Yup, we went to Phuket again during this March holidays. Went last yr with MIL when the maid was still around. This yr, it's just us and MIL. It was a close shave cos we almost didn't make it for the trip cos RA had fever continuously from Tues evening (when we picked her up at CC) all the way till Sat am. We flew off on Sunday... She must have gotten the flu bug from hubby who was also down with flu and missed his 1 week reservist after booking in shortly on Wed am.
We went to Marriott Mai Khao Vacation club again. This time, it was a different friend who referred me and I only paid USD250 and they gave me back equivalent of 8000thb when we checked in. The catch is we must attend 90 mins of the presentation. But hey, it's a free hotel stay so I am not complaining.
Flew by airasia, very proud that I managed to squeeze all our stuff including MIL's toiletries into a 20 inch luggage. It weighs only 15 kg though we bought up to 20kg. The flight was scheduled at 105pm but took off only around 135pm. As a result, we reached the resort at 345pm (Thai time) and I stopped by the tour booth to sign up for the 3-in-1 Khai island, Maya bay and Phi Phi island tour. The nice lady charged us 1900thb per adult, free for both kids and waived the usual surcharge for Mai khao beach cos it was very far from Patong beach. She also waived our taxi fare from airport to the resort. Much cheaper than if I had booked online from sg. :)
By the time, we reached the resort, it was 345pm and time to check in. No need to wait. Previously, I took jetstar and the am flight was so early that I had difficulty getting the kids to wake up n board the taxi. Then when we reached, it was way too early to check in and the kids got grounchy cos they were tired from their early rise but cannot check into resort room to rest. Lesson learnt. Maximising travel time by taking the first flight out and last flight back does not work well for us when travelling with young kids.
Since it was quite late in the day and the kids are too excited to nap, I booked a local taxi (700thb) to bring us to Tesco Lotus at Talang town. It was a 25 mins drive but I thought it's a good idea to stock up our fridge at the local bigger supermarket instead of just Turtle (mini)Mart at Turtle village since it's just our first day. The resort has a fully equipped kitchen n housekeeping helps to wash the dishes the next day so I love to cook there. ;) RL was too tired and KO in the cab haha.
There was a KFC, a food court and other small eateries but we chose Fuji Japanese restaurant. MIL obliged though she doesn't like to eat Jap food. :) Cheap and good as recommended by my friend who just went to BKK. The big sashimi boat only costs sgd $20. Only thing is some of their food is too sweet eg. chawanmushi and salad. Woke RL up before we finished our food and she drank some soup from the dobinmushi (teapot soup) n ate a bit of grilled sushi (triangular type).
Bought a spilling basketfull of food stuff at Tesco including fresh mushrooms, sausages, eggs, instant noodles, pork, cabbage, oil, 2 pairs of shoes for the gals and it only costs 999 thb (around $40). Cheap! :)
I woke up the earliest to brew coffee and prepare bf. Scrambled eggs and pan fried sausages. The fermented meat sausage I bought tasted the weirdest but luckily the scrambled eggs and the cheese sausages were a hit with the gals. After BF, quickly went to the hotel lobby where our local guide was waiting to drive us to the jetty at 8am. It was a 1 hr drive and we reached the jetty at 9am. Luckily it was a 3 decked boat and not a speedboat that some other tours were using cos a bigger boat means it's more stable and a less choppy ride for the kids.
We reached Khai island about half an hour later. All of us had to don life jackets and were transported via a smaller longboat to Khai island. The gals cried and fussed when forced to wear the life jackets.
Khai island was the highlight of our day trip cos I promised RA that we will feed fishes at the shallow water by the beach (she is still very afraid of 'deep deep water', hiaz). We did see beautiful fishes and fed them with the bread bought from the boat but it was tiring work. That's cos both hubby and I had to carry the 2 gals (RL refused to touch the water) and RA did not dare to venture any deeper than her knees' depth. Duh. too bad I can't snorkel cos I didn't bring my swim wear and it's also difficult when I have to help look after the 2 kids.
