Friday 24 August 2012: 5 years 11 months on… Advantage CBD
Tuesday 3 July 2012
Amari Coral Beach Hotel
Day to change hotels
Checked out at noon
Taxi to Katathani
Too early to check in
Walked around resort – viewed facilities
Checked in at three thirty
Pre-drinks at the BP (Bryant’s Pad)
Supper next door at The Orchid Restaurant
Written on WED 22 AUGUST 2012: 5 YEARS 11 MONTHS ON … ADVANTAGE CBD
I made the above notes (and those of Wed 4 July and Thurs 5 July) on Thursday 5 July. They were the only notes I made during the trip and up until now I have been writing as much as my memory will allow me to do.
The only reason that I started writing notes on Thursday 5 July is because it started raining on the afternoon we moved hotels (Tuesday 3 July) and didn’t stop for the rest of the time that we were on Phuket! So there was time to write …
I will add the following now:
We had planned to spend five nights at the Amari Coral Beach Hotel on Patong Beach and then a further five nights at the Katathani Pukhet Beach Resort at the Kata Noi Beach. The resort calls itself the “Shores of Serenity” and it is only about ten kilometres further south from Patong Beach on the western Andaman Sea coastline of Phuket Island.
For those readers familiar with Port Elizabeth, it would be something like moving down the coast from the bustle of Kings Beach to the more sedate Cape Recife. On the Cape Peninsula it would be like moving from Clifton’s Fourth Beach to Kommetjie!
Katathani is a beautiful large holiday resort and offers daily activities such as pool volleyball, aqua aerobics, water polo, Thai boxing classes, Thai cooking classes, fruit and vegetable carving, walks, dance aerobics, Thai massages, yoga and personal trainers.
The resort consists of two sections – a larger one on the beach and a smaller section at the side and facing but not quite on the beach. We were in this part, so we lost our immediate waterfront rooms that we had become accustomed to at the Amari and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach below us.
But that water sound that we lost was replaced by another water sound – it started raining heavily on Tuesday afternoon and did so intermittently until we left on Sunday. It was warm rain falling from the sky as if someone was just standing there regularly squeezing out a sponge. It curtailed our beach visits somewhat, but for the rest we just had to make do with activities in the rain – even as much as a busy game of waterpolo in the hotel pool in drenching rain when at times it was difficult to see in front of you!
Because we checked in late, the hotel gave us vouchers which entitled our family to free Thai massages. We made use of them on Wednesday afternoon.
For the rest, Tuesday followed the activities as detailed above.
©2012 Edward C. Lunnon
Written on Saturday 18 August 2012: 5 years 11 months on … Advantage ED
As usual, the nightly routine was a late-night swim before a well-deserved sleep. Saturday would be another early morning for our island tour.
Breakfast and ready by nine. It’s quite a thing to get up early when you start getting used to late sleep-ins!
Anyway, the tour guide was typically punctual (quite something for us Africans) and we all piled in – me in the front as usual. My numerous questions posed to the driver were always laughed at by the rest of the group. Hopefully, not because of the poor questions posed but always because of the poor understanding of English by the driver. (Thai’s generally understand and speak English very poorly and, of course, we understand and speak no Thai – a recipe for frustration!) So all my questions usually had poor responses, if any at all! Political responses, I call them, the type where the answer in no way matches the question posed!
Eventually, I just gave up asking questions and took in and savoured all that was to be seen.
We headed south from Patong Beach down the west coast of Phuket, passing Karon Beach, Kata Beach and Kata Noi Beach (noi meaning small, so that’s “small” Kata Beach where we would be moving to next Tuesday). That’s about a 20km winding up-and-down trip.
From the Kata 3-Bay viewpoint you are able to look north and see all three stunning beaches in one view. Photo time!
Continuing further south along that road, we passed Nai Harn Beach and then on to the most southern point of Phuket Island, the Sunset View Point at Promthep Cape. (Guess that’s about another 5km trip.)
After more photo’s, we continued northwards along the eastern seaboard of Phuket towards Phuket Town (or City as it’s also called!) – the main town on the Island. Before that we headed upwards (literally up Mount Nakkerd) to the Big Buddha, well known among Thais as the Phra Puttamingmongkol Eaknakakeeree!
The 45 metre high Buddha is 25metres across its base, layered with beautiful white jade marble and sits and shines in the sun on top of the mount between Chalong and Kata. It can be seen from far away and from it one has the best 360 views of the entire Phuket Island. More and more photo’s!
The final stop of our tour was on the outskirts of Phuket Town … at the jewellery shop, Wang Talang! We did a quick 5-minute walk through this International Lapidary and then transferred to another mini-bus to take us back to Patong beach. (From Phuket Town to Patong Beach is about 15km)
The Bryants and our boys got off at the Burger King, and Pera and I did a clockwise trip north along the one-way Thaweewong Road (Beach Road) and south on Rat-u-Thit 200 Road, arriving back to our Amari Coral Hotel just after one pm.
Snooze, swim, Singha’s, shop, supper, shop, swim, sleep … until Sunday which was Day 9 of out trip.