Posts Tagged ‘phuket thailand’

When booking for hotels on vacations, we all have a lot of considerations in mind. Location, amenities and affordability are always on the top of my list. Luckily, we found one that meets our standards.

Leelawadee Boutique Hotel is within walking distance from the charming Patong Beach where most of the touristy things are. The hotel has an in-house restaurant with a delicious à la carte menu. What won us over is the free buffet breakfast that comes with our hotel reservation. Hard to resist free things, right?

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Every morning, we would make our way down to the restaurant to get our fill of eggs, sausages, and freshly cut fruits. You can request to have some eggs done however you like, and the cook will prep them on the fly. A fairly wide selection of drinks is also available. Cold juice or freshly brewed coffee, whatever floats your boat.

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We booked the cheapest room that could fit the three of us. We had zero expectations on how large the room was and we would have been happy with whatever we had as long as we could fit comfortably in it. Imagine our delight when we got ushered to our very large room. Plus points for them letting us into our room waaaaay before the normal check-in time.

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Our room was on the second floor which provided a very good view of the swimming pool. The stairway going up to our floor is also gorgeously lit up at night which provided a nice backdrop to some token vanity photos.

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Moving on to the pool, we almost always had it all to ourselves. Every afternoon, we would lounge around drinking some local beer and eating some snacks. When we get tired of the water, we move around an upper deck that has a great view of the sun setting from the distance. Aaaaaahhh the tranquility!

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The hotel is decorated in a contemporary Thai style and it was fun searching and photographing all the little ornaments scattered all over the lobby. One of my favorite is the bathroom sign near the reception area.

The exceptionally warm service of the hotel crew should also be commended. They always have a warm smile on their face and they’re always ready to cater to our every little special request.

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108436480If you are going to Phuket any time soon, I would highly recommend this hotel. You can check their official website here: http://leelaboutique.com/

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After a sumptuous lunch at Bora Bora Restaurant, our speed boat made its way to the last destination for the day — Khai Nok Island. Koh Khai Nok is a small triangular island tucked in Phang Nga Bay.

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One special characteristic of Koh Khai Nok is that it has at least twelve types of exotic tropical fish and they aren’t afraid of humans. This is the only place I’ve been so far where you could snorkel above the water. Literally! You don’t even need to dip your head into the water to be able to see all the fish. The water is so clear and the fish are so fearless that they swim even on knee-deep waters.

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My friends and I were more interested in all the freshly cut fruits prepared by a member of our boat crew. He was masterfully cutting open piece after piece of pineapple and watermelon. All the guests could partake of the fruits, water and soda that they brought along. Well, don’t mind if I do! 🙂

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We rented out a parasol where we could put our things and rolled around on the beach’s powder white sand. The sand was so fine and it got everywhere. EVERYWHERE! Hahaha!

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On the other end of the island, less people were gathered. The water is relatively deeper and there are much more jagged rock formations than the inexperienced swimmer would dare get near to.

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After walking around and swimming with the fishies for a little bit, we went back under our parasol and gladly consumed some more watermelon that our full tummies could manage.  We just can’t get enough!

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We spent our last minutes lounging under our beach umbrella and people-watching. Not long after, our tour guide were calling everyone on board. Sadly, our whole day of gallivanting in Phuket’s Islands has come to an end.

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The whole day island hopping tour we booked included a buffet lunch in one of the Phi Phi Islands. Lunch itself wasn’t too interesting but super filling. And I cannot get over the deliciousness of their watermelons. Their soup was also good but mainly because I am obsessed with nori, LOL.

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After stuffing ourselves full, we decided to walk around the island. The restaurant was also getting too full for our liking so it was a perfect way to escape all the noise. I am all for cultural diversity but families and friends speaking different languages in loud volumes – I tell you, it gets crazy.

Right outside the restaurant, we saw baskets of fake fruits and vegetables on display. They look so real on photos, though. Just a few steps away from the restaurant, we saw a vendor peddling real fruits. Their mangoes are humongous!

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The island has several hotels in it and the streets actually look like that of actual villages. We saw a couple of pools but they are for the hotel guests’ use only.

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A lot of souvenir items are available in the island. This neon green tank caught my eye but being the frugal me, I held myself back because I know I could find the same stuff at a cheaper price off the island. Most of the stores do not tolerate photography but I git to squeeze in a couple of shots before I got shooed away by a very agitated seller. LOL. Calm yo tits!

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After about 15 minutes of walking, we arrived at the far end of the island where we  got to have an awesome view of the surrounding islands. A handful of boats were docked in that area and it just looked so picturesque with mountains and the ocean as a backdrop. The photos do not do the view any justice, mainly because I was just using a camera phone.

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I also found a cute kitten lounging around the benches and I just couldn’t pass up a photo-op. Thailand has lots of chubby cats all around and this was just the start of me harassing a bunch of them. Soon after taking pictures with the cat, we made our way back to where we had lunch and hopped on our boat off to another island.

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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)