Phuket is a place that I have never get tired of regardless of how many times I have been here already. Traveling to Phuket this time is not my first time, how many times then? Well, all my fingers combined will not be enough. However, for this trip, I save 2 nights accommodation fee. As I joined the activity via Facebook with page Big Stopper / Travel Photography and got a free stay at Eastin Yama Hotel Phuket. I also got lucky to join activity with page Paksabuy and got another free night at Swissotel Resort Phuket. For other expenses like transportation, rental car service, food and tour packages are on my own (accommodation in both places are only free for me, my friends who travel with me get additional room and pay on their own like regular customers).
Like I said earlier, I have visited Phuket for so many times. So I seek for new attractions this trip (new for me but may be old for others). I think places that I'm going to review here might be the places that many people have visited. This trip we have 3 members (excluding me). Three of them have only been to Phuket for a few times, so my strategic plan for this trip is to try new attractions (for me) as well as must visit places when coming to Phuket (for 3 members).
P.S. For more of my journey, please visit
For my Phuket trip this time, I choose to fly with Thai Lion Air because when I booked the ticket, it offered the cheapest price. And this will be my first time flying with Thai Lion Air as well.
Every time when traveling by plane, I try to select the the window seat, if possible (in case you book the ticket yourself and you can select the seat via website). And this time is also no difference, I choose the window seat. Seat selection of Thai Lion Air can be done at the same time when you are checking in via Thai Lion Air website, 24 hours prior to departure time. I also come to know that if we want to sit comfortably with enough space to stretch our legs, we should choose 32A. So undoubtedly, I choose the 32A seat.
During my travel, the Airport Authority issues the new rule, so every carry-on bags will need to be scanned checked. This is making the check in time and baggage scanning time is much longer, good thing that I have enough spare time, so it's not a problem.
I'm still secretly wondering why 32A has space for stretching legs, is it because there's no 31A? While I checked my luggage in at the counter, I asked the staff why and they also didn't know, they just said that Lion Air has bigger aircrafts than Nok Air and Air Asia.
Until I get to my seat then I realize there's really no 31A as that area is the emergency exit. Thai Lion Air has 2 more emergency exit than Nok Air or Air Asia. In fact, not only 31A is the emergency exit, 30F and 31F (I'm not sure whether the window seat to the right is an F row) are also the emergency exit, but 30F is the flight attendant's seat.
Although 32A or 32F has more space than other seats, but the passengers on those seats are strictly forbidden to have any baggage on them as it is the emergency exit area and those things could be obstacle. I hang my camera on my neck and was asked to put the camera on overhead cabin. So then I choose to leave my camera to my co-trip friends who sit behind me.
When the plane starts to take off into the sky, I look below and see Bangkok from the high angle. I feel so tempting to take photos but cannot. Until the aircraft starts to lower its attitude in preparing to land at Phuket Airport that I can endure no longer, I asked the camera from my friends and secretly take a few shots. After that, I return the camera to my friends as if nothing has ever happened.
It is approximately an hour flight and we will arrive at Phuket Airport. Every time when I fly to Phuket, the aircraft will fly to turn around in the sea before landing to the airport but this time it seems like the Phuket Airport has changed their route of landing so the aircraft is landing straight from the city side.
After getting our luggage and receive our rental car, we are ready to set off for our journey. This time I still use the rental car service of Blue Beetle car rent, and it marks my third timer customer.
The first destination of this trip is the gateway to Phuket. Whoever travel to Phuket by car will bypass this place, the place that I'm talking about is Sarasin Bridge. I also would like my co-trip friends to experience the first touch of Phuket at this place.
Every time I come to Sarasin Bridge, looking out over the Andaman Sea, I will see Sai Kaew Beach. This trip I want to actually feel Sai Kaew Beach, so I walk until I reach this beach. Looking back to Sarasin Bridge from Sai Kaew Beach really gives me different angle of Sarasin Bridge appreciation. In addition, the water at Sai Kaew Beach is very blue.
From Sarasin Bridge, we now continue our journey towards downtown Phuket. Before we reach the checkpoint of Phuket, we will see Phuket Gateway on the right hand side. I've gone passed this place many times, but never once stopped by. So this time, I will not miss to pay a visit.
This Phuket Gateway is built to be used as a living room for visitors who travel to visit Phuket. It tells the story of Phuket, starting from the history, arts, way of people's living, and several attractions on 29 sculpture pillars. Why 29? It has the meaning. Number 2 refers to Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sri Sunthon, the two heroine of Phuket and the number 9 refers to our current King Rama IX.
