From gorgeous beaches to cities mixing chic and ancient culture, it’s hard to beat the Far East for a honeymoon.
And with dozens of countries to choose from, it’s easy to create your own perfect trip, whether that’s lounging in a luxury resort, adventuring off the beaten track or discovering a historic land that’s completely different from your own.
Direct flights travel to most of the Far East’s major destinations, so it’s easy to reach anywhere from Thailand to Japan.
It’s also the ideal stopping point if you’re continuing on to Australia, with Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia splitting the flight neatly in half.
Sunsets over the ocean, strolling hand in hand along a white sand beach, sipping cocktails after a pampering massage together — you won’t be short of romantic moments to set your honeymoon apart.
And while the area is often more affordable than other destinations, five-star resorts mean luxurious treatment as well as excellent service so you’ll barely need to lift a finger.
The Philippines — images credited to Philippines Department of Tourism
The Perfect Honeymoon Spot
The trickiest decision? Where to choose… Thailand is one of the most popular spots for UK couples and it’s easy to see why; the golden temples and bustling markets of Bangkok, the ancient ruins at nearby Ayutthaya, and the fascinating hill city of Chiang Mai in the north. But most of all, the chilled out white sand beaches are idyllic, especially at Krabi and the islands of Phuket and Ko Samui.
Slightly further south, Malaysia combines shopping and history in its capital, Kuala Lumpur, plus there’s colonial Malacca and the relaxing luxury of Langkawi and Penang. Venture farther afield and you can explore the jungles of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo too.
Then there’s beautiful Bali. Although the journey to the Indonesian island is longer, it’s worth the effort to discover this miniature paradise. As well as beaches and diving, there are ancient monuments and temples, incredibly green rice fields and the dramatic volcanic landscape of the central mountains.
Indonesia — images credited to Tourism Indonesia
If you really can’t decide on just one location, relatively short distances and good air networks mean it’s easy to combine two. The bright lights of Singapore, including cocktails, chic hotels and traditional restaurants, are easy to reach from Malaysia.
Or stop off in Hong Kong for skyscraper bars, colonial history, night markets and the unforgettable views across the harbour before exploring some of China’s cities and beautiful landscapes — the terracotta warriors of Xi’an, the magnificent Yangtze and Li rivers, Shanghai and Beijing.
Singapore — images credited to Singapore Tourism Board
To pack in more than one tropical paradise, hit the water. Luxury boats sail the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand, cruising across clear turquoise seas to unspoiled palm-fringed sands such as Koh Tao, Ko Phangan and Koh Lanta.
Further off the beaten track, over 7,000 islands make up the Philippines, with more and more luxury hotels letting you enjoy the scenery and incredible diving. As well as the famous beaches of Boracay and Palawan, discover the chocolate hills of Bohol.
Thailand — images credited to Thailand Tourism Authority
Once in a Lifetime
Beaches and Buddhas aside, a trip to Japan is unlike anything else. Split your time between the ancient capital of Kyoto to discover the geishas still living in Gion and tranquil temples, then head to Tokyo for nightlife, shopping and food.
Or if your perfect honeymoon includes adventure along with sunbathing, Vietnam and Cambodia are ideal. Explore Vietnam’s limestone islands in Halong Bay, buzzing Ho Chi Minh City and historic Hoi An, before relaxing in a stylish beachside villa. In Cambodia, don’t miss the incomparable temples of Angkor Wat or the Cardamom Mountains and tropical islands off the south coast.
Cambodia — images credited to Tourism Cambodia
What To Do?
For watersports and diving fans, the Far East is perfect. Clear warm waters and exotic marine life lie just offshore — in many destinations you can pull on a mask and snorkel right off the beach.
You could also take a walk through lush tropical forest to discover local wildlife — or try a night safari in Singapore’s zoo. Take an elephant ride, meet remote hill tribes whose traditions have remained unchanged for centuries and enjoy an eye-opening market visit before trying your hand at cooking some of the area’s delicious food.
For most visitors heading east, discovering historic sites is one of the key reasons to travel there, with temples galore.
In between capturing history on your camera, you can also haggle at night markets and discover how different cultures have shaped the country. Malaysia and Singapore both have strong Chinese and Indian influences, for example, while Bali’s graceful dancers are deservedly famous.
Malaysia — images credited to Tourism Malaysia
Food and Drink
Wherever you stay, the local cuisine will almost certainly be one of the highlights. Each country adds its own twist, but you can expect fresh and spicy flavours from chilli to lime, as well as wonderful fish and seafood at the beachside resorts.
Or indulge in each country’s most famous dishes — sushi in Japan, Pho noodle soup in Vietnam, Thai curries, spiced Balinese rice — as well as sampling some luscious tropical fruits.
Kyoto — images credited to Kyoto Tourism