That is what they serve you at Banyan Tree, Phuket.

That is where I spent my Merdeka Weekend. Did I want to come back to work this morning? Absolutely not!

I arrived Thursday evening at Banyan Tree after a 40 minute car ride from Phuket International Airport. The winding road made me a little nauseous. But I was no less excited about getting there. After checking in, we were sent to our pool villa on a buggy, and given an orientation of the room. Yes, my own private pool villa with a garden, which needed an orientation.

Dinner was at Saffron – Thai Fine Dining within the hotel. It’s really quite a small restaurant that may accomodate 60 persons, and the service impeccable, but the menu quite limited. It shows specialisation and signature dishes?

Day 2 consisted of breakfast, lazing on the beach, lunch, a lomi lomi massage at the spa and more lazing around. Then we went to Patong beach for dinner. Despite it being low-season, the streets were still crowded, endless t-shirt, sarongs and bikinis for sale, Tsunami DVD’s and VCD’s, and every other imaginable thing. The shops stretch on and on, street after many streets. These many many shops consists of mainly FOUR types of shops – restaurant, pub, massage centre and tailor (cheap, cheap, made to measure within 12 hours ready).

Dinner was at Savoey Restaurant. I did a quick search on Yahoo! Travel, and decided to add on to the reviews thay had on Savoey. If they don’t use my review, then this is what I wrote:

Almost everyone who ventures to Patong beach for seafood dinner would have heard of Savoey. It is HUGE with indoor (air-cond) and outdoor dining. Vast array of seafood on display where you get to choose which crab, fish, prawn, lobster, clam you would like. With each sea creature you have chosen for dinner, you get to the choose style of preparation ranging from steamed, deep-fried (all styles – salt and pepper, garlic and pepper, etc.), with even more choices of different sauces, oven baked, barbecued, and the list goes on. I appreciated and enjoyed the freshness of my food, and the speed of which my food was served.

The service was average.

My deep fried fish with salt and pepper was dry, my shrimp cake salty, my crab with black pepper and transparent noodles was slightly disappointing, and big prawns oven baked was very fresh, but if a bit burnt.

There are so many restaurants on Patong beach, and I would not go back to Savoey till I’ve had a chance to try the rest of the endless restaurants, which could take a life time.”

Jungceylon – A newly opened high end department store with Robinson’s and Carrefour. There was also a Burger King there that has a Triple Whopper, and Bacon and Cheese on their menu. It costs 300 Baht for a set meal. I’d say that is quite pricey.

Day 3 – Breakfast, and NO! lazing by the beach. V was MAJORLY sunburnt. And for all of you reading this, do BEWARE! the Phuket Sun. ALWAYS USE SUNBLOCK. You may be under the umbrella, but do not be deceived. It will make a lobster out of you. I learnt this on my last trip to Phuket. And it was a lesson well remembered. It was cloudy, and I was reading comfortably under the umbrella for a total time of 4 hours. That very same evening, heat permeated from my body like I have never felt before. I was a walking hot stone, and I am sure I could have had a sunny side up prepared on my thigh.

I spent the rest of the day swimming at my very own pool, and got more lazing around done. My book for the holiday is an autobiography of Rupert Everett. I must not be very clever for I have read 1/4 of his autobiography, and I am still not able to figure out if he is gay. Otherwise, an entertaining read.

Dinner was at the Thai Restaurant at Dusit Laguna (they provide free shuttle service within Laguna Phuket, so you can go hotel-hopping). Very extensive menu with everything Thai, and chocolate sauce goes very well with coconut ice cream. Yummy.

Day 4 – It was a cloudy day, probably sensing that it would be my last day there. More lazing around till check out time.

By the time I arrived at KLIA, I was preparing myself, with a heavy heavy heart, for work this week. Not that lazing around was not hard work!

And to all Malaysians, Selamat Hari Merdeka!