Thursday, July 26, 2012

Phuket 2011


I suddenly feel the need to catch up with things, especially when I have not blogged for quite some time. There are still a few travels that I haven't got around to writing about, so I'll just start (again) to write about our first trip travelling as a family, just me, Mr Daddy and our beloved cute Miss Princess.

The trip was to Phuket, Thailand. It was back during the Awal Muharram long weekend holiday in November 2011, Mr Daddy's birthday month. In fact, the trip was my birthday gift to him, as we never really went travelling overseas together as a family after we had our first baby. So, I felt the timing was right, celebrating your spouse's special day with your special ones, spending the long weekend in an exotic destination.

We're going on a vacation!!! Woohoo...
It would be Mr Daddy's first visit to Phuket, but the second for me (I've been there before on a family trip when I was 12-13 years old). But of course things were really different 15 years ago, it hasn't been hit by tsunami yet. Phuket has obviously changed a lot, and for the most part, for the better. :-)

The Room
I had booked a Deluxe Room with Pool Access at The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa. It would be your normal hotel room, with neighbouring rooms next door, except that you have a small pool at your balcony. I thought having the pool right at our balcony doorstep was kind of a splurge to surprise my husband. However, I was the one taken in for a fancy surprise when told that we were upgraded to the Sala Pool Villa, 3002, with breakfast for 2. I was like, WHOOAAA!!! Your own villa, with your own pool, in a Westin? That was a luxury that average persons like us could never resist. Hihihi... The advantage of being a SPG member, I believe. 

** Well I know, these iPhone pictures don't do any justice to the room. It's prettier and homelier in real life.

The hotel is huge, built on the hills by the seaside, and all rooms look out to the ocean. I have never been the person to be so fond of waking up very early on weekends, but I did wake up much earlier the next day just to lounge on the chair by our private pool. Heavenly....

Although the breakfast was provided, we didn't get much out of it. No halal food was served, so we just had the toasts, fruits and the familiar cereals for Miss Princess. :-)

Kusuma Seafood
People say, when in Paris, do as the Parisians do. So naturally, when in Phuket, apart from trying to practice my 'neung-song-sam', 'sawadeekap' or even 'ha-sip baht', I made hunting for the best tomyam in town our main agenda.

I found quite a number of blogs that mentioned Kusuma Seafood, a delicious halal Thai food at very affordable prices, very famous among Malaysians & Singaporeans. It was said that the owner was from the northern part of Malaysia. Based on the good reviews, we decided to have our dinner at Kusuma Seafood. We see that it was quite famous, so we thought the locals sure would know where the restaurant was.

We took the tuk-tuk from the Jungceylon Mall up to the mosque area (cant remember the name, but a tuk-tuk driver said he knew the mosque area, as he's a Muslim too. Many tuk-tuk drivers would claim they're Muslims. Wallahu'alam).

Happily squinting dapat naik tuk-tuk.. cheeky girl!
Then from there, we started our search for Kusuma Seafood. After walking and carrying Miss Princess up and down the main road for almost 1.5 hours, we still couldn't find the restaurant. No locals knew of it, or we probably asked the wrong people.

Long story (and long walk) short, we finally found the right place. It turned out that Kusuma Seafood was not really a restaurant, but rather a stall among a few other food stalls by the roadside. Sigh!!

This was what we were looking for..
Why didn't we find it when we walked past the area? Because the stalls were only set up at 5pm. Earlier than that, you'd find that the area was actually a parking space for the shops there.

By then, we were really exhausted, frustrated and hungry. So while waiting for the Kusuma Seafood stall to be up, we treated our tired feet to the foot massages at Sirinan Massage, just across the food stall area.

Poor little girl.. just as tired as us... 
Tips to find Kusuma Seafood

  • It's along the Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road
  • If you're coming from Jungceylon (main entrance - facing towards the ocean, not to the hills), the stall will be on your left
  • You will pass Thanon Hatpong street on your left (dont turn into the street), then you'll see a row of shops on your left after the Thanon Hatpong junction 
  • You should see the Siam Commercial Bank & Sirinan Massage across the street
  • If you managed to find the Friendly Dental Clinic among the shops - you've successfully found Kusuma Seafood!!
  • IMPORTANT - Dont bother to look for it before 5 pm, as you wont find anything and you'll end up having foot massage across the street

Below are the pics of the shop and its surrounding area (after 5 pm).

Phuket Night Market
After dinner, we took the tuk-tuk (again!) to go to the Night Market. Thought of getting a flavour of Phuket, walking among the locals :-)  

Durian yang besau gile.. Jakun!

Selain daripada durian yang super-huge itu, I also went jakun when I saw these.

Tak sure what that stuff was..
Money tree? Donation to build a temple.

The next day, we didn't go out far (to Patong). Just went to the small town near to look around the area. Then after lunchtime, we headed back to the Westin to spend the rest of the vacation lazing around the hotel, and fooling around by the beach :-)

One of the best vacations I've ever had, though it was just a short weekend break... Will we return again someday? InsyaAllah..

Flying back home!!!