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101 Honeymoons

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Jane Anderson
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Jane Anderson.

    Best Honeymoons in Asia

    PG_AMA_001Varkala sunset

    By Jane Anderson, Editor of 101 Honeymoons

    Asia is an all-encompassing term for a vast area of diverse destinations. Scaling it down to a personal point of view, for me, Asia is all about escaping to the other side of the world, quite literally.

    It’s a land that will knock you sideways with its natural beauty and even more so, with the striking difference in culture to the UK – in a good way. The first time I went to Indonesia, I couldn’t get over that there was such an intensely interesting and profoundly beautiful part of the world as Bali and such castaway spots as the Gili Islands.

    I’ve day-dreamed about living there many times, but it’s certainly a place that provides a haven for honeymooners in search of all sorts of things – be that innovative five-star luxury that oozes local sensibilities, thrills and adventure, or good old fashioned sightseeing and touring.

    Who to book with

    The reality of the world is of course, that any country has its good and more challenging sides and many Asian countries like Vietnam and China are developing at such as pace that it’s fast and furious out on the streets. I’m not suggesting that we should be irresponsible and gloss over real life issues and challenges that countries face, but a honeymoon is the one time you genuinely want to be taken out of the everyday and see magic of a place.

    Therefore it’s best to have an expert to guide you to the best of what there is to see and do. There are many tour operators selling Asia, but of course some stand out above the rest for their level of knowledge and craft when creating a honeymoon for you.

    On my list are Audley Travel, Barefoot Traveller, Cox & KingsEnchanting Travels, Experience Travel GroupInsideJapan Tours, Selective Asia and Turquoise Holidays. These tour operators will go the extra mile to create a special experience for you in Asia.

    Coco Palm Bodu HithiHalong Bay junk boat cruiseTangalle beachRich and fascinating culture

    The big hitters for romance

    There are tried and tested destinations and resorts in Asia that I would class as big hitters when it comes to romance. Bali is high on the list offering both a spiritual and hedonistic honeymoon. There’s a current creative buzz about this tiny island that draws many creative souls to its shores. It has temples, volcanoes, rice fields, beaches and places to party and be serene. There’s a good range of drop dead gorgeous resorts such as the COMO Shambhala Estate and smaller boutique retreats too.

    Thailand is a well-trodden path for honeymooners but that doesn’t belittle it in any way. There’s bustling Bangkok, the islands of the south and the jungles of the north to explore and many incredible resorts such as The Sarojin on the Andaman Coast, or the Napasai in Koh Samui on the Gulf of Siam which will stay in your memory for ever.

    It’s easy to forget that it wasn’t so long ago that Vietnam was the preserve of the truly well travelled or adventurous backpackers. It has burst into the mainstream travel scene as fast as the country is developing and offers treasures such as a cruise along the Halong Bay in the Chinese junk, the nightlife of Hanoi, colonial hotels and romantic gems like Six Senses Hideaway.

    The island of Sri Lanka packs a mighty punch when it comes to honeymoon experiences. Culture reigns supreme here from its tea plantations to mighty temples. Accommodation is sublime, especially the Aman hotels created by local architect Geoffrey Bawa. Sri Lanka is also a great choice if you want to combine Asia with a taste of the Indian Ocean. It’s easy to twin centre in Sri Lanka and the Maldives and some couples take the opportunity to wed in the former and honeymoon in the latter. Try this two week twin-centre honeymoon.

    CochinHouseboat on the Kerala backwatersSunset at Varkala, Kerala coastStay in traditional inns with hot springs in Japan

    Touring honeymoons in Asia

    Certain parts of Asia lend themselves to touring honeymoons and Japan is one of them. It’s easy to enjoy a honeymoon of many parts here. There are the contrasting urban cultures of Tokyo and Kyoto, a journey on the Silver Bullet train, the tropical islands of Okinawa and enticing hot springs to discover. See this range of self-guided adventures.

    Sri Lanka is wonderful honeymoon destination and sufficiently compact so you can see a lot of the island in two weeks, and still have time to lounge on a beach. This 20-day private tour also includes a few days winding down in the Maldives.

    India is another country so diverse that it could make up infinite honeymoons. When I first visited as a writer, I remember thinking how on earth would I do justice to the amazing sights I was seeing and experiences I was having in Delhi, Agra, the pink city of Jaipur and further south in Kerala with its backwater houseboats, Dutch colonial history and endless beaches.

    I merely touched the surface of what there is to explore and the incredible places to stay from converted Maharaja palaces to grand five-stars like the Taj Mahal Palace, but this 14-day Classic Rajasthan private tour is a fabulous introduction. Find more authentic tours and honeymoon packages in India.

    You can now combine India with the Maldives in this superb value two-centre honeymoon, Magic of India and Maldives, which costs from £1,800 per person for two weeks.

    Relax in one of the BalesLotus dragonflyMajesticRomantic

    Well-being honeymoons in Asia

    If you are the type of honeymooners who are seeking a rejuvenating honeymoon with an emphasis on spa treatments, yoga and general well-being, Asia has some of the best retreats in the world. Ananda in the Himalayas is revered, along with Chiva Som in Thailand. Here you can go as extreme as you like with the spiritual, mental and physical healing. For something gentler, that combines traditional honeymoon pleasures with plenty of spa time, the adult-only Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali is high on my list.

    Authentic adventures

    Asia is still full of places that feel like a discovery. Cambodia for example was known for Angkor Wat but now has opened up for honeymooners in search of both adventure (think horse riding at the temples and back-to-nature river lodges) or thoughtful luxury such as the magical Song Saa resort and Six Senses Con Dao.

    If wildlife is your thing, head to Borneo for encounters with orang-utans, clouded leopards, fish eagles and pygmy elephants. The beaches are wonderful, too.

    Last updated: 21 February 2017

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