Real Honeymoon: Thailand & Bali

I don’t think I know anyone more excited for their wedding than my friends Chris and Jason. After a gorgeous wedding at City Hall in San Francisco, they went back to work for a few days before leaving for their absolutely incredible honeymoon in Thailand and Bali. If you’re considering visiting either country anytime soon, you won’t want to miss out on Chris’ thorough recommendations below.

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went to Thailand and Bali for just over 2 weeks during the last 2 weeks of June into July 2015. Specifically we were in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ubud and Seminyak.

Thailand Honeymoon

I think it’s helpful to note that we got married on the 13th, we took off the following Monday from work which was a godsend. I maybe slept for 18 hours straight due to pure exhaustion from the wedding weekend festivities. Because we went back to work the week after the wedding and everyone was aware we were headed out for our honeymoon the following week the workload was lower than usual – no one is going to have you start on something when you’re leaving for 2+ weeks. It was really nice to come back into the office to retell the best parts of the wedding, catch up on emails from the week of the wedding, and then wrap things up before your honeymoon. If we ever renew our vows and decide to go all out with another honeymoon I would 100% do the same thing when it comes to the work schedule. Game changer.

Thailand honeymoon

How long was your trip?

17 days. We left San Francisco on Friday, June 19th and flew into Tokyo. We had a few hour layover which gave us enough time to have semi-authentic Japanese sushi at the airport, then we flew into Bangkok. We were in Bangkok for 3 nights and then went to Chiang Mai for 2 nights. From Chiang Mai we had to layover in Bangkok before heading to Bali and were in Seminyak for 4 nights, followed by Ubud for 4 nights. After Ubud we flew back to Bangkok for 2 more nights and then head back home via Tokyo again.

Bali honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destinations?

Between Jason and me, we have hit up almost every continent and most major countries. We wanted to spend our honeymoon somewhere where neither of us had ever been before. It was also important that there would be good sun for me to get a nice tan and for us to go to a place with a lot to do as Jason canNOT spend all day everyday laying out.

Bali honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

2+ unadulterated weeks away from work and responsibility! It’s the one time in your life that you’re encouraged to be fully obsessed with your partner and celebrate how much you love each other! The food was also ridiculous – some of the best I’ve ever had in my life! And the memories… I will never forget our honeymoon – Best. Trip. Ever.

bali honeymoon

We stayed at the Oberoi in Seminyak which was our favorite hotel for the whole honeymoon – everything from the rooms, the service, the pool, the food, everything was the best we’ve ever experienced. The hotel set us up with some concierge at the airport so that we got whisked away through customs where the diplomats go (no line) and he carried our bags and got us to cut every line. It was awesome. I’d recommend you call your hotel and say ‘YES’ to the car service and ask if they can hook you up with the airport concierge service so that your travels through the airport are seamless. It was a game changer! Continue reading

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Real Honeymoon: Myanmar, Laos & Vietnam

Two years ago my friends Ben and Yoninah set the Peonies to Palm Trees record for the most flight legs during their honeymoon to Asia (12). But this week, a new couple takes the crown. Sarah and Dos took a total of 13 flights during their incredible trip to Southeast Asia this summer! Read all about their adventurous honeymoon in Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

Since we were fortunate enough to have an extended time for our honeymoon, we decided to venture to Southeast Asia. We spent a total of 3.5 weeks in Myanmar (formally known as Burma), Laos, and Vietnam. We left San Francisco June 19 [2015] and returned July 13.

