My husband and I got married in fall of 2017. We were fortunate enough to have our parents fund the majority of our wedding costs, leaving us to pay for only our honeymoon. While browsing honeymoon packages to Thailand, package that we deemed honeymoon-worthy cost upwards of $4000, and many of those didn’t include any excursions, food, drinks, or of course any purchases made such as souvenirs.
A bit of research told us that the average couple spends anywhere from $4000 to $5000 on a honeymoon. Since your honeymoon is the beginning of your life together, we felt that it was in our best interest to try to get the most bang for our buck. I felt like I could put together a honeymoon package for less money than we were seeing in our original searches, so I did some research!
This is an outline of how we honeymooned in Ko Samui, Thailand for under $4000.
Flights and Hotel
You can save HUNDREDS of dollars by booking your hotel and flights together. We used Cheap Tickets to book our honeymoon package, but you can also shop for combination deals on sites like Expedia, there is a list of great travel sites to browse that you can find HERE.
Using Cheap Tickets, we booked our flights, hotel, and transfers to and from the airport. When choosing our flights, we were happy to opt for some longer layover in Doha, Qatar and Bankok, Thailand in order to save a few hundred dollars. We enjoyed the long layovers because it gave us a chance to explore a different city, and we didn’t have to worry about missing a flight if our previous one got delayed. We spent almost a full day in transit each way, which left us with 12 nights at our hotel. Contrary to what we heard other travelers say, we really enjoyed the long flight to Thailand! We flew with Qatar airways, which had the newest fleet of aircraft’s in the world at the time, and there was tremendous service, food, and entertainment available for us during the long flight.
We chose to stay at 4-star Mimosa Resort & Spa on the Island of Ko Samui (Island Samui). As you can see on the website, this was a gorgeous resort with a private beach. We were overwhelmed with the staff at this resort who helped us book our excursions, kept us well-informed of local events, and greeted us by name every time they saw us! The rooms were clean, luxurious, and private. There was daily maid service and room service available, as well as in-depth guides to the island waiting in our room, which answered all of our questions and gave us a lot of ideas on how to spend our time. On site was a spa and restaurant, and we took advantage of both during our stay. If we ever go back to Ko Samui, we will be staying with our friends at Mimosa again.
Total Cost ~ $3030
Activities & Excursions
Out of respect for the rainy season, we did not book any excursions before we were actually on our honeymoon, on the island. The staff at our resort helped us book all of our excursions. They were very knowledgeable about the many different tour companies, and gave us feedback from other visitors to help us choose the experiences that best fit our wants and needs.
Deep-Sea Fishing Trip – This was the first tour that we went on after a few days spent laying on our private beach reading books, kayaking in the ocean, and biking in the city near our resort. This was a half-day excursion led by a jovial captain who was honestly one of the highlights of the day! Our captain got us out to sea, past many other gorgeous islands until we found the first spot to drop our lines. The crew helped those of us who didn’t know how to fish cast our lines properly, and after some time we would move to a new location and try again. For lunch, the crew fixed all of our freshly-caught fish along with some classic Thai side dishes! After lunch we headed to a large cove, where we were able to swim and snorkel for about an hour before we headed back to our hotels.
Jungle Adventure – I was concerned about booking an excursion that involved elephants, due to the fact that elephants are highly abused and reckless, unaware tourists can encourage the existence of that abuse through their purchase of elephant activities. This tour that we booked had 4 parts – one was an elephant ride, the second was off-roading in the jungle, and the third was 4-wheeling on the flat plains. I relentlessly questioned the staff at our resort about the treatment of the Elephants and they seemed almost disturbed by my questions. They all assured me individually that the elephants were not abused and actually are an essential part of the local economy. They told me that the elephants worked from 8:00 – 4:00 just like most humans, were well fed and cared for. They told us that you can usually spot when an elephant has been abused but looking for chain marks around its ankles, and/or bruises or scars on their backs. With this in mind, and my fears somewhat subdued, we went on our second excursion.
The elephant that we rode was a girl and I forget her name, but as we were walking she would often slow down to munch on tree leaves, or veer off the path or just kind of slow down and look around, and her caretaker would tap her head or pull on her ears after some time to encourage her to move along. She seemed very happy and calm, and her caretaker seemed to care about her a lot. After that, we hopped on top of an off-roading vehicle and headed into the steep Samui mountains. This was hands-down one of my favorite parts of our honeymoon. Off-roading through the mountains was so surreal. It was so beautiful everywhere on the island, but this in particular almost brought me to tears. It was just overwhelming. Of course I wasn’t able to take any photos since we were hanging on to the top of this vehicle for dear life (hahah), but I highly recommend an excursion like this to anyone visiting Thailand. We stopped at a waterfall with a pool at the bottom to play in, and went on a short walk through the mountains before heading back to the main camp. Last but not least, we got to hop on our own 4-wheelers and drive around the flatter part of the area, looking at the village where many of the employees lived, and having fun flying around the landscape on our own.
