Hitman David Foster & Friends Asia Tour 2015 Concert

After 4 months of waiting, the day is finally here. This morning, I’ve been listening to David Foster’s music. Feeling really excited. Tonight is the night.

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With so many international artistes, Jackie Evancho, Ruben Studdard, Peter Cetera, Natalie Cole and Boyz II Men, the tickets for the concert are not cheap. It took me a while to decide if I should buy PS1 or PS2 tickets. But with 4 concerts and all the tickets that I bought in Apr 15, I chose PS2 instead. The seats were quite high up.

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The happy Me … when there’s music.

The opening song for the concert was Winter Games.

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Seeing the familiar fingers on the piano and hearing “Winter Games” live were unbelievable.

Unbelievable … I was actually listening to this piece of fantastic music live, watching David Foster and seeing his fingers playing the piano live. Not on TV, not on YouTube.WP_20150814_21_20_43_Pro WP_20150814_21_20_48_Pro

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The first artist that sang was Jackie Evancho, the runner up of the 5th season of America’s Got Talent. She was 10 years old when I first watched her on the talent show.

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She has grown up so much now. She’s 15 years old.

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Yesterday, Jackie sang 3 songs. One of which was Music of the Night.

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The second singer was Ruben Studdard, the American Idol Season Two winner. I’ve forgotten about him for awhile until I watched him singing again yesterday. The first song that he sang was I Swear.

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I Swear by the moon and the stars in the sky. I’ll be there.

Rubben also sang Home which was produced by David Foster for Michael Bubble, who wrote the song together with David Foster’s daughter.

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And I know just why you could not come along with me. Let Me Go Home.

Other than David Foster, I was really looking forward to listen to Peter Cetera, the Chicago singer-turned-solo artiste.

The funny thing he said when came out to stage was he saw Kenny Roger’s fried chicken in Malaysia. Then, David Foster mentioned he wrote “Hard to say I’m Sorry” for Kenny Roger but Kenny Roger rejected it and finally made popular by Chicago and Kenny Rogers sells fried chicken.

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Hold me now, It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry. I just want you to stay.

Peter Cetera sang Hard to say I’m Sorry, You’re the Inspiration and Glory of Love. Age is catching up and he couldn’t sing the high notes as well. I’m glad that I watched him performed now before he stop singing.

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You’re the meaning in my life. You’re the Inspiration

Natalie Cole … somehow she looked pretty frail on that night. When she sang Miss You Like Crazy, I was worried if she could pull through the chorus and high notes. Hope everything is ok with Natalie Cole.

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I remember the things that we used to do. Miss You Like Crazy.

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Unforgettable. How the thought of you does things to me

Natalie Cole also sang Unbelievable, with her late father, Nat King Cole’s voice and video played on the screen.

The last song she sang was This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) which usually light up the room when she sings this song. It did on this concert night but not as much energy from Natalie.

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The last artiste that performed was Boyz II Men, the reason most people went for the concert. The first song they sang was Water Runs Dry.

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Let’s not wait till the Water Runs Dry, we might watch our whole lives pass us by.

When the group sang I’ll Make Love to You, we just could not help but sang along. It’s such a lovely and nice song to sing along.

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I’ll Make Love to You … Close your eyes, make a wish!

Really, really like Boyz II Men. The last song that they sang was End of the Road. The next time they are in town, I would like to go for their concert.

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Although we’ve come to the End of the Road, still I cant let you go.

The show ended with all the musical guests reuniting onstage to perform The Beatles’ Hey Dude

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Hey Dude

David Foster took the opportunity to acknowledge a few Malaysian. One of which is Jimmy Choo who came to his concert and was sitting somewhere. His wife loves Jimmy Choo, for his shoes must be. David Foster also mentioned that he has recently became the ambassador for Air Asia.

For encore, David Foster played Love Theme from St Elmo’s Fire.

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The concert ended at about 11.30pm. Wish I can watch the concert again. The following day concert is a private concert held in conjunction with Genting’s 50th anniversary

David Foster, THANK YOU for the beautiful music and songs that you composed.

Day trip to Kuala Gandah Deerland Park, Elephant Sanctuary and Bentong Chamang Fall

It’s school holiday and I’ve not planned for any holiday trip for the family due to my new job commitment. I really wish to take my boys for a short trip or even just for a day trip to take them out from their normal daily routine.

