baby elephant

I was in a Phuket a week ago – it was actually just 2 weeks after my Bangkok trip so I went to Thailand twice in just a fortnight. However, Phuket is very different from Bangkok. Bangkok is where you wanna go if you like to get stressed out. If you want to relax and chill – head on to Phuket! ;)

outriggers phuket beach

Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort is a newly re-opened family friendly beach-front property – it faces Bang Tao beach. The entire resort has been completely renovated to modern standards during April 2013. However, the traditional Thai touches and warm hospitality are still there.

elephant

(like that baby elephant – it’s my favorite and it comes out to be fed twice a day!)

outriggers phuket

The best thing about Outriggers Laguna Phuket Beach Resort is the Water Park built right into the resort. In fact, it’s central and visible from reception! As someone who loves the water, I enjoyed this tremendously. It has multiple interconnected sculptured pools just beside the beach and to top that off, a water slide!

water slide phuket

It’s not just a small little water slide either, this long and curvy water slide is usually seen at dedicated theme parks and it took me 40 seconds to get from top to bottom!

You can watch this (slightly anticlimactic – forward to the 40 second point) video I asked a friendly vacationing family to help me take. I waved at them at the start and immediately went down the water slide. I splashed down at the end of the slide into the pool at around 40 seconds, and immediately went up again!

water park

It’s a lot of fun! :)

orchid

Outriggers Laguna Phuket Beach Resort is only 20 minutes from the airport – we had a car from the hotel waiting to pick us up, complete with wet towels and bottled water. We got an intricate bracelet made of orchids (I’m sure there’s a proper term for this) and a drink of water while we got checked in too! Gotta love Thai hospitality!

room

The rooms were surprisingly modern (or maybe not since it was just completely redone a few months ago) – flat screen Smart TV, a bath/shower combination, a day bed, free WiFi in all rooms (reliable and fast) and best of all, all rooms have a balcony or porch that looks out to the water!

balcony

You can have a beach view or a lagoon view (or both if you get the Club Suite) and it’s extreme proximity to the beach actually gives you a wonderful perk – you can hear the slow and calm waves from your room lulling you to sleep at night! :D

lagoon

Okay, I mentioned a lagoon – Outriggers Laguna Phuket Beach Resort is actually part of the Laguna Phuket Destination Resort which links several resorts together by a lagoon. There’s a complimentary boat that takes you to all the different resorts and access to golf clubs and even a shopping strip mall!

boat ride

The boat service departs every 20 minutes and you can tell the guy where you want to go.

laguna phuket

If you want to get to places faster, there’s also a complimentary shuttle that gets you around the resorts and access to the 18-hole golf course which departs every 15 minutes!

chilling

Of course, there is no real need to leave Outriggers Laguna Phuket Beach Resort – with the awesome white sand beach and azure calm sea right after the lobby, you can just chill by the beach and have a beer or a bite to eat at the various restaurants in the resort.

view

Breakfast is a truly awesome affair with an amazing spread that kept me full most of the day!

egg station

All the basics and more are there, customizable too!

triple egg

I had a 3-egg sunny side up with cheese and chives only. :)

phed mak bloody mary

There’s also breakfast juices/cocktails which changes daily – like this local flavored Phed Mak Mak Bloody Mary.

room view

I like how I can just trudge down from a good night’s sleep being lulled by the tides into breakfast, get something nice and healthy to eat, grab a cocktail and head out to the pool or chill by the beach.

bang tao beach

It’s truly one of the best resorts I’ve been to in Phuket – modern amenities combined with Thai hospitality on the quiet Bang Tao beach (trust me, you don’t want to go to the (in)famous Patong beach – that’s like Kuta beach in Bali, a noisy tourist trap). I really liked the location and the tranquility of Outriggers Laguna Phuket Beach Resort – I can chill by the Bang Tao beach and go down the water slide and hug a baby elephant twice a day!

