Honeymoon

Planning your Getaway

A wedding is a once in a lifetime event, but amidst the frenzy and enjoyment of your wedding, the honeymoon is sometimes overlooked. However, the post-wedding holiday is just as important as the big day itself as it strengthens the bond between husband and wife and creates memories that last long after the tan has faded.

AE3C8150Thailand is one of the most romantic countries in the world to go to for a honeymoon and few destinations in the world offer as much value for honeymoon money, quantity, service and value as the Kingdom. Quantity, service and value are unsurpassed. There is plenty to do and it caters to both couples who seek adventure and for those who just want to relax and enjoy themselves after the wedding. From the undulating hills of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the North to the stunning beaches of Phuket in the South, couples will find there is more to do than they can fit into one honeymoon. Zipline over the treetops, ride atop an elephant, go river rafting, zip around the city in a tuk tuk, visit ancient temples, shop till you drop, and then party till the early morn.

Whether you like gorgeous beaches, the mountains or even big, cosmopolitan cities, luxury accommodation is affordable here, so make the best of it and make your dream honeymoon come true. Here are some of the top honeymoon spots in Thailand that will keep you coming back year after year.

Bangkok

ST_Night Life_001East meets West in this quintessential big city making it the perfect place for a honeymoon. There’s so much to do, a list would take up a book. Start with a boat along the mighty Chao Praya River and visit the stunning Wat Phra Kaew temple. Hungry? Just stop by one of the many street stalls, shop at luxury shopping malls or visit the largest outdoor market in the region, Chatuchak that sprawls over 35-acres and is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. There is wide variety of accommodation, from opulent five-star hotels, quirky boutique hotels or plush serviced apartments all at prices that beat those back home. The city is also home to some of the Southeast Asian region’s best restaurants, shopping, shows and amusements. You want culture, shopping, nightlife there’s no better place. Fast-paced, exciting and loud, Bangkok is sure to charm any honeymooning couple into making a return trip soon.

Hua Hin

ThamPhrayaNakhonCave007The summer retreat of the Royal Family of Thailand, Hua Hin is the honeymoon choice for many Thais. What was once a picturesque fishing village is now a well-known holiday destination offering romantic luxury villas and hotels, horse-riding on the beach, fresh seafood, wonderful cafes, night markets, funky art galleries and shops, and a lively nightlife. Other attractions include a working vineyard built on the site of a former elephant corral, kite surfing, fishing lodge and plenty of golf courses. Only a three-hour drive, from the Thai capital, Hua Hin can be a newlywed couple’s dream honeymoon destination.

Koh Samui

_DSC9411The summer retreat of the Royal Family of Thailand, Hua Hin is the honeymoon choice for many Thais. What was once a picturesque fishing village is now a well-known holiday destination offering romantic luxury villas and hotels, horse-riding on the beach, fresh seafood, wonderful cafes, night markets, funky art galleries and shops, and a lively nightlife. Other attractions include a working vineyard built on the site of a former elephant corral, kite surfing, fishing lodge and plenty of golf courses. Only a three-hour drive, from the Thai capital, Hua Hin can be a newlywed couple’s dream honeymoon destination.

Chiang Mai

Phra_That_Doi_Suthep_02If the sun and sand is not your idea for a honeymoon, the northern city of Chiang Mai makes for a good option. Tucked away in a valley, and bounded by high, lush green hills, the old walled city, located along the banks of the languid Ping River, has now metamorphosed into a modern metropolis that continues to pay tribute to its golden historical past. The pace of life is slower and the weather is much cooler in winter and less humid in summer here compared to the Thai capital. A great tourist destination it offers a variety of attractions, including elegant temples like Doi Suthep, cultural performances, and cuisine typical to the region. It is also a convenient jumping-off point for treks, hill resorts, river rafting and scenic nature trails. The famous Night Bazaar Chan Klan Road offers a veritable treasure chest of handicrafts, clothes, jewellery, toys, while the Bo Sang district is renowned for exquisite hand-painted umbrellas made from mulberry paper and silk, and decorated with beautiful floral motifs. There is variety of accommodation available and if you have a sense of adventure there are elephant camps, river rafting, mountain trekking, and visits to hill tribe villages to keep you occupied.

Phuket

PHUKET_01Palm-fringed white sand beaches lapped by the azure waters of the Andaman Sea, towering limestone cliffs, tranquil bays, tropical forests and stunning sunsets draw over one million tourists each year to Phuket, also Thailand’s largest island. In the past, its visitors were a motley parade of Malay pirates, Tamil settlers, Burmese warriors and Chinese tin miners, and European traders. Today, they come for the sun, sand, and scenery, as well as the luxurious resorts, diverse nightlife, diving and relaxed tropical lifestyle making it the ideal honeymoon destination.

It’s the beaches that are the attraction here and there are numerous options to feel the sand between your toes. The main action is at Patong Beach, which is frenetic market by day, and entertainment paradise by night. Surin, Karon, Kamala and Kata are quieter alternatives. A great place to get a feel of the island’s history is Phuket town with its Sino-Portuguese architecture. Phuket is also the jumping off point for the many islands that dot its coast, with Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and the Similans the top choices. Take a boat to see James Bond Island and the sea gypsies, sample eat fresh seafood with a bottle of bubbly, or simply chill out on the beach with a tropical cocktail.

Other options

Book a table for two at Le Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok famed for its classical French menu and spectacular view of the Chao Phraya River. Or, indulge in the 15-course Thai menu served tapas-style at Maya restaurant at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok hotel that also combines spectacular dinner theatre withs a live cooking show, contemporary Thai dance and a theatrical service performance. For a stunning view of the city along with gourmet Asian-style seafood, the alfresco Breeze on the 52nd floor of the lebua Hotel Bangkok is the place to be. In the heart of the CBD, Red Sky on the 55th floor of the Centara Grand Hotel offers similar panoramic views of the bustling city and delicious bistro-style dishes accompanied by over 300 fine wines from around the world to choose from.

the FALLS 01Elsewhere in Thailand, the more adventurous can opt to rock climb the limestone karsts that lie scattered along the Andaman coastline. The local climbing schools teach beginners the ropes and will outfit with all the necessary gear. Over in Chiang Mai, the Balloon Adventure Thailand offers pre-dawn hot-air balloon flights over emerald-green rice paddies and along mist-covered mountain ranges. Bike companies all over Thailand allow you to explore hidden gems with tours that can be customised for two (www.spiceroads.com; grasshopperadventures.com; www.smilingalbino.com). The waters around Thailand afford exceptional diving opportunities especially around Phuket, the distant Similan Islands and the Burma Banks. Further south in Krabi, numerous dive sites are located around Rai Leh, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta, which include Hin Daeng, Thailand’s deepest wall dive at more than 60 metres.

Want a honeymoon with a difference? Why not book a luxuriously outfitted rice barge complete with butler and personal chef for a three-day river cruise programme that takes you up to the ancient capital of Ayuthaya – www.manohracruise.com. Or explore Thailand’s wine country up in Khao Yai with stays at two of the Kingdom’s leading wineries www.granmonte.com and www.khaoyaiwinery.com. In Phuket, opt for island-hopping cruise aboard a classic Mediterranean style twin-masted Turkish gulet, or a super yatch – www.jabudays.com

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