After some research online, I am glad I went with Phuket Connect Transfers. Single trip from airport to resort costs us THB800 (other sites have given higher quotes) & the duration fmo airport to resort took round 1 hour.
Day 1 of our trip - Our flight landed at 10.10am local time but the immigration queue took aeons to clear, we only exited the terminal at 11am. Fortunately the driver did not forsake us. I certainly heaved a huge sigh of relief when I still saw him waiting patiently outside the airport holding up my name on a cardboard. Best part about booking with Phuket Connect Transfers is you only pay the driver after he has sent you to your destination. I believe there are other sites which require pre-payment with credit card. I certainly do not want to risk paying only to have the driver do a no-show.
On our last day, we again hired the same company for a half day service. 4 hours for THB1,700 (~ S$68) & the final drop-off at Phuket airport. It is critical to mention in your request for quotations that you require drop-off at the airport because the location of the airport is pretty far off & requires considerable travelling time. This is an important factor for planning your itineraries, definitely wouldn't want to miss your flight!
Phuket Sightseeing & City Tour
Day 2 of our trip - Why not just kick back relax & engage a tour guide & driver to bring us round the city? Besides its the first time my other half is in Phuket. Private tour for 2 THB2,000 (~$80) & extra charge for the remote location of our resort THB200 (~$8). Well, like what the guide says, Avista Faraway.
Attractions visited -
Phuket Big Buddha
Cashew Nut Factory
Of course the cashew nut & gem factory were not places we wanted to visit but it was part of the tour as part of the local tourism board's effort to promote their local industries. Don't worry, there is no hardselling, just take a walk around & you are free to go. We did buy a few cans of cashew nut as they are pretty tasty! Each can for THB199 (~ S$8). Comes in various flavours, we bought Tom Yum, BBQ & Wasabi.
Much of the time was spent on the bus, driving round scenic routes. We requested for drop-off at the weekend night market at the end of the tour but as you would have guessed it, the tour guide persuaded us to do a Thai massage at this shady massage place . Don't be mistaken, the place is not some "lup sup" or inappropriate business, it is a legitimate massage parlour just that it would be equivalent to the foot reflexology joints we find here in Singapore. 1hr Thai massage for 2 pax, THB800 (~S$32). Before the driver & guide left, we were negotiating on price for transportation on our 3rd day. THB2,000 for 4hrs (tour guide & driver) & final drop-off at airport, in the end we didn't engage her as prices were too steep!
As we were short of Thai Baht, we made a stopover (or rather WALKED) at Central Mall which was a 15mins walk away (& also along the way to our final destination the weekend market), we exchanged our monies at Thai Military Bank (TMB) on the 2nd floor of the mall. Rates were comparable to Singapore money changers. Central Mall also offers free WiFi for tourists, just register at the Information Counter with your passport.
The tour guide convinced us that the weekend night market was well within walking distance from the massage parlour, boy oh boy, we walked for a great distance under the sweltering sun before arriving at our destination! More details on the night market in next post!