Our Honeymoon! Thailand: Phuket & Phi Phi Islands

Friends, first of all THANK YOU to all of you who followed our honeymoon adventures and what a joy it was to share it with you!!  We are back home and it took us about 2 weeks to actually have normal sleeping patterns again!  (Which we discovered is common when people travel back east from southeast Asia!)

I know we shared a ton on our Insta stories and a couple on Instagram, but they were such snippets and didn’t really capture at all the whole spirit of our trip.  I wanted to blog these especially because, when we decided where to go on our honeymoon, it was other photographers blogs that made US decide where to go!  So we want to help you and share our experience if you’re ever thinking of traveling to Thailand and Bali!

How we decided where to go: I followed all of Caroline Logan’s adventures around Phi Phi Island and my friend Anastasiia’s Railay beach adventures last winter and was swooning the whole time…and Derek asked a good friend who is a traveler around the world, and he said Indonesia was his favorite place of all time.  So we decided to do both!!

And, honestly, we are SO grateful to Derek’s parents who made this trip happen for us.  So much of it was their wedding gift to us.  Which we will always be grateful for.

We describe our trip like a honeymoon and a missions trip combined.  We DID relax, we were in so many romantic settings together…but we were also in the third world.  Walking through the streets.  Meeting local people.  And for any of you who have ever been to the third world, you know you can’t leave there and not be impacted deeply.  Derek and I were both reminded of previous trips we had taken, his to Nepal and mine to Haiti, both 8-10 years ago.  It changes your paradigm coming from the western world.  For us it made us humbled and grateful, it made us see God, and it awakened both of our hearts.  And experiencing that together was truly incredible.  Hard to explain in words.  So let’s go to the pictures?!

The flights from Syracuse were no joke, guys!  We flew first to Detroit, then 13 hours and 40 minutes to Seoul, South Korea, and then to Phuket, Thailand.  The 14 hour flight was the worst!  But thank God for movies and neck pillows (and mid-flight pizza and ice cream snacks!)  FINALLY we made it to Phuket, and we knew we were in a whole new world.  We arrived late at night to our resort, and in the morning, this is what we woke up to:

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_01phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_02This was our balcony!!!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_03AH!  We had to take this shot!  Derek bought me that cute robe for Christmas (seriously, he’s amazing!) and that hat for my birthday! (My sweet cousin gave me that tip and it was like the staple of our trip!)

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_04Just our resort with an incredible infinity pool!
phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_05And breakfast!  Don’t judge – I ate plenty of eggs and fruit too – but those green tea muffins and the bananas with carmel syrup on the french toast – I loved the Asian flair!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_06AH love this of us!  An American woman offered to take this for us – thank you!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_07A little iPhone pano because it’s cool to see the bigger context!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_08We then left our resort with our amazing driver Kai (you’ll see photos of him later on!) to explore more of Phuket.  We first headed to the Big Buddha statue which we heard was a big thing in Old Town Phuket.

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_09There’s my man!  Looking great!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_10A view of Phuket from the statue.  So cool at that elevation!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_11phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_12Derek loved these statues…

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_13HA!  Too cute for words!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_14You know when you start to see statues like THIS…you’re not in the west anymore. So cool!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_15phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_16Just a normal street scene.  Motorbikes were a thing over there!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_17phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_18We decided to do an elephant trek!  We were trying to go to an ethical elephant sanctuary, but I think it got lost in the translation.  If I ever make it back out there…I promise to go bathe with the free elephants!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_19We loved finding cool restaurants like this!  Drinking from a pineapple and eating AMAZING pad thai!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_20phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_22Monkeys were everywhere up there in late afternoon!  I learned my lesson…keep a SAFE distance when taking their photos.  Nothing happened but Derek noticed one almost started chasing me.  So my fascination with the monkeys ended there.

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_21phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_23Back at our resort just in time for a gorgeous sunset!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_24phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_25AHH!  Love this one Derek took of me!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_26And my favorite of him!  AHH!

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_27I realized I absolutely love outcroppings in hills on the ocean – maybe that’s why I love Italy and the Mediterranean too!  Something about this.

phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_28phuket_siray_bay_thailand_international_photographer_29Ready for a new day and headed to explore the Phi Phi Islands!  Seriously…we are ready for this adventure.  Or as ready as one can be.

