Few places have been as hyped & glamorized as the beaches in Thailand. I’ve been looking forward to them so much that I worried I’d be setting myself up for disappointment, but Rayavadee in Krabi lived up to my dreams.
I decided to split my Thailand visit between city (Bangkok) and beach (Krabi) with a stop in Cambodia in between (Siem Reap). With my limited time, I had to pick one beach destination (I’m not interested in packing my bags everyday for the sake of seeing it all). So, I spent many months researching every thing about Thai beaches to find “the one”.
While nearby destinations like Thailand are overflowing with tourists, Cambodia, with it’s relaxing spas, stunning scenery and delicious cuisine, is still relatively under the radar. And with an even more favorable exchange rate than Thailand, it’s really a hidden gem. I recently went to Thailand and when flying from Bangkok to Phuket/Krabi, Siem Reap- home of the iconic Angkor Wat- is perfectly on the way (only 1 to 1.5 hrs each way).
🗝 Tip: Although Cambodia has it’s own currency, the US dollar is the preferred currency of choice and will get you further. Since there’s plenty of establishments that don’t take credit cards (markets,
*Viroth was awarded 2018 Best Hotel in the World by Tripadvisor
After Bangkok, I headed to Siem Reap, Cambodia. When I saw on the map that it’s virtually on the way to Krabi, Thailand, I knew I had to stop there. Especially since I’ve always wanted to see Angkor Wat. The exchange rate can have a big impact on the enjoyability of your vacation and in Cambodia, the rate is even more favorable than Thailand. Coupled with the fact that they have the most adorable boutique hotels and amazing spas, Siem Reap ended up being one of my favorite destinations.
After careful review,
The first leg of my trip was Bangkok for two nights. I then went on to Siem Reap, Cambodia, which was a quick (1.5 hr) flight on the way to my final destination, Krabi. If you’re been following my blog, you know that I always recommend hitting up two close-by destinations per a trip to maximize those vacation days. I love a city/beach combo, but this trip was even better- city/historic landmark/beach combo. Subscribe to my blog to get the full itinerary.
Let’s start with Bangkok:
🗝 Tip: You will see signs everywhere stating that Buddha is a religion/religious deity and not an emblem to put on a shirt or trinket for your souvenir.
I finally hit up one of my bucket list destinations, Thailand, and it was everything. My trip was three nights in Bangkok, two nights in Siem Reap (Cambodia) & four nights in Krabi. I stayed at the Okura Prestige in Bangkok, and it was amazing. The price was very reasonable- I paid less than half what it costs in a major, US city for a 5-star hotel. I actually changed hotels very last minute thanks to a friend’s recommendation, or more like his distaste in my original choice, ha. I learned location is SO important in Bangkok, because it’s very hard to get around.
I always try to pack light when traveling. I’m proud of the fact that I have never checked a bag. Even on a 2.5 week trip to Europe in the winter, carry-on only, baby! The toughest things to keep under control are shoes & toiletries. You can never have too many. I take advantage of the toiletries in the hotels so I can keep things minimal, but with my tangly, long hair I need major conditioning, or I’ll be a hot mess.
Ouai Deep Conditioner
I am obsessed with Jen Akin’s (hair stylist to the Kardashians) Ouai brand of haircare. The packaging is Instagram-worthy,
Any beach vacation, I’m spending most of my time at the resort. If you read my review of the St. Regis Bali Resort, you’ll know there’s really no reason to ever leave. But, if you didn’t, that would be a huge mistake, because Bali has so much more to offer than just beaches & lagoon pools. See my recommendations below, but there was so much that I didn’t get to do. And of course, resorts that I didn’t get to stay at like this jungle paradise- Hanging Gardens of Bali. I guess I need to plan another trip to Bali…
🗝 Tip: Hiring a private driver is very inexpensive in Bali.