Tuesday, May 14, 2013

This is being grateful...my Phuket escapade

"What do you mean by you cannot check us in? We have a flight to catch!"

And there goes my vacation...actually, the end of my vacation. Being stuck on the dreamy vacation touristy island of Phuket ain't too bad, just that the airport was abysmal and I need to get back to Singapore (there is always some life-saving business to attend to, u see)...

Anyway, the extremely hectic month of April (yes, the duo terror of exams and research report) was interspersed with this gift from our hotel in KL. We flew to Phuket for a pre-wedding photoshoot with one of the most eminent photographer in the wedding circle in Malaysia, remarkably un-prepared and casual for 2 OCDs. Needless to say, being spontaneous means we thoroughly enjoyed our care-free, unpretentious cheerful photo-session -  with major credits to the ever-professional Jim Liaw and team.

I suspected I may have sabotaged myself by getting an outfit totally unsuitable for my shape/size but who cares when you are actually enjoying a photoshoot - and to be truthful...it has been a long, long time since I've gotten so much of fun in front of the camera (normally we're the ones behind it!). Of course there was this fleeting sense of envy when I saw how the other beautiful brides looked in their long, flowing bridal dress but all sense of inadequacy was washed away on the remarkably warm, clear seas of Kata beach as we jumped into the water during our final shot; totally splashed sand all over the semi-formal attire. Ah, the bliss of thrashing a dress in the sea. Hahaha!

Thailand is of course well known for flowers and upon arrival to Hilton Arcadia Phuket, we noticed there were fresh flowers everywhere. We asked for some as accessories and we were immediately given some. Thumbs-up to Hilton hospitality!

The flight to the island was extremely pleasant and we were the first couple to arrive as we travelled on an earlier flight from Singapore. Weather seemed excellent in early April. Only rained on the last day as we leave the island.

We were armed with not one but TWO lonely planet book on Islands & Beaches of Thailand, and a special laminated map of Phuket for the remaining part of the trip. Highly-recommend the map. The books aren't that helpful, to be fair.

This is the (in)famous Patong beach - sun, surf and sex(trade) all souped-up in a heady haven of hedonism. This is where I learnt the phrase ping-pong but didn't see the show. We also noticed the amount of male tourists outnumbering everyone else in this town.

It was also the Phuket Motorcycle week so the whole town was jam-packed with tourists, bikers and their accompaniments (read:hot bikes & gals).

In the meanwhile, i also took one whole day off to settle some work - sounded crazy - but I was supposed to hand-in some assignments right during the vacation. The mysteries of life as a hyperactive cilipadidoctor ain't easy :-P

As a reward, we went to Phang-Nga bay. Initially, we thought we could do some sea-kayaking. Turned out that the majority of the arm-work was done by the Thai guides while we lounge about in the kayak. At least we managed to do some canoeing at the end of the 'cruise' but it is not the same as Halong Bay, I can assure you. I was mildly disappointed. I guess I missed how we travelled from one mini-island to another in Vietnam.

IMHO, Halong Bay is a lot larger than Phang-Nga and somehow more authentic. If you come from a land far-away, I would suggest going to Halong rather than this area. I think there are a lot more hawkers in Phang-Nga as well and the food at the Muslim sea-village sucks.

James Bond Island. More famous for its' appearance in the movie rather than anything else. Not much to do here except take a picture of the island, sit back and observe the tourists.

More islands to gawk at on the way back at the end of the day. This is after we swam on a tiny island. As we leave this really nice island, I would say the airport was a real let-down but everything else was quite good for a short break. I guess I will come again in the future once I get my PADI license refreshed. Apparently, i heard the diving off Phi Phi Island is really good. Anyone's been there?

Caught this aerial view of one the islands in the beautiful Andaman Sea on the way back to Singapore. Time to say goodbye...to a wonderful island escapade in the midst of a crazy month!

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