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_01We took a 2 hour ferry from Rassada Pier to Tonsai Bay in Phi Phi.  It was really hot so we stood up and caught the breeze most of the time.

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_02AH!  There’s the island – those rock faces!!!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_03Love that one of him!  Pulling in to the pier!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_04THIS was our first sighting of the traditional Thai “long tail” boats – which we became obsessed with!  Something you’ll never see anywhere else which is why it’s so incredible!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_05phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_06Great job with that portrait hon!  Love it!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_07THIS scene is part of the reason we went to Thailand!  I was dying to take pictures with these boats!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_08We found our resort and they drove us out to the other side of the island (which is much quieter) to our little beach bungalow.

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_09phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_10Love this!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_11phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_12Ahh!  Pulling in to our private beach!  Seriously it looks like a scene from “Lost”!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_13THIS is where we stayed for 2 nights!  Haha we have mixed feelings about it now but it was truly an experience!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_14phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_15Derek realizing just WHERE we were, and thinking oh my gosh, oh my gosh.

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_16What we woke up to the next morning!  Sunrise heaven!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_17phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_18THIS!!  So incredible!  Our favorite beach of the entire trip!  This private one right here…

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_19Just a morning wash in the ocean!  We naturally went to bed early on this trip so we really enjoyed waking up at sunrise every day!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_20Heading out for a day excursion on a long tail boat with another couple from our resort!  This was probably hands down one of our favorite days of the trip!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_21phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_22Bye bye bungalows!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_23phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_24AHH!  We love this scene so much…we took so many photos of our long tail pulling through different bays.

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_25phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_26So fun!!  Enjoying a few moments at Nui Beach!  One of our favorite places of the day!  And not crowded either – we soaked up every moment we could here.

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_27phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_28LOVE these!  Thank you to our sweet friends for taking these!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_29phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_30phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_31Now at Monkey Beach!  We had enough of the monkeys so we took beautiful photos instead haha!


phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_33phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_34We soaked up every moment with these boats.

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_35phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_36Pulling into this little bay to do some snorkeling!! :)


Best snorkeling ever!  We saw these tiger fish and rainbow fish and schools of tiny fish!  These images are from an underwater digital camera we bought prior to the trip – such a good decision!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_37phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_38phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_39Pulling into Maya Bay – where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed “The Beach”!  It seriously was not crowded at all like I thought it would be!  This water is so GREEN!
phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_40phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_41The only photo I’m sharing of my sweetheart in his favorite place of the day!!  The Pileh Lagoon!  I can see why it was his favorite – we jumped in this water with our friends from the resort Angeliki and Niko and the water was so green and still and we had it all to ourselves.
phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_42Our long tail boat driver – such a cool scene!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_43Sunset at the pier – that LIGHT was incredible!!  Such a dreamy shot!!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_44On the way home chatting with Angeliki!  I was really tired and sunburned and had a headache at this point…definitely ready for some rest!

phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_45phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_46The next day, heading back with our friends and our luggage to the pier!  We decided we had enough of sleeping in a bungalow and needed a clean hotel – so we went back a day early!
phi_phi_islands_krabi_thailand_international_photographer_48I had to share some iPhone photos of our amazing breakfast at The Mango Garden in Phi Phi!

phuket_nai_yang_beach_thailand_international_photographer_01-1And an iPhone shot of our sweet driver Kai who picked us up at an hour’s notice from the pier!  We just loved him!  Our favorite Kai saying: “In other countries, no money, problem.  For Thai people, no money, no problem.”  He had the biggest smile and taught us so much just being around him.


The best ending to our Phi Phi trip!  Thank you honey for taking this iconic shot!  We had such a great start to our trip :)

We weren’t planning on going back to Phuket a day early, so the hotel we planned on staying at was fully booked.  Derek’s mom Sharon found another hotel for us (she was up in the middle of the night NY time helping us!) and it become some of our favorite memories of Thailand.  I’m saving that for the next post, because this is a lot to digest and I want you to enjoy it!  The rest of our Thailand trip is coming tomorrow! :)

Comment below or on social media to ask any questions you have about Thailand… I’d be so happy to answer!

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A life filled with gratitude begins with finding thankfulness in the small moments