Have you ever wanted to retreat from the real world to an island oasis where you have all the necessary modern amenities but are hours from any major civilization? Well, we did that. And it was great. Readers, meet Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort & Spa.
One of the most beautiful parts of Thailand is a group of islands called the Phi Phi Islands, where we were fortunate enough to stay at Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort & Spa. The nearby island that has become world famous after the filming of The Beach is called Koh Phi Phi Leh and is an uninhabited national park. The island is just spectacular, with giant limestone cliffs rising over mesmerizing jewel tone waters.
We went on the Early Bird Trip with our resort to avoid the swarms of tourists that come from Phuket and Krabi around midday, and we loved it. There was only one other small boat of people, so we practically had the entire place to ourselves. We were never rushed and had plenty of time to enjoy the jaw-dropping natural beauty. We visited Maya Bay, Loh Samah Bay, and Viking Cave, famous for the bird’s nest that is used in Chinese bird’s nest soup. We also went snorkeling several times throughout the trip. It was the best snorkeling I’ve ever experienced. The fish are bright and beautiful, with many different varieties living among the coral reefs around the island. The water surrounding this incredible archipelago is the most gorgeous blue-green water I’ve ever seen, quite unforgettable. The pictures do not do the island justice!
One of the most fun things we did in Thailand was learn to cook traditional Thai food in a cooking class with Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort. We learned how to make Yum Moo Yang, Tom Kha Talay, Geang Kiew Waan Gai, and Kluay Buad Chee. That translates to spicy grilled pork salad, savory coconut milk soup with seafood and Thai herbs, green curry chicken, and a sweet banana coconut milk dessert. It was all delicious!
I’ve been dreaming of visiting Southeast Asia for a long time. Most recently, I can’t stop wanderlusting about the beautiful country of Thailand. Here are five reasons why you should visit Thailand on your next tropical escape:
- Gorgeous Beaches – there are miles and miles of pristine beaches with crystal clear, bright turquoise water all over Thailand. Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi, & Phi Phi Island are some of the most popular destinations. Even in these touristy areas, there are quiet beaches and secluded bays to check out for a more peaceful holiday.
- Food – Thai food is amazing. We like it so much, we dedicated a special day of the week to become Thai Tuesday, and we go to our favorite Thai restaurant. Whether you’re eating in a restaurant or just getting a cheap bite on the street, you will not be disappointed. While I personally haven’t gotten to check out legit Thai food first hand (yet!), this is one of the things I hear people rave about the most.
- Cost – If you want an exotic locale where your dollar can really be stretched, Thailand is the place for you. Grand resorts and five course dinners are a fraction of what they would cost in the U.S. and even less than expensive tropical getaways like Bora Bora, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, or the Caribbean. If you avoid pampering yourself on vacation because it’s just so darn expensive, Thailand is a place you can splurge without it costing much. It really is perfect for those traveling on a budget, which most people are.
- Yi Peng in Chiang Mai – If you thought the captivating lantern scene in Tangled was just an animated fantasy, think again. It actually exists (but for different reasons)! Yi Peng is a religious festival held at the end of October/beginning of November each year in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand where thousands of beautiful glowing lanterns (and accompanying wishes) are released into the sky. The scene is unquestionably mesmerizing.
- Elephant trekking – There are so many opportunities throughout Asia, but especially in Thailand, to go on a safari or trek through a jungle on the back of a precious elephant. This is a great way to see much of the scenery and get to experience something totally unique.
All of these pictures are from my Thailand Pinterest board here.