Phuket For Couples: The Novotel Phuket For Luxury & Romance

Phuket For Couples: The Novotel Phuket For Luxury & Romance

Phuket For Couples: How To Have The Most Romantic Trip Thailand has been one country that consistently surprises us in the best of ways. We recently shared about our experience in Surin Beach, Phuket, and how we found a quiet paradise on Thailand’s largest island. Now we’re taking it South and divulging the ins and outs from our time in Karon, Phuket.     What To Do: Phang Nga Bay       We had a difficult time deciding what excursions to take during our time in Phuket, with Phi Phi Island and James Bond Island stealing the limelight, and several other alluring, lesser known islands to choose from. In the end, we chose a Phang Nga Bay sunset tour and couldn’t be more pleased. We opted to head toward Hong Island and Phangha Island. The great thing about staying in Karon is that most of the tours will pick you up from your hotel at no additional cost.     Our first stop was Phangha Island, where the tide had receded just enough to walk through. We paused halfway to light coconut candles and placed them in the water to peacefully float onward. Then, venturing a bit further, we came to a hidden jungle cove, which is usually inaccessible because of the tide. Then, it was off to Hong Island, which was larger than Phangha and equally as beautiful.     We jumped back on the speed boat to head back to mainland Phuket and feasted on an array of scrumptious seafood while we watched the sun go down behind the limestone cliffs. Where To Stay    ...
Surin Beach Phuket: Experiencing Phuket’s Softer Side

Surin Beach Phuket: Experiencing Phuket’s Softer Side

Last year, we traveled through Thailand experiencing its two major cities: Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and bouncing around among the islands of Koh Lipe, Koh Lanta and Koh Samui. We were enamored by this tropical paradise from the very beginning, yet everyone we told our travel adventures to had one objection: we didn’t go to Phuket. It seemed as though everyone we talked to was shocked we didn’t go to Phuket, as they ranted and raved about this bucket-list worthy destination. We knew better than to skip Phuket this time, so on our second trip to Thailand, we made Phuket our first stop. Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, and your experience here will largely depend on where you go. We headed to Surin Beach Phuket first and found a quiet beach paradise that exceeded all our expectations. Paradise Found: Surin Beach Phuket   Surin Beach Phuket is about a 30-minute drive from Phuket’s airport. We had no idea what to expect when we were first arrived and were admittedly hesitant about what we would find. We took a 5-minute stroll from our hotel, The Novotel Phuket Surin Beach Resort, and were immediately greeted by a jungle-enclosed beach.     The sand was soft white with crystal blue waters and a shield of strong green mountains to either side. Tall palm trees encapsulated the beach and a few local vendors sold coconut water & local Thai dishes from the shade. The left half of the beach was fairly dense with tourists, however, on the right side, where we entered, tourists were few and far between. Besides, the roar of the...
These Stunning Photos of Chiang Mai Temples Will Make You Want To Visit Today

These Stunning Photos of Chiang Mai Temples Will Make You Want To Visit Today

After living in Asia for two years, we thought we had seen enough temples to last us a lifetime. But then we visited Chiang Mai, Thailand, and it didn’t take long for the glittering and ornate places of worship to mesmerize us all over again. There are over 300 Buddhist temples in the Chiang Mai province, many with stunning architectural details in spectacular settings. Of course, attempting to visit all the temples just in Chiang Mai City is enough to overwhelm anyone. We only made it to four temples, which was the perfect amount for us to take our time exploring and not feel temple burn-out. While Thailand’s many beautiful beaches and mouthwatering cuisine are understandably the top reasons why many visit the country, we think these photos of Chiang Mai temples will encourage you to also take some time to learn about the amazing culture and history as well!   These Chiang Mai Temples Will Make You Want To Visit Thailand Today   Wat Phra That Doi Suthep   This sweeping temple sits at 3,520 feet above sea level on top of Doi Suthep Hill. The golden Phra That shimmers spectacularly in the sunlight as monks peacefully walk throughout the grounds. Be sure to thoroughly explore for 360-degree view of the revered chedi (Buddhist stupa) along with various Buddha structures and blessing stations. Outside of the main temple area, you’ll also find a fantastic view of Chiang Mai City.     Wat Chedi Luang   Located in the heart of Old Town, Chedi Luang was our favorite temple we visited inside the Old City walls. Construction of Chedi Luang began in 1391. An earthquake in 1545 is responsible for...
How To Get A Sak Yant Tattoo In Thailand: Everything You Need To Know

