morning and out of goodwill, they offered an airport transfer at a slightly discounted price considering the fact that we were not expecting anything to go wrong and it was only one person that needed the transport. I am extremely grated for their help.

Afterwards, we decided to head out again and explore Patong.

I dragged them to a roadside stall to try their first Banana Chocolate Roti! It’s always a must try for me in Thailand. Best eaten hot as soon as you get your hands on it.

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After walking around so much, it was finally time for dinner. We chose to eat at The Sandwich Club.

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It took quite a while for the food to be served but when it did, all of us got our orders at the same time (which was impressive considering that the food was still piping hot). I ordered number 14 (the hot beef sandwich with mushrooms & cheese). I highly recommend this place to those who will be visiting Patong (bonus: IT’S HALAL!).

And that, marks the end of Day 1 of our Phuket Trip. (:

Phuket Trip 2016 (31/10 – 4/11)

Hey,

I just came back from a trip to Phuket last week. Thailand has yet to fail me when it comes to having a good time. For this 5D4N trip, I spent $550 (had to change $50 on the second last day because I have yet to buy an souvenirs for anyone back home at that point of time :P).

It was a bit of a rush when I was booking the flight. I could not decide between Jetstar or Tigerair. Both offered slightly different timings at different prices. But we finally decided to settle on Jetstar for our round trip. It was $431.44 for 4 people which means it was $107.86 per pax.

Afterwards, we took our time scouring for possible accommodation, checking out various avenues such as AirBnB, TripAdvisor and even Google Maps. iCheck Inn snagged our attention amidst the list of possible places. iCheck Inn had 2 options for us, one in Central Patong and another one in Patong (a stone throw away from Patong Beach). Since we didn’t want to spend so much on accommodation, we decided to go with the slightly cheaper iCheck Inn Patong. It was $314.00 for 4 nights and 2 rooms for the 4 of us. This means that each of us paid $78.50 for the accommodation (less than $20 per night, including complimentary breakfast).

We then tried to draft a rough plan of what kind of activities we’d like to do for the 5 day trip. After much contemplation, we decided to engage PPKK‘s services as they offered everything that we wanted at a very reasonable price. Their reviews on TripAdvisor further increased our confidence in choosing them.

Day 1 – Free and easy around Patong

Day 2 – Phang Nga Bay sunset dinner by cruise

Day 3 – White water rafting Program B (which included flying fox, ATV, trip to a waterfall & lunch)

Day 4 – City tour with PPKK

Day 5 – Free and easy around Patong

 

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