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: 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

 

muay thai

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?

bangkok honeymoon

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.

   photo 5 (34)

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.

photo 4 (44)

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.

photo 3 (43)   photo 4 (42)

Cooking class

Cooking class

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Real Honeymoon: Singapore & Thailand

We haven’t had a new Real Honeymoon post on the blog in a few weeks, so I was thrilled when my friend Kathleen agreed to write a post about her recent honeymoon in Asia where she and her husband Jon decided to split their time between the cities and beaches. Sounds like the perfect balance to me! Read all about their amazing honeymoon in Singapore and Thailand below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went to 2 countries [in February 2014] – Singapore and Thailand. While in Thailand we hopped around from city to city. We went to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, and Phuket.

Bangkok TemplesHow long was your trip?

We were gone for 2.5 weeks – disregarding the 24 hours it took to get to and from. I wish we could have stayed longer…but you can’t avoid real life forever!

Phuket

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

My husband and I had actually both been to this part of the world previously, so it was actually a little bit of a tough decision. Why re-do Asia when we could see something we’ve both never seen before?  I lived in Singapore when I was younger, and while there we had traveled to Phuket for a family vacation – pre-tsunami. Jon did Asia about 4 years ago for school. He went to Vietnam, Cambodia, and spent about a day in Bangkok.

Asia has a special place in my heart, as corny as it may be, so I had been dying to go back. I’ve always knew that once I got married, I would want my husband to see Singapore someday. Jon also really enjoyed Asia and felt like he missed out on Thailand during his trip – half of his friends did Thailand and half did Vietnam when they had gone for school. I had only ever seen Phuket, so seeing the rest of Thailand sounded great to me. So that was that! We both loved the idea of seeing different cities in Thailand and while in Asia we were able to squeeze in a quick trip to Singapore. We’ll save the rest of the world for later!

Phi Phi Island Tour (1)

 

The best part about our honeymoon was…

I have a really hard time answering this question. Everything was really unique in it’s own way! Singapore was awesome for me – very nostalgic. Bangkok is so insane in an interesting way. Chiang Mai was more rural, a little more cultural and we got to pet tigers. And as for the beaches, you really can’t go wrong there!

Chiang Mai Tigers

But, if I have to answer, I would say 3 things: 1. I really loved Krabi. We didn’t really know what to expect from it. We chose it after debating which beaches to hit for weeks. We finally chose it somewhat randomly because we knew the rock formations would be very picturesque. Just seemed beautiful. Our hotel was awesome there – it was only accessible by boat because it was set in a nook surrounded by massive rocks/mountains. The beaches were beautiful, the resort was amazing, and we were able to get to the small town of Ao Nang every night via boats to walk around and eat. So we there was a mix of beach and Thai culture.

Krabi Hotel

2. We took a cooking class in Chiang Mai that we LOVED! Siam Rice Cooking School – do it!

Chiang Mai Cooking School

3. Being away for 2.5 weeks was so great. When we finally started the beach portion of our trip, we both looked at each other and were like “Wow…we still have 7 nights!” Best feeling ever.

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

There are definitely a few things I’d do differently, not that our trip was anything short of amazing!

1. I would have stayed one more day in Singapore – we did that so quickly and it felt like we tried to shove things in and we had just gotten to Asia. It was a lot. I could have probably planned that one out a little better.

Singapore

2. I would have also added a day or 2 to Chiang Mai. I would have loved to do an elephant camp and taken a day trip up to Chiang Rai which is right by the Burma border.

Chiang Mai Mountain Temple

3. We planned a few guided tours a long the way – they were OK. We would have probably been better off doing it on our own. Our tour guides also spoke really poor English so it was very difficult to understand them.  However, we might have just chosen poorly. I’ve heard others say they loved their tours. Recommendations are definitely the way to go. Why we didn’t listen to others – I still don’t actually know…

4. I don’t know when we’ll go back to Asia, it’s soooo far away! But…there is still so much I want to see there. Sometimes I wonder if we should have just taken a whole month off. I would still love to see Angkor Wat and Vietnam. Who knows though – maybe we’ll make it back one day!

