The morning of our last day was spent preparing to go home. I initially thought I could get up to jog around but after contemplating where to run to since the roads on the outside of the resort seemed very secluded, and that I had to return early so that we can go for breakfast early and in addition, K wanted milk so eventually I ended up lazing in bed.
We started to pack for the remaining items before K woke up and when he did, it was about getting everything ready quickly. We went for breakfast earlier than the rest of the other days, and started eating at 9am. Returned to the room after breakfast and checked out soon after, paying the dinner that we had for two of the days before boarding our Grab car, for a cost of less than 500baht.
We disembarked after a quick 30mins ride and proceeded to check in our luggage. Went through immigrations which took a while since they took all the prints on both the hands and spent some time shopping at the small area. There was a tiny playground where K spent some time before there was the call to board.
The return flight was a much bigger plane than the one we arrived in Phuket, which was great because it came with an entertainment system where K was so looking forward to to play his game. The Endgame was available as a new release but I caught Shazam instead, which the flight was too short for the entire show. The plane took a while to taxi before taking off and landing took a while too due to traffic and weather. Food was so-so though and was a rush to eat before the announcement to land. Overall I thought the flight was a better one compared to the SilkAir one.
For this trip, we spent the super long weekend in Phuket. I believed that K had enjoyed himself and he kept saying he have to return to play the Dino mini golf. It was a good reprise from the daily grind although there were some moments of anxiety trying to fix stuff over the phone with regard to the domestic helper but nonetheless I too enjoyed the stay. Only thing was we learnt that maybe it would be better to stay more south than where we stayed, even though the resort was excellent in every aspect.
It was a restless night for K and I knew that K didn’t get enough sleep like he was supposed to. Eventually that translated to him waking up at a much later time. He was also throwing some tantrums and ended up being punished for it. We got out of the room only by 10 for breakfast.
It was again a busy morning at the restaurant and we had our breakfast on the outside this time around. It was the 3rd morning and it was getting boring already. But I can live with egg Benedict everyday.
The weather was exceptional today, no signs of clouds at all! However we didn’t plan anything so we ended up visiting the kids club first.
There were some activities planned for Thailand’s mother’s day but K outright rejected the staff when she offered him to create his own DIY aquarium. He went on to explore the 3 spacious rooms and the toys within. There were some kids there but they weren’t interacting much, 2 of them were on the PC and another one playing with one of the toys.
I thought I like the spaciousness of the area, one of the biggest that I had seen but there just weren’t enough toys. However K could spend more than an hour playing in the kids club was just baffling to me; he even didn’t want to leave initially.
We returned to the room to prepare to get to the Splash Jungle waterpark as K agreed to pay it a visit. Once out, we got a Grabcar which cost about 440baht there. The driver brought us through a shortcut and in 15mins time, we arrived at the waterpark.
Thought I could get tickets on Klook but it wasn’t available for the same day booking, and missed the chance to save on a few dollars. However, we only need to pay for 2 adults for a total of 2900baht, as K who wasn’t 5 yet, got to enter for free.
We weren’t allow to bring any food and my packet of chips was taken away into temporary custody, in exchange for a number card to claim back later. At the entrance, we were given one wrist tag that was used for storing digital money as they didn’t allow cash transaction within the park itself. I topped up 1000baht into it and we entered the park.
Our first stop was the Jungledeli where we had our lunch. There were ongoing pop up stalls that sold cheaper food than the restaurant itself due to the Thailand Mother’s Day promotion and so we got some prawns and chicken on skewers and a bowl of fried rice from these stores while we ordered K spaghetti. All these amounted to less than 500baht in total.
After lunch, we headed to changing room to change into our swimwear. At the lockers room, I couldn’t find a locker with a key and only found out that the lockers had to be rent for a fee of 150baht on the outside. Since mommy was not going into the waters, she would take care of the stuff.
We managed to find a sun bed not taken and left the cheap stuff there before heading to the water play. Mommy headed to the massage area to get some massage at the same time.
There was quite a good section of areas for K even though I thought more information can be shared ahead of time, such as height restrictions. These info was only available on site. We were disappointed to find that the slides tower require a minimum height of 122cm. The wave pool was nothing like the one in Desaru and frankly disappointing as there weren’t much of a wave to speak of. There were a couple of children play area, a kids section where the waters were warm, an area where water jacuzzi was available and a lazy river which we tried all. Fortunately K was easily satisfied just playing over at the kids pool area.
