Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Phuket Trip - OCT 2013

Finally found the time to sit down and blog about my Phuket trip which happened 2 months ago! There isn't much photo, sadly :(

This was a real relaxing trip and my fav overseas place thus far. I mean most of my life I've travelled to Thailand bcos of the fact I'm half-thai and have to visit my gramps back there 1-2 times a year. Then I went malaysia....and that's it. I know, I lead a boring life.

When Jetstar had this promotion is Aug, where we could fly home for free (meaning you'd only need to pay for one-way ticket), I took the chance and booked the flight without hesitation. Ok, I did hesitate LOL only bcos I wanted to make sure Jiarui could get his leave. We only paid around $200 for BOTH our air tix to Phuket. How awesome? VERY.

Prior to the trip, I looked up the internet almost every day for reviews of places we must not miss, places to stay, things to try etc. I was even worrying about the weather! Apparently it was monsoon season, but thank god the weather was nice throughout my stay, it only drizzle once which lasted about half an hour, max.

Ok let me just go right into the interesting and informative stuff now k HAHAHAHA

We took the AM flight at about 11am, so we arrived around 1pm. When we touched down, we had absolutely no idea how to get to our hotel. Oh by the way, I stayed at Phuket Orchid Resort & Spa. 200SGD for 3 nights, pretty worth it as the service was splendid and breakfast was decent too! The only thing is that there isn't air-con in lobby area (I think most hotels in Phuket doesn't) and my room might have another 'uninvited guest'. Will talk about it at the end of this post so people who are afraid won't freak out here haha. 

Ok as I was saying, the transport to hotel was quite a headache for us. We couldn't rent a car because you need to rent in in advance online so when you touch down you could just collect the car and go. From what I know, there are 4 ways of getting to your place of accommodation:

1. By Taxi (Metered)
There are taxis outside the airport with the METERED sign, those that looks like the normal taxis from bangkok. It might seem like the safest way to get to your hotel but one thing is that you have no idea how long the trip is gonna be so by the time you reach your destination the meter would have shoot a whole lot higher.

2. By Taxi (On agreed price)
When you walk out of the airport, there will be a few bunch of people holding up a laminated price list in english for you. Most would try to push you for this and it cost 900B. Pretty ok price if you are sharing with a group of friends. You could try to bargain haha I did it with my poor Thai and only managed to get only 50B off HAHAHAH 

3. By Van 
This operates under the same company as the private taxi, they will either offer you the taxi or the van. Van would cost you 200B per person and the downside is that you'd have to share it with around 10 people? The driver will then drive the van and drop each group at their destination. This is a cheaper alternative but may take longer time for you to reach your hotel. 

4. By your hotel's transportation 
I personally think this is the best, get everything arranged by your hotel and you will be there quick, safe and sound. Of course please do check if your hotel offer this service and the rates.

Now that your mode of transportation is settled, what's next? 

Most of the drivers are paid to stop at this particular tour agency which will kinda ask you down politely and show you all their tours and packages. My advice? JUST IGNORE. They are way too expensive. 

They told me it cost 3200B (one day tour) for foreigners, and the fact that I could speak thai, they're gonna charge me only 2000B. By the way, grab a copy of TOURIST GUIDE when you are at the airport, there is this brochure in there which shows another company with the same tour, charging only 1500B. Check that out. Or you could just head to your hotel's vicinity and check out other company's prices. There is A LOT of booths along the street offering these tours. 

Here are a couple of things to make sure before paying for the package:
  • Be sure that there will be transport to-and-fro your hotel
  • Ask for the program run-down (how long is each activity etc.) For example, if it's an adventure tour, how long will I be riding the ATV? Will there be any swimming? How long does each sight seeing last? You wouldn't want to spend 15mins on an activity you really love, and then 1 hour at a sight seeing place if you want fun right? Just like how if you are a sight seeing person, you won't want to waste 30mins riding the ATV.
  • Ensure there is lunch provided. And light snacks. And fruits. And drinks. Trust me, they are cheap stuff but it's great in that hot weather at Phuket.
  • Make sure there isn't any hidden cost in the package. As in if you did not bring any money out, you would still survive and the crews will not leave you alone on the island LOL
  • Check on the ferry. Some companies will squeeze 1 million people on its ferry so that could get as many people as possible in a day. They earn, we suffer. Each ferry should not exceed 45 people. Mine promised there wouldn't be more than 40, but we ended up with 43 which was fine because we were still seated comfortably. I managed to fall asleep HAHAHA
Depending on the duration of your stay and your interest, the company will suggest packages suited to your needs. If you a place in mind (Phi Phi island, James Bond etc.) just let them know!

For my 4D3N trip, I paid for 2 packages - Phi Phi island tour and Adventure tour which amounts to 4000B per person. That is approx. 160SGD which means 80SGD per tour. Might sound a little pricey since I mentioned about the tour that is available at 1500B, but I feel justified paying for my tour. 

