Travel: Phuket Day 1 & Day 2!

Summer’s almost ending and here I am, reminiscing my Phuket trip before the long weekend!

*sings* WHY DO ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END? 

Anyway my girlfriend, Clarinda and I decided to take a needed getaway at the very last minute after my internship! We were thinking of some “beachy” place to calm our souls (yes, that’s totally the right words since there had been too much going on here). And we booked our trip 5 days prior to our departure!!!!! That’s something new for us since we usually plan our trips months before we set off.

Threw away some of my commitments and we flew to Phuket on Saturday evening!

Flight only cost us $254/pax after taxes! I thought it was pretty affordable since we will be there for 5 days. We flew to Phuket via Jetstar and return via Tiger.

Airport fashion. My “GO RIDE” came just in time for this trip!

Yup, we are camwhores ^^

And we were ready to fly!

The flight only took us 1 hour 40 minutes. Super chop chop!

Upon arrival, we took our baggage and went to get our Phuket sim card. Think Singaporeans really cannot live without their mobile phones! There were quite a lot of different packages available. If I’m not wrong: 200mb, 500mb, 7 days unlimited package and many more. Each package comes with about 10 minutes of talk time. And guess what? We stupidly took the 7 days unlimited one since we were worried that our data might exceed. My advice is to stick with the 200mb or 500mb package for a 5 day trip! It’s definitely more than enough since there’s free wifi in most hotel and you would be spending the time exploring the city. The only time you would be using your phones is when you’re doing your massages or having meals!

The 7 days unlimited plan cost 600THB and the 500mb cost only 300 THB? Argh. Felt so stupid!

Once we’re done with our sim card, headed out to the airport and our driver was already waiting for us! He was super smiley when he saw us! Probably because he have waited for a really long time……. We requested for hotel pickup since we were arriving late and it only cost us 1300 THB for 2 ways! It was pretty decent amount for airport pickup but I do have a cheaper driver service to recommend! Read on to find out!

Journey from the airport to Patong take about 45 minutes!

Rayaburi Patong was our “home” for the next 4 nights!

Look really grand huh? Location is super good as well. Just about 5 minutes walk to Patong beach and 10 minutes walk to Blangla Road!

The room was decent and the bathroom was huge!! And it’s super affordable too! We each paid about $25/night! Although some furnitures were a bit “old”, but the room was really clean and neat so I would definitely recommend this hotel if you’re on a budget!

Chill a little and we are ready to head out for more adventure! And we decided to settle for supper at Number 6 Restaurant.

Grabbed this photo off Google

Apparently, this restaurant is pretty famous among foreigners! We saw mad long queues on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th day of our trip. Yes, that’s how popular it was. But we were lucky that we didn’t have to queue before getting a seat!

AND WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING I HAVE TO EAT IN THAILAND??

PAD THAI!!!!!

No pictures of our food since we were too excited with our first thai meal!! Also ordered a noodle soup to share and since beer was as cheap as another normal drink, I definitely had to get it! Clarinda hates beer so I had to cheers with her coconut. :(

The food was pretty decent and affordable! Only cost us about $4 each for 2 dish + drinks. Okay that’s actually the standard price for a meal in Thailand but the food was pretty yummy so I would say give it a try when you are in Phuket!! It also has good ratings on Tripadvisor!

And we headed down to Blangla Road to check out Phuket’s night life!

So happening!!!

Blangla Road is the most happening place in Patong. The whole street was filled with clubs, bars and lots of locals trying to get you to watch the famous “Ping Pong Show”, buy random stuff and even take a polaroid with a squirrel??! It did get a bit overwhelming for us at first but after the 2nd day, we got used to it!

Not exactly in the party mood so we left after a good short tour around Blangla Road!

Day 2:

Today is shopping day!

DAY 2 OOTD!

But before proceeding, we went to a local tour agent to book our Phi Phi Island Day Tour for the next day! Remember I said that there’s an even more affordable driver service?

Yup! This is it! This guy over here is Tom and he runs Tom Phuket Travel. After much research, I realized that they have one of the most affordable driver service and day tours!