Another interesting thing which is not less than the sculpture pillars is the sea turtle and its eggs sculpture. Why sea turtle? Because the Phuket Gateway is situated on Mai Khao Sub-district which is famous for Mai Khao Beach where leatherback sea turtles lay their eggs.
The Phuket Gateway is also served as tourist information center. It has mini theater for the tourists to watch the Phuket introduction video. Coffee shops, souvenir shops, library, and bathrooms are also available here. But seems like it doesn't get much attention from the tourists yet.
After that, I go to Phuket city to take all my 3 friends to experience multi-national prosperous culture during the old times from Thai, Chinese, Muslim, European, and Indian at Deebuk Road. Deebuk Road is one of the old roads in Phuket, both side of this road is filled with the ancient beautiful architecture in Sino-Portuguese style.
Sino-Portuguese architecture is the architecture that stands side by side with Phuket for more than a hundred years. It started from 1850 which was the prosperous mining era of the south of Thailand. Phuket was the important hub in that time. Several houses belonged to the mining industry's owners, city governors, and rich and influential families which are all located on the same street. This Sino-Portuguese architecture has perfectly blended the arts of the West and the East together and it becomes the unique part and identity of Phuket city.
Soi Romanee is another place to enjoy this Sino-Portuguese architecture. Currently, these old buildings are renovated to make them look new. They are painted colorfully and are made into shops and guesthouses in welcoming visitors.
After that, we keep going to our next destination. I will take my friends to pay respect to the sacred things as well as to enjoy the beautiful view at Khao Nagakerd Viewpoint.
The route to Khao Nagakerd is not so far from the entrance of Wat Chalong but on the opposite side. The path is quite narrow and steep, we must drive with full caution. On the way up, there will be something like baby elephants nursery for the tourists to stop by and feed the baby elephants. It also offers the ATV ride activity.
On the Khao Nagakerd hill enshrines Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakiri or Phuket Big Buddha in the contemporary subduing Mara attitude. It is made from the white marble jade "Suriyakant" from Myanmar. It is said that only the white marble jade alone weight 135 tons.
This is my second time visit. My first time was from last October in 2014. One year has passed but I don't see much progress in construction. But the tourists can still go worship Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakiri or Phuket Big Buddha. Anyhow, please be cautious not to go inside the construction area.
At the yard that enshrines Big Buddha, we can view this majestic Phuket view from a high angle. We could see the Chedi (pagoda) of Wat Chalong and Chalong Bay.
After worshiping the Big Buddha for our good luck and blessings, we move onto our next destination, Ya Nui Beach. This is also a new place for me as I have never been to this beach yet.
To get to Ya Nui Beach, we need to be careful in looking for a sign. From the Chalong Five Intersection, we will take the route that leads to Rawai Beach, it seems like we are going to Laem Phrom Thep Viewpoint.While we are passing by Rawai Beach, we see this beautiful blue sky and crystal clear water so I cannot help but stop for some photography. On Rawai Beach, there's many boats here. I think it's both for fishing boat and tourist boat.
After going pass Rawai Beach, we will see the right junction with a sign saying Ya Nui Beach. We just need to follow that and we will reach Ya Nui Beach.
Ya Nui Beach is a small island. I think it's very peaceful and not yet crowded with tourists. It is a perfect place for relaxing and taking some real rest. The beach is not so long, the sand is sandy but not so white. On both ends of the beach is rocky beach. The most striking thing is the small island on the left of the beach. There's a beach leading to this small island, it gives us the feeling of Talay Waek at Krabi Province or Koh Nang Yuan at Surat Thani Province.
At Ya Nui Beach, I see some waste water being released into the sea. This waste water is the brown color as seen in the photo. I really wish for related organization to come and take care of this issue so that the beautiful beach can long stay with Phuket.
It is quite convenient to come to Ya Nui Beach, especially for those who drive but the parking lot is quite limited.
From Ya Nui Beach, I choose to go to the left in order to go to the wind turbine generating electricity area.
The wind turbine generating electricity area is another viewpoint that we should not miss. From this viewpoint, we can see the wind turbine as well as Nai Han Beach.
In addition, we can also view Ya Nui Beach from a high angle as well as the route going to Laem Phrom Thep Viewpoint.
The small island at the Ya Nui Beach, where the sand is connecting Ya Nui Beach to the it, is really looking like Koh Nang Yuan.
Sugar Palm is widely seen at Laem Phrom Thep Viewpoint area.