The final part of the tour was river kayaking! We had enjoyed kayaking in the ocean of our resort beach, but we are glad that we also got to enjoy some river kayaking. This was further away than the rest of the activities, but in our opinion was worth it since you got to see a little bit more of the island traveling to and from the river.
City Tour – On our last day, we took advantage of a private city tour special that was offered through our resort. We were driven around the island in a private, air-conditioned van. We saw upwards of 5 different temples, and the mummified shrine of a Monk, where we were shown how to give an offering and pray or ask for a blessing in return. We wandered around an open-air market, and got to swim at the bottom of a massive waterfall in the jungle. For lunch we were taken to a lookout over the island and the ocean, where we were able to hand-pick some seafood for our meal. The city tour was a great way to get a feel for the culture, and at no point did we feel rushed or bored. It was a wonderful way to spend our last full day on Ko Samui.
Total Cost of Excursions ~ $460
Other Activities, Outings, and Notable Experiences
Thai Boxing – Some people oppose Thai boxing and I believe they are setting new regulations regarding age limits. That being said, my husband and I had an amazing evening and would love to go to another Thai boxing event one day! There was so much culture involved in the matches, the Chang beer was delicious and flowing freely, and the fights were excellent! This is really a matter of ethics, but we thought it was awesome and would definitely go again.
Massages – As mentioned, we did have a spa available at our resort, however, they were available all over the island for considerably less money. You could get an hour massage for less than $10 USD at most places.
Shopping & Open Air Markets – There are so many vendors to explore in Ko Samui! We enjoyed bartering at the Fishermans Village and Chaweng beach shops. There is a large 2-level open-air mall called the Central Festival Samui which is where all of the higher end, air conditioned stores are located. You can get those little fish to nibble on your feet, or hang out at the bar drinking Chang beer in between shops! We also enjoyed the Chaweng night market because of the incredible street food that was available! It was endless, cheaper than cheap, and delicious. Everything available for purchase is incredibly inexpensive, and you can usually try to barter for an even better deal.
Island Animals – We emotionally adopted a beach dog who we named Linda while we were on our honeymoon. We first met Linda on our first day on Ko Samui, as soon as we hit the beach. She was an adorable, energetic, kind of smelly beach dog who appeared at our beach on schedule every morning, and went somewhere else to sleep every night with the sunset. We asked the staff (who put out water for her daily), what her “real name” was since we had been calling her Linda for about a week. They looked at us like we were crazy for naming her and said something along the lines of “That dark dog? I don’t know, she just comes here”. We thought that they were crazy for NOT naming her, but who knows, maybe the name Linda stuck. Anyways, while we were there Linda enjoyed following us on walks down the beach, digging holes in the sand near us, and occasionally joining us in the water. The day before we left one of the staff told us that we could take Linda home with us (we didn’t ask, we weren’t going to), but that he doesn’t recommend it because it would be expensive and difficult to get her through customs. That gave us a good laugh, because I don’t think Linda would be very happy living in cold and sand-less Central PA.
There was also a Momma cat who had chosen our Resort as a home for her newest litter of kittens! We would pass their home on our way back to our room, and while the Momma was very sweet and loved rubs and attention, the kitties were very hesitant to trust humans, and did not come out for rubs. They would, however, observe us as we gave their Momma rubs and made our way back to our room.
One morning we were walking down the beach around dawn (courtesy of jet lag), and John saw a big snail – I mean it was like the size of my fist balled up. Brown, with lighter spots on its shell. We watched it in awe for a few moments until we realized that there was actually a whole herd(?) of these snails on the move together! We don’t know where they were going, but there were upwards of 10 of these big snails moving over the rocks and weeds behind the beach. We followed them for awhile, took a short video of them, and then left because they are snails and they move really slow.
Total Cost of Extras ~ $190
Total Cost ~ $3680.00
I don’t think we could have picked a better place to honeymoon. We had so much fun in Ko Samui, we experienced so many new things, we relaxed in luxurious environments and were incredibly well taken care of the entire time. For under $4000 we did everything that we wanted and more! It was the trip of a lifetime.
Where did you honeymoon, and what did it cost? Do you think this sounds like a good deal for a destination on the other side of the world? Let me know in the comments!