We did some proper sightseeing today, I had booked a driver for 6 hours, whom I found on the internet and he seemed to have lots of positive reviews. His name was Mr Chai and he picked us up in one of those massive four wheel drives. Coincidentally he told us his office was just across the road from the hotel so I guess we were convenient for him.
First stop was Promthep Cape, the southern tip of Phuket. This is a famous spot to catch the sunset but I didn't want to drag the children here in the evening considering its distance to our hotel. The water blended with the sky far into the horizon and while it's a scenic spot, there isn't much else to see or do there except to snap a few pictures of the ocean and the rocky outcrop.
We were amused by the sight of some PRC tourists dressed in colourful Hawaiian shirts and sarongs. And also Korean ladies, or maybe they were Chinese, standing on some rocks and posing with their scarves above their heads, blowing in the wind.
After Promthep Cape, we made our way to the Big Buddha statue which is still a work in progress. It's quite big, on the top of a hill and since I was wearing shorts, I had to use one of the free sarongs available to cover my legs.
We asked Mr Chai for a recommendation on lunch and he brought us to a big restaurant called Kan Eang by the pier. Food was so-so, my tom yam was tasteless though I requested for less spicy...there was no spice at all. But the venue itself was pretty chilled and it was nice to be able to sit by the water, and the ponds, waterlilies and koi fish kept the girls entertained.
After lunch, we went in search of an animal attraction only to discover it had closed down. So instead we drove past the Portuguese-influenced shophouses in Old Phuket Town, which felt like we were in Malacca or Joo Chiat.
Decided to take refuge at the Central Festival Mall and I bought the mums tops from Jim Thompson and while Nick had tea with the girls, I did a quick recce around the mall, found the supermarket and loaded up on Thai spice mixes. Mr Chai sent us back to the hotel after that and the whole cost of the private tour set us back only about 1500 baht or about SGD$10 an hour.
After dumping our purchases, we walked to Jungceylon, which is the main mall in Patong. Had dinner at Coca and watched the fountain show. Some breakdancing buskers showed off their moves, impressing the kids and we rounded up the day by taking a tuk tuk back. It was the girls' first ride and they were amazed at the vehicle's flashing neon lights!