Day 3 – Phuket
Due to the activities packed day before, we didn’t want to wake up too early this day. We did not plan any other day tour for this day and intended only to explore Patong Beach area on foot and to do some shopping for the day. So we encountered more hotel guests during breakfast this time and the breakfast spread was more or less the same. Food was great and we could afford to eat a little more this morning as we were not expected to to get seasick or feel unwell on long and winding up and downhill road travel in Phuket today. It was good to take it easy and enjoy the day. The sun was up and sunny which was great to venture out for some light activities. It was still morning as we went out to walk along the beach towards Bangla Road. Patong Beach used to be busy and packed with beach chairs, rows after rows for beach goers to hang out and enjoy beach activities. This time the beach was rather quiet. The government had cleared the beach and so the beach was calm with plenty of space to walk on for an easy stroll. Beach activities are still available and of course swimmers need to take heed to warning signs and give priority to safety.
Along the way, we looked at clothes, shoes and bags in some shops but didn’t buy anything. When we reached Bangla Road, located in the middle of Patong Beach, we walked up the road towards the end intending to shop at Jungceylon Mall. Bangla Road was rather quiet during the day but did not smell very good. While there were shops along the road selling pretty much the same stuff like many other shops in Phuket, we didn’t stop to look.
When we reached Jungceylon Mall, it was still too early and many shops were still not open so we went further down the road to OTOP Mart to take a look. This place comprises of many small shops selling all kinds of stuff, mainly clothes, shoes and bags and of course they are counterfeit copies. There are also some cafés and restaurants in the complex as well. The shopkeepers are mostly not Thai and not as friendly as well. You would need to bargain hard with them to get a good deal otherwise be prepared to be slaughtered. This is not exactly the place to shop and we would rather shop in Bangkok with a much better atmosphere and friendlier Thai owned establishments. But because this is a touristy town so tourists might just buy something from here that they need during their stay or something they might want to bring home with them. It was about late morning and so OTOP Mart was also not busy and we were the few visitors there that morning. Surprisingly, we found Phuket SRC Travel office in one the shops over here but Mr. Chai and his staff were not in the office, probably busy attending to customers on some day tours somewhere.
After roaming OTOP mart, we went to Grand Mercure Hotel, which is beside this complex to rest and explore this new hotel. This hotel is quite nice, clean and with a calm ambience, and there are plenty of seats at the lobby area. Staff were also friendly and helpful. So we used the washrooms and sat down to rest for sometime before heading over to the restaurant for lunch to take advantage of our 50% discount for Accor members. We continued to sample Thai food in Phuket and we really liked the authentic Thai curry dishes. Of course we also liked the local Thai fresh coconut ordered together with our meals and enjoyed the Thai hospitality in their restaurant. Having recharged ourselves after the morning walk and looking at shops along the way, we were ready for the afternoon part of our shopping in Patong town.
So we went back down the road towards Jungceylon Mall. This time the mall was a hive of activities with shops opened and crowds streaming in and out of the complex. Like any modern shopping malls, Jungceylon is a place of modern conveniences with plenty of restaurants, cafes, fast food chains, a food court, cinema, shops, major department store as anchor tenant as well as a big supermarket. This is definitely a place to hang around during bad weather. Shopping in the comfort of air-conditioning or go to the cinema for movies to pass time is another option for a vacation in Patong Beach area. You will get everything that you need without having to bargain and moreover, when there are great sales taking place for clothes and sports goods, the savings could be substantial. It started raining not long after we reached the mall. We were in the perfect place to spend a few hours in the afternoon to do some shopping. The event halls were crowded with shoppers looking at all the items on display. Having tried the Thai curry for lunch and dinner, we were thinking of buying some packed Thai curry paste home. So went to the supermarket to take a look but decided not to buy after all. Having shopping done, we walked back towards our hotel. This time we took another road instead of the road along the beach to look at other shops along the way.
We had spent most morning and afternoon walking and our legs were quite tired. Just before we reached the 7-11 minimart near our hotel, we went for a foot massage in one of the many shops offering this service. The middle age women did a very good job on our tired legs as well as shoulders. The name of this shop is called, ‘Amazing Thai Massage’. The cost was only 200 THB for an hour. The foot massage was really needful to help us get back on our feet and walked back to our hotel feeling much lighter and more energized. Complete with a nice shower back in our hotel room brought conclusion to our day activity for this day. So it was time to slack on bed for a while to watch TV before going out for dinner. Once again, we went back to our usual place for our welcome cocktail drinks. As we had already caught two sunsets from ground level outside our hotel, we wanted to try out something different. This time we went earlier because we planned to head back to Novotel Hotel for dinner before sunset to look around and take pictures. We had tried all the drinks on offer during these three days and found these drinks quite unique. We requested for alcohol free drinks and the staff obliged and the drinks were very good. After spending a short while at Beehive Barestaurant, we crossed over the road to head for Novotel Hotel.
With the usual arrangement with the free buggy ride up the hill, we soon found ourselves at the hotel. Still a bit early for dinner, we went around to explore and took some pictures, especially the scenery of Patong Beach from the high ground of Novotel Hotel. It was really nice to have such a good view of the surrounding area of Patong town by the beach and we just enjoyed the scenery of the town slowly lighting up as the sun disappeared behind the horizon. As night fell, Novotel Hotel was also lighting up and it was time to go for our dinner at the restaurant to sample more local dishes before we fly off the next day. Once again, Novotel did not disappoint us. We had a good meal and chatted with the friendly and helpful wait staff where their service was outstanding. We might consider staying at this hotel the next time we visit Patong Beach.
Check Agoda rate for Novotel Hotel.
After dinner, we finally called it a day and went back to our hotel to pack up and get ready to fly home the next day. I went to the hotel lobby to check in our flight online. The hotel front desk staff was so kind to help me print out our web check in boarding passes for the next day’s flights. I also contacted Mr. Chai to confirm our airport transfer for the next day and got an affirmative reply from him. When we had done all that was needed, we could finally head for our comfortable bed to get some rest. Getting in touch with the children back home on whatsapp using the excellent wifi provided by the hotel was a priority and then followed by watching TV to get into the mood to completely switch off physically into oblivion thus ending the final piece of activity for the day.
Continue to Day 4 ...