May 20, 2020

Thailand Honeymoon | Railay Beach + Phi Phi Islands

Iā€™m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Destin, Florida and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether Iā€™m by the mountains in Virginia or the ocean on the Florida Gulf Coast, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

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Thailand Honeymoon | Railay Beach + Phi Phi Islands

If you missed the first Thailand Honeymoon blog post, this is a two-part feature! Last time, I shared our adventures through Bangkok and Chiang Mai! Today, I’m sharing one of my FAVORITE places in the entire world … Railay Beach + the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand! I hope the beauty and the magic below make you want to buy your plane ticket to the other side of the world. It’s worth the time travel. šŸ™‚ And if you learn from the pointers below, you should have a smoother return flight back to the states than we did. HAHA!


I have some of my favorite photos available for print and even downloads online!!! Support us HERE! šŸ™‚ PLUS! You get a little spoiler with some sneak peeks coming on the next Thailand blog post when you check out the Thailand print gallery!!! šŸ˜‰

** If you love a particular photo below and want me to include it in the Thailand print gallery, feel free to reach out to me at info@stephaniemessick.com and I will add it! šŸ™‚ **

Our honeymoon adventures in Railay Beach + the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand!!!

RAILAY BEACH, THAILAND ADVENTURES

GETTING THERE

What you need to know about this area before booking your ticket is that Thailand has a rainy and dry season! We went towards the end of the rainy season (beginning of October) and REALLY lucked out with the weather!!!

We came from Chiang Mai, so flying from there to Krabi was cheap and easy! Once we arrived, we had to catch a shuttle (we bought our shuttle tickets at the airport upon arrival) to catch our ferry. For warning, they REALLY pack you in, so it’s not the most comfortable transportation, but it’s about the experience, right?! šŸ˜‰

**This is important: Before booking your flight, you have to know what time the ferry leaves Krabi. They only offer a limited number of trips to Railay Beach per day! So also consider the hour-long shuttle ride to get to the ferry!**

Once you arrive at the Krabi ferry, you can order your tickets on the spot and load up on the iconic Thailand long-tail boat!! We JUST missed the storms on our ride to the island… Thank goodness because I’m not so confident in those wooden boats. šŸ˜‰ HAHA! When you arrive at the pier, expect to carry your luggage to your resort because there’s zero transportation on the island. Which I think is cool, but a little tricky when walking over a half a mile in the rain. Haha! Along the way, we were fascinated with the little town they built on the island!! And we LOVED our resort, the Railay Bay Resort and Spa!!! We had our own private cottage with a gated entranceway and an outdoor tub. šŸ™‚ So fun!

AROUND THE RESORT

To think just steps away from our cottage were views like THIS… I’ll never forget it. We had complimentary breakfast with the beach and mountains in view which was so refreshing! When it came to food, we tried to be selective (no soups, tap water, etc.) and avoid food poisoning. Except, you might have noticed on the previous blog post that I caught a little bug on the last night of Chiang Mai… Well that, unfortunately, carried to the first night at Railay Beach. I didn’t have much of a lunch appetite, but I was ready to devour some pad thai for dinner… until… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Haha! I recovered the next day! šŸ™‚

We loved hanging around the pool and dipping into the ocean! The water was crystal clear, but a little tingly at random points! It turned out that there are microscopic jellyfish in the water … Also known as “sea lice!” It catches you by surprise, but it doesn’t really hurt bad! šŸ™‚ Isn’t that interesting, though?! Things I didn’t know before we visited!

ROCK CLIMBING AT EAST RAILAY

Okay. This is a MUST. Railay Beach is known for rock climbing. I mean, if you look at the terrain, I think it explains itself!! So Alex found someone who looked legit (Tex Rock Climbing) and we signed up to climb later in the day! Haha! I was a little skeptical because you want to make sure you have someone you can trust, but this guy was so well known from all of the other pro climbers so that was reassuring. šŸ™‚ I was SO impressed with Alex after he climbed a HUGE wall! In fact, my neck hurt just from watching him so high up!

SUNRISE AT EAST RAILAY

Why not take an early morning and head to the east side of the island to check out the sunrise? It was so nice checking out Railay beach without the hustle and bustle and just wander around. šŸ™‚ During this time, you see the Thai workers stocking up restaurants and taking out the trash. It makes you wonder how they efficiently get things done on an island with limited resources! Crazy, but they make it work!!!

