Your cheat sheet to a honeymoon in Thailand

Thailand is a one-stop shop for everything honeymooners need: great beaches, abundant nature, super shopping, the finest food, and a world-class infrastructure. Take your pick.

For nature lovers

The name Samui evokes everything that is great about Thailand; this jewel in the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Siam truly ticks all the boxes. One beach prettier than the other, verdant hills unfurling in the background, yoga and wellness spas at every turn of the head, newly-weds simply cannot ask for more. Then there is the Angthong Marine National Park a short sail away, where you can kayak, snorkel and dive. So many choices, make sure you have enough time.

All the beauty minus the crowds

This beach has honeymoon written all over it; think all the beauty of Samui or Phuket, but without the crowds. Overlooked by the intense cliffs hewn by the winds of the azure Andaman Sea, even in peak season, you may think this beach was made for just the two of you. Feel like a party? Head to nearby Phuket or Phi Phi. Want a quiet beach dinner/barbeque for two? Pack your gear, your candles, and head to Railey Beach, accessible only by boat.

The essential Thai experience

Thailand’s largest island is for the adventurous honeymooners who like a bit of spice with their nice. For the hedonistic madness, there are Patong and Kamala beaches, while Surin and Nai Harn beaches are more relaxed. Sail to the magnificent Phang Nga Bay, with its limestone cliffs and secluded spots. Visit Phuket Town for its quaint Sino-Portuguese architecture. No trip is complete without a dose of Thai spirituality and street-food at the Wat Chalong Temple.

For lovers of the great outdoors

With its gorgeous countryside, ancient temples and gourmet street-food at every corner, this is Thailand unplugged, perfect for newly-weds who want a break from the beaches. If biking is your thing, rent one and hit these fantastic, winding, hilly roads. If it’s natural adventure you seek, go for an elephant ride or raft a river. Chiang Mai oozes Thai culture from every pore, from boxing to noodles, so absorb every bit of it.

Thailand’s wine country

A couple of hours by car from Bangkok, and you are in rural Khao Yai, home to Thailand’s largest national park, tons of adventure activities, and–surprise–wineries. Dotted with lush mountains and quaint villages, you can raft in the Lam Takhong River, ride horses at the OK Corral Ranch, mountain-bike through the park or camp under the stars. If you and your partner aren’t too squeamish, check out the Khao Luk Chang bat cave. Round off your honeymoon with a wine-tour of the region.

All the urban pleasures

This is a no-brainer. The best of east and west have never blended as effortlessly as they do here. World- class malls cohabit happily with South-East Asia’s largest outdoor market (Chatuchak), with thousands of stalls offering up the most unbelievable shopping. The street-food is arguably the best in the world, the accommodation plentiful and affordable, the entertainment raucous and naughty, the people welcoming and friendly. Have we left out anything?

Where the Thai Royalty go

Almost every Thai newly-wed couple has honeymooned here. The King has his home here. This beautiful fishing village offers the freshest seafood imaginable, in restaurants and cafes perched over tranquil waters. You may ride a horse on the beach, play golf, or visit art-galleries and shops by day. Tourists and newly-weds typically hit the night market before heading on to the vibrant nightlife. It is only a couple of hours away from Bangkok, and yet a world apart.

Live (almost) like a local

Whether you are a honeymooner, or just wish to get away from the bustle of Bangkok, this UNESCO World Heritage Site and former capital is the place to kick-back and let Thailand’s culture roll over you. Live in cosy B&Bs and visit the ancient monasteries attached to temples. Get up close with Thai elephants and learn of the unique relationship these wonderful mammals share with this ancient culture. This is for the newly-weds who wish to get back to basics.

Get off the beaten track

Situated 60km north of Phuket, this seaside resort has a variety of attractions on its menu. The Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park alone could take up all of your time, trekking and hiking against a backdrop of lush hills, wild flowers, waterfalls and exotic tropical fauna. Khao Lak is also the base for a dive trip to the Similan Islands. Catch the Turtle Releasing Festival on Thai Muang Beach, or swim and enjoy the sunsets at Bang Niang Beach.

When Koh Phi Phi gets too busy

This is not as hectic as Phi Phi, but long-time dwellers on Koh Lanta still know where to look for a party. The mantra here is leisure, whether it’s a walk down the uncluttered beaches or sipping cocktails at sunset. Hiring a moped is the best way to explore the old town. A day trip to Trang Islands is a must, as is swimming the waters around the gorgeous Emerald Cave and picnicking on its powder-white beach against the backdrop of a limestone cliff.