Phuket Day 2: Mandatory Minigolf

This is part of a series of posts on our holiday to Phuket. You might like to read the others too!

Back from our sweaty day in Phuket Town we changed clothes and recharged a bit in our hotel before heading out for dinner. Kata and Karon dining options seemed much of a muchness, but since we hadn’t been to Karon yet we walked in that direction. The bars lining the road were totally dead on a Saturday night – each had one or two guests at most, and some only had a group of bored girls lounging around. We wondered if it was because it was still early, about 7.30 pm, and if things would liven up for them later.

We’d had a late lunch, so we still weren’t very hungry by the time we’d arrived in Karon. Most adults would have had a drink in any of the struggling bars, but in our case we had already spotted the Dino Park minigolf. As regular readers may know, our penchant for minigolf coincides with our penchant for surreal kitschness and bitter, unsporting competition, so this was impossible to resist.

When I was in primary school a dinosaur exhibition featuring animatronic dinosaurs came to the Singapore Science Centre, and bearing in mind that this was several years before the release of Jurassic Park, it was the most amazing thing to hit my young brain until I watched Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and discovered Kevin Costner and hormones. Phuket’s Dino Park is kind of like being with those old-school dinosaurs again, except in a dramatically landscaped setting complete with rivers, high waterfalls, appropriate ambient sounds and a huge, spectacularly erupting volcano.

Erupting minigolf volcano 

The dinosaurs are life-sized, or at least close to it. I’m not enough of a long-neck connoisseur to be sure if their long-necks are Littlefoots specifically, but they definitely have a Cera, Petrie and Spike. (Youtube diversion: It’s crazy how familiar I am with every clip on Youtube from the first movie, it feels like as if I only watched it yesterday.) If you have a kid, I cannot imagine how they will not love this, but it would probably be less fun during the day due to the heat. By night though, it’s pretty amazing.

Life-size minigolf dinosaurs! 

We were so enthralled with the place that I even stopped caring who was winning or losing. Though to be honest, complexity of minigolf hole design is not one of this place’s strengths. For example, here are the obstacles you’ll encounter at the first hole.

Minigolf dino turd obstacles

Still, for all the reasons I mentioned above, I loved it and would highly recommend it, unless you are too cool for minigolf, in which case I would wonder why you even read this decidedly uncool blog to begin with. And for 240 baht each, it was cheaper than our neighbourhood minigolf in Singapore, which has NO DINOSAURS, NO VOLCANO, NO DINO POO OBSTACLES. (Vitalic diversion: No guitars, no drugs, no leather either.)

Return Of The Matt

Matt is here for his 3rd visit! Almost exactly a year ago, he helped Alec throw me a surprise birthday party and firmly established himself as my favourite male karaoke singer. Six months later he did us the honour of co-MCing our wedding, and in another karaoke session, gave me the first sign from God (2 more signs soon followed but that’s another blog entry) that I must learn to sing Master of Puppets as the next crucial stage of my karaoke journey.

This visit, I’m really happy we’ve finally been able to relax and have fun with him without needing to juggle lots of other stuff. Also, I love taking photos of Matt because they always come out as great records of good times had. Conversely, when I take photos of myself and/or Alec, our presence manages to suck all life and spontaneity out of the photo, leaving a photogenic void nearly as repulsive as Lemon Blowjob Face girls.

Here is Matt in Singapore’s most ludicrously OTT bar.

They don’t let you take photos unless you’re taking photos of your friends, and my surreptitious photos really didn’t do it justice, but let’s just say the bar at Parkview Square has just earned its place on Michelle’s Tours Of The Singapore Lots Of Tourists Don’t See But Which Is Freaking Hilarious And Way More Fun Than Clarke Quay (estab. 2003 with rave reviews ever since).

Here is an action shot of Matt playing my favourite minigolf. (I WON YAYYYY!)

Here is the squid Matt MADE, which by sheer coincidence happens to be a perfect companion for Ugly. I have named him Squgly. (OK, this isn’t technically a picture of Matt, but Squgly and Ugly are also way more photogenic than Alec and me, so why not.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos during karaoke this time because it was very civilised. But you may enjoy this one instead from last year’s birthday karaoke chaos. (Photo visible only to my Flickr friends i.e. anyone who knows me in real life and adds me as a Flickr friend, because I don’t want people to recognize me through recognizing my husband. Though it is true that in the photo, Alec pretty much looks like Matt’s husband.)

2006 Just Started And We’re Already Below Par

Some people begin a new year by making resolutions, beginning diets, planning exercise regimes, or at the very least directing their energies to something vaguely useful.

We played minigolf.

Those of you familiar with my penchant for dumb kitsch will have no difficulties understanding why LilliPutt – “Funtastic Singapore in 18 Holes” held so much joyful potential for me.

Indeed, one need not even extend one’s imagination far beyond this blog’s last kitschfest to see why. My friends, I present to you: “uniquely Singapore” minigolf!

Shifu is watching…

Alec’s golf pro is a pretty intense guy, but he’s really devoted to coaching from the ground up.


Fore2 jiao4

My coach was nice and chilled though. Very Zen. I realize I’m breaking 2 terrible taboos here, standing with my head higher than the Buddha and my feet pointing towards him, but I couldn’t make the shot any other way! (Note to non-Mandarin speakers: the caption to the photo contains a pun so ghastly you’ll be glad you don’t get it.)


Fear my pink dimpled wrath!

This poor demon got a little short-changed when fearsome demonic powers were being handed out.


Fear my fucking flat-cap!

This guy has a bit of a demented Marcel Marceau vibe going on, and is final conclusive proof that flat-caps are pure evil in origin.


The other 17 holes featured an endearing mishmash of Singaporeana. Tiny mechanized trishaws, MRT trains and cable cars transporting your golf ball between the stages of a hole. Miniature versions of the Esplanade, Merlion, Suntec fountain, Boat Quay, Botanic Gardens gazebo, and in a slightly obvious attempt at self-glorification, the Big Splash building which houses Lilliputt.

But not everything was devoted to tourist attractions of Singapore! Some holes were devoted to venues which cater to ordinary Singaporeans and common pastimes.

Here oso got Crazy Horse¹leh.

For example, the Turf Club.


Some day we’ll win a SEA games medal…

And, uh, the ski resort. Hmmm.


Oh, I nearly forgot. There was, of course, some competitive element in this whole exercise, as our blissful relationship of mutual respect and passionate devotion is not entirely devoid of bitter rivalry and petulant oneupmanship. If I were to say it didn’t matter at all to me who won or lost, as long as we had fun, I’d be lying.

Na beh.²