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JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

Adelaide, Australia
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JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

A quickly planned (had 3 weeks to get organised) trip to Phuket for a “second honeymoon”.

Our second time in Phuket the first being in January of this year with our 3 children. This time was just the two of us. We were extremely lucky with the weather. It only rained 3 times in our week there, once was overnight, once early morning before breakfast, and then it started about an hour before our taxi came to take us to airport for flight home. So we never had rain during the day. We had more rain when we were there in January!

Flights:

Flew direct with Jetstar from Sydney again using our Qantas FF points this time. Flew day after plane crash at Phuket airport. (Thanks to all of you who were thinking of me, knowing how hard it is for me to fly!) On arrival at Sydney airport (flew in from Adelaide) they told us our flight would be delayed 30-60 minutes due to crash. I was fairly impressed with Jetstar last time we went to Phuket, I was a little disappointed this time. Firstly when they handed out the meals they seemed to have “forgot” that we had pre ordered and pre paid for our meals (those that pre order are supposed to be served first) so by the time they got to us they only had one choice of meal left rather than 3. Then the in-flight entertainment wasn’t working so no movie was shown. Thankfully I had ordered a video on demand unit otherwise it would have been a very looooong flight!

Once we got to Phuket we were told we wouldn’t be able to land for some time. The airport had only re opened a few hours before so we circled Phuket for approximately an hour before landing with the whole plane (the flight was full) bursting into cheers and clapping! I guess we were all pretty apprehensive due to the crash.

One interesting point, last time we flew the new restrictions on liquids and gels hadn’t come into effect yet. We didn’t carry anything with us this time (knew I’d get a bottle of water on the flight) so went through all the check points/security etc. When we were packing to come home from Phuket we found a 250ml bottle of drink that had been left in hubby’s laptop bag (which we took on as carry on luggage), no one even noticed it as it went through x-ray machine etc

Pick up from airport by driver organised by Mom Tri’s Villa Royale. Awesome car, with a driver who didn’t do 140kph on wrong side of road!

Accommodation:

Spent 3 nights at Mom Tri’s. Simply awesome! Truly a special place. Our dinner at Mom Tri’s was wonderful, definitely recommend it for a treat. Have written a review but for some reason can’t put any photos with it so if any body wants to see any let me know (same for Twin Palms at Surin Beach).

Spent 4 nights at Twin Palms. Very nice resort. Classy looking and awesome pool. Didn’t have the same feel as Mom Tri’s of course though, but still a great place. Lots of construction going on all around so quite noisy, but didn’t bother us too much.

Shopping:

Only did a little shopping. Mainly T-shirts (for my hubby and son and all my nephews for Christmas and birthdays etc). Went back to the market at Karon on the beach road that we went to last time. We made the mistake of going on our first day but had walked all the way from Kata Noi and was completely exhausted by the time we got there so we weren’t in the mood for shopping just wanted to get our bearings again but because we were the first customers of the day they were offering us T-shirts at 100 baht each. I’d completely forgotten about it being bad luck for them to not sell to first customer so we just kept walking. When we did finally go back to buy we couldn’t get pass 140 baht each. My hubby went shopping somewhere (I wasn’t with him this particular time) but he must have been first customer as the owner waved the money over his stock and said it would bring him good luck, so my advice is be first customer of the day and you could get an even better price than usual.

Went to Jungceylon one night, best place was the home wares section downstairs (“That’s Siam”) got some gorgeous stainless steel bowls, not for cooking but for decoration, they were hand made I think and had dents all over them (on purpose!) and look great (I have a photo of one if anyone is interested) Haven’t seen anything like it here so glad I have one as it looks great on my mantel piece. Also got some as gifts

Took the local bus into Phuket Town. Great experience and cheap too (25b each). Beware when you arrive in Phuket Town though as all the taxi drivers’ pounce on you as they all know you want to go to Ocean Plaza and Robinsons (and I’ve been told it’s a 3km walk from bus stop). Got into one taxi and he said “we just have to go to Gem store to get my voucher stamped” (at least he was honest!) we said “no, no gem stores” and he kept saying didn’t have to buy anything just look and we kept saying “no, no gem stores”, he wouldn’t budge so we got out. Another taxi driver approached us and we said “no gem stores, straight to Ocean Plaza” he said “Ok, promise!” at the end we ended up giving him more money than arranged, he was shocked, said we brought him good luck. When we decided to catch bus back to Kata we needed to get back to bus stop so being just the two of us we thought we have the experience of a scooter taxi, our driver turned out to be an old man, so there was him, then me and then hubby behind me. I held on so tight to hubby’s legs I think he still has the nail marks. After the first half of the trip I just couldn’t look at the traffic coming at me anymore so just looked at the ground and hoped for the best! Still it was something to tell our kids about (you know us being so old at 38 and 40!), they did think it was pretty outrageous for me though!

