Prior to the trip, I'd read up about some of the attractions that most visitors go for while in Phuket, and then decided to avoid most of them. Also, along the way to the hotel the night before, my sister had spied (regretfully, I might add) a huge Nike sign along the street. My ultimate guilty pleasure of course. What made it worse, for her, was that it was an outlet store and of course, I begged her to go.
After a seemingly light breakfast (included in our hotel package), we grabbed a couple of brochures from the tour desk at our hotel lobby and proceeded to head up to the rooftop for some "intense planning".
After planning, we headed back to the lobby to book our diving tour for the following day, and off we went to grab a cab for our hour journey to the Phuket Premium Outlets.
The premium outlets house quite a number of familiar brands - Nike, Adidas, Quiksilver, Calvin Klein just to name a few.
It spreads out across a number of large buildings; some housing more than one brand under their roof. Bear in mind though, the outlets are at least an hour's journey away from the main Patong area.
I found that my best friend during this intense shopping experience was the XE currency converter (www.xe.com/currencyconverter/) available in App version as well. My sis basically stuck around just to bug me for the currency conversions...
Be sure to walk around the entire complex before considering purchasing anything. Most prices are pretty discounted (50-70%) in comparison to Singapore outlets, others range around the same pricing.
We spent about an hour to two hours (could have been more, but who's counting??) before we left for Phuket Old Town.
One of the main reasons why I wanted to pay a visit to Phuket Old Town was because of it's hidden cafe culture. Ironically, something as modern as cafes have popped up in one of the oldest and most historical places of Phuket.
The best way to get around Phuket Old Town itself would be to walk, which is what we did. It's about a 30 minute drive from the outlet mall, so it would be advisable to go to both since they're pretty close by.
I had a list of cafes that I read about and wanted to try, so both of us roamed around aimlessly looking for said cafes. Along the way, we came across this really, really gorgeous graffiti corner. Of course we had to stop and take pictures.
As it's name suggests, the Bookhemian Cafe not only serves your daily fare of coffee and cakes, it's filled floor to ceiling with books of all kinds. It's a rustic, cosy cafe with a small gallery on the second floor.
We ordered a brownie to share
and I got a mocha with cinnamon and orange, whilst my sister had the milk tea.
The coffee, I dare say, converted me from an avid Starbucks drinker. I loved the combination - the slight tang of the orange coupled with the bitter coffee; tasted like a dessert in a cup more so than something to keep one awake. The brownie was gone in mere seconds, moist and fudgey yet not sickeningly sweet as others I've tried.
The second cafe we managed to find along the way was Macchiato House & Cake box. It was a 180 turn from the Bookhemian Cafe's rusticity; wide windows, art lining the walls and an option to dine alfresco as well. Cafe goers scattered around the cafe seemed to be making full use of the wifi to plonk about on their laptops or use the available computers lining the wall near the entrance.
Not too many pictures here seeing as the star of the visit was the delectable honey toast. It was definitely worth the wait.
Crunchy crusts, smothered in generous drizzles of honey, soft and fluffy center with a side of ice-cream.
How can something as simple as honey and toast taste that alarmingly good? God knows.
The final cafe we could manage to stomach (more like I could manage..) was the Chino Cafe and Gallery. Based on reviews, it's well known for it's sugar toast which of course I had to try.
Compared to the honey toast we had earlier, it didn't live up to it's expectations in my opinion. I'd rather have had two more plates of the earlier honey toast. Still pretty good for a sugar toast though!
The unique aspect of this cafe was the 'Create your own postcard' alcove near the front of the cafe.
For 20baht (excluding the stamp), you'd be able to design your own postcards and mail them out. Had to do that of course, just for the novelty.
That summed up our cafe hopping for the day but we did enjoy the sunset and the nightlife after that but it's a story for another time.