Phuket JBR, Sorry its long, hope you enjoy, Sue
This was my mum and stepdads first stay in Phuket, having previously called in with the cruise ship, we decided it was time to take them with us as they have heard so much about Phuket from us. We actually did more in the week than we have ever done before, next trip for us will be for relaxation only! We upgraded to business class on the way, Thai air excellent as usual. At the airport mum (whose daughter and son in law are known as the griswolds whenever we travel) set off the beeper in security as she has metal screws in her hip, then they chose to search her bags and asked her to remove her shoes, finally after giving me a frisk we were allowed thru. Mum had to sit to get her shoes back on which takes her forever ( she had a mild stroke a few years ago and her balance and coordination is a bit off) She was taking too long so another security person said “you people are milling around too long” and told mum she had to be frisked also. Mum was getting a bit irate by now and asked havent they got better things to do than target grannies as drug mules, we were trying to keep straight faces and she was not amused.
That was the only hiccup of the trip, we arrived in Phuket Thursday arvo and got a mini bus to Patong beach hotel. I had booked seaview deluxe and also emailed the hotel requesting; well demanding sea views. When we got to the front desk to check in, the receptionist all but waved the keys in my face saying tenth floor madame, thankyou for coming back to Patong beach hotel. I was amazed we hadn’t stayed there for 5 years and they all still remembered us. Dinner was at Patong bakery and was good as always. Spent the night at the 19th hole bar with our thai friend pom.
Friday morning we walked along the beach and couldn’t believe how much rubbish was washed up, it was the worst we have seen it since the tsunami, we were a bit sad as it hasn’t taken long to get back to its pre tsunami state. Sat on the beach for a while and watched the jetskis and parasails.
Breakfast: the Patong beach hotel still does one of the best breakfast spreads in phuket, the poolside bar has changed the menu and doesn’t do the old favourites( satay sticks and the assortment of thai dishes) that they used to do around the pool, only a basic menu mainly burgers, steak sandwich, club sandwiches, fries etc which was a bit disappointing.
Our rooms: were on the 10th floor, very comfy and clean, service was very good and the views sensational, the staff are lovely and very friendly.
The noise from the banana disco is a lot louder than we remember, being up high also we got a bit of noise from a bangla nightclub one night till 4am, but we think it was because it was very windy and the noise carried as we didn’t hear it again.
It was the windiest we have seen it in Patong, but it kept the heat down and we only had 2 days with a bit of rain.
Friday was a visit to central festival, mainly to show mum and dad, we didn’t buy anything exciting except some dates for 25 baht for a decent sized bag, and some cookies from the food market, it is really quite boring there I think, should have gone to Tesco instead.
Friday night we were very excited as it was our first bbq with Richard. Mr Deg picked us up.
Finally arrive at bbq, meet Megumi and a few TA members and non TA members, I told them I’m hopeless with names and won’t remember them all, everyone a bit quiet at first but soon everyone was talking. The food was really good, the scalloped potato dish and the pork was heavenly. Quite a few girls wearing sun dresses ( me included). Richards comment “don’t think you can get out of climbing the pole just because you have dresses on” when my mum yells out “hope you have all got underwear on or don’t you young girls wear those thongs nowdays!” Don’t you just love family! We were just getting settled in for drinking when its time to go to the sunshine bar, no problem, everyone moves on.
The sunshine bar was totally not what I expected, it was much nicer and cosier. There was such a great bunch of people there and by the end of the night a few had gotten up the pole, including my other half who did it 3 times, I managed to get away with playing an instrument and dancing with the girls behind the bar for a bit but I had to keep hiding from Richard who was making it very obvious that I hadn’t climbed the pole yet. Good on you Cathy, Richard told me you eventually did it!
We also were disappointed that we missed Cathy and Gary by one day and Cathy, Richard seems to think we would get on pretty well, so next time girl we will catch up!
The loo was a big source of interest as soon as we got there the line was 7 deep. Steve and Deb from the forum were a laugh and great fun, as were Mark and Leonie, I can picture all your faces just cant bloody remember names, but you all know who you are!