We stayed for almost 3hrs before convincing K to leave. Got ourselves changed and went through the store to exit. I have utilized the amount within the digital payment and had to come out with 50baht cash in addition to pay for the icecream. K wanted to get the rubber chicken toy but I disapproved it.
We got the same driver to pick us up (by dialling his number on his name card) for a cheaper deal of 400baht and he sent us to the Turtle village near to our hotel. We explored the area to find some restaurants there but thought we would visit Mai Khao Plaza instead. While walking there, we saw the elephants at a compound (from Mai Khao Elephant home) where there were many visitors also trying to interact with the 2 elephants there. We left when K wanted to use the toilet.
Eventually we ended up at the Living Room restaurant for dinner, where we got ourselves pineapple baked rice, Tom Yum Goong to share and Beef noodles for K. There was mango sticky rice that we bought for desert. The food was not too bad and I liked the Thai Iced tea with coconut milk!
Spent some time at the fountain playing with the plastic balls there and also at a small kids playground while waiting for the resort shuttle bus return. Boarded the tuktuk pickup with a couple of other guests and returned to the hotel just before 9pm.
We had our bath in the tub and the usual night preparations and soon K was fast asleep as expected since the exhaustion from the day spent at the waterpark was sure to knock him out. I managed to gather some of the day’s thoughts onto the trusty note on the phone with a struggling battery before getting my rest for the night.
We woke up close to 9 and K had wet his pants again! Diapers were pretty leaky and I had to use a towel to cover the wet spot for him to continue sleeping.
K was pretty cooperative and we were soon finding ourselves queuing up for the seat to enter the crowded Loca Vore restaurant. Managed to get a seat inside and went to get our breakfast. I had to have my egg Benedict again cos it was really good!
After breakfast, we returned to the room to chill for a bit before getting out. The Grab app again didn’t give us a match for whole day rental and so we had to try the same trick as it was yesterday. Booked one car to get us to Dino Park mini golf and when the driver arrived, we asked for a whole day booking of 10hrs and was offered 3000baht instead. It was quite expensive compared to what can be gotten on Klook but I wasn’t negotiating so we just boarded.
The journey to the mini golf was very far, about an hour drive, which made us think if we got the right accommodation to begin with. K spent his time singing his favorite cartoon songs on repeat.
The car exited the larger road onto the smaller streets and we got off onto the street right next to a large space that was designed with huge boulders like those in caveman shows. Registered ourselves for the 18-hole game and was each given a ball, a club with different length for different heights and a scoresheet to keep track! This cost us 240baht (11SGD) per adult and 180baht (8sgd) per kid and for adults not playing, it cost 120baht (5.5SGD) to enter.
It was quite fun to go around trying to push the ball into the holes, some course came with short cuts that K was adamant to use even though it took more shots to use them. Sometimes K ended up playing hockey than golf! The weather though cloudy was still hot and humid. However we enjoyed the course while walking amongst the dinosaurs models and tricky course so much that K wanted to go another round. There were quite a few groups there and it was common to be held up by the earlier group if they were slower.
After much convincing, we ended having lunch at the Dino restaurant next door. Ordered a noodles with sauce for K, curry for mommy and me to share, glass noodles salad and a Thai iced tea and fruit juice. It was a huge eating area with a few dinosaur themed displays that K went around taking photos with his camera but the area under the shelter where we had our lunch was too dark and they didn’t turn on the lights till much later.
We returned for a second round of golf after considering the other options of zipline which I thought was too expensive and trampoline park which I thought was too dangerous. This time around, K was much more disciplined to wait for the ball to stop before hitting but still very adamant to use the short cut. The hold up was worst with a bigger group in front and we even had one behind us too impatient to wait for us to finish and hit their ball when we were still not done. They eventually passed us to skip ahead.
We called our driver after we were finally done and got to our next destination, the Phuket Old Town Sunday market (Lard Yai). It was about a 30mins drive there and the closer we got, the heavier the traffic, I was so glad I didn’t choose to drive, I thought to myself. We got off at the entrance of a temple at Dibuk Road and walked towards the pedestrian only Thalang Road and there were just so many people looking at the many stores selling mostly food at half the section and handicrafts at the other half. We walked the entire length end-to-end and only bought an ice-cream for K. The food wasn’t looking very appetizing (and the stuffiness of the area didn’t make me want to stop to get anything) and we didn’t get anything from the handicrafts stores. Along the way there were also street performances mostly singers belting out their tunes. There was a sudden downpour and we all got under shelter to wait out the short and common occurrence. But I felt the rain was good because it cooled down the entire place pretty quickly and was nicer to walk around afterwards.
