This post is long OVERDUE and going through all of our pictures and videos from our amazing honeymoon trip to the beautiful Phuket, Thailand and Bali, Indonesia is honestly making me wish we could hop on a plane right now and escape for the rest of 2020, but it also brings me so much happiness to 1. be able to share our itinerary with you and 2. share all of the amazing beautiful places we got to explore.
When Rob and I started to begin the process of planning our honeymoon and going back and forth on the destination of where we would be spending it and how long we would be gone for, I simply knew that this is time we will never get again…where we will get to unplug and be away with no responsibilities back home so in my head it was GO BIG. We both agreed on a two week honeymoon and we wanted to spend the first half in one country and the second half in a completely different country. Rob and I loved the idea of going to Thailand and experiencing something so different than just going to Mexico. Thailand would be our busy portion of the honeymoon and we wanted to spend the second part of the honeymoon at a private house on the beach and be lazy bums.
Originally we planned on doing Bora Bora for the second half of the trip, but that was quickly shut down because you would have to fly back all the way to the states just get to Bora Bora so then we ended up on the Tahiti but that became a no for us because we wanted the luxury of doing more than just being in on a tiny secluded island. Bora Bora and the Tahiti are bucket list places, of course, but aside from how expensive your hotel stay is it is very expensive to eat and drink on these smaller islands because they are hard to get to and everything is imported and up-charged.
So, after talking with our travel agent she convinced us to go to Bali. She said it was a much shorter journey from Thailand and Bali is CHEAP with access to do more and see more exclusive private beaches. I will get into more about Bali in Part 2 of this travel guide but for now just know we ended up deciding to do 7 days in Phuket, Thailand and 7 days in Bali, Indonesia, and I am so glad we did because both of this countries are absolutely amazing and the culture and people were amazing.
A few things to note is that when we went on our honeymoon we were living in Phoenix, AZ and now we live in Austin, TX so the flight portion of this travel guide will be getting us to and from Phoenix.
Phuket, Thailand is 13 hours ahead of Texas and 14 hours ahead of Arizona and travel time with layovers is about 24-25 hours if you plan for shorter layovers. Our flight to Phuket from Phoenix was about $706 per person, and that is including taxes and fees.
We flew American Airlines to get to Los Angeles and then flew Cathay Pacific Airways to Phuket.
Our flight details:
- Phoenix (PHX) to Los Angeles (LAX) – 1.5 hours with a 2 hour layover in LAX
- Departed PHX December 7 at 9:05 PM – Arrived LAX at 9:43 PM (you gain an hour of time)
- Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HGK) – 15:50 hours with a 1 hour layover in HGK
- Departed LAX December 7 at 11:50 PM – Arrived HKG December 9 at 7:40 AM
- TIPS: Give yourself more time for a layover in a foreign airport because the Hong Kong Airport was very difficult to navigate and we had to cross a giant airport and hardly anybody spoke english. I mean we land at gate like 12 and had to get to gate 550. It was intense. REMEMBER you are losing a whole day flying.
- Hong Kong (HGK) to Phuket, Thailand (HKT) – 3:45 hours
- Departed HGK at 8:45 AM – Arrived HKT at 11:30 AM
We stayed at the Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa. It is about 23 miles from the airport and shuttle is not provided by the hotel so you can either set up a shuttle service, rent a car, or take a local taxi.
Our room – Villa with a Private Pool and Seaview, its under Sala Pool Villa when looking at suites and villas on the website. The room was truly amazing. Our bed faced towards the windows and sliding doors so we got sunset views every night. It was the perfect suite for a romantic start of the honeymoon.
- 3 pools on sights
- 3 Dining options on sight
- Workout facility is great
- Private beach with water sport activities available to rent
- You are 15 miles away from Phuket Town (transportation can be arranged with hotel to go into town)
- Spa (in room services can be booked as well)
Things to note:
- This is not an all inclusive resort
- Bring a travel adaptor (outlets are different)
- Excursions and activities can be booked at the hotel
- This is a bay so the beaches are not super nice and clear like you would get in a tropical destination
- Breakfast is buffet style and a lot of Thai dishes are served but eggs and fresh fruit are always available
I exchanged some cash at the LAX airport into the Thailand currency so we could have it on hand once we landed in Phuket but you can also exchange money in the city. The currency in Thailand is called Thai Baht and 1 US dollar will get you get you $30.28 Thai Baht. Things are really affordable in Thailand from food to drinks, and shopping so I would recommend starting off with exchanging $100 USD and go from there.
