Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cotton Anniversary Travel: 7 Cotton -y Days In Phuket, Thailand

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda - Isidro

our "hearty" wedding bathrobes 

As Asia's most popular beach destination, Phuket, Thailand was our hands down choice for our trip together to celebrate our second year of marital bliss last September 21, 2015. Cotton is the traditional symbol of a second year wedding anniversary so we were particularly eyeing for a romantic getaway with lots of "cotton" stuff during our trip to Phuket from September 18-26, 2015. Since we made a two-day side trip to Bangkok (another post!), we were in Phuket for only seven days, and daily we found opportunities to pick up our "cotton" gifts! Here are our 7 - Cotton - y Days in a destination that does not disappoint! 

Villareal Condo via AirBnB
Day 1 (Evening) - Cotton Couple Tees, Pillows and Bath TowelsOur "cottony" celebration starts right off when we left the Philippines! Aboard Cebu Pacific, we wore our red, matching couple tee - shirts made of 100% cotton and packed six more of these "cotton" tees we bought during our Summer Cotton Travel in Singapore, Johor Bahru, KL and Melaka to put us on a celebratory mood without spending anything! As we arrived at night, it was a welcome thing to have an accommodation in Villareal Heights, a luxury boutique hotel situated conveniently between Kata and Karon beaches in Phuket. I found it on AirBnB for less than P1,000 a night with an outdoor swimming pool! We love the room and it was exactly what we need since hubby was sick and needed rest for two days! Room was spacious and has large windows for the view of the lush mountains and the stunning Andaman Sea. It was fitted with King - size bed, super comfy white beddings, white cotton pillows and tons of cotton towels, AC, huge ref, microwave oven and TV with cable channels

In a restaurant along the road right next to Villareal Heights

View of Villareal Height's Lobby from our room
Day 2 - Couple Tees. Coz hubby still needs to recuperate, our second day was mostly for eating and sightseeing while dressed in our matching couple cotton teesLucky for us because our condo is only a few minutes stroll to Karon, Kata and Kata Noi beaches,shopping and local night life. We walked around Kata which is 10 minutes away and sampled local cuisine in three different restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
Ibis Hotel Swimming Pool View from our room

Day 3 (Morning) - Couple Tees, Towels and Pillows. On our third day, we were ready for the beach so we moved to Ibis Phuket Kata hotel which is located close to the beautiful Kata Beach for sunbathing, swimming and surfing. But since it has a nice outdoor pool, we tested the water there first, sort of preliminary. Our standard Double Bed (P1,250 a night) has a balcony for a view of the swimming pool and Kata Beach.Although the room features only a double bed (a downgrade from King - size bed) it was comfortable and atop two comfy white huge cotton pillows. The LCD TV, fridge and free WIFI Internet access are bonus! 

Kata Beach in our matching wedding bathrobes and matching slippers

Day 3 (Afternoon)  Matching Cotton Bathrobes, Cotton Beach Towels and Couple Tees  - We took Ibis' complimentary transport service to Kata Beach in our matching couple tees. With its  1.5 km strip of golden sand shoreline it was an opportune time for us to soak up in the sun and swim to our heart's content with our beachwear and walk along the beach hand in hand with our matching cotton bathrobes, cotton towels and slippers

In front of Wat Chalong on Motorcycle 

Big Buddha from afar
Day 4 (Morning / Afternoon) Matching Cotton Tees  - We rented a motorcycle (because hubby said so!) and made our way to Phuket Big Buddha on Nakkerd Hills. The roads leading up to the hill are in good condition, but some are steep and have many curves so I wasn't breathing for about six kilometers lol. There are many red-and-white signs so we were able to find the site easily. When we reached the top, we found the giant Buddha still under construction. But we found a good spot for the amazing view of Phuket and took pictures with other smaller buddhas in the pavilion. There is no entrance fee yet.

On our way back, we dropped by Wat Chalong to check the beautiful designs of Siamese architecture, and observe the practices of local Buddhist culture. 

(Side Trip to Bangkok)

Our bed in Kata Orient House with our
 cotton towels shaped into kissing swans

Day 5 (Morning) Cotton  Bath Towels and Cotton Pillows  - From Bangkok, we checked in at the Kata Orient House for the last two days of our stay in Phuket. I booked it in for P1,000 a night. Our room is in the ground floor as in all the rooms in this hotel, so it is easy to get our luggage in. We were impressed to see our bed with dark pink cotton towels shaped into two swan kissing and forming a heart! The room is medium size with AC, TV and internet. There is an outdoor swimming pool and a 7/11 right in front of the hotel so not having a ref is ok!

 "Three Beaches" Hill top for the view of Kata Noi, Kata and Karon beaches

Day 5 (Afternoon) - Back in Phuket and wearing a complete matching couple attire - cotton tees, shorts and slippers, we rented again a motorcycle and headed to Karon View Point which is near our hotel. Also known as the "Three Beaches Hilltop", we were able to enjoy a panoramic view of the three (3) beaches of Kata, Karon, and Kata Noi. There is no entrance fee.

Patong Bangla Road

Day 5 (Afternoon/Evening) - Still aboard our motorcycle, we drove along the coastal road to enjoy the view of the country side, stopping along Karon Beach and Patong Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the area. At night, we went to see the Patong Bangla Road for curiosity sake. I was totally shocked and not sure what to say! 

snorkeling in Phi Phi Ley's Maya Bay

Maya Bay
Day 6 (Morning / Afternoon/Evening) Cotton Beach Towels and Couple Tees  - We saved the best for last literally when we booked our Phuket to Ko Phi Phi by Express Ferry Day Tour during our last full day in Phuket! 

The tour package (which we got for P1,500 each instead of P3,000) includes a visit to the iconic island of Ko Phi Phi, snorkeling in Maya Beach, hotel pick up & drop off and buffet lunch at Phi Phi Don.
Stepping On Phi Phi Don White Sand

Ko Phi Phi Don
Ko Phi Phi or Phi Phi Islands is the highlight of our "cotton" anniversary as it was made famous by the filming of Leonardo Di Caprio's movie "The Beach" in 1999. There are actually five islands, but Phi Phi Don is the largest and most inhabited. This is where we have lunch and played on its soft white sand as part of our "journey to forever" couple's feet picture tradition! 

The other island which is often visited is Phi Phi Leh particularly the Maya Bay. Actually it is Maya Bay that was actually featured in the movie. Our ferry moored in  deeper water so we could jump off to snorkel. It was so beautiful both in the surface and under water with all the brightly colored fish and corals. 

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