Where Should You Go?
Andrew and I debated where we should go for our Honeymoon for quite a while. We looked into Fiji, Thailand, Bora Bora and Bali, and finally decided that we wanted an adventure most of all. We wanted a life changing experience, to try new things and to explore. Although sitting at a resort has its perks, this was not what we had in mind for this trip.
So if you and your partner want an adventure, follow along! We were in Thailand for a little under one month, so my guide will be broken into four parts!!
Part One: Phuket
Part Two: Koh Phi Phi
Part Three: Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan
Part Four: Chiang Mai
I have listed the destinations we visited via an interactive google map, which you can visit here -> click here for map
Before I get started I want to point out that Andrew and I planned absolutely nothing before we left (besides our arrival and departure flights). This was intentional, and not a sick joke!! We didn't want to be on a schedule, and we wanted the flexibility to stay in various accommodations longer if we were enjoying ourselves! I would highly recommend this form of travel, however for those of you who enjoy a more structured getaway, I will provide the names of all of our accommodations for your pre-booking convenience! One thing I will say is that Thailand is a gamble...what you see online will not necessarily be what you get. We experienced this Multiple times during our hunt for places to stay. Being obligated to stay somewhere that you do not want to stay isn't fun...so we really enjoyed choosing places that we could see/experience before we settled down! Anyways, here we go!
I'm not going to spend a lot of time explaining why we didn't stay in Bangkok for long. My suggestion is that if you're anything like me...someone who enjoy's escaping the insanity of crazy cities, then get out. This place is literally crazy AF. So spend two seconds on the Hotels.com App when you get there, find a cheep place to stay if you need a rest after a long ass flight, wake up, and take off to the South! I'm not going to say that Bangkok has nothing to offer, because it does. There are some pretty amazing sites you can visit including Khaosan Road (shopping/ping pong shows), beautiful Wats, the Grand Palace etc. However, the purpose of my guide is to help out couples and Honeymooners looking for a beautiful and romantic experience (shit, unless a ping pong show fits into this category for you lmao).
So, like I mentioned before, we literally had no idea where we were going to stay from day to day (keep this in mind). After a not so pleasant sleep in Bangkok we flew to Phuket. Phuket is a rainforest and mountain covered island located in the South West of Thailand. Before arriving in Phuket we were told by a number of friends to steer clear of Patong (the main town on the island). So we did a bit a research at the airport, and learned about a small beach town called Kamala. After a quick search for a hotel, we found the perfect place to unwind, Kamala Beach Resort at Sunprime.
I'll be the first to admit that we were definitely not "roughing it", and our backpacks did not get much use for the first couple nights of our trip. Our resort was 5+ star and had everything a couple needs for a relaxing Honeymoon. After about 5 seconds of bobbing in the pool with a Coconut Rum bevy, we decided that we would call this place home for a while. I mean, can you blame us? P.S. the Restaurant had amazing food: Pad Thai wrapped in a net of eggy goodness, yellow curry, fresh coconuts and juices.
After a full day of relaxing and exploring the area, we decided to ask the wonderful people in the lobby about some local sights to see. They directed us towards the "James Bond Island Tour". Apparently you can grab this tour just about anywhere in Phuket! Looking back on our trip, this is one of the most memorable experiences of all...do it!
James Bond Island Tour
The tour organizes your transportation from your hotel to the Phuket Marina. We got on a speed boat which took us about an hour out into the ocean, arriving in Phan Gna Bay.
Trying to put this experience into words is difficult for me. I truly had never seen anything like Phan Gna Bay in my life...it took my breath away! I was in complete awe as we approached a vision of limestone cliffs that touch the clouds.
Our destination was Hong island which had a platform we anchored to. The colour of the water was just astonishing, and our entire group was compelled to jump in immediately!
Watching Andrew jump into the water was the peak of the day! I have to admit that I regret not jumping into the water. I panicked and felt terrified all of a sudden! I look back on this experience envying Andrew's free spirit. If you find yourself in Phan Gna Bay, JUMP!
Anyways, while untying the canoes we started to notice a drastic change in the sky. The clouds started to roll in and by the time we got into our canoe, there was a large crack of thunder and rain started thumping down.
I am not talking about the rain we know at home. I'm talking about the type of rain Forrest Gump describes when he's in Vietnam..."Big ol' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain that seemed to come straight up from underneath".
Being on the ocean in a small canoe during monsoon rains was absolutely terrifying. However, when I turned around to look at Andrew I was shocked to see that he was just laughing away! For anyone who knows my husband, I'm sure you are thinking...of course he was!! His energy was so contagious that I started laughing, our guide started laughing, and a canoe that was pushing by us started laughing as well! So, we pushed on and made the best of it, and boy am I glad we did. As you travel throughout Thailand you will experience all sorts of weather. So embrace it all! Soak in the sun and laugh in the rain!
After the caves we returned to our boat, which took us to a Muslim Village in the middle of the ocean, built on stilts! The people who live there are absolutely lovely, and they make a warm buffet that was so tasty, we may have had fourths! After eating to our hearts content, we learned that this little village was completely unaffected by the tsunami of 2004 which devastated the area (what a miracle!).
We carried on to Tapu Island or James Bond Island from here! This was a sight to see! Hundreds of people stood on this little beach as we rolled up. It is busy and extremely touristy, but we could instantly see why! It's a beautiful island with an iconic energy!
For those of you who decide to try out this tour, you will go snorkelling at an island about an hour from James Bond Island. As we arrived however, our guide came to us and explained that the tide is very low, and the reef would be too shallow. So, as we departed James Bond Island with extra time to spare, we looked at a map and chose to stop at a tiny little island that had a nice ring to its name "Rang Yai".