This time we did go to a Tailor (one recommended by PhuketRichard, Topaz Collection at Kata) Dave had suit made, looks awesome, and I took two pairs of my pants over and asked for them to be copied. I had about 3 fittings and I find it impossible to find pants that fit me, so it’s a real delight to have trousers that fit me in all the right places.

Eating out:

Mom Tri’s kitchen really was very special. Wouldn’t have chosen to eat there usually (prices are very expensive) but it was part of our package. Glad it was as it was wonderful. We had a table outside and watched the sunset with the waves crashing below. We had the set menu but there are about 5 set menu’s to choose from so you won’t have trouble finding one you like. Food was superb and so was the service.

Surin Bay Inn at Surin Beach (just down from Twin Palms) this became our ‘local’. Dave went there on the Friday night and Saturday lunch time to watch the AFL pre-lim games with a bunch of Aussies who live nearby. He was in his element! Big wide screen TV’s and other Aussies around for atmosphere!

Food at Surin Bay Inn is excellent. Good prices and staff really friendly. Manager is Scottish and always comes over to check all is going ok with meal and has a chat.

Pla Seaford on Surin Beach. Very nice.

Twin brothers on Surin Beach. Not very impressed. Didn’t feel very well the next day either!

Pancake cart (found everywhere). Those of you that told me to get a chocolate pancake, thanks….they’re awesome!

As usual Smallview overlooking Kata noi beach was great, I had a pina colada at every place we went to and I can really say that Smallview DO have the BEST pina colada’s in Phuket. (Surin Bay Inn comes in 2nd!)

Day sailing with Capt Mark:

This was the only thing we planned for this trip to Phuket. We did John Gray’s Hongs by Starlight in January when were had our 3 kids with us, so we were really looking forward to this day with Mark that I had read so much about.

We spent an awesome day with Mark and his crew plus a lovely family from Melbourne (Lesley and Glenn and their kids Luke and Natalie) and a German couple on their honeymoon. A lot has been said about Mark’s day sailing so I won’t repeat what’s been said many times before but will just confirm that it’s a really special day and well worth doing. I won’t compare it with John Gray’s. In my opinion they are both incredibly special and wouldn’t recommend either one or the other, I’d recommend you do both.

Mark is a lovely guy, knowledgeable and great with the kids. He has created a very special day for his customers and I feel very privileged to have experienced this part of Phuket with him.

Day Spa:

Went to Hideaway day spa at Bang Tao again. Was just as great as first time I went in January, highly recommended. NB had an interesting ride back to Surin Beach in tuk tuk. Hubby had gone to Patong while I was at Spa to pick up some shopping and I’d given him the address of Hideaway day spa to pick me up (plus he’d been in the original tuk tuk when they dropped me off). They got hopelessly lost! So much so that the guy ended up going into a shop for help and came out with two cans of beer, one for him and one for hubby. When they finally found me we then had an incredibly long and confusing ride back to Surin beach. The ride from Surin Beach up to Bang Tao had been very straight forward up the main road so we couldn’t work out why this guy was going through what seemed like all the back streets. We then ended up at the Chedi resort…..not sure why as we told him we were staying at Twin palms! Still we got to see parts of Phuket we wouldn’t have normally!

Now that I’m home I’m mad at myself for not doing more shopping but it was so hot I just couldn’t think straight half the time. I will definitely go back to Phuket for a third time (maybe for a “girls only” shopping trip!)

Mandurah, Australia
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1. Re: JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

great jbr wells67

what was the bus ride like to phuket town?

did the tuk tuk driver want to charge you extra money for the ride?

we are heading over there in just over 2 weeks,cant wait.

mabbs

Perth, Australia
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2. Re: JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

That was enjoyable reading Wells, lovely report, so glad you got through the flying, especially having to circle the airport waiting to land, you definately qualify for the 'hanging in there without cracking up' medal' Well Done! Sounds like you had a good choice of accomodation and spread your holiday well at different locations.

You never seem to do enough shopping, even though it seems like youve bought heaps at the time, just keep planning that 3rd trip, Sue

Adelaide, Australia
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3. Re: JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

mabbs, bus trip to phuket town is great. Don't be in a hurry though as it's quite slow through Kata and Karon. Its basically goes very slow to be able to pick up others wanting to catch bus. The locals use it and there are no bus stops, you just press a button when you want to get off and the bus stops. There are buses that travel from patong and other areas like Surin and they all go to Phuket Town and back agaiin.

