Postcard from Phuket: Bikini weekend with the girlfriends

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

I do travel quite often but it’s usually for work – last weekend however, I took a trip out to Phuket with seven other girlfriends for the sole purpose of hanging out and having fun.


It’s funny how I was just in Phuket last Monday to Wednesday for a review of Thanyapura, this integrative health and fitness centre, and I was back again on Friday with the girlfriends. 

The eight of us met through the Glow BFF Challenge that we were part of in February and we regularly keep in touch via Whatsapp group chats – that’s the power of technology. Someone suggested going on a quick weekend getaway and we were considering Montigo, but for some reason the rates were rather expensive. Then Daphne spotted some promotion on Jetstar for flights to Phuket and so it was to Phuket we went!


This is a photo of all eight of us at dinner on the first night. We took a 3pm flight out on Friday (so those with desk-bound jobs only need to take half-day leave) and arrived in the evening. We checked in at Swissotel Resorts Phuket at Kamala Beach then walked along the coast in search of food.


Kamala Beach is very quiet and it’s great if you want to be away from all the commercialisation of Phuket and its tourism.


I was the only one who bought check-in luggage because I wanted to bring my camera equipment such as my tripod and all that, hence I have the biggest bag! I don’t know how some of them managed to squeeze all that they need into those tiny bags – look at Melissa’s red Longchamp one in the bottom right-hand corner of the pic!


We took it easy the first night and just strolled along the beach, taking in the sunset which greeted us just as we got to the beach.


We were too hungry so we just settled for one of the restaurants along the beach and the food took so long to arrive (we suspect they only have one stove)! Thank goodness they gave us the password for their wireless internet access so we could keep ourselves entertained with social media.


After dinner we headed to the minimart so we could get some snacks and drinks. Look what I saw:


In case you don’t know, I have a love-hate relationship with Tim Tams. I stocked up on them during my Sydney and Melbourne trips in April, managed to keep away from them while in Australia, but gorged on them like no tomorrow when I returned to Singapore. It was crazy how I was eating two tubes of Tim Tams a day for like four days?! So when I saw these in Phuket I was like, STOP HAUNTING ME YOU TIM TAM! Good news – I didn’t buy them at all so no trouble. Anyway I heard the cocoa they use in these Indonesian versions are inferior to the Australian ones so no point wasting my calories on them.

The girls, except for Daphne and me, went into the pool in their bikinis for some underwater action but I couldn’t go into the water because of a monthly women thing. Look at how much fun they were having:


Photo credit: Jacqueline Wong

I fell asleep on the day bed after doing some work on my laptop and the girls were telling me how dirty it can be, especially if many couples have had some sexy action on it. -_-”


We booked an island hopping trip for Saturday so all of us were up bright and early. This was us on the porch of the hotel waiting for our transport to arrive. Note how fresh we all looked!


We shared a boat with like 40 other people and headed out to Coral Island first. I was too shy to get my top off! Someone said this looked like a pageant photo, ha ha…


Given about two hours to just play on the beach, the girls went into the water and continued their underwater madness.


Photo credit: Jacqueline Wong

I was just watching the bags for them and trying not to get sunburnt. We went to Raya Island next and the boat ride there was so bumpy I think quite a few people got seasick. I was dropped off on the beach first then the rest went for snorkelling. Sigh, time of the month, why now?!

Thank goodness they were only gone for an hour and then it was time for lunch. We had some free time after lunch, so we were fooling around on the beach. Silver and Jacqueline were busy doing split jumps and cartwheels on the sand:



I really got to give it to Silver – with her dancer background she just has all this grace. Even in the heat she could go cartwheel after cartwheel, straight legs every time.


When you have the beach, girls in bikinis and a pro camera, how can you not do jump shots? Setting my 1DX to high burst mode, its 12fps came in super handy and I managed to get all seven of them in the air at the same time!


It wasn’t easy because everyone jumps at different times even on my count of three, but we finally got it. I know, I’m missing from the photo. But well, someone has to get the photo right?

We were really tired by the time we got back to the hotel but they still headed out to Patong Beach for dinner. I chose to stay in the room to complete some work – I know, I know, why do I have to work while on holiday right? That’s my life unfortunately.