Bangkok

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Cheap and Adventurous Honeymoon Ideas

Some friends of mine recently got married in Mexico (blog post coming soon!), and now they’ve asked me for recommendations on where to go on their honeymoon.   Their two biggest requirements?  Adventurous and inexpensive.

Since this couple lives in California, I immediately thought that they have two major options: Asia or Central America.  Here’s why:

1) SE Asia: The yes-the-flight-is-expensive-but-everything-else-is-cheap option.

If your honeymoon is 10+ days, I’d definitely recommend going to SE Asia, specifically certain parts of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia*, and Cambodia*.  Although your flights will most likely be $1000 or more per person, your money is going to go a very long way once you’re there.  You can stay at incredible resorts for less than $200 a night, domestic flights are super cheap, fancy dinners can be had for $30 or less, and spa splurges like massages are around $15.

Morning sunrise hike in Bali

Morning sunrise hike in Bali

SE Asia also offers a lot of cool options for adventure lovers.  You can trek with elephants in Thailand, go water rafting in Bali, hike mountains in Borneo – the list is endless (and pretty damn awesome).

Patara

Alexis and Andrew riding elephants in Thailand

If you want to stay on budget, just make sure that you avoid the most touristy areas and “name brand” hotels.  In other words, if you think that the Four Seasons in Koh Samui will be a steal just because it’s in Thailand, think again.  (Because the cheapest rooms are about $1000 USD a night!)

2) Central America: The flights-are-short-and-inexpensive-but-you’ll-pay-a-decent-amount-for-everything-else option.

Remember when I was deciding whether to go to Belize, Nicaragua, or Panama last Memorial Day weekend?  Well, the flights from SFO to all three countries were basically the same price: $600.  And compared to flights to Asia, they’re really short which makes them perfect for honeymoons that are less than 10 days.

panama snorkeling

Snorkeling in Panama

While Costa Rica is great for honeymooners, it will certainly not be your cheapest bet.  Belize*, on the other hand, has great “beach + jungle” resort combo packages at all different price points, and our neighbors raved about the amazing diving resorts in Honduras.*  Panama is a major up-and-coming surf destination, as well.

Belize horseback riding

Agnes and Matt horseback riding in Belize

Again, you may save money if you stay away from the big name hotel chains and choose boutique hotels instead.

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Real ROUND THE WORLD Trip: Asia, Australia & Africa

How great would it be to have the time to go on a multi-month round the world (RTW) trip with your signifiant other?  Pretty amazing, right?  When you both have full-time jobs it can be really hard to turn that dream into a reality, so when the opportunity presented itself to Robin and Darin (i.e. a cross-country move and the start of a new job), they enthusiastically took it.  Read all about their absolutely incredible travels in Asia, Australia, and Africa below:

How long was your RTW trip, and how did you find the time to go?

We traveled for seven weeks – July through August [2013] – and we were really lucky to travel for that amount of time. We had been living in Boston, and Darin was offered, and chose to accept, a job in Florida. Since we were moving and both of us were going to have to change jobs, we tossed around the idea of traveling before starting work. Before we knew it, our apartment in Boston was all packed up and heading to storage, our new lease in Florida wasn’t starting until September, and we were on a plane to Asia.

Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef

Where did you go (and how much time did you stay in each place)?

Darin has family in Sydney and Johannesburg, so we knew when we started talking about the trip that we had to go to those cities. We then planned around those destinations and decided to go to places that would not be easily accessible on a one or two-week trip once we went back to work. We basically looked at a map and picked out places we had interest in going to or that our friends had been to. We are an active couple, so we were more excited about seeing a country’s natural beauty rather than eating at high-end restaurants or wandering through museums.