Sarah and Dos in Halong Bay

Sarah and Dos in Halong Bay

Myanmar:
– Yangon (you will have to fly in and out of here. We stayed at the Chatrium Hotel as well as the Sule Shangri-La Hotel)
– *Bagan (stayed at Aureum Bagan Resort)
– Kalaw (stayed at Pine Hill Resort)
– *Inle Lake (stayed at the Inle Resort)

Laos:
– *Luang Prabang (stayed at Maison Souvannaphoum)

Vietnam:
– Hanoi (stayed at Movenpick Hanoi Hotel)
– *Halong Bay (stayed on the Emeraude)
– *Hoi An (stayed at Victoria Hoi An Resort)
– *Nha Trang (stayed at the Mia Resort)
– Ho Chi Minh City (stayed at Majestic Hotel)

I would be comfortable recommending any of the places we stayed. The ones with the stars were our favorites, city wise as well as accommodations wise.


How long was your trip?

3.5 weeks: eight days in Myanmar, three days in Laos (was supposed to be four but our flight was cancelled and we had to spend the night in Bangkok), and 12 days in Vietnam.

Victoria Hoi An Resort

Victoria Hoi An Resort

How did you decide on your honeymoon destinations?

We had originally thought of going to Bora Bora but were worried there wouldn’t be enough to do to the fill the amount of days we wanted to be gone. I had never been to Southeast Asia and Dos had been to Thailand and loved it. We have done a lot of traveling together and wanted to try some place new. Southeast Asia has a good combo of lazy beach life and sightseeing adventures so it was a good compromise. It also has DELICIOUS food!

Fortunately we had a family friend very familiar with that part of the world and planned our entire trip for us. He was adamant we go to Myanmar and connected us with a travel agency, Destination Asia. If going to Myanmar, I would recommend getting a guide. We were so happy to have guide/driver meet us in each city; I don’t think we would have seen half the stuff we did if we didn’t have a guide.

Monks in Luang Prabang

Monks in Luang Prabang

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Too many things! I think our highlights in Myanmar were Bagan and Inle Lake. Bagan feels like you’re on a different planet; everywhere you look are temples dating back to the 10th or 11th century. Our guide said there are about 3,000 or so temples remaining. Inle Lake was beautiful as well.

Bagan Temples

Bagan Temples

The only city we went to in Laos was Luang Prabang, which we loved. Highlights there included going to the Elephant Village to spend the day with elephants as well as getting up quite early to see the monks receiving alms. It also has a nightly market that they shut down the main street for.

Elephants in Laos

Elephants in Laos

Highlights in Vietnam were definitely spending a night on a boat in Halong Bay, Hoi An (you must get custom made clothes here!!), and our resort in Nha Trang. Since we went to all of these places towards the end of our trip it was nice to relax by the beach/pool and enjoy a cocktail or two.

Shopping in Hoi An

Shopping in Hoi An

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Real Honeymoon: The Maldives

My friends Cara and Eric went on a quintessential tropical honeymoon in the Maldives last year. While the Maldives can certainly be one of the world’s most expensive vacation destinations, Cara and Eric were smart about splitting up their trip between two differently priced resorts, and the result was perfection! Read all about their incredibly gorgeous Maldives honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

Eric and I decided to honeymoon in the Maldives, which is a grouping of 26 atolls in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  The Maldives is basically as far away from San Francisco as you can possibly get.  We went for two weeks directly following our labor day weekend wedding [September 2014].  We stayed at two resorts, to break up the trip (and the second hotel allowed us to not break our bank account).

Maldives honeymoon

Tennis in the Maldives

yoga in paradiseResort #1: Anantara – Dhigu
Amazing customer service.  Over water bungalow is a must.  We went with the half board, which consisted of a fantastic breakfast buffet (could not get enough of the local  fresh fruit) and  a 3 course dinner at all restaurants on the island.  Water surrounding hotel is a like a lagoon, so there are no waves and allows for a safe haven for baby sea life – including friendly reef sharks!  The resort supplies you bikes you can take around the island and had they had a fantastic spa that we would highly recommend.  Not as much of a water activity focus here, but there are islands you can swim or kayak to within the resort that allows for great snorkeling.