After leaving the wind turbine generating electricity viewpoint, I am now heading to Kata Beach which will be the place we spend our first night. On the way, let's also stop for some view appreciation at Karon View Point.
From this viewpoint, we could see Kata Noi Beach, Kata Beach and Karon Beach (from close to afar). The small island on the left side is Koh Phu. This viewpoint is another place that I must visit ever time I'm here.
After finish our viewpoint program, I'm now heading straight to our hotel at EASTIN YAMA PHUKET which is located at Kata.
It is not difficult to get to EASTIN YAMA PHUKET at all. If we start at Chalong Five Intersection, we need to head towards Kata beach. Right before going to downtown Kata after getting down from the hill, we will see the hotel with a dominant sign installed above the building on the right-hand. Then, we have to look for the signpost carefully as the sign is relatively small and the path to the hotel is quite narrow and right at the end of the hill. But if we start from Kata Beach, we need to try to get onto the main road and then turn right into Chalong Five Intersection. And before you go up to the hill, turn left into the path heading towards the hotel. Then the hotel will be on our left hand side and we can park in front of the hotel.
Yama is the name of the third heaven. This is a heaven without any difficulties. It's the residence of angles who live with no difficulty but ultimate happiness. It is also the age paradise where the angles will stay young forever and everything will become true as per they wished. In this heaven, the day and night can only be differentiate when the flowers are blooming.
Upon stepping into the building, my eyes are wide opened. The living area provided for guests to take some rest is really catching my attention. This area is a tall spacious glass hall in which we can overlooking to the swimming pool, downtown Kata and Kata Beach in afar view. What strike me the most is the imaginative flower called "Dok Maya", a big white flower decorated on the ceiling along with blue mosaics, sparkling at all time.
Welcoming guest officer comes in a blue batik dress with a smile and sweet voice to welcome us, they also serve a cold kiwi soda drink, this truly freshen me up .
On the side to guests resting area is the lobby.This lobby is simple but elegant. In fact, staff would take me up to my room for checking in but I choose to check in at the lobby area as I want to enjoy and take more photography of lobby area.
After finish checking in and photographing at the lobby area, the staff take me to the room. I get to stay at Superior Sea View room.
The key to the room here is offered in key card system.
When we open the door, on our left hand is the bathroom and to the right is a wardrobe and a sink.
The decoration here is in contemporary style which focuses on earth tone, grey and blue color. The room is decorated with beech wood and added some color by small orange pillows which in turn give us cozy and comfortable feeling. This is so suitable for relaxing time. In addition to king size bed, there's some additional space on the side of the bed as well.
For the bathroom, it divides into two rooms. The first one is toilet with a toilet spray cord and the other room is for showering. It is a see through showering room with both bath tub and rain shower. Both rooms are separated by frosted glass door.
All the shower facilities are designed to fit in a tissue box.
Facilities inside the room is like those in other standard hotels which include air conditioner, LCD TV with satellite, fridge, hot water kettle for tea and coffee as well as free WiFi.
In the wardrobe, there will be a bathrobe, a safe, an umbrella, a hair dryer and a sandal.
Since I'm in Sea View room, I have my private balcony as well. There's a set of chair at the balcony for us to enjoy the outside view which we can overlook to the pool, downtown Kata, and Kata Beach in a distance. During the evening time, here is also a good place to watch sunset.
EASTIN YAMA PHUKET accommodates 104 rooms in a 5 floors white building. What must mention is the swimming pool here. It seems very popular among foreign visitors who would either come for swimming or simply sunbath at all time. The tile under the pool is also very colorful, looking very great! During the evening time, the pool is also changing its colors back and forth.
The Superior Pool Access Room, once they open the room, they can directly go for swimming.
Next to the pool is SIP pool bar which serves beverages all day long.
At the side of SIP pool bar, you can also wash up before and after the pool time.
After having enough rest, our stomach is crying for food. Tonight, we will be eating at Kan Eang Seafood Restaurant 2 which is located on the Chalong Bay.
There are two branches of Kan Eang Seafood Restaurant, I choose to come to the second one as it is located near the Chalong Bay.
I've been here about 4 times already and this time I see that it looks quite different and of course in a good way. The restaurant is totally renovated. The atmosphere becomes much more cozy and I choose to sit near the beach.
For this meal, I start off with big fresh oysters, the meat is exceptionally sweet.
Followed up with Seaweed Salad. The restaurant uses Green Caviar as their seaweed. In fact, we can eat this Green Caviar seaweed fresh, it would be a bit salty and crispy. When we eat this dish, we just spoon the salad sauce and place the seaweed on the top. Personally, I think the salad sauce have yet got that taste.
