For our “Thai island” experience, Justin looked for something outside of the traditional tourist circuit. But that meant to get there, we flew from Hanoi to Langkawi, Malaysia, had an overnight in Langkawi, a 3 hour ferry ride to Koh Lipe and then longtail boat shuttles into the island (getting off the island was another story). But we knew the journey would be more than worth it when we pulled up to a stretch of white sand beach and the clearest, turquoise water I have ever seen. We now had six days of pure relaxation — and this was the place to do it!
Our “idyllic” resort
Almost all the accommodations on this honeymoon were a total surprise to me. Justin booked them and each time we arrived in the rooms my jaw would drop with surprise. This one was the best surprises. It was even called Idyllic Resort. Our room was huge, beautiful and had a walk out deck straight to a swim-up pool. You better believe I went from deck to pool many times a day and at all hours. It was so fun!
Not only was our room beautiful, but this little resort was on a quiet end of a quiet beach. We’d grab lounge chairs in the morning and make them our home for the day, with intermittent breaks for kayaking, snorkeling, venturing down the beach for lunch or sipping passion fruit mojitos in the pool. Rough, rough life.
Thanks to TripAdvisor, we found this hole-in-the-wall beach restaurant a short walk down the beach. They made the most incredible Masaman curry and mixed vegetables, so obviously we made this our daily lunch spot. And you couldn’t beat the view! We also ate super well at our resort’s restaurant and a little beach bar a few minutes walk down the beach.
We loved taking the kayaks out because it allowed us to be in the middle of the crystal clear water. I had never seen water this clear. It was perfection, warm and glittering in the sun. Kayaking also helped us practice our husband-wife teamwork, which we warmed up on while kayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam, but really nailed here in Koh Lipe!
Our snorkel mask revelation
One day we kayaked out to our favorite little island for snorkeling. We came across a British couple on a 9 month world trip (amazing!). They had full-face snorkel masks that looked to me like gas masks — super scary. But she insisted we try them because they were life changing.
I hardly believed they would be “life changing” so I let Justin try it. When he emerged, he was practically jumping out of his suit he was so excited — apparently “life changing” was not an understatement. We proceeded to find them in town to rent and even tracked down a sporting goods store in Bangkok that would courier them to us at the airport during our upcoming layover so we’d have them for swimming with the whale sharks in the Philippines.
Because we’re nerdy and love to share great info, here is the quick pitch on why you’ll love these if you snorkel: 1) they don’t fog up, 2) they don’t leak, 3) you can see so much more with the wide mask, 4) you can breathe normally, and 5) water doesn’t come in the top when a wave splashes over you because there is a one-way valve. Ok, pitch is over. If you have a chance to try them or buy them before a snorkeling trip, it is SO worth it. We bought the brand name Tribord masks but try any you can find. And you can thank us later :).
Private longtail boat excursion
Share a boat trip with strangers? As if! We’re on our HONEYMOON (and the price was about the same to go private). So Justin and I climbed into our longtail boat and off we went on a day of snorkeling and boating adventure.
There was something very special about the sensation of sitting on the edge of a longtail boat in Thailand. I remember the feeling when we were in Koh Lanta, Thailand two years ago. The warm air in your salty hair, the hum of the motor and the slow rocking of the wooden boat as we glided over sparkling waves. You can’t help but smile — and smile we did.
We also had some of the most spectacular snorkeling ever! There was one stop where the water was so clear, the coral was incredibly colorful and there were fish everywhere! Seriously, stop photobombing us!
We stopped on a beautiful beach for lunch. There was a crab running around behind me on the beach. Justin was curious if a sudden motion could change the crab’s course of direction. Turns out, yes — when you wave your hand over the crab in my direction, the crab will skid right up to my butt. Thanks, sweetie.
And we finished up just before the storm started to roll in. It was an awesome day!
A few other highlights
We had a ton of fun playing on an an inflatable unicorn at the resort pool.
We ate at several good restaurants in Koh Lipe but none was as funny as the all-you-can-eat fresh fish restaurant. We filled up plastic containers with all the seafood we wanted to try (it was a lot). I started with a few small pieces before the woman took an entire fish and put it in my basket — she said it was good, so who was I to protest?
Justin discovered the fresh shrimp they grilled up and…let’s just say he got his money’s worth.
That same night we finished our shrimp and walked around in town (barely able to walk). Justin was in the market for new swim trunks and was lucky to find these (not joking…we bought them and they were great!)
Even in Thailand I couldn’t resist trying to save money. Turns out the 7-11 sold little bottles of vodka, so with the remnants of a fresh coconut and some soda water, I made a pretty delicious cocktail.
And, we took a beach yoga class…
And played with the itty bittiest little puppies.
PERFECT week in paradise!