During the last school holiday in May 12, we had a day trip to Kuala Gandah and Bentong. I posted those pictures and write up on my facebook, blog and Trip Advisor and I received lots of enquiries and respond to the post.

I’m reposting the post that I updated in my treasure memories blogspot blog here. Hopefully, all of you will enjoy the day trip as much as we did.

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30 May 2012

It is school holiday. For the last 2 years, Hubby and I would have our own holiday without the kids, in conjunction with our wedding anniversary. Hubby has been waiting for me to give him dates that I’m able to get away for a few days trip. I just came back from company’s team planning session in Seoul and have not planned for any trip during this 2 weeks school holiday.
 
Two days ago, Hubby suggested to make a day trip to Kuala Gandah and Bentong. A parent of Kumon student recommended him to visit Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. He made some browsing on the internet and noticed that travel agent usually bring visitors for day trip to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary and Deerland Park. He also read about Bentong Chamang Fall and since these 3 attractions are quite close by, he planned the itinerary for a day trip.
 
Initially, we were thinking of going on this coming Saturday of Agung’s Birthday Holiday. Since it is school holiday, a week end and public holiday, we believe these places would have lots of people. Since I was able to take a day off from work, we decided to go on mid week instead.
 
We left home at 10am and reached Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary at 11am. Hubby read that limited stickers will be given out to visitors in a day and made the first stop at this Elephant Sanctuary to register and obtained stickers for the day. There’s no entrance fee but visitors are encouraged to make some contribution to the sanctuary.

Hubby obtained 2 red and 3 yellow stickers and made donation to the sanctuary.

The staff informed us that there would be video show on issues surrounding wild elephants and diminishing habitat at 1.30pm.

Since it was still early, Hubby suggested that we visited Deerland Park which is located not far away.

 The entrance fee to this Deerland Park is RM6 for adult and RM3 for kids.

Walking in the park

 
Honestly, we had not heard of this place but there were many foreigner visitors. We met 3 Japanese mothers who married to local men visiting the park with their kids. They are residing in Kuantan and have lovely kids.
 
Deer feeding with food provided by the park
Iguana
Taiwan Deers

There are also opportunity to touch and take photo with snacks.

Rabbit feeding
 

We were at the Deerland Park for about an hour and adjourned to the Elephant Sanctuary.

 We walked around its information centre and read interesting stories and facts on elephants.

 The Japanese families brought food and had picnic lunch at this place.

 The only cafe at the Elephant Sanctuary.

We had mee hoon noodle soup, fried mee hoon and fried rice for lunch. The taste was alright but a little salty. They cost about RM4.50 per plate.
 

 

After lunch, we walked to the elephants feeding and show venue.

Jared feeding elephant with peanuts.

This lady is from London. She bought bananas on the way to the sanctuary and gave some to us for elephant feeding. In return, Hubby gave them some peanuts to feed those elephants too.
Not overly crowded despite school holiday. Almost half of the visitors were foreigners with tour guide that brought them there on day trip.

Elephant Bathing

 
At 2pm, the elephants had their bath to cool down their bodies temperature. Their bodies were also dirty and full of mud which was to protect them against the hot sun.
Finished bathing, ready for show time
Show time
Visitors were encouraged to hand feed elephants during their lunch for bonding and trust building, before elephant rides. Cut papayas were provided by the sanctuary.
 

Queuing for elephant rides for visitors with yellow sticker. Hubby, Jared and I had a ride on an elephant the natural way ie no basket. It was an interesting ride.

After the ride, we had a cold drink at the same cafe that we had our lunch. We left Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary at about 3.10pm to adjourn for Bentong Chamang Fall. On the way, there were cows on the road and we need to drive safely.

We reached Bentong Chamang Fall at about 4 pm, which was just the right timing. There’s a suspension bridge that connects the 2 sides of the stream.
Be careful crossing the bridge
There are picnic place
We did not have any swim there, though we did bring extra changing clothes and towel as we did not think it is suitable for our boys.

The waterfalls can be dangerous with powerful currents.

We reached this restaurant at Bukit Tinggi at 6pm and had our early dinner there.

We reached home about 7.30pm and were all tired, sweaty and smelly. But it was a good and productive day trip for the family.