But at least I bought a nice cool and refreshing coconut, 2 perfectly grilled super yummy sweet corn and a ship like sand toys for RA to play to occupy the rest of our 1 hr at Khai island. :)
Next, we went to Maya bay at Phi Phi island. This boat ride is very long and the gals fell asleep cos Phi Phi island is closer to Krabi than Phuket. We didn't disembark at Maya bay cos it was just 1 hr and meant for swimming or snorkelling. We did see lots of fishes from the windows of our boat and was happily feeding our remaining bread to the fishes below until a Caucasian jumped off from the top deck and splashed salty water into my mouth. -_-
Another 15 mins later, we reached Phi Phi Don island, the bigger island with a bustling town. There were lots of tour booths and souvenir shops there so I stopped to buy some shell souvenirs for the gals, a sleevless t shirt, a coin pouch, and a fridge magnet though MIL kept saying there are more shops behind, dun buy first. :P Actually towards the end of the road, there were more seafood restaurants than souvenir shops. We didn't have time to eat seafood. It was too early for dinner too cos it was just 330pm local time. We did buy 2 choco chips bread sticks for the gals and a chocolate donut for myself. :)
After a super long boat ride back and another 1 hr drive back, we reached our resort at 6+pm local time. Decided to make use of my vouchers and had buffet dinner at Zest cos it was Asian theme and suited MIL more. Buffet costs 900+thb per adult. Kids are free. Food was so so, not fantastic, and a good choice since we were tired to go out for dinner after a long day and the kids were hungry esp. RL. :P
RA soiled her panties and our clothes were stained with sea water at Khai island so it was good thing that we could use the washing machine and dryer to wash the clothes.
The adults had bread and the gals had milk for BF with instant coffee (this is what happens when I don't wake up early to cook BF). Brought the gals to the swimming pool with the kids slide, while I went to Turtle village to buy carrots and shopped at Esprit. Blur me, forgot my camera at Esprit changing room and rushed back after discovering it. Luckily the staff at Esprit kept it for me. By the time, I came back, the gals had already finished swimming (MIL said cannot expose them to the sun for too long esp RA who has just recovered). There was baby elephant by the pool but the gals were too scared to go close to it for me to take a good pic. -_-
Asked hubby to bring the gals back to shower first cos I wanted to swim since I was hot and sweaty. Didn't manage to swim for long cos the water at the adults pool was salty and made my eyes smart since I did not wear any googles. :P
When I went back, we started preparing to fry bee hoon cos the gals were hungry. MIL brought chicken stock cubes and MSG but the frying pan was too shallow for us to fry bee hoon properly. MIL had to fry the ingredients separately (first cabbage and carrots, next the pork strips with chopped garlic, then lastly the bee hoon). The bee hoon was a bit bland as expected cos we did not put stock cubes nor MSG into it. But it was good for kids.
While the gals ate, i fried an adult version bee hoon using leftover tom yam seasoning from last night's instant noodles supper. Less healthy but tasted better. keke.
While washing up the dishes, I realised that it is now or never for me to use my remaining 5000 thb at the Mandara spa cos we have to attend the marriott presentation at 330pm and I will have no time tonight cos need to settle the gals dinner.
Reached the spa a bit late at 140pm cos had to wait for the free shuttle bus to bring me to Mandara spa at neighbouring JW marriot resort. Finished the 2 hr spa package only at 4pm. By the time, I got to the presentation room, the sales staff wasn't very happy with us for being late. I asked for the gal again so that I can at least hear her out. Didn't want them to think that we did not keep our promise. She was on her way to go home. Shucks! If I had known, can just act blur and leave with hubby.
But anyway I heard her out for 1 hr, conclusion is for the minimum pts (12,000 per yr) we need to pay $19000+ sgd and we can pay over 3 yrs (interest free), but got to pay 25% deposit first. Monthly installment is $400+ and we can use marriott facilities for the next 44 yrs. If we pass away before that, the remaining yrs can be utilised by our kids. It was tempting if I am still working but with my unstable pay and the gals' $1k cc fees per month, I really don't dare to commit. Plus the sales gal made the mistake of telling me that if I signed up last yr, the fees would have been 25% less, all the more I 'buay gam wan' to sign up lar. Wrong move for her.
After we came back, cooked a simple soup using remaining cabbage, mushrooms and pork. Then we went to Coffee club at Turtle village cos hubby missed the cheap and good thai food. I bought a pair of shorts and a blouse and a t shirt from Esprit for 1280 baht. Then went back to Mt Sapola to buy some stuff cos the Anantara club staff gave us discount coupons and I had been eyeing this shop for a long time when it opened to Tampines 1 but found it too exp in Sg.
Early morning call for everyone, quick bf of bread and milk then it's off to the airport for our 950am flight back to Sg. By the time, we cleared customs, it was the last call. Flight was on time and we pre ordered our meals (pizza, nasi lemak and sandwiches) and reached Sg at 1245pm. Reached home at 2+pm. Would have been earlier if I had known that we could have brought the gals through the manual immigration counter beside the automated clearance. Signages not big enough, instead we wasted time queuing up with the rest of the foreigners. Duh. :P
All in all, it was a good holiday. RaeAnne enjoyed it so much that she cried and fussed when we had to come back. She asked me why was the trip so short. Hubby said she finds it short cos we did not spend much time at the resort compared to last yr when we only took a short half day tour to Island safari for elephant rides and monkey shows. Duh... looking forward to our Taiwan trip in June, kekeke.