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The last family trip we did was half a decade ago in 2010 to Beijing. 5 years ago I was 24, and though at 24 I wasn’t that young, my appreciation towards spending quality family time wasn’t quite there yet. It was a time about self-exploration as a young woman, traveling the world without tour guides (and their ridiculous 6 a.m. morning calls), living young, wild, and free or ‘YOLO’, if I may call it.

Over the years and significantly after I was engaged to a foreigner, it hit me that there is indeed a high probability I might move to Europe with É; especially when Malaysia’s politics, ringgit and sense are so fucked up. I reckon dad acknowledges it the same, so he proposed that we regroup as a new family with the addition of É and my brother’s girlfriend, Iki, for a family vacation to Phuket.

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Phuket is larger than I thought, and is divided to the old and new Phuket town. It was a 4 days 3 nights holiday, where É only joined us the 2nd night after work (and forgetting his passport – Hallelujah – saved after all by a blessing in disguise when the flight was delayed). This may not an interesting fact, but just in case you wonder why there are zero pictures of him in this post, I thought I’d clarify.

As an overview, our travel focus was as such:

Day 1: Old Phuket Town

Day 2: Phang Nga Bay

Day 3: Phuket Town

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As É was more interested in Phang Nga Bay, we began our journey with the old town. My brother and I did our homework to narrow down the important must-sees. Why? Because to be honest with you, not EVERYTHING here is a “must” see. With Phuket’s overly enthusiastic sun, we wanted to ensure that what we are seeing are worth it, so here is our family-friendly version of 8 Must Do’s At Phuket Old Town.

1. Admire the Sino-Portugese architecture

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I didn’t know that the Portuguese has influences in Phuket too. This pink building is one that I find most typical (think: Malacca). The old town has Sino-Portugese buildings everywhere, so pick one that fancies you and snap a helluva picture of it.

2. Thai Hua Museum 

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Although this museum is one of the main highlights, we didn’t enter because we felt the tickets price aren’t fitting. Instead, we made use of its background to snap this picture of my mum’s well-put OOTD.

3. Drink coconut water

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You’ll need to replenish all that lost moisture under Phuket’s hot, dry weather and nothing does it better than coconut water as it contains electrolytes and minerals.

4. Visit a temple (the most famous one being The Shrine of Serene Light)

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Because it’s always good to send your prayers at a temple if you are Buddhist.

5. Lunch at Raya Restaurant (highly recommended) 

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Lovely ambience, good food. Here are the dishes you really don’t wanna miss!

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{Gaeng Boo Bai Chaploo Kab Sen Mee - Crab Meat in Creamy Curry Sauce}

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{Goong Pad Sataw - Stir Fry Stinky Beans with Prawns}

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{Moo Hong - Steamed Pork with Pepper and Garlic}

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{Gaeng Som - Southern Thai Sour Curry}

6. Hop on a tuk-tuk ride

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{Just don’t stand at the side!}

7. Visit Upside Down House (Baan Teelanka)

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From my brother’s researches, this tourist spot is on the list. My mum and I chose to stay back while the rest went in to play.

8. Take a massage (this place is the TOP of my list)

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First and foremost, the massage is mind-blowing. Secondly, the price is reasonable and third, the place is clean! If you happen to have a bad day in Phuket, this will make it better. If you are already having a good day, this will make it great.

Leelawadee Massage & Spa

Address: Bangyai Rd. (Next to Big C Super Center)
Opening hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Tel.: 086-6865886
Email: leelawadeemassagespa@yahoo.com

 

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Ideally, end the day by watching the sunset at Phuket Beach, which we did.

* * *

I remember spending half a day setting up our travel itinerary in Excel, in contrary to how we completed our hotel booking within 1 minute using Traveloka. If you haven’t heard of it, I highly recommend you to download the app to make your travels simpler – from searching for cheap flights to booking your hotel stay. With the sky-high DCA fees coming soon, it’s time we travel smarter.

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What I like most is the fact that Traveloka’s displayed prices are final, unlike airlines, which excludes the tax on its price display (and give me a heart attack with their surprise surge right before I click purchase).

The Traveloka app has a cool feature named TravelokaQuick (also available on desktop) – a one tap / one-minute transaction that makes your transaction quick and smooth when you save your credit card details in advance.

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This app has helped us hunt down a good deal at The Senses hotel (and a couple more of my South East Asia trips, actually), as its design is simple, clean, easy on the eyes and user-friendly; making it easy to navigate between options. See how it lists down all the hotel facilities in neat icons, TripAdvisor ratings and also the distances between places of interest? Unlike most sites, the hotel visuals are blurred and sometimes irrelevant. This, on the other hand, is a #win!

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For the same date, hotel & number of nights, Traveloka costs RM402.80 VS Agoda, RM413!

P.S. You can get Traveloka’s app for FREE via Google Play Store or App Store. Thank you for following my travels and supporting the sponsors that help me bring you more discoveries around the globe.

More on Phuket travels:

5 Spots You Can’t Miss at Koh Phangan

Phuket Paradise

Blue Elephant

 

 

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