Thailand Romantic Vacation
Ideas, Tips, & Activities, Beaches, and Attractions for a romantic getaway or honeymoon
Thailand is many things to many people, but above all it is a place of romance. The kingdom casts a magical charm over its visitors and over the last number of years it has become a magnet for people getting married (or renewing their wedding vows), newlyweds on honeymoons, or people simply interested in a romantic getaway. And where else could be better, or more affordable?
From the breathtaking scenery of the north, to the beaches and islands of the south, and all in between, whatever sort of person you are, there's somewhere in Thailand that meets your mood and needs. Thailand's hotels are some of the best in the world, and its spas and other places where the focus is creating a sense of spiritual and the physical well-being add just that little something that makes your trip to Thailand extra special. What follows is a snapshot of romantic destinations for those getting married or in looking to Thailand for a romantic getaway.
Travelling to Thailand
There are no non-stop flights from North America to Thailand, but many airline carriers run daily flights to Bangkok from major east and west coast cities with only one stop en route. There are varying layover times for the connecting flights from the different airlines, but you can expect about a 18 hour travel time from Los Angeles to Bangkok, and a 18 hour travel time from Vancouver, both via one Asian stop along the way. A good choice for airfare would be to book a Circle Pacific
ticket from a discount travel agent. This way, your itinerary would say start and end in Los Angeles, but would include taking in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, and Denpasar (Bali) along your way.
We booked a similar trip to Thailand through Cathay Pacific Airlines, their Asia Pass gives travellers access to 18 Asian countries over a 21 day window, all for one price. You can travel by air as much as you wish over the 21 days, so we decided upon a trip to Thailand, followed by Singapore, Malaysia, and then Hong Kong. If you don't live in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Vancouver, your travel agent can sell you a ticket on a domestic carrier to get you to one of the Cathay Pacific gateway cities. Even with the cost of that ticket included, the All Asia Pass is a terrific value.
Package tours are often expensive and are aimed at those who want total comfort, but can also be an excellent value to travellers. Some tour package operators in North America that service Thailand are Absolute Asia, Asia Pacific Adventures, and Royal Orchid Holidays.
Travelling within Thailand is both inexpensive and efficient, even though sometimes it's not always the most speedy. Unless you're travelling by plane, long distance journeys within Thailand can be arduous, especially if you are on a budget that will restrict you to no air-conditioning and hard seats. Buses are frequent and fast, with some being quite luxurious. Trains are a bit slower and safer, and they offer a chance to sleep during overnight trips, or give you a fantastic scenic route of the country-side. In the cities, share taxis and air-conditioned mini-buses are a handy way of making your way around, with ferries providing easy access to all the major islands.
There are three weather seasons in Thailand, rainy (June to October), cool (November to February), and hot (March to May). The rainy season, caused by the southwest monsoon dumping showers gathered from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, is the least predictable of the three weather seasons. The rainy season varys in length and intensity from year to year, but it usually always start in June. The most pleasant time to visit is in the cool season, although day time temperatures can still reach a hot 95F. The cool season offers Thailand's waterfalls in full spate, and the best flowers in bloom. Keep in mind that this is the busiest tourist season, so plan ahead to avoid any hassles.
It's surprisingly easy to find a secluded and tranquil spot on Phuket
, especially on the less developed northwest coast. Located 862 kilometres away from Bangkok
, Phuket is located in the Andaman Sea and recognised as one of the Thailand's popular attractions for visitors. Phuket features a range of leisure activities from treks and walks to snorkelling and diving, all set against a lush tropical backdrop. Among Phuket's major attractions include Karon, Kamala
and Kalim beaches
, as well as Patong beach
and Promthep Cape
. Since Phuket offers up so much to see and do, here are a few places to go and see. Click on the links below to open a new information window.
Hat Kamala Beach
Koh Kaeo Island
Donald Duck Bay
Koh Phangan is the nearest island to Koh Samui and is located in Surat Thani. Despite the fact that it is famous for raves and the Full Moon Party at Hat Rin Beach, the area has a much quieter side over the recent years. Aside from beaches like Hat Rin, Koh Phangan is not especially developed, and there are a host of quiet, secluded spots for you to enjoy. It has become a favorite haunt for visitors to Samui who often come over to Phangan to get away from the masses for a while. Snorkeling is very popular here, as are diving trips to Koh Ma and tours of the Angthong National Marine Park. Phangan is also home to Than Sadet National Park, a great venue for hikes and treks and visits to caves. There also countless beautiful waterfalls on the island, Nam Thok Tha Sadet, Nam Tok Phaeng, Nam Tok Than Prapat, and Nam Thok Than Prawet are of particular interest. Some visitors combine their trip with a meditation retreat to Wat Kaw Tam. You can even get your Chakra balanced!