Spent about an hour there and we returned to the temple to board the car after contacting him via message. We decided to skip Fantasea and went to Jungceylon Mall instead for dinner. Another 30mins drive and we arrived into super busy Patong town and Jungceylon was one megamall next another huge Central Patong mall dominating the area there. We alighted behind the mall which was less crowded and proceeded in.
Randomly entered one of the building and out of the corner of my eye, we spotted a famous brand of restaurant also available in Singapore and decided to have dinner there. It was MK, but the gold edition!
Ordered a plate of pork slices, vegetables for our steamboat and a bowl of char siew green noodles for K. The food was ok and we took about an hour and a half to finish our dinner. That dinner was about 1400baht which I paid by card, fearing that we didn’t have enough money to go home.
We walked around for a little shopping and entered an OVS store that had quite nicely designed tees but found them quite expensive (it was later that we found out that this was an Italian fashion brand!). Entered a inflatdecor store where they sold all sorts of inflatable bags and we bought ourselves a waterproof bag for 230baht and got ourselves a freebee inflatable cup holder by adding their contact into Line app.
Then we caught glimpse of the water fountain show before calling our driver for the last time for our trip back to the hotel.
The ride back was about an hour and I paid the 3000baht to the driver before we headed back to the room. The night routine was hastened up as it was getting late and K cooperated to bath quickly and got his playtime before it was lights off for all.
Day 2 started with a overcast skies as expected. We were all up by 9am (which was early by holiday standards) and went out for breakfast at the Loca Vore restaurant that was near the reception. It was quite crowded but we managed to get a seat on the outside. The variety of breakfast was ok but there was egg benedict, a special version of it made with crab meat! The food quality was very good and that compensated for the its variety I supposed.
After breakfast, the sun began to emerge from the clouds and K wanted to visit the kids pool. So I went back to retrieve his swim wear while mommy brought the excited boy over to the kids club.
I made a detour to check out the beach and was shock to see the waves of the beach – waters were very rough. The red flags told the same story of danger at the seas and I quickly return to the kids pool with the knowledge that we weren’t going to the beach, at least for today.
Dressed and K found himself in the pool in a flash. I made a second trip back to the room to retrieve a beach ball and we spent about an hour there in the water while mommy perched herself on the sun beds with her hp.
After many last rounds of the beach ball, we finally left the pool and walked towards the beach. K was disappointed that he couldn’t crash into the wave like when in other resorts but we didn’t get our feet wet with a little sea water as the waves spread towards the seashore. We washed up near the pool and returned to the room for a quick shower.
Went back to Loca Vore for lunch where we ordered fried rice for K and mommy and I shared Tom Yum Goong and fried noodles, having learnt of the enormous portions that they served. Again the quality of food was good, except that noodles tasted a bit Chinese.
We wanted to get a private charter so that we could get from places to places without the need to get a taxi and Grab app had an option for that. However, booking it didn’t result in any acceptance. We spoke to the Navigator, a travel coordinator at the desk and he proposed we book a ride to where we wanted to go and negotiate with the driver directly. Punching the aquarium as a destination, we got ourselves a Grab driver, and with the help of the Navigator for translation, he agreed to a price of 2400baht for the entire day.
Boarded the vehicle and it was a long, almost 1.5hrs to the Phuket Aquarium. During the journey, we fell asleep most of the way and awoke to find ourselves traveling towards Panwa beach. We alight at the aquarium, used the restroom before heading into the aquarium close to its closing hour of 430pm. After paying the tickets for 2 adults (for K it was free as he was short) for about 16sgd in total, the staff assured us that we had enough time and sure enough, the place was small enough to clear under an hour.
I was busy on the phone trying to fix an issue with our domestic helper who was trying to fly back to Singapore after her leave. Had to coordinate with my mother back home with the documents and in the end that didn’t turn out well and had to leave it till she visits the embassy.
