I was once asked by someone to picture, in my mind, my happy place. Immediately an image of a quiet, palm-fringed beach appeared. There I was, relaxing in the warm sun with Matt, a cool breeze in my face and a mango fruit shake in my hand. When asked what I was picturing, I responded, “Thailand.” You see nowhere else oozes holiday goodness quite like Thailand and, best of all, it’s a destination that pairs perfectly with someone you love. If you’re dreaming of a romantic getaway, honeymoon or an anniversary or birthday trip, here are 7 spots in Thailand perfect for couples!
But first, watch this…
Thailand’s bustling capital city is renowned for its vibrant nightlife and busy streets. You may not know, Bangkok is also a hive of luxurious and indulgent activities combined with unique cultural and foodie experiences just waiting to be explored. Get cosy in a luxurious hotel overlooking the Chao Phraya River, like the Shangri-La, and spend your evenings sampling delectable bites at one of the city’s many fine dining restaurants, like TAAN and R’Haan. Enjoy the sunset on a romantic river cruise and sip cocktails at a rooftop bar, gazing over the sparkling city lights below. Discover the network of markets dotted throughout the city, sampling street food along the way then make your way into luxury malls lined with high-end boutiques for a spot of shopping.
Often thought of as a popular spot for backpackers and party-goers, Phuket is also a haven of rest, relaxation and romance. Take time away from it all, unwilling at a hidden, beachfront resort like Sala Phuket. Spend your days soaking in the pool of your private villa, indulging at the day spa and watching the sunset together on the beach. Make memories that will last a lifetime with an ethical elephant encounter at Green Elephant Sanctuary then spend a day or two island hopping, plunging into clear water and snorkelling along the reef. Explore Old Phuket Town and streets lined with Sino-Portugese buildings and colourful 19th-century shophouses. Try local bites from street vendors, cool down with a fruit shake or two and treat yourself to local goodies from the markets.
Head north to the lush, mountainous surrounds of Chiang Mai, an ancient city dating back to 1296. Visit some of the hundreds of temples, including the historic Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, perched high on a mountain offering spectacular views. Launch a lantern into the night sky together, joining hundreds of others, as part of the annual Yi Peng celebrations. Wander the vast markets of the Night Bazaar and discover hidden cafes and quiet spaces serving incredible, local and organic food. Kick things up a notch on a jungle trek, exploring the region’s dense mountain scenery, staying in local villages and getting completely off the grid for a few days on an avid adventure.
Koh Yao Noi
For couples looking to get away from well-known spots, Koh Yao Noi is one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets. This quiet, sleepy island is a slice of paradise where you can find the perfect beachfront accommodation and get away from it all for a while. Unwind at the gorgeous Cape Kudu Hotel overlooking the water and pack your days with as much or as little as you like. Sleep-in late or go island hopping and visit the aptly named, ‘Big Tree,’ hop on a scooter and visit local farms and rice paddies, trying fresh tropical fruit. Relax at yoga and mediation classes and nourish your body with delicious local food.
Located a 2 1/2 hour drive from Bangkok, Hua Hin became Thailand’s first and most popular beach resort town after the Thai Royal Family built summer palaces there. Pristine stretches of white-sand beach and sparkling turquoise water set the scene for rest, relaxation and a chance to reconnect here. Feel your worries drift away at a beachfront resort like Cape Nidhra, with a cocktail in one hand and a good book in the other. Sprawl out on beachfront loungers, watching kite surfers expertly navigate the waves. Meander through the Hua Hin Night Market and visit local restaurants to sample delicious fresh seafood and delectable mango sticky rice. Wander through streets lined with colourful street art murals and take in the spectacular views from Wat Khao Takiab, a temple perched high above the sea with views that seem to go on forever.
Jagged limestone cliffs jutting from jungle-lined beaches are the hallmark of Ao Nang, Krabi’s most beloved destination for sun-seekers and holiday-makers. The main town is perfect for lazy days spent visiting local stalls, trying coconut ice cream, drinking ice-cold chang on the beach and digging into local bites. Island-hopping adventures await, as well as a visit to the nearby Koh Klang community. Dive tastebuds first into the local culture at a Thai cooking class or get your adrenaline pumping with a spot of rock climbing. For the ultimate in relaxation, hole up together in an ocean-facing villa at the spectacular Centara Grand Beach Resort, complete with a private pool and staggering views of the glittering Andaman Sea.
Island escapes don’t get much better than Koh Samui, one of Thailand’s most romantic and luxurious destinations. Take your pick from a long list of plush, beachfront resorts including the W Koh Samui, Four Seasons Resort, Six Senses, Anantara Lawana and many more. Make the most of the resort with days spent sleeping in, lazing by the pool and sipping on cocktails. Explore the island’s beautiful scenery with visits to the Angthong National Park and Na Muang Waterfalls. Visit the famous Wat Phra Yai, also known as the Big Buddha, as well as other temples and dive into the sparkling water for a spot of scuba diving or snorkelling.
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