From Bangkok, fly to either Hat Yai or Krabi, drive to the boat dock in Pakbara, then take a 1-2 hour ferry ride to Ko Tarutao. Splash ashore and you've made one of the ultimate escapes, a personal exile to Prison Island. Chosen for its isolation, Ko Tarutao served as a penal colony back in the 1930's, housing dangerous prisoners up until 1946 when it was abandoned. Part of the Ko Tarutao National Marine Park, the 151 square kilometer Ko Tarutao features waterfalls, streams, beaches, and caves. The marine park is officially closed to tourists from May to November, since sea passages are too hazardous to travel to the island. These are relatively peaceful islands with spectaular landscapes and views.
The park's pier, headquarters, and bungalows are located at Ao Phante Malaka where the entrance fee is 50B. In rustic Robinson Crusoe-style, the park purposeful offers basic lodging with none of the frills that would dash one's dreams of a grand getaway. Bungalows have beds and fans, but the latter only operate in the few hours of electricity. The beaches of Ao Jak and Ao San, and both bays are located south of the park's headquarters, and are perfect for an overnight romantic camping spot. For a spectacular view of the two bays, climb Topu Hill, which is 500 meters north of the park office.
Good coral reefs can be found at the northwestern part of Ko Tarutao at Pha Papinyong (Papillon Cliffs), at Ao San, and in the channel between Ko Tarutao and Ko Takiang (Ko Lela) off the northeastern shore. Probably the best trip on the island is also one of the easiest, an expedition to Crocodile Cave. You take a long-tail boat down Khlong Phante Malacca, one of Tarutao's major streams, flowing right past park headquarters. Along the way are some of the world's finest mangrove forests. The cave can be explored along a wooden walkway with lights illuminating the spectacular stalactites.
For many, Bangkok is the ultimate travel destination and is almost a guaranteed stop on any Thailand vacation getaway. A blend of modernity and tradition, Bangkok has something to offer everyone. Modern Bangkok is a large, bustling city of some 6 million people, and is the capital city of Thailand. It has everything the modern traveller enjoys. The city has a wide range of world-class accommodation, from 6-star hotels, to moderately priced guesthouses for those on a more limited budget. Bangkok also offers some of the best food on the planet, authentic Thai cuisine alongside the very best dishes from almost every part of the world. Here are some highlights to see in Bangkok.
The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew - The Grand Palace and Wat Pra Kaew really are places you must visit while you are in Bangkok. A palace of jewels and gold and splendour, The Grand Palace remained the Royal Family's official residence from 1782 to 1946. Wat Pra Kaew was built to house the Emerald Buddha which was returned to Thailand after Thailand's the capture of Vientiane in 1778. The Emerald Buddha is the most important representation of the Buddha in Thai Buddhism. To pray before the Emerald Buddha is to make merit, and this is an important place on any visitor's itinerary. You must dress appropriately before guards will permit you to enter the Palace. If you do not have long sleeved shirts/blouses or long trousers or dresses/skirts with you, it is possible to hire cloth at the gates of the Palace. Photos are strictly forbidden inside the Emerald Buddha Chapel. Admission fee is 200 Baht and the site is open from 8:30am - 12:00pm and 1pm - 3:30pm
Wat Po - Wat Pho is famed for the massive Reclining Buddha it houses. At 46 meters long and 15 meters high, this gold plated Buddha image depicts the Buddha's passing into Nirvana. One of the biggest attractions of Wat Pho is the fact it is a centre of Thai traditional medicine, particularly, traditional Thai massage. It is possible to receive a rejuvenating massage here. A regular massage costs 250 Baht an hour, and a massage where herbal medicines and hot compresses are applied to the body costs 350 Baht an hour. Leave time for a relaxing massage, it is a pleasantly brutal way to help shed jetlag or simply end your day. Admission is 20 Baht and the temple is open from 8am to 5pm, but closed for one hour from 12pm to 1 pm
Thonburi Canals - See the Bangkok of yesterday on a touristy but memorable longtail boatride for two. You can take in Wat Arun and the Royal Barge Museum as you travel along Thonburi's network of small canals. You will be treated to a spectacular and colorful scenery of Thai life along the river banks. Enroute you will see many other magnificent temples and architectural buildings, including Grand Palace, The Temple of Dawn, the Royal Thai Navy Dockyard, the Thai Maritime Navigation Company, and the Old Customs House.
The easiest place to arrange a boat tour is at the Bangkok Information Center, where you can hire a boat at the Tha Wang Nah Pier. Another option is public longtails that run like city buses, they service the back canals from the central Bangkok-side piers. These longtails depart every ten to thirty minutes and charge about 30 Baht per round trip. Another peaceful way to enjoy the canals is to join the monthly 35 kilometer bike tour organized by the Bangkok Tourist Bureau on Thanon Phra Athit in Banglamphu. Tours are currently on the first Sunday of every month.
