May 26, 2011

My Phuket trip in words.. Day 1 (18th May 2011)

(Selected pictures will follow later on in another blog)
I woke up at 3.30am, despite feeling tired. I have been lethargic all week and so on, but excitement this time kept me from having a good night rest.
I finished my last minute packing, and locked my luggage before hauling in downstairs. Then I took a shower and my dear husband sent me to the KL Sentral station.
After debating with myself on either taking the bus (a much cheaper option at only RM10 for 50mins ride) or the ERL - Express Rail Link aka KLIA express (RM34 for 28mins ride) , I gave in and took the ERL, thinking I'd like to be there at the airport early, and not late.

I got to the airport at 6.30am sharp, the supposed meeting time at the airport. When I got there, no one was at the airport. I started calling a few of my group members. One said she was still at home. At home? My mind panicked. Another said he was on the way with the coach transfer the company had arranged from their branch office.
5 minutes later, my phone rang and my designated room mate asked me where I was. I was at the departure hall blankly staring at the screen and lifts and told her so and she hurried up with her luggage and all beaming from ear to ear.
We dragged our luggages to the ladies and took turns going in. Then we went browsing at the duty free perfume shops, the book shop, the chocolate shop whilst waiting for the rest to turn up. Finally, everyone did and we checked in our luggages and got our boarding passes and went to McDonald for a happy meal.. Imagine.. Two grown women eating happy meal at the airport.. We wanted the toy which was a Sponge Bob plastic cup for our kiddies, you see.
Anyway, after our mc Donald's meal and some more window shopping, we finally went inside pass immigration to the boarding area. There was more sighs and wishing at the duty free perfume shop and also toy shop. My room mate and me plotted and planned to get a perfume.. And that was if we had enough money to go about after the trip.
Our flight was at 9.30am and it was called and we boarded. Eshah, my roommate got the window seat and I got the seat next to her. We enjoyed the view, took pictures and all and err.. Food was served!! It was a choice of nasi lemak or beef and mash potatos and so, not wanting rice, I opted for the beef and mash potatoes. It was yummy.
Our flight was short, just an hour and fifteen mins and the poor cabin crew had to hurry. Just as they just finished serving food and drinks, they had to start collecting the trays again.
We arrived at the Phuket International airport at 9.45am (strange, I thought it was amusing that our flight on paper took only 15 mins- but Phuket, like Indonesia is an hour behind Malaysia)
We got our faces scrutinized, photographed and passports stamped before collecting our luggage and moving out.
Outside, a couple of beautiful Thai ladies welcomed us with seashell and beads garland and a photographer took our pictures.
We boarded our designated group tour bus and was taken to our first stop... Errr... Brunch...
My room mate and I started groaning about having too much to eat.
Imagine!!! 3 meals in less then 5 hours???
Anyway, the spread was delicious and tempting and so we tucked in on the tom yam, fried fish, stir fried vegetables and ulam and sambal. It kinda felt like in Malaysia as the restaurant had pictures of Malaysia all over the restaurant!
After our meal, we felt fuller then ever and the bus took us to the Porntip sea store. There were snacks of all kinds and nice stuff but the prices were inflated, being a touristy place. Then we went to the cashewnut factory and they sold all kinds of cashew nut goodies of all flavors and errr... Even fried worms or rather bamboo caterpillar... Euuuwww... No way was I gonna try it, no matter how crispy it is or so.. Then we went to the Wat Chalong. The temple was striking.. In cream, red, gold etc.. We took our first group photo there. Then we went shopping. The souvenirs there were I think the cheapest you can find around Phuket. I bought my daughter a nice suit and for myself a wrap around material which can be used for a scarf, shawl, blouse, skirt or so on. I also manage to get some magnets and keyrings (for clients and friends).
We left Wat Chalong and made our way to Patong to our hotel. The first thing we saw was the Jungceylon mall.. Oh wow.. Our hotel, selected and paid for by the company was the Millenium hotel and it was adjacent to the mall.
We put our luggages in the room and took a shower and then rushed downstairs and burst through the adjoining door to the mall to find some top up for our local Thai numbers. We had been given the card whilst in the airport and so...
We manage to sight see or at least feast our eyes a little in the mall before being forced to go back to the hotel to board our bus to our dinner venue at the Royal Paradise hotel.
We then sneaked out to the roadside to take a peek at the road side stalls there, very much like what you can find along the stretch of Batu Ferringhi , Penang. Then we were grouped up back into the bus which shuttled us to our next destination.. The Phuket Fantasea, along Kamala beach.
The Phuket Fantasea was an interesting place.. There were just so much to see and do.. And even elephant rides if you wanted one. They even had white tigers and snakes but I missed out on that.
Then we gathered at the Palace of the Elephants for the show. We had to surrender our mobile phones and cameras.
And.. then.. I went extravagant. There were photo opportunities with characters or even 2 baby elephants and.... an absolutely adorable tiger cub. Now that was something I just could not resist.
Eshah and me coughed up the exhorbitant fee of 850 bahts (about RM85) for the opportunity to take a picture with the little fella who was more busy sucking his milk bottle then focusing on us in significant humans. We consoled ourselves saying that it was a good cause and we were donating to the little fella's up keep and food for a week.
Later, we watched the show, which actually did not really make any sense to me but was interesting, colourful and amazing. I think the amazing came from the well trained animals which ranged from elephants, buffalos, goats, pigeons, the tiger cub and also chickens!!!! And they all know their part, as where to go, what to do.. Hmmmm...
After the show, we had to fight the humongous crowd to get out cameras and mobile phones back and then knackered, boarded our bus back to the hotel and sleep...
Our bed was just as comfy as it looked.. Mmm
Sent by Maxis from my BlackBerry® smartphone


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