Sunday, December 27

Annual trip

Abi and I woke up darn early last Saturday because in the car park, his brother and boy cousin were waiting for us. At about 4.30 in the morning we all left for the airport and met another two guy cousins over there. During check-in, one of them almost could not make the flight because the airline policy required its passengers to produce passport having six months gap between departure and expiry dates; and his lacked by a few days. However, the kind officer called over to Thailand informing the details of our arrival and stay. Then we had to wait and see what would happen when we arrived. A suspense element, eh? I loved this journey already. So Phuket, here we come!

Guess what; my boss and family were on that same flight we were boarding. My husband was first to spot them at security checkpoint. They had a relative’s wedding reception to attend on the island, which was pretty cool. Our leaving on the same date and carrier was purely coincidental. I could accept same day travel, but same flight? I got to put my holiday mode on hold for a while there. Hmm.

I was greeted by a friendly immigration officer at Phuket International Airport. Our cousin brother who was with the passport issue, made pass Thailand entry counter and we cheered for him, yay! By the way that was the last time I saw my boss and his entourage so once again: Phuket, here we come!

We chartered a pickup-truck passenger vehicle (PPV) to take us for hotel check-in. Well, it was not actually hotel hotel, more like an inn but it was enough for the six of us as the location was strategic for our activities in Patong. After a so-so lunch and rest, we checked out the beach just across the road. And we were glad to have discovered a stall selling hawker food with a Malay speaking waitress. Their delicious soup noodles and pancakes had compensated our lunch. Enough said.

Basically, the first day was spent exploring the area until night fall. We took our time adjusting to the different local time from but similar prayer time with KL; the sweeter drinks but came with thoughtful plain water jug; the spoken English where using grammatically correct language sounded insulting; the spoken Thai (with us) assuming we are locals; to list a few.

On the second day, everybody was excited for the program of the day: Phi Phi island hopping! We traveled to many fascinating places. In one full day we covered discovering Phi Phi Lay and swimming in Maya Bay, snorkeling and fish feeding in Loh Samah Bay, sightseeing Viking Cave; monkey feeding on Monkey Beach as well as having lunch and buying souvenirs on Phi Phi Don.

It was one bumpy ride on the speedboat because the waves were not forgiving at all. Anyway it was a beautiful sunny day; therefore I take pleasure in it regardless the butt thumping experience. By tea time we were swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and feeding fishes at Khai Island. The tour staff served us cookies, drinks and fresh fruits before going back to the pier.

On the third day we were up and ready to start our trip to a National Park in Phang Nga province. After two hours’ drive from Phuket island, we arrived at the place we were to do water rafting. Since it was my first time trying such, I decided to just let the boys paddle in this five kilometer boat ride. I must say the feeling was awesome for all of us first timers. Was that fun or what, huh guys? Then, we dipped in the cold waterfall before having lunch served at the water rafting restaurant and headed back to the inn.

In the evening we went down to see Simon Cabaret. It is an entertainment house famous for offering various styling performances. Sounds fine but here is the catch: we watched an all boys show in which not a single woman was on the stage, literally. Who needs one when them lady-boys could act and dress resembling real women? I actually enjoyed it and the guys were even more excited to snap pictures with those performers after.

We spent that last night on the island by having a really good Malay-Thai style dinner. The driver dropped us at a roadside stall whose owner is Malaysian residing and running a good food business in Phuket. The nice heavy meal had forced us walk along Bangla Road (tongue). The clubbing scene was different from any other places I had been to so far. Visitors should come for a look-see or the experience of it because the night life here is happening, man! Live bands were playing in numerous premises here, not restricted to clubs only. Plus, people watching had never been this amusing (wink). Oh you need to come see for yourself to even comprehend what I was saying.

We checked-out on the fourth day after dipping in the morning seawater of Patong Beach and doing a bit of shopping just outside the inn (yes, it was that convenient). The driver took us to Karon beach, Kata lookout point, cashew nut factory, souvenir store and Premium Outlet before finally sending us to the airport. Funny how we gathered all our Thai baht left because we still want to have our last drinks before departure. It was total chaos at the café (grin). Although the flight was an hour delayed we killed the time by playing cards and striking poses near the departure gate. Talk about fun and enjoying it to the very last minute!

There you have it, another beach getaway that we hope to go over again and make it an annual event. Credits must be given to my investor husband, although your “losing” our accommodation fund did give us a little scare. How ironic but you managed to gain it back at low cost in given time like a respectful fund manager (kiss).

My arms and face were burnt and shiny from too much exposure to the sun. My legs were favorites among giant mosquitoes there. I am hideous now but should be recovering soon. But then again I went to Phuket, you?

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