The next morning, we woke up to gloomy weather with continuous rainfall all the way till the afternoon. At least breakfast was good:


Daphne, Carrie and I decided to hit the gym and jog on the treadmill before going for abs class. They were complaining about the aches in their abs but I didn’t feel any – maybe I didn’t work my abs hard enough? :(


We didn’t make any plans and the rain just didn’t seem to want to stop, so everyone just gathered in one of the living rooms (we had two two-bedroom suites) and started watching TV, as well as snacking.


I brought my tripod and my remote trigger for this trip so I could get all of us into a shot without needing to trouble others. I had everything set up in the living room and was just waiting for our dearest Silver to wake up so we could do the group shots.


Initially I thought she wasn’t feeling well but once she got in front of the camera and started strutting up those poses, I banished all those thoughts. Look at the three of them at the back:




The three of them at the back were on a roll and kept going, shot after shot, pose after pose. You can view the rest of the shots on my Facebook album here.

The rain finally cleared up and some of the girls went back into the pool for more underwater action, again.


Photo credit: Jacqueline Wong

They attempted bikini jump shots again, but I was busy in the room rushing out an article so it wasn’t shot by me, but they managed to get it!


Photo credit: Daphne Maia Loo

We had to check out at 3pm and our flight wasn’t until 10pm, so we left our bags at the hotel concierge and made our way to Patong Beach. Some of them went for a massage, while Silver, Jacqueline and I went to walk the shops. Jac was looking for those beer singlets for her male friends, Silver was in search of her rainbow tie dye bikini and I was just randomly browsing.

Guess what I found?

A full-fledged Hello Kitty shop along Patong Beach.


I would have bought the entire shop if I could, especially the luggage I saw, but yeah I had to control myself. I found this perfect handphone cover though – Hello Kitty, pink and photography. If only Hello Kitty was in a racing suit, then this would be completely perfect for me!


I also got matching screen wipers to go with the cover.


I saw this Harrods bag which I nearly bought to bring for my London trip (I’m in London now as I type this) but I figured I could probably get it here in London so I didn’t get it eventually.


I’ve been to Phuket several times but some things I see never fail to amuse me. For example:



We had one last good dinner of Thai food and more Tuk-Tuk rides before leaving for the airport. Poor me can’t really take spicy food so I was struggling to eat.

The trip was brief like that, but we totally had so much fun. There were a lot of laughter, especially at the out-takes. Our sides nearly split from going through all the photos I took – high-burst mode produces a series of shots and other than the good one, the rest of the shots in the sequence are damn bad.

We are already planning for our next trip in December – probably to Taipei! It’s really interesting how we make such a blend of characters. We have Carrie the fashionista, Daphne the health nut, Silver the glam-and-unglam, Joyce the cutie, Jacqueline the bimbo and underwater photographer, Melissa the champion haggler and woman of many poses, Ju Ann the ever-so-frank and me the, ahem, loudest and the pro photographer. I even earned myself a hashtag after this trip – #swearitlikecheryl.

Special shoutout to my health-and-fitness buddy Daphne and also my love-her-like-a-spoiled-girlfriend Silver:

Daphne and I bonded over our dedication to leading a healthier lifestyle in terms of eating clean and training mean. Ok, she has achieved way more progress than me and I am proud of her determination, which spurs me to keep at my game.


I can always count on Daphne to have healthy food around!


 Silver and I are similar yet different in many ways. While she knows how to doll up and seem all classy, her off-screen personality is one that is down-to-earth, honest, straightforward and not afraid to show people what she thinks. We first met on the set of BlogTV on Channel NewsAsia, kept in touch via social media and bham, the next time we meet we were on a flight to Hong Kong. Just the two of us.


 She is so random like that, but that’s why I love her so.



We haven’t had a chance to go on our girlfriend bonding trip, so I’m glad I got this Phuket trip, albeit brief, to catch up some with her.

More #GlowinPhuket photos of my Phuket girlfriend trip can be found here. You will probably realise that there aren’t many photos of me because most of the time, I was behind the camera where I am most comfortable. GRIN :D


Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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