K was pretty fascinated with the display on the other hand and had a connection with some of the displays like the zooplankton and phytoplankton ones, some knowledge that he picked up on TV. On the other hand, he was spooked by the creatures of the deep sea display. We were impressed to see gigantic giant groupers near the end. We took a quick walk around it’s store, which was also bringing down their shutters and got ourselves a snack before getting into the car.
We got to the upside-down house Baan Teelanka in a 30mins journey and paid about 40sgd for the 2 adults and 1 child tickets. The staff then helped us with the photos showing us how to take them and we were off to explore the 3 levels building. K was excited just to climb the steps and not really interested with taking photos. Had to take a few to show him how it would look like on photos and he then reluctantly do a few. We spend the entire 1hr there till it closed at 6pm, even though it wasn’t that big but K was busy climbing up and down the stairs. After a visit to the restroom, we headed for our last destination, the weekend market.
About a 15mins drive, we parked at a carpark just opposite side of the road and the driver guided us to the market. Crossing the super busy road was a challenge and the skies decided to start raining too. We found shelter inside a shop that sold ponchos for 30baht and we got ourselves 3 adults one as there were none for kids and we had to cut K’s one to size using scissor borrowed from the shop owner.
After we got the poncho on, we walked into the Chaofa Variety Weekend Market. Then we realized the rain stopped, its like we had been pranked by the rain.
The market was split into 2 sections, one for food and the other for goods and we bought ourselves a Thai milk tea first before heading into the goods section. There were many shops selling mostly clothes, some toys shops and some souvenirs. We ended up buying quite a bit of stuff, negotiated for some of these goods. I got myself some shorts for 150baht per pc, got K a swimming vest for 200baht, a jigsaw toy for 200baht and a set of clothes for 200baht for K.
We looked for a place for dinner and just near the entrance was a restaurant that had seats and had our dinner there. Ordered fried rice for K and mommy to share, a plate of vegetables, a bowl of green curry and a Phad Thai for myself, all this for under 500baht. The food didn’t taste good though.
After dinner, we went over to the restroom at the end of the market, paying 3 baht per person to get in. The toilet was not the best as expected but we did what we had to do and returned back to the market. Spent a bit of time marvelling at the toys in a toy store selling a variety of mini blocks before walking back towards the entrance where we met the driver. It was then already 830pm.
The rest of the journey back was smooth after an initial jam near the market and we arrived at about 930pm. Paid the driver 2500baht for his additional hour although he wasn’t going to charge and we went back to the room.
K had fun with his jigsaw while I packed the tub with water and we tested whatever we bought and were satisfied with the purchases. The swimming vest was initially having an issue with keeping the air in as the stopper kept popping out but I fixed it.
We spent some time at the tub, then it was straight to bed. There was a pee spillover from the K’s diapers which resulted in a PJ change before finally going off the dreamland.
It was a super long weekend we decided that we wanted to spend it away in Phuket. Our flight was in the afternoon of the National Day holiday and thus it was an easy start to a trip without the rush in the morning.
We left home at about 1115 as my dad drove us to Changi. Without any much traffic on the roads, we made it easily to check in at Terminal 2 for our SilkAir flight just before noon. Pretty familiar with the self service machine, we dropped off our one and only big luggage at the automated gate (and K was just intrigued with it) and went through immigration.
The plane took off soon enough and the flight was pretty ok, though there were about 2 short periods of turbulence. Lunch was served for the children first and K had his meal of sweet and sour chicken with rice. This was a simple set without the bun that SQ normally have and mommy was disappointed with the simple affair.
Ours came much later and without a choice so we had the same thing that K had. By then K was already done with his food and was busy with Tom and Jerry cartoon on my hand phone that was linked to the aircraft entertainment system.
Shortly after our lunch, the plane was already descending into a cloudy and misty Phuket. We were forewarned about the bad weather online and true enough, it was dampening sight looking out of the window.
The immigration had a short line but K had to visit the toilet first so mommy went to queue. By the time we returned, mommy was already at the start of the line and we cleared immigrations promptly.
I met a colleague and his family on the same flight at the luggage belt (of all places) and after some quick exchanges and a selfie, we went our separate ways for our holidays.
Tried asking the car rental companies only to find that all of them were fully booked out. So we took the exit on the left and found 2 yellow stands offering taxi. Approached the busier one and was offered 1000baht (SGD50) based on their map with standard rates. Paid and left for a private sedan. While in the car, we thought we might have taken the more expensive option and should have checked around first since the distance didn’t seemed too far off.
