Emma and Si travelled for 17 days through Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and The Maldives. Part action-packed, and part relaxation, full of amazing sights, experiences and sunsets – it was a honeymoon of a lifetime!
The couple: Emma, midwife, and Si, team manager
Wedding date: 6th July 2012 – ceremony at Sefton Parish Church, reception at Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa
Honeymoon date: 11th – 28th July 2012
Honeymoon location: Bangkok & Chiang Mai, Thailand and The Maldives
How long did you go on your honeymoon for? 17 days in total.
How and why did you pick this location? We really wanted to split our honeymoon into a week of action and adventure, and a week of utter paradise (so we’d both be happy)! When doing our research, a split break between Thailand and The Maldives seemed perfect!
Who booked the honeymoon? We booked through Kuoni. We’d heard they were amazing with honeymoons and they guided us through everything!
How did you travel there? We flew, and took a total of 9 flights during our honeymoon. It definitely got me over my fear of flying! I was so worried about luggage going missing and it was always there waiting for us thank goodness! Our flights were booked with a mixture of Etihad and Bangkok Airways, as well as the seaplane transfers in The Maldives so we could reach our island resort.
How much did it cost? £8300 and about £2000 spending money. In Thailand, our board was bed and breakfast. In The Maldives, our board included breakfast and evening meal. Most of our money was spent here, as it’s very expensive to eat and drink unfortunately. We did have daily free refreshments in the room, but any drinks in the mini bar or with meals we had to pay for.
What sort of holiday was it? Part city break, part beach break.
Did you spend the entire holiday in one place or did you travel around? We stayed for 4 nights in Bangkok, at the Banyan Tree Bangkok Hotel. 3 nights in Chiang Mai, at the Shangri-La Hotel and 7 nights in The Maldives at the Constance Halaveli Resort.
What was a typical day like? In Thailand it was very busy. We would wake early, normally around 6am and grab a quick breakfast. We would then head out and sight see for the whole day before returning for our evening meal. We would eat at one of the hotel restaurants or head out into the city and find somewhere we liked the look of. Our nights would normally end with a drink in the club lounge before heading up to bed, before the next action-packed day!
The Maldives was very different. We would wake at about 8am and head down the jetty for breakfast on the beach. We would then have a wander round the entire island to walk off breakfast (it took only 15 minutes) and head back to our water villa. The day would be spent here as we had everything we needed and we would order room service for lunch or enjoy our mini bar snacks. Our favourite part of the day would be to sit on our deck watching the sunset with a drink before getting ready to go out for dinner. The island had 3 amazing restaurants, one of which would have a different theme every night. After dinner we would head to the bar for a quick drink before going back to our villa to bed.
What was the food like? Absolutely amazing! Thailand is very affordable and there is such a wide variety to choose from. It was a lovely experience to try new things every day. In The Maldives we had food that was out of this world, the quality was fantastic with brilliant chefs. It was expensive though for food that wasn’t included in your board, with a sandwich costing about £20 for lunch.
What was your favourite part of the honeymoon? Wow that is a very hard question to answer. If I had to pinpoint a moment though it would be each sunset in The Maldives, where we would each get our robes on, get a drink and go and sit right on the edge of our water villa deck whilst watching the sun go down.
Were there any worst bits? I think our worst bit was probably the first night we were in Male. We missed the seaplane transfer as they only travel in daylight, so we had to stay at the only hotel on the airport island. We were put in a twin room despite booking 9 months in advance for a double, as apparently it was the ‘only room available’. The hotel in general was a huge disappointment including the state of the room, food and staff. Not the way we wanted to begin the second half of our honeymoon. However, we were up at 5am for our seaplane transfer and didn’t go back there thank goodness.
What is your favourite honeymoon picture? Our favourite honeymoon picture would have to be where we are both on the back of an elephant, in the river whilst it was trying to soak us! It was such an amazing surreal experience, and one we will remember forever.
What is your advice for other couples who are planning to travel there? Thailand – most of the places you visit require both men and women to be dressed appropriately out of respect. For men and women, both have to have their shoulders covered and nothing on shorter than their knees. I had a shrug normally, but if you forgot you would have to wear something provided that was normally sweaty and had been worn by several other people!
Bangkok in particular is a busy and crazy city. The traffic is horrendous! We found the best way to get around was the sky train. We didn’t use tuk tuks as we preferred the air conditioning of a taxi. The prices are so cheap, but you have to make sure the drivers have their meters on, or they will charge you whatever they like.
The Maldives – if you aren’t going all inclusive be prepared to spend some serious money. We didn’t buy any souvenirs or go on any excursions, but spent a lot on food and drink. Everything has to be imported by air and then by boat to each island so it’s very expensive. If you get travelsick easily, take something before you get on a seaplane. The experience is amazing but it can be a very bumpy ride.
Any other detail/advice/help/stories you would like to share? We would definitely recommend going to several different locations if you can for your honeymoon. It made it feel much more epic and we felt like we were away for such a long time.
Do book with a tour operator if you can, Kuoni were amazing. They took care of everything, from a very detailed itinerary explaining all travel arrangements, to Kuoni staff who would meet us at each airport and transport to and from our hotels.
Make sure you have everything in your hand luggage you could possibly need. If you go long haul you are going to a long time without being able to get to your suitcase! Make sure your hold luggage is easy to spot too!
Make sure you take hundreds of photos and some videos if you can. We have hundreds of photos that we love looking back at and the videos are so special too as we can relive some special moments.
Enjoy yourself and appreciate every single second. We had a honeymoon of a lifetime, and it is unlikely we are ever going to be able to replicate it.