The next menu is Nam Prik Kung Sieb (a spicy dried shrimp dip). I really don't want you to miss this menu when you travel to Phuket. Big dried shrimps in a good spicy taste, eating with fresh vegetable, so delicious! Just by thinking about this dish, I'm already mouth-watering.
Followed up with Stir-fried Sataw with shrimp (a Thai flat beans with shrimp). Sataw is a bit young, not yet got that taste. This dish is also weak in spicy and salty, personally, I don't like it that much.
Fried eggs with Bai Liang (one kind of vegetable), it's a bit watery. Usually, I enjoy it in a drier manner. The smell of Bai Liang is yet there, I think the taste is ok but not great.
Kaeng Som Coconut Shoot and Shimp (a sour soup), I think it's not a strong taste yet, a bit mild. The shrimp in the soup as much as the coconut shoot.
Overall, I think the taste is mild, not so strong like an authentic spicy southern food. I think it may because the restaurant adapt the taste to make it suit for everybody in general.
Now that our stomach is full, it's time to go back to the hotel.
The guests resting area atmosphere, I think it's more beautiful now than in the afternoon. We can see the shadow reflecting on the ceiling, Dok Maya is shining which gives us a good dimension and it looks like Dok Maya is blossoming.
The more evening, the more I realize that Dok Maya is in fact blooming everywhere in the hotel, for example, on the curtain, the wall, the ceiling, the glass, the cushion, and the lamp. Even on the bed when we turn off the light, in a complete darkness we can still see fluorescent Dok Maya at the end of our bed. Tonight, please allow me to go take a rest on this soft bed for now.
The next morning, I wake up with freshness and come out for a deep fresh air at the balcony. Looking outwards and I realize that the rain just stops. Today I have a program to enjoy at Koh Khai, so I'm praying to see a blue clear sky without any rain.
After washing my face, brushing my teeth and taking a shower, I go down for breakfast at the SENZEES restaurant which is located at the ground floor of the hotel.
SENZEES restaurant opens from 06.00-11.00 a.m.. It offers both indoor and outdoor dining, the area is quite spacious.
If you like the airy atmosphere, I think you can sit outdoor, next to the pool. The atmosphere is great but it's just a little bit far from the food.
This is a morning food line, all in this 3 corners. The first corner focuses on main course.
This corner is in the middle area underneath the blue lantern, it serves cold cuts like salad, fruits, yogurt and fruit juice.
And the third corner is egg menus, the chef will cook fresh according to what the guests' want.
The morning atmosphere of the swimming pool. From the pool overlooking up, we will see the mountains behind the hotel and if we look more careful, we will also see Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakiri enshrined on Khao Nagakerd.
For my first night staying at EASTIN YAMA PHUKET, I was warmly and greatly welcomed by the staff. I'm very appreciated the room, the comfort and the cleanliness. I would rank it as good to excellent scale.
For some of the cons are as follow:
1. Signpost for the hotel at the main road is quite small and it's difficult to find the way in.
2. The route to the hotel is quite dangerous as it is curving and downhill where the cars are going in fast speed.
3. Parking is somewhat limited, may be only enough for 20 cars (estimation from the sight). However, after inquiry from the staff, they said most of the guests are foreigners who prefer to use public transportation. So the current parking is adequate for the guests.
4. The hotel does not have beach. But the hotel provide shuttle bus to Kata Beach twice a day, at 10.00 a.m. and 14.00 p.m..
5. Morning breakfast doesn't have enough variety line, I think the taste might suit foreigners more than Thai guests.
6.Hot beverages included in the buffet only refer to tea and coffee, for hot cocoa, you will need to pay extra.
For today program, I choose to buy a one day trip with Tiddin Travel, an alliance of Phuket rental car and Phuket tours. The van will come pick us and drop us off at the hotel, this is only to those who stay in downtown Phuket, Kata Beach, Karon Beach and Patong Beach. For guests who stay at other beaches like Kamala Beach, Mai Khao Beach, there will be additional fee if you wish to have pick up and drop off service.
Before traveling to Koh Khai, we need to know more about Koh Khai. As far as I know, there's two Koh Khai. The first Koh Khai is at Tarutao, if you cannot imagine it you can think about the rocky gate in the middle of the sea and that is Koh Khai Tarutao. And the other Koh Khai is at Phang Nga Province. Many people would think of Koh Khai as being part of Phuket Province since most of Koh Khai tour is setting off from Phuket Pier. In fact, Koh Khai is located in Phang Nga Bay, Phang Nga Province. Koh Khai is constituted of three islands which are Koh Khai Nai, Koh Khai Nok, and Koh Khai Nui.