Bike riding in Tokyo

Bike riding in Tokyo

We also tried to plan our trip by choosing destinations that we could get to on direct flights. So inevitably, our first destination was going to be a big city.

The Itinerary:

Tokyo – 3 days
Beijing – 2.5 days
Hong Kong – 2.5 days

At this point in our trip we were tired of big cities and were excited to have the same currency for longer than a few days. We spent about two weeks traveling around Thailand.

Chang Mai – 3 days
Koh Tao – 4 days
Koh Samui – 3 days
Gillham’s Fishing Resort, outside of Krabi – 1.5 days

From Thailand we headed to Cambodia based on friends’ recommendations.

Siem Reap – 2 days

We left the northern hemisphere summer for winter down under. It was nice to be able to spend time with family without being jetlagged.

Port Douglas (launching point for the Great Barrier Reef) – 2.5 days
Sydney – 5 days

From Sydney we had a direct flight to Jo-burg, and met up with Darin’s parents for two weeks of travel throughout Southern Africa.

Johannesburg – 2 days
Botswana – 4 days (Nxabega Okavango (tented camp) and Sandibe Safari Lodge)
Zambia (Victoria Falls) – 2 days
South Africa – 5 days (Londolozi and Ulusaba (Richard Branson’s private game reserve))

At Victoria Falls in Zambia

At Victoria Falls in Zambia

Did you have a set itinerary from the start, or did you play things by ear?

We booked our RTW ticket on OneWorld, and they have a very user-friendly website that made it easy to build an itinerary. Although the ticket is flexible (we could change the flight dates and times without a penalty and pay a small fee to add a city), we had all of our stops planned before we left the States, and we had our hotels booked before we arrived in each city. We only had to change a flight once, which is pretty impressive since we took more than 20 flights during the trip.

We planned most of our activities when we got to city based on hotel recommendations and from other travelers we met along the way.

Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

How hard was it to pack for a RTW trip?    

The hardest part of packing was that we needed clothes for both the northern and southern hemispheres. Southeast Asia is very hot, humid, and wet in the summer, and southern Africa is very cold at 6AM which is when you do your morning safari drive.

In the weeks leading up to the trip I followed the blog Travel Fashion Girl which has great advice on how to pack for various cities and activities, and there is even a packing list for RTW travel. We certainly were not fashionistas on this trip and definitely packed for function. We are embarrassed to admit that our lifeline in Asia was our Tevas – they kept us cool, they didn’t get ruined in the rain, they were easy to hike in, and we didn’t have to travel with many socks (clean or dirty).

We packed a lot of exercise-type clothes because they are light, sweat-wicking, and easy to hand wash. We quickly got tired of our bathroom being a laundry facility but we couldn’t afford the laundry prices at the hotels. However, just blocks from our hotels we were usually able to find shops that do laundry for $1 / kg.

The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China

The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China

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Real Honeymoon: Thailand

I probably shouldn’t have worked on this post before lunchtime, but Megan and Mike’s wonderful honeymoon in Thailand has left me seriously craving Thai food!  In a little less than two weeks, they managed to fit in tons of culture, beach time, and, of course, delicious food.  Read all about their fun honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went to Thailand for our honeymoon in mid-December 2011. We spent a few days in Bangkok, 5 days in Ko Samui and 4 days in Chiang Mai.

Grand Palace in Bangkok

The Grand Palace in Bangkok

How long was your trip?

In total, we were gone about 12 days, from December 12-24.

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

First and foremost, we were looking for a warm location. Getting married in December, we wanted to spend some time in warm weather, relaxing on the beach. We also wanted to go somewhere new, a location that neither of us had visited before. That criteria led us to consider South America, southern Africa, and Southeast Asia. We quickly focused our efforts on South American and Southeast Asia, eliminating southern Africa. After speaking with friends and family, and doing research online, we narrowed our choices down to 3 spots: Costa Rica, Brazil, and Thailand. Ultimately, we selected Thailand because we felt like we would easily be able to do a short trip to either Costa Rica or Brazil later in life, but it would be hard to do the same for Thailand. The greater distance appealed to us as we saw it as a rare experience that would be perfect for our honeymoon.