You can contact him at tom-phuket-travel@hotmail.co.th and probably show him my face so that he could give you a better price! I don’t think he remembered my name but he gave my friends who went 1 week after us got a special price for Phi Phi Island Day Tour too! We only pay 1000 THB/person! That’s a bargain since most people pay about 1200 ~ 1500 THB? Tom is super reliable and replies his email very promptly! Besides, he also knows how to speaks Chinese! That’s definitely a plus point!

After booking our tour, we decided to check Banzaan Market out since we were too early. Banzaan is a wet market, something similar to those you see in Singapore. Nothing much for us since we would not be cooking our meals but it’s interesting to see how the locals live their daily life!

I heard that you can also purchase seafood in the market and get the restaurants there to cook for you for a fee! Reminds me of Noryangjin Fish Market in Korea.

Everybody had been talking about the must try pork burger in Thailand. Tried and tested and I can say that it’s yummylicious! Clarinda changed her drinks to Ice Milk Tea while I changed mine to Ice Tea and I think we both almost died of diabetes. It was WAY TOO SWEET (sugar level was definitely 200% or more) so I suggest you to stick to your usual Coke!

And some selfie before checking out Jungceylon Shopping Mall, the largest shopping mall in Patong.

Walked around Jungceylon. We easily finish walking through the malls within 3 hours or something.. . There were 2-3 different buildings? so you could take your time to explore. But most of the stuff were expensive/out of trend/can be easily found in Singapore so it was m.eh….

But at least there was a huge supermarket!

Got bored of Jungceylon so we decided to check out Blangla Road. Well, they were right when they say Phuket only comes alive when the sky falls. It was pretty quiet and you can see some locals doing their business..

WHICH MEANS FOOOOOOOOOOD.

If you happened to visit Phuket, please do yourself a favor and get some Banana Pancake & grilled chicken!!! There were also some noodle soup and pad thai store but we were still full from lunch to continue eating! :(

Spotted a pink cute van!

Tom got his driver to pick us up at around 545 and off we went to the Phuket Weekend Market! Like the name suggested, Phuket Weekend Market is only open during the weekends from 4pm to 1030pm. Located at Phuket Town, it’s a 30 to 45 minutes drive from Patong so I would definitely recommend you to hire a driver! Our 2 way trip only cost 800 THB in total! If you were to take taxi, the price you should be paying is about 350 ~ 400 THB / trip! Keep that in mind so as to prevent the drivers from ripping you off.

Phuket Weekend Market was pretty similar to Chatuchak Market in Bangkok!! But of course, it’s much smaller (about 1 to 2 times?) and the clothes sold there were not as trendy as what you seen in Chatuchak! But still, Clarinda had the time of her life combing the market. Clothings were pretty much the standard “Bangkok price” and there were also a wide selection of food!! Had the best tom yum soup and thai milk tea there! So damn good!

The stall with the awesome tom yum soup!

Must try Thai Milk/Green Tea!!!

Grilled Squid

There’s even a bakery!

After a whole lot of shopping, we called it a day and went back to our hotel for…. 2ND ROUND OF SUPPER.

Okay I admit. I was the one who wanted to eat!! Saw a stall near our hotel and we settled for a quick supper!

The lady boss was super friendly and smiley!

Basil pork Rice + Beer = HEAVEN. It was super salty.. But I’m a fan of salty food so that’s okay!

And her helper was so friendly too! He even posed for the camera! ^^

And we ended our night with a trip to the Family Mart! There are just so many things in their convenience store! Clarinda was looking for the Meiji Yogurt Drink but gave up!

Shall end off Part 1 with some tips for your Phuket travel! Have fun and stay safe! X

Tips & Tricks for your Phuket Travel:
1. If you’re on budget, try the minibus airport transfer. Only cost you 180THB for 1 way! However, you might have to wait a little since there need to be 10 people on board before they proceed to your hotel and they stop by the hotels one by one so it might take slightly longer than an hour to reach your destination.

2. If you prefer taking the taxi, head straight out to the airport, and turn right to the legit taxi counter! I’m not really sure how it works but I heard that you need to go to the taxi counter to get a piece of paper (similar to Bangkok) before hoping on. Taxi to Patong will cost about 600 THB.