phuket elephant

How many places can you do that all in? :D

Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort
323 Moo. 2, Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay,
Thalang, Bangtao Beach, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Phone +66 76 360 700, Fax +66 76 360 670
reservation.phuketbeach@outrigger.co.th, www.outriggerthailand.com

1. Sunny side up quail eggs

fried quail eggs

This is a whole lotta cholesterol in a package but it’s delicious! Perfectly fried quail eggs sold in a packet containing nine (9) sunny side up eggs with a toothpick. You can opt for a dash of pepper and soy sauce and it’s absolutely delicious! The feeling of slipping 9 eggs into your mouth for just THB 20 (about RM 2) is awesome! :)

quail eggs

You can opt for the soft boiled version with a packet of soy sauce too – just crack all the eggs into the bowl and enjoy!

2. Pork floss (jerky) with sticky rice

pork floss rice

This is also THB 20 and consists of two types – a tough jerky type pork floss and strips of marinated BBQ pork. I went for the latter and was very satisfied with the bed of fiber rich sticky rice!

thai pork satay

Watch out for the famous Thai satay too – it’s a piece of marinated BBQ pork on a stick for THB 10 and it’s the most tender and juicy pork you’ll ever eat!

3. Bananas dipped in chocolate

chocolate banana

There are several versions of this THB 20 dessert on a stick. The plain version is just a peeled banana on a skewer that has been dipped in chocolate. There’s also sliced and re-skewered bananas, which is the one I got – it’s been sprinkled with hundreds and thousands colored sprinkles and absolutely tasty in the hot muggy night market.

4. Deep fried insects

deep fried insects

The night market also has deep fried insects and quite a wide variety of them too. The lady will ask you to “contribute” to the photography tip jar if you take a photo without purchasing anything. I didn’t coz I didn’t like her tone. ;) I just had the same ones in Bangkok. I ate deep fried grasshoppers and other insects just two weeks ago.

5. Salt grilled fish

salt grilled fish

This is a Thailand speciality and it’s an entire fish that has been liberally packed with coarse salt and then grilled over a charcoal fire. It’s surprisingly cheap for an entire fish and you’re meant to eat the inside of the fish e.g. the salt covered outer skin is discarded.

6. Thailand orange juice

thai orange juice

You MUST try this when you’re in Thailand – it’s the local orange, squeezed into a bottle and it’s fabulous! I had the ice blended version for THB 40 and it came in a thong like plastic bag. Thirst quenching stuff – walking around the night market in the hot weather armed with this makes it a more pleasant trip!

7. Agar fruits with mung bean filling

agar fruits

This is an interesting snack – it is a mung bean dessert that’s been shaped to look like various fruits and then coated with agar agar (a Jello like substance). I was surprised when I popped one into my mouth coz I thought it was fruit! It goes for THB 40 for a packet containing every type of “fruit” they have – from grapes to guava.

8. Tiny pineapples

mini pineapple

OMG! This is the best find I had in the Phuket Town Night Market. The mini pineapples are much smaller than your fist and intensely *sweet and juicy*!

tiny pineapple

I bought one (it’s sold by weight – mine was about THB 25) and they cut it into four segments for your enjoyment. I can’t believe there’s such tiny, yet fully formed pineapples out there! It’s marvelous! :)

skeet shooting

I went to the Phuket Shooting Range yesterday to get some range time in. I haven’t shot a firearm since my initial foray with a .357 Magnum revolver, 9 mm and .45 caliber semi-automatic handguns while I was studying in Melbourne.

ak rifles guns thailand

I went quite often after that and got a license to own but I heard it’s a perishable skill – if you don’t practice often, you won’t hit the nice grouping you used to be able to do when you went every other weekend. I also…er, examined an Steyr M9 pistol while I was in Malaysia but I wasn’t interested in handguns this time and wanted to shoot a rifle instead.

phuket shooting

Phuket Shooting Range had a great package for a .22 caliber long rifle with sights for just THB 890 (about RM 90) for 10 bullets. You can get a semi-automatic or fully automatic (!!!) rifle with a scope for indoor shooting and I was sorely tempted to do this but unfortunately I only had 15 minutes since the girls wanted to go catch the sunset.

