Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Rest of my Phuket All-Girls' Trip

Sorry I've been gone a week! This week has been amazing! Before I go into that let me finish my Phuket travelogue, then I'll fill you in on what has been happening in my next post. One by one okay? Don't feed too much at one go. ;)

After our trip to the islands, the girls were all tired, hungry and niam niam (that's a Hokkien term for sticky), so we went back, took a quick shower, deposited Cheryl (she had to stay in to finish a writeup), and out to Patong we go. No Thailand trip is complete, especially in a big group, without a tuk tuk. It's an open-air vehicle that looks like a pickup with a back shelter, and sometimes a super cool Ah Beng sound system.

 Pick a tuk tuk with a sound system if you can. It makes the trip so much more fun when you can sing along to the club music that they usually play. Nice~

Swissotel is quite a distance away from Patong, and one tuk tuk would usually cost you around 500THB. If you're good at haggling, you might be able to bring it down to 400? That is, from Swissotel. Appx 20 min away. Yup, it's pretty far. 

When in Phuket, Thailand for that matter, I would always go to the pharmacies. Simply because supplies are so much cheaper. Sure, you'd tell me the items sold might not be authentic, and I guess I'm trusting that way. If it's a pharmacy, it should be selling proper things, even to their own people. And I like to keep stuff like Melolin (a non-adhesive gauze for dressing wounds) and waterproof adhesive film like Tegaderm (those things are great for healing wounds without leaving ugly scars) in the house, because we never know when we are going to get hurt. Imagine you fell at your void deck at 2am after a drunk night at the club and you are just bleeding, and you stay nowhere near Mustafa (yes they sell those things too). How? Call me kiasee, but I feel more secure that way.

Things like that are a lot cheaper from Thailand, and trust me, even if they are fake, it doesn't matter. I can't be sure those sold in Singapore are real ones anyway. Just have faith. Lol. I also bought my one whole year's supply of Yasmin from Boots, a UK brand of pharmacy (come on, boots can't be fake) and they cost me half the price (380THB - ~$16 ) as compared to buying them from Singapore. Uh huh. Remember the tip - buy pharmaceutical supplies when you are in Thailand. Lol. 

So, whenever you're on an island, you will want to have seafood. And so we asked the pharmacist lady where we can get really good value-for-money seafood. And she told us about this place called No.6, just a few doors down the street. (We were along a street at Patong by the way.)

 It's at Prabaramee Soi3, wherever that means. 

When we found it there was a long queue and inside the small restaurant it was PACKED and super chaotic. One guy asked if we want to go up the hill, and we were like, huh? Up the hill? No thanks. So we queued. And I started talking to this Australian guy in front. To pick him up. 

No la I was really just trying to find out if this place was really that good. He told us that every time he comes to Phuket he will go to this restaurant. Best in Phuket, and that they have another branch which was much bigger up the hill. 

Ohhh.....so that was what the guy earlier was trying to offer us. To bring us up the hill as there were 7 of us (Cheryl didn't come as she had to clear work) and it's easier for us to get seats there. Plus, shuttle up was free. We said thanks to the Aussie dude and it's up the shuttle bus to the hill we went... 

You will wonder where they would take you as it was a really super ulu road and along the way we wondered if they kidnapped all 7 girls how? Especially when it turned up the quiet and dark road up the hill. Walao damn scary can. But the shuttle tuktuk looked pretty legit, and there were stickers promoting No. 6 restaurant and selling their t-shirts and stuff (yeah, this restaurant has their own No.6 T-shirts...damn cool). 

When we got there, damn it was so worth the scary ride. I don't know why I didn't take pictures but the view was awesome. Scenic was an understatement, and you get fresh air and can see the coastline, unobstructed. If you have a chance, go up the hill to eat. The restaurant down at that Prabaramee Soi3? Unless you are rushing for time, take my advice and get onto that shuttle. 

Super random but I had to camwhore cos the place looked so nice. Though you can't see much of the background. Haha~

 Nah~ This was the outdoor seating area. When it gets full I think this place will open up. 

We had one hugeass table to ourselves~~~

Food was served so quickly, we barely took a few pictures and couldn't have time to be bored (you know it when you start looking for wifi), and they were here. It's crazy! We ordered a LOT of food, and they just kept coming! Service and efficacy - 5 stars. And pssstt....they use an app and a tablet to take orders! Whoa~!!!