Yes taxi drivers that approached us when we got off bus are extra (not much though, can't remember, about 70 baht?) but the scooter that took us back to bus stop was only 40 baht, but you seriously risk your life taking a scooter back!

Australia
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4. Re: JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

Hi, Its Leslie, just got back Friday loved reading your JBR and thanks for helping makeour day with Captain Mark a great day, the kids loved it and talk about it quite regulary. Must go as I just got back to work today. L

Brisbane
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5. Re: JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

Thanks for the JBR Jane,

Sounds like you had a great time. Will remember to get the shopping done first thing in the morning to be the lucky one.

Glad I have booked both Mark and John Gray's.

Wendy

South Australia...
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for Phuket, Ko Lanta
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6. Re: JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

Fantastic Jane, really enjoyed reading your report. What were the prices like at Topaz, my sister needs a good tailor for her next trip.

Well done for getting on the taxi bike, does this mean you get 2 awards now (one for Frantic Flyers)

Cathy

Adelaide, Australia
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1,049 posts
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7. Re: JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

Hi Lezzlie, we had a great day didn't we? Thanks for making it such a great day. Are you suffering the post phuket blues? Sorry your back at work so soon, luckily we've just started school holidays so I get a bit more time off!

Cathy, the prices at Topaz were more than what I had read here that people seem to pay for suits but David did pick some pretty expensive material for his suit. He looked at material that was one price and then looked at more expensive material and then kept going! I can't remember how much he paid...I'll ask him. My pants ended up being about $50 each but like I said they fit me perfectly so I'm really happy and they are the style that I like. Good material too as they are for work. 2 pairs in black (one full length, one 3/4 length/capri style) and 2 in charcoal grey, love em!

Totally forgot about my frantic flyer award...yeah probably should have a "I'm brave enough (stupid enough?) to get on the back of a scooter and go through the streets of phuket town" award too!

Melbourne
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8. Re: JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

Glad to hear that you had a good experience at Topaz Collection. We went there to have a suite, pants and shirt made for my sons and all was fine (the usual pushiness) until after we paid the deposit and went for the first fitting.

All went down hill from there. They were extremly rude and horrible and if it wasn't for the fact I had paid a very reasonable portion of the total price, I would never have set foot in the place again.

Upon completion of the garments we walked in , tried on the clothes ,vowed never to set foot in the store again and said we would definintly NEVER recommend them.

The mans suit looked like a body hugging 1960's womans suit before I requested it to be altered (first fitting). My son was horrified at the sight of it. And yes, we have had suits made before at other places and they were fabulous. I was nearly in tears and wished we hade never been recommended them by Richard ( sorry Richard).

It was just a truly horrible experience and one which caused a great deal of stress on our otherwise lovely holiday.

Adelaide, Australia
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9. Re: JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

DDM, What an awful experience you had,like you we only went there because we were recommended by Richard to use them. Were they on a corner in Kata near the Smile Inn? We had an ok experience with them. As I said I must have had about 3 fittings to get my pants perfect around the waist and hip area and they were always ok with my fussiness. David originally wasn't going to bother with a suit and it wasn't until I went for my first fitting with my pants that he decided to go for suit. He rarely wears a suit but he had two pairs of pants made with the suit and loves them as they are so comfortable. I'd be interested to hear from others that have used Topaz...??

Melbourne
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10. Re: JBR for quickly planned 2nd trip to Phuket.

Thats the one. We were staying at the Kata Palm resort in Kata so it wasn't that far away to go for fittings. At the second fitting he asked if we wanted the front of the suit curved or straight , we said straight, We then walked around ther corner and looked at suits in the window at another tailor and thought maybe curved would be better.

I sent my son straight back to say we would prefer curved and he went absolutly skitso , waving his arms around saying it had already been sent to the factory ( in 10 mins!) and that it was too late and impossible to change from straight to curved. The other way around I could understand but.....I have been sewing for the last 35 years,everything from tailored clothes to houselots full of drapes of all kinds, my own wedding dress and a whole range of stuff in between so i'm not a complete bunny when it comes to sewing.

He stormed off out of the shop in the end and wouldn't even speak to us at the next fitting. Funny trhing is the suit came back with a curved front .... go figure. And yes. their prices were considerably dearer than anywhere else and he kept saying that the other tailors material was no-where as superior as his, thats why they were cheaper. WILL NOT GO BACK