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Thailand

Full moon with lots of honey

So, Koh Samui has changed completely since the last time you were there in 1998. It’s completely turisty and very much like Phuket. There is a very close alternative though. Koh Phangan. I know, you’re thinking “not the full moon party!!” That’s not what I’m going for. Not at all. You see, the north part of the island is completely different.

There are a lot of yoga retreats and spas and lovely bungalows by the sea, really nice restaurants and local places to have dinner or lunch. Plus great coral reefs to snorkel around and little tents where local thais offer “massaaaaaaaage”. You’ll find diving schools, kayak and mountain bike tours, cooking courses, trekking, sailing and windsurfing, even zip lines!! The great thing is that you’re really close to Koh Samui so you can take a direct flight to Samui and from there take a boat to Phangan. You’re also pretty close to Angthong National Marine Park which would be an awesome place to visit! To wrap up, in this small island you’ll find all the relaxation and romance for your honeymoon plus a whole lot of outdoor activities that will also contemplate the cultural immersion to this wonderful country: Thailand.

Welcome to the Land of the Free

Take a cab from Koh Samui International Airport and head to Petcharat Pier. A Santhiya speedboat will take you directly to your resort in only 30 minutes. There are three different departure times. Organize yourself to hit on the right one 😉 Enjoy the scenery. Your honeymoon is about to begin.

Santhiya Resort & Spa is located on the east part of the island, on a beach called Thong Nai Pan and that is only reachable by sea. It’s actually conformed by two twin coves: Thong Nai Pan Nai and Thong Nai Pan Yai. Surrounded by mountains covered in rich tropical rainforest, this beach is the perfect place to spend your first four honeymoon nights.

Day one will consist on making yourself comfortable, getting to know the resort and the place around you and just enjoy being there, together.

Hello Thong Nai Pan!

So you probably met Mr. amazing swimming pool last night and maybe even jumped in. It’s a great idea to do so again after the great breakfast served at the resort. Just take it easy the first day. Relax. Take your time. Nobody’s rushing you anywhere. It’s your honeymoon! So make the best out of it.

Enjoy the beach during the day and the spa during the afternoon. There are some out of this world treatments going on there. Pick one and be happy!

I don’t know if you realized yet but there are actually two swimming pools, a lagoon and even a man made waterfall. Pretty damn awesome!!

Oh! And you’ve got in-room dining. How cool is that?!

Nice to meet you Nai and Yai

Wake up really early and shine. Its sunrise time and you’ve got to see it. Thong Nai Pan is probably the best spot to see it in the whole island and there’s nothing more romantic than greeting the sun with your loved one by your side.

Once the show is over, head to the breakfast table. I’m sure you’ll be hungry by then.

Make sure you get well fed. Today’s activity will burn down some calories. It’s time to get out of the resort and visit Thong Nai Pan Yai, the quietest and wildest of the two twins. There are quite a few mountain trails to follow, waterfalls to visit and some tropical creatures to see such as the “takuad”, a giant water monitor lizard. The beach here is also much longer, so you’ll have space to spread out and take in some vitamin d.

In Thong Nai Pan Noi, on the other hand, you’ll find a warm bohemian vibe and a small village with some cool bars and cafes, so it’ll be a great place to come back to after your adventurous expedition to Yai.

Rise and shine

After breakfast take a longtail boat to Had Khuat Beach, a hidden gem on the north-east of the island better known as Bottle Beach.

Enjoy a seafood bbq at Smile bungalows restaurant and then hike your way up to Had Khuat’s viewpoint.

Don’t get back too late to the resort. Remember it’s your last night there. So you might want to enjoy the pools a little longer or even take another spa treatment.

Say farewell to Santiyah with a romantic dinner.

To the far west we go!

Check-out is at 12:00 so enjoy the facilities until then. Ask for a taxi boat at the reception. You’re heading north first to Chaloklum beach and west second to Chao Pao Beach. Your new accommodation may not be as luxurious as the previous one but is has a super warm and chilled out atmosphere that will surely satisfy your wishes. Sea flower Bungalows is the name of your new home. I recommend the Ocean Cottage. You’ll have a wonderful view of the sea and the sunset all for yourselves!

Get comfortable. Maybe have a drink at Sea Flower’s own “Heaven Beach Bar”- right ON the beach and protected by palm trees – and just enjoy the rest of the day walking, swimming, snorkeling and of course admiring the sunset.

The motorcycle diaries

Wake up and enjoy the yummy breakfast served at Sun Flower’s restaurant. Once finished, ask the staff for a motorbike. They are extremely friendly and helpful, so you’ll have no problems at all!

