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KUL - HKT in 16 hours

KUL - HKT? Yeah Kuala Lumpur to Phuket. No biggie per se.

Well not really unless you fancy the idea of driving. And we're looking at 16 hours of driving. I'll have to confess, the drive to Phuket was an easy one. We stopped for the night at Hatyai before driving up the next morning to Phuket.

Our return trip however was a straight 16 hours drive. We departed from Phuket at 10am and reached home at 4am. Having completed a 16 hour drive session, I don't think it was really all that tough. It was quite a breeze actually. And super fun as we travelled in a convoy of 9 cars. Here's some shots of what we met and drove by:
The immigration form is typed by the folks we bought our Thai 3rd party insurance.
An elephant on a lorry.
Simpang Pulai in Thailand?
Yes traffic jams too:P
Excellent parking showmanship.
We refuelled at bigger kiosk because Johnson and my ride needed at least RON95 and a can of Octane Booster failing which the engines will be knocking crazily - the way our local taxis sometimes sound when they pick up (the car goes tek tek tek). In some places, the petrol was only RON91.
Hmmm, very worth mentioning is this Thai version of what I call roti planta tissue telur pisang that we had at a petrol kiosk in Pathalung! Super awesome!

Night 1 was in Hatyai. No shopping. That wasn't my main aim. More concerned with good food:P Done with washing up, we gathered at the hotel lobby. Negotiated our tut tut rate for the whole bunch of us. Off we went to Saban Nga which is a highly recommended place to eat amongst the locals (if you're looking at good food and comfort). But it was the tomyam and the pork knuckle that had me going super gaga. Tomyam is of course different as we know it at home. Here it's spicy not hot. Rich in flavours. This pork knuckle dish is so well marinated. Its sweet and salty with some secret marinate. Crisp outside and juicy tender inside. And as I write this, Im planning my return trip to Saban Nga to eat:D
A great dinner was followed by a walk around the streets near our hotel. Quite a bit of shopping possible if you love shopping. As usual, bargain!

Day 2 kicked off with hubby and I roaming nearby for breakfast. Yeah I wanted to eat where the locals ate.
Discovered opposite our hotel that there was this lovely noodles - something like a braised chicken dish with egg. However it was served with the local flat noodle (also called kueh teow). With some added soup, this is absolutely yummy.
These 3 bowls of noodles plus 2 cups of coffee was RM4.20. Yeah Ringgit four and twenty sen only!!!
Not knowing what to expect in the next portion of our drive to Phuket, I hopped over to 7-11 to grab some bites just in case I turned hungry before we reached a suitable kiosk to refuel. Here's my fave bread during my entire drive trip. Yummy pork floss with mayonaise. Think I ate it almost everyday because it was really yummy.
We drove for approximately 7 hours before we reached Phuket. Yes it was tiring but fun. See our happy faces upon us checking into our hotel Banthai. And yes me being extra goofy after the long drive:P
Unpack then wash up and we're ready to have our dinner and to have fun! Opted to eat at our hotel where the entertainment was also good. A moving stage with a few bands taking turns to entertain us through the night. And with Chang (almost free flowing) and a few cocktail eg my fave Royal Coffee, a few got braver and started singing and dancing (even on stage):P
One of my fave moments in Phuket was this "juice your own juice" during breakfast. These local oranges are absoltely flavourful and sweet. It kinda looked easy juicing but trust me, we need some strength to press the juice presser. It was hard work for this glass of juice but I had fun making it. So much so, I juiced a few glasses every morning that we stayed at Banthai:D
Ah...here's the gorgeous place where we had breakfast.
And some of of our gorgeous food selection:D
One would have expected us not to want to drive around after 2 days of driving. How wrong. Hardcore us (well some of us) drove our rides round the island. Sunny weather, with the breeze and in a convertible is just all so appropriate and definitely super fun.

The round island drive with some stops here ended at almost 4pm and there meant that I missed the beach. This water baby must have her "play water session" So off we went checking out the 1st pool in our hotel. Pool 2 was the next day.
And because we drove to Phuket, we did drive around at night and had the honour of one of the local Ferrari and Lamborghini owners lead and sweep our convoy:D

And what is Phuket without hitting the beaches? This is the one smack in front of our hotel. Pretty and fun!
Phuket has remarkable food. The finers restaurants such as Baan Kalim and Savoey (which also come with some super awesome views)
Dried beef and sticky rice is one of the interesting ones that I came across. Perhaps because I got to eat with my hand? Just roll the sticky rice then dip it into the special sauce. And yes, it goes very well with the air dried beef.
Or street stuff:
Or road side shops such as this No 8 (that came highly recommended by one of our fellow drivers who has been eating at this place since he was a young boy).
And of course some fast food if you need your fast food fix.
McDonald's is not halal in Thailand. So Muslim pals, please take note. I love McDonald's in general. And Thailand ones make me even happier with its Samurai Pork Burger! So good, I packed for our return journey back to KL.
Phuket island is bustling during the day. And just as bustling during the night! Check these picture out taken along Bangla street and basically the night strip round the corner:
And the following mobile bar is outside Hard Rock.
And if you love kickboxing, be sure to visit the Stadium. You can get your kickboxing gear here (like I did) and catch a match too!
This trip to Phuket meants that I was separated ffrom my kiddo Shalom. However I was compensated with the a high number of dogs that I met all over the island and even during my drive to Phuket.

Phuket is rather interesting for shopping. Bikinis for RM10. However if you're petite like me, you can forget about wearing any of it. But otherwise, just come without any clothes. You can buy beach dresses for as low as RM20 (negotiate and bargainlah).

Massage is a must everyday. I liked this one. Simple no frills and 2 hours for RM55.
or slightly more expensive ones like this - 2 hours for RM80.
All too soon, its time to head back to KL. Much has not been done. I didn't get to visit Phi Phi island. I didn't get to to play on more beaches on Phuket island. I have not had my tattoo done. Which only means, a Phuket trip in due very soon. A flight the next round would be good. Less time on the road and more time to play:D

Oh! This blog post is also for the IMASTRAVEL contest. So vote for me. It'll be a nice birthday pressie to be able to travel to the winning destinations that include France, New Zealand, South Africa, Korea, Australia and Japan plus to kick start my own Yahoo travel page:D



More pictures:
SMD_Phuket 1
• SMD_Phuket 2
SMD_Phuket 3
SMD_Phuket 4
SMD_Phuket 5