Phang Nga, Thailand
This emerald-blue bay is as postcard-worthy as it gets. Dramatic limestone karsts topped by a veil of lush green vegetation jut out of the ocean, and the only sign of life is the occasional gang of scampering monkeys. The primates are just one surprise; the others are revealed by kayak.
Many of the area's mini islands are shaped like donuts with a lagoon in the middle. And John Gray's Sea Canoe company knows all the caves that lead to their interiors. On the Expedition Express trip, you'll get two full days of exploring (paddle your own kayak or share with your hubby) and one overnight on a beach under the stars. The trip leaves from the island of Phuket, but when it's over they're happy to drop you off at the nearby beach town of Krabi, so consider it a free transfer (two days from $318 per person, johngray-seacanoe.com).
Where to Stay
Before the trip, spend a few days acclimating: Sleep, swim, eat, and repeat at the Andara, on the Andaman Sea (from $780, andaraphuket.com). Afterward? Have your John Gray guide take you to Krabi, where Phulay Bay awaits. You'll appreciate the resort's oversize beds and plunge-pool- size bathtubs after your night of "roughing it" (from $600; reserve.ritzcarlton.com).
What to Eat
For a delectable meal of pan-grilled lobster in coconut cream sauce, look no further than Mom Tri's Kitchen on Phuket (momtriphuket.com).
What Else to Do
The Tiger Cave Temple is a worthwhile day trip from Krabi. Instead of big cats, you'll find saffron-robed monks, a maze of natural caves, and stunning vistas.
When to Go
High season, which spans from late November through early April, has the best weather but the steepest rates. On the other hand, monsoon season (April to October) can be mild -- and during these months, both prices and crowds drop off considerably.
How to Get There
Fly into Bangkok, and hop on a oneway to Phuket with a reputable local airline like Thai Airways, which will also return you to Bangkok from Krabi.