Go explore the island. – Ask for a map at the reception first!!! -. Head north to Mae Haad Beach. It’s a beautiful bay with an incredible coral reef. So don’t forget your snorkels and your sun cream!!! – A hat and a pair of sun glasses will come in handy as well. -. You’ll have some trouble going up the slopes. Just bend a little bit forward, have faith and never stop going 🙂

I suggest getting lost in the little streets before getting to Mae Haad. There are many bays and little beaches to discover.

Once there enjoy a Thai meal in a local restaurant on the beach and why not a massage after lunch?

Mae haad is probably Koh Phangan’s longest beach, mainly because of its sand bar that connects with Koh Ma. Go for a stroll, hand in hand, feeling the fresh air on your faces and definitely stay for the sunset. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

Depending on how tired you are – sun is known for knocking you off – you can either have dinner at Sun Flower’s or head to “the city centre” and stop at Mama Pooh’s kitchen.

Food, food, food and more food!

Wake up early and shine. It’s cooking day today!! So don’t get too full for breakfast. You’ll have plenty to eat for the next four hours.

The date is at nine o’clock at “My wok and me”.

Hop on your motorbike and head to Lomprayah’s pier. Once there continue on the same road for about 10 to 15 min and you’ll be there 🙂

After a brief introduction, your chef will provide you with some bicycles to make a visit to the local market. There he will explain about thai herbs, vegetables, seafood, etc and he will make you taste some of the exotic fruits this country offers – probably durian, lychee, dragon fruit and water lily mango. Mouth watering.

Once back in the kitchen you’ll prepare, cook and devour 3 traditional Thai dishes .You’ll be free around 1 pm. If you couldn’t finish your three dishes and you really want to have them later, don’t hesitate in asking for a doggy bag.

Depending on how tired you are, you can either go back to the hotel or explore the south – east of the island. You’ll find the famous Full moon, Half moon and Black moon’s beach at the end. Nothing very special if you ask me. But at least you can say you’ve been there? And possibly have a nap under a palm tree or a parasol.

If you are very tired and you want to go back to the hotel, then do it, have a nap and then go out again. Try the night market in the “city centre” and have a sticky rice with mango for dessert. Deliciouuus!

Adventure Island

It?s time to know Angthong National Marine park. I know you said you’re not really fond on group tours, but it’s hard to get there without one. My suggestion: hire a Safari Boat Day Trip. It includes pick up from your residence, a light breakfast, snorkeling at the best spots, a short walk to the Inner Emerald Lake – a great viewpoint to see all the 42 Islands of Angthong -, sightseeing around the park, lunch and a fabulous kayak tour around the park and Koh Pee Island through caves.

Once the trip is over, you’ll be driven back to your residence.

Quite complete, huh?

Mai pen rai

That means: “Take it easy”. It’s your last day. You’ll be leaving tomorrow. I say it’s your “choose your own adventure” day. Maybe you’d like to hire the motorbike again and discover the centre of the island, visit a waterfall or some temples – there are more than 20!!! The most important being Wat Phu Khao Noi and Wat Pho in the South West; the Chinese Temple at the north west and the Jade Buddha on the centre of the island -, enjoy the beach, read a book, have another thai massage, have some drinks at the bar…

The choice is yours.

Sawadeekaaa and Capuncaaaa!

You’ll know what that two words mean by the time you leave: Hello and goodbye and thank you.

The honeymoon is over. Time to get back to real life. The memories though, and the experiences will stay with you forever. I truly hope you had the time of your lives and enjoyed my story 🙂

Isn’t that cool? That someone can make your story become real. Sawadeecaa to you guys! And happy honeymoon!

P.S. Ask for a cab at Seaflower’s, head to Lomprayah’s pier and once in Samui take another cab to the airport.

Takeaways

Street food in Thailand Always eat where the locals eat when possible. They surely know the best places. Try it at the night market! You’ll see how good it works 😉

Making friends in Thailand Some thais are not very fond on tourists. Since the arrival of tourism in their country, prostitution has greatly reproduced itself. Try learning some basic words in order to communicate. Hello and goodbye is: Sawadeekaaaa (they always lenghthen the last letter). Thank you is: Capuncaaaa. You’ll be looked at with much better eyes and probably be gifted with an authentic thai smile 🙂

Temple tricks Remember to always dress appropriately when visiting a temple. Take a sarong with you to cover your legs and avoid tank shirts. Also ask before taking a photograph.

(De)Hydration Don’t get confused. Drinking water is NOT mineral water. Although it is cheaper it won’t give you the minerals you need to avoid dehydration. Remember you’re in a very hot and humid place, and always close to the sea which is very very salty. You can also keep yourself hydrated with the mighty fresh fruit-shakes sold practically everywhere. My favourite one: watermelon shake. Yummm!

Petrol There are not many petrol stations on the island. I can only remember one on the main road that crosses the island through the centre. Don’t worry – Mai pen rai – You’ll find plenty of locals that will sell you a litre of gasoline for just a little bit more.

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