We arrived into a Renaissance Phuket after going through a portion of small roads. The reception area was beautifully designed and brightly lit and stood out in the gloomy weather. We were given some drinks and towels to freshen up as mommy went through the check in while K and me chilled. From there we saw a kids pool area with Dino design but we couldn’t really go there currently with the drizzle nor the clubhouse which the staff informed that getting there would need us to cross a path in the open.
We went to the restaurant below to get free ice cream as K was given a wristband that would entitle him to one ice cream every afternoon (from 3pm-5pm) since the room wasn’t ready yet. While at the restaurant, mommy ordered some spring rolls to munch on. It was served soon after an initial bread appetizer with olive oil and peanut crumbs, which we thought tasted pretty good.
While sitting along the outside of the restaurant, we saw tiny frogs hopping around. One girl was shocked to see them and yelped while passing by. I wouldn’t have noticed as well if not for her.
Went back to the reception to collect our keys and proceeded to the room via a buggy. It seemed like a long journey as the buggy went through a tiny curvy road and then travel alongside the building. Got off and took the lift to the top floor (3 floors). Opening the door revealed a big and beautiful room that came with a balcony -I was already liking it.
Chilled in the room for a long time, as much as it took the rain to drizzle. K had quite a bit of screen time while I fell asleep on the comfortable bed.
When I woke up, K was just finishing his cartoons and asked to be bathed in the tub. We spend some time there as well before getting out of the room for dinner.
The rain had stopped and we thought we would walk to the beach. We managed to see the swimming pool and 2 restaurants in a single building but on different floors but didn’t get to the beach as it was dark.
Went to the Takieng on the 2nd floor but was advised that it was fully booked and we had to wait if interested to have their Thai cuisine. However they also adviced us to dine at the Sand box below as they could deliver the food there too. So without much of a choice, we went downstairs and sat at the more casual Sand box, that had a sandy beach floor.
Ordered dinner consisting of nuggets and fries for K, mommy had a curry and duck with rice and I ordered a Margarita pizza to share with K. With the inclusion of one passion fruit drink, the entire dinner was about 1500baht. The food was good, as the nuggets were huge and tasted like they made it by themselves, pizza was baked in a flame kiln and Thai food was spicy.
We took a walk after the filling dinner and found out where the kids club was which was closed for the night, the kids pool which looked pretty fun and came with a slide and the way back to reception which now didn’t seem so far.
Back at the room when we prepared for the night, I came to a shocked realization that I had forgotten to pack K’s diapers! Called the reception and they advised to try find them in the coffee shop next to the gym and thus I went there quickly. There was a mini store inside the coffee shop but I only found medium sizes. The staff there advised that I should take the hotel shuttle to 7-11. I could make the trip at 9pm and still make it back before the last one at 950pm.
Went to the lobby and waited for the shuttle which was a small pickup with the back modified into a passenger seating area. Was dropped off at 7-11 at a building with 2 floors next to Turtle Village and I was glad to find XL sizes there under Mamypoko brand, something that I was familiar with back in Singapore, all for about 330baht.
Bought milk and yoghurt too and proceeded to walk to Mai Khao Plaza just a minute walk away to get on the same transport back. The plaza which was brightly lit seemed to have more restaurants and some shops but I didn’t have any time to explore and the annoying drizzle was back.
A short 5mins ride and soon I was back at the hotel. Returned to the room to find mommy reading K some books. Got through the night routine and soon, everyone was in bed. I went for my bath after everyone dozed off and went to bed soon after, ending an uneventful first day in Phuket.
This escape plan was to utilise the National day and Haji super long weekend for a short getaway to somewhere close to home. Since we hadn’t really been to Phuket, we thought it would be a good time to do so.
Budget nature: Comparatively costly
Comparative to other parts of Thailand, I thought it was rather costly to visit Phuket. The flights were obviously expensive since due to the long weekend but we reduced the costs by claiming expiring miles for the flight there and paying for the return on a day after the long weekend. Our transportation could have been cheaper if we booked through Klook or negotiated with the driver more. We spent more than $700 cash than we bought for the 5 days.
It was easy since most of the transportation was taken care of with a chartered driver. It could have been difficult had we been able to get our own car as we realised while in the taxi that it was quite challenging to drive in the chaotic traffic especially in town.