We were pleasantly surprised to find others on this beach, enjoying cocktails prepared at an authentic tiki bar! With fresh Pina Coladas, fruit concoctions and local beers on the menu, Andrew and I were thrilled to jump right in line!
After a long afternoon of canoeing and trekking, we felt a cheers was in order! A few sips later, we noticed a whole group of friends who were writing in the sand and having a great time listening to music. This made us think about our friends back home! So we decided to write a message in the sand, to show them that we are thinking about them! We could have stayed on this island much longer than we did, but off we went back to our hotel!
If you decide to visit Kamala, you will be happy to find tons of pop up tented restaurants along the beach. We came across a place called "Smile Bar", which is literally a tent with tables on the beach. What attracted us was a giant BBQ grill with fresh white and red snapper on ice. This was our spot!!! Please take the time to visit Smile bar! We shared freshly wrapped and fried spring rolls and chose to share a full Red Snapper BBQd and stuffed with a large green onion shoot, and perfectly seasoned. On the side we got a big bowl of fried rice with veggies. We highly highly suggest this restaurant, and the quite bohemian town of Kamala!
We met a very rowdy table of Aussies at Smile Bar. Two older chaps and a loud boisterous woman with fiery red hair. They were two ex convicts recently released from prison who found themselves living in Thailand, and a woman who calls herself "country-less". The woman claimed to be blessed with the ability to read fortunes, so she looked at my palm and told me that I'm a closed person, but I will open up in my thirties, that I've had a hard life and that I will have one child. We will see if she is blessed or not as time passes! Anyways, after a couple of libations we made plans to meet one of the men "Rambo" in Patong the next night (despite our initial hesitation to visit Patong)...so after a good sleep, we packed up and took off for Patong!
We chose Kamala Beach because it is north of Patong (tourist haven) and it's quiet and peaceful. It was the perfect start to our Honeymoon!!
After some peace and quiet we found ourselves in the heart of chaos so to speak...Patong. Nothing could have prepared us for this city. Everyone wanted to sell you something, and no one offered help with anything...(this aspect sucked)! Also, we decided that we wanted to wing it in this city...and quickly learned that this is the type of place that you want to enter, find your home base and THEN tackle it.
We decided to make The Amata our home base, which has a deceiving appearance to say the least. From the outside, it looks like a ritzy and modern Hotel in the core of the city. However, when we got to the floor our room was on, it looked like the hotel hallway from the movie "the beach" where Leo's character met Daffy (hmmm). The room solidified our vision of this portion of the movie...the bathroom was a room with a shower head over a toilet. Thinking about the mechanics of that was interesting. Anyways, back to the lobby we went. What I'm trying to say is...if you find yourself in Patong, spend time finding accommodations with great reviews.
After a little coaxing we managed to upgrade our room, and off we went to find Rambo from the previous night in Kamala Beach! We found ourselves in the deep streets of Patong. If you are into learning about the raw reality of Patong, find a friendly local and ask them for their recommendations. They will likely lead you towards the Banzaan Market!
When we met up with Rambo, he demonstrated hospitality and immediately offered to show us a locals perspective of crazy Patong. He took us to the Banzaan Market where street vendors sold everything from fresh meat skewers, juices and sushi. We then walked into the main indoor market where Rambo took us to see live fish getting hacked on tables, eels, snakes and skinned frogs. I could barely hold my lunch down, but it was interesting to see the locals fighting over fresh frogs and snakes.
If you are looking for a place to "party" there's a main strip of bars that leads down to the beach. To find it, you can ask about the Tiger Maui Thai fighting club (locals will point you in the direction you need to go) because it's right next to the strip. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of bars lining the streets. We both agreed that this area of Patong looked a lot like the Jersey Shore (neon tank tops, short shorts and music blaring).
If you are looking for a great shopping experience, you can haggle for clothing, shoes and purses along the "Jersey Shore" strip. You can also go to the Junceylon Mall, which was our final stop with Rambo. We said our goodbyes, and thanked him gratefully for being so kind to us. We tried to find a way to stay in contact with him, but he made it very clear to us that unless he finds himself back in Australia, he will always remain unplugged. We will never forget the stories Rambo told us, and the kindness he showed for absolutely nothing.
We finished our day perusing around the Juceylon Mall, where you can find common chain stores, and an extensive food court.
After walking all day long I begged Andrew to join me for a foot massage. We found a tiny little shop with an older lady and a young and saucy Lady Boy. As we were guided to our chairs, I felt Andrews straight faced gaze burning a hole through me as the lady boy quickly chose him. This young lady had hands like meat cleavers and the voice of an angel...reminding us of a young Michael Jackson.
To make things short, the massage ended with Andrew sitting in Buddha position on the ground with his arms behind his head...and the LB's legs looped through Andrews arms/sitting on his shoulders. Word of advice, if you are getting a massage in Thailand, a "Thai Massage" (whether it's foot, or full body) involves an intense full body crack, Maui Thai style. If you are looking for something different, ask for the "Relaxation Massage". I couldn't help but laugh when I saw Andrew in what looked like a Maui Thai take down/sleeper hold.
When we finished, Andrew absolutely loved his masseuse and we were so thankful to be feeling loose and relaxed!! Don't be afraid to try the Thai Massage, it's an experience and a half (it's also very inexpensive)!!
That brings us to the end of our Phuket experience! We went to bed early, and caught the early morning Ferry to the intoxicating island of Koh Phi Phi!!
Stay tuned for .......
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao
Hi! My name is Amber, I am a wife and mother to Piper June. Welcome to my blog. You will find my path towards natural health and wellness as well as my honest discoveries as a new mother. In all aspects of life, I strive to cultivate Balance through a mindful existence. I share my experiences as a mother, helpful product reviews and companies that I am passionate about for our family. I am so grateful for your visit xo