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Resort #2: Kuredu Island Resort 
This was more of a party resort – which we later discovered when we arrived.  We did the all inclusive option, which allowed us access to 3 buffets per day and all the drinks we wanted!  The water there was rougher, so we spent more time in the resort pools.  The activities were plentiful, giving options for diving, snorkeling, tours and tennis.  They also throw a white party every Friday, which I judged at first, but ended up closing the place down.

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How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

I had some big dreams for our honeymoon and one requirement: I wanted to stay in an over-water bungalow.  Surprisingly, there are not many places in the world where these villas exist, so this limited our selection right off the bat.   We created a short list of destinations and compared average hotels costs and airline costs.

10355441_10100339553493944_3809910131736898347_oUltimately, we decided to splurge on a “once in a lifetime experience.”  Our close friends did their honeymoon there the previous year and raved about the location, so we also felt comfortable staying in a resort that someone was able to vouch for – because who wants a bad honeymoon experience?

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The best part about our honeymoon was…

The water.  It was crystal clear, allowing us to see all of the baby sharks, fish and sting rays that swam by.  At night the hotels would put lights on in the water, which would attract all types of fish and allow for viewing at dinner.  The snorkeling was amazing, I have never seen so many different types of fish in one place.

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If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

Nothing really.  One thing to keep in mind is when you are booking your travel is account for travel back to the airport from your resort.  We had to take a seaplane from Kuredu and the last one the resort had out was at 4pm, while our flight was at 10pm out of the Maldives airport.  Spending 6 hours at an airport where alcohol is illegal and the fine dining was Burger King left more to be desired.

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Real Honeymoon: Bali

High school sweethearts Johanna and Arthur were married at one of my favorite places in wine country, then jetted off to Asia for additional wedding celebrations with their families. To cap off the festivities, they went on a spectacular honeymoon in Bali. I have a particular fondness for Bali honeymoons (ahem), but I think you’ll love reading about their trip, too:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We both have quite a lot of family who live overseas, so shortly after our wedding in the fall, we planned to also do dinner banquets in Hong Kong and Taipei during the holidays for our families who couldn’t come to the wedding.

Since we were “in the area” for our families, we wanted to go someplace close by in Asia for our honeymoon. We wanted to go somewhere that would be a good mix of tropical, relaxing (but not boring!), fun to explore, and lastly, someplace new for us. After running through a bunch of location ideas, Bali was definitely our top choice! Our itinerary was a bit different from what most people do, since we didn’t go to the southern part of the island where a lot of the water sports are in Seminyak and the party area of Kuta. We spend most of our time in the cultural center of Ubud, which is in the middle of the island, and also in the more remote western coast, in Manggis.

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In Ubud, we stayed at Amandari, and at Amankila in Manggis. They are part of a larger hospitality group called the Aman Resorts. We loved the properties and the hospitality at Aman, it’s very warm, welcoming, and well run. The properties themselves were gorgeous. Amandari was built to resemble a Balinese village, and Amankila was built in homage to one of the water palaces in that part of the area, so it was a really unique experience.

How long was your trip?

We were in Hong Kong and Taipei for 2 weeks (or, as Johanna’s coworkers called it, the second and third weddings!), and in Bali for a little under a week.

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How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We’ve been lucky to have had the opportunity to travel throughout East Asia quite a lot, so we both really wanted to go somewhere new in Southeast Asia. We wanted to go somewhere that had a good mix of culture, exploring, and relaxation, and we really found Bali to be that perfect fit. The history of the island, religion, art, and plethora of outdoor activities just made for a super fun and well rounded trip for us.

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The best part about our honeymoon was …

This was definitely was biking through the terraced rice fields that Bali is known for (the island is 20% rice fields!), jungle, and villages, and somehow ending up a coffee shop; and taking a Balinese cooking class. We were able to go to the street market to learn about/buy all of the ingredients for the day, try our hand at bargaining down the prices at the market, and then go to our guide’s family home to cook in his courtyard underneath a mango tree, and eating our meal in the middle of the jungle overlooking a river. And now I can make Balinese curry at home!

