This one is difficult. Asia has so many gems, and so many places we would love to visit on our honeymoon. So many locations, so many different types of trip, so much beauty.
Asia is vast. And offers a whole range of possibilities. From Turkey and Russia in the West, to Japan and the Philippines in the East, there will be a destination for everyone.
I think I have pretty much covered Thailand, so here is the best of the rest!
Home of the tranquil and serene, Bali is a paradise. Beach or jungle, this island is pretty perfect. Spend some time learning to surf or dive, or venture inland to Ubud for a romantic escape amidst the rice paddies. With elephant sanctuaries and yoga retreats, Bali is an idyllic honeymoon spot. Head to Bali for the jungle, the beach, the rice paddies and elephants.
2. Gili Islands
Just off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia, The Gili Islands are an archipelago of three distinct islands. Each island has its own personality, and its own clientele that it caters for. Gili Trawangan is the most built up of the islands, and is known for its parties and snorkelling. Gili Meno, is arguably the quietest and most peaceful of the islands, and it is the most family friendly of the islands. Gili Air, the most laid back of the islands, is known as the most sophisticated of the three. All have their positives, all have an abundance of beauty, all would be a perfect honeymoon destination. And with them being so close to one another, why not try out all three? Head to the Gili Islands for that remote island experience.
3. Sri Lanka
An ideal honeymoon destination for anyone looking for adventure mixed with a picture perfect backdrop. Don’t get me wrong, relaxation is high on the islands priority list, but the activities are definitely worth talking about. Safaris, caring for elephants, hiking, scuba diving, white water rafting. Sri Lanka knows how to do adventure. The only proviso for Sri Lanka, is to make sure you check the monsoon season in the area you are staying – the island has 2 monsoon seasons, one for the north and one for the south! Head to Sri Lanka for a honeymoon that turns your dreams into reality.
Private island or luxury beachfront villa? Whatever the choice, the Maldives is a fantastic honeymoon spot. Turquoise waters, golden sands, perfect sunsets. Many accommodations offer in room, or on the beach, spa treatments, candle lit dinners on the sand and even night fishing. The Maldives is one of these picture perfect island chains that has to be seen to be believed. Head to the Maldives for a once in a lifetime experience.
So, this is a bit of a wide option. China is huge. And varied. And a great choice for a honeymoon. So, no matter where you go in this country, you have to see the Great Wall, and toboggan down it (this is a real thing I promise!) From the bustling streets of Beijing to the sunny beaches of Sanya, from volunteering in a Panda sanctuary to rafting in the Xixi wetlands, visit the Three Gorges Dam and cruise down the Yangtze river: China has something you will love. Head to China for a cultural experience, but don’t forget to plan your trip before you go!
Looking for a city location? Look no further! Singapore offers endless sightseeing, shopping and dining experiences. Singapore is a traditional, culturally rich mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and many more. I feel I must mention somewhere that this city island is rather crowded as space is at a premium – despite this, and the famed sky-scrapers, nature can still be found in the many gardens. One thing that you need to plan into your trip is a visit to the world-famous Raffles Hotel for an authentic Singapore Sling, well, it would be rude not to! Head to Singapore for a surprising fusion of cultures and traditions mixed with a highly modern landscape.
7. Siem Reap
When I say Siem Reap, what I mean is that this is where you have to stay. The town has fantastic night markets, spa and dining facilities. But what you really head here for is Angkor. Although it is probably the most famous, this ancient capital is so much more than Angkor Wat. With over 1,000 ruins (yeah, really), ranging from non-descript piles of bricks, to the magnificent Angkor Wat, there is a lot of jungle to visit! Sunrise at Angkor Wat is a must, as is a visit to Ta Phrom (probably best known as the temple in Lara Croft). Bayon is the ultimate project in vanity, and is not to be missed, and don’t forget Angkor Thom – the city capital of the Khmer Empire. I might be a little biased here, but don’t miss out on the less well know ruins and temples, there are some real gems – my favourite is Ta Keo, rising 50m into the air, with views over the Jungle canopy, and is the place Sam proposed to me (told you I was biased). The point still stands, visit the ‘big’ attractions (and they are BIG) but head for the smaller ones too – and often you are the only people in them! Head to Siem Reap for a history, traditional food and a Khmer 4-hand massage!
With golden sands, waterfalls, temples, as well as a thriving city, it is understandable that this location has become the premier beach location in India. Goa offers a unique blend of Indian and Portugese culture, emerald-green paddy fields and palm lined beaches. Head to Goa for a laid back, ‘sand between your toes’ honeymoon.
The city where ancient meets modern, Tokyo offers high quality everything. Hotels, shopping, food, wine, views. Romance in Tokyo is en-par with it’s quirkiness (and there is an awful lot of that). March and April are the time to see the blooming cherry blossoms. Night time offers a feast of lights; head to Tokyo Tower, a dinner cruise in Tokyo Bay or a helicopter ride over the city to take advantage of this modern beauty. And don’t forget, Tokyo, has Asia’s only Disneyland! Head to Tokyo for a fast paced, juxtaposition of a location.
10. Lake Ashi (Hakone Region)
Probably more traditionally romantic than Tokyo, Lake Ashi offers views of Mt. Fuji – if you are very lucky (cloud cover is sadly near constant) The area was a stop point for those travelling from Kyoto to Tokyo on the Tokaido highway – you can still walk sections of this redwood surrounded route. If you can’t see Mt Fuji, it doesn’t mean you can’t visit – head for the cable cars or hike up the mountain. Alternatively, row on the lake, or even take a ride on the pirate ship (it really is a pirate ship). Head to Lake Ashi for mountains, lakes, natural springs, redwood forests, and temples.
Dubai is stylish. Iconic architecture, dazzling nightlife, sandy beaches and a spectacular desert. Desert safaris, including sand ski-ing are a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Burj-Al-Arab offers seven stars of excellence, alternatively the Palm Jumeirah is a spectacular man-made beach resort! And don’t miss (I don’t think you physically could) The Burj Al Khalifa – the tallest building in the world.Dubai is the most confusing of places, it has everything you could ever want and more. Head to Dubai for a sun-soaked paradise, city and beach, extravagance, and the worlds biggest indoor ski slope!
Let’s jump to the most extreme west of Asia, so far to the west that the city straddles two continents. Istanbul is an ancient city that will assault your senses. Head to the spice bazaar for colour (those spices are bright) free samples of lokum (Turkish Delight) and dried fruits. Head to Galata Tower for stunning views over the city, Topkapi Palace for incredible views over the Bosporus, and the nearby Basilica cistern (far more beautiful than it has been made out in Dan Brown’s Inferno!) The Blue Mosque cannot be missed, and neither can Hagia Sophia – a museum within a mosque within a church. Head to Istanbul for an east meets west, Christianity meets Islam, ancient meets modern destination.
Tomorrow we shall head to part 1 of offbeat Asia! (I told you Asia had a lot to offer!)
Is your perfect Asian honeymoon included? Let me know in the comments below.