First of all, I would like to say a hundred and thousand of thanks to those TA who had helped me with the suggestions and advice especially those TA who had taken their time to post their photos and link to guide me through, really appreciate.
I thought that this time, my trip might be ruined but it turned out to be more enjoyable than expected.
I had booked 3 cars (1 Honda City and 2 Toyota Vios) 2 months before our departure and everything was confirmed. But 1 day before our departure, the car company email me saying that they could not supply us with the 3 cars as their customers had not returned them yet, so he offered us 2 Toyota Fortuner (3.0L) at a special rate. We had no choice but to accept it but I was worried that the cars might be too big to handle as we had no experience in driving such a big car. In fact, I had tried to email to a few car rental company but no one reply.
We landed at the Phuket International Airport at about 9.20am. As agreed, the car company supposed to fetch us at the airport with our name but no one to be seen. Later I saw someone wearing the car company T-shirt holding another person’s name. I approached him and he helped me to call his company. About 10 mins later, our cars arrived, the drivers fetched us to their company and we had all the procedures done, signed documents, check any damages on the cars, make full payment in cash and they stripe our credit card but the credit card slip was returned to us when we returned the cars with no damages.
Day 1 - Our check-in time to our hotel was 4pm, so it was still very early. We drove to the Big C (with our luggages) for our lunch and did some shopping. After that, we were supposed to go to Wat Chatlong first but missed the turn and later ended up at Big Buddha. The road leading to the Big Buddha is quite narrow and some of the slopes are quite steep but overall it was still okay. The Big Buddha is still under construction. I can imagine that if the project has completed, it should be very nice. We wrote our names on the tiles with the donation of 300 bahts each. There are about 42 “golden bowls” surrounded lots of smaller buddhas. You can either change 20 bahts for a packet of loose coins from the staff or donate any amount and take a packet of the loose coins from the box , then put one coin each in the “golden bowl”. I have no idea what is the reason behind, maybe someone can advise. For ladies, shorts and sleeveless dress or shirts are not allowed. There is a lady standing at the entrance lending you the sarong to cover the “exposure part” and you just need to donate any amount, it is up to you.
After the Big Buddha, we proceed to Wat Chatlong. Everybody was very tired and thirsty at that time, the weather was very hot. At about 5pm, there were fire crackers, I guess someone had bought it and lighted up for offering.
Then we proceed to weekend market. We managed to find two parking lots along the street. It was a nice place to walk but I found that some of the sellers were not so friendly. I wanted to buy a slipper but found that there were some unfinished cloth not sewn properly, so I asked the seller was there any new pair. He just took the slippers from me and put on his pile of shoes behind him without saying anything and continued to serve the other customers. I waited for a while and asked him again, he then told me that that was the last pair. From his attitudes, I could see that whether he could sell or not, he won't mind.
My sister-in-law wanted to buy a dress for her niece but in the end never got it because of the price. Later, my sister-in-law went back to the same stall and wanted to buy at the seller’s agreed price but now he refused to sell. Later we got the same dress from another stall at a cheaper price. The salesgirl was friendly and patience. In the end, I bought 1 dress, 2 T-shirts and 2 trousers from her.
By the time we checked into our resort, it was almost 11pm. We stayed at the Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club. This was my 2nd time staying there. I loved the room, atmosphere and cleanliness. The staff are very friendly too.
Day 2 – We went to the Small View restaurant for our lunch but we had a bad experience. The waiter took a plate of Hor Fun to my husband but before my husband could hold it, he let go and the plate of Hot Fun dropped onto my husband rice, dirty our video camera pouch and my husband's pants. The plate broke into half. The waiter just cleared up the mess and went off without any apology, neither did he replace us another plate of Hor Fun or rice. We ordered 4 coconuts, drinks, 10 plates of plain rice, 1 plate of Hor Fun, 2 tom yam in coconut, 5 plates of dishes (2 small plates each for chickens and porks and 1 plate of steamed fish) but the total bills came up to be 2,740 bahts. Is that the average price? We did not understand what he wrote on the bills but later realised that the coconut supposed to be 50 bahts but he charged us 60 bahts and there were 2 items that he charged (Qty 11 = 220 bahts & Qty 11 = 440 bahts), if I’m not wrong, I don’t think we had ever ordered anything meant for 11 people because we ordered individually. So, my advise is check your bill before you leave the restaurant and clarify with them in a nice manner if you find something’s not right.
It was easy to find the Kok Chang Safari, there’s a signboard that lead you inside. We had tried the 20 mins trekking (600 bahts). It was a very good experience but a bit frightening when it went down the hill. Though it was a 20 mins ride but I guessed we had spent more than that because one of the elephants refused to walk and the other stopped half way eating the tree trunk. So cute, very funny and interesting.
After that we went to Karon View Point and Prompthep Cape. We were supposed to see the sunset but in the end, we missed it as we went there too early and need to wait for about 3 hours, so we gave up. There was a sign showing what time was the sunset for the day, during that time, it was 6.35pm. We never went back emply handed, my nephew's girlfriend bought 350 pcs of sea-shells keychain for her brother's wedding dinner to be given to their guests.
We were too tired to walk further, so we went to Jungceylon basement for our massage, we looked for ladies with yellow uniforms (Thai massage 600 bahts for 2 hours and oil massage 650 bahts for 2 hours) while my daughter did her manicure, including removing of the dead skin from her sole (1,050 bahts)..
We went to Patong beach for our seafood dinner, we ordered about 9 plates of dishes (including crabs, prawns and fish) with rice and different type of drinks and fruit juices but it cost us only 3,700 bahts. It was yummy yummy, worth it! After that it started to rain very heavily, we had no choice but to go back to our resort, otherwise we would be doing our shopping at the Patong beach.
Day 3 – Near to our resort, there is a shopping centre called Turtle Village. We bought lots of clothing from Esprit as there was a sales on (up to 50%). We ended up spending more than
7,000 bahts. Besides discount, we could still claim back the Vat Refund but there was an admin charge of 100 bahts deducted from your claim at the airport.
Later we headed to the Premium Outlet (sales on too), my sister-in-law spent about 3,700 bahts in one of the shops and was given a Vat Refund form with all her particulars filled. But she was not allowed to claim at the airport because it needed 5,000 bahts to qualify. I wonder if not qualify, why the salesgirl gave her the Vat Refund form.
Some salesgirls told us that we need to have 1 receipt for 1 Vat Refund form (no combine receipts) while others said that we can combine receipts but must be in the same shop. It was a bit confusing.
Overall, Phuket is a nice place to visit. Seems to miss out a lot of things. Well, we might come back again. Cheers!