Suggestion for the trip:

  1. Wear light and comfortable clothes.
  2. Bring water, sunglasses and caps as there are a bit of walking under hot sun.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes and shoes that can resist water if go to the Chamang Fall
  4. Make the first stop at Elephant Sanctuary to register and collect stickers as there is limited stickers given out in a day, especially the yellow sticker for rides and bath with elephants.
  5. Allow ample time for lunch, suggest have early lunch as there’s only 1 cafe in Elephant Sanctuary and everyone is rushing for the 1.30pm video show.
  6. Bring peanuts and banana to feed elephants.
  7. Make some contribution to the Elephant Sanctuary as there’s no entrance fee, for the maintenance of the elephants and park.
  8. Bring extra changing clothes and towel.
  9. Be careful if swim at the Bentong Chamang Fall

The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket

 

We checked in to The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa Phuket for a two night stay. We were greeted with cold towels and drinks on check in while the hotel reception processed the check-in and kids pass for Jared and Jaden.

Club car to commute around the hotel

After about a ten minute wait, we were taken by a golf buggy to our room. Jared and Jaden loved riding the golf buggy.

Hubby standing at our room balcony

The rooms at Westin are built into the sides of the hill and to get to the rooms involve walking steep inclines.

There are walk paths, which we took at times, but the kids loved the experience of riding the “club cars” especially the golf buggies (but not the Tuk Tuks).

Their favourite ride

The drivers who took us up and down were friendly and smiling. They were concern of our kids safety who prefer to sit at the back of the club cars.

Superior King Bed with Sea View

Our room was spacious and clean, with The Westin’s trademark “The Heavenly Bed”. The bed was very soft which was very comfortable to lie on but not for night sleeping. I still prefer firm mattress bed.

View from our balcony – The Westin

The view from the room was spectacular. All the rooms basically overlook the bay and it’s a good hotel for a retreat.

View from our balcony – Blue Sky

View from our balcony – sunset soon

Comfy chair at hotel room balcony

You could just lounged on the balcony with a drink and a book and have a lovely quiet “me” time.

Rain shower with sea view and white tea aloe toileteries

As we stayed in the corner room, we had beautiful sea view from our bathroom with rain shower.

The major complaint was the electrical problems we had in this room. First of all, the bell boy and the driver who carried our luggage should have explained how things worked in the room. We did not know at first that the air-cond will cut off if we opened the balcony door, etc. There were a few blown bulbs that had to be replaced and was done promptly after Hubby called. The technician was efficient.

Suite that was offered to us complimentary

However, over the next two days we had several strange problems with the lighting. Once when I was bathing the boys and once when Hubby was having his shower. The lights came back after 5/10 mins. The Westin suggested that we change room. However, I didn’t like the idea of packing and unpacking our stuff on the last night in The Westin. The hotel management was kind to offer us another room which was its Discovery suite, two doors down from our room, while we left our stuff in the existing room. But, we were too lazy to move and only Hubby went over to sleep there for a night and had The Heavenly bed all by himself.

There were 3 pools at The Westin.

Splash Pool

We tried the Splash pool on the first day but it seems to lack atmosphere.

Hubby and 2 boys playing Pool.

The great thing was the Splash was nestled on one of the highest points in the resort and it offered spectacular sunset view.

Spectacular sunset view

While the boys playing pool, I watched sunset and took lots of sunset photos.

Since we already had our fill of Phuket before we checked into Westin, the plan was to essentially enjoy the hotel facilities including having all our meals there. We paid for SPG Kids Pass for our boys which was THB300 per child per day. They had unlimited food from the Kids Menu at the in house restaurants and as much as they could eat. It was a fantastic offer. We ate in all the in house restaurants and found them very good.

Mango sticky rice dessert from the Kids Menu

The dinner at Eest was lovely.

Just nice, four Apple iMac for the four of us.

After dinner, we went to the Business Centre and there were 4 Apple iMacs available for guests for the Internet access which were just nice for the four of us. The boys helped themselves to the iMacs and played their favourite online games. It is unfortunate that Westin does not provide complimentary Internet access in the rooms unlike many hotels in Phuket. Internet access was available around public areas in The Westin.

Breakfast at Seasonal Tastes

We had awesome breakfasts at the Seasonal Tastes.