And aren’t these views beautiful?!

SUNSET AT PHRA NANG CAVE BEACH

We really wanted to do the Railay View Point (path right next to the Phra Nang Cave Beach), but we didn’t want to leave the next day and fly with muddy clothes/shoes. So if you’re interested in that hike, come prepared to do it early in your trip so you can dry out your clothes. šŸ™‚

But visiting the Phra Nang Cave Beach was by far one of my favorite memories from this trip. <3 It was a beautiful sight with the jagged rock hanging over the water! And then the most beautiful sunset happened in front of us… I’m so glad we didn’t miss this! There was a little storm that came through earlier that left a rainbow behind us and the most vibrant orange coloring in the sky! Alex took my hand after hearing the song, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran was playing in the background and we danced on the beach at sunset. I’m still smiling thinking back to this moment because it was one I’ll never forget. <3

PHI PHI ISLANDS, THAILAND ADVENTURES

BOAT TOUR

Another favorite memory from our time in Thailand!!!! If you visit the beaches, you HAVE to go on a boat tour around the Phi Phi Islands or even stay there! We LOVED bouncing around from island to island on a full-day tour speedboat and checking out the unique landmarks… Like seeing Chicken Island, Monkey Beach, Maya Bay (where many movies were filmed), and so much more!

One activity that I LOVED took me by surprise was the snorkeling!!! I grew up as a competitive swimmer, but swimming in the pool vs open water is so different. I don’t like being potential bait in the water… Haha! But surprisingly, I LOVED it! I was completely surrounded by the most colorful, tropical fish! It was amazing swimming with them! We even saw an eel! Alex took all of the underwater footage on a Go Pro, so we will have to check them out again soon! šŸ™‚

One memory that I find HILARIOUS was when we were squatting in shallow water admiring the fish around us… When suddenly I had a very colorful fish peck me “down there!!!” I shot straight out of the water and freaked out that a fish invaded my bubble like that! HAHAHAHA! Only in Thailand…

During our tour, we got plenty of food and hang out time on the beach! The water was UNREAL. After parking ourselves on the island, we weren’t ready to head back to the states…

GOODBYE, THAILAND!

AND GOOD. BYE.
This was an interesting way to end a perfect trip! Haha!

1. Canceled Flight

Our layover in Japan was canceled due to Typhoon Hagibis. We were left stranded in Thailand with no one able to help us at the airport. We had to buy a SIM card to make a phone call back to the US and figure out how to get back! After hours on the phone, we eventually got things sorted out!

2. Alex got Sick

Poor guy… and he was as sick as a DOG. He was mostly found in the bathroom. He’s grateful that it happened after we finished up our fun festivities, but I would be lying if we were concerned with the long flight back home… Good news, though! He survived!!! šŸ™‚

3. Ants

Oh, yeah! See the hat I’m wearing below? Wellll… I didn’t know this but there are ants EVERYWHERE in Thailand. Even in one of our hotel rooms. While we were hanging out at the airport, Alex flicked an ant off my hat. Haha! I thought that was weird. I took it off and found more ants on my hat and even my backpack! YIKES!!! Sooooo… I said goodbye to that hat at the airport right away!! Haha!

4. China

Just don’t do it. HAHAHA! We had to get a flight that landed in China to avoid the Typhoon and it’s pretty intense there… I won’t spill too many details (I feel like I signed a document that you would sign for a reality TV show or something… You never know over there!), but basically, you’re monitored 24/7. Privacy is NOT a thing. But speaking of which, their toilets are some kind of interesting!!! As you see below, there are different settings. You can have music … OR … change the pulse of the bidet? HAHA! So funny!!!

5. Recovery

Due to the flight situation, we flew in a day later than expected and arrived at 3 a.m. with Alex having to work that same day. WHEW. I don’t know how he got through it… Actually, he really didn’t because when he got home, he threw up. šŸ™ Food poisoning is no joke, peeps!

So as much as we LOVED our trip to Thailand, the trip back home wasn’t the easiest. But it didn’t take away from the incredible memories we had together!!! WHAT A TRIP!!! šŸ™‚

I hope you enjoyed our honeymoon adventures in Bangkok + Chiang Mai as well as Railay Beach + the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand!!! It was a trip of a LIFETIME, and we are both so grateful to have had the opportunity to check it out. We hope this inspires you to adventure to the other side of the world! We have one life to live on this beautiful earth and life is SHORT! <3

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