Phuket; Joe's Downstairs; Thailand 2012

Phuket 

Phuket was our next destination for the following days. We stayed at the Kee Resort down the end of Bangla Rd which was probably the craziest road in all of Phuket. We saw things that we would probably never unsee again....EVER. The Kee would be the most ideal location if you want to be in the middle of the action; they have a huge pool with a bar and great service with accessible wifi in the rooms. There is also a gym and an all you can eat buffet in the morning with good service.


Complimentary Thai Tea 


Our hectic bar

Phuket can be described as the biggest party central that I have ever experienced. There are all sorts of people roaming around, holding all sorts of things like lemurs, iguanas and monkeys; while others advertise their crazy 'ping pong' shows. The ping pong show was one of those things that you would probably experience once, and never again...it's like a Thailand rites of passage. A must see event when you are there. Apart from partying, we did most of our tours there too. Tours included the FantaSea show, James Bond Island, Phi Phi Island, white water rafting, elephant riding, monkey shows, elephant shows, quad bike riding, parasailing, snorkelling, floating markets, waterfall hiking, flying fox and the list goes on; all of them being very cheap, except the floating markets (which was $66 by itself!!). We bargained most of our tours down to the bare minimum price they would give. It was a drag, but it was worth it~ More money for clothes and food. 

 By day - strip clubs are closed

 By night, everyone comes out to play.
Prepping for pole dancers 

There was no shortage of food in Phuket. Food was everywhere! But I couldn't capture everything because I got sick of lugging my chunky DSLR everywhere, which was a shame. However, I did capture a few of my favourite Thailand eats in Phuket.

 Thai milk tea at 60c per large cup

We had a small cart with a man making fresh thai milk tea on the go for 60c just down the road from our hotel. This was pretty convenient as it was my caffeine hit for the day and fortunately didn't give me any stomach problems. Most of our other eats were in Jungcelyon shopping mall, where the shopping was alright. Prices were quite cheap compared to Australia; and they were even cheaper if you go to the market downstairs (but not as cheap as Bangkok). Below is a little panorama movie of the shopping mall:

video

The restaurants at Jungceylon were pretty good! We had japanese quite a few times. One was an all you can eat buffet for about $12; which included drinks, sushi, tempura, hotpot stuff etc. Each of us had a mini hot pot in front of us, and the hot pot food came around in little plates; so we could mix and make our own hot pot. Sushi and all the other jap stuff were on the side where we could grab an unlimited supply for an hour and a half. Drinks were also unlimited and included oishi green tea and other soft drinks. SO CHEAP. The other japanese restaurant was just your standard one with ramen and all that.

The result of gluttony (only a portion of the food)

 During the stay in Phuket, I also had the chance to experience one of its best restaurants along Patong beach; Joe's Downstairs as a two year anniversary surprise from Po. Despite its down to earth name; its decor screamed of elegance with its all white interior and breathtaking beach views from Kalim bay. The menu was pretty short but was filled with a few staple international foods. We were happily seated on the sundeck outside where we had awesome views to the waves lapping against the rock edge of the cliff; which was really calming. The service was also very attentive without being pretentious.




 Mojito (320TBHT) and watermelon martini (295TBHT)

Chargrilled chicken caesar salad (495TBHT)

At ~$16 a plate, the caesar salad was pretty spanking good. The chicken breast pieces were marinated and grilled to perfection, without being dry with just the right amount of sauce on the baby Romaine lettuce and grana padano parmesan. Our portion was quite generous as well. I'd say it'd beat Hurricanes $27 chicken caesar salad by a mile.


Rock Lobster angel hair pasta (695TBHT)

If it's food that I will always love, then it's pasta and seafood. My favourite two combo. So when I saw this on the menu, it was a must. The lobster pieces were quite generous in the servings. Despite the seemingly small looking portion, it was actually quite big and filling. My favourite dish of the night! Loved the juicy, tender lobster tail sauteed with a light, fragrant saffron/plum tomato sauce with thin, stringy pasta. 

 Two way cooked duck - Tender Duck Leg Confit with Potato Puree and Black Currant Reduction.(1195TBHT)

The duck was surprisingly good. I loved the crispiness of the skin whilst the inside remained moist and easily separated. The sauce complimented the duck pretty well which created a multitude of flavours with the mash, duck and its skin.

 Two way cooked duck - Pan Seared Duck Breast on a bed of Sautéed Napa Cabbage

More duck! I think the waitresses were surprised by the amount we ordered for two people. The servings were really generous and filling. I found the pan seared duck a lot more juicy than its counterpart on the other side. The cabbage added more dimension to the dish with its crunchy texture.
 
 Pecan crusted Phuket White Snapper Filet with Shiitake Mushroom/bacon sautéed with whole grain mustard emulsion and arugula pesto.(915TBHT)

By now I was entering a deep food-coma like state. The fish was pretty decent, but wasn't amazing. I only mildly remember the combination of ingredients making the concoctions of flavours striking with the distinct mushroom with that extra tang of mustard interlaced with the mildly textured fish. 