Jared registering at Kids Club

We sent Jared and Jaden to Westin Kids Club after breakfast and the staff there were very helpful to keep the boys entertained for half a day till lunch. There were no other kids there at the kids club apart from my boys. Although the kids club room was well furnished for kids activities, they were not entertaining enough for Jared and Jaden. Luckily there were a couple of Xbox 360s to keep them occupied for a while. There were very few children around Westin for most part of the days we were there.

Aquacise at Horizon Pool

Hubby and I tried the Horizon pool where there was Aquacise conducted by The Westin at 10am.

Infinity Pool with bay view

This infinity pool has a fantastic view of the bay. We loved it.

Lunch at Seasonal Taste

While the 2 kids dined on SPG kids pass, Hubby and I ordered mutton biryani. The food was a little spicy but the taste was great with strong spice taste. Our lunch only cost us THB350 for the adults and kids were dining on SPG kids pass which cost THB300 per day per child for 3 meals in a day ie breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their meals were full course meals with soup, appetiser, salad, main course and dessert.

Beach soccer at Westin Beach

The Westin had its weekly program and activities. One of it was beach soccer. On our day of visit, there was only Jared but the staff was kind enough to still have the beach soccer and played with Jared.

Italian dinner at Prego

On our last night at The Westin, we had our dinner at Prego by the Beach.

Dinner at Prego

Prego just had a new menu and we loved the food there so much, especially the mushroom soup and pizza. As our kids had SPG kids pass, our dinner only cost us THB480, after the Starfriend 15% discount.

Our 2nd day breakfast

The stay at The Westin was about rest and relax, with lots of food and swimming at its pools.

2nd day Aquacise

I enjoyed the daily morning pool exercises at Horizon Pool while Hubby and the two boys enjoyed their swimming at the infinity pool.

Lunch at Seasonal Taste

On our last day at The Westin, we had our lunch at Seasonal Taste again. This time round, I ordered Tom Yum Goong with Thai fried rice to share with Hubby. This was my one and only tom yum that I had during this 5 days holiday in Phuket. This meal only cost us THB550.

We had a great time enjoying The Westin at Phuket except for the electrical gremlins in our room. The part that really made our stay so memorable were the staff there, from the front desk, the drivers, the restaurant servers, the kids club staff (Na and co.), the hardworking houskeeper on our floor and the lady manager who met us on check out. We were surprised that the management of The Westin gave us a one night rebate (we only paid 1 night stay) on check out for the inconvenience caused. We did not expect this as they had already offered us the suite.

When we came back and relate the story to our family, they said could it be the “spirit” from Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival and I got so frightened by it. Thank God that this did not cross my mind then.

The Westin was beautiful. We spent two nights in the hotel and we just stayed in the hotel for the 3D2N, enjoyed the hotel facilities, rest and relax and had all of our meals in the hotel.

We arranged for a taxi to pick us up from the hotel, stopped at Robinson for shopping and thereafter, adjourned to the airport for our 6.05pm flight home. We paid THB800 for the taxi.

At Phuket Airport Check in counter

Overall, it was a good trip. We are glad that we had a safe journey. We are also glad that we split our Phuket holiday into two parts ie Phuket City tour around Kata Beach and rest and relax at The Westin in Phuket town.

Premium Outlet Phuket

On the way from Phuket airport to our hotel at Kata Beach, we saw blocks and blocks of building that looked like factory outlet mall with Nike, Adidas, Quiksilver, Roxy, etc. It was the Premium Outlet Phuket, about 30 minutes south of the airport.

During the transfer from Sugar Palm Resort to The Westin Siray Bay, Hubby told the taxi driver to stop us at Premium Outlet Phuket for lunch and shopping.

Premium Outlet Phuket

I bought a few items from Quiksilver. Prices were not attractive nor the choices exciting. Hubby and the 2 boys entertained themselves with Ipad and PSP. But after awhile, they started making noise. Didn’t they know shopping is girl’s best retail therapy?

The Premium Outlet has blocks and blocks of shops, side by side. As such, it was quite hot walking from one block to another and it wasn’t totally covered shade between the shops.

We had very bad shopping experience at Rampage outlet. Just because the staff did not understand our question in English, they got impatient and raised their voice on us. When I told the girl at the cashier that she was very rude and I would make a complaint against her, to my surprise again, she replied me with a very angry voice “Go, go, complain”.

