The whole of our 4 days in Patong, was spent walking around town. It’s truly a Free & Lazy itinerary and we did not visit the major Phuket attractions as we have done so before. Patong town isn’t big and you can cover by foot within one hour if you restrict to window shopping. Our main focal point was the vicinity of Jungceylon Mall where our hotel is located. The Jungceylon Mall complex itself can easily take a whole day if not two, to fully explore. A host of convenience can be found here.
The Junk inside Jungceylon. Twice a day, there will a fountain display.
Adjoining shopping complex housing anchor tenants Robinson’s Department Store & BIC-C Supermarket.
Full fledged BIC-C Supermarket.taking up two floors
Foot SPA therapy at Phuket Square outside Jungceylon near KFC.
The main tourist attractions of Patong Town are the beach activities along Patong Beach and the night entertainment for the young and young at heart along Bangla Street. Here you’ll find crowded and noisy restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs, etc till the early morning. In the morning, you can do some serious shopping at Jungceylon Mall and souvenir hunting in shops or roadside stalls.
Patong beach, Phuket.
Bangla Road fronting Patong beach.
The happening street at night for the young & young at heart.
Crowd starting to build up at Bangla Road at night.
Souvenirs by the roadside.
Banzaan Fresh Market is located across Sai Kor Road at the rear of Jungceylon Mall. It is just a normal market serving the locals daily needs. In what is common to most Asians, this market would also be referred as a ‘wet market’, where most of the floors would be wet. The upper floor has a large food court with halal food available.
Banzaan Fresh Market across the road from the rear of Jungceylon.
The fresh vegetable section.
Varieties of fresh fruits you can sample before buying.
The seafood section with lobster and crayfish.
The only attraction we went to is FantaSea. It’s a cultural theme park with it’s main attraction being a Thai Cultural Show with trained animals joining in. Laser show has now been incorporated into the one hour segment which wasn’t there 17 years ago. This is our second time here, the first in 2001.
I tend to enjoy more the first time as the animals got more stage time, now lasers having it’s ‘own slot’. Honestly I’ll say, seen once, seen them all. The ‘wow’ factor diminishes for repeat visitors. Video recording devices including hand phones are not allowed in. You’ll hand over your devices and be given a ticket to claim them after the show.
Back again to FantaSea after 17 years.
Parrots at Phuket FantaSea theme park.
A rare white tiger in a glass cage at Phuket FantaSea. This isn’t part of the show.
The event building where the show was performed. It has theater style numbered seating.
Phuket now has a new, large modern International Airport. Arrival is on the lower level while departure on the upper. The domestic terminal is next to it which actually was the old airport. This new terminal building was a far cry from the old with many amenities for the convenience of passengers. This new terminal was completed in 2016.
Departure level of Phuket airport.
Entrance for departures on the upper level.
Arrival exit at the ground level.
The old airport which is now the domestic terminal located alongside the new.
Muslim visitors to Patong will find an abundance of Halal Food eateries here. More than five years ago, it would be taxing walking around Patong in search of a handful of Halal Food stalls and then again, they were expensive. We were taken aback this time around to find plentiful of Halal eateries be it mobile carts, stalls, shops or restaurants. You choose what you prefer (or your budget), be it by the roadside or fine dining in air-conditioned restaurant.
Below, we map out the Halal eateries we came across, with Soi (road) Sansabai offering the most concentration of Halal eateries. Please bear in mind we didn’t eat in all of them, but we did see the ‘Halal’ wording either in English or Arabic (or both) prominently at the respective premises. It will be in your best interest to verify their status as we were informed, some do sell alcoholic beverage.
Location of Halal eateries in the vicinity of Jungceylon Shopping Center. Click to enlarge map.
Another area to look for Halal Food, will be around Holiday Inn Resort fronting Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road. You can use Google street view to explore where they are. Another location, at Thawewong Road along Patong beach, you’ll find a couple more eateries as well as mobile Halal carts too.
Located in Phuket Square, in-front of KFC.
This is the front of SB Plaza, a large bazaar. Walk straight till the end for the restaurant.
‘The Curry’ located in the basement of Jungceylon food-court. There are three Halal stalls abreast.
‘Siam Thai Food’ in-between ‘The Curry’ & ‘Phuket Noodles’ in the basement of Jungceylon food-court.
The corner stall of ‘Phuket Noodles’ in Jungceylon. food-court.
A kebab stand right across Jungceylon along Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road.
Al Hallab, the first stall at Soi Sansabai. In the background is Bangla Street, the happening night spot.
A little further in at Soi Sansabai, is Bombay Kitchen & Lounge.
Two shop lots away from Rayaan’s Oriental in the same row, is Indian Curry Club.
A little further down the road on the same row of the other eateries, is a restaurant without a name, but you’ll find ‘Sea Food.Thai Food.Arabic Food‘ on it’s signboard. We had dinner here, my wife had fried ‘pad-thai’ while Tomyam Kung (shrimp Tomyam) for me. I must say the Tomyam is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Since Thailand & Malaysia are neighbors, Thai cooking does make its way into our country and Tomyam being one of them. Very rarely can I find tomyam this good back home. Superb, highly recommended. This restaurant does not serve alcohol.
Night view of ‘Sea Food.Thai Food.Arabic Food’ restaurant.
Day view of the restaurant. Look for the signboard.
The restaurant interior.
White rice, Tomyam Kung (small) & Thai fried rice. THB480 for this meal for two.
