Monthly Archives: December 2015

Phuket with Kids

Phuket With Kids

Family Fun in Phuket with Kids

Travelling to Phuket in Thailand with kids really can be a lot of fun. With many beautiful beaches as well as a huge range of activities to choose from, there’s plenty to do to keep kids of all ages happy. We thought we would share some of favourite things to do here as well as some that we want to try out on our next visit to Phuket.

One of the most popular family attractions is Phuket FantaSea (see full review here) which is a Cultural Fun Park set out on 140 acres providing plenty of entertainment for the kids. The theatre show features Thai dancers, acrobatics, magical illusions, pyrotechnics, special effects, stunts and animal performances. The kids will love the entertainment centre here which has loads of games where they can try to win prizes. Phuket FantaSea also provides the opportunity to ride or feed the elephants. There is the Festival Village featuring handicraft stalls, souvenirs, street performers and a mini-zoo. Phuket FantaSea is situated at the north end of Kamala Beach, which is about a 20 minute drive from Patong Beach.

We were staying in-between the towns of Karon and Kata and found another fun place for the whole family to visit  – Dino Park Mini Golf Course situated on the main road into Kata. Open from 10.00am until 11.00pm and with a Flintstones inspired Restaurant & Bar, this is a great attraction to visit when you have a spare couple of hours to fill in. Our kids loved the mini golf course which was surrounded by many Dinosaurs. It was great to then sit down in the restaurant afterwards and enjoy a nice refreshing cool down drink and a bite to eat. We had no problems getting a tuk-tuk outside once we were finished.

Street markets are always fun to visit and our kids love to get into the spirit of bartering with the vendors. We tried out the Karon Temple Night Market which is situated on temple grounds and has a good variety of products as well as many food stalls. The Karon market is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 4.00pm to 10.00pm. Another popular market is the Phuket Weekend Market held on Saturdays and Sundays in old Phuket Town from 4.00pm – 9.00pm.

The beaches in Phuket are quite clean and the number of vendors and hawkers on the beaches has decreased. We were mainly at Kata and Karon beaches and there were a few people selling items but we didn’t feel hassled at all. There are life guards on duty, so be sure to swim between the red/yellow flags to stay safe. There were cheap massages on offer as well as other various activities such as para-sailing and jet ski hire.  (Note: be aware of some jet ski scams in Thailand).

Around all the towns of Phuket are a lot of Massage Shops that offer good priced beauty and massage prices. As we have two boys, the only thing they were interested in was having a fish spa. If you have daughters however they will love getting their hair braided or even a nice manicure or pedicure. The fish spas are great fun to have with your kids, their reactions are priceless!

Other ideas for family travellers to Phuket are;

Captain Cook Sydney Harbour Cruise Darling Harbour Departure Point

Captain Cook Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise

Captain Cook Cruises – Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise

We have been to Sydney many times before but had never been aboard one of the Captain Cook Cruise boats that seem to be everywhere on Sydney Harbour, so on our latest Sydney trip we decided to experience them for ourselves.

Our Captain Cook experience was on a Christmas Party Buffet Dinner Cruise (Saturday night) which is available during the busy Christmas Season. As we were at the start of the festive season our cruise was not too busy and only had 32 guests plus staff aboard so we had plenty of room on our vessel, which was the John Cadman 2. We started boarding the John Cadman 2 from the Darling Harbour No.1 King St Wharf at 7.30pm and with such a small crowd, it didn’t take long until we were all aboard and set to go.

We boarded the boat and were led to our Christmas themed tables where there was some Tyrrell’s white and red wines waiting for us. Soon after being seated our waiter was around to serve some sparkling wine. Once drinks were poured we took ourselves upstairs to the top deck to take in the full view of Sydney Harbour. Leaving at that time of night could provide some amazing sunset views of Sydney Harbour but unfortunately for us it was an overcast night.

The trip around Sydney Harbour takes you under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and goes past many famous Sydney landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, Kirribilli House and Luna Park.

The buffet dinner and drink package we purchased included unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks (spirits were available to purchase at extra cost) and we found the staff very prompt in refilling our drinks. The seafood buffet dinner was sufficient, although wouldn’t say amazing. It included various seafoods such as oysters, prawns and mussels with plenty of salads. There was also a mixture of other hot dishes including chicken drumsticks, hokkien noodles, rice, vegetables, butter chicken and beef provencale. Dessert included fresh fruit and a section of cakes and slices.