3. Do not book your day trip at the airport! There are LOTS and LOTS of tour agents at Patong and they are just so much affordable than those in airport! And I believe those at Patong are friendlier and more flexible with the prices!

4. We avoided the tuk-tuk at all cost since we didn’t want to get ripped off but if you really want to have experience how sitting on a tuk-tuk is like, I was told by Clarinda that you should choose a tuk-tuk with the open back! In that way, you can just PAY and GO! The driver will not have any chance to do anything funny!

Korea Memories… Last summer

Annyeong! A travel post this week!

I travelled to Seoul last Summer and this post was supposed to be done 9 months back but I didn’t manage to share it properly with my readers due to my lazines! But since this blog is something which I wanted to do for a long time, my motivation would conquer it! :)

This post contained most of the touristy places which many of you might already know! I do regretted visiting all these touristy places but since this was my first trip to Korea, I could only travel like a normal tourist! :( I will not bored you with the whole itinerary but I’ll show you what were some of the places I went in Seoul! Besides, there are also some discount tips for those traveling this year! So keep reading!

1. Drink: Banana milk

By now, you should know that Banana milk is the ‘must-drink’ item when you visit Korea. It’s available in all the convenience stores in Korea. And personally, I felt that this tasted different from the packet ones you get in Singapore. Although this version was less sweet, but I didn’t like it that much! It tasted artificial to me and since I am not a fan of banana, it’s a no-go. But still remember to try this because you might like it!

2. Eat, eat and eat!!!

Random Korean eatery in Myeongdong

 Myeongdong Kyoja. Love this!! xx

Tosokchon Ginseng Chicken. Not a fan of this because it wasn’t spicy and tasted.. bitter! :(

Korean bakeries are really good. Breads are always so fresh! Just hop into any cafe and have your breakfast when you are there!

Lotteria, Korea’s McDonalds. Shrimp burger is yummy!!

Bongchu Jjimdak in Myeongdong. THIS WAS DARN GOOD.
But pretty spicy so my brother couldn’t take it!

Yoogane @ Myeongdong. <3 Dak galbi!!! Esp with CHEESEEEEEE!

And probably the cheapest and most satisfying meal of my trip.. 8000 KRW Korean BBQ @ Sinchon. Do not get confused with Sincheon! It’s a hidden shop so it’s pretty hard for me to tell you how to get there here.. Let me know if you are keen to visit there!

Those were just some of the food I ate! And most of them are the commercialized food which were popular among tourists. Well, I just wanted to play safe! Totally regretting it because there were times where we ate at cozy family restaurants and the food tasted SO MUCH BETTER. And those ajummas/ajusshis serving the food were really friendly and they even tried to talk to us. Really love the service!

My advice is to just head on to any restaurants you are comfortable with and order like a boss! Most of the restaurants have pictures on the menu so it’s not much of a problem. Otherwise, you can just ask the person beside you ‘Do you know English?’ Most Korean youngsters do know English. Btw, that was my favourite phrase when I was in Korea. And strangely, people replied me ‘NO’ and walked away. Hmmm, I guess they were just shy. Really shy … o_o

3. SHOP TILL I DROP
Yup, literally!

Myeongdong is a super awesome place for skincare products. You see ETUDE, Tony Moly, Missha, Holika Holika and much much more wherever you go! Best part is that they are super cheap (about 30% – 50% cheaper?) so buy more of their beauty products! And I was told by my friend that Missha is one of the more popular brand among Koreans! There were also many local brands such as Basic House and SPRIS so you would definitely like it since most of their local brands are not available in Singapore! Besides the shopping streets, there were also the underground mall where I heard things were cheaper there but I only managed to get my Korean CDs there since I didn’t have much time!

Dongdaemun.
There are 3 main malls in Dongdaemun (Doota, Migliore and Hello apM). Shopping in Doota is really expensive but the material of the clothing justify the high price while Migliore and Hello apM are just like Singapore’s version of Far East Plaza. Forget about the streets of Dongdaemun. Most of them strictly sell in bulk so it’s difficult to buy in small quantity!

