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    Saturday, 24 August 2013

    The final holiday trip we had before I started work was to... PHUKET~!! :D
    Well, I'm not like a huge fan of beach trips because I always get sea sick when I go for snorkelling trips... But other than that, I love to lay on the beach and just rest...

    Being a relatively budget friendly trip, we took Jetstar and guess what? I saw my snooker friends from Hall 11! Apparently they were on the same flight to Phuket too, just that they were staying on a different beach. What a coincidence when you can just meet your friends at the airport just like that. 
    The flight to Phuket was less than 2 hours, so it was quite bearable on the low cost carrier. So far Scoot and Jetstar hasn't disappointed me yet!
    Finally in Phuket with our hand carry luggage!
    For our hotel choice, we went for Sugar Palm Grand Hill Resort. While most travellers would prefer the bustling beach of Patong, we wanted to be in the vicinity but with a little bit more peace and quiet. So we chose Sugar Palm Grand for its location in Kata beach! Once again we went through Agoda for the good rates offered. 

    As it was our first time in Phuket and we were unfamiliar with the transport system, we asked the hotel to arrange a hotel pick up at a charge of 2000 baht for 2 ways (maximum three pax per car). Once at the hotel, a buggy picked us up upon check in to send us to our rooms!
    Sugar Palm Grand is built on a hill as its name suggests. Hence, expect a lot of steep slopes and lots of steps if you are staying in a room like ours. We got the second highest level, pool attached room which was shared among 5 rooms. It was a pretty view, and the room was really awesome as well! If you go during non-peak season, you will most likely be the only unit using the pool which is quite good isn it? Good view and pool access room for 2300 baht (~ $92) per night, think its very worth it!

    Being a touristy place, never worry about food! Just take a walk along the streets you'll find something! Don't expect too much Thai fare like we did though. Phuket's tourists comprises of mostly Caucasians so you'll find much more Western food than Thai food. Weird isn't it?
    Our Pad Thai and Pineapple Fried Rice!

    We went straight to the beach after meal!!
    The good thing about Phuket is you could easily find stretch of beach which is maintained pretty well by the locals. Of course, the beach chairs with the umbrellas come at a price of around 200 Baht. It would be worth it if you plan to spend a substantial time at the beach. If you choose to leave your belongings under a tree, there probably wouldn't be anyone to look after your belongings.. However, stay wary and keep an eye on your valuables even while frolicking in the waves!

    White beaches and lovely sea... lots of photo opportunities!
    Looking cool despite the heat!
    Our series of jumpshots which made the cut
    Love this pic alot! I haven't even kick you yet, silly boy!
    Kerwyn turned into a ball!

    Went back to hotel to wash up and decided to walk along the streets near our hotel.
    We were missing the cheese prata from Bangkok, and it so happens that they have a stall at the street right outside our hotel! Not missing a beat, we took a quick snack to quell our hungry stomachs. Although not as good as the one we had in BKK, it's still pretty good! The locals call this pancake but its just like our prata. Our fav flavour is condensed milk with butter and sugar! Sooo sinful..... but delicious~!!! Can't find the dinner photos we had on day one but food is easily remember everywhere. As Phuket is filled with tourists, almost every restaurant has vegetarian options. FYI, "zei" means vegetarian in Thai.

    Pad Thai again for lunch! We just <3 it!
    On the second day, we went island hopping! 

    Most of the hotels in Phuket would cater to day tours lasting from half a day to whole days so take your pick! While pricier than the tours you get outside, it would definitely be more reliable. Besides, they would arrange pickup at your hotel so it's convenient too!
    First stop is James Bond Island! Named for the famous movie that shot here, (can't remember the instalment) it brings tourists from far and wide. It's really crowded as you can see from the pictures. So it's difficult to find a quiet spot to take photos. Nevertheless, just snap as much as you can! Only worth spending about 15-20 minutes here...
    Managed to squeeze in a quick shot!
    Lovely prints and a heart! <3
    Next stop was a nice bay and we did a bit of snorkeling. The snorkeling was a far cry from Redang though, so we only swam for a few minutes before surfacing. The currents were stronger than Redang so me being me, I suffered from seasick and poor Kerwyn had to take care of me. Thank goodness the boat prepared freshly cut watermelon and pineapples for the tourists to enjoy! Cured my seasick because they were sooo juicy and yummy!
    Viking cave, where tourist activity has been ceased in order to protect the bird's nest production. Seems pretty primitive, but they actually had solar panels for power generation!
    Took a short stop at Monkey Beach where we fed some monkeys with leftover fruits. Couldn't go ashore due to the high tide but we still got a pretty good view.
    The final stop was Khai Island.  It's very paradise looking in nature, with beach chairs on a pristine sandy beach with fine sand. The waves actually lap up right to your feet due to the relatively flat nature of the beach. You can do jet skiing here for a fee, or just take a stroll and a dip not too far from shore to see some small fish. 
    Locals will keep coming up to you to tout for drinks. As our own boatman went around giving us soft drinks already we didn't order any. It was considered pretty good service from our tour group. 
    White beach and clear waters
    Never missing a nice photo chance!
    Writings in the sand
    Where else to take a nice shadow photo?
    Khai island was crowded in some areas where they direct tourists to for snorkeling but other than that it was much better than James Bond Island.
    Nothing beats relaxing on their beach chairs...
    After being sun kissed, we returned to our hotel. And if you were wondering what the hotel exterior looks like here are some pictures!
     Not bad hor? That's the public pool in the background! 
    For dinner we decided to settle on some authentic Thai food! Since we were getting curry and we were burnt from the entire day of sun we got some soft drinks, which came in pleasant old school bottles.
    On the next day, we went up to Kata viewpoint to catch some nice views of the Phuket coastline.

    After we got some pictures out... it was finally time for...
    PARASAILING!!! I've been wanting to try it out for so long! It's kinda expensive though and we aren't that good at bargaining! Oh wells, just for the experience so whatever...

    Due to the low season, parasailing seemed to be offered only at Patong. The weather conditions on this beach seemed to be the most favourable too!
    The guy who was standing behind me went up with me without any gears on him luh?! They were instructing me just run on the count of 3. 1...2...3... I stepped one foot forward and wooooo... I was in the air already!!!
    We chose this vendor because their chute seems to be the newest....
     Safely landed!
     Kerwyn's turn now!
    It was soooo funny because he took more steps than me before taking off and I laughed at him for being too chubby! Hee...
    Landing without a hitch!
    After half a day of activity once more, it was time to refill our tummies with some more Thai food! While the food tasted pretty good, the Thai iced tea was disappointing. Looks like we need to get back to BKK for our Thai iced tea.
    We decided to pop by our friends' hotel as we were still in Patong. Being a luxury resort, it definitely had better facilities than ours. So if you're looking to have a luxury stay and don't mind paying a bit more to be in the bustling area of Patong, go ahead and try any of the hotels along this beach. You most probably wouldn't be disappointed.
    We just can't get enough of sunsets so we went up to Kata viewing point again to catch the sunset. It was absolutely beautiful and we had no ships dotting the horizon like what we see in Singapore. Hope to catch more sunsets together! 
    Phuket was amazing. Although I went home with a lot of peeling skin, it was a great break to take before the start of my industrial attachment. We hope to come back some day, and maybe try out a different beach to experience more of the vibrant night life in Phuket!

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