Friday, 25 September 2015

Siam Niramit, Phuket

Siam Niramit is more than a stage show. It is comparable to Phuket Fantasea in the way that it is like a mini theme park without the roller coasters. While Phuket Fantasea is more OTT, out of this world theme, Siam Niramit is more of a cultural extravaganza. 

  Come early to roam around, take photos with the 'characters', play a couple funfair games, explore the cultural village, watch a boxing match and some dance and elephant show. Be sure to bring small change as tips for the staff (if you want to take pictures with them in costume).

 You can get the tickets from any of the tour agents in Phuket at various prices depending on your preference. I got mine for only 1350 THB without meal, including return transfer from hotel. A van picked me up at around 6.15 pm and off we went!

  After the driver dropped me and the others at the lobby, he gave us a piece of paper with van's number and direction on which carpark to meet later. After a few minutes, a lady came over with my ticket and stuck a sticker on my shirt.

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket
These are live karabau guys! Complete with the smell.

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

Siam Niramit Phuket

No recording is allowed in the theater but I know the guys in my van took some videos and you can find some on YouTube. The show is a mix of historical play and creative interpretation of heaven and hell and such. Probably not as grand as Phuket Fantasea but Siam Niramit sure is entertaining, impressive and charming in its own way.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Saveena Halal Food, Patong

Saveena Halal Food Patong

Saveena Halal Food is situated near the Patong mosque. You can find the mosque using Google Map and Waze. If you're taking public transport, tell your driver to take you to 'masjid Patong'. The locals seemed to identify the word 'masjid' better than mosque. This small restaurant is situated across the mosque, along several other halal restaurants.

Saveena Halal Patong

Saveena Halal, Patong

Taste - Very Delicious! <3<3<3<3<3
Price - Cheap. 280 TBH for 4 dishes (I tarpao for dinner) & 2 drinks. 
Ambiance - Nothing fancy. Looks clean.

Saveena Halal Patong

Saveena Halal Food Patong

Saveena Halal Food Patong

Saveena Halal Food
Prawn fried rice <3<3<3<3<3

Saveena Halal Food Patong
Fried (big) noodle with chicken

Saveena Halal Food is a great option for delicious and affordable meal if you're in Patong. Try them!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Jiraporn Hill Resort Patong, Phuket

Jiraporn Hill Resort Patong

Jiraporn Hill Resort
207/10, Nanai Road, 
A. Kathu 83150,
Patong, Phuket.

Phone #: +66 76 512 091-3
: +66 89 070 2950


The thing about booking with Agoda is that it tends to mess up with your date. Let's say you're checking the rates for a few different dates, you should always recheck before you purchase/book the room. Sometimes they changed it when you login/filling details/after checking other hotels.

What happened to me was, I got the correct days but wrong month! 

Fully paid using credit card, there was no option to edit date as it was promo rate. So, I sent an email directly to the hotel and told them my situation. To my delight, Pin the General Manager replied and kindly agreed to change the booking at no extra cost.

You know I love this hotel already. 
When I replied to express my gratitude, I really meant it when I said that I was looking forward to my stay.

Jiraporn Hill Resort is not a fancy hotel. It is no where near the beach. It isn't surrounded with lush gardens and access to the resort can be quite tricky. You gotta walk down a pretty steep hill to reach the main road and get a tuk-tuk.

Why I chose to stay here?

1) Good Night Sleep
I wanted to rest. Therefore, I needed some place quiet. The hotel is situated on a hill, away from the noisy Patong shopping and beach areas.

2) I Am No Fan of Beach
So I don't need beach hotels. For swimming, I prefer a swimming pool. This hotel has a decent size swimming pool.

3) Room
#WetPhuket was a leisure trip. I expected to spend quite some time in the hotel room so I need a somewhat nice even if not fancy place. The deluxe room was spacious, has a balcony and a bathtub!

4) Rates
A 4-night trip can add up to lots of money for accommodation that could be used instead for spa and massage and more spa and massage and some shopping. It's Phuket so I'd rather spend on massage sessions.

5) Good Reviews
The hotel received Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor. They didn't over-promise.

So should you, if you have similar requirements :)

I arrived late at night and as promised, a staff was waiting to check me in. Pretty straightforward - passport, Agoda voucher, keys.

Booking - easy. 