My mum even met a group of ladies from Manjimup ( mum was born there) and they all knew each others rellies, small world, Anne from Manjimup lovely lady, the gorgeous young girls from Melbourne who did get up the pole, everyone was so nice and we all had a great night.
Saturday: As we couldn’t get Richards car for the Tuesday, we decided to go Sunday instead so had a relaxing day around the pool with a bit of shopping along the beach road also. We found not too much new stuff, and have bought so much over the years, so we only bought a few things, not all on the same day of course.
Tablecloth 550 baht ( Otop market)
Billabong denim shorts 700 baht (beach rd)
Billabong canvas type shorts 450 baht (Otop market)
Girls billabong tops stretchy material 150-200 baht (otop)
Mens singlets for dad at ocean plaza 6 for 800 baht
Ecco shoes for mum at ocean plaza 2300 baht (double the price in perth)
Thai style wall hangings ready to be framed 3 for 200 baht ( Junceylon)
Stretchy ¾ pants with tie legs 300 baht ( little shop in laneway left side of Patong beach hotel)
G unit caps 250 baht (beach rd)
80 pce Stainless steel cutlery set on stand(weighs about 5 kgs) 10000 baht (were 16000-20000 at Junceylon) bought on beach road.
Dvd’s from secret room at Hello kitty shop opposite Sweets (60 baht each buy 10 get one free)
Bags: We found it very difficult to get the vendors to budge on their prices this year, tried 3 stores and had to walk away, they wanted $160 Au for 3 designer bags. So eventually settled on one designer bag and 3 others on beach road for 2300 baht from a nice Indian man. 1 x large Dior, medium size Billabong, small Gucci clutch and a Prada shoulder bag thrown in for 500 more.
Monday evening Richard and Megumi dropped off the car, so Tuesday we were up bright and early for our trip, picked up our thai friend Pom and off we went. The drive to Khao Lak was the first time we had been that far out of Patong. Really wish we could have spent longer but time was a factor, plus Richard had the car booked in for a service the next day. The drive past the airport was scenic and the roads very good. Crossed the bridge and drove on to Khao Lak. Being at Kao Lak was very eerie, may have had something to do with the fact it was low season, very windy, the seas were huge and the beaches basically deserted. We drove down to one of the resorts and it too was pretty deserted. The steep drive back out to the road gave us all an idea how difficult it would have been to outrun the wave if in fact you had the opportunity to run at all. We drove to see the Police boat that had been washed up 1 km off shore, that was really mindblowing. We all left in silence and you cannot stop the goosebumps and teary eyes honestly it’s a really humbling experience.
From here we drove down to a beachshack restaurant / bar next to Mukdara resort and could not comprehend the distance that boat traveled. We sat and drank a few ales and listened to Pom as she told us stories from when she brought food up in the weeks after the tsunami.
Back to Patong; On the way back stopped in at The Hot Spring Beach Resort and Spa in Kok Kloi. I think you would have to enjoy your own company a hell of a lot or be on a honeymoon. It is very beautiful and was originally a hot spring before the hotel was built, so they made a swimming pool over it and the water is 45 degrees. Apparently it isn’t too far to some restaurants and shopping and it has its own beach.
By this time we were getting pretty hungry so stopped at Surin Beach for a late lunch.
We ordered 9 dishes between 5 of us and drank jacks and coke and softdrinks. It cost us 1800 baht around $64 AU. We drove back via Kamala Beach and onto Patong, and stopped in to visit our aussie friend and see his house in Phuket.
Monday we drove the 4wd to meet Richard at the Reggae Bar before going to see The ellies. Got mum onto the Pina Coladas and she was nearly asleep at the table after 2, we took the Melbourne girls from our hotel Mon and Flea with us also. When we got to Charlie and Lum Yais place, Lum Yai was hanging off the tyre swing teasing one of the dogs, she was in a really playful mood. Charlie came straight up to bench seat and Colin began grooming him, Lum Yai went straight to Mr Ged, I think she’s in love with him! Flea & Mon were totally taken by them and they went for the hour trek on the ellies with another group.
There is some work happening with the building of a new toilet block and relocation of the bar, cant wait to see it all finished next visit.
I will get started on part 2
Heres the link to my photos: