Grad Trip To Phuket (Day 1 - 3)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Hafiz and I knew that we needed a vacation - we just didn't know where we should go. It would be a trip where we could celebrate my graduation as well as my birthday and also the fact that this is gonna be Hafiz's first time traveling via airplane! Yes, it was a big leap for this boy but after much contemplation (considering the recent series of unfortunate events for Malaysian Airlines) we decided to just "go je" and booked our trip to Phuket.

DAY 1

We took a mid day flight because we were working til late the night before and didn't wanna wake up too early.


It was only a 1½ hr flight but we managed to nap a little. The next moment we looked out the window, we caught this view - oh just look at how vast the greens are! I've been to Bangkok before but Phuket was a whole new laid back environment, I wish we're still there right now.


No surprise here, but we needed something to munch on despite it being a short flight.


We didn't arrange for any airport transfers so we opted for the minibus that's available right outside of the airport. It seemed like a legit booth providing private cabs or minibuses. I have no idea why they chopped 200฿ instead of following the 180฿ that was already printed on the receipt though but I figured, such a small difference in the amount wouldn't make such a big difference to us if you convert it back to our currency.

The driver will wait for the van to fill up, dump everyone's luggage at the back and then drive for miles just to stop at a tour agency (to try and sell even more packages to you) before sending everyone to their respective hotels. You get what you paid for, if you ask me. The journey took longer than what Google maps promised us because our hotel was the furthest away from the airport and they dropped in order of distance- but we were so tired, we slept the entire drive. We're just glad we reached our resort safely.


Honestly, Manohra Cozy Resort is one of the better resorts in Karon with superb service and enough amenities available 24/7. Obviously there will always be room for improvement everywhere but it was definitely a pleasant stay and very much worth our twenty bucks per night. I've written a detailed review on this resort here. If you're looking for an affordable yet decent resort to stay while in Karon, try checking this one out or read my review here first

UNFORTUNATELY,

after we were both well rested and right before we left the resort for dinner - I realized that I lost my wrislet/purse. My mum did advice me to set aside a wad of cash and bury it deep into my backpack just in case but being my ignorant self, I ignored her. I don't know what's worst - losing everything right after landing in a new country or not knowing how I lost it. Sigh. Well if you think losing all your cash and having to split one person's money for two is rabak or jialat, wait til you read what happened on Day 2.


Thankfully, I have a super positive and supportive boyfriend who wouldn't let my carelessness spoil the rest of the trip. Instead of scolding me or slapping my face for whining like an abandoned child after realizing my loss, he went to the reception to report the loss, grab a bunch of tour brochures to cheer me up, rented a chapalang bike and brought me out in search of food for dinner. What would I do without you, giraffe?


DAY 2

Dragged Fiz out of bed early to check out the resort's buffet breakfast because I'm kiasu like that. But sadly, there wasn't really that many options left for us to choose from and the whole place was empty. The sausages and bacon looked super duper tempting but the staple meat of Thailand is pork so.. it was kind of a "better luck next time" moment for me. Boo hoo.


We decided that it wasn't worth dwelling.. looked beyond the breakfast disappointment and went on with our plans for the day - visit all the landmarks in Karon and Soi Patak with the bike that we rented the night before. It was a pretty big piece of land to cover in a day but the receptionist was kind enough to give us a map of the area and highlighted all the places worth visiting.



One thing I love about Karon is that it's the longest beach in Phuket, so the road beside it's super long and empty. We rode on this super long stretch of road all the way to Kata Noi Beach, with hopes to go up to Karon View Point and check out the afternoon view because we didn't book any tours or activities beforehand. Well thank god we didn't because......  


....this happened.

We missed a turn and overshot the route. I was trying to attempt an impossible right turn uphill and at the same time, trying to avoid another tourist's motorbike infront of me. Next thing I knew, I was on the ground with my right leg stuck under the bike in an absolutely awkward position, I saw my favourite camo rayban shades scattered and shattered, blood literally dripping from my head and Fiz shouting at me, asking if I'm still alive. Thank god nothing happened to Fiz (who was the pillion at that point of time) or else I'll never forgive myself!  


The accident happened around noon, so I was quite bummed that we had to resort to staying in at the resort to rest my leg because I couldn't really walk right after, and also to digest everything. This strawberry shortcake in a "jar" wasn't that bad though but all I could think about was what a jinx I have been throughout the trip. What's worse is that it was only the second day!

Rested for a few hours before we woke up of hunger. I was convinced that I was a jinx but Fiz decided that I should really stop dwelling, so we went out to Karon again for dinner. Parked the motorbike somewhere along the roads and explored a little. I swear I don't know what I'd do without this half angmoh boy. 