08.30 a.m., the van from a tour company picks us up and drops us off at downtown Phuket Pier. At this pier, we will sign our name and our accommodation on a paper for buying insurance. In addition, a free coffee corner is there at our service.
Tiddin Travel will send the guests onto Phuket New Generation Travel Company. From the pier, we take approximately 20 minutes boat ride and we will arrive at our first island, Koh Khai Nui.
Koh Khai Nui is a small island, the tour program will let the guests to snorkel and enjoy the corals here. Although Koh Khai Nui has a small beach, tourists are not allowed to go onto the beach.
The water is indeed very clear, we can see a lot of fish without having to dive in.
From the boat stopping area in the sea, overlooking to the other side, we will see the dazzling white sand on Koh Khai Nok.
The tour gives tourists about 45 minutes diving time at Koh Khai Nui before moving onto Koh Khai Nai.
From Koh Khai Nui, we take about 10 minutes boat ride and we will arrive at Koh Khai Nai. Snowy white sand among emerald green water simply put me under magical spell!
Looking out to the opposite side of Koh Khai Nai, we will see Koh Yao Yai.
Koh Khai Nai is a small island with fine snowy white sandy sand all along the beach, the water is also crystal clear. It is just an ideal place to snorkeling and enjoying corals.
On the beach, apart from white sandy sand, there are also many strange looking stones which are the natural sculpture created by the wind erosion.
The back of the snowy white sand is the beach that has both sand and rocks. This area is crowded with sunbeds and umbrella canvas. Most of the tourists are Chinese. I think the beach with only sand is more beautiful.
Another Natural Sculpture, so Magnificently Great!
The other side of Koh Khai Nai is a rocky beach, there are no tourists in this area. I walk around the whole island and get totally worn out at the place when I got down from the boat.
So I finally take a rest on this sunbed at the boat getting off area. From the survey of the whole island, I think this is the most beautiful place on this island. In front of us is the snowy white sand and the beautiful color of the sea with a backdrop of Koh Yao Yai and a front scene of colorful umbrella canvas. This is truly exceptionally an impressive scenery for me!
For lunch, the tour gives us Fried Rice with Shrimp and a big Fried Chicken Thigh. Fried Rice is delicious without any additional chili fish sauce. Water melon and pineapple is also served. For the beverage, it is a glass of water as well as soft drinks in which have been served the entire trip.
The sunbeds and umbrella canvas are not included in the tour package. If you wish to relax on this sunbed under these colorful umbrella canvas, you will need to pay extra. It is 150 THB for two sunbeds and one umbrella canvas. I spend about two hours at Koh Khai Nai before moving onto Koh Khai Nok.
Koh Khai Nok is a small beautiful rocky island. The sand here is as white as the one in Koh Khai Nai. Restaurants and beverages are also available at Koh Khai Nok.
The water is super crystal clear, we can snorkeling to see corals.
Koh Khai Nok from a High Angle
Koh Khai Nok also offers sunbeds and umbrella canvas in the same price as Koh Khai Nai.
If I have to make a beauty comparison between Koh Khai Nai and Koh Khai Nok, personally, I like Koh Khai Nai more. This is due to the topography of Koh Khai Nai, in addition to snowy white sand, vaious strange forms of rocks are there to be seen. As for the crystal clear water, there's really no need to compare as both islands have them. However, there is one common thing that I've seen in both islands, which is rubbish. Rubbish are left everywhere on the beach, especially on Koh Khai Nai, broken glass are also left on the rocky beach. I really want the tourists and related people on both islands help keep it clean so that the beauty of both beaches can stay longer with Phang Nga sea.
I spend another two hours on Koh Khai Nok and it's time to go back to Phuket. It is approximately 20 minutes boat ride from Koh Khai Nok to Phuket pier. But even before I step my feet on the boat, the rain is heavily falling. With this heavy rain, I think I would have to cancel my next program of watching sunset at Laem Phromthep Viewpoint.
The van of the tour company drop me off at EASTIN YAMA PHUKET. It turns out that there is no rain in Kata and the sky is also not closed. So then immediately I drive to Laem Phromthep Viewpoint as it is almost 18.00 p.m. already.
