LuvTrip Romantic Getaways

Thailand Romantic Getaways

By Rachel Vine

The Kingdom of Thailand is truly the sparkling jewel of Southeast Asia, and for honeymooners with a flair for the exotic, Thailand is a hot spot with something for everyone. Cozy tropical islands, mountainous jungles, bustling big cities, and stunning Buddhist temples leave you breathless, overwhelmed, and completely at peace. From the historic northern country to the island-dotted southern peninsula, any destination you choose in Thailand will leave you with honeymoon memories to share for a lifetime. Deciding where to spend your time in this country can be overwhelming, so below are a few highlights…

MAINLAND SPOTS

Bangkok

The kingdom’s capital city will most likely be your first destination: most flights to Southeast Asia go through its Don Muang International Airport. But Bangkok offers more than just a jumping-off point with all the things to do, and the town has activities for every budget, large or small. Explore the elaborately-designed wats (temples), gorge yourself on amazing street cuisine, or indulge in exotic fruits at the Pak Khlong farmer’s market. Take a ferry across the river to the beautiful Wat Arun, visit the National Museum, renowned for its Thai art, or peruse the goods found at the Indian Market and in Chinatown. Ride in a tuk-tuk, a motorized bicycle with a small cabin on the back built for two, through the crowded, lively streets, or sail the canals of this “Venice of the East” for a behind-the-scenes peek at life in Bangkok.

If the hustle-and-bustle of the city wears you out, have a quiet picnic on the grounds of Wat Mathathat, or get an amazing Thai massage at Wat Pho after paying respects to its large Reclining Buddha. Pose for a picture in front of the National Palace, explore the Bangkok nightclubs, or share a Singha beer with other tourists on Khao San Road. You can also arrange one-day trips to places like Ayuthaya, the former Thai capital known for its ancient ruins, or the beach-resort town of Pattaya.

Chiang Mai

The largest city in Northern Thailand has been entertaining travelers since its founding in 1296, due to its location along an important trade route. Chiang Mai is world-renowned for its quality silk and jewels, and retains an old-fashioned Thai hospitality despite its modern city charm. Rent a bicycle and see the moat that once encircled the old city, or visit one of over 300 temples in the surrounding area, including Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. Located atop the mountain Doi Suthep, the temple offers gorgeous views of the city, and is considered a sacred worship spot by locals.

Nightlife is casual and fun, with many bars situated along the Ping River to have a drink. Stop by the Night Bazaar and pick up some handmade souvenirs. Laotian and Burmese neighbors influence northern cuisine, so be sure to stop in at one of the many cafes within the city limits for amazing meals. From Chaing Mai, one-day and half-day tours can be arranged into the mountains, the jungles, local tribal villages, and nearby border towns. In the city, it is easy to arrange day classes in Thai cooking, Thai language, or Thai massage.

THAI ISLANDS

Ko (or koh) is Thai for island, and the country has hundreds to choose from, each with its own unique personality. If you are seeking a calm, quiet beach or a place to party till dawn, the Thai islands never disappoint.

Phuket

The island of Phuket is Thailand’s largest, and is overwhelmingly popular with visiting tourists. Located on the Andaman Sea, Phuket was hard-hit by the tsunami of 2004, but today almost no evidence remains, and the island has resurged as the epicenter of Thai island culture. The island is easy to get to – there is an airport on its northern shore, and it is connected to the mainland by bridge. Golfing, scuba diving, and sailing are popular activities on the island, as is beach-hopping. Each spread of sand offers a unique charm, from the nightclub atmosphere of Patong Beach to the quiet beauty of Bang Tao.

Ko Chang

An island without electricity or paved roads until 2000, Ko Chang is teeming with lush wildlife, both on and off its shores. Activities like jungle hiking, diving, and lounging on white-sand beaches offer the ultimate in “beach-bum” lifestyle. Accommodations are typically simple beachfront bungalows, though a few resorts are starting to dot the shores. Nearby islands Ko Mak and Ko Kham offer pristine snorkeling along coral reefs, and are easily available via speedboat.



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