Watergius's Journal

The world as I see it

cheap yet expensive vacation – Phuket (part 5)

Thursday-Friday, October 10th-11th 2013

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We landed in Phuket couple of hours since we boarded in Bangkok. And as an early tip, you would want to have your seat near window because the view in amazing as the plane getting ready to landed.

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Landed in Phuket, we headed outside the airport looking for transportation to our hotel, Double Tree by Hilton. As soon as we stepped our feet out the door, many people offered to take us there. They are not a taxi driver, well, at least not like most taxi driver that we can see in many (big) cities. The car that they drive is without any sign or paint on it to indicate that it is a taxi. Basically, it is just like a regular car that has been functioned like a taxi.

Since we didn’t see any other options, we finally decided to take one of the offer.

I don’t remember the name of the “taxi” that we took anymore. However, as soon as you get out the arrival gate, this “taxi” will have their stand outside right in front of the gate. So, by appearance, they (I said they because they really more than one person) are promising.

“700 baht” is the price that they offer to take us to our place and we accepted it. Just for record, they gave us a receipt, just like a bus or train ticket.

On our way out, not long after we left the parking lot, we saw a sign saying “Taxi Meter” and few “taxi meter” lining near it, and we could only laugh. So, next time you visit Phuket and want to take the taxi with meter, here is my tips: as soon as you get out the arrival gate, turn right and walk straight. The taxi meter stand is not that far and you would notice it, a blue color taxi with “Taxi Meter” written on top of the car.

*

Around 15 minutes after we left the airport, our driver pull over in front of their office. He said that he needed to report first before taking us to our hotel.

But, what we don’t know is that, this is also part of their strategy. So, as soon as the driver park the car, one of their staff will come and open the door and will offer a “tour package”.

she's offering the tour package

she’s offering the tour package

At first we did not interested at all about what she offered. But, my friend decided to ask for their price and it was half the price of a tour that our hotel offered. Wow.. Now we talk business !!

tour package

our tour package deal

Overall, the tour that they offered will visit the same spots like the tour that our hotel is going to offer. The only difference will the the number of people that will be joining the tour. With our hotel tour, they offered less people, so it will be more private. As for this tour, the maximum number of people that they need are around 50 people. But hey, for a cheap tourist like us, price is important and so we took  this one instead.

**

After booked our tour for tomorrow, they driver took us to our hotel. After chit chat and traveling time around an hour, finally we arrived in our hotel. It is indeed far, and 700 baht I think is a reasonable price to this hotel.

As soon as we checked-in in the front desk, hotel manager came and greet us and offered to walk us to our room. He said that it was an honour for their hotel to be visited by Hilton Diamond Member like us. Hehehe.. Anyway, over all the hotel is good place to stay at.

a vegetarian festival that took place in Phuket

a vegetarian festival that took place in Phuket around that month

Phuket view from our room balcony

Phuket view from our room balcony

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The next day we were picked up at our hotel by the tour around 7 am, right after we had breakfast. Then, we stopped few more times in different hotels to pick up another tour’s participants. Only then we headed straight to the port where the boat had been waiting.

*

To make it short, all the participants gathered at the port and the tour guide explained about the itinerary. Everything was almost perfect when suddenly the tour guide told us that Maya Bay was closed due to some reason, and so we will not go there. What??? Why didn’t the lady told us yesterday when we booked the tour.  That’s disappointing because Maya Bay is one of the place that I really wanted to see. But what could we do. We could only hope that the rest of the tour will be amazing that by missing that one spot would not be that disappointed.

first stop of the tour

first stop of the tour

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next stop, where we swam for half an hour -> so packed with people

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we left that swimming spot -> many boats just came

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nest stop where we stop to see monkey (and feed them) -> see the sign ???

snorkeling spot with a view to lunch spot

snorkeling spot with a view to lunch spot

For someone who likes sea and seeing what lives under it, I think the time that they allocate for snorkeling was too short. Probably it was only around half an hour. If only they could take some more time from the last itinerary and put it here, I think this tour would be better. And I said this because the last to-do list was to stop at a beach (beautiful beach I agree, but not much to do there) and spent one and half hour there.

our last destination of the tour

our last destination of the tour

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Overall, the tour was so so, if you prefer snorkeling more than laying on a beach enjoying the weather while tanning your skin.

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On the night after the tour, we decided to watch Phuket Fantasea. Another tips : It’s better if you had known that you want to see this show a day earlier so that you can buy cheaper ticket online (see my previous post about where to find cheap show ticket in Thailand). But, even if you missed that chances of buying it online, you can still buy it from tour agent (this is what we did -> from the same tour agent where our “taxi” stopped yesterday) and the price is still cheaper that buy in on the spot.

And about the show (there is another famous show called Siam Niramit), I think it is something that you must see when you visit Phuket. It’s worth it.

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Early the next day we left hotel for airport to continue our trip to our last destination.

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atampubolon

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