Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Phuket Grad Trip (2-6/5/2010)

It's a rewarding trip after 5 hard undergrad years.

Phuket Island

11 of us left LCCT for Phuket before the sunrise.

7.45am flight so we'd have 1 more day at Phuket

AirAsia promo? Buy 2 Free 1 Seat

Phuket Island - Very obvious

We'd booked a hotel by at Patong Beach - Loveli Guesthouse, which is run by a Brit - Andrew. Strongly recommend this Hostel! Andrew was very kind and helpful, and he gave us a lot of advice and information. Airport transfer was to Patong Beach THB1300 (RM1 = THB10) for a van. It's about RM20+ per night per person.

After checking in, and booked our tour packages for the next 2 days, we rent a van and went around the Island. The rate is THB 1500 for 9 hours, which was fine if you have a group or 9-12 people.

Karon Beach

Promthep Cape, is at the southern tip of Phuket Island (refer to the map above). Catching sunset there is a must.

Sunset on the Indian Ocean

Patong, Kata, and Karon beach in a glance

We'd dinner at Rawai Beach. We tried local food like grilled fish, Tom yam soup, some veges...

BBQ grilled fish (THB 300.00) - Quite fresh, but a little too salty

So before you think it's time to get home and start dreaming in no man's land, you're quite wrong. In Phuket, the day starts at night.

The night life in Phuket was an eye opener

There were no Proton Wajah police car

Bar + Mini Van (Which I thought was really cool)

Introducing the legendary Bang-la Road. It's the most happening street at night in South East Asia, 7 days a week.

The night is still young

All sorts of clubs

Really, all sorts... (One thing bad is, you don't know whether those chicks are ***)

And all sorts of shows

Bang-la Road connects our hotel (Loveli Guesthouse) to Patong Beach. It's about 20 minutes walk.

We'll keep all these for the next few days

We booked Phi Phi Island tour for the 2nd day (THB 1000.00) and James Bond Island for the 3rd (THB 1250.00) through our hotel. Both tour packages include transport from hotel, lunch, and snorkeling gears, though the fins have to be rented separately at THB 100.00 per pair.

All set for a day out at sea

A special bonus for our eyes

Some caves on the way to Phi Phi with special bonus..

Crystal clear water

I've read a lot about Phi Phi Island. They often brag it having the best marine life in South East Asia. I've been to a few and expected a lot to be honest.

But quite disappointingly, the underwater world, especially the corals weren't as beautiful as expected. Maybe we weren't brought to the best places around. Or maybe, seriously, the Tsunami a few years back ruined everything.

We joined the James Bond Island (and some other islands like Khai and Maya) tour on the 3rd day. Pre-tour research told me there weren't much besides some rocks and location of scenes in the James Bond film in 1972.

James Bond cave

Canoeing + monkeying at some mangrove forest

Buffet lunch (request additional food as it's buffet style)

Maya Island

For me, the last stop Khai Island was the best Island.

The beach was perfect

A few of us snorkeled around the island only to find ALL the corals dead. Our unprofessional tour guide kept insisting that there are nice ones 50 meters from the shore, but I doubted it very much.

So it's really only like this - Beautiful, but no substance (corals)

Of course sometimes, you'll find something extra

And hot

Still a good experience being out at sea 2 days in a row

We tried out the full body oil massage beside our hotel that night. As guest of Loveli Hotel, we were given 10% discount. Adds up to around THB 270.00 for 30 minutes.

We checked out the 4th day to switch staying at Karon beach.

Andrew and Neil (both in blue) did a good job - Made our lives much easier

We checked in at Divers Inn at Karon. I got the information from Hostelworld.com, where the review was really good. It's at THB 350 per night per person (2 pax per room) including (buffet) breakfast the next morning. All was well (they allowed us to make noise at night!), just that the tap water was a little murky...

We again rented a minibus at THB1500 to tour around Phuket. But honestly, there aren't much to see in Phuket. The main attraction are the beaches.

There are a few temples on Phuket Island though, and Wat Chalong is one of the most important ones.

Majestic

It was around noon, and I could tell you it was scorching hot! Really really hot... No wonder I looked so "burned" and tanned when I came back.

We managed to say a prayer with flowers and josh sticks

View from the top

Spritual-ly, it was a good day

We toured Phuket town in the evening. Always make sure you know where you want to go, and tell the driver where to go. If not, you'll end up touring souvenir shops!

T-shirts of all sorts selling at THB 150.00

CIMB Bank in Phuket!

And we also saw Lee Hom

Exploring Thalang Rd, Phuket Town

I thought I saw Zinadine Zidane?

Some familiar words

We had dinner at a hidden shop in the middle of Phuket town, introduced by Loveli Hotel's Neil (Local and affordable good food). Our driver had to make numerous phone calls asking for direction.

Natural Restaurant

Was natural enough

With really good ideas

Still one of its kind

The food was quite good. One person was around Rm 17.

???

We left water sports activities for the last day.

Patong beach

Karon beach (looked dead)

What's going to the beach without playing what's on offer? We walked like 20 minutes from Karon to Kata beach as it's more happening there.

Jet skiing at THB 1500/30 min (For 2)

Jet skiing is really fun and exciting. You get to ride far out to the deep sea against waves at like 60 Km/hr, try drifting and yet the jet ski's as stable and powerful.

Banana boat at THB 1300 (For 5-6 pax) - Try falling off a few times and you'll grasp the technique

Gymnasium?

We tried out some Italian pizza on offer while walking back from Kata to Karon.

Mageritta Pizza (THB 150.00) where 4 of us shared

McD Thailand (quite obvious) - Remember to try Samurai (pork) burger

One thing in Phuket is the prices of McD defers according to areas. At (the high class shopping mall) Jungceylon, Patong, a set of Samurai Burger is around THB 140.00, whilst at Phuket town (where locals stay), it costs THB 70.0. That's like RM 5.00 difference!

Our flight leaving Phuket at 10pm was delayed for an hour due to quite a heavy rain.

We reached LCCT safely at around 2.30am.

So I guess it's a happy ending to my uni life.

A journey never again

4 comments:

BoOn HeNg said...

great!
so fast blog d... xD

cruSadER said...

Haha... Still waiting for ur pics la.

kae vin said...

nice post :)

I wanted to go Phuket for my graduation trip but I start working too soon :(

My friends gonna be there next week.

cruSadER said...

THanks Kae Vin.

It's a nice place overall. Hope ur frens enjoy themselves...

Remind them to go for "Oil Massage".