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Friday, November 02, 2012

Phuket Trip - Day 1

Finally I can post up the Phuket trip after a long long delay. I went on a vacation to Phuket during March of 2012, as I have already bought the Air Asia promotional tickets in 2011. To those who are thinking of planning a trip to Phuket, the Air Asia promotions really do make your trip more affordable. Do plan ahead extensively though because I had to make some last minute rescheduling for my to-do-list as I booked the tickets one year prior to that.

Nevertheless, it was quite an enjoyable trip and worth to visit the place at least once in your lifetime. Plus, its a great place to take some great pictures for your memories. Let's see what our first day of our trip looked like...

As many of you may already know, Phuket is a region that is highly dependant on tourism activities. I would say almost every shop you see within 5-10 steps would sell items/services that would cater to tourists' needs. The same can be said for the beaches in Patong beach where you can only see never-ending rows of beach chairs and umbrellas arranged along the whole beach. Some say that its not a pretty sight, but I'm not sure; we were here at a non-peak season and as you can see, the beach was pretty much empty. You can sort of take some good photographs with the beach equipments, and I guess it would be best if you visit the beach at this time to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere along the beach. Oh and before I forget, every beach chair has to be rented before you are allowed to sit on it.

Like many other beaches, you can easily find some para-sailing and banana boat services everywhere. Various vendors offer them at different prices, but we did not try these sports as we were not into it. I also read before a few accidents involving para-sailing and jet skis... so please take care if you are playing these sports!

While we were walking down the streets, I noticed that Phuket have very thick and countless electricity wires hanging all over the place. It is kind a scary to see those wires hanging around, I'm worried that it might just catch a fire anytime. True enough, sometime after we returned from Phuket, I read in the news that the famous Tiger Club in Bangla Road was burned down by a fire, and several tourists lost their lives. Please do be careful while you enjoy your time here!

We stayed in Patong Beach Bed and Breakfast Hotel for 4 days 3 nights, it is the cheapest hotel I could find facing the beach. Just cross the road and a few steps more, you are out at the beach already. If you are looking for a simple place to rest at night, I would recommend here because the room and the toilet are clean; plus the room comes with a simple western-style breakfast which consists mainly of bread, cake and some snacks every morning from 8am-10am. The rate for standard room is around RM120 per day only, whilst food and shopping outlets are all within walking distance from the hotel. Even though it is located at the busy beach side road, it wasn't so noisy as our room was located at the back of the hotel, but I can't be sure for the beach-facing rooms though, maybe we will know next time when we come back here.

Jungcelon Shopping Mall
For those who did some research on the landmarks in Patong, you may know that Jungcelon Mall is the international shopping and leisure destination in Patong. From a glance in Google maps it may seem that the mall is located terribly far away from our hotel, and we thought so too at first. To our surprise, it is actually within a reasonable walking distance from the beach side, and we pass by the busy Bangla street most of the time and it was quite an enjoyable walk. We also walked in a pair through the back lanes in Patong and it felt reasonably safe. There were many shops along and sometimes we found some unique stalls which sell their items at a lower price compared to the shops located at the main roads, so don't be afraid to be adventurous and explore Patong by foot. Just be sure not to go to totally dark alleys and always be on alert at all times. 

There are more than hundreds of massage parlours in Phuket (okay, I might be exaggerating a bit), you just can't miss the chance to give your body and especially your legs a good massage after walking around the whole day. The price is cheap too at around RM25-RM40 per hour, depending on the area. There are too many massage shops that can make you confused on which to choose, most have pretty ladies who will gather outside the shops to welcome you in anytime! As for those who are seeking those "extra" services... eh-hem, we're not here for that. But rest assured that there are many legitimate massage parlours and I would say, their techniques are top notch. Stay tuned...

Sawadee-ka from Mr. Ronald McDonalds
I love to come Thailand because they are selling the Pork Burger here! Woohoo!

So coincidentally, I met my USM friend in Phuket. Isn't it a small small world?

At night, we went to watch the famous Simon Cabaret Show in Phuket. I got a very good price from one of the stalls near our hotel. You need to be a very good negotiator to get a good price for trips and shows, but generally a good rule of thumb is to be friendly and try to treat the stall agent as your friend too. I paid RM70 (normal price RM80) for VIP seats, and the package for the show include tickets and a pick up service for the show. Normally, all of the trips and show packages include pick-up services which they will fetch you from the hotel directly.

The agent who helped us book the show was very good, we got the second row seats. We were not allowed to take photos or videos during the show or else a hefty penalty will be imposed. All in all, the show was splendid, all the "ladies" danced so well, and it is not an easy job for them to maintain the standards throughout multiple shows in every day. Yes, there are two showtimes available each day if I remember correctly. I was also told that every year, the simon show will have a new theme and dance routine. All the "ladies" will have to change all the dancing and acting moves every year. When we try to see this as an performance art, it really makes it worthwhile to watch the show. Oh, and there are no nudity in the shows, although the dresses leave little left for the imagination. No obscene acts either... for those, you have to read other blogs! :)

Look at how beautiful are they, you will feel envious of their body shape if you are there because I was... Some even have very sweet smiles. Before and after the show, all the "ladies" will line up outside the theatre hall for anyone to take photos with them. Of course, it is customary to incur a small payment for them at around 40 baths each for a short photo taking session.

BF likes this photo the most. I guess its because of the wing's motion-blurred effect.  

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