The van/bus/pickup/tuktuk/whatever you call it. Get on!

After food, we're all energized to shop. I think I bought like 2 bikinis? And Daphne bought 2, Carrie bought one I think, so did Melissa. I also bought one for Cheryl. Cos we haggled from 400THB per piece to 240THB per piece. Buy la! It's pretty good material stuff by the way. 

I bought another one the next day, and haggled to 230THB! Muahaha~ Champs.

Oh, when shopping, please bargain, and don't be too attached to the item. They can tell, and won't budge with the price. Aim to slash half, then work your way up. Always say it's too expensive first, and they will hand you a calculator to quote your price. You know what to do. Bargain a little. And if they don't budge, walk away. They will call you back, 80% of the time. Decide how much you are willing to pay for the item, and leave them just enough for them to profit a little. Just because. You are on holiday anyway. Make someone happy too. =D

On our way back onboard another Ah beng sound system-ed tuk tuk. Tryna act all cool cos it's some rapper on the background music. Lol!!!!

After that we just went back and slept. Ok la I didn't. I was going through emails and scripts and instagram and facebooking until like 4am. Then I felt slightly sick and decided to call it a night. Which explained my face at 10am in the morning...

I have a tendency to popiah myself with my blanket when I sleep, that is, somehow roll myself inside and tuck the sides of the blanket in as well so people can't snatch them back. It's been like that since I was...erm...can't remember. But my boyfriend when I was 17 years old told me I snatch blankets and popiah myself when I sleep, so I guess it's been that way for a while. I didn't even realize it till I saw this picture. Lol nice one Cheryl!

I was really feeling slightly feverish, but mind over body works. I hopped right out of bed and in less than 15 minutes we were doing these in the living room:

 My pigu quite perky hor. Lolol~ Loved the fact that all 8 of us were sporting and spontaneous that way! Best girly trip EVER~~~!!! 

Last day already, and no, not enough of water activities. We had to find a slide at the hotel pool...

and do more jump shots...

Me looking super scary on the left. But it was a nice jump take. Again! Haha~

I must say I was really glad I went on this trip. I got a healthy tan which I never thought I would love so much. I now have so many bikinis, when once I shudder at the very mention of it. I got to know the girls better and I think every single one of them were super duper cool in their own ways. And I mean every single one. When are we booking our next trip girls? And where??? Can wear more biginisss???

Planning one with the BFF already. Aussie? Korea? Taiwan? ;)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Phuket Day 2 - Princess Raya Tour (Raya Island & Coral Island)

Day 2 was THE day! Well cos we arrived on Day 1 in the evening and when we got to our hotel it was already dinner time, so it didn't really count, though we did book our next day's tour then, and that first night got us really well-rested for the Day 2's island hopping adventure. I doubt we would be able to do it on a touch-down day anyway (tour pick-ups are normally between 7am to 8am).

Island-hopping is a must-do if you're in Phuket, I think. I've been to Phuket once in 2006 (I think), and once in 2009, and I didn't do island hopping on either of these trips. Don't ask me why, I don't know either. When we came back from dinner on Day 1, all but two island-hopping tours were fully booked, and we were left with one affordable (and less crowded) option - The Princess Raya tour, covering Raya Island / Coral Island with snorkelling.  Aiyah anything la, next time then try the rest lor.

Lunch is provided for this tour, and it costs 1400THB per person.

(The other one was 1600THB I think, and involved a 600 pax yacht. Like wtf too many people la! 600 sounded too chaotic.)

Awaiting tour to commence. And photobombed by an Ah Ma and a random guy.

All excited cos it's been a long time since me and Cheryl hung out properly. Actually we didn't really get to hang out too much this trip either (minimal) as she didn't go into the water at all when, as you can see from Day 1, we were in the water most of the time. Reason? She was having her monthly women thing and refused to try to use a tampon despite Daphne's and my efforts. Bleah~ 

Also, she had work to do on the trip. Like hello??? Automotive people!!! Give my darling a break! She's on holleeedayyy for Christ's sake!

Having said that, I must say she has been a really good sport in that she still came to the tour with us. Most people would have just stayed in the hotel. Love you la babe!