We landed in Phuket around 11:30 AM and once we got our luggage and got transported to the Westin, we decided to take the day to catch up from being jet lagged. I would HIGHLY recommend taking your first day to relax and catch up on the time change because you are a whole 14 hours ahead of your normal time. Rob and I spent the day lounging in our private pool, eating, drinking, and trying to catch up on sleep to prepare for the following day.
We started our second day off with a bang. This is probably one of my favorite excursions that we had the opportunity of doing while in Thailand. Rob and I got to hangout with elephants in a more intimate setting and it was so COOL. The excursion was calledNature Tour: Educational Elephant Viewing, Jungle Trek to Waterfall and Tubing, and the company that we booked with was Kapong Tubing Nature Tour., LTD.
The coolest part about this excursion was learning the history and how important the elephants were to this family who cared for them. These elephants are passed down through generations and stay in the family, and you can volunteer to live on the property and help care for the elephants. We continued our day by going tubing in the jungle and waterfall/cliff jumping, everything was included like transportation and food and drinks.
Temple tours. I would definitely spend a day immersing yourself in the culture and learn about the temple throughout the city that have been around since the 1800s and learning about their religion which is Buddhism. We booked the One Day Temple in Phuket with Olonado Trader Co. This is a full day tour and we ended up cutting our tour short because we were pretty wiped from driving all over Phuket in the AM and we wanted to see Monkey Hill then head back to the hotel.
The temples we saw –
- Wat Chalong
- Wat Phra Thong or Phra Phut
- Laem Phromthep Viewpoint
This is another tour where lunch and transportation is provided. You do get a professional guide (do not let them pressure you into going to their spots that they have kickbacks with) and this a private tour, so it was just Rob and I.
We spent the morning and afternoon hanging at the Westin. We finally had time to slow down and explore the resort and hangout at the 3 pools and check out the private beach area. I booked myself an in-room massage service and before I knew it were off to our next adventure which was a Romantic Thai Food on The Beach Restaurant in the city of Patong. Transportation was provided and we were able to enjoy dinner on a rooftop overlooking the beach in Patong with beautiful sunset views. I wish we actually had more time in Patong because it was a really cool city. Patong is a beach town that is filled with bars, cafes, and the beach was so nice. It is definitely more of a party scene area with some great hotels, kind of reminded of Paris with the scene and vibe of cabarets.
Our one FREE day was spend exploring Phuket Town. We rented a car service with the hotel and went to the city to explore. We sat a coffee/bar called The Old Phuket Coffee where you could order beer and coffee, and walked around the town to do some shopping and just do stuff on our schedule.
You are going to laugh but by this point we were craving something American and wanted to do something other than noodles and rice for food, so we ended up at the nearest Mcdonalds and I kid you not it was the BEST Mcdonalds we have ever had. I would for sure experience fast food in our foreign country because it was FRESH and GOOD.
After our day around Phuket Town we lounged at our pool and had dinner at the Italian restaurant at the hotel to end our fifth day in Phuket.
This was Rob’s favorite day and activity that we did in Thailand. We went to the famous Phi Phi Islands and when say this place is just magical and breathtaking I MEAN IT, pictures just do not do it justice. I could not believe how beautiful these islands were and how tall the rock formations stood out in the middle of the ocean.
We did the Early Riser/Morning Phi Phi Island with Maya Bay Snorkeling Tour. We were picked up from our hotel around 6 AM and probably got done around 4 PM.
We spent the day swimming in beautiful coves with the bluest waters along with a few stops on islands throughout the tour. If there is one thing I would say you add to your list of things to do in Thailand, this is it! You will not regret it.
What was included –
- Hotel pickup and drop-off from Phuket to Khaolak
- Light breakfast and fresh fruits
- Buffet lunch
- Professional guide and driver
Here is a link to a more detailed description of what you can expect and costs. Click here.
Our departure from Phuket and check out day from the Westin Siray Bay Resort. We had flights out to our next destination…Bali, Indonesia.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this honeymoon travel blog because I am covering all things Bali. As always please let me know if you have any questions about Phuket, Thailand or need any help with excursions I listed above.
Xo Natalie Z