There wasn't anything much in the vicinity but we stumbled upon this temple:  


Wat Karon Temple's Night Market. We didn't realize that it existed when we parked the bike earlier because the night market only starts operating when it's night time - duh! I'm not quite sure what or when their operational days are since we only visited the place by surprise. There is no entry fee needed for the night market though if I'm not wrong, you do have to pay a small fee to enter the temple itself.


It was definitely a great find - awesome place to get cheap goods as well as local food. Halal food around Karon's really hard to find but we got our dinner from the Muslim stalls here. There were quite a number of them selling super yummy looking food for dirt cheap prices as low as 15฿ for a piece of chicken and 20฿ for fried noodles. You can never get those kind of prices at the night markets in Singapore! 


H and I splurged on the cheap food here and drove back to the resort to have dinner - major lepak style to mark the end of day two. The accident was definitely a shocker especially when I thought that nothing worst can happen after losing my purse and money on the first day. Well, I guess I spoke too soon. Like what one of my friends (who works and resides in Thailand) says, "Phuket will either swallow you up or chew on you and spit you back out. You're lucky it's the latter."

DAY 3

Breakfast is super important to me and holiday breakfasts has got to be one of my favourite things in life. Hence I woke up this morning expecting to see a whole new buffet spread but unfortunately, they  served the exact same thing they did yesterday - just that they had pork omelette instead of sunny side ups. Imagine my disappointment. Thankfully, the kitchen staff was kind enough to replace our omelette with vegan ones. Excellent guest service covers up for the lack of variety, I guess?


We were very determined to stay positive despite the two major setbacks from our first and second day. Returned our bike keys, packed our stuff, gave some fruits to the staff for their superb guest service and bid goodbye as we departed for our second resort which was based in the city - Patong Paradee Resort. It was pretty hard to find at first and our driver got lost locating the resort, seeing how there were almost twenty other resorts with the word Patong and Resort in it. One tip is definitely to have a phone number on standby, they don't fancy Google maps.


We had our doubts with Patong Paradee Resort (at first) after seeing so many negative reviews from previous travelers on many different websites, but we decided to go ahead with the booking because it was one of the cheaper resorts in Patong and also because we believe in experiencing things ourselves before believeing others. It's like, sendiri rasa sendiri tahu kinda thing but yeah.. we wanna be the one to judge for ourselves.

To our surprise though, the resort was pretty awesome! Our experience with the staff and facilities from the moment we checked in til the moment we checked out were nothing like what the other reviewers mentioned - you can read our detailed review of this resort here.


After we checked in, we took some time to rest and settle down before heading back out for lunch. 


There were quite a number of Halal restaurants in Patong as compared to Karon and we were so hungry (just look at that boy's face) that we settled for the first one we saw - Tandoor Phuket Indian Restaurant. The food was quite good and the ambiance wasn't so bad 


Patong Beach was just a short walk (approximately 10 minutes) from our resort. It felt much more livelier and more welcoming as compared to Karon Beach. Definitely our favourite beach thus far.


At this point, we were really loving the lepak life - running and crashing into the super awesome waves, eating ice cream half naked with no one to judge my fats and just soaking in the sun, talking about anything and everything. Hafiz even changed the dressing on my huge wound so that I could go into the waves too! These are moments I'd never exchange for anything else in the world.


We stayed at Patong Beach for a good four hours til the beautiful sun set right infront of our eyes. Decided to explore the area after that, wanting to see some of Patong's tourist attractions - mainly Jungceylon and Bangla Road. Quite alot of exploration and free experiences since I ain't got no cash on me.

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Undortunately, there's nothing much at both place. I mean, Jungceylon was a huge shopping mall with tons of signature outlets but we see that everyday in Singapore.. so it wasn't really that interesting for us. Bangla Road was filled with smothering retailers trying their best to persuade us into buying their stuff or watching the Ping Pong show so..... no thank you. Hahaha! 

Fiz and I walked on, with hopes to stumble upon a night market for some good local stuff somewhere like we did on our second day - and we did! It was right smack infront of our hotel, a place called Malin Plaza. Cheap local street food, local entertainment, local mobile alcohol bar, local clothes, local everything. Now.. this place, my friends, is awesome. 




We were quite starved from spending the whole afternoon by the beach so imagine how excited we were when we finally found a local seafood barbecue that only sells sea creatures. Best part is, there's a section where you can dine at and they will barbecue whatever it is that you choose right infront of your eyes.



We only spent 250baht for the seafood + gigantic drink + choco peanut butter pancake. The shopkeeper even made a special sauce that was super spicy for Fizzy and made one that was sweet for me because you should know by now that I cannot tolerate anything spicier than Zinger.  #kentalpunyamelayu


Fiz even got a chance to take a picture with an iguana -  for 50baht of course, tourist everything also must pay. But that made him super elated and I'm all about making this bugger happy so why the hell not right? Headed back to the resort with satisfied tummies and happy hearts because in exactly seven hours.... we're going island hopping!

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