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Thailand is a magical place for a honeymoon. From its beaches and markets to its temples and luxury resorts, Thailand dazzles the eye and nourishes the soul. Those who travel here will appreciate the gentle Thai spirit and hospitality. Whether your passion is art and culture, spicy Thai food, shopping, golf, spas, or even giving back by spending part of your trip volunteering, Thailand is amazing. The most popular places for couples to visit are below.
Bangkok is Thailand's capital. Chaotic yet gracious, overstimulating yet filled with more than 400 serene Buddhist temples, it's a study in contrasts. Most of the year, the weather is steamy; temperatures above 100 degrees are common. Things cool down in December and January, although heat continues to rise from curry-spiced foods and chili pepper dishes. Must-sees include Thailand’s Grand Palace, with its iconic golden spires, and the floating markets. Nicknamed “Venice of the East” for its waterways, Bangkok is a natural harbor on the Gulf of Thailand. You can cruise Chao Phraya River, which snakes through the city, have silk garments handmade, and shop for precious gemstones in this international metropolis.
Hua Hin is a coastal city two hours south of Bangkok where the King of Thailand’s summer palace is located. It's also a popular weekend getaway spot for non-royal visitors, thanks to its seaside setting, powdery beaches, restaurants, night market, annual jazz festival, and beach activities of all kinds. Reachable by train, bus, or car, it's also home to some fine hotels, including Hotel Sofitel Centara Grand Resort, Intercontinental Hua Hin Resort, and Anantara Resort Hua Hin. The city became Thailand's first beach resort after train tracks were laid in the 1920s to provide access from Bangkok. As in popular tourist destinations around the world, there is some crime, primarily pickpocketing and scamming taxi drivers.
A Gulf of Thailand island south of the capital, Koh Samui is known for beaches. It's small enough to circumnavigate in a couple of hours by rented motorcycle, Jeep, or car. Bike rentals are also available. Up until the 1970s few traveled here; fishing and harvesting coconuts were residents' primary occupations. There weren't even roads. Once foreign visitors discovered the place, development — including an airport — followed. Today the island features bustling beach towns dotted with restaurants and nightclubs. Active couples can take cooking classes, yoga instruction, and go scuba diving. While there are a few 5-star resorts beside quiet beaches, parts of Koh Samui are plagued by petty crime, always surprising among these gentle people.
Over the centuries, diverse ethnic groups have informed the culture, architecture, and cuisine of Phuket (pronounced poo-ket), an island the size of Singapore. Another of Thailand's havens for beach lovers on a honeymoon or romantic getaway, it also boasts forests and renowned diving sites. There are some ten sandy spots for couples that range from secluded to lively. Alas, like many places in Thailand, Phuket is also a magnet for creepy men attracted by the country's illegal sex trade. You're not likely to encounter them, though, at attractions that include the awesomely beautiful Phang Nga Bay and Wat Chalong temple. If you do want to walk on the wild side, Simon Cabaret features a stunning cast of singers and dancers.
Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand has become the country's center of luxury accommodations. The poshest hotel brands in the world have outposts here in the mountainous north, a one-hour flight from Bangkok. Tops are the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi; Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai; and the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai. Couples who stay in any of them are in for extreme pampering, Thai-style. Chiang Mai has positioned itself as a "Creative City," a location where art and design, galleries and workshops are nourished. Have hands-on fun at Mae Sa Valley Craft Village. And don't miss a trip to Doi Suthep Temple; either scale its 300 steps or board the cable tram.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
There are hotels... and then there are experiences. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle consists of just 15 luxurious, free-standing tents in the remote bamboo jungles where Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand meet. Built on a hillside overlooking the river, this uncommon all-inclusive offers elephant trekking and training with a mahout as one of its activities. Infamous as a center of the opium trade, the Triangle now features terraced fields where coffee and other crops thrive. The four-hour journey between Chiang Mai and the Tented Camp is one of the most scenic drives in Thailand, passing dozens of hill-tribe villages.