Phuket Holiday (March 2016) – Food and Activities with Kids

So what do you do when on a beach holiday in Phuket, Thailand? Laze in the sun and eat all the Thai food you can of course! If anyone tells you that eating Thai food with kids in tow is not possible and that you have to settle for Western food or Fast Food, don’t believe them! We had Thai food every single meal and the kids ate fine.

The Orchid – Opposite Katathani

If you decide to stay at Katathani like us, don’t miss the awesomely authentic Thai food found just across the street from our hotel at a restaurant called The Orchid. In fact we only discovered it on the 2nd day after trying some other cut-throat restaurant on the same street, which was catered more to the Western palate and currency conversion. Their Tom Yum Goong, Beef Fried Rice, Curry Powder Prawn/ Crab, Fried Banana with Ice-cream and sundaes became our staples for every lunch until the day we left.  We wished we had found the place earlier and the kids were happy to have their local beef fried rice plus a sundae of their choice at every meal. :p Come on! It was a holiday after all! 🙂 Everything was really value for money!

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Perfect with lots of little green chilli padi!

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Curry Powder crab!

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1 sundae a day, keeps the tantrums away..:p

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Goreng Pisang with Ice cream and honey…looks are deserving because this was awesome!

 

 

Tuk Tuk Rides

Because we spent the day just lazing about in the pool and enjoying the waves in the sea, we could only afford to explore Phuket in the evenings. We would take a cab from the hotel to the places we wanted to visit in order to get an estimate of how much each trip should cost and use that gauge when ‘bargaining’ for a Tuk Tuk on the return. The fortunate thing was the fact that we met very reasonable taxi and tuk tuk drivers on this trip and no one tried to fleece us. We found that we were always quoted the same/ correct rate for the return Tuk Tuk ride and it made the entire experience a lot more pleasant. The kids were also really thrilled to take their first Tuk Tuk ride of the trip and they were very intrigued by the fact that some Tuk Tuks were more fancy than others (loud hiphop music + colour changing lights). Unlike the smaller Tuk Tuks in Bangkok, the ones in Phuket can sit 6 adults comfortably so we only had to hire one since we had 4 adults and 2 kids. Definitely a must do with the kids if you head to Phuket!

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Bella with her Aunty Tabitha..look at that smile 😀

Kata Night Market

Our aim on this trip was to allow the kids to experience some of the night markets/ food markets without being caught in a human jam. We ended up at 2 different markets on 2 different nights.

We made our way to the Kata Night Market on our first night and have to say we or I was slightly disappointed. Things were rather quiet and we later realized it was probably due to the high supply of night markets all over Phuket. Nevertheless, the kids were very happy that they got to pick their own fruits choices to ‘create’ their own fruit juice. Jah picked a grape + lime combination which somehow turned out better than what the adults chose. We got our fruit juices and took a customary stroll through the market, picked up 2 t-shirts for the kids and then tried to find a place for dinner.

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Brain freeze anyone?

Thank goodness for our mobile wifi and toddler carriers which came in super handy. It allowed us to navigate our way through the streets of Kata with the kids safely on our backs and head to dinner. We even found a Pancake stall near the restaurant we had dinner at, yummy!!!!

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Our Tulas to the rescue

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Malin Plaza Patong

The 2nd night we headed to Malin Plaza Patong which was more of a food market. There were shop spaces for souvenirs and clothes etc but very few of them were open. We decided to make a zipline for the food and also to look for a table to settle down at. Yes the nice thing about this market is the fact that there are tables and chair set up for you to consume the local street food bought from the stalls. We picked up some local fried food, Pad Thai for the adults, non spicy noodles for the kids and desserts all round. It was a nice experience even though the food may not have been the yummiest we have had or the most value for money.