I had a good and clean ferry, awesome crews that kept looking out for me, decent lunches for both days and unlimited coke on board! Can't remember how many bottles of coke I drank haha and of course there were juices for people who do not take carbonated drinks. So yeah, 80SGD per day seems alright to me although I'd have love to pay lesser if I've know haha. 

After taking care of tour, we checked in at our hotel, freshen up and headed out to check out the places around our hotel + stocking up food and toiletries!

Sorry, just had to show you a pic of me HAHA. It was supposed to be monsoon season but it was soooo hot there, so it gave me a reason to buy this 15B paddle pop! Yeap, that's my best friend and her boyfriend at the back hehe.

Before we knew, it was time for dinner, so we settled at this place (sorry I didn't get the name)
Anyway, I named the dishes in English as well as Thai except for the duck dish, have no idea what it's called. Duck = Ped, Mushroom = Hed but is sure sounds weird having a dish named Ped Hed right?

The dishes were approx 150B each, so the bill worked up to only about 800B for the 4 of us, which was cheap since the food was authentic and delicious! 

After that, we walked the shopping area which sells the same thing everywhere. Kinda boring for me but I wasn't intending to shop anyway hahaha this trip is solely eat, sleep and play!

By the way I think I forgot to mention I stayed at Karon Beach which was quite a quiet beach as compared to Patong Beach so there's isn't much to do at my area. We retired to bed quite early that night and were planning to reserve our energy for the next day's tour!

This is what I had almost every morning. There were days that I woke up earlier, I would get another bowl of porridge and noodles so I could slowly enjoy and finish them. Yeah, if you don't know I have a monster appetite. 

After breakfast we hung around the lobby area while waiting for transport to pick us up for our Phi Phi Island tour! Here's a summarized picture of the day spent:

Basically just island hopping, which was beautiful and relaxing. Quite boring for me, but I wanted to see the island for myself hahahaha not worth the money if you asked me, because I'm more of a adventure person I'd prefer jumping off the cliff anytime.

What I was disappointed was the huge number of people there :( there is hardly an area where you could snap a picture of yourself with the breathtaking scenery.

Ok, actually this tour isn't that bad considering that they had snorkeling for us. Pretty tired at the end of our tour, so headed back to hotel, had dinner and then went to bed because we have adventure tour the next day!

There isn't much picture because I was too busy having fun! This was one of my fav days there! We did ATV, flying fox, water rafting and elephant trekking! Visited monkey and waterfall so that explains the photos. Didn't manage to get any pictures taken during all the fun activities because I locked my phone and camera in the locker.

When we got back, we were seriously tired. Ok maybe only me because I was having too much fun hahaha so I kinda slept the entire journey back to hotel hahaha. 

Since it was our last night, we wanted to have something better so we dined at this place that has fresh seafood. We could pick our own seafood, tell the chef how we want it cooked and they will serve it to us! Best dinner during the trip! Lobster with cheese was awesomeeeeee.

The bill for this worked up to about 1000B for 4 of us, but I still find it cheap considering we had fish, meat, lobster, prawn and I ordered oysters (not in pic) too!

One of the thing Jiarui really wanted was to rent a bike there - you could rent a bike without license.
So we checked out the price, tried the bike, convinced Alex (my best friend's bf) to rent it too and there, another adventure of Phuket starts right there.

If you'd like to know, we rented the bike for a day (24 hours) for only 180B or 200B, I couldn't remember. And topping up the petrol only cost 50B which was 2SGD omg that was my best night everrrrrrr. My boyfriend had so much fun on it!

Since we had the bike, we rode over to Patong Beach (only 10 mins away form Karon Beach) and it was another world there! So happening with all the street stalls and clubs. We went into Ping Pong Show for 5 mins, got traumatized and left. For those who have no idea what it is, please google. I don't wish to explain and get that image stuck in my head again.

Pretty fun night, think we headed back to hotel quite late and had a really good sleep since we don't have to wake up early for any tours!

The last day was my fav one. We rode the bike the entire day, gotten our massage after all the activities, settled all cravings and totally went into relax mode!

By the way, we rode all the way up to Big Buddha in Phuket! I didn't have any pictures because I wasn't Buddhist.....but all 3 of them were so it was a trip for them :) It was quite far from where we were, but I asked for directions so we didn't get lost. Even if you don't speak Thai, you can always rely on the signage along the road, they're in English. 

We reluctantly returned the bikes back at around 7PM and arranged for car to pick us up at 8PM. We were so desperate for more fun on bike that even there is nowhere to go, we went rounding for quite a few times! Jiarui sped so much there was a point where the entire back of my top flew up, revealing my bra to all the vehicles behind us LOL

So yeah, 4D3N of my Phuket trip all in one entry! We (Jiarui and I) spent 500SGD for this trip, which would suffice if you just want to eat, play and massage. We didn't shop for anything there so do set aside more money if you are intending to shop! 

By the way, I know I mentioned I will talk about the 'uninvited guest' in our hotel room but it's 12MN now and I'm getting tired so I'll leave it till next time ya?

I hope this post helps to those who are planning a trip there anytime soon! x

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