Rate - SO WORTH IT! RM316.68 (USD89+) for 4 nights.

Location - About 20 mins walk to Patong beach. 25-30 mins to Jungceylon. Plenty of distractions like cafes and restaurants, massage parlours, nail spas, and shopping places along the way. Taking the tuk-tuk can be quite expensive as they charge a flat-rate of 200 THB for one-way ride to anywhere in Patong so hire a motorcycle from the hotel's neighbour (green building) at 200 THB per day. Cheaper (30 THB/litre) fuel can be found on the way to Phuket Town.

Dining - Didn't try. Not halal-certified.

Service - Excellent! Daily room make up, even when we went out after lunch time.

Jiraporn Hill Resort, Patong

Jiraporn Hill Resort, Patong
Clean bathroom
Jiraporn Hill Resort Patong

Jiraporn Hill Resort Patong
If there's one complaint, it is the the pillows are too hard

Jiraporn Hill Resort Patong
View from the door. Toy Studio - a residence apartment, I think.

Jiraporn Hill Resort Patong
Balcony - shaded from the sun in the morning.

Jiraporn Hill Resort Patong
View from balcony

Jiraporn Hill Resort Patong
Part of the pool

Jiraporn Hill Resort, Patong
4 <3<3<3<3 of 5

I must have stayed during an off-peak season as I didn't really see other people there. Some guys were sunbathing one morning and another group was drinking beers one hot evening but other than that, not a soul. It was a really good place to go back to after a tiring day in Phuket.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

#WetPhuket August - September 2015

Patong Beach

September is supposed to be wet season for Phuket. Thus, I chose #WetPhuket as the hashtag for this trip. Airport taxi driver said that I was lucky that the night I arrived wasn't raining. There was a downpour only the previous night.

  It was raining on the evening of my second day and once at night (forgot which). Woke up to see the chairs at balcony and by the swimming pool all wet. Other than that, it was sunny. I got sunburnt while riding around Phuket on motorcycle.

Patong Beach

  Now, let's start with planned itinerary. Of course, things did not go exactly as planned due to weather condition, my laziness, etc. Bear in mind that Phuket is 1-hour later than Malaysia. The itinerary is based on Phuket time except for flight time from/arrival in KL.


28 August - 1 September 2015 (5 days 4 nights)
2 pax

28 Aug (Friday)
2040 - 2205 : Flight to Phuket (KUL - HKT). Get Thai SIM card. Local time 2105 on arrival.
2305 - 2310 : ETA Jiraporn Hill Resort

29 Aug (Saturday)
Free morning. Facetime for my friend's wedding until noon.
1200 - 1300 : Lunch at Saveena Halal Food (near Masjid Nurul Iman) & tarpao dinner
1730 - 2150 : Siam Niramit

30 Aug (Sunday)
0830 - 0900 : Breakfast at Abdul's Roti Shop
0900 - 1100 : Walk around Soi Romanee & Thalang Road, Phuket Trickeye Museum
1200 - 1300 : Lunch at Marina Kitchen 
1300 - 1400 : Thalang Museum
1430 - 1530 : Phuket Mining Museum
1600 - 1900 : Free & easy at hotel
1930 - 2200 : Explore Bangla Road

31 Aug (Monday)
0830 - 1300 : James Bond Island Tour OR Phuket Aquarium
1300 - 1430 : Lunch at Islander Steak N Thai Food 
1430 - 1530 : Phuket Trickeye Museum*
1600 - 2200 : Jungceylon last minute shopping & dinner at Islamtai Bangja

1 Sept (Tuesday)

0600 - 0615 : Check-out, head to airport
0815 - 1035 : Flight to KUL (local times)

What I didn't do?

- Breakfast at Abdul's Roti Shop. Woke up late, shop was closed.

- Sunday lunch at Marina Kitchen. Lunch was at Cafe 55 next to Masjid Nurul Iman a.k.a Masjid Patong

- Thalang Museum & Phuket Mining Museum

- James Bond Island Tour

- Phuket Aquarium

- Monday dinner at Islamtai Bangja. Couldn't find the place.

