Thursday, 16 January 2014

Phuket trip – Prologue

Jetstar was having 'Take a friend for free" promotion and the travel period for most of the destination is from Jan to Mar 2014. Although I am quite tempted by the promotion, I wasn't keen to go for a long holiday as I will be going to Taipei in Feb & Korea in Apr. I was planning to skip this promotion until Peifen asked me. We discussed on the destinations and decided on Phuket since there is a departing flight on Friday night and returning flight on Sunday night. This means we don't have to apply annual leave at all! The return air ticket including taxes cost S$94. Normally a return ticket during promotion cost around $150 hence this promotion is definitely cheaper than a normal promotion air ticket.

I guess I don't have to write a long intro on Phuket as almost everyone has been to Phuket except me. =D Even hubby has been there thrice!

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and is slightly smaller than Singapore. Phuket International Airport is Thailand 2nd largest hub, second only to Suvarnabhumi Airport which explains why it is Thailand's most popular island. The best period to visit Phuket is from November to March.
Map of Phuket (Lonely Planet)

As January is the peak period, the rates for most of the accommodation is pricier, some rates are even twice of off peak rates. I decided to stay at Patong beach as this is the most happening beach in Phuket. Initially I wanted to stay at Ella bed which is a new and contemporary hotel, but the bathroom wall is transparent. This is inconvenient for those who are not couples. Hence I decided to stay at The Artist Hotel which is also a new hotel and received numerous good review in tripadvisor. The rate is THB 2,000 for superior room with breakfast. However the hotel require a deposit of THB1,000 and does not accept credit card as deposit. Hence I have to do a telegraphic transfer which resulted in additional bank charges of almost $50. I have visited the hotel website recently and credit card is accepted now.

Since we are only spending 2 days in Phuket, we decided to skip island hopping since it will take up a full day. I have engaged a driver for a tour around Phuket. I have researched on few drivers and decided to engage Panyan (email: after reading numerous good review from tripadvisor. He quoted me THB1,200 for 5 hours and THB200 for every subsequent hour. I have done up my own itinerary hence I will not be following the itinerary which he has previously sent to me as these itinerary usually include a visit to those factories for shopping of souvenirs.

While researching on the list of activities to do in Phuket, I came across Rollerball Zorbing Phuket. The charges is THB950 for one ride and THB1,600 for unlimited rides. It's worth to purchase the unlimited rides if intended to take more than a ride. Moreover, hotel transfer is provided and reservation can be done via email. There is THB100 discount by printing out the online reservation form.

I have never seen ladyboy show before hence I booked the ladyboy show Simon Cabaret with Panyan as he offers me THB700 for VIP seat and hotel transfer, usual price is THB800. There are 3 shows daily at 6pm, 7.45pm and 9.30pm.

I added a visit to cashew nut factory as I remember vividly that when I was young, my dad went to Phuket and he bought a box of cashew nuts which comes in different flavours. It's so tasty and I make a mental note that if I have the chance to visit Phuket, I must buy the cashew nuts.

Itinerary for this trip:
Day 1: Reach Phuket at 9.20pm (GMT +7)
Day 2: Patong beach, Cashew nut factory, Wat Chalong, Phuket Big Buddha, Promthep Alternative Energy Station, Promthep Cape, Phuket weekend market
Day 3: Rollerball Zorbing Phuket, Shopping @ Jungceylon, Depart Phuket at 10pm (GMT +7)

Budget for the trip is S$350:
- S$60 for accommodation
- S$70 for transport
- S$90 for admission
- S$50 for meals
- S$80 for shopping


Cubie said...

Ha! I have not been to Phuket! Before I travelled to Shanghai, my thoughts were the same - everybody has been to Shanghai! :p

TZ said...

Enjoy your trip to Phuket eh~

It's a nice island to visit, i have been there twice and enjoyed the white sandy beach and snorkeling at the surrounding islands.