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Phang Nga Bay

Honeymoons in Thailand

Phang Nga Bay

By Thailand specialist Rebecca

I’ll start with a bold statement and say that Thailand is arguably one of the best honeymoon destinations out there. It’s not just the beaches that influence this opinion, for all their turquoise waters and palm-lined, white-sand beauty. Thailand also offers couples an array of authentic cultural, culinary, and nature-inspired experiences, allowing you to escape from the beach as well as to it.

You could taste your way through Bangkok’s best street food, receive a blessing from a monk at a mountainside temple, or camp in the middle of a rainforest in a tent floating over a lake.

Added to that, the service in Thai hotels is exemplary, and you can opt for some honeymoon luxury if you want it while still keeping your purse strings intact. There are, of course, many sprawling resorts, but, if you know where to look, you can unwind at smaller, more intimate romantic getaways on and off the coast too.

Our guide to honeymoons in Thailand

Our guide to honeymoons in Thailand

Our guide to honeymoons in Thailand

Twilight tuk-tuk food tour in Bangkok

Thailand honeymoons usually begin in Bangkok, and I’d suggest starting your trip by sampling some of Thailand’s best cuisine on its best-known mode of transport: the tuk-tuk.

As the sun sets and Bangkok’s neon lights illuminate the streets, your private guide will whisk you to the city’s best street food spots. You’ll sample dishes like sizzling guay tiew gai and sweet pad thai, washing them down with chilled Thai beer.

In between meals, you’ll also get to take in the city’s old town landmarks, like Wat Suthat and Sao Ching Cha (the Giant Swing), lit up against the night sky — an atmospheric introduction to the city and the beginning of your honeymoon.

Bangkok skyline
Bangkok skyline
Tuk-tuk, Bangkok
Tuk-tuk in Bangkok

Secluded beach relaxation in Khao Lak

Many couples choose to spend their honeymoon in Phuket, but head a little further north and you’ll find barely explored stretches of beach, such as Khao Lak on the Andaman coast. It’s one of my favorites because it’s unspoiled and quiet — if not a little unruly and wild — yet it also offers luxury hotels like the Sarojin.

Private sundecks, petal-infused baths, and candlelit dinners overlooking the sea make the Sarojin one of Thailand’s most romantic beach stays for honeymooners. And, despite its remote feel, it’s still within walking distance of Khao Lak’s local restaurants and markets.

During your stay, you can choose to take a short boat ride to the Similan Islands. Just specks in the sea, they have a standing as one of Thailand’s best diving and snorkeling sites. The islands don’t have any hotels or obvious developments, only powdery sands and coral-rich waters.

Phuket, Thailand
Phuket
Pool, Sarojin, Khao Lak
Pool at the Sarojin

Floating camp in Khao Sok’s tropical rainforest

You can camp within an hour of Khao Lak, in the heart of the Khao Sok National Park, surrounded by limestone rock faces, coconut mangroves, and the calls of wildlife at Elephant Hills Tented Camp.

The experience feels intrepid — and there are very few other visitors around — but it’s far from basic. The safari-style tents are simple in design and run on solar-powered electricity but come with a four-poster bed, en suite facilities, and a hot shower.

I’d recommend a two-night stay to allow you time to encounter the resident elephants, survivors of the country’s logging trade brought here for rehabilitation and, in the process, to educate visitors on the animal’s plight in Thailand.

Other activities include canoeing down the Sok River and trekking into the jungle with the rangers, who have an encyclopedic knowledge of the wildlife and will gladly lead you in search of any particular species you want to find.

As a honeymooner, you can spend your second night in the Lake Camp, sleeping in one of the ten tents that float on the Cheow Larn Lake, enclosed by the jungle. This is where you’ll gain your best chance of spotting the rainforest’s wildlife, sighting kingfishers, hornbills, and troops of gibbons from your tent.

You can jump straight into the clear water to swim from your tent deck and use your personal kayak to meander through the river’s tributaries.

Cheow Larn Lake, Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park
Elephant Experience at Khao Sok National Park
Elephants near Elephant Hills Tented Camp

Tour of Phang Nga Bay by longtail boat

Back on the Andaman coast, a two to two-and-a-half hour drive from Khao Sok National Park, Phang Nga Bay is the archetypal Thai seascape. Top-heavy limestone pinnacles look like they’re balancing in the water and limestone rock faces give structure to coves, lagoons, and sea caves — a romantic setting for some honeymoon relaxation.