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Real Honeymoon: Vietnam & Sri Lanka

I’m excited to share our first real honeymoon of 2015! There are several more in the pipeline, so make sure to come back to the blog in the next few weeks to read those as well. This week’s real honeymooners Gaya and Tim recently got back from an exciting honeymoon in Vietnam and Sri Lanka where they spent time with friends and family who live there. Read all about their trip and check out the gorgeous photos below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

Our honeymoon started on Dec 15th – Dec 22nd [2014] in Vietnam, then Dec 22nd [2014] – Jan 2nd [2015] in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Elephantride

Riding elephants in Sri Lanka

Friends in Sri Lanka

Honeymooning with friends in Sri Lanka

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 3 nights in Ho Chi Minh City (stayed with friends)
  • 1 night in the Mekong Delta (at a homestay)
  • 2 nights in Hoi An (at a homestay)
  • 3 nights in Jaffna (stayed with family)
  • 2 nights in Trincomalee
  • 1 night (but recommend 2) in Kandy
  • 1 night Nuwara Eliya (recommend staying here or here)
  • 1 night (but recommend 2) in Bentota
  • 3 nights in Colombo
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Vietnamese food… yummmm

Sri Lanka seafood

Sri Lanka seafood


How long was your trip?

Our trip was approximately 3 weeks.

Hanging out with friends in Vietnamese rice paddies

Just hanging out with friends in Vietnamese rice paddies

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

Tim and I are both Sri Lankan, but he has never visited and I haven’t been since I left, which was close to 25 years ago. We knew that Sri Lanka would always be our honeymoon destination.  Vietnam was nice as well. We have some friends that live there and we thought this would be a good opportunity to go and visit them.

Traveling around Sri Lanka with friends

On the road in Sri Lanka


The best part about our honeymoon was…

This is such a hard question to answer; there were sssoooo many great parts of our honeymoon. Vietnam is such a magical country, rich with culture and a heighten sense of movement. Sri Lanka is just absolutely beautiful, only 25,332 sq miles in total area, and every area, every mini city is so different from the last. We also were fortunate enough to travel with some friends for portions of our trip. But if I had to pick just one part, it would have been the history that I was able to discover in Sri Lanka.

Sigaria

Sigaria

Sri Lanka dancers

Sri Lanka dancers

Sri Lanka tea estates

Sri Lanka tea estates

Hot springs in Sri Lanka

Hot springs in Sri Lanka

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Real Honeymoon: Bali

We’re back this week with a very awesome honeymoon in Bali! Jeanne and Kevin were lucky enough to get invited to a destination wedding in Bali earlier this year, so they decided to piggyback their honeymoon onto that. Instead of staying at a resort, a friend recommended that they rent a villa instead which they loved. (I wish I had thought of that for my own honeymoon)! Read all about their amazing trip and helpful Bali recommendations below:

When and where did you honeymoon? 

Bali, May 2014.

bali honeymoon

How long was your trip? 

Two weeks.

bali honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination? 

One of my husband’s best friends was getting married in Bali and my husband was a groomsman, so we decided to go to the wedding and turn the rest of the time into our honeymoon!

Bali honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

The absolute natural beauty of Bali. It’s really incredible; very tropical with amazing wild life. Monkeys everywhere!  The beaches are so different depending on where you go. Some are filled with coral and some are just white sand and clear water.  But no matter what, it’s stunning!

bali

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

I don’t think I would change anything about our trip, but it is a very LONG trip to get to Bali. It was a total of 32 hours of travel to get there and a few more hours to get back. It’s exhausting, and I probably should have gotten a prescription sleep-aid to help with the time difference!

bali

How much planning did you do in advance? 

We did a LOT of planning but had the help of my husband’s friend who has vacationed a lot in Bali as they live in Singapore. Most of the research that we did was on where to stay, but the great part about Bali is that once you get there, it is pretty inexpensive. There are several large resorts on the main island, but we chose to stay in a private “villa,” which is just a fancy name for someone’s house that they rent out.