me with shotgun

Thus, I settled on clay pigeon shooting. It’s a package with 10 shotgun shells for THB 1,190 (about RM 120). I honestly don’t know if this is skeet shooting, trap shooting or sporting clays since the Phuket Shooting Range is huge and I was at a station with clay pigeons flying from two different directions and angles.

shooting range thailand

The registration process was incredibly lax – I didn’t need to hand over my passport or even prove that I am who I say I am. I just wrote my name on a piece of paper – I didn’t even sign it! You can get a variety of semi-automatic handguns from .38 caliber revolvers to shotguns and there’s even a full outdoor tactical range.

I’ve never been clay pigeon shooting before. I did see President Obama (purportedly) skeet shooting in that well-publicized White House propaganda photo as he made more restrictions to gun laws in the US though. I do know shotguns since I grew up in Sarawak (locals are allowed to own shotguns) but this is a special skeet shooting double-barreled Over And Under design (O/U) that I’ve never used before.

competition shells

The skeet shooting shells are 24 gr 7 ½ inch 70mm meant for competition – the Olympics uses the same shotgun shells. I was given a short primer (smirk) on how to follow the arcs with my shotgun and shoot. The orange clay pigeons came from two directions – a bit like trap/skeet shooting in just one station.

phuket shooting range

I pressed my cheek against the stock of the shotgun, rested it against my shoulder and waited for the recoil that I thought would hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt nothing at all! There’s barely any recoil from this break open Over And Under (two barrels stacked vertically) shotgun with this particular shell.

shotgun shell

However, I found that tracking the clay pigeons (which is automatically thrown into the air from two stations – you’re supposed to track, lead and shoot it, breaking the discs) was harder than I thought. I wasn’t very comfortable with the shotgun – I wanted to have a front pistol grip, which is absurd, that’s something for tactical use, but it would be much more comfortable. :)


Full video of me skeet shooting!

I liked the double barreled shotgun design though – it gives you two chances to break the orange clay pigeons and you can fire it like a semi-automatic. It has a very light trigger pull and you literally break open the stock and reload two shells when you’re done.

shooting shotgun

I would have loved to go on the shotgun course too – they had metal silhouettes that ping when you shoot it with buckshot but I was pressed for time so I could only go for this one. I have finally shot a classic break open O/U double-barreled shotgun at clay pigeons flying in the air at high speeds! :D

break open shotgun

It was a lot of fun!

Posted: 1:28 pm Phuket time (GMT +7)

phuket airport

Sawadeekap again! I’m *back* in Thailand after my trip to Bangkok barely two weeks ago. I’m staying at Outriggers Laguna Resort Phuket for the weekend – just checked into the resort and got a beach front room.

phuket welcome

It’s going to be a chill trip so I’ll have time to catch up on the blog posts which I’ve been neglecting. The past week has been a bit crazy for me – haven’t even had time to surf blogs, so it’s a well deserved R&R where I can just relax by the beach, enjoy the resort and blog. :)

Posted: 11:17 pm 31st May Phuket time (GMT +7)
(which is technically a month behind Malaysia – love the timing of this post!)

Believe it or not, I’ve never been to a Thai girl show. Never.

fire

I’ve lived in the Red Light District in Amsterdam, risked life and limb while backpacking Eastern Europe to follow a couple of guys I just met to see the darker side of Georgia, but as for Thai girl shows, it still remains on my bucket list.

I’ve been to Thailand a lot of times. It was just a series of unfortunate events that made me miss the famous shows our neighboring country has to offer.