Jim Thompson's House - Of all the people in Thai history, Jim Thompson is probably the most mysterious. An American serviceman attached to the O.S.S., he settled in Thailand after the Second World War and was fascinated by the art of hand silk weaving. The site of Jim Thompson's House comprises six wooden (teak) buildings that were brought to Bangkok from various parts of the country. Everything about the site was designed with authenticity in mind, and Thompson brought in antiques where he could and employed traditional craftsmen to offer other refinements. Thompson moved into the house in late 1959 on a date deemed auspicious by a Thai astrologer. The site housed a fine art collection and the site generated so much interest that Thompson opened his house to the public. What added to Thompson's fame in Thailand was his sudden disappearance in 1967. Thompson disappeared in Malaysia without leaving a trace and what happened to him remains a mystery to this day. Certainly a must see attraction. The house is open daily from 9am to 5pm and admission is 100 Baht.
Chatuchak Market - Six thousand stalls selling everything from cushions to second hand Levis jeans. Chatuchak Market will probably be one of the best shopping experiences you have ever had. The stalls are well organized into zones, and you can get a map to show you where you need to go. Chatuchak offers everything from live animals to antiques. If you wanted to cover the whole market, it could take you days. Expect to spend a minimum of half a day at the market, planning for a full day might be better. This is really worth a visit and you should try and build it into your trip. Probably one of the biggest markets in the world. The market is open on weekends from 7am to 6pm, admission is free.
Other Thailand Romantic Ideas
Orient Express Through Thailand - Take the Thai Explorer and Bangkok / Singapore tour on the Orient Express. Journey on board the Eastern & Oriental Express on the 'Thai Explorer' departing from Bangkok with visits to Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, and the infamous River Kwai en route then continue down the Malay peninsula to Singapore with a visit to Georgetown, Penang along the way. A honeymoon of pure exploration and discovery awaits for those who wish to travel to a land where they have not yet ventured. Encounter the region's many temples and palaces, atmospheric cities, and famous historical sights from the comfort of a luxurious train, itself steeped in romance. www.Orient-Express.com
Khao Sok National Park - Tree-houses, jungle guest houses, thick white mist, and whooping gibbons make Khao Sok a memorable place to spend a romantic night together. It's a spectacular journey just to get here, across mountain ranges and a landscape of limestone crags and jungle. It is 40 kilometers south of Khuraburi, east on Highway 401 from the junction town of Takua Pa.
Krung Ching Waterfall - On the northern flank of Khao Luang National Park, the south's highest mountain, Krung Ching is probably Thailand's most beautiful waterfall. It is reachable only by a nature trail, so bring your hikers and trek through dense, steamy jungle. Leave at least four hours to hike the 4 kilometer trail , (which is steep in parts), to the dramatic waterfall. Bungalows are available at the park office for around 300 Baht a night.
Romantic Thailand Hotels & Restaurants
Burasari Patong - Patong Beach, Phuket - Tucked away in a quiet corner of Patong Beach, Burasari is a boutique-style resort, a secluded oasis of traditional Thai style, with a warm atmosphere and friendly personalised service. Cool waterfalls, lush gardens, shimmering pools; a quiet and discreet atmosphere, Burasari Patong was designed with romance in mind. The hotel's Honeymoon Package offers the ultimate in luxury and indulgence. This includes accommodation in a Deluxe Room or luxurious Junior Suite, daily buffet breakfast, fruit basket and bouquet of flowers.
The offer also includes a romantic candlelit dinner in the restaurant or guest room, a bottle of sparkling wine and honeymoon cake, and a 45-minute massage per person.
Anantara Resort - Chiang Saen, Chang Rai - At the hotel you can learn how to ride elephants and/or take a guided tour to a tribal village. This luxury resort is set in an adventurous location on the Mekong River, one hour's drive north of Chang Rai.
Villa Royale - Phuket - A six room waterside private house resort located in Phuket. Take a Thai cooking class, have a romantic dinner for two in the gorgeous restaurant that overlooks the ocean, or just relax and soak up the sun at the beach during the day.
La Gritta Restaurant - Delicious Italian food and great wines served in a truly romantic setting, overlooking Patong Bay. La Gritta offers weekly changing speciality dishes, featuring such delicacies as truffles, goose liver, imported prime meats and lobster. (0-2255-7350)
Sam's Steak & Grill Restaurant - Intimate dining at its best with the finest steak on the island with innovative starters, desserts and choice wines. Served in a chic and decidely romantic setting. (0 7634 0608)
Hope you found these Thailand romantic vacation tips useful and we hope that you enjoy your next Thailand romantic vacation in South East Asia.
Disclaimer: We have attempted to ensure this website is as accurate as possible. However, Fantastic Romantic Vacations accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from this information. You should verify important information regarding all travel documents, health and safety, customs, and transportation with the appropriate authorities and agents before you travel.