We did not see any restaurants except for subway cart that sells hot dogs, ice-cream store and food court with not much choice of food. Food was bland too but edible.

After unsatisfying lunch, we stopped at this Waffle & Froz store for ice-cream. Though the staff there did not speak English, they were smiling and allowed us to try the different flavors before we purchased. The ice cream was good.

The taxi driver charged us THB600 from Sugar Palm Resort, Kata Beach to The Westin Siray Bay, with an 1.5 hours stop at Premium Outlet Phuket.

Horn Grill Steakhouse and Kata Beach

After a good foot reflexology and resting in hotel, we took a walk around our hotel vicinity to look for a good restaurant for our dinner.

We saw this Horn Grill Steakhouse which was ranked No 1 steakhouse in Phuket by Trip Advisor.

Horn Grill Steakhouse, No 1 steakhouse in Phuket by Trip Advisor

We went inside the restaurant and the restaurant was very spacious. It was separated into 4 areas, each with its own aesthetic appeal:

  • Outdoor Terrace
  • Stylish Bistro
  • Jazz Dining Room
  • Outdoor Tranquil Patio

We chose the Jazz Dining room with a classic, warm feeling of European decor. The waitress told us that there would be live Jazz Music at 7pm and recommended us to have our dinner during that time. So, we decided to take a walk around the Kata beach area and went back to the restaurant at almost 7pm.

The restaurant did have kids menu. Jared ordered garlic bread (THB85) and Fettuccine smoked salmon (THB325). Jaden and I shared fried rice (THB75) and Hot Dog (THB115) from the Kids menu and Hubby ordered Rib Eye Steak (THB625). I had coconut ice-cream too. The ice-cream was so, so yummy! So far, I havent found good coconut ice-cream in Malaysia.

The food is alright but we enjoyed the live Jazz music. It was a perfect place and atmosphere for us to sit back and relax, enjoying family bonding time along with Thai beer … not wine. Both Hubby and I enjoyed Thai beer. The dinner cost us THB1,390 … not expensive for the food, environment, service and live Jazz music. 

The following morning, after our breakfast, we walked across our hotel to the Kata Beach.

Since it was not peak season for Phuket, there were not many people and activities at the beach.

Kata Beach Resort & Spa

We passed by this impressive entrance of Kata Beach Resort & Spa.

It was a hot morning to walk around Kata Beach and we decided to go back to hotel, freshen up and check out early from the hotel. Hubby wanted to check out the Premium Outlet that we saw on the way from airport to hotel.

We are moving to The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa. We stayed at Kata for the experience there as well as sightseeing, knowing that Siray Bay was more isolated.

Phuket City Tour

The following morning, Jaden woke up and complained not feeling well. He felt like vomiting. Oh no … it was only the 2nd day of our holiday!

At breakfast, Jaden did not have the appetite to eat. I brought him back to the hotel while Hubby and Jared continued with their breakfast. Luckily, after a while, Jaden felt better and ate a banana. It was just in time when the taxi driver dressed in tour guide uniform came and pick us up from the hotel at 10am.

Our first stop was at Big Buddha Phuket. This huge image sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata and at 45 metres high it is easily seen from far away. There’s no entrance fee to view this giant Buddha. 

Big Buddha Phuket

During our visit, there were workers polishing the giant Buddha which was layered with beautiful white Burmese marble. I prayed for the safety of workers who climbed so high up to polish the giant Buddha.

Our next stop was Elephant Trekking. Hubby and Jared had this 30 minutes experience of elephant trekking along jungle path and saw snake crawling. Jaden and I waited at this coffee shop with panoramic sea view.

Elephant Trekking

We paid THB800 for adult and THB500 for kid. It was a little pricey but the owner told us that his elephants eat a lot and need the money to feed those elephants.

Our 3rd stop was to watch monkey show. The ticket prices were THB500 for adult and THB300 for kid, with a total of THB1,600 for the 4 of us for a 30 minutes show. This was really pricey especially this monkey show was held at a very simple set up and casual way. Even the MC was carrying her baby as she talked. They agreed to waive the entrance fee for Jaden.

