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PLACES TO GO
PLACES TO GO

Just Phuket


If I spend RM10, 000 on a stereo set, I will still have something to show for after 5 years, but if I spend it on travelling I will only have pictures made out of binary codes.

Travelling have never been a hobby of mine, because it is tiring, time consuming and very costly. However, being married to a travel enthusiast made travelling to other countries a top priority in our to do list every year.

This year I managed to persuade my wife to visit Phuket, Thailand. I’ve been there before so I know its cheap and also nearer to home. I thought that travelling to a neighbouring country will be less tiring but then she decided to bring Medinasaurus along. A hyperactive mini human with no regards for her own safety.

 

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Phang-Nga Road – Had to take Medinasaurus away from the mother so that she can eat. Medinasaurus is not happy.

DAY 1

Because we had to reach the airport by 6:00pm, no one was kind enough to brave evening traffic to send us there. My plan to get a free ride failed, so instead we had to take Grab, which cost us RM65 (not including tol charges). Sigh.

We wanted to make Medinasaurus sleep in the airplane, so my wife would flick her nose each time she was about to fall a sleep the entire day prior to our departure. But as the ride to KLIA 2 takes you one lifetime, she actually fell a sleep in the car and was then wide a wake in the airplane. She was so excited to ride on a plane for the first time that she was talking non-stop throughout the 2 hours flight. I can see the uncle beside me quickly shut his eyes and pretend to be a sleep the whole journey. Plan failed, too bad you can’t ask to change seats if you are annoyed with your own child.

We arrived at Phuket airport at night (Night flights are cheaper) and took a 40 minutes taxi ride to Baan Suwantawe Hotel in Phuket town. I would want to stay in Patong but having a toddler around changed that plan. Phuket town is much more peaceful in comparison to Patong’s loud party environment, plus it is also cheaper as it is not considered a tourist spot.

The hotel was equipped with a balcony, pantry, King bed and was spacious enough for Medinasaurus to run around. It was located right opposite of Avenue Light Mall (A Mall equivalent to CittaMall back home) and a convenient store, which made it easy for us to buy food and for me, cigarettes. For the price of RM154 / night it was good enough.

As we step into our room and before my wife could ask me to clean Medinasaurus and prepare her for bed, I quickly rushed towards the balcony to have a cigarette.

“Smoke, Baby… No good” I said.

She then cleaned Medinasaurus and they went to bed as I mentally prepare myself for the days to come.

“Bring it on Phuket!”

 

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Thalang Road – Managed to calm Medinasaurus with a FREE red balloon. 

DAY 2

The next day was dedicated to find Phuket’s Arsenal Shop, the only thing I’m looking forward to in this trip. As we walked out of our hotel, we were ambushed by Alek… the taxi driver. He insisted us to take a ride with him around town. But we said no. We took Grab Taxi instead, as it was waaaaay cheaper. A 600 Baht trip will only cost you 300 Baht with Grab. All hail Grab Taxi!

We then arrived at a Mall; I think it was called Festival Light Mall…. Or something like that, I quickly realised it was the wrong Mall. Arsenal shop was in Jungceylon Patong! Nooooooo!

Since we were already there, we quickly had our lunch in the nearest KFC before taking a tour around the Mall. By the way, KFCs here are awesome to the max. They have this Thai rice flavoured thingy with chicken, Egg tarts and it is super halal. Anyways I just had egg tarts, as I would not want to waste money on something that will be flushed down the toilet later.

The Mall had a very Bukit Bintang feel to it but sized as big as One Utama. Crowds are mainly locals and not many tourists can be seen.

After eating, we toured the Mall only to find your typical franchised brands all around. We thought that we were lucky as coincidently Thailand was celebrating Children’s Day and the Mall was having an event at the centre court to celebrate the Day. There was a big stage and kids were seen doing fun activities, some of them even had costumes on. But… as we arrived at the stage we could not understand a word the MC is saying. So after standing still and pretending to chuckle when everyone is…. We left the event.

Continued walking around the mall and we conclude that the Mall looks just like any other Mall. Kuang, Kuang, Kuang.

Later that night we Grabbed ourselves to Jungceylon Mall in Patong to continue our search for the Arsenal shop. In our winding 40 minutes ride towards Patong, Medinasaurus started to vomit in the taxi. My wife quickly blamed my genetics of having motion sickness as she asked the taxi to stop for a while.

As wifey was attending to Medinasaurus, my mind wonders if the taxi will charge extra for the mess we caused. The taxi driver then shows his concern by offering a mineral water to Medinasaurus. In the speed of light I quickly took out our own bottle and refused his, to avoid extra charges of course.

As Medinasaurus was getting better we continued our journey and reached Jungceylon 10 minutes later. Turns out, there was no extra charges, too bad I cannot ask for the mineral water now.

Jungceylon was a more touristy Mall in comparison to the one before. It was well decorated and the crowds are mainly tourists.

As I’ve been here before, I roughly know where the Arsenal shop was located. But as we walked all around the Mall and even went to the next Mall beside it, Arsenal shop was nowhere to be found. I swore I’ve bought an Arsenal mug here back in 2008. Instead we found a Manchester United booth.