Our cruise also had a DJ and dance floor so after dinner there was a lot of dancing and it really became a good night out. We docked back at Darling Harbour around 11.00pm, so enjoyed three and a half hours aboard the boat. This was a nice little cruise to get out and see Sydney Harbour at night while having a lot of fun.

Captain Cook has a range of different cruises available including an a la carte dinner as well as lunch time cruises.  For more information on the different Captain Cook Cruises around Sydney Harbour go to www.captaincook.com.au

Of course there are a lot of different cruise companies that provide an entertaining way to see Sydney Harbour, so do your homework before deciding on the best type of cruise to suit you.  Another one we have tried and enjoyed is the Sydney Tall Ships lunch time cruise (see review here).

View from the Pool Deck at the Quay West Suites Sydney

Quay West Suites Sydney

Hotel Review of a Two Bedroom Apartment at the Quay West Suites Sydney

The Quay West Suites Sydney is apartment style accommodation ideally located in The Rocks district, providing stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. With a choice of either one or two bedroom apartments, Quay West is definitely an ideal choice for travelling families who want to stay right in the heart of Sydney.

Check-in was smooth and we were allocated a two bedroom apartment on the 9th floor. The apartment was quite spacious and even being on one of the lower floors, the views were pretty amazing. On arrival there was a welcome gift of a bottle of Evian water with a glass of biscuits & lollies as well as a tim tam chocolate biscuit. Quay West is part of the Accor Hotel chain and the welcome gift was one of the benefits of being a Le Club Accor Hotel member. Be sure to join up as a member before staying as this will give you free wifi for your stay as well as a welcome drink voucher (for silver or above members).

The apartments come with a well equipped kitchen which is perfect for those travelling with families and that would prefer to bring some groceries and eat in room. There was on oven, microwave, toaster, kettle, dishwasher, cutlery, glasses, plates, bowls, cooking utensils as well as pots and pans. There are two little fridges, one full of mini bar items and the other was an empty fridge. The empty fridge is only mini bar size so best not to go overboard if bringing your own groceries. There is also a mini bar snack & amenity basket full of items for purchase. Another good feature for families is a washing machine and dryer hidden away in one of the hallway cupboards. We were only there for two nights so didn’t use them but would be useful for those staying longer term.

The main bedroom had a big nice and comfy bed and we found that there was plenty of cupboard space, complete with bathrobes and slippers. This main bedroom also comes with a good size ensuite including a separate bath and shower. It was well equipped with plenty of towels as well as the wonderful smelling Appelles bathroom amenities.

There was a second smaller bedroom as well as another separate bathroom. The separate bathroom came with just shower (no bath) but it did have the Appelles bathroom amenities as well as plenty more towels.

There is another hallway cupboard which has more storage space and also houses the room safe. The safe was one where you need to swipe a credit card instead of the usual ones where you input the 4 number digits. We really didn’t like this type of safe. If you wanted to lock all your valuables up and go up to the pool for a swim, you still had to take your credit card with you as well. Hopefully this is something that Quay West could look into changing in the future. Also in this cupboard are the pool towels that you can take with you if going for a swim.

We would definitely recommend going up to the pool area on the 23rd level, even if it is just to have a look around as the views just get even better up there. As you walk from the elevator to the pool area, the first thing you come across is the viewing window that looks straight at the underwater pool area which is a little different. As you head up to the pool deck, you come across the wonderful view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Head outside and you will find a little outdoor deck area complete with a couple of sun lounges.

Next to the pool is a gym which is pretty well equipped with cardio machines and weights.

Dining and drinks are available at Quay West in the Harrington Restaurant & Bar.  We did drop by the bar for a quick drink and found it very quiet up there. We tried out the Espresso Martinini from the cocktail list and found it just ok. There are plenty of bars and eateries around The Rocks and Circular Quay area though. Harts Pub is just across the road and is a great little historic pub that serves great beer and burgers. We also walked to Darling Harbour, which has a lot of eateries and it only took about 15 minutes to get there.

We found the Quay West Suites in Sydney really suitable for family stays. The wonderful location and the spectacular views make it hard to beat when deciding where to stay in Sydney. We loved that you could just sit in the room and watch all that Sydney Harbour has to offer, especially when those big cruise ships are on the move!

For more information on Quay West Suites Sydney go to www.quaywestsuitessydney.com.au