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Nice spacious seating under the stars at Malin Patong Plaza

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Waiting for his dessert at Malin Patong Plaza

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This might not be the most adventurous Phuket itinerary for families but it was certainly something a little different for us. Perhaps the next time we head to Phuket, the kids will be old enough for an island hopping tour..although I’m hoping it doesn’t happen too soon. We definitely still appreciate our afternoon naps and are perfectly happy to just laze on the beach and load up on Thai food 🙂

JahBella’s Mummy

 

 

Phuket Holiday 2016 – Katathani

Our first family holiday of 2016 brought us to Phuket, Thailand. While this was not our first trip to Phuket (we travelled there when it was just the two of us, for our first babymoon and subsequently for Jah’s 1st holiday at 7 months), this is the first trip where we have ventured out further than 15 minutes away from the airport. No I kid you not! We always stayed 10 minutes away from the airport on all previous trips and basically parked ourselves in the vicinity of our hotel. We never visited Patong or any of the shopping malls ever. Ironically, we decided to stay almost 1.5 hours away from the airport while on holiday with 2 kids and ventured out every night by Tuktuk, for dinner. Perhaps parenthood really does make you stronger, more adventurous or just flat out mad! :p

The kids were really excited about this holiday and we were all up by 5am for our really early 8am flight. The first milestone we hit this holiday? Jah no longer needing his CARES Safety harness! He was constantly coaching Bella on how she should sit still in hers and that he could handle the ‘big people’ seatbelt now. 🙂 Honestly the CARES safety harness has been a great help for us when travelling with the kiddos. You can read more about it in our previous post here.

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Big boy seat belt finally!

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CARES Safety Harness for this little one (who is pretending to sleep btw)

We were picked up by our hotel private transfer and we managed to fit 4 adults, 2 kids, 3 suitcases and 2-3 handcarrys. Ermm yes we were there on a beach holiday but don’t ask me why we had so many suitcases. :p The transfer was about an hour long to the hotel and Jah and I were lucky to have a nice massage function in our seats. 🙂

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Massage function in the car

We stayed at the Katathani which is located at Kata Noi. It essentially is right at the end of the Kata area and spanned a really large area, with two different wings. We booked 2 interconnecting Junior Suite rooms and were located at the Thani Wing which is closer to the beach. Each room came with either a king bed or twin beds + a sofa bed and they covered the sofa bed in our room with nice clean sheets, pillows and a blanket so that Jah could use it. We also had a really decent view of the pool and the beachfront.

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Junior Suite with a Sofa bed made up for Jah

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Junior Suite (Twin Sharing) with the sofa bed for regular use

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View from our room balcony 

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Garden massage ($15 for 50 mins)

The hotel had many pools throughout its property which was one of the main draw for us when we were deciding where to stay. However we ended up playing at the same pool (right in front of our block) every morning before heading out to the beach and sea. The beach was located in an inlet and the waves were rather mild (usually got a bit ‘fiercer’ around noon time) so we can venture out with the kids. While the beach is not a private one, it felt pretty private to us because we had a guard watching the entrance from our hotel to the beach and you wouldn’t really venture out to Kata Noi Beach if you are not a guest at the hotel.

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Empty clean beach…peace….

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The kids also had a swell time at the kids pool with their toys and crocodile float which we bought from one of the many shops in the area. They also insisted on coming back from the beach at 11am every day without fail so that we could join the Aqua Aerobics class. Oh we had tons of fun and laughter with that class alright.

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Aqua Aerobics Time!

 

The kids club at Katathani is located at the Bhuri Wing so it was a 5 minute walk from our block but the kids were more than willing to make the walk before lunch. The kids club is supervised and had tons of toys, games and even a ball pit. They have paid activities and free ones and even an outdoor play area. The kids really wanted to play outdoors but I wouldn’t let them because it was just too hot at 12noon. We didn’t go for any of the paid activities but there was more than enough to keep them occupied. In fact it was really tough trying to get them to leave and go to lunch. *grrrr* The thing I liked about the Kids club was the fact that they have a very flexible policy. You could choose to drop off your child with the staff or you could stay in the kids club with your child. We had one too many bad experiences with hotels who insist that the adults have to leave even when we just want to spend time with our kids in the club. We had no such problem at Katathani.

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We really had a lot of fun at the Katathani, my only gripe was the fact that it was almost a 1.5 hour journey to the airport which can be really tiring. But the facilities and service far outweigh that little inconvenience. I have a feeling, this might be our go to place in Phuket from now on. 🙂

Want to know what else we did in Phuket with the kids and how we managed to have authentic Thai food even though we had kids with us? Stay tuned for our next Phuket 2016 post!

JahBella’s Mummy

 

For Mummies of Little Boys – Foreskin Infection

So we are just fresh off a beach holiday and honestly this is possibly the last topic I would think to write after an awesome vacation. (More on that awesome vacation in our later posts).