River rafting in Chiang Mai

River rafting in Chiang Mai

The best part about our honeymoon was…

The food was probably the best part of our honeymoon. From the street food in Bangkok, to the seafood on the beach in Samui, to a cooking class we took in Chiang Mai, we loved all of the food we ate. Some of the highlights include fresh pineapple all throughout Bangkok, and a cooking class on traditional Northern Thai food in Chiang Mai where we learned to cook dishes like Khoa Soy.

Cooking class in Chiang Mai

Cooking class in Chiang Mai – yum!!!

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

I would have spent less time in Bangkok and more time in Samui. Relaxing on the beach was great, especially after the hectic schedule we had in the months leading up to the wedding with school, work, and planning. We could have used a few more days on the beach relaxing and less time in the busy capital.

How much planning did you do in advance?

We worked with a travel agent to plan the specifics of our trip. We picked the cities we wanted to visit and told her a few of the types of activities we enjoyed, and she was helpful in selecting hotels, arranging for private transportation and providing us with options for a few activities. We read numerous different travel books to help figure out what we wanted to do in each location, as well as talking to a few friends who had either vacationed in Thailand, or who had lived there. Overall we did a fare amount of planning to determine where we wanted to go, but left a lot of gaps in our plans for us to explore and be spontaneous.

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Real Honeymoon: Thailand

My friend Benu has been promising me to send her Real Honeymoon story and photos for MONTHS, so I’m incredibly excited that it’s finally getting published!  FINALLY!  Alright, Benu and Doug honeymooned in Thailand, and as I’ve previously mentioned, Thailand is totally one of my favorite destinations.  So without further ado, please enjoy their amazing honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We traveled to Thailand where we visited Bangkok and an island off the coast, Samui.

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace in Bangkok

How long was your trip?

2.5 glorious weeks.

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

Ours wasn’t your typical honeymoon  – we based the decision on my oldest sister who lives in Singapore and had just had her second baby.  By traveling within SEA, we got to see our new baby nephew, family, AND have a great honeymoon on our own.

flowersinsamui

Flowers in Koh Samui

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Best part of the honeymoon was obviously spending time with Doug! We had a blast – from eating copious amounts of street food together, drinking frou-frou drinks cause you can, to falling asleep on a hammock on our private beach.   Highlights from Bangkok definitely included the street food, the rooftop bars at night (for the city views) and just being a tourist in a city and observing the hustle and bustle that is Bangkok city life.  It was also great to get away from the city and unwind in Samui where we had plenty of time to be alone and take in all the natural beauty Thailand has to offer.

happyhoursunset_Bangkok

Frou-frou drinks

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

The timing of our honeymoon was poor due to the fact that I (along with my business partner) had just launched our first online company.  But, that’s life!  I also would have taken the honeymoon right after our wedding – we waited about 7 months so we could gain more vacation days.. but if I could change anything, I would have “lived in the wedding bliss” for a couple of weeks longer and taken it right after the wedding.

highrisebarview_Bangkok

Bangkok at night

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Real Honeymoon: Thailand

Thailand is definitely one of my favorite destinations of all time, and this couple sure took their time and did it right for their honeymoon.  If you love amazing food, gorgeous beaches, and friendly people, I really couldn’t recommend Thailand enough! Check out Alexis and Andrew’s honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

September-October 2011, Thailand

  • Chiang Mai – 3 days
  • Phuket – 3 days
  • Koh Phi Phi – 4 days
  • Khao Lek – 2 days
  • Krabi – 3 days
  • Koh Samui – 5 days

Patara

How long was your trip?

