Archive for April, 2014

After swimming around in the calm waters of Maya Bay, we piled back into our speed boat and made our way to Monkey Beach.Monkey Beach is a must see in Phuket even if it’s just a quick stop on the well-worn track of the Phi Phi Island Tours. Unfortunately for us, the tide was high so we were not able to dock in its white sand beach. That didn’t stop me from admiring the humongous rocks that surround the beach.

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Apparently, hundreds of monkeys live in this island. They do not hesitate to come out of their natural habitat to greet tourists that drop by nonstop. Throw some food into the water and be surprised at how fast they scramble (and swim) to get them. I had a good time playing spot the monkey which wasn’t all that easy given the poor state of my eyes. Thanks to my camera phone’s wonderful zooming power, I was able to observe the monkeys more up close.

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This is definitely my favorite monkey. I’m not sure if horribly fat or just pregnant, though. LOL.

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Our second day in Phuket was solely for island hopping. After a filling breakfast, we shuffled over to the marina where we were to hop on a speed boat along with other tourists. Too bad my friends and I were not the first ones on board, I would have loved to sit in the front deck of the boat. The seats inside were still fine, just limited view of the surroundings.

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The ride was really fast and quite bumpy! In no time, we arrived at our first destination: Ko Phi Phi Leh (“ko” means an island in Thai). Ko Phi Phi Leh is the second largest island in the Phi Phi archipelago, the largest one being Ko Phi Phi Don. Phi Phi Leh houses Viking Cave, from which there is a thriving bird’s nest soup industry.

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The island consists of a ring of steep limestone hills surrounding two shallow bays, the Maya Bay and Loh Samah. Although we didn’t get to Maya Bay’s coast, it is essential to mention that this is where the Hollywood movie The Beach was shot. The cliff faces remind me so much of our very own Coron, Palawan.

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Since this island is just a small part of our whole day tour, we didn’t dock on its shores. Instead, our boat stopped near Viking Cave and our tour guide told us that we could swim around if we wanted to. We immediately strapped on our life vests and dove into the crystal blue waters.

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Shortly after, I fully abandoned my vest because it was becoming more of a nuisance for me. I swam Maya Bay’s deep waters and marveled at how calm the water is. I could easily carry on a conversation while treading, it was THAT calm.

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Some people on deck started throwing bread into the water and swarms of fish swam further up to get a nibble. The water was so clear, I didn’t even need goggles to see them (which was also a good thing because stupid me forgot to bring my snorkeling gear).

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After swimming around for almost an hour, our guide started calling us on board and we made our way to our next island destination. Come back here soon to read about it! 🙂

If you want to check out how we spent our first day in Phuket, click here –> Phuket, Thailand (Day 1)

 

 

Almost a year ago, I traveled to Thailand for the first time with my good friends, Allan and Lorraine. I had a total of six days to spend in this beautiful country so I decided to split my time between Phuket and Bangkok. Plans of meeting up and partying at Pattaya with Vlad and his sister were also in order but did not push through due to time constraints.

Upon landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport, we took a cab that would take us to Don Muang Airport (DMK). From DMK, we will be flying to Phuket where our itinerary officially starts. We were making good time so we had the chance to admire the decor inside the airport. Not used to such grand displays inside an airport, we were quite amused with all the golden things scattered all over the departure area.

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After about 90 minutes, we arrived at Phuket International Airport. Another cab ride took us to our hotel. We were way early for check-in so we killed some time having breakfast in their in-house restaurant. I will be making a separate entry on our hotel because it deserves one, hehe. When we finally got to check in; we took a little rest, freshened up and were ready to go out by lunchtime. We asked a tuktuk driver to take us to a restaurant, one that’s close to the beach if possible. True enough, we ended up at a restaurant with a view of the Patong Beach.

For lunch, we had (1) Fried Rice in Pineapple, (2) Spicy Fried Shrimp, (3) Fried Fish with Mushrooms and (4) Pad Thai. It was the most expensive and most rightly so the most delicious Pad Thai of our entire trip. When our food was served, I realized that “fried” in other Asian countries is more of sautéed with some sort of sauce. LOL. Wala lang…

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After eating, we decided to stroll around Patong Beach. It’s massive shoreline (the whole stretch is 3.5KM long!!!) was filled with so many tourists and equally numerous locals aggressively urging everyone that passes by them to try whatever they offer. Patong Beach is the main tourist resort in Phuket and understandably so. You can never run out of things to do here – from varying water activities to just lounging around. At night, the bars that line its shores come alive and get filled with so many tourists.

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When we got tired of walking along the shore (and all the men coaxing us to try everything), we moved to the street lined with stalls and carts peddling anything and everything under the sun. From shirts, to magnets, to massages, to food – it’s all there! We zoomed in on the crepes because NUTELLA. Haha! We ate our crepes as we walk back to our hotel. We never took a tuktuk to and from Patong Beach again because the distance was manageable after all.

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When we got back to our hotel, we immediately changed to our swimming suits and lounged in the pool for a good two hours. We also took advantage of this downtime (and stronger wi-fi) to update our families and social networks. It was getting cold as soon as the sun went down so we decided to get ready for dinner. A few minutes walk from the hotel led us to a group of peddlers offering a lot of street food. We had noodle soup with two different kinds of toppings (beef and chicken), chicken pad thai, and fruit shakes to down them all. Super yummy and cheap street food!

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Our first day in Phuket was not too eventful but I couldn’t think of a better way to start our vacation. Come back for the rest of our Thailand stay! 🙂

 

 

Mr. Choi Kitchen is one of my favorite lunch out/ dinner spots when I was still working with Globe Telecom. One of their branches is located in Robinson’s Forum, a short walking distance from both my previous office and condo. Due to its accessibility, it is my default go-to restaurant every time I have them Chinese munchies. Below are all the food we ordered when I last ate there with three other friends.

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Spinach Seafood Soup (Php90) | For starters, we had their spinach soup. Perfectly warm and light, best way to start out our meal. It had bits of shrimp, fish and tofu so it’s very tasty as well.

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Beef Brisket and Wanton Noodle Soup (Php195) | Because I wanted more soup (I always want more soup!), I requested that we get an order of noodle soup. I liked the beef because it was tender and had the perfect amount of fat that I like (which is not too much). The wanton was OK as well but the noodles tasted a bit plastic-y for me. It was fine anyway because I was just after the soup originally.

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Baked Roast Duck in White Sauce with Rice (Php250) | I always opt for Chao Fan when I dine here but my companions already ordered before I got there so I had to settle with their choice. It turned out very delicious! It had a generous amount of the roast duck and white sauce. I especially loved the burnt parts of the sauce because it added a smoky taste to the rice. This is actually good as a dish in itself because as I said, the amount of roast duck in it is very generous.

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Crispy Fried Chicken (Php290) | Half of a whole chicken crispy fried to perfection with crackers – another regular in any Chinese meal. I always eat it with a dipping sauce of calamansi juice, chili garlic paste and soy sauce. Yum!

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Beef with Broccoli (Php290) | Another regular is the beef with broccoli. The slices of beef were again perfectly tender. I just wish there’s much more broccoli thrown in there.

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Mr. Choi Dimsum Combination (Php305) |  It is blasphemous to dine in a Chinese restaurant and not order any type of dimsum. We take it up a notch higher by ordering a platter of varied dimsums to satisfy the equally varied cravings. I always zoom in first on the hakaw (shrimp dumpling) and go to the nori wrapped siu mai next. The rest are good as well, but these two are on the top of my list.

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