Exquisite food, fascinating culture, magnificent landscapes, exciting cities – Thailand’s repertoire for travel inspiration is enticing indeed. But when these elements combine, that’s when the romance happens. Mr & Mrs Romance, Jim and Christina Butcher, share their Top 10 reasons to pick Thailand for a romantic escape.
Every time we visit Thailand it feels more like coming home than the last. Yet, each time we arrive, it’s like we’ve unlocked a hidden room, revealing another dimension to the Land of Smiles. So, when people ask us what we love about Thailand the most, we usually start with one answer… and it very quickly becomes a list. It’s almost impossible to separate any one part of this amazing country from its sum.
Even better, joining each element with any of its counterparts means you can create potentially boundless recipes for romance, adventure and moments that will stay with you forever. While we all dream of travel, here are 10 things we love about Thailand; the things that have romanced us when we’re there and that break our hearts when we’re not.
10 Thailand travel elements that create a perfect recipe for romance
Each of these elements inspire travel, but combine one of them with at least one other, and you’ll find a sweet spot on the Venn Diagram for romance. This is what keeps us returning to Thailand time and time again.
1. The mountains
From the monolithic islands around Phuket and Krabi to the northern highlands, Thailand has plenty of dramatic rock formations. But the likes of Doi Inthanon – Thailand’s highest mountain – have real impact. Part of the foothills of the Himalayas, these northern mountains are a remarkable feature of Thailand’s landscape.
2. The temples
Thailand is home to over 40,000 temples of all shapes, sizes, colours and designs. And they’re everywhere – on mountaintops and city streets, in lush green jungles and on reflective riverbanks. Remember to walk around the main pagoda clockwise three times for good fortune and follow Buddhist etiquette when inside.
3. The history
Little of Thailand’s history before the 1300s is known, but the last 700 years have provided more than enough to enlighten, educate and entertain. One of the best places to soak up some of Thailand’s earliest history is Ayutthaya – once the ancient capital of the kingdom. Only an hour north of Bangkok, this city of ruins is truly beautiful.
4. The shopping
Whether it’s squeezing through the press and noise of Chiang Mai’s night markets that stretch through the middle of the old town or strolling through the luxurious expanses of high-end Bangkok malls like Icon Siam, shopping in Thailand is fun. Remember, shopping here isn’t just about buying things; it’s the entire experience.
5. The bars and restaurants
Eating and drinking are cornerstones to Thai culture, so it’s not surprising that there are so many incredible gastronomic experiences to have here. Sipping cocktails at rooftop bars overlooking the capital, feasting on whole spicy barbecued seabass from shacks on southern beaches or exploring the bustling food markets in every little town between, this is food paradise.
6. The beaches
With almost 3,000km of coastline, Thailand has beaches in spades. Whether it’s the calm waters of the Gulf of Thailand or the sunset-facing, white sandy beaches on the coast of the Andaman Sea, beach time beckons.
7