The bay is best appreciated from the water, and I’d suggest heading out on a longtail boat with a private guide. Your captain will steer you to hidden beaches and quiet swimming spots away from the crowds. Then, you’ll arrive at a secluded island to enjoy a fresh seafood lunch and a tranquil afternoon relaxing in the turquoise waters and on the sugar-soft sand.

James Bond Island, Phang Nha Bay
Phang Nga Bay
Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Longtail boat

Hill tribe stay in Chiang Mai

For couples who want to delve into Thailand’s hill tribe culture, I recommend heading to the north of the country and basing yourselves near Chiang Mai. Nestled among rice paddies and orchards, just under an hour’s drive from the city, Lisu Lodge offers an authentic insight into the lives and traditions of the local Lisu community, one of several hill tribe groups in Thailand.

You’ll stay in a guest house inspired by traditional Lisu building styles, with a thatched roof and bamboo walls. The staff — who mostly come from the local Lisu village — will prepare meals using locally sourced ingredients from the paddies and organic vegetable garden.

During the day, you can take a gentle cycle to visit the local Lisu village, a temple with its own herbal garden, and a tea plantation to learn more about daily life in this rural part of Thailand. You’ll also stop off at an Akha village, another of the country’s hill tribe communities, to meet their spiritual leader and see how their customs differ from the Lisu.

If you want a more active honeymoon experience, I can also arrange for you to go trekking through the jungle and rafting down the Mae Tang River.

Ladies of the Akha Tribe
Women from an Akha hill tribe community
Huts at Lisu Lodge
Lisu Lodge

Private Thai blessing at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Receiving a Thai blessing is one experience I’d recommend if you’re looking to further immerse yourselves in the local culture. One of the best places to experience it is in Chiang Mai.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, known as ‘the temple on the mountain’, looks out over the whole of the city and the encasing hills from its position close to the summit of Doi Suthep. You can go inside the temple, but the view alone is worth a trip.

I can arrange for you to experience a private blessing by a monk at dusk, when the temple is at its most atmospheric in the cooler, evening calm. At nightfall, you can listen to the chants of monks reverberating around the temple too.

Chiang Mai countryside
Chiang Mai countryside
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai

Unusual places to stay on honeymoon in Thailand

Floating Lodge in Kanchanaburi

Visiting the River Kwai is doable in a day from Bangkok, but I’d recommend staying overnight at the Float House in one of the floating teak lodges built on the river.

The experience isn’t as remote as at Elephant Hills, but you can explore the Erawan National Park with its seven-tiered waterfall, walking up through the park and swimming in the natural pools.

Homestay in Isaan

On my last trip to Thailand, I stayed at Green Gecko in Udon Thani, in the Isaan state of northeast Thailand.

Isaan is a new area just opening up to visitors in Thailand and tourism hasn’t yet left a mark. Undeveloped though the area is, getting here is easy by car or plane.

Green Gecko is a private-hire, secluded, and traditional Thai stilted villa offering a relaxed homestay. It’s ideal for honeymooners. The villa has a four-poster bed and an outdoor bathroom where you can shower under the starlight, as well as its own pool looking out across the Isaan countryside.

You’ll be looked after by your host, Ten, as well as the local community, who’ll prepare authentic Thai dishes for you during your stay. Cycle around the villages, take a tuk-tuk, or help plant or harvest rice in the paddies in the right season.

I’d also suggest taking a boat ride on the red lotus lake. Between November and March, the water is concealed by a blanket of lotus flowers. I visited outside this time, and even then thousands of lotuses were scattered across the lake.

Six Senses Yao Noi

The Six Senses Yao Noi is my ultimate honeymoon destination in Thailand. Its luxurious pool villas are set into the hillside, looking out toward the Andaman coastline.

Yao Noi is very undeveloped, and the resort stands alone on that stretch of the island, making it one of the most romantic resorts in Thailand. The service at Six Senses is second to none, and movies are screened at the evening cinema on the beach. I can’t think of a better place to end your Thai honeymoon.

The Float House, Kanchanaburi
The Float House, Kanchanaburi
Ocean Panorama Pool Villa, Six Senses Yao Noi
Ocean Panorama Pool Villa, Six Senses Yao Noi

Best time to honeymoon in Thailand

The best time to visit Thailand on honeymoon is between November and March on the west coast or February to September on the east coast, when it’s warm and dry but not too hot and humid. In saying that, if you’re looking to go between April and October, there are still lots of options.

The east coast is a good choice for that time of year as the west coast tends to be less predictable. You’ll also benefit from traveling in the quieter season which represents better value for money.

Plan your honeymoon in Thailand

Start thinking about your experience. These itineraries are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same experiences as our specialists. They're just for inspiration, because your trip will be created around your particular tastes.

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