After deciding to visit Thailand for their honeymoon, newlyweds Rishabh Bhalla and Pooja Bhalla booked a two-day overnight cruise to the Andaman Sea from Phuket. Pooja agreed to share the memories of their visit, including the different activities they tried, their hotel stay, and their overall experience in the Phi Phi Islands.

Like many Indian couples, we had an arranged marriage, and the wedding was nothing short of a fairytale! We were about to start a new chapter in our lives, and because we only knew each other for 10 months before the marriage, and we’d finally be spending time alone away from our families, this honeymoon had to be special. We wanted to get to know each other better during this honeymoon, and after planning a hectic wedding, it was crucial that we drift away from the woes of reality, and revel in the bliss of sun, sand, and luxury!

Visiting Thailand was always on our bucket list. Some of my friends visited Thailand for their honeymoon, and they came back raving about how beautiful and exquisite it was! We spent three days planning our honeymoon itinerary, and being keen adventurists, we didn’t want to just stay in the city but explore the islands like locals. It was upon the suggestion of Rishabh’s best friend that we decided to check out tours of the Andaman Sea islands. He had previously been there, and said that it had some of the clearest blue beaches he had ever seen. We were sold!

Since we only had 4 days in the Phuket leg of our Thailand trip, we booked a two-day overnight cruise from Phuket to Phi Phi Islands with Our first day of this incredible journey started with a tour of Phang Nga Bay. We explored the majestic caves of Koh Panak and experienced our first ever canoe-ride. I still remember how tightly Rishabh held on to me as I was trying to capture the grandeur of the towering caves with our camera as he was afraid I would topple over our canoe!

Continuing the journey, we headed to the famous James Bond Island. Our guide announced that the island was given its name after being featured in one of the James Bond movies! The view from the island was right out of a postcard. Tall, lush limestone rocks floated along the clear green waters which surrounded most of the island, and the bright blue skies acted as the perfect backdrop to make this place seem like paradise. We went to for a short swim before leaving the island, and were delighted at how clear and pure the water was.

In the evening we headed to our hotel on Phi Phi Don Island. By dinner time, we were famished, and were looking forward to a nice, romantic, candle-lit dinner. Being vegetarians, we were really hoping that we’d find good vegetarian Thai dishes, and weren’t disappointed at all! The food, including an aromatic Massamun curry and stir fried vegetables were delicious, and the bartender made us tropical cocktails to pair with the food. After dinner, there was a special fire show at the beach for all the guests. Although the performance was excellent, we pretty much spent the whole night talking to each other, while walking alongside the breezy shore, and it was the perfect end to our first night!

The next day, after our lavish breakfast at the hotel, we went for another swim in the breathtaking Pileh Lagoon. It was one of the most fascinating places I had ever visited. Turquoise waters surrounded by a stretch of soaring, lush cliffs made the whole experience surreal. We noticed that many other couples, including some Indian couples we befriended at the hotel, were having a ball-splashing around in the warm waters and relaxing by the adjoining golden beach. Although I was unwilling to leave the heavenly lagoon, Rishabh really wanted to continue the tour, so we headed to the Monkey Beach. Hailing from New Delhi, we were no strangers to seeing monkeys. However, once our boat anchored into the Monkey Beach, we could see dozens of mischievous monkeys excitedly jump towards the incoming tourists. I stayed firmly behind my husband, clinging on to him the whole time, while he excitedly snapped away at the cheeky primates!

For the final leg of our tour, we went snorkeling at the Phi Phi Don Island. We had never tried snorkeling before, and to be honest, we were both quite anxious about it. However, our instructor assured us that it would be a marvellous experience, and it certainly was. Diving into the glassy waters with our goggles on, we saw bountiful underwater flora and fauna, and Rishabh even managed to pick up a star-fish! Swimming alongside the schools of tiny multi-coloured fishes was probably one of the greatest moments of this amazing trip!

Once the tour got over, we headed back to Phuket to continue our honeymoon across Thailand. However, I certainly wish we could have just stayed back at the Phi Phi Islands! In these two days, we discovered so many wonderful things about Thailand, whilst getting to know each other better. I had no idea that Rishabh liked monkeys so much, and he discovered that I collect sea shells! We will always cherish the fun we had during this trip and will definitely head back here for a longer visit the next time.

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