Phuket Day 2: Phi Phi Island tour

On the day we were planned to take a tour to Phi Phi Island, we were picked up by a van at 8 am sharp. When we got in, there were already 6 other tourists in the van, and after we began "where do you come from" conversation, we knew that all of us were coming from Indonesia. It is because we booked the tour through Miss Ladda, so that explains why we could be in one van:p 

Within 20 minutes we arrived at the Rassada Pier. We were given a green sticker, which has two numbers on it; one number is our speedboat number, and the other number is for the lunch table number. The tour agency provided coffee break at the Pier. But we just had our breakfast at the hotel. There are also some little shops at the Pier. Bread for the fish feeding activity is also sold at the Pier. The tour guide explained that the masker for snorkeling will be provided, but if we want to rent the fin for snorkeling, we have to rent it at the pier cost THB 100.

The preparation
TomTom - our guide

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Arrival at Phuket: From Airport to Karon Beach

Our Air Asia flight from Jakarta was delayed for 1 hour, so we arrived at Phuket International airport at 7.30 pm. After the immigration, we went to the Truemove sim card booth which was very crowded. Truemove has many options to choose. The blackberry ('bb') service cost only THB 100 for 3 days and THB 150 for 7 days. We choose the 7 days bb package, and activate our bb at the counter.

We were so glad that Daj picked us up at the airport. We sent him email just one day before we left Jakarta but got no reply from him. He was holding a sign with my name on it. His van is huge for the 4 of us! We were directly transferred to our hotel at Karon. It took about one hour before we finally reach our hotel. Simplitel is a new hotel, Daj had to make two phone calls to the hotel before he could find the hotel:p

We were really impressed with the hotel. Everything looks modern, new and simple. Our room was very spacious and clean. No wonder it has many positive reviews on tripadvisor. A full review of this hotel will be post when I am back from my phuket holiday.

After checking in, we went outside the hotel to find halal food. We only found one stall of banana pancake, and also one indian muslim resto. We tried the banana pancake for THB 50, delicious! Rona tried the indian food, but she was dissappointed with the taste.

That night we met Miss Ladda to pay all of our tour. She came an hour late because of she has many Indonesian guest to meet that night, all staying at Patong. So I was the only one staying at Karon, and that's why she came late after meeting so many Indonesian groups. We paid our Phi Phi island and James Bond Island tour. Ladda said that the pick up on the next morning will be at 8.10 am and we have to be ready by 8 pm at the hotel lobby.

written on May 17, 2012 by @tesyasblog

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Phuket Day 2: Phi-Phi Island Tour

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Phuket Trip Preparation

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Phuket Trip May 2012 - The Preparation

This is our other May trip, and this year we decided to go to Phuket with my best friend and also our travel partner; Rona Willis and her husband Naji. Yes we always travel in May to celebrate our anniversary and also because there has always been a long weekend in May for the last two consecutive years. Rona booked the Air Asia flight one year in advance, in total with the meals, the return ticket cost IDR 2,000,000 for two person. Not the cheapest price but still considered cheap, especially because we got ticket for the long weekend:) Our flight was on Wed at 4 pm, Thu is holiday, Friday we took a one day leave, and our return flight from Phuket is on Sun at 7 pm. So we'll have full four days in Phuket.

On our first visit to Phuket (last year), we stayed at Ibis Patong, so this year we would like to try other area, either in Kata or Karon beach. After reading Tripadvisor review, I fell in love with Simplitel Hotel Phuket at Karon beach. It's a new and modern hotel, centrally located and it offers a 40% disc for the early booking. We booked their deluxe rooms for four nights and it cost us THB 11,520 for the two rooms, of course including breakfast.

This year the highlight of our visit will be the island hopping activities. I booked all of the tours through Miss Lada, as recommended by kaskus. I add her blackberry pin, and that way it's easy to get in touch with her. We booked Phi Phi island by Speed Boat tour for THB 1,100 per person (including hotel pickup and transfer and also lunch), and James Bond island tour by Speedboat for THB 1,300 per person. You can email me if you need her blackberry pin.

For the airport pickup and transfer, we book from the recommended driver at Tripadvisor forum; Daj ( We also booked Daj last year but there was a miss-communication between me and Daj, resulting I was not able to meet him at the airport:p I hope I will see him at the airport tonight. The airport transfer cost 800 baht, while the sightseeing plus airport transfer on our last day cost 2,300 baht. Daj has an MPV which is enough for 10 person. There will only be 4 of us, so we'll have a big space.

We're still considering whether to see Fantasea show which cost THB 1,500 or to skip the show. Fantasea is expensive compared to the island hopping activities, but still cheaper than the Disney on Ice ticket we bought for our kids:p

So stay tune for our next posts as we'll be sharing our Phuket long weekend stories:) And also follow @tesyasblog as we will be sharing the pictures from our trip through our twitter account.

written on May 16, 2012
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Singapore Zoo

I first visited the Singapore Zoo in 1998 with my friends, and I promised myself next time I visit the zoo, it's going to be with our children. Almost 14 year later, my dreams came true:) I love how clean the Singapore zoo is and how the animals seems to be so healthy and happy.

When I was making the itinerary for our family trip to singapore, I found out there is a direct bus called Singapore Attraction Express Bus from and to the zoo. One adult cost SGD 4.50, while one child cost SGD 2. We wanted to take this bus as it passes our hotel. But in the morning when we supposed to catch the bus, our kiddos request to go to the pool first before going to the zoo! Oh we took MRT and bus 138 as our plan B:p We could book the ticket bus at the website of SAEX bus. But we didn't buy it as we were not sure we could catch the bus at 9 pm in the morning. 

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Landmark Village Bugis Hotel Singapore

It was my first time ever travelling with our kiddos to Singapore. I need to find a hotel with a short walking distance to green line MRT station, a hotel with a great swimming pool, yet our budget is limited. So I need to find a hotel which allowed us to take two children under 12 years old. Through "free cancelation" privillage from Booking.Com first we booked Parkroyal on Beach Road, but than we cancelled as it's a 20 minutes walk to Bugis MRT. Than we changed our booking to Studio M hotel. The Studio M hotel request us to add an extra bed for our 4 years old boy! So we changed to other hotel again:p At the end I choosed Landmark Village Singapore Hotel, of course I wasn't sure of my booking beacause of all negative reviews on Tripadvisor. However many of the reviews said that the pool area is nice. 

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Qiji Funan IT Mall

For those who are looking for halal food in Singapore, the chain resto of "Qiji" is one of my fave to find cheap and halal food. There are many outlets in Qiji, the one I visited is their branch at Funan IT Mall, near City Hall MRT.

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Marrison Hotel Singapore

A brand new hotel located at the heart of Bugis, to be precised just at the back of the field which used to have the New 7th Storey Hotel, my fave budget hotel in Singapore. Too bad the New 7th storey hotel has been demolished due to the construction of new MRT line.

I have never stayed at Marrison Hotel, but I did a survey on its location for my friend Alisa Haqiqi and I thought maybe it will be useful for my blog readers as well. Marrison Hotel located on the Beach road, but if you are coming from Bugis Village (Bugis MRT Station, exit C), you will have to pass Tan Queen Lan Street, to reach the hotel. It is about 5 minutes walk from Bugis Village.

This is the exit from Bugis Village.

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