It was a love-hate relationship for Dongdaemun because things there weren’t exactly the cheapest! I could easily find some items cheaper at Myeongdong so I guess I got cheated by reading other site’s review :(. And besides, the ajumma and ajusshi were really pushy. Once you step into their shop, you are already implying them that YOU ARE BUYING. There were exceptions of nice people thou where they gave you their genuine comments on how the top/shorts look on me but that was really rare. And if you were to exit the shop without purchase, those ajumma and ajusshi stare at you like….. O_O

If I am not buying after looking, I would just say ‘Gwen Chan Ah Yo’ (It’s okay), ‘Kam Sa Hahm Nida’ (Thank you) and walk away. Well, some even shouted ‘WAE YO’ (Why) but I just shook my head and walked off!

 Streets of Edae. 
It’s walkable from the Korean BBQ Shop (@Sinchon) which I mentioned earlier!
 

Edae and Hongdae are my ultimate favourites because things are generally cheaper since it’s catered to the student crowds and you get to see more stylish youngsters! Besides, the shops in both locations are really quaint+pretty so it’s comforting to shop and shopkeepers are much friendlier too.

If you are at Edae, remember to buy socks! Lots of them! Most of them only cost about 1000-2000 KRW. I remembered  that they were sold for about 1000-3000 more in Myeongdong and Dongdaemun and you can never get such pretty yet cheap socks in Singapore!

Hongdae is an artsy fatsy street! 

Hongdae was lovely too and items sold there were generally more unique. There were also lots of tents where youngster sold handmade items! Besides that, there is also a flea market every Saturday and Sunday afternoon (I think!) so remember to check that out!

Insadong too! 

If you would like to get some local souvenirs (Korean keychain, paper fans, drums etc..), head down to Insadong and Namdaemun. There was nothing much at Namdaemun but it was an interesting experience because I get to see halmeonis and hal-abeojis chilling and doing their thing (looking cute together :) ). And please please, do not ever buy the seaweed from Namdaemun! You can get them at Lotte Mart which is about 40% cheaper!

And these are just some of the ‘must get’ items… I know most of them are available in Singapore now but it is definitely cheaper to get in Korea!

Last but not least, go crazy in Lotte Supermarket @ Seoul Station! They say grocery shopping is therapeutic and I had to agree! I spent about 2-3 hours in Lotte Supermarket as I was busy ransacking the snacks and cutlery corner. How could one leave Korea without getting their local snacks back? It’s much cheaper to get it in the supermarket as compared to the convenience stores. And after purchase, you basically pack your items in recycled boxes! No plastic bags! How environmental friendly! :)

4. Chilling 

Koreans love coffee so ‘cafe culture’ is something you need to experience in Seoul :). You could easily find a cafe as you walked down the streets of Seoul but I strongly recommend you to go to Samcheongdong! The cafes in Samcheongdong were extremely pretty and it looked much more cozier than those you find out there in the main street.

Oh! And I heard Apgujeong was nice too but I didn’t have time for that sadly :(

5. Visit the ‘Must-Visit’ Places

Namsan Tower

Nami Island

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Hanbok experience is available at Gyeongbokgung Palace!

Lotte World 

Cheonggyecheon Stream

These were basically all the touristy place I visited and although some might not be as enjoyable as it seems, but I did my Korea trip last year! I can’t wait to head back soon, although I have no idea when… :( . But I guess it’s okay to dream since it will come true one day heh. ^^

I stayed in Zaza Backpacker Hostel throughout my entire trip! Hostel was clean and the oppas and unnis were really friendly and helpful! Not to mention, location was good as well!

Earlier, I also mentioned that there are some discount tips for those travelling this year! Head on to Visitkoreayear and print out the relevant discount coupons (or all if you are kiasu) and use them for your trip! There are loads of big brands so it will really help you save some money if you are on budget :)

Besides that, here is also a airport limousine bus discount coupon for the bus number stated below! Just print the coupon and pass it to the bus driver! One coupon is valid for a one-way ride.

I hope my post did help you :) and OH! I was thinking of having a giveaway for my readers! It’s actually just a pair of brand new chopsticks and spoon I bought in Korea. It’s worth about $10 in Singapore HMMMM.

What do you guys think? Should I ?? :)