Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Island of Phuket in 2008

Travel Dates: December 16-19. Just before the super peak period. Weather is sunny most of the time. A bit windy, with some rain showers towards the end of the trip.

Transportation: Tiger Airways (last day promo rate).

Flight details: TR152 0925/1010 (Singapore/Phuket)
TR153 1040/1310 (Phuket/Singapore)

Total airfare = $735.92 (2 adults + 2 children ages 8 & 4). Breakdown $119.92 airfare + $504 taxes + $32 booking fee ($8/person)

Accommodation: booked online via Patong Lodge at Kalim Rd. Few minutes walk to Patong Beach. Located on top of a hill. Booked 3 rooms (2 double + 1 triple) = USD660. Double room = USD 65/night...... Triple Room = USD90/night

4days/3nights Itinerary:
Dec 16 - woke up early for 925am flight. This was our first time to go to the Budget Terminal. Good thing our house is just 10mins by cab to the airport. Waiting area at the gate was small. We had to walk along the tarmac to get to the plane!

It was a 2-hour flight to Phuket. Upon checking out at the Phuket immigration, we looked for transpo going to our hotel. There were a lot of transpo companies but we had to walk around and bargain. They initially charge 1200baht for a car and an SUV. We wanted to travel together so we were eyeing the minibus. We were able to get one for 1100baht.

Travel from the airport to our hotel in Kalim Rd (a few minutes walk to Patong Beach) is around 30-45minutes. The hotel was ok - not too chique nor shabby. We got 3rooms (2 double and 1 triple). The rooms had 2 single beds, a tv, a ref, a bathroom, side tables and chairs -- just the basic amenities. The bathroom was not as expected (our own bathroom is even better). But it will do since we won't really spend much time inside the room -- it's a vacation!!!

We just unpacked our stuff and headed down to Patong Beach (we walked down the hill, along the road with lots of motorcycles) for lunch. My SIL was looking for this eating place they tried when they visited Phuket 2 yrs ago. But they did not seem to find the exact place. We had lunch at this eating place just in front of Patong Beach -- seafood galore! We ordered a lot of drinks cause we were sooooo exhausted from the walk under the heat of the sun.

After lunch, we took a tuktuk back to the hotel (we really cannot and don't want to walk back hehehe). It cost 150baht. The tuktuk in Phuket is not the same one as in Bangkok wherein it is sort of a small vehicle. Tutuk in Phuket is like a small truck or sorts.

We had dinner at Patong Beach again. Cost was 800baht for all of us. After dinner, we booked our island-hopping trip for the next day. We decided to take the Phi Phi island tour. We were able to bargain for 1500baht per adult and 500baht for one child (all other kids for FREE!). Total 11000baht for the whole day trip.

see more of Day 1 in Phuket

Dec 17 - our Phi Phi Island tour. We had our breakfast early. The bus picked us up at around 730am for a 30min drive to the pier. There we were briefed by our tour guide, Tanya, who was a funny and friendly guide. We had to put this pink thread on our wrists as a sign that we are part of her tour group. A few minutes after, we boarded our speed boat. Unfortunately, it was low tide, the water was shallow and it was hard for the speedboat to move. We had to wait for the tide to come in so the trip was delayed for a few minutes. After trying and slowly moving along the shallow waters of the river, we were finally out in the open sea. It was 45mins to our first stop - Phi Phi Island's Maya Bay - the famous on from the movie "The Beach". It was a nice location - white sandy beach area surrounded by rock formations.

The only down side - there were too many people!!! and the stop was a bit short. We were just starting to swim and the tour guide was calling for us to go back to the boat!!!

Next stop, snorkeling. We took the kids down to try it. Kelvin was not hesitant at all. He was just a bit concerned about the snorkeling mask - it was not comfortable at first. Ira, on the otherhand, was not that excited to jump overboard. He came with Mark first. He was sort of panicking - maybe because he was not used to having a lifevest on. I jumped in the water to snorkel with him. After seeing a few types of fish, he was back into the boat. Kelvin was far away from the boat enjoying his first try in snorkeling with his dad, my brother-in-law and his lolo.

Next destination, Monkey Bay. This is an island with a lot of monkeys, as the name suggests. The tourists can feed the monkeys and take pictures with them. Ira loved this part of the tour. He was almost the first one out of the boat! He was very eager to see the monkeys but were a bit scared to go too near.

Next stop - lunch time at another island. The kids were not really interested in food, only in playing in the water. The adults on the otherhand, were too famished! After taking their lunch, the kids went back into the waters to play - under the hot sun. This was already the last stop. And we were on our way back into the main island of Phuket.

The trip was great! Time was not enough but it was worth it to see the sights and that the kids were able to enjoy the boat ride and the island-hopping and snorkeling experience.

When we got back to the main island of Phuket, there were plates on display with our pictures on it (taken on our way to board the speedboat). They are for sale, of course. It costed 150baht. We paid for our plate since it will also serve as a souvenir of our trip to Phi Phi Island.

here's more of Day 2 in Phuket 

Dec 18 - our last full day in Phuket. We headed to Patong Beach and spent the whole day there. We rented 2 pairs of these lounging chairs with umbrellas. A pair for 150 baht.

We left our spot during lunchtime to eat our last Phuket sumptuous seafood. 900baht for lunch. After that, we booked our transfers for tomorrow's trip to the airport. We were able to bargain for 700 baht for a minibus.

Then we passed by this "virtual shooting range". We tried a few shots for 60baht.

Afternoon came, and we were back on our lounging chairs. We actually shifted position because it was high tide and the people there asked us to do so. Otherwise, we would be sitting and swimming at the same time. We were already done swimming so were just sitting there and waiting for the sun to go down.

Then a henna tattoo artist came. My SIL and i were interested to have henna tattoos but we wanted to bargain for it. The initial offer to us was 600 baht for a medium sized tattoo. We were like "no, that's too much!". We said we could only pay 100baht (hehehe cheapskates we are). After around 20minutes of bargaining, we were able to get the design we want for 100baht. Mine was an anklet. My SIL's were 2 dolphins.

Sundown came and we had to go back to our hotel to prepare for our flight tomorrow. Back at the hotel, Ira and Kelvin were not feeling good. They were a bit hot - good thing we brought their paracetamols. Kelvin got a bit better in the late night, but Ira was still having a high fever. So we decided to just have room service for dinner. The others went back to Patong Beach for last day shopping.

Dec 19 - got up early, last day in Phuket. Ira was still a bit under the weather. Kelvin was complaining of leg pains. Good thing this was already our final day.

making the most of our last day in Phuket...

It was a really nice getaway this December.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to LEAVE A MESSAGE, ASK A QUESTION or SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES, too. I would love to hear from you