Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hat-trick Destination...Phuket

16-19 Sept 2011 ~ "Crouching Krabi Hidden Phuket" Teambuilding Trip
My 3-months off-peak is finally over. =.= Just got back from our company's 4D3N annual trip. Traveled to Phuket AGAIN...for the 3rd time within 3 years (this explains the title of this post)! It's not that I love Phuket so much and if given a choice I would avoid traveling to places that I've been to before. Even though we were given the choice to vote for this annual trip's destination, it wasn't really a choice at all coz it was Krabi & Phuket vs. Trang (who knows where this is la). But at least my experiences for each of these 3 trips were quite different...1st trip with family in 2008 was free & easy, 2nd trip in 2010 was totally posh, and this trip was guided tour with colleagues, great company but lousy itinerary & tour guide. The tour guide Mr. Lu (lulu) & travel agent Beautiful Planet was extremely disappointing and I believe we were conned. Whoever suggested or approved this itinerary deserves some dissin'. Anyway, we still managed to syok sendiri and made my camera work hard usual. :p

16 Sept 2011 (Fri): Penang - Krabi
I haven't been to Krabi before and I was actually looking forward to it. Besides, our hotel was near Ao Nang beach and I thought at least I can still see the beach. But nope, the first day of our trip was extremely boring and tiring. Started our journey at 6am and we were stuck in the bus for the rest of the day. =.= We were supposed to visit a cave along the journey but that was cancelled, so the only thing we did was sleep, eat, and watch movie. Bad idea to travel to Thailand by bus...flying is definitely the way to go.

Super long queue at Padang Besar border coz it was a holiday. Almost 50 buses queuing in front of us so had to wait for 3 hours. Because of this, Lulu cancelled our cave detour. 

Had lunch right after we crossed Thai border. 

Wattana Park Hotel at Trang. This was supposed to be our lunch stop but became our dinner stop. We had exactly the same thing as what we had for lunch. =.= 

Finally reached Srisuksant Hotel at 9pm...spent only 12 hours here.

Dropped our luggage and took a TukTuk to the main street of Ao Nang.

17 Sept 2011 (Sat): Krabi - Phuket

The journey to Phuket was much shorter (anything below 5 hours is short after the 14 hours journey). Nothing much to see along the journey, only small roads and trees. They played James Bond's Die Another Day and that kept me awake for the whole journey.

Guess where's everyone heading to? The jungle??'s the Crystal River. Never heard of this place before, no idea where this place was and we were the only tourist group there. 

Finally we're in Phuket! Had our lunch at Boat Lagoon resort. This place looked familiar...I think this was where I boarded the boat to PhiPhi Island last December. Took some pics at the marina but it was definitely incomparable to the view in Monaco. :p

Thanks to our professional camera woman XinYi for capturing these. 

We've arrived Patong!! Stayed at Duangjitt Hotel for 2 nights.

All juniors stayed at the Deluxe Pool View rooms. Everything was nice apart from the design of the hotel...we were greeted by the bathroom right when we opened the door. Yes very weird...had to go through the bathroom whenever we wanna go in & out. Also very inconvenient coz you can't go out or come in when your roommate is bathing, and if someone knocks on the door when you're taking a shower, you can't open the door either.

This was bro & Eileen's room. Seniors & managers stayed at the Sino Style Deluxe Bungalow. Haha no we weren't discriminated coz Pool View & Bungalow cost the same. :p

Preparing for annual dinner and trying out the cucumber game.

The theme for this year's annual dinner was 'Lost in the Wild'. There were groups of army, terrorists, cowboys, leopards/zebras, etc. It was pretty fun especially the games part. 

Some of the entertainment during the dinner.

The food was just okay...not fantastic.

18 Sept 2011 (Sun): Phuket

Woke up earlier and went for a stroll around the hotel. This hotel is huge...36 acres ler!

Love these pics!

First activity for the day...teambuilding! Had to complete the tasks in all 5 stations...our team came in 2nd...not bad! :p

Where's everyone heading to again this time? Another sang-ka-la place.

Took a long-tail boat to a Floating Village for lunch.

Another random place for lunch...same like crystal river...there was no other tourist here. The seafood in Tambun is wayyy better than this. The tour guide then brought us to an overpriced local products shop, t-shirt wholesaler, and a honey shop...I DON'T LIKE this kind of guided tours...what a waste of time!!

How could you visit Krabi & Phuket and not go to the beach at all?? That is just wrong. So I 'chio' few other associates to go to Patong beach together. We're TRULY ASIAN coz there were a group of photographers with their DSLRs, a group of posers, & a handbag boy.

Credits to XinYi for these awesome shots! =)

Dusk at Patong beach...absolutely stunningly beautiful!

Dinner at a local Thai restaurant. 

Alright, that's all for this Krabi & Phuket getaway. Don't think I will visit Phuket again anytime soon. :p Oh btw, I had few interesting encounters this trip...saw a Japanese guy slapping and scolding her gf right in front of me, and another rather disturbing thing that I witnessed in our hotel...not quite suitable to disclose the story here...all I can say is that it involved some police and a blue plastic bag.