The past few months have been zooming by and somehow it’s been four months since I posted my city guide from our honeymoon in Thailand. In that post (here if you haven’t read it) I listed out a couple things you should do ahead of your trip. If you haven’t checked those out, again, I highly recommend you do. For those just diving into your Thailand research there are some shots/medications you will need to ensure you get ahead of travel to help protect you while you’re over there.
Now back to the reason you are here… my unofficial guide to island hopping in Thailand.
When planning our honeymoon we decided we would spend the first half exploring (i.e. the cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai) and the second half would be dedicated to pure relaxation. We chose Krabi and Koh Yao Yai to be our beach getaways and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
STOP ONE: KRABI
Stay: Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort
Address: 155 Moo 2, Nong Thale Muang, Krabi 81180 Thailand
Nestled on a secluded island with it’s own private beach we couldn’t have picked a better resort to kick off our beach vacation.
While a bit more catered, and not as authentic from a food taste standpoint, as we had spent the earlier part of our trip the location could not have been beat. We had some tasty bites when we first arrived and the views were breathtaking.
MUST SEE: Phi Phi Islands
We knew we wanted to somehow get to see the Phi Phi Islands; if you’re unfamiliar it’s probably what you picture when you think about islands in Thailand. Ahead of our trip I did some research on companies that provided a tour of a couple of the Phi Phi islands and Krabi Mukanddaman had the best priced tour. I can’t speak more highly of this tour. Our guides were hilarious, it was the perfect amount of time and we were able to see so much in the full day tour. Our stops included:
We had time to explore the white sand beach and take some photos!
We were able to get off the speedboat into the water and swim and snorkel! The snorkel gear was provided and I was able to get some amazing GoPro videos of the colorful fish and coral.
Pi Leh Bay
A breathtaking lagoon, likely the one you see in most photos from the Phi Phi Islands! We didn’t get off the boat but our guides went slow enough that each person on the boat was allowed to sit on the front and pose for a photo op! Even though we look like MEGA tourists with our arms spread out the way they are in the photo.
Phi Phi Don
We were able to enjoy a buffet lunch (the food was alright I’ll say but it was nice that it was included in the tour) at a restaurant on the island. We also were able to sit in the sand and explore the island which has a lot of little shops! We may have gotten some ice cream to share here too!
Such an insane experience. We saw all these monkeys just inhabiting the island! We were told to leave all our valuables on the boat though because the monkeys like to steal things (cameras, money, ANYTHING)! Also be careful when getting too close to these guys.. they can be a bit fiesty!
We didn’t get to go to this particular island but we drove by and the views were simply breathtaking!
One island we weren’t able to see was Maya Bay – this is where the famous movie “The Beach” was filmed. It’s currently closed to try to rehabilitate the island. Unfortunately with it’s popularity due to the movie many tourists have taken advantage of the island and it’s beginning to deteriorate :(. Hopefully within the next few years it will be preserved and limited tourists will be able to visit.
STOP TWO: KOH YAO YAI
Stay: Santhiya Koh Yao Yai
I cannot say enough amazing things about this resort. In order to get there we arranged a private car service from Krabi to the pier at Phuket where you arrange with the hotel to get a speedboat pick up to the island. You feel like you are being whisked away to somewhere in the middle of the water…and then suddenly this island with hundreds of little huts placed sporadically throughout the hillside pops up into sight… this is Santhiya. We found this resort through a recommendation of some friends who stayed there for a night on their honeymoon and I am so glad they recommended. We ended up picking an upgraded room with a private pool (I mean it was our honeymoon after-all so YOLO!) and it far exceeded our expectations.
The food at this resort was also insanely delicious; which unlike our Krabi stay where I mentioned it didn’t taste all that “authentic” Santhiya’s chefs know what they are doing. We had these chicken poppers wrapped in banana leaves that Matt and I still talk about to this day. (#currentlydrooling). We did morning yoga sessions, afternoon kayaking, beach wandering and just poolside lounging. There are no “must see” recommendations for this stop on our island guide other than booking a stay at this amazing resort for at-least two nights (we did three). This is a resort I’d gladly frequent again.
Oh and they have these little wooden cars that drive you around the resort (it’s VERY hilly) that are just adorable and an adventure in itself.
Tell me, anything you’d love to know about Krabi or Koh Yao Yai? Or anything else you’re thinking of doing in Thailand that you want to know why we didn’t do it? (i.e. Phuket 🙂 ). Let me know below! I’d love to help out and then vicariously live through your vacation photos once you’re in Thailand.