Before we enter to watch the show, they asked us to take family photo with a monkey. We did and at the end of the show, they showed us the photo with the monkey resting his arm on Hubby’s leg. We quite like the photo and paid THB200 for it … knew this would happen.

Monkey Show

The monkeys were very clever and mischievous too. They did quite a number of stunts inclusive of cycling, push ups, played basketball, etc. It was an entertaining and relax show especially for the kids.

After the monkey show, it was already past 12pm. It was time for lunch and the taxi driver suggested to take us for seafood lunch at this PhongPhang Seafood Restaurant with sea view.

Seafood Lunch

We ordered mango kerabu, fried calamari, fried chicken and baked lobster. We like Thai beer and it was so refreshing to have it with seafood and chill out at this restaurant with sea view (though the view was nothing great). Our lunch cost us THB2,735. Luckily we had enough Baht as the restaurant charge surcharge of 5% if pay via credit card.

After lunch, our 5th stop was at stopped at Cashew Nut factory, known as Sri Bhurapa Orchid. We bought different varieties of cashew nut and coconuts chips.

Thailand’s famous cashew nuts and coconut chips

Thereafter, we adjourned to Wat Chalong. “Wat” means Buddhist Temple.

Wat Chalong

There was no entrance fee to this Wat Chalong. The deepest impression about this place was the sound of firecrackers with people hanging strings of Chinese firecrackers in beehive-shaped “ovens” near the wat’s sermon hall, then igniting them. People do this to show gratitude for prayers that have been answered.

We left Wat Chalong about 2.30pm and our 7th stop was at Promthep Cape. This was not in our plan but the taxi driver recommended it to us as a Must Visit place in Phuket. Before we walked up the slope, we had a break and had ice-cream.

Promthep Cape

The taxi driver was right. The view from the cape was stunning and like a huge eternity pool. This place is famous for its sunset view. We were at this cape at 3pm+ and Jaden was too tired to stay till evening to watch sunset.

On the way back to hotel, we had a brief 8th stop at Karon View Point (previously known as Kata View Point).

Karon View Point

We felt so comfortable in the taxi with nice air-con and did not feel like getting out to the hot weather. Only Hubby went up to have a look of the view of 3 beaches ie Kata Noi, Kata Yai and Karon beaches.

All I wanted by then was a good foot reflexology. Before the taxi sent us back to the hotel, I asked the taxi driver to stop at Oriental Massage, which was located not far from our hotel. Jared came along with me. We had an hour of foot reflexology and paid THB600 for the 2 of us. Jared felt asleep and he was so tired that I could not wake him up after the massage session.

Finally, the taxi driver dropped Hubby and Jaden back to the hotel. The taxi driver charged us THB1,000 for showing us around Phuket from 10am to 4pm with a total of 9 stops. It was a good Phuket City Tour to all these attraction places and we were glad that it was not raining on that day though earlier weather forecasted that it was thunderstorm.

Taxi in Phuket and Sugar Palm Resort

FY told me that they paid THB750 for airport taxi from airport to Kata Beach. Hubby read on Internet that taxi is quite expensive in Phuket. It is cheaper to take metered taxi from airport to hotel. As we walked out from the arrival hall, there were lots of taxis offering their service. We walked towards the metered taxi counter and they quoted us THB600 for the same destination ie from airport to our hotel at Kata Beach.

We got into the cab and the journey took about an hour from airport to our hotel, Sugar Palm Resort. We felt so relief that the taxi driver could speak decent English. During the journey, Hubby enquired about car for rent, city tour, taxi for hire, etc as we’ve planned for Phuket city tour the following day. The taxi driver offered his service to take us to visit Phuket attraction places at THB1,000 from 10am to 4pm.

At the airport, there was counter distributing free sim card. They told us that we may purchase the phone reload at 7 Eleven. On the way to hotel, we stopped at 7 Eleven and purchased THB50 reload value. This was more than sufficient for us to contact the taxi driver on the services required during our stay in Phuket. 

Deluxe Pool View room

We checked in to Sugar Palm Resort and the first impression of the hotel was good. I liked the location of the hotel which is located near Kata Beach and the tangerine colours of our bedroom. The colours gave a refreshing and cheerful mood.

There were free wifi in the room and hotel areas. There were also 4 computers with internet access for complimentary use.