How To Get A Sak Yant Tattoo In Thailand: Everything You Need To Know

We’ve known for years that if we ever traveled to Thailand, we would get traditional Sak Yant tattoos. I’m not sure how we first heard about these traditional Thai tattoos, but we were immediately intrigued. This was before we knew Angelina Jolie has one and before Sak Yant tattoos became a bit of a fad (especially with travel bloggers.) I actually think most people thought we were crazy when we used to explain why we would want a Buddhist monk to hammer repeatedly into our skin with a bamboo rod… So when we finally embarked on our first trip to Thailand this year, getting an appointment for a Sak Yant tattoo was the very first thing to go on our travel itinerary.     What Is A Sak Yant Tattoo?   You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of a Sak Yant Tattoo. We’re always explaining to people what we’ve got inked on our backs, and we love sharing about the sacred experience! Sak translates to ‘jab’ and Yant to ‘blessed tattoo.’ Traditional Sak Yant Tattoos are ancient Buddhist designs and prayers that are etched into the skin by an expert monk using a long bamboo rod (now with a steel needle tip.) They date back thousands of years and are believed to offer various protections and blessings, depending on the design.     The Sak Yant Tattoos are typically performed by monks within a Thai temple. These are by donation, but it can be difficult to find monks willing to tattoo women as they aren’t supposed to touch the opposite sex. Alternatively, Thai bamboo tattoos can also be...
Looking For The Most Gorgeous Island In Thailand? Try Koh Lipe.

Looking For The Most Gorgeous Island In Thailand? Try Koh Lipe.

It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to island hopping in Thailand. Between the cheap and delicious cuisine, the smiling locals and the picture-perfect scenery, there’s a reason why Thailand has long been a coveted destination for travelers of all budgets and styles.     We did a fair bit of island hopping during our three weeks in Thailand. And we absolutely loved each destination we visited for different reasons. Railay had epic rock climbing. Khao Sok National Park allowed us a one-of-a-kind ethical elephant encounter. Koh Samui was all about the beautiful beaches and late-night parties. But all that said and done, there’s no doubt in our minds which island was the most beautiful: Koh Lipe.     The southernmost island in Thailand, Koh Lipe has managed to stay a bit of a hidden gem (though we’ve heard it’s changing a little more and more each year.) So far there are no full moon parties, no trendy clubs, no sprawling all-inclusive resorts… Instead, what you’ll find is understated luxury, world-class snorkeling, and paradisiacal beaches. Basically, it’s pure magic.     One of the reasons why Koh Lipe so fantastic is because it’s part of a group of islands that comprise the Tarutao National Marine Park. What’s more, the islands that surround Koh Lipe are all uninhabited. So below the glassy turquoise water, you’ll find a kaleidoscope of bright coral and tropical fish. Above the sea, the island’s idyllic sandy slivers are quiet and secluded.     We’ve heard Koh Lipe called “The Maldives of Thailand.” While we haven’t been to the Maldives yet, we feel it’s a...
The Ultimate Way To Experience Elephants In Thailand

The Ultimate Way To Experience Elephants In Thailand

    I’ve always had a strong affinity towards elephants. Their gentleness, intelligence and sense of community are just a few of the characteristics I find absolutely fascinating. Of course, I know I’m not alone. Various cultures around the world have long revered elephants for the powerful and complex animals that they are.     For all their adoration, it’s also true that far too many elephants are abused and mistreated for personal gain. Many travel bloggers have written extensively about why you should never ride elephants, explaining the horrible truth about the mistreatment of elephants in the tourism industry. If riding an elephant in Thailand is still on your bucket list, we strongly encourage you to learn more about the issue. On our recent trip to Thailand, we knew that we did not want to do any elephant rides or otherwise participate in the mistreatment of these gentle giants. But we also knew that we couldn’t leave Thailand without an ethical encounter with elephants. Enter: Elephant Hills. An incredible ethical encounter with elephants in Thailand!Click To Tweet Located in Khao Sok National Park (one of the most beautiful national parks in all of Southeast Asia), Elephant Hills is Thailand’s first luxury tented jungle camp. Elephant Hills boasts adventure activities within a stunning location—without sacrificing style in the process. Or, as we like to say, it’s adventure travel with a dash of class at its finest.     While there are many features of Elephant Hills that make it stand out from your typical hotel getaway, it is, of course, the opportunity for one-on-one interaction with elephants that truly...