Step aside Paris, Venice and Vienna, because Asia has its very own trio of romantic hot spots to inspire the trip of a lifetime for couples the world over. Often considered a destination of the backpacker or the businessman passing through, Asia is home to some seriously luxurious destinations destined to curate a sea of happy memories for couples looking to exchange the mundanity of everyday life for a romantic break.
In Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province near to the border of China rests 1,960 towering islands, otherwise collectively known as Halong Bay. Despite this spectacular natural feat forming underneath the ocean over 500 million years, it’s only in the last 50 years or so that it’s been appearing on the maps and itineraries of travellers. Many of the limestone islands that make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site are untouched by humans and are inaccessible due to their steep and rocky cliffs, but are home to the likes of deer, lizards and mink to name but a few animals. There are over a thousand local fisherman living amid these majestic pinnacles, colourful caves and jagged grottos. Their homes are situated upon floating villages, which provide the ideal spot to sample the local seafood in its freshest form as you watch the blushing sunset. On-board a 5* luxury cruise boat is one of the most common way to experience this phenomenon and it’s surprisingly cheap, but to see every last inch would take weeks. Take the sea plane from Hanoi International Airport for a bird’s eye view that covers over 600 sq miles of these rocky limestone masses. Visit between November and March to avoid tropical storms and the peak season for tourists.
Image source: Peter Lübeck (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Combine outdoor spas with luxury hotels, quirky bars and one of the most spectacular skylines in the word, and Japan’s capital city sets the ideal backdrop to a romantic evening for two. With a handful of observation decks such as Sunshine 60 and Tokyo Sky Tree offering elevated views of the rooftops and twinkling lights beneath, you’ll soon find yourself sipping on aperitifs and soaking up the sights. If you’re looking for the best bars in Tokyo, then simply look up. The neon-clad high-rises are where you’ll get the best views coupled with the best tipples. Majestic Bar enjoys floor to ceiling windows affording privileged views of the Eiffel Tower-inspired Tokyo Tower and beyond, making it the ideal date night destination. As home to more Michelin starred restaurants than any other city in the world, your loved one’s taste buds are sure to be delighted. There’s a certain charm to ambling the winding backstreets of Tokyo past the local izakaya and boutique shops, where ancient traditions remain celebrated. Take a stroll along the riverside past the Rainbow Bridge to enjoy the picturesque views away from the bustle and head to one of Tokyo’s many green-clad parks for a picnic for two.
Image source: Tom Roeleveld (CC BY-NC 2.0)
The Island of the Gods is nothing short of a tropical paradise for those looking to kick back and soak up the culture of this romantic hideaway. Fringed by palm trees and lapped by aqua blue waves, the coastline surrounding Bali offers many untouched pockets of pristine white sand where visitors can watch the dolphins frolic and the fisherman arriving back to shore. Moonlit strolls upon the beach, mountain sunrises, temple sunsets and massages overlooking striking green rice paddies lie in wait of couples looking to get away from the bustle of city life and retreat back to nature. A stay at any luxury hotel in Bali is sure to up the romance levels to 11, as petal strewn beds and fresh fruit delivered daily to your suite become everyday rituals on your trip. After Bali, you might want to also make a trip to Gili Air, another beautiful place in Indonesia.