Hi Balanced Beauties!
It has been such a chaotic few months. I feel like after January, I tend to shut down my life and hibernate until summer. For those of you who live on the east coast, do you feel me? I try my best to embrace the winter and stay grateful for the seasons and cold weather months, but there is only so much of winter that I can take! I think March is the perfect time for a vacation to warmer weather. If we had warm weather all the time, we wouldn’t be as grateful and happy when it finally arrives every year. So for the quick update: I am alive and I am still active with the blog 🙂 Also, cheers to SPRING!
Some of you inquired about not only my outfits that I wore in Thailand, but a brief summary of our vacation in general and what exactly we did. So here it is!
Where do I begin? First, before planning this trip, I contacted every single person I know who had already visited Thailand, and found out all the do’s, don’ts and must see’s. I’ve never had a travel agent plan my trips, so I offset this by doing countless research before I book anything. I planned this trip myself and wanted to ensure that I was taking the right steps in doing so, especially a trip half way around the world to Asia! For me, other’s opinions, suggestions and experiences in Thailand/Asia were super vital, so thank you so much to people reading this who basically helped me plan this trip. It was very much appreciated! Aside from the shared experiences, I also based every little thing Christian and I planned off TripAdvisor.com. Again, TripAdvisor allowed me to see ratings, peoples experiences and suggestions which helped me out tremendously. TripAdvisor truly planned our whole trip.
The travel was 19 hours in total. We started out by leaving Newark and our first stop was Hong Kong (which was ABSOLUTLEY amazing). If Christian and I were to book this all over again, we would’ve stayed in Hong Kong for at least 3 nights, rather than two. The food, people & culture in Hong Kong were incredible. The flight from Newark to Hong Kong took us 15 hours. After spending a night there, the next morning we caught our flight to Phuket, Thailand. We took Thai Smiles Airlines, and this flight took approximatley three and a half hours.
In Thailand we stayed in Phuket for eight nights. The hotel we booked was the Shore at Katathani, which was number one on TripAdvisor. We were SO happy that we ended up staying here. Although it’s a bit pricier compared to other hotels in Thailand, it was away from the tourist crowds and located on what I would consider, the most gorgeous beach (Kata Beach) in the Phuket area. If you are planning your trip to Thailand and staying in Phuket, I would highly recommend staying on Kata or Karon beach. We were so thankful that we chose this hotel because it made our trip that much better. We booked this hotel through Expedia, and had a buffet breakfast included in our package, which was awesome. The dinners every night were anywhere from 30-40 US dollars (including drinks!). The beer/drinks were anywhere from 2 to 5 US dollars. I mean… amazing!
From Phuket, we were able to travel and explore Krabi and the Phi Phi Islands via boat tours/excursions. We chose, and highly recommend doing the sunrise tours (that means getting to the boating dock by 4:30am). Due to the growing popularity and tourism boom, it is SO worth getting an earlier start because Thailand, as we learned, is VERY touristy. We beat the crowds for almost everything we did there, even if that meant basically not sleeping, lol. It was worth losing a few hours of sleep to have these beautiful islands to yourself! The Phi Phi islands were absolutley breathtaking, and the water was such a beautiful color that a photo would not do it justice. If we were to ever go back, we would skip the excursion/tourist part of it and take a private long tail boat around the Phi Phi islands, which in our opinion seemed like the better way to go. However, we weren’t aware of this until we were already on our excursion. The long tail boat will give more of a private experience, allowing you to have more flexibility on where you visit and how long you visit for.
Another really awesome event that we did was visiting an elephant sanctuary (which, by the way, in our opinion, was perfectly ethical). There are certain elephant camps in Thailand that you can visually see are not ethical. It appears as if the elephants are drugged & tourists are riding on their backs all hours of the day. This scared us, so we chose to go to a sanctuary where the elephants were rehabilitated, rescued and no tourists rode the elephants. We spent half of the day feeding and bathing them, which was so cool. By far, this was a huge highlight to our trip.
Although Thailand seems like it would be the perfect vacation to just hang on the gorgeous beaches, there are SO many other attractions that are so worth seeing. We went to visit the Chalong Temple and the Big Buddah in Phuket. Both of these day trips were honestly better than we could’ve ever imagined! We were able to embrace the culture of Thailand and truly experience and appreciate their religion, beliefs and day to day life. The temples were unlike anything we have ever seen before. It is recommended that your garments cover your shoulders and knees in Thailand when visiting their sacred temples/the Big Buddah out of respect. However, if you forget to wear something that covers these areas, some temples have garmets to borrow which tourists use to cover up.
We were booked for another touristy excursion to James Bond Island, however, after seeing the crowds/boats to the Phi Phi Islands, we decided to rent our own long tail boat. After talking to some locals and doing our own research, we had a cab driver drop us off at Rawai beach (around 25 minutes south of Phuket). At Rawai, we talked to a group of local fisherman who were able to be our personal tour guide for the day. We were able to visit Buddha Island (where a group of monks live year round) and Bohn Island. Both of these islands were super secluded and very private. At one point, Christian and I were the only people (besides the monks) on Buddha Island, and it felt as if we were in a movie. We had to pinch ourselves and soak up the thought that we pretty much were on an island in Thailand by ourselves. By the way, this private long tail boat tour was around half as expensive than the touristy speed boat tours. Another reason to do business with the local people and really experience the culture. I highly recommend touring your way around by long tail boats when you visit because you will not regret it.
In conclusion, Thailand was a trip for the ages, even better than expected. The culture, the water, the food, the people…absolutley a m a z i n g. I am so grateful that Christian and I decided to say “YOLO” and experience this type of vacation together.
I hope this helps for anyone who is thinking about traveling to Thailand. Feel free to comment below or direct message me if you have any other questions about our trip <3
Have a balanced weekend!