Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Phuket Trip (Final Chapter!)

OK, here’s my last best load of pictures for the Phuket Trip “trilogy”! Hahaha. So stay tuned and enjoy the pictures. ;)

I have just read Hwai Tah’s blog and found that he has decided to post his pictures “thematically”. And I’ve been posting mine “chronologically” – it’s easier I suppose. x) You must see Hwai Tah’s blog – there are alotta’ food pictures! :P

This final chapter is about my last full day in Phuket. On the 22nd of June, I did not follow my dad and the 3 other open water divers to Racha Yai Island. It wasn’t necessary for me to follow them since I had already done two dives last year, and the requirement to be certified as an open water diver is six.

So instead of going diving, I spent my day with Nataly and Andrew. We got an all-day cabbie to drive us to the different spots in Phuket Town. I wanted to go to Patong Beach in the evening to take some beach and sunset shots, but unfortunately, it started pouring cats and dogs at about 6 o’ clock! Man, it was disappointing.

Throughout the whole trip, I didn’t go to the beach at all! Oh wait, I did. But that time it was at night, so that doesn’t count. Haha. But it’s super saddening, right? How could I have gone all the way to Phuket and not visit the beach?! I really wanted to take better sunset shots this time. But since we were open sea for two days and on the last day it rained, I suppose this trip wasn’t meant to be spent at the beach.

After our day trip, full of walking and walking (and also sitting in the cab), we all went for our Graduation Dinner to celebrate the graduation of the four open water divers – Hwai Tah, Sherrene, Jackie, and I – at the Royal Paradise Hotel. It was a buffet spread dinner – and guess what, it was only 250 Thai Baht per person! I’d say the food was good for the price. That’s where we also had a surprise celebration for my dad since his birthday falls on the month of June.

Alrighty then, you get the story. Now here are the long-awaited pictures! :D

Patong Beach (took this from the cab window).

We went to visit the Wang Talong Jewelery shop (its huuuuge) after seeing this ad in the cab.

Fried Bamboo worms!

Totally yuck. :P

Ooh, I love this. It's super hot chilli flakes with dried cuttlefish.

At the Phuket Square. I saw this shop selling a totally weird variety of jeans.

For lunch, our cabbie recommended the famous Phong Phang Seafood restaurant.

We were greeted by Horseshoe crabs! Ugh, I just do NOT like the sight of it. We didn't try it because the waiter told us that its most just hard shell and very little meat with some tiny eggs inside. Though it looks pretty exquisite...

Ooh I love the fresh coconut.

The food was gooood. Andrew even invited the cab driver to dine with us.

The restaurant was overlooking Cha Long Bay on the right, and on the left was the Sea Gypsy fishing village or something. Beautiful view.

See the storm in the distant background??

Nataly! =)

Oh boy, now its REALLY stormy...

Posing again. But thank God most of the storm clouds were just passing over. Its always like that.

After that, we went to the Phuket Town Central Festival shopping mall. It was pretty huge, surprisingly. Happening place.

Heading back to Patong.

Haha, I spotted this miserable taxi guy under his shade while it was pouring cats and dogs.

After all that, without even going back to the hotel for a shower, we met up at the Royal Paradise Hotel for Graduation Dinner.

Had buffet dinner at the Coconut Coffee Shop.

Then came the surprise for my dad! It was reaaally funny. I was taking a video the whole time and my dad didn't realize that Nataly was up to some mischief until she finally lighted the candle and presented the slice of cake!

Happy Blessed Birthday, dad! =D

The comical couple. :P

The Open Water Diver graduates with our macho Dive Instructor! :D

Sherrene and I posing for the poster in the background. Haha.

Divers giving the OK hand signal!

Nataly and Sherrene doing the "rain dance" at the fountain. (Uh, I actually have no idea what a "rain dance" is. Just spontaneously added it. Ahahaha :P)

We're touching the tip of the tower hotel! (By the way, we noticed that the Royal Paradise Hotel was actually the tallest hotel building around Patong!)

Cozy corner.

We bought some drinks and went to the beach after the dinner.

Andrew attempting to break the locked ice box (beach vendors sell cold drinks to customers sunbathing at the beach in the day time) with his crocs. Har har.

The beach at night. Oh you can see my shadow (and my "tail). :P I had hold my breath and be very still to take this shot with the manual mode. Haha. It was super dark.

After hanging out at the beach for about 20 minutes, we suddenly felt a strong gust of wind blowing in our direction, stronger than the ordinary sea breeze. Very soon, it came to our realization that a bad, nasty storm was heading our way!

The wind was blowing so furiously that the sand at the beach started to blow over like a mild sandstorm. You can see the bits of sand in this picture. My dad was still enjoying the strong wind until the last moment. For a few seconds, I remember we were all hurriedly crossing the road to find shelter with half our eyes closed to keep the blowing sand out of our eyes! It was pretty scary. But thank God the heavy rain poured and stopped in about half and hour.

Cheers! Oh, I posted the pictures wrongly. Haha, this was supposed to be BEFORE the storm. xD

If you were wondering... Well, only Nataly and I were the ones drinking "Twister" orange juice in this picture. Ahahaha! :P

The next morning. Jackie, Andrew, and my dad posing at the cool metal Alien sculptor at Rock City.

Its amazing how they wrought up this thing!

Walking and walking. We were looking for breakfast. Haha. And by the way, the pink building is the all-famous Thai Boxing Stadium!

At Jungceylon. A hot tourist spot. The biggest shopping mall in Patong area.

My dad and I went to buy the awesome Thai instant noodles to bring back home.

We took quite some time to search for a place to breakfast. Patong is more like a night life area, so in the daytime, you hardly see any restaurants open. So halfway through the breakfast hunt, Sherrene got pretty fed-up and tired. So she just sat down all of a sudden in the middle of the street! Hahaha.

You wonder what Andrew is doing... Well, he was pretending to offer a coin to Sherrene! Ahaha. The funny part is I also included Hwai Tah snapping the picture of them in this shot.

Offering "Friendly atmosphere"?? Ha ha.

We finally found a place to breakfast in at a some guesthouse along the street.

The seafood noodles was real good.

My dad having his "Jook". There's a story behind it...

Jackie was the first to order this funny-sounding dish called "Jook". We were all wondering what it was in Thai language or something. And when it finally arrived, Sherrene was the first to enlighten us:

Oh, so it's actually "Jook" (she pronounced it in a different accent) is it! ("Jook", meaning, the Chinese word for "Porridge".) Laugh out loud. xD

And finally, after the breakfast, my dad and prepared to go back to the hotel to pack and leave for the airport. Hwai Tah and the rest were staying back until Tuesday.
This shot was taken at the airport. My dad was reading the card we gave him on the surprise celebration.

Before boarding the plane, I noticed this funny box containing scissors, matchboxes, forks, spoons, penknives, blades, sharperners, and the like.

These were items that people happened to carry in their hand-carry luggage that were forbidden into the plane!

Once again, for the final picture, I present to you:

The official scuba divers! :D Woohoo!

Phew, so this last load of pictures is finally posted! Man, I think I’ve been posting too many picture posts. I have another new load of my dad’s birthday lunch! Goodness me. (But of course, I do still very much enjoy posting pictures and writing!) :D

So till then, have a splendid weekend. God bless. ;)

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