The many speedboats waiting to send the many groups to their respective destinations. I had no idea how many tours there were, but they must be all pretty exciting~~~

All pictures with the Cheryl Tay logo on the top right hand corner are credited to Cheryl Tay, obviously. Because she's usually the one taking pictures, you hardly see her in her pictures. *Duh~* She uses a super intimidating Canon 1-D (the highest end of Canon cameras) for all her pictures. (She's a motorsports writer, so speed and quality are essential.) You can read her and see her photography works on Cheryl-Tay.com 

Cheryl, me and Daphne

I forgot to mention - Daphne, when I first met her, was really big. We met on the GLOW programme that I blogged about some time ago, and it has totally changed her life. She went from this:
to her current size. 
So proud of her can?!!!! She exercises like 3-5 times a week, and eats really healthily now.

While me, being such a lazy bum, have remained the same. Boohoo~ Yes, I have been busy, but discipline is something I need to work on when it comes to my diet and exercise. GLOW needs to be taken regularly, something I keep forgetting before my meals. And it's not an excuse to not exercise. Even more no excuse when it comes to instant noodles. *guilty like dunno what* Anyway, more on that another time. 

And we arrive at Coral Island!!!! 
Each time I say the name I keep thinking of The Unbeatables and Zoe Tay and Li Nanxing. You know, 珊瑚岛?!

Our tour guide who kept calling us "Ollen Ollen!" thanks to the orange sticker that represented our group. Lol.

Presenting to you....the GLOW girls. Okay some. No this trip wasn't sponsored by GLOW. It just so happened that we met through the GLOW programme, and all of us somehow have a common frequency, and we clicked, and we decided to go on a trip together. Thus the hashtag in our Fb/Instagram #glowinphuket. Plus, don't you think we were all glowing? ;)

This beach really is called Coral Island for a reason. When I tried to go into the water, knnnnnnnnnnn it was so painful cos the floor was just so full of broken corals la! Pain like faaaaaak!!! I was ouch-ing my way for a good 10 metros into the water before my feet touched soft smooth sand. Ok ouch-ing was an understatement. I was cursing and swearing all the way in. Lol. 

Life vests are a lifesaver. -duh- 
I mean when there you keep stepping on corals all you need to do with get just half your body in the water, and float to the deeper parts without the broken corals. You don't even have to worry about it being too deep cos you can just float~~~~~~~~ 

Melissa without a lifevest clinging onto me for dear life. Lol. Those hands were mine by the way, in case you thought she was boob-grabbing me. #misleadingexpressions

We were left alone on Coral Island for a while before the speedboat came back for us to take us snorkelling off Raya Island. I've never done this before so I was getting really excited! 

Look at that crisp clear turquoise/teal-coloured sea! Hao piao liang ah!!!!

Can u spot the fishes in the water?!

First time donning the snorkel mask. I have to say it's pretty claustrophobic. Your nose can't breathe, obviously, as it's kept in this vacuum, and you're biting a mouthpiece which you breathe through that connects to that pipe. 

Not comfortable. Bleah.

What you get to see underwater was pretty worth it though. I'd like to try diving someday though. Cos water keeps getting into my pipe and I kept tasting seawater as I was trying to breathe with my mouth. Lol~ 

For some reason the thing in the mouth image doesn't look very PG... 

After frolicking in the water with the fishes, of course we were hungry. The tour included lunch onshore Raya Island.

This water is too breathtakingly beautiful. (Turquoise happens to be my favourite color. ^^)

Lunch was okay, served at this shack, canteen/barrack-style. You may also call it buffet. Lol. No pictures were taken, cos we were all just too busy eating. If you want really more decent food though, I'd recommend you pay and eat along the beachside. Food's a LOT better.

 Spotted this little boy at a convenience store and I couldn't help but pick him up. Made me miss Alton so much. I wonder how he'd be like if he was an island beach dog. Lol.

Cheryl and Daphne wanted some REAL food. Their real food simply means healthy food like salads and decent vegetables. Our real food means fries and burgers. Lol. All are available at the beachfront restaurant. I had my fill at the canteen place so I was ready to work the calories off...

What better way than doing jumpshots and splits and cartwheels, right?

Eh hem. Yes that's me. ^^ *blush*

Tired just seeing us bounce and jump all over the place? 
Wait till you see this....

7 girls all up in the air nicely. Cheryl Tay, your camera damn zai. LOLOLOL!!!!
Okok kidding! You're a damn good photographer! ^^ (I wish you were inside this pic too though~)

Holidaying with like-minded happy sporty girls ROCKS BALLS MAN!!!!