This is my fifth trip to Thailand.

water yoga

I was there to check out the newly renovated and revamped Club Med Phuket in Thailand last month. This is my very first time at a Club Med resort and the legendary Club Med hospitality with the GOs interacting with the guests was a pleasant surprise for me.

beach

You don’t feel like you’re in Phuket (which can get a bit rowdy) at all. You’re greeted at the airport and as a GE, whisked away to the village. The serenity in Club Med makes it insular – in a good way, since you can always head out to the low end party scene of Bangla Road whenever you want and come back to the lap of luxury. ;)

trident

I like the little touches at the resort – the Club Med trident in the ash trays are so much like cappuccino art, with a fresh orchid.

bar

This is the poolside bar where you can order whatever you want. Club Med is all-inclusive, that’s part of the appeal – you can eat and drink as much as you want – it’s all included in the price.

pool

The Oval Concept Bar is a great place to chill out – there’s an awesome view of the ocean and most of the resort, including the swimming pool.

water

The main pool is the hub of lots of water activities like water yoga. It’s a great place to lounge and chat with fellow guests and GOs too! :)

refreshment bars

There’s fresh coconut juice and snacks in thoughtfully placed refreshment stations as you stroll about the huge resort…

snacks

I’ve even come across desserts at tea-time which I took the opportunity to sample. I ate a lot during my stay at Club Med. If it wasn’t for all the activities, I’ll have gained quite a few kgs by the time I got back. Heh.

cold towel

There were even cold towels handed out by the friendly GEs to wipe yourself with in the humid temperature of Phuket.

You just cannot beat that.

golf

There are also activities that you can participate in every day – everything from golf lessons to snorkeling, whatever rocks your boat. Pun intended.

flying trapeze knee hang

I made it my personal mission to master the flying trapeze. You can see my efforts here and during the 4D/6N (we flew in at night) I’ve only missed my lessons once.

I got to know the Circus GOs (which stands for Gentils Organisateurs, or Gracious Organizers) and finally managed to do backflips and catches, which was worth all the pain of waking up with aching muscles.

cert

I still have my certificate!

smaller boat

We also went snorkeling on the very last morning. The GO offered us Dramamine pills for sea sickness – individually wrapped – again, it’s the little touches like this that makes you feel welcome.

larger boat

We went from a small longboat to a large ship before anchoring at a nice spot…

boat

…and spent a good 45 minutes under the water.

snorkling

I really liked that too – the water wasn’t very clear that day, but it was fun! I love being in the water – it’s so peaceful.

archery

There are a lot of free activities in Club Med Phuket – one thing you won’t be while you’re there is bored.

paths

The adults-only Zen Pool is a new addition which offers a view of Kata Bay.

zen pool

Yes, you can swim inside, it was officially opened when we were there. You can also get cocktails and lounge by the relatively quiet poolside while reading a book or just enjoying the ambiance.

payot spa

I had a massage right after I got my flying trapeze certificate – a very apt reward. :)

club med payot

The new Club Med Spa by Payot makes you feel relaxed just by walking in.

club med spa

I was quite impressed that the spa of the Club Med village in Phuket is one of the few that’s done by Payot. Payot is a French luxury brand and their spas are legendary.

massage

The masseuse worked through all my sore muscles and the spa only use Payot products.

roses

There’s singles and couples massages with a wide range of treatments. It’s part of the newly completed renovation and a very welcome addition. :)

chu da

We had dinner in conjunction with the launch of the newly renovated Club Med Phuket at Chu-Da restaurant. It’s a completely new 98-seater restaurant and we all got a purple scarf as the theme of the night.

person

Chu-Da is a specialty restaurant that’s also free but requires booking and is adults-only. It’s perfect as a more private dining experience and the pavilions at the al-fresco dining area is very comfortable. I saw a person in a boat of the Zen pool inside the restaurant and thought it was a prop…but no, it was an actual person. Heh.

I gorged myself on Alaskan King Crab that night.

longest domino cocktail

This is probably the longest domino cocktail I’ve ever seen.

Watch it fall!

Club Med is also famous for their nightly performances. These can range from heavily themed circus acts to parties.

beach party

My personal favorite was the beach party.

fire twirling

There were fire twirlers…

wish

…and lanterns you can send off into the skies with a wish!