 Warm apple pie (375TBHT) 

Best apple pie I ever had. Topped with two scoops of creme caramel icecream and shaved apple. The dinner totaled to approximately $150 for the two of us; including the VAT and service charge. The restaurant was pretty good in terms of ambiance, service and food. Would definitely recommend it

Apart from eating all the good stuff, a few friends of ours went hunting for all the nasty to eat; and found these bad boys below:

  
Deep fried disgusting critters; there's a choice of grasshoppers and those wormy things drenched in salty soy. Gross. Nuff said. 

Tours: 

FantaSea Show:

We couldn't bargained this tour down by much, but the total cost covered transport, an all you can eat buffet in the VIP section and the show itself. The show was pretty interesting. No cameras were allowed into the actual show though...we all had to place it into a security room to pick it up later. The show included live animals (elephants, chickens etc) and talented magicians with a strange story line. 







James Bond Island 

I can't remember how much this tour was, but it was definitely less than 1500baht and covered the whole day. Our journey to see the famous rock was a pretty good one. First, we went canoeing with our own personal tour guide through caves into the heart of the island. The caves were an interesting ordeal. Some stalactites came down really low, so we had to lie flat on our back to dodge those sharp edges; and some places were so tight that it seemed as though we wouldn't have made it. We were then allowed to get off the canoe to explore a bit; or swim. Lunch was then served on a massive table with fruits afterwards. And finally, we got off to explore James Bond Island - and see the famous rock that was in 'The Man with the Golden Gun' before heading back home.


 Our first stop off 


Through the caves 

 Back to our boat

 So much food! The fish was the best dish from the table. 

The famous James Bond rock

 Time to leave :(

Phi Phi Island: 

This tour was pretty cool! We got to visit a nice bay to swim in, visit a mini monkey island and snorkel with the fish. The bay was filled with sharp prickly rocks (watch your steps!). The water was calm and peaceful but ridiculously salty.


Photo by Cindy 


The monkeys were pretty cute, but if they bite you, you'll get rabies. So, feed with caution!! I loved how they would just take the food from your hands and then break it open and eat it. Daww!

Pretty scenery


Snorkeling with the fish was amazing. Before the tour, we bought a loaf of sliced bread to feed the fish, which served as good bait for them to swim towards us. Hungry fish. It was madness. I literally held the slice of bread underwater for a second and it was as though they came out of no where and tore it apart; biting my hand in the process. Despite the coral being virtually dead, the experience was pretty good.


Safari Tour:

The safari tour was probably the best tour yet; and it wasn't even the most expensive. It included the flying fox, white water rafting - 7km, ATV riding, fish spa, waterfall trekking, elephant riding, multiple animal shows and a fruits tasting afterwards.


White water rafting in Thailand wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. Initially we got the 5km tour, but our tour guide convinced us to get the 7km one for 400baht extra as it was more thrilling. We all had helmets, a life vest and two tour guides to guide us through the torrents. The tour guides were weird-as. One of them threw a toad at our group of girls (dickish move); and did it the second time because it was so funny to him. Luckily he wasn't our tour guide; our tour guides consisted of a perverted man who constantly blew kisses at my friend and called her 'sexy mama' and a guy that was probs smoking weed moments before taking off. Nonetheless, I have to admit, they made the rafting trip much more exciting - banging into big rocks and that.


The waterfall was simply beautiful; with clear water and schools of fish swimming about. Despite the sign 'Prohibit jump in waterfall' we did it anyway. Felt so good.


Elephant riding! These elephants were so talented. This one posed specifically for the photo - so charming. I think taking photos was restricted because they wanted you to buy photos for 300baht per picture but our tour guide was awesome and took pictures for us.


Fish spa treatment! This was so queer!!! Being a very ticklish person, I couldn't stand the little nibbles that the fish did. It was fist-clenchingly strange - felt a lot like having the pins and needles. With these treatments, you have to be very still otherwise, one twitch and they will all swim away.

The ATV quad biking was so good! There was a mini makeshift course to ride in with puddles of mud and trees and little cliffs as obstacles. It was pretty scary if you go fast. I almost hit into a tree; then luckily I found the brakes in time. It was a really messy ordeal, as we came out with puddles of mud all over our clothing. They advised us to have not bring our cameras for that reason. Flying fox was pretty extreme too; I don't think I've ever heard Po scream that much. We were attached to a partner before going down the rope that was attached to two big tree; and caught by two Thai folks.

I found the monkey and elephant show in Phuket a lot better than the one in Koi Samui. We were able to interact with the talented animals more and we didn't have to pay a fee of 200baht just to touch them. Thai folks are pretty cheeky though; you have to think twice the next time you volunteer for something.

My mate volunteering for a gropping sesh

The tour finished off with a fruits tasting event at some very scenic place with acres of different types of fruits. We enjoyed platters of assorted fruits and desserts.


Left: The coconutty things burst as you bite through them Right: Soft and sweet.

Assorted fruits: Paw paw, dragonfruit, watermelon and nashi pear

Coral Island:

Parasailing and more snorkeling was done at Coral Island. There was a huge adrenaline rush as we lifted off, but then it died down and when we were in the air; and we got to enjoy the beautiful view from above. The snorkeling was alright. I found a rainbow fish there! It was so beautiful~

 
Next stop Bangkok~

 

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