There are tons of options if you go the villa route; you can rent enormous ones for a big group to stay, or do what we did and rented a private 2 bedroom villa for ourselves. We stayed in the villa for eight nights on the main island.

The villa was great! It was mostly open-air except for the bedroom that had A/C. We had a private pool, cook, driver, and maid… all for a little over $100 USD/night!  So if you want to cut costs on a Bali vacation, where you stay really has a lot to do with it. If you stay at a resort, the cost per night is just like the average US hotel room, and it was just more private and romantic for us in the Villa.

We did a ton of stuff while on the main Island of Bali. Aside from the wedding, of course, we did a lot of sightseeing and was able to hit a few beach clubs at the recommendation of Kevin’s friend.

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Here is a list of a few places we went to including restaurants:

  • We stayed at Villa Lumba in Seminyak, owned by a really nice couple.
  • We visited Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple– known for the monkeys and the amazing sunset!
  • Finn’s Beach Club– this was an AMAZING beach club, by far one of my favorite parts about this vacation- cannot beat this!
  • PotatoHead Beach Club– another amazing beach club!
  • Wedding was at Villa Phalosa– absolutely incredible villa, blew me away and a PERFECT spot for a wedding…most amazing wedding I’ve ever been to
  • Naughty Nuri’s– very casual restaurant in Seminyak, known for meat! we went here the first night we were in Bali and visited with the bride/groom and the rest of their close friends- pretty good!
  • Villa Kaira– this was the villa that most of the family of the bride and groom stayed at, very very beautiful and perfect for a group to rent together.
  • Vue Beach Club at LV8 Resort– we hung out here the day after the wedding and had food and used the pool area, gorgeous! only 5.00 to use the pool and food was inexpensive! incredible view of the ocean.

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Real Honeymoon: Thailand

If you’re looking for the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure, Thailand is one of the best possible honeymoon destinations out there. (Its absolutely delicious food, incredibly friendly people, and low price points don’t hurt either!) Read all about Elana and Adam’s amazing honeymoon in Thailand below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went to Thailand in November of 2013: Bangkok for two days, Chiang Mai for four days, Phuket for five days, and Krabi for three days. We heard that was a good time of year to go because the rainy season was just ending. There was a little bit of rain on our trip but most of the time it was welcomed and it didn’t prevent us from doing anything we had planned.

thailand honeymoon

How long was your trip?

2 weeks, but we would have loved another week to travel to some other parts of Thailand and SE Asia.

thai honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We chose Thailand based on recommendations from friends who have travelled there, and also the fact that we needed a good mix of relaxation and adventure. We’re not really “sit-on-the-beach-for-a-week-and-do-absolutely-nothing” kind of people.

thai honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

I would say it’s a tie between Chiang Mai and Railay Beach. Chiang Mai has so much to offer; the city limits are only a little over a square mile but the province is enormous with so many little villages and hill tribes and so much culture. We picked coffee beans right off the tree and ate them, rode elephants, hiked through the jungle, and saw a Thai boxing match all in the same day.

thai honeymoon

 

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Railay Beach is so picturesque you feel like you’re in a movie. You can rent a kayak for a about $8 per day and take yourselves through these incredible caves on the Andaman Sea. Its got a relaxed island feel, monkeys hang out on your hotel balcony, and you can eat the freshest fish for dinner that was caught that day.

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

The public bathroom situation is usually less than desirable, so I’d bring more of my own toilet paper. I’d also give myself an extra week to travel, and I would bypass Bangkok all together. People warned us that we wouldn’t really care for Bangkok, but we couldn’t go to Thailand and not stop there. Now that we’ve seen it, I don’t need to ever go back. It’s busy, dirty, touristy, etc. A few temples are cool, but how many temples do you need to visit on one trip?