My wish didn’t come true, but I like to think of it as it *hasn’t* come true yet. Thanks for helping me record an emo personal moment Ji San. Haha. :)

phuket 2012

It was the perfect way to end a perfect trip. :)

P/S – A bunch of us went out to Bangla Road on the very last night but it was closed due to it being Buddha Day. It was like a ghost town. Thus, the Thai girl show experience is still in my bucket list.

club med

Nevertheless, it was an awesome and unforgettable experience at Club Med Phuket. There are a lot of resorts coming up with similar concepts but nothing beats the original Club Med hospitality. Thanks Kelsey, Kelly and all the GOs from Club Med and Ji San, Kenny, May Kay, Celia and Charlotte who came on the trip! I had a blast! :D

suit in phuket

I got a tailored suit for THB 6,500 during a recent trip to Phuket. I chose a design from a “Versace 2012” catalog. It’s a fashionistas dream – the suit making industry is so advanced in Thailand that they even had a catalog for Armani dated 2014. ;)

suit up

It took a bit of haggling but we brought the price down by about THB 1,000 (RM 100) each. I had three (very rushed) fittings before the suit was ready. The last time I got a full suit done was a good 7 years ago so I reckon this RM 650 two-piece is worth the price.

barney suit

I shall call this the Barney suit in honor of Mr. Stinson. This is the HIMYM opening credits pose. :D

flying-trapeze

I got to experience the flying trapeze at Club Med, Phuket – it was a natural calling, being attracted to all things with an adrenaline factor in it. It’s one of those things that looks easy but it’s actually quite hard. I was at the flying trapeze almost every single day, aching in muscles I didn’t even know I had, wanting to perfect my technique and be a flyer.

flying trapeze training

The Circus GOs (Gentle Officers) are really big on safety so they see if you can actually do it – hang on a trapeze and then pull your legs up to hang upside down on a slightly raised training trapeze – before they let you go up the real thing.

the real trapeze

This is the real thing.

It’s high but they have a safety net and lots of contraptions to ensure that you don’t fall. This here is my first attempt – a 3:30 minute video where I managed to hook myself on the flying trapeze – it’s very long and rather funny, so I’m posting it up, but the rest of the painful journey is on the SixthSeal.com Facebook page.

trapeze club med

You have to let go and trust that the trapeze will hold you (and your hands and legs won’t fail you) while you hook your legs over the bar and then back into the holding position. There is actually an “audition” of sorts – they won’t let you be a flyer unless you can pull it off perfectly within the stipulated time-frame.

I also managed to do a back flip landing where you swing your legs in and out until you achieve the inertia required to rotate a full 360 degrees in mid-air backwards before landing on the net.

flying trapeze knee hang

…but here’s what I got my certificate for – being a flyer. It’s all about timing, doing things when it’s asked of you without hesitation. I was one of the two that made it (the other girl who managed it was not an amateur) so it actually looks easier and has a higher drop-out rate than you imagine. You need to be interested and dedicated.

I only managed it on my second try, I nearly reached the catcher’s hands on the first try but nearly isn’t good enough.

chalk

Basically, what you do is use chalk to powder yourself up to your elbows (this is to ensure a better grip for the catcher) and hang upside down on the bar on your knees. When you look backward and see the catcher, he/she grips you and you let go of the bar. There’s an element of trust in it as well, which I have in spades – I always trust that there will be no rocks under the sea when I go cliff diving – and the fear of heights, which is why a lot of people don’t get past the basic hook, but I managed to do it.

My entire body was sore every single day and I had cuts and abrasions all over by the time I achieved this but it was all worth it.

kelly

A big thank you to Kelly, Kelsey, Kory, Phil, Hsein Ming, Dennis – all my Circus GO instructors in the Phuket village of Club Med – for being so patient with me. :)

I was so ecstatic that I was on a pure adrenaline high for several hours. It was liberating. Watching the video again made me feel that I can do whatever I want to if I set my mind to it. It was the highlight of my trip. :D

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