On another day, wife had Pad Thai & still Tomyam Kung for me..
Further down in the same row is Kuwait Restaurant.
Labanese kebab stand in-front of Waleed Oriental Restaurant.
Further down, in the opposite row towards the end of Soi Sansabai is another kebab stand in-front of Chang Club Hotel.
Mobile cart along Thawewong Road. In the background is Patong Beach.
This Halal pancake mobile cart is next to the ‘Pad Thai’ cart.
Our above list isn’t exhaustive. There are still many more Halal eateries we saw when we were on the move. Another notable location is Kalim Beach during the night. Mobile carts line almost the entire stretch of the road along the beach.
Price of Halal Food is generally slightly cheaper compared five years ago probably due to competition and easier availability of Halal produce. In supermarkets, you’ll be able to get Halal certified products such as instant noodles, tidbits, Thai sauces and others.
Pimnara Boutique Hotel right in Jungceylon, a shopping mall, fits well into our Free & Lazy, no itinerary holiday. The hotel comprises two adjoining blocks linked by covered walkway situated on the upper floor, is flanked with restaurants, fast food outlets, food kiosk and souvenir stalls on the ground floor. Outside noise is efficiently blocked from the room by permanently sealed windows that ensures you’ll get a quiet night’s sleep. Your transport will drop you off at the back slip road close to the entrance avoiding you having to wade through the mall.
The hotel is fronting another building that houses Robinson’s Department Store, Big C Supermarket as well as more shops. All these will keep you busy for a couple of days. A privately run tourist counter besides the entrance makes ticket and tour arrangement convenient. Patong beach is accessible via Soi (road) Bangla about a 10 minutes walk.
Entrance to the hotel. Towards the left, are restaurants, fast food outlets and food kiosk. A tourist counter for tickets and tours is just next to the hotel.
What can one do at Jungceylon? It’s a shopping mall with many branded shops. Robinson’s Department Store and Big C Supermarket located in the adjoining building provides shopping convenience. Plenty of restaurants, fast food outlets, food kiosks around Phuket Square as well as eateries in the food court of Jungceylon makes dining decision difficult. Souvenir carts line part of Phuket Square closer to the hotel. Those wanting to rejuvenate your body, head over to ‘Thairapy’ in the basement of Jungceylon for a massage. Almost the whole basement is devoted to Thai Massage & SPA products. At the entrance of the basement, you’ll find currency change office as well as countless ATM machines.
Over at Robinson’s, it’s a full fledged department store and at Big C Supermarket, you’ll find almost everything you need for your home and kitchen. For your mobile phone and computer requirement, head over to the 3rd floor. More information on Jungceylon here.
Location of Pimnara Boutique Hotel. Click map to enlarge.
Although a deposit of THB1,000 is payable upon check-in as mentioned in our booking, we were never asked for it. Hotel booking was made through hotels.com and check-in was swift and we were escorted by one of the reception staff to our room. The hotel lobby is minimalist, almost all white and give a ‘clean’ look. A lift is available for guests whilst using the stairs wouldn’t be a pain, only one floor up.
The ‘clean’ look lobby of the hotel. Lift (not in pic) is towards the right.
Our room is on a different wing from the reception building and you cross by a covered walkway a short distance from the lift. The hallway to your room is clean and decorated with artificial flowers along the wall. I’m not sure if the other wing is also decorated as such. The lobby and the hallway already gives good vibe.
Wall decoration in the hallway to the rooms.
According to the booking and the hotel’s website, the rooms are individually themed. Ours was a yellow colored room with ‘items’ fixed to the wall. A reasonably big room with equally spacious bathroom. Views from the window looking across is nothing much, looking downwards will be part of Phuket Square where the souvenir carts are. The drapes effectively keep lights out so you can sleep easily during the day.
Our themed room with two single beds.
Mini fridge below the wardrobe.
The air-cond room is furnished with a wardrobe, a mini safe, umbrellas, bathrobe, soft towels, mini fridge, large LCD CTV, DVD player and tea/coffee maker. Iron and board are upon request. Two complimentary bottles of mineral water is provided free daily. Tea/Coffee, sugar, cream is replenished everyday. Free wi-fi with strong signal is provided although we did experienced ‘dropped-connection’ on several occasions. Room is cleaned daily and even if you get up late, house keeping will wait till then.
Safe and bath robe in the closet.
Addition soft towels and umbrellas provided.
Table, large LCD CTV and tea/coffee maker. Iron and board available upon request. A DVD player (not in pic) is beside the CTV.
The bathroom is big with good sized cubicle helps you to avoid hitting any fixtures and hot water comes within seconds. For Muslim guests, it’s nice to know a bidget water spray is by the toilet. The bathroom is equipped with hair dryer and everything works. The mirror do not get frosted after a hot shower. Bathroom amenities are in individual sealed packs.
Shower cubicle in bathroom. The standard white towels are placed here. Bottled body wash and shampoo in cubicle.
The ‘standard’ white towel and the ‘super soft’ purple towel.
Thailand utilises a 3-prong electrical power socket outlet with a voltage output of 220 volts. The socket can easily accommodate a round or flat 2-pin plug. Guests whose home country voltage is 110 volts must ensure your equipment can run on auto voltage or risk them getting fried.
Electrical power socket, 220 volts.
View of shops and souvenir carts from our room. The white painted windows of the opposite building is Robinson’s Department Store.