So we had arranged for a half day tour through the concierge. As this was Anantara Vacation Club’s soft opening, its restaurant was not available and we were informed that we could have our breakfast at Bill Bentley restaurant. While I had hoped for a leisurely breakfast, the breakfast that we had at the Bill Bentley restaurant was awful. So much so I dreaded breakfast the next day.
So our tour was a half day tour. So that we don’t tired ourselves out. The pick up time was 11.30am and a van came to pick us up. Turns out we were the last to be picked up – not quite surprising as we were in Phang Nga. The first stop of the tour was turtle temple turtle cave. We were given about an hour to look around the place. This reminds me of why I dislike tours so much. If I liked the place and wanted to linger around, I couldn’t . If I didn’t like the place and would like to get out of there ASAP, I couldn’t. Enough said.
So we headed into the Turtle Temple Turtle cave. There’s really nothing much at Turtle temple while the Turtle cave was more interesting, just a tiny tad. If you are pressed for time, you aren’t missing much.
The fun part of the trip was when we exited the temple/cave and monkeys turned up. The monkeys are, much like monkeys at any touristy place, go after you for food. We were kinda transfixed by a monkey which was playing with a pail of water.
Thereafter we were headed for for the long tailed boat trip to a lunch at Phang Yee island. After we put on the life jackets that were handed to us, we were herded to board to long tailed boat.
I had seen some images of Halong Bay in Vietnam and my first thought when the long tailed boat made it’s way to Phang Yee island was ‘This seems like Halong Bay.’ Not that I have been to Halong Bay but it does look similar to pictures of Halong Bay. So lunch was at a uber touristy place with food that is not nice. I guess its location is a novelty for most people. It is kinda similar to kelongs, except that kelongs usually have nicer food.
We had enough food to fill our stomach. We had time to spare and we decided to stroll through the market place behind the restaurants. There is nothing special there but the husband bought dessert – something similar to a crepe with chocolate syrup and condensed milk dribbled over it. He loves these kind of sweet stuff.
Soon after, we departed for James Bond Island. One could tell it is a very popular place because it was soooooo crowded! And honestly, there is really nothing spectacular about it. Well, most people, including us, just did the touristy thing and posed for a photo in front of the rock at James Bond Island. This small little island is way overcrowded and filled with stalls selling trinkets.
I was actually not quite enjoying this tour!!! 😦
We then headed to the last activity – canoeing. Again, another touristy thing to do. We had to pack our belongings into a plastic bag first, to prevent 1) us from losing our items 2) to prevent damage by the water. So with every canoe, there is a guide. He actually does most of the canoeing. Which was absolutely fine by me. I was very hopeful of being able to stay relatively dry since we are not canoeing. 5 minutes into the canoeing, the guide started chatting and within that very minute, he asked for tips!!!! He wanted something like 1000 baht which would be around USD25. I wondered if we really looked like suckers. Of course we weren’t willing to pay him so much! We haggled for a while and i told the husband if i remained dry, i would consider giving him a better tip. Guess what the guide did? Made me so wet. It would have been fine if I had not been wearing white shorts. But hey, I was wearing white shorts! And the topic throughout the canoeing is how much we should tip him – topic the guide stuck to all the time! Boy, I was really annoyed and wanted the canoeing to end. After what seemed like a long time, the activity finally ended. And we still had to tip him! As low as I possibly could of course! I was really upset! It was quite nice to see the stones but it wasn’t really spectacular especially with someone haunting you for money!
Never have I been so unhappy with a tour. This tour was really terrible. I had a good mind to feedback to the staff at the hotel to boycott this company. But probably all the companies in Phuket operate similarly. Phuket is just too touristy.
We reached hotel at around 5 pm or so. I was so glad to be back! In the comfort of the villa! Then I placed an order for dinner from Kin Dee Restaurant. We ordered quite a number of items and the papaya salad and massaman beef curry were the more memorable ones. And that’s it for our second day in Phuket. Never to be repeated again!