“Boooooo!” I whispered.

“Go la ask them, they sure know one” said the wife.

“I refuse! One shall not ask help from a rival team. Even if they know, they would not tell… I know I wouldn’t.”

We went to ask the reception instead. Sadly she doesn’t know as well. I bet she supports Manchester United. Boooo!

After walking around for another half an hour we gave up and declared that the Arsenal shop in Jungceylon Phuket is forever gone. What the hell Phuket people?

We then had our dinner at a roadside restaurant owned by a guy who knows how to speak Malay (I bet it’s a marketing gimmick). Tip of advice, don’t eat in Patong. It is super expensive! A meal for two that taste like it was made using Adabi’s Tom Yum paste costs us a whooping 700 Baht. Goddang!

As we were eating our not so nice dinner, Medinasaurus started to vomit again and her body was getting warmer. Again, using our trusty Grab Taxi app we hailed a taxi for a mere 300 baht from Patong Beach back to our hotel in Phuket Old Town. Even the locals were impressed when we told them the cost of taxis we got. In Grab, we trust. (Uber is not available in Phuket… I blame Trump)

 

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Thalang road random graffiti. 

DAY 3

Today baby Medinasaurus was still a bit off the weather. Note to self; don’t drag a 1-year-old toddler walking under the hot sun for a whole day. They will fall sick.

After buying breakfast from a nearby shop, I was again ambushed by Alek the taxi driver. He again insisted me to ride his taxi. This time I said, “later la… baby sleep.” He said OK and left.

Other than being a bit worried for little Medinasaurus, I was a bit happy as we could just relax in our hotel the whole day. I spent the whole day at the balcony smoking while playing Cookie cats as Medinasaurus sleeps. Managed to beat my Cookie Cats rival, Edwin Ng in a few levels. Success!

By evening she was already recovered. We could tell as she giggling while singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars” repeatedly and replaced the word stars with our family names.

EXP: Twinkle Twinkle Little Atok Ayah. Twinkle Twinkle Little Aki.

Apparently all she needed was a good sleep to recover. Thank god, managed to skip the medical bills. I’m pretty sure the clinics will charge us extra because we’re tourist and desperate.

Before stepping out of the room, I had a quick look outside the balcony. Alek the taxi driver was still in front of our hotel! He was still waiting for us! We quickly snuck out the backdoor of the hotel to avoid him.

We decided to go on a stroll at the Phuket Town Sunday Street Market. The roads in Phuket are not stroller friendly at all. Even with our compact stroller it was difficult to move around as we had to walk on the road a few times to avoid obstacles on our route. Luckily Phuket drivers are friendlier in comparison to Malaysia drivers; they would actually stop their cars when they see someone on the road without sounding their honks.

The Street Market was different from the Street Markets in Patong as it sells more Hipster-ish stuffs and focused more on Thailand’s Independent brands. It was packed with street performers and local food. NICE!

On our way back to the hotel we passed a playground. It was a normal playground just like the ones back home only rustier.

“Peng Ground! Peng Ground!”

Medinasaurus quickly jumps out of her stroller and started playing. She then spends the whole night there while me and wifey sits nearby – stares into emptiness.

“Pergi jauh – jauh playground jugak die cari”

Note to self: Avoid passing any playground in future travels.

I quickly told my wife that I’m going to buy some drinks and food for the night from the convenient store nearby. This way I could run for a quick smoke and take a quick break from Medinasaurus sitting.

 

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Barber shop in Phuket Town Sunday Night Market

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Mommy told her that she needs to wear the hat because its hot, but actually its because she looks cuter in it.

DAY 4

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Patong Beach – 200 Bath per umbrella.

We arrived at Patong Beach early in the morning. As Medinasaurus was afraid of the water, me and wifey got to lie down by the beach while she plays with sand. This is what I call a holiday. I get to watch girls in Bikini, wifey gets to catch up on her Instagram feed and Medinasaurus gets to bathe herself with sand.

After a few hours watching scenery that looks like a scene from Baywatch, I was getting bored. Maybe I’m already old or maybe I’m just married. We walked around Bangla Road and after buying some souvenirs we went back to the Hotel.

Wifey spent the rest of the day trying to get the sand out of Medinasaurus’s hair.

 

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Should not have bought all the toys if I knew she  can be entertained by sand.

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Payet! Payet! (That is how she pronounced Parachute. 

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Sunglasses to avoid people realising you are watching them.

DAY 5

Today is another chillax day for us as we just spent the whole day sleeping, swimming by the pool and buying some last minute souvenirs near by.

“Dragon T-shirt waiting for you long time”, sales girl’s best effort to get me to buy a T-shirt. Although the T-shirt looks great but I remembered that purchasing the T-shirt requires money, so I refused.

We then head straight to the airport and went home sweet home. Yeay. Now I need a holiday to recover from my holiday.

Another tip of advice: You cannot buy cigarette at the airport using your daughter’s passport. Not that I tried.

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Baan Suwantawe pool side. Not feeling well but still wants to swim.

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Daddy’s smoking zone

Read from her perspective: https://blackpenandmagicmarkers.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/playing-tourist-in-phuket/

 

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