As we walked out from the hotel, there was this seafood restaurant, Mali Seafood & Restaurant owned by the same hotel. Since it was already late, we decided to have our dinner at the restaurant.

Dinner at Mali Seafood & Restaurant

Seafood for selection for BBQ.

Seafood and Mixed Meat Kebab

We ordered seafood kebab (THB180) and mixed meat kebab (THB160) and coconut juice (THB180 for 2)  for cooling. Jaden wanted carbonara pasta (THB160). There were counters for soup, salad and fruits which were complimentary with our dinner.

After dinner, Hubby checked out the hotel vicinity while I freshened up the 2 boys and get them ready for bed. When Hubby came back, it was my turn to check out the hotel vicinity.

The manual way of drying my nail polish

My goals in Phuket were to have massage and mani/pedi sessions. FY recommended me to try Oriental Massage which was about 5 minutes walk from the hotel.However, I did not feel comfortable walking around alone in Phuket at 10pm+ and decided to have my mani/pedi at a shop next to our hotel. The manicure and pedicure cost THB200 each.

We did not swim in the hotel as the pool did not look great. The breakfast was average. I did not like the idea of having birds flying around and rest on those cutleries arranged on tables. We paid RM285 for the 2 nights stay (booked via Agoda) in the hotel  and additional THB175 (~RM18) per day for Jared’s breakfast. They allowed Jaden to have free breakfast.

Overall, the hotel was the right choice for us for the first 2 nights stay in Phuket. We wanted a hotel at reasonable price, at a good location ie near Kata Beach and close to those attractions that we’ve planned for city tour. Sugar Palm Resort was the right hotel, at the right price and right location for us.

Sugar Palm Resort
20/10 Kata Road, Kata Beach, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Tel: (66 76) 284-404,
Fax: (66 76) 284-438
E-mail : info@sugarpalmphuket.com
Website : sugarpalmphuket.com

5D4N Family Holiday in Phuket

Ever since Jared started schooling, we can only have our holiday during school holiday. We do not like it as it is peak period for travel and everything will be more expensive and have lots of people. Since it’s UPSR school holiday in the 2nd week of Sep 12, we decided to have our family holiday during this period but Jaden has to miss his kindergarten classes.

FY has just came back from attending her friend’s wedding at Phuket. She had a great holiday there and has been promoting Phuket since then.

Initially, we were looking at 4D3N trip to Phuket. While we were browsing through MAS flights, there were promotion for cheap flights for travel in the evening (5.10 pm flight for RM2 airfare) and flight back in the morning (10.25am flight for RM1 airfare). It may not be the best travel time but for the 4 of us, it saves us RM532 (RM133 x 4 persons) per flight!

I suggested to Hubby to take the evening flight as it’s so much cheaper (Airfare RM8 + taxes and surcharges RM892 for the 4 of us) and with the savings we can fly in to Phuket a day earlier (reach Phuket 5.25pm), settle in the hotel and have the whole day for the following day. We also do not need to wake up early for the early flight at 9.30am.

For the return flight, we did not take advantage of the promotional air fare as we did not fancy waking up in the early morning, do last minute packing and rush to the airport. We used Enrich to redeem our return flight at 21,000 miles and paid taxes and surcharges of THB8,720 for the 4 of us. In total, we paid about RM2,000 inclusive of taxes for return flights to Phuket for the four of us.

The following day, we booked our hotel, Sugar Palm Resort via Agoda and paid RM285 for 2 nights with 2 breakfast. We decided to stay 2 nights near Kata beach (Sugar Palm Resort) and another 2 nights near Phuket town (Westin Siray Bay). As my cousin is working with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Group, we may enjoy the hotel’s StarFriend rate for Westin Siray Bay Hotel at Thai Baht 3,500 nett per night for Superior Sea View Room with daily buffet breakfast for two persons.

We did not have much time to plan for this holiday to Phuket. There was only a week from our planning to travel time. We were so happy that flights and hotel accommodations had been arranged.

After we’ve booked our flight and hotel, only we remembered it was Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival, which was not a good period to travel. Both of our parents did not like the idea, coupled with travel to Phuket which was hit by Tsunami and asked if we may change the travel date. Hubby and I were contemplating about it but we decided to move ahead with our plan and reminded ourselves to be careful ie no wandering around Phuket at night, no sea activities, etc. 

