FLIGHTS and eight nights resort accommodation in Phuket for $700?*
I wondered what the catch was.
Turns out May is when it starts to bucket down with rain.
While the scorching humidity still allowed me to take the occasional dip in the resort pool between downpours, Phi Phi Islands was one of several things suddenly off the to-do list and alternate activities had to be found.
My outdoor holiday needed to head indoors.
*The journalist paid for his own trip.
I know you can get these anywhere, but take the opportunity to try something different. I gave the coffee scrub a go – a first for me. It was the most relaxing 60-minutes of the trip. Isn’t that what holidays are all about?
Most spa and wellness centres at hotels or otherwise offer a package deal or you can pick a few treatments and mix it up. Or if it is still raining the next day, book in a different treatment.
4) Shopping and 3D cinema
What is a trip to Asia without a stop at a shopping mall? Tuk-tuk to your nearest mall and just spend the day browsing and shopping.
There are heaps of bargains: clothes, bags and souvenirs to help reach your luggage limit when you head home.
Catch a movie or go to the XD theatre in Patong Beach – it’s like a 3D rollercoaster ride in a cinema, with several scenarios to choose including Haunted Mine Ride, Ravine Racer and Canyon Coaster. Strap yourself in for a bit of a thrill.
3) Phuket Simon Cabaret Show
If you want a nice night out, dinner and a show with some glitz and glamour but are not keen on looking like a drowned rat, Phuket Simon Cabaret Show is right up your alley.
With echoes of Paris’ legendary Moulin Rouge, this cabaret show dazzles with gorgeous costumes, choreography and several talented drag performers set to a pop-song soundtrack.
A pleasant surprise was a Vanessa Amorosi tune, which brought back some Aussie nostalgia. You even get the chance to mingle with the talented cast after the show.
2) Phuket Fantasea
Celebrating 21 years, the first Thai cultural theme park features traditional carnival-style skill testing games, sprawling dining space the size of a ballroom and boasts the Palace of the Elephants Theater (built to look like a Thai palace) as its centrepiece.
Admittedly not as a big as Disneyland or as many attractions as Movie World, but there is something special about Fantasea.
Have a blast and relive your childhood with sideshow alley-type games before taking in the Las Vegas-style show celebrating Thai myth and culture.
1) Trick Eye Museum
I could have spent an entire day in this place. Several murals have been painted on the walls and floors of this building, with dazzling detail that offer a 3D appearance.
Insert yourself into a zombie-pocolypse, a faux Time Magazine cover, bank heist or Transformers invasion to make for your funniest holiday album yet.
But the tour de force is in the largest room allowing a daring escape via helicopter from a collapsing bridge, with a waterfall background. Keep an eye out for Lord of the Rings’ Gollum too.