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How much planning did you do in advance?

Several months’ worth. It’s hard to figure out how to get where you need to go and make sure that you’re using your time efficiently. Thailand is big, and it could take a couple of days to get from one end to the other if you don’t plan it right.

thai honeymoon

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Real Honeymoon: Hong Kong & Thailand

Friends of last week’s couple who went on a honeymoon in Paris and the Maldives, Katie and Christopher also went on an incredible honeymoon recently. In search of delicious food and gorgeous beaches, they decided to split their time between Hong Kong and three different places in Thailand. Read all about their amazing multi-moon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We left bright and early Sunday, June 15th [2014], the morning after our wedding. We flew to Hong Kong where we spent a few days sightseeing, eating, and generally just enjoying the amazing city. From Hong Kong we flew to Chiang Rai, Thailand where we stayed at the Four Seasons Tented Camp. After a few days in Northern Thailand, we went to Bangkok for a couple of days and then to the lovely island of Koh Samui for five nights of relaxation. We ended the honeymoon with one more night in Hong Kong.

Katie and Christopher at Camp Peak

Katie and Christopher at Camp Peak

How long was your trip?

Two weeks.

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How did you decide on your honeymoon destinations?

My husband Christopher picked our destination and did a large part of the planning (with a little help from a travel agent). Thailand has always been one of the top destinations on our travel bucket list and it seemed to have the perfect mix of everything we wanted for a honeymoon: adventure, wildlife, and beautiful beaches. We paid for flights with miles so it worked out best to fly in and out of Hong Kong, which turned out to be one of our favorite cities.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

The best part about our honeymoon was…

The Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle is heaven on earth and was by far our favorite part of the trip. We stayed in our own “tent” which was the most luxurious accommodation I’ve ever set foot in. It overlooked a beautiful river, low mountains, and all the wildlife you could take in.

Golden Triangle

Golden Triangle

The resort also partners with an elephant reserve where they rescue elephants and take care of them in their day-to-day life. We were able to feed the elephants every morning and even got to ride and help bathe them. They are such amazing and gentle creatures, and being so close to them was a once in a lifetime experience.

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Riding elephants

On top of the amazing scenery and wildlife, was the incredible food. Our first night there, we were served a traditional Thai meal and it was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. I will forever dream of the food at this resort.

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Traditional Thai dinner

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

Perhaps where we stayed in Koh Samui. We stayed on the northern tip of the island which was beautiful and secluded but the airport was only a few miles away so the planes flying in and out would go directly over our resort. The resort was amazing and well worth this small hiccup but I would be interested in seeing some of the other resorts. Also, Koh Samui the island was a little more developed and crowded than we had expected, although apparently significantly less so than Phuket. For a truly “remote” experience, we probably would have chosen a different beach destination. All of that being said, it was still an incredible island with beautiful views.

View from the deck at Six Senses, Koh Samui

View from the deck at Six Senses, Koh Samui

How much planning did you do in advance?

I’m a planner so I did LOTS of research before our trip. Christopher did most of the general planning (picking locations, hotels, flights, etc.), but I did a lot of research on the specifics of each city (restaurants, activities, etc.). I made must do/see lists for each city and we just checked things off as we went. We never had a set itinerary so we could do as little or as much as we wanted each day which was perfect.

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Cooking class

Cooking class

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Real Honeymoon: Paris & The Maldives

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of multi-moons (i.e. combining two or more honeymoon destinations in one awesome trip), so it’s no surprise that I’m very excited about Cari and Chris’ honeymoon in Paris and the Maldives. Read all about their incredible honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

Paris, France & the Maldives. Our wedding was on December 7, 2013 so we left for our honeymoon on December 9th and returned on the 22nd.

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Chris and Cari in Paris

How long was your trip?

It was 13 days: 4 days in Paris, 7 days in Maldives, 2 days of travel.

Maldives 2     Eiffel Tower day

How did you decide on your honeymoon destinations? 