In the morning of our travel day, Jared and Jaden were having flu and complained sore throat. Hubby brought them to clinic and get medication for them.

This time round, Jaden had the chance to ride KLIA’s aerotrain. It was also good that I remembered to bring our CIMB vouchers for the complimentary access to Plaza Premium Lounge.

KLIA Plaza Premium Lounge

Jared and Jaden were surprise and did not expect that they were able to play computer games before depart for Phuket.

Do, Re, Mi … at boarding gate

Despite the promotional fare, the aircraft was less than half full. 

Genting Strawberry Park and Lavender Farm

On the way down from Genting Highland, we stopped at Genting Strawberry Park and Lavender Farm. We wanted to have our afternoon tea at the Strawberry Cafe. 

At the entrance of Genting Strawberry Park

It was drizzling then. Luckily, the Strawberry Park is a covered park. The admission to the park is free.

It was a nice feeling in the park with cool weather, greenery and lots of red strawberries. 

Genting Lavender Farm

The last time that we visited this park, there was no Lavender Farm. This time round, we visited the Lavender Farm. The lavenders look so pretty in different purple shades. The whole farm smells very nice too.

In Lavender Shop

Comparing to the Lavender Garden that I visited in Seoul, the only disappointment is the Lavender Shop sells fake lavenders, rather than the real or dried lavenders. The shop looked quite empty look, probably it was still new.

Fresh vegetables were on sales there too. As it was drizzling, the man decided to sell these vegetables at lower price (four packet of vegetables at RM10) as there was not many visitors to the park. I bought 12 packets of vegetables for RM30, enough for our family to consume for a week. Some of the vegetables were cling wrap to protect the freshness of the vegetables.

Genting Strawberry Cafe

At the Genting Strawberry Cafe, there were coffee in strawberry flavour for sale too. Personally, I prefer the normal and original coffee taste.

For our afternoon tea, we had strawberry coffee (2 cups for RM9.80), strawberry milk shake (RM10.90), french fries (RM7) and waffle (RM4). The kids love eating french fries in raining and cold weather. The waffle was undercooked as the texture was not crispy. We provided our feedback to the lady owner and suggested how to present the waffle in a nicer and more presentable manner. 

I was hoping to see strawberry cakes and more varieties of pastries in the cafe. Hopefully, more visitors will frequent the cafe and the cafe can have more varieties of food for selection.

Ming Ren Restaurant, Resort World Genting

Hubby and I enjoyed the food at Ming Ren Restaurant which is famous for its Lamb Specialty Cuisine. The last time that we were in Genting Highland with my parents, we brought them there for dinner. Unfortunately, we were refused entry as we did not make any dinner reservation.

The restaurant entrance

This time round, Hubby made a reservation a day earlier. The staff adviced Hubby to be punctual at the restaurant as they will only hold on for our reservation for 15 minutes.

Quiet corner with nice view

We were ushered to this quiet corner with nice view of Genting. 

Mini Yellow Rice (RM3++ per bowl)

This yellow rice were cooked with shallots and have a nice aroma and taste. Ever since we’ve tasted this rice, we’ll always order this yellow rice and not the normal white rice.

HK Kailan (RM18++)

HK Kailan vegetables

Yam Papaya Soup (RM12++ per bowl)

Soup for Jaden. We ordered one portion which came in bigger bowl. I’ve divided the soup into smaller bowl for Jared too.

Beancurd Hot Plate (RM16++ for small)

Beancurd for the 2 boys.

Lamb Chunk (RM32++ for small pot)

The last time that we dined at Ming Ren, we ordered 2 types of lamb, Roasted Lamb Ribs and Roast Lamb Skewer. This time round, we ordered Lamb Chunk and Roast Lamb Skewer.

Roast Lamb Skewer (RM8++ each)

The Lamb Skewer in Xinjiang’s traditional spices and seasonings make Ming Ren’s “Lamb Specialty Cuisine” undoubtedly some of the most tantalising, tender and succulent lamb dishes around!

The service at Ming Ren was good. The staff were very attentive.

Jasmine Tea

As we walked out from the restaurant, the staff greeted Hubby and wished him Happy Birthday. The service was so personalised.

Ming Ren Restaurant

Level 2, Highlands Hotel