10 romantic Asian escapes for Valentine’s DayBy Jo Lane Feb 14, 2011 10:04AM UTC
Here’s a glimpse of some of Asia’s most romantic holiday destinations where any number of couples might be enjoying Valentine’s Day today.
If you’re not into, or not able, to walk on a Malaysian beach or through Indonesian rice terraces with the one you love today, these are still fantastic holiday destinations to consider at some point this year.
Find a quiet beach on Thailand’s popular holiday island, ride an elephant, go snorkelling or party at pumping Patong beach with your partner this Valentines Day. From shopping to eating to relaxing days by the water’s edge there’s a little something for everyone. One of the best past times is to rent a scooter/motorbike and tour the island with the wind in your hair.
There are plenty of colourful sights and sounds and romantic spots for holidaying couples in Kyoto. You could explore the many ancient monuments of the town, enjoy any number of traditional festivals held throughout the year, stroll around picturesque Arashiyama lake and visit the colourful Gion geisha quarters. But above all couples will enjoy the Philosopher’s Walk, a pedestrian path along a canal lined with cherry trees. In spring it is amazing with the blossoming trees dripping buds over the walkway.
Pristine landscapes, rice terraces, beaches and vibrant culture await on Indonesia’s friendliest isle. Bali is dripping in romantic landscapes from verdant green paddy fields inland near Ubud to swaying coconut palms on the coast. If you like to party join the hordes around Kuta beach, otherwise escape to the northern beaches for good snorkelling and diving. Bali is also a land of exotic temples and smouldering volcanoes. The perfect base for a Valentines Day inspired trip.
Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
For a romantic idle away from almost everything consider visiting these islands off the east coast of Malaysia. A world away from the busy mainland, the Perhentians offer beach-side holidaying on a series of coves on two main islands, Kecil and Besar. They are the perfect place to be as active or inactive as you like. Quiet coves are fantastic for swimming and relaxing or you can take a snorkelling tour, rent a kayak or hike the forests and look out for wildlife. At night sit under a swaying coconut tree and dine on the fruits of the sea. Bliss.
Shopping, eating and a hybrid of East and West await travellers who venture to Hong Kong. Surely an excellent combination for a romantic escapade. Head to Kowloon for its markets and good eating, enjoy the views over Hong Kong from Victoria Peak and tram across to Central Peak, go swimming at Repulse Bay or take a ferry across Victoria Harbour.
Thousand islands, Laos
The perfect place to wile away the hours are these series of little hamlets among the islands in southern Laos. It’s a little bit of a chore to get here but totally worth it when you do. Families have built basic rooms for guests along the river and for as little as a few dollars a day you’ll get a riverside spot, basic bathroom and dinner with the family. During the day swim in the river, go for a dolphin or boat tour, rent a bicycle and tour around or simply enjoy the river views and some local Lao Lao beer.
Lorde Howe Island, Australia
Tiny Lord Howe Island (10km long and 2km wide) lies a solitary 600km from the east coast of Australia and therefore perfect for holidaying couples. The crescent shaped isle is the eroded remains of a volcano and protects a coral reef and lagoon something akin to a modern Blue Lagoon holiday. If you like getting away from it all this is the place with a tourist bed limit capped at 400. It’s never too crowded and it’s not a resort island so accommodation is in cottages and apartments (no camping allowed). Swim, dive, bird watch, walk or relax on the beach. There’s much or little to do here, whatever suits you.
Arrowtown, New Zealand
Pan for gold for your very own commitment rings in this quaint old mining town just 30km from Queenstown. Quiet and set amongst wonderful scenery it’s a world away from the adventure capital of the country and wonderful at any time of year. Enjoy the historic centre with old homes, churches and post offices. Shop in the boutique stores or enjoy a film in the vintage theatre. Go for walks beyond the town up into the hills and along the Arrow River, do some wine tasting or even try a tandem bungy jump if you feel like going to the edge with the one you love.
Yangtze river cruise, China
Take a cruise together on Asia’s longest river. For 6,300 kilometres this river flows from the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau right across China to the East China Sea at Shanghai. Relaxing and luxurious you can sit back and enjoy the splendours of the Three Gorges, the diverse array of ecosystems the river flows through and some endemic and endangered species such as the Yangtze River dolphin, Chinese alligator and the Yangtze sturgeon.
Hunter Valley, Australia
Imagine sipping crisp Chardonnays and full bodied Shiraz with your partner in New South Wale’s prime vineyards to the north of Sydney. There’s also plenty of chance to take in the landscapes via romantic hot air ballooning, horse back, bicycle or just do some old fashioned car touring. Wander between the open cellar doors, take in a local cooking course or simply enjoy the produce of the area at local restaurants. In the evening sit back at a local restaurant, a bed and breakfast or stay on a wine estate and enjoy the views.