Wet Phuket

Unplanned activities:

- ride to Karon Beach

- daily massages

- pedicure at massage parlour, then a proper pedicure at Valentine nail & spa


RM 2811 for 2 pax (including flight, accommodation, dining & attractions)

Cash brought to Phuket 13000 THB (flight & accommodation paid)

Actual Expenditures

Transport - 2215 THB 
Dining - 1600 THB
Spa & Shopping - 4700 THB
Attractions - 3700 THB
SIM card - 495 THB

Cash balance 290 THB

Patong Beach


1) Happy Tourist SIM by dtac is 299 THB excluding tax (FREE 7-day internet) but the shop at Phuket airport sold it at 495 THB.

2) Keep details of your hotel including address (preferably in Thai) and phone number. My taxi driver demanded (yes, demanded) the phone number so he could phone the hotel and harass the poor staff just so he can confirm which hotel. Quite an interesting character.

3) Book your tour in advance. At least one day for the island tours and before noon for the night shows. Do your homework and negotiate price wisely. Return transfer should be included.

4) Tuk-tuk ride around Patong is flat-rate 200 THB one-way. Motorcycle rent including safety helmets is 200 THB per day. 

5) Booking/getting metered taxi in Phuket is mah fan but possible using MyTaxi app and SO WORTH it; a 2.3 km ride from Masjid Patong to Jungceylon costed me only 95 THB including booking fee. However, I had to try more than 5 times and cancelled booking once because the taxi which won the bid was 48 km away before I got a ride.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Pasembor Padang Broom

Another short trip to Penang! Wheee~

Mom said Gurney Drive is too tourist-y and overrated. I have no idea what she meant. My favourite go-to place for fried kuetiau is still the Chinese fella in Gurney Drive but mom wanted to try some place new. So we headed to Padang Brown a.k.a Padang Broom instead. I read somewhere that that is where the locals eat.

I am so glad that we did. Look what I found!

Another bowl of delicious ice kacang!!!

Ice kacang Padang Broom

Now I have 3 places to go to if I crave ice kacang in this pearl island. Up the Penang Hill, Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul and Padang Broom!

Anyway, we still haven't decide what to eat so Padang Brown/Broom was perfect for us. Found the place using Waze and parking was plenty. Lots of food available to choose from - nasi ayam, pasembur, something celup and many more. The celup place was full. All the tables were occupied so we walked further towards the bright lights of pasembor seller.  

Pasembor Padang Broom

I have never eaten pasembor before. They look like a plateful of vegetables and things that I don't eat. I've never eaten rojak as well. So I ordered mee goreng mamak no veggie (mamak-style fried mee). 

Padang Broom
<3<3<3 a bit too spicy for me

Mom went and piled up the plate with stuff. I pushed aside the veggies and tasted the crunchy stuff; I poked them first to make sure that they aren't squishy tofu/fish balls/squid balls. They are quite delicious! 

Padang Broom

Taste - GOOD!
Price - Mom said cheap. Way cheaper than Gurney Drive and Padang Kota.
Ambiance - It's a food court with grassy space in the middle where some operators placed extra tables for al fresco dining.

Not sure what the place is like during the day. Warm, perhaps (they open 4 p.m onwards). We went on a rainy night so it was okay. 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Dynazty Kitchen, Elite Avenue

Dynazty Kitchen

I found this place on Facebook. From the reviews, I found that it is a newly opened halal restaurant. A decent, halal restaurant can be quite hard to find in Penang. Most of the fancy cafes and restaurants are, at best, pork free. I was looking forward to dine here, especially after  reading the glowing 'delicious food' reviews on the page.

Dynazty Kitchen

Dynazty Kitchen

Taste - Disappointing
Price - RM62.30 for 2 pax
Ambiance - New, air-cond space. Love the red bricks.

Dynazty Kitchen
Asam boi and longan drinks

Dynazty Kitchen
Seafood fried rice- disappointing <3<3

Dynazty Kitchen
Salted egg yolk prawn - disappointing <3<3

Dynazty Kitchen
Veggie something <3<3

Maybe it wasn't my lucky day. I didn't get any delicious food, not even the salted egg yolk prawn raved by many. So I was really disappointed and even though they were generous with prawns in my seafood fried rice, I don't think that the bland taste justify the price. 

However, the set meals are priced more competitively at RM12.80 (inclusive of drink, soup and rice) so you might want to order one of those instead if you decide to dine here.

Do share your experience. Maybe you'll be more lucky than I was ;)