Maldives: Chris and I lived in Malaysia and always wanted to go to the Maldives while we lived on that side of the world. We never made it there before we moved back to the States, so it stayed on our travel bucket list. We have traveled a lot separately and together, and wanted to go somewhere new to both of us and unique. Also, it is far away and a place we wouldn’t be likely to travel to at a later date.

maldives honeymoon

Paris: Chris travelled to Paris when we first started dating, and we traded emails throughout his trip where he shared how wonderful of a place it was. We got to know each other better throughout these emails and it was always a fond memory in our relationship. When he returned he brought me a souvenir Eiffel Tower and promised to be bring me back there someday. There was even a time during our wedding planning that we talked about getting married in Paris.

Paris love lock bridge

For the honeymoon, our initial plan was to go to Maldives, but when we realized the routes to Maldives required a layover in Paris, we seized the opportunity to have a two continent honeymoon. It was a wonderful way to visit two places that we had always wanted to go together. And it was fun to be in a cold city first and then end in a tropical place!

The best part about our honeymoon was… 

Paris: Finally exploring and experiencing the City of Love together.

Maldives: Relaxing on our private beautiful beach and doing absolutely nothing!

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If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

Spend the extra money and upgrade for first class tickets!

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Real Honeymoon: Sonoma, Kauai & South Korea

Not only does the multi-leg itinerary make this honeymoon incredibly unique, but it’s also the first one that I’ve ever come across that involves both sets of in-laws! Read all about Jane and Sean’s one-of-a-kind honeymoon in wine country, Kauai, and South Korea below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We had three legs to our honeymoon (Sonoma, Kauai, and South Korea), and we left the very next day after our wedding [May 11, 2014]. It was ambitious on our end, but we wanted to maximize the number of hours we had on actually enjoying our first destination rather than spending the precious time on a plane. Needless to say, we were two very, very, very tired (and hungover…) passengers on our flight [from Chicago] to California.

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Wine Country!

Kauai Honeymoon

Kauai!

South Korea Honeymoon

South Korea!

How long was your trip?

We spent three nights in Sonoma, six nights in Kauai, and five nights in South Korea.

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How did you decide on your honeymoon destinations?

My in-laws have always wanted to visit Northern California (specifically, wine country) so we thought, “let’s go there first and invite them along!” So, we spent the first leg of our honeymoon with them in beautiful Sonoma (specifically, the adorable town of Healdsburg). If anyone is planning a trip to wine country, I would highly recommend staying at Hotel Healdsburg. Perfect location, exceptional hotel staff, and intimate (without being too quiet) ambience.

Healdsburg honeymoon

We live in Chicago so our Norcal destination was “on the way” to the second destination of our honeymoon (Kauai) which segmented the overall flight time. Kauai was an easy pick for us because that is our favorite of the Hawaiian islands. We’d both been there separately as kids so we were excited to explore the beautiful island together as adults. And, of course, Kauai did not disappoint!

Kauai honeymoon

As for the last and final leg of our honeymoon, we chose South Korea as Sean had never been there before and because every husband should see where his wife was born/raised! My parents joined us for this leg of the trip and they planned out the entire itinerary for our stay there. Since the majority of my extended family still reside in South Korea, my parents also planned a second wedding reception while we were there so that extended families who couldn’t make it to our Chicago wedding could attend. :)

south korea honeymoon

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Risking the fear of sounding too corny and mushy, the best part of our honeymoon was that we were ON our honeymoon. We were both bitten by the travel bug at an early age so we’ve both (together and separately) had significant travel logs under our belts. But, there is something so special and charming about being on your first trip as husband and wife. Even the most mundane activities such as enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning from the balcony of your hotel is novel and sweet. However, If I had to pick a single activity of our honeymoon that stood out the most, I’d have to say it was the 17-mile kayak tour along the Napali coast. Absolutely breath-taking.

napali coast

Kauai

kauai

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