3 weeks.

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

We wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been that was warm, and mixed sightseeing with relaxing on the beach.

Thailand

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Everything! If I have to pick one thing, it would be the day we spent at Patara Elephant Farm taking care of elephants for the day.

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

Nothing! Well, maybe I would stay at a different hotel in Krabi, but otherwise, it was perfect.

Thailand

How much planning did you do in advance?

A decent amount, we had all of our airfare and hotels booked, and pretty much knew how we wanted to spend our days.

Thailand

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Honeymoon Destination Recommendations For… Serious Beach Bums

You know how the surfers in the Endless Summer movies spent their days searching for the perfect wave?  Well, I wish I had more time to travel the globe in search of the perfect beach.

Fortunately, I’ve already visited some pretty spectacular beaches over the past 28 years, so I am going to share with you a list of some of my favorites*.  Hopefully the list will help the beach bums out there decide where to go on your honeymoon:

1) Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Australia

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach via Damien Dempsey

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Whitehaven Beach.  Located in the Whitsunday Islands (which is FULL of incredible beaches), Whitehaven is quite aptly named because it has the softest, whitest sand that I’ve ever seen in the world.  My friends and I were told that brushing our teeth with the sand acts as a whitener, but in retrospect that probably wasn’t the best idea for us to do.  That aside, it is the most spectacular beach I’ve ever seen.

2) Cap Juluca, Anguilla

Cap Juluca

Cap Juluca via Tiarescott

Popular with celebrities like Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston, the pristine beach at the Cap Juluca resort makes it a quintessential honeymoon destination.  It’s also just a short boat ride away from nearby St. Maarten, so you can just check it out for a day if you don’t want to stay at the resort.  Okay, okay, I know we all WANT to stay there, but it’s just really expensive, that’s all.

3) Playa Cristal, Colombia

I was blown away by Playa Cristal because of the clearness of the water and the beautiful backdrop of the lush jungle.  You can hire a boat in Taganga to take you to the beach.  Unfortunately I couldn’t bring a camera with me to the beach because our next stop was Playa Brava where we actually swam to shore, slept on the beach overnight, then hiked out of Parque Tayrona the next day and hitched a ride back to Santa Marta, so bringing electronics along was a no-no.  You’ll just have to trust me that the beach was so wonderful that it made my list of top 3 beaches in the world.

4) Playa Blanca, Colombia

Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca, land of magical beagle puppies

Yes, yes, another Colombian beach.  I don’t know if I’ve expressed how much my husband and I love Colombia yet on the blog, but we highly recommend going there if you love beaches, friendly people, and good food.  You can reach Playa Blanca from Cartagena in one of two ways: hire a private boat down by the fish market (just hold your nose while you’re there – it really stinks), or sign up for an “organized” day tour.  It seems like the organized day tour is less than ideal though because it only brings you to the crowded part of the beach, so go with the private boat for a more relaxing experience.

For honeymooners who want to rough it, you can spend the night in hammocks at Hugo’s.  My husband and I thought it was the greatest place ever because 1) it was BEAUTIFUL, 2) it was the first time we slept in hammocks during that trip so the novelty made it fun and not back-breaking yet, and 3) we woke up in the morning to a litter of beagle puppies that were born overnight.  Beagle.  Puppies.  In.  Paradise.  Probably one of the best days of my life.

5) Lake Mckenzie, Fraser Island, Australia

Lake Mckenzie Beach via Sensenmann

The colors of Lake Mckenzie look totally fake, but I assure you, this is really, really what the lake looks like.

6) Lanikai, Oahu, Hawaii

Lanikai

Lanikai Beach via Cristo Vlahos

A friend of mine who was living in Honolulu at the time took my husband and me to Lanikai, a beautiful beach that isn’t terribly overcrowded with tourists.  Do yourself a favor and pick up some Leonard’s malasadas to eat when you get to the beach.  A perfect combination.

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