So first things first: I know this was meant to be Asia, but it has become all about Thailand.
Sam and I discounted Thailand for our own honeymoon because we wanted to go somewhere we have never been – but this being said, we did seriously consider actually marrying in Thailand.
Thailand holds a beauty that cannot be explained – it has to be experienced. And it is the perfect place for any honeymoon.
One of the most well known locations in Thailand, Phuket offers beaches, action, sunsets, alcohol and spas. Being completely honest, I have never been, but those of my friends that have travelled there have given mixed reviews. Some have said that Phuket has changed and is now very much a tourist industry – you are far better heading for somewhere else, such as the Phi Phi Islands. Others highly recommend the area as Phuket offers literally everything you could ask for in a honeymoon destination, it offers those beautiful, romantic images; the image of Thailand that we in the UK have been spoon fed for the last 30 years. It will by no means be a quiet honeymoon, but that may be what you are after. Cliff-top restaurants, hidden lagoons, evening cruises and perfect sunsets: Phuket really does have it all. Head to Phuket for every ingredient of a perfect honeymoon, but not a private island retreat feeling
Thailand’s number 2, less famous than Phuket, but just as popular. Krabi offers incredible rock climbing and diving, as well as sun soaked white sand beaches and azure seas. Much like Phuket, having not been there I am unable to verify personally the reports that I have had, but all I have heard says that Krabi, despite its breath taking beauty, it sadly loses some of its charm due to the sheer volume of tourists. Beautiful to the core: limestone cliffs, golden sand, crystal clear waters with perfect scuba conditions. Head to Krabi for stunning scenery and for incredible climbing.
3. Phi Phi Islands
Probably most famous as the location of the movie ‘The Beach’, the Phi Phi Islands are the most incredibly beautiful place that you will probably ever lay your eyes upon. One of my lovely friends who left the Phi Phi Islands about a week ago assures me that they are lush (and that is high praise!) Of the two islands, Phi Phi Don, the larger island, is the place to stay. Phi Phi Lei, the smaller island, is completely uninhabited – but is a must visit. Maya Bay on Phi Phi Lei, the beach where the majority of ‘The Beach’ was filmed, is surprisingly unspoiled despite the crowds of visitors. There isn’t a lot that I can say about the Phi Phi Islands that will make it sound different to many of the other destination options – but there is something so magical about this island duo that has to be experienced. I think that if we were to be heading to Thailand for our honeymoon, this would be our place. Head to the Phi Phi Islands for a paradise.
4. Koh Samui
A small hop from the Western coast to the Eastern, and you get to Koh Samui. According to the tourist board, Koh Samui has 3 million coconut trees – I’m not sure how that would affect your choice of destination (unless you are allergic to coconut, then I suggest you just don’t head to Thailand at all) but I thought it was an interesting fact to pass on. Koh Samui is a thriving tourist island, offering late night (early morning) parties, golfing a-plenty, world-class spas, and incredible views. Koh Samui has been described as very much a ‘choose-your-own-adventure kinda place.’ For me, I think the biggest pull to Koh Samui is the luxury accommodation and opulent spas. For you it might be the high octane activities! Head to Koh Samui to create your own perfect experience.
5. Koh Phangan
Koh Samui’s little brother, Koh Phangan is our ‘go to’ Island. Koh Phangan is most famous for being the home of the full moon party. But there is so much more to this beautiful island. There is pretty much one major party per week – full moon, half moon and black moon parties. Despite this exhausting social calendar, the island is calm and peaceful, it is tranquil and idyllic; and offers the perfect balance of relaxation and enjoyment. We have two favorite spots – one in Had Rin (where the Full Moon parties are held) is a villa complex called Sarikantang (otherwise known as heaven on earth), and there is a beach called Had Salad, the most perfect of beaches I have ever walked. Head to Koh Phangan for two extremes – the most extreme parties, and the most extreme relaxation.
6. Koh Tao
If Koh Phangan is Koh Samui’s little brother, then Koh Tao is the smallest in the family – but most definitely the coolest, most laid back, and under-rated of the bunch. If you enjoy diving, or have ever wanted to learn, then this is your place. For beginners, the island offers warm waters and an abundance of marine life, with high quality instruction at very reasonable prices. For those more experienced divers, maybe Koh Tao is the place to try free diving? Koh Tao does offer land based experiences too, especially holistic and wellbeing retreats – but honestly, this is a marine paradise, so if you don’t want to dive, I’d stay on one of the other islands! Head to Koh Tao for aquatic activities and yoga!
You do have to love big cities to want to spend your honeymoon in Bangkok. Despite its size, Bangkok offers some of the most peaceful Buddhist temples in the World. From the tranquil, hit the chaotic – Asia’s biggest market – Chatachuk. This is not your ordinary market, but the biggest, most insane, incomprehensible market you could ever experience. Bangkok really does have everything a city break could ever offer, and the cost is really rather reasonable – especially in comparison to the quality.Head to Bangkok for a fast-paced, exciting city based honeymoon.
8. Chiang Mai
If your ideal honeymoon, like mine, is not beach based, then Chiang Mai is a great city for a romantic honeymoon. Five star hotels, river rafting, elephant camps, hill tribe visits, and the most exquisite of cultural teachings. Chiang Mai is said to be the best place for learning about Thai cuisine, and to learn Thai massage, and to learn how to care for a baby elephants. Head to Chiang Mai for culture, for experiences and for romantic extravagance.
9. Hua Hin
Top choice for many Thai newlyweds. Offering romantic villas, horse-riding on the beach, night markets, art galleries and incredibly fresh seafood. Originally a small fishing village, Hua Hin is also the home of the King of Thailand – now that has to be a recommendation and a half. Of all the places in the country, this small town is deemed beautiful enough for the King to live. By the look of all my research, Hua Hin is the honeymoon destination of choice for almost every Thai newlywed. Head to Hua Hin for an authentic Thai feel, where the main tourism is that of internal, not external travellers.
Happy reading, happy travelling.
Are you thinking of heading to Thailand on your honeymoon? Where have you picked out? Let me know in the comments below.