However I felt that it was important for me to share our run-in or Jah’s run-in with a foreskin infection during our trip and what we did to help him. Excuse the lack of photos as the photos taken were rather private (pun intended :p)

A foreskin infection or balanitis is apparently a very common condition amongst little boys from the ages of 2 and up however there are varying and overwhelming information on how to go about handling this situation.

For starters, there are two camps on the issue – the pro-circumcision and the anti- circumcision camp. I will not be going into a discussion on this at all, rather I would just like to share what worked for us in a situation where we didn’t have access to his usual PD or an A&E that we felt we could trust.

Jah started complaining about a pain in his penis on Friday (a day into our holiday). On close inspection, we didn’t spot anything odd and figured it might have been an insect bite or a bruise that he might have gotten during a recent Sports Day event. We asked if it was painful to pee and ruled out an urinary tract infection when he said no. I started watching him closely for signs of swelling or redness and also monitored his peeing situation.

By Saturday afternoon, the boy was screaming in pain every time I tried to put on his underwear or if anything would brush or even come into slight contact with his penis. This time the sudden swelling was very obvious. The area was obviously swollen, red and very tender in fact the appearance of pus started to really freak us out. My best friend Google revealed that it was likely balanitis which we were looking at and it needed medical attention and likely a hydrocortisone cream and antibiotics for the infection.

We were more than 24 hours away from our flight home and I read enough horrors stories online about doctors not knowing the right way to examine for balanitis. I didn’t want to traumatise Jah before his PD got to see him and so the huge dilemma of whether to take him to the in house hotel doctor, a local A&E or to sit tight and wait till our return to Singapore.

We gave him a dose of ibuprofen to help with the pain and to settle him for a nap. The closest thing we had to a hydrocortisone cream at that point was his eczema cream which belonged to the same family of medicine. In desperation, we applied a thin layer for him and prayed hard that we would see some improvement after his nap.

Thankfully the pain relief worked and he rested. He also woke up to a slightly less inflamed nether region and no more pus. However the tip of his penis now had a small ‘balloon’ at the end and we started to worry if it was sealed swollen and whether he was able to pee. We only started breathing again when we witnessed him peeing without fuss.

We wanted to go to a nearby pharmacy to purchase a hydrocortisone cream for him but also read that using a cream without antibiotics might worsen the situation if it was a bacterial infection rather than a fungal infection. Thankfully we found out that organic coconut oil had anti fungal and anti bacterial properties and could be used to treat balanitis. We were fortunate that we were holidaying in a place where coconut oils were a plenty and we found a bottle of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil easily at a pharmacy.

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Jah was in good spirits throughout this experience and was very happy to go for dinner, ice cream and to shop for his coconut oil and that settled us alittle. Mummy’s instinct told me that we were at least not in dire need of medical attention at that point.

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This big smile put my mind at ease..(well alittle at least)…what a trooper!

We applied the coconut oil before bed that night and found that the swelling and redness had largely subsided overnight! Phew! We made it home the next evening and even managed to wait till Monday morning to take him to his PD.

A visit to his PD on Monday morning showed a marked improvement in his condition compared to the Sat photos we had taken and he was prescribed with a potassium permanganate wash as well as a hydrocortisone cream. Ironically the cream was something that he also used for his eczema but I had brought a different brand with us in the trip. *smack head*

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Easily available at pharmacies too I was told…

So what lesson have I learnt through all this? Well for one I will definitely be packing some coconut oil and his hydrocortisone cream for our next trip overseas.

Some of the things we learnt and checked for
1) Could he pee as per normal? Any problems or pain peeing? This was to rule out a UTI.
2) Was he having a fever? This would suggest the infection was a lot worse and we would have then taken him to a dr or Hosp immediately.
3) Was he in a lot of pain and was that preventing him from functionally normally or sleeping. If so then give him some pain relief in the form of Panadol or ibuprofen.
4) Did the interim measures like coconut oil help? Was he in less pain and had the swelling situation improve? If the coconut oil had not made any improvements then we would also have brought him to the In-house Dr.
5) Mummy’s instinct..yes apart from the above checks, we used mummy instinct which overrules everything else above. Had I felt uncomfortable about the situation at all, we would have handed straight for medical attention.

Hopefully Jah will never have to go through that experience again but we will definitely be better equipped if it does. And I hope you never have to find this post handy 🙂

JahBella’s Mummy