Once I arrive at Laem Phromthep Viewpoint parking, I'm discouraged as there's no more parking lot available. But I still keep driving. I go pass this parking lot to the next spacious yard that we can also park but we just need to walk a bit far. Well, since we are already here, walking far is better than nothing. Let's see if we are lucky enough to see the sunset or not.
When we walk to Laem Phromthep Viewpoint, almost all good spots have been occupied by tourists. I look out to the sky, almost no sun is there but only fuzzy sunlight fading behind the cloud curtain. I let my fellow friends to take photography around Laem Phromthep Viewpoint before the end of the sunlight. After that I take them to take more photos in another corner with the wind turbine generating electricity as a backdrop. Before we finish photography time, I suddenly see this giant sun comes out of the cloud curtain before slowly lost in the horizon again.
I've been waiting to see the sunset view at Laem Phromthep Viewpoint for many times but only a few time that my expectation is met. This time, my hope actually was gone since the heavy rain at the boat pier. I think I'm very lucky to finally get to enjoy this sunset view today.
Time continues to go as well as the beautiful light that shine themselves in the sky. This is indeed a golden time for photographer, I, myself, also crazily press the shutter in a non-stop fashion.
When the light is gone, my day is also finished. I will have to go to our next accommodation. Tonight I will be staying at Swissotel Resort Phuket which is located at Kamala Beach.
Since I arrive hotel at night, so the review in this hotel will not be in chronological.
From Laem Phromthep Viewpoint, I choose to follow the Kata Beach, Karon Beach, going pass Patong Beach and heading towards Kamala Beach route. Until we go pass Phuket Fantasea on the right, then we will drive straight till the end of Muslim graveyard fence on the left. Now, we will see iron concrete bridge, please look for the signpost of the hotel on the right hand side. After we cross the iron concrete bridge, we must turn right into the path immediately. From here, continue driving a bit further and we will reach the front of the hotel.
The front of the hotel is quite luxurious.
When we walk into the hotel, on the left hand side is the area of lobby, I really like the design behind the lobby. The staff told me that the picture I see represents Swiss circle which tells the story and culture of the charming people and contemporary but timeless. It is a link between the traditions and modernity that can be clearly perceived.
On the right hand side is the guests resting area. While we are checking in, we will also get a cold strawberry juice as a welcome drink, so refreshing.
Swissotel offers 180 rooms and all are offered in suite room type, available in a one-bedroom, two-bedrooms and three-bedrooms. So this place is an ideal place for a family or a group of friends to stay.
After checking in, the staff will take us to the room. Tonight I will be staying at one bedroom pool terrace suite. The room is facing towards the swimming pool and a set of chairs will also be available to sit by the pool to enjoy the view.
The room key here is in a key card system.
When open the door, we will find a big hall with a living area that we can have some activities together like watching TV and dining. In addition, office table and fridge is also provided.
Now, let's take a look at bedroom. There will be a king size bed, TV, and wardrobe.
Inside the wardrobe has an iron, ironing board, an umbrella, a bathrobe, and a safe.
The bathroom is separate the wet and dry area by the glass. The toilet has no spraying cord.
The bath accessories are of Pürovel, smell quite good but the volume is too little for two people taking bath twice a day.
A hot water kettle is also available for coffee and hot drinking water.
Now, let's take a look at outdoor atmosphere. The swimming pool here is very large and sunbeds are available around the pool, ready for guests to have a relax time next o the pool. It opens from 01.00 a.m.-20.00 p.m..
A Pool with a Water-Slide
The pool bar serves variety of snacks and beverages to enrich your enjoyment time at the pool. It opens from 10.00 a.m.-21.00 p.m..
For the fire safety issue, we will have no worry when seeing this photo as the fire box is available throughout the hotel.
Now, let's take a look at the night atmosphere of Swissotel.
Guests resting area is for guests to enjoy while waiting for checking in and checking out.
Café Restaurant Corner
Swimming Pool and Pool Bar
Today I'm really exhausted, please allow me to roll myself on the soft bed.
On the new morning, I have my breakfast at Café Restaurant which opens from 06.30 a.m. – 23.00 p.m..
It is an open air restaurant that can accommodate up to 250 guests.
The area has several corners, this corner is overseeing a green garden.
Seating is also available in variety formats as well.
For me, I choose this corner with big chair and comfy seat. I can enjoy the swimming pool view while eating.
The buffet line is also quite a variety, the food is being filled at all time.
Cold Cuts Corner
Waffle, Pancake, and French Toast Corner
Fruits Corner, the rambutan is a bit withered.
