We were so excited to get to Thailand. I’ve been wanting to go there for SO long and had heard some amazing things about it!
I did a lot of research about where to go in Thailand. I was debating between Krabi and Phuket as a stop in Southern Thailand. I learned that Krabi would be more family-friendly, so we decided to go there!
We stayed at Peace Laguna Resort which was beautiful. It has cute cottages tucked close to a small mountain. It’s right next to a busy street, but you feel like you are very secluded. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful with our kids. It was seriously just what we needed. A relaxing oasis with great food that was centrally located. Dorothy made friends with some little Japanese kids and loved to play with them in the pool.
You can take a private long tailed boat out for the day for only like $45. One day, Garrett and I went out alone and were taken to an island about 20 mins away called Chicken Island. We agreed that Southern Thailand had the warmest ocean water we’ve ever been it. Like seriously, warm. Too warm. After swimming in it for 15 mins, we had to get out. The visibility wasn’t that great, but we did get to snorkel around for a bit. We used a babysitter from the hotel and we came home to Dorothy’s hair all cutely braided. They were so great with our kids.
I was surprised that I didn’t get sick of eating Thai food. Every meal we had was so delicious and the price was even better. ;) Rarely do we order any drink besides water, but every meal we’d buy a juice. Ah man, you seriously can’t beat fresh juice for 40 cents.
Throughout our whole trip, we had dreamed about all the pampering we’d get in Thailand. Any time we were stressed, we’d just tell ourselves that all would be well and we could get all the massages we needed in Thailand. So, our first stop was to take Dorothy to get her nails painted and Garrett got his hair braided. Then, every night Garrett and I would take turns watching the kids and then going out to get a Thai massage at a place 3 minutes from our hotel. Hot coconut oil massage for $15? Yes, please!
Side note… if you ever talk to me in person… ask me about getting a massage from a 13 year-old boy. Good times.
After about 5 days in Krabi, we flew up to Chiang Mai.
Besides Tonga, Chiang Mai was the only planned activity of the whole trip. We wanted to attend Loi Kathong which is the annual lantern festival correlating with a full moon. The festival originated from when people would send baskets of incense or candles down a river paying respect to the water spirits. Nowadays, they send kathrongs (floating decoration/crown/boat) made up of bread (for the fishies) or something biodegradable.
Coinciding with Loi Krathong is Lanna which is a festival celebrating the full moon in the Thai lunar calendar. This is the when the Tangled lanterns are all released into the sky.
So, between all the lantern boats floating down the river and the floating lanterns in the sky, it was quite the spectacle.
We arrived at the festival around 5 pm (probably too early) just as the street market was setting up. Lots of amazing food and everyone was selling candles and let off into the river.
The sky lanterns release was at 9pm. We were super nervous that the kids wouldn’t last. Manilla usually goes to be between 6 and 7pm so, 9pm was really pushing it. And we REALLY didn’t want to have to leave. We tried to take a long dinner, walk around, went to an extremely sketchy pop up amusement park and watched everyone light off fireworks. It was a lonnnnng day, but one the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen.
We stayed at the Dhara Dhevi resort. I can’t not do this place justice. It was incredible. We had big plans to do many things in Chiang Mai, but after a few hours at this resort, we decided not to leave except for the festival. Perhaps that was lame of us not to really take in Chiang Mai as city, but if you saw this place, I promise you’d support our decision.
The Dhara Dhevi sits on 60 acres of beautiful land. We LOVED the kids club, the gym and fitness area, the beautiful pools and we even got to work in the rice fields with the kids. We splurged on a Muay Thai package which included a 1 hour lesson of muay thai and a 1 hour Thai massage. They give each guest a bike to cruise around the resort. The food may have been the very best part. Our daily breakfast had a full juice bar (we made Dorothy drink wheat grass shots before her meal), homemade yogurt, and pretty much every single style of breakfast you could ask for. Immediately after we finished breakfast, we’d get so excited for the following morning’s breakfast. We’d then go take the kids to the kids club where they’d make and fly kites, do pottery, paint and feed the llama and miniature horse. They did all this while Garrett and I got in a great workout at the fitness center.
The very best thing with the Dhara Dhevi was how incredibly kind and helpful they were in an emergency when Dorothy slipped and fell in the shower and we knew she needed stitches. The hotel staff came so quickly, called an ambulance, brought over a babysitter for Manilla and sent someone from the concierge to assist us at the hospital. It was a very traumatic experience for Garrett and I. But, the Dhara Dhevi staff was so helpful and kind throughout it all. We came home from the hospital and they had left Dorothy a get well card and a bouquet of flowers. I’m forever grateful for the charity that they showed us that night.
Long Tailed Boats
Happy travels!! Sincerely, The Bucket List Family