It was a rather impromptu trip and we booked everything about two weeks before the holiday. If anyone's travelling on a budget, I recommend using AirAsiaGo to book your tickets and accommodation. We managed to get a really good deal and the resort we stayed in was ranked first in Karon Beach!
In case you're wondering why I'm blogging about this trip, it's because Bob bought us a camera and there were too many photos and videos taken which HAD to be shared elsewhere, other than just on Instagram. We actually took a ton of photos but I was too lazy to edit everything, so here are a selected few. The rest can be found on my Instagram and if you followed me, I think you'd have pretty much received my #gwensiesinphuket spam.
|Brunch at The Coffee Bean. Bad processed food!|
Our flight was really short. It departed Singapore at 1.50PM and we reached Phuket at 3PM (one hour behind Singapore time). Once we've reached the airport, we went ahead and book for our Coral and Raya Island tour for the next day. While those tourist SIM cards were more common in Bangkok, there were a rarity and harder to locate in Phuket, and since I can't live without the Internet, we decided to purchase one each from the counter we booked our tour with. It was about 550 baht (SGD $20) and the lady helped us to register the SIM card in our phones. Hence, within 15 minutes of reaching Phuket, we spent about 4000 baht (SGD$160).
We took the minibus from the airport to our resort for the experience (200 baht/pax) and it took us about one hour plus to reach our resort. The whole thing was a little shady and I was so scared that they were going to kidnap us and sell us off because they made all of us alight the bus at some point. In the end, they just wanted to get more information about our hotel location so the driver could plan his route BUT at the same time, they were trying to sell us tour packages.
We were one of the last few to drop off because our resort was located at Karon Beach, slightly further away from the tourist-filled Patong Beach. So anyway, after that long-ass journey, we finally reached our lovely resort - Mandarava Resort & Spa!
This is hands-down, the BEST resort in Karon Beach. The service was impeccable, the villas were well-furnished and most importantly, the entire experience was amazing. Upon arrival, we were greeted with some welcome drinks while the staff tended to our booking.
We actually booked the Horizon Deluxe Room, which was the biggest villa in the resort with a garden view but the staff asked us if we would like to have the Panoramic Deluxe Room with the best view instead. According to her, some returning guests actually requested to stay in that particular room for its view and apart from the separate shower facility in the HDR, everything in both rooms were similar. Wow, it was the best decision ever to switch rooms. There was lush greenery on one side of our balcony and the ocean was on the other side of our balcony. There was a swimming pool right below our unit too.
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING VIEW. Please ask for Room 1201 if you ever stay there, WHICH YOU SHOULD. I found myself spending half the time chilling at the balcony and admiring the view when I was in the room.
We had free breakfast buffet everyday during our stay and this was the amazing view from Chom Talay, the resort's only restaurant.
Breakfast was decent, with a good selection of sausages and ham and you could request for eggs any style. Their lunch and dinner menu was decent too. The food was really good, especially the local seabass, which was SO FRESH and it only cost us SGD$15. I had it both times we ordered food from the restaurant.
Outside Chom Talay, they had a few of these day beds for people to chill, relax and admire the scenery.
We were too lazy to head out for dinner during one of the nights so we decided to order room service. Anyway, Chom Talay's prices were comparable to those restaurants outside and the food was really good. And yes, we were trying to film a time lapse of the sunset.
We also took a spa package from Cheeva Spa during one of the nights. It comprised of an hour's worth of their signature Cheeva massage and another hour of their Cheeva facial. It wasn't exactly the cheapest but IT WAS SO WORTH IT. I fell asleep because it was too comfortable.
Just a random sunset photo, which was way cooler than your sunset in Singapore.
Overall, everything about this resort was nothing short of amazing, except for its location. It was about 15 minutes walk down to the nearest form of civilisation and because of that, we had to cab nearly every time we went out of the resort.
By the way, Phuket was the place where they loved to rip off tourists, starting with their taxis. Throughout my stay, I saw no cab running on meter (unlike Bangkok) and most of their taxis were actually tuk-tuks, whose drivers quote you ridiculous prices. In fact, we spent a lot on taxi fares and it wasn't cheap. Anyway, just be prepared to spend more than you intended to, because that's what happened to me and the worst part was... I didn't even buy much back! All I bought was Soap & Glory body scrubs, which were at least 50% cheaper in Thailand compared to the Sephora stores here.
During our trips, we also went to visit Coral and Raya Islands. I steered clear of the Phi Phi Island tour because I've read that it was too tourist-y and full of humans.
Our minibus met with a mini accident on our way to the ferry, but the staff were so efficient. We got into a new minibus within 5 minutes and reached the ferry terminal within a few minutes.
This was the beautiful Coral Island with no corals. Yes, the sea was THAT blue.
Me being me, I bought a coconut for the sole purpose of taking one of those coconuts-and-beaches Instagram shots. Maybe I should have finished drinking it before taking the shot because the waves came crashing and made my coconut all salty. Yep, me being me.
SELFIE TIME!!! Ignore those red patches because I have really sensitive skin that turns red every single time I bathe, let alone two hours of soaking in the sea. Bob said I should take in more sunlight so that my skin would become healthier. I'm like, "HOW ABOUT NO???? The sun is my enemy????"
Cannot really remember where this was, it was either Coral or Raya Islands. We went snorkelling at Raya Island as well, although there wasn't much to see, but I spotted some crazy rainbow fishes. We took some underwater videos with our phones (yes, our phones went diving with us) but I am too lazy to upload those. Fish in tanks and fish in the sea... are about the same.
David Beckham's son was on the ferry with us and those people kidnapped him, but it was okay because he looked so happy!
Oh yes, did I mention that we stayed at the beautiful Karon Beach? The beach was so clean and pristine with clear waters! Unfortunately, it was monsoon season and there were red flags at the shoreline, which basically meant that you had a high chance of drowning.
Just kidding, it was just that the waves were really huge and the tide was too high for swimming.
Look at the amazing waves! And the water! WOW. Stock-image worthy. \o/
Of course, it was so amazing I had to make it into a gif. ENJOY.
|Banana pancakes! Super amazing and cheap.|
The best friend was like, "This is so Tumblr-worthy." There you go, TUMBLR.
While Karon Beach was breathtaking, there was nothing much to explore in Karon itself. There was Karon Plaza, basically a pasar-malam type of bazaar selling the standard souvenirs at of course, rip-off prices. If you want more excitement, Patong area or Phuket Town was more suitable. There is a huge shopping centre called Jungceylon in Patong with nothing much to buy but I did manage to do my nails there and we also caught a movie. We had sofa seats!
On last day, we went #YOLO mode. :') I forgot his name though. Let's just take it that we wanted to take a photo with a Thai local.
Overall, I really enjoyed myself on this trip and in fact, way more than I expected to because I am so not a sun-sand-sea type of person.
Anyway, I didn't post much photos because I decided to compile some footages into a vlog. It's the first video I'm doing so you HAVE TO forgive me for my lousy shaky videography and editing skills.
Okay, that's about it. I need to get back to my boring Sunday. I'm going Tokyo next week, maybe I'd do a vlog too.