A fresh fruit juice for detox made from watermelon, strawberry and mint. The taste is quite delicious that I have several glass of them.
Thai Menu for the Day
Pad Thai is very popular that they have to fill up all the time.
A simple menu like Fried Dumpling is very popular among the foreigners. I also enjoy several of them.
This corner is for ham and hot-dog.
Egg Station is for all kinds of egg menu like boiled eggs, omelet, fried eggs, etc.
Hot beverages include coffee, tea, and hot cocoa.
Although there seems to be not so many menu, but overall I think it is quite a variety. The taste is not too for foreigners and the food is being filled at all time. So this morning, I'm quite full.
The Pros of Swissotel
- The room is quite spacious.
- Facilities in the room is in full option.
- Drinking water can be refilled at all time.
- A large swimming pool
Not close to the beach
- The wooden floor is making noise every time we walk.
- There's no spraying cord attached to the toilet.
- The parking at the main entrance can only accommodate 5-6 cars.If it's full, you have to park parallel to the rectangular design of the hotel. You may have to walk far to get to the lobby.
Staying at Kamala Beach but I have yet get an opportunity to feel the Kamala Beach because I checked in late last night. So after checking out and before going to our next destination, I make a stop at the signpost of the hotel on the main road and walk a bit further to experience Kamala Beach.
Kamala Beach is approximately 2 kilometers long. When tsunami hit Phuket back then, this beach also suffered the consequences. Where I walk is considered the end of Kamala Beach, it is quite peaceful and private (I'm not sure if it's because of how this beach is organized). I'm not quite sure too whether at the middle of the beach could be more crowded, but at the end of the beach here have almost no tourists.
From the Kamala Beach, we will drive north in which the route is a bit uphill. When we come across the uphill area, we will have a high angle view of Laem Sing.
I also just learn that Phuket also have a cape name Laem Sing because I only used to go Laem Sing at Chanthaburi Province. Laem Sing at Phuket has a not so wide beach. From a high angle viewpoint, the emerald green water is contrasting with blue sky, very beautiful!
Driving a little bit further from Laem Sing, we will see a small path leading us to Surin Beach. In fact, the main path to Surin Beach is slightly further. But I think if I get down at the main path, I could have met a lot of tourists. So I decide to go to the beach via the route where there's not much tourists.
I think the highlight of Surin Beach is a fine sand and when the sun shines the light on it, we will have a clear distinctive view of the sea's color. The beach here is not suitable for swimming as it's quite sloppy. Even the day I went the wind was not so strong, there's a sign warning the tourists not to swim.
After that, we keep driving until we see the sign saying that turn left into Bang Tao Beach, I cannot wait but turn left as the sign suggested. However, once we turn left into the route, the sign seems disappear so we have to find the place for quite sometimes. Along the way, there's a lot of hotels on the side.
After driving here and there, I finally find a small path that I can see the sea. So I turn into it right away and find a parking. I have the feeling that where I parked is not the main entrance to Bang Tao Beach.
Bang Tao Beach is one of the longest beaches of Phuket. There are a range of pine trees lined up along the beach. At where I parked the car, there's also this very long robe of swing.
Before going back to the car and continue our journey. I suddenly see this beautiful background behind the rental car so I want to make a shot here. Talking about rental car, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce rental car service a bit. This trip, I rented the car with Blue Beetle Car rent, this is my third time using this company service. Why I love it so much? I have to say because the price is affordable and the renting process is not complicated. In addition, The listed price has no more ++ like other companies. I paid 1,000 THB per day for my first trip and then I got a red car plate car to drive. On the second time, I booked while they were doing promotion so I got it 900 THB per day price. I even returned late for 2 hours without additional charge. For my third time, I was also lucky to book while they were doing promotion, so it costs 800 THB per day. If anyone is interested in renting a car with Beetle Car Rent, you can also check out for more promotion at FB: รถเช่าภูเก็ตและทัวร์ภูเก็ต (Phuket rental car and Phuket Tour). If I ever come back to Phuket again, of course, this would be my choice again.
From Bang Tao Beach, we continue to drive until we reach Wat Phra Thong. I cannot wait but take my friends to worship Phra Pud (a half-buried golden Buddha statue), one of the early days' Unseen Thailand of The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Phra Pud is enshrined inside Luang Pho Phra Thong Vihara.
This temple doesn't enshrine two Phra Pud. In fact, Phra Pud is a golden Buddha Statue where only a head of the Buddha Statue appeared about one cubit above the ground (the right one). Currently, the temple has built a simulation one to the left so that Buddhists can come worship and place gold sheets on the Buddha Statue for prosperity. Another should not miss place inside Wat Phra Thong is Wat Phra Thong Museum. Inside is a collection of antiques, historical supplies and things that I also never seen before, such as a raincoat of a tin miner, tiled pillow, and what striking me the most is doll size shoes (small size of shoe) of Chinese ladies who would bind their feet according to the value at the ancient time. No photo allowed inside the museum.
After that, let's continue our journey to Royal Phuket Marina.
Royal Phuket Marina is a new lifestyle destination of Phuket on more than 200 rai area(1 rai=1,600 square meters). Inside situated hotels, restaurants, many shops, and including yacht parking station. This place is right next to Boat Lagoon.
Let me farewell our Phuket trip with a local authentic food called Khun Yai Chian Sapam Noodle Restaurant which is located not so far from the Royal Phuket Marina. We just need to drive cross the bypass a bit and the restaurant will be on your right hand side. Khun Yai Chian Sapam Noodle is a local restaurant that has been side by side with Phuket for over 50 years. It offers quite a variety of menu. It is a one floor spacious restaurant and I must say, they really have a lot of customers.
Let's start with Sapam Noodle which is considered the highlight menu of this restaurant. Sapam Noodle is a Hokkien noodle. It is a yellow noodle that will be fried with Chinese cabbage, shrimp, squid and fish ball. Without egg is 50 THB, with an egg is 55 THB and extra dish for 70 THB.
Followed up with O-Tao, this menu is similar to Fried Shell in central menu. But here they use Tib shells (small shells that are growing naturally, not the one that fed by man) to fry with steamed taro, eggs, and a mixture of wheat flour and tapioca flour. This soft dough will be mixed with taro water and gives us a sweet taste. The dish then is sprinkling with dried shrimp, fried red shallots and will be served with raw bean sprouts and a dipping chili sauce. This dish is really my dish. It is believed that eating O-Tao will make the children strongly love one another just like the soft but compact O-Tao meat. This menu is 50 THB.
Next menu is Fried Shell. This dish here is different than the Fried Shell in the central which will mix the flour with mussels and bean sprouts before flying with eggs. Here, they will use Tib shell to fly with bean sprouts. It is served separately with crispy thin rolled dough and a dipping chili sauce. It is so delicious. This menu is 50 THB.
Fresh Crab Meat Spring Rolls, this dish is quite delicious.
Fish Maw Soup, in fact this dish is not a local food but we order because we want to eat and it is 50 THB per dish.
Fried Dumpling, this dish is also not a local food. But we see neighboring talbe order and we can't resist but also order one dish. It is 30 THB per dish.
let's end this meal with O-Aew, a dessert that can only be found in Phuket. O-Aew is made from O-Aew beans' jelly and then mucilage of O-Aew with be mixed with mucilage of banana so that O-Aew can form a piece. To enjoy it, we need to cut it into pieces and it is served with syrup and ice. It is delicious and refreshing in a 25 THB per dish price.
In addition, other local dish is also available such as Steamed Chinese Pork Bones and Noodle Soup, Loba, Uchae but I didn't get to try them as I'm very full already. Khun Yai Chian Sapam Noodle Restaurant opens daily from 10.00 a.m.-18.00 p.m.. Whoever has a chance to come to Phuket, I highly recommend you to try some local food.
After lunch, we go straight to the airport to get ready for our flight home. For the return flight, I choose to fly with Nok Air.
Phuket Airport has changed the direction of departure and landing route. For taking off from Phuket, the aircraft will fly towards the sea.
After taking off for some minutes, looking out and below we will see Sarasin Bridge. This bridge has a great importance to Phuket as it connects Phuket island to the land of Phang Nga Province.
I also get to see this Glory, a round rainbow around the shadow of the plane and it will appear only on the cloud below the observer.
When flying over Prachuap Khiri Khan airspace, we also see Khao Lom Muak.
Not so long, we are flying into Samut Prakarn airspace, the Gulf of Thailand.
Overseeing Tall Buildings and the Chao Phraya River Bend
The aircraft is turning around at Pratu Nam Phra In as we also see the Dhammakaya Temple.
Finally, we arrive safely at Don Muang International Airport.
This is another impressive trip for me as I have got to travel to many new places and the weather is on our side. The sky is open the entire trip so we got so many good photographs despite small rain during our journey. If anyone is planning on traveling to Phuket and have yet got any ideas for the itinerary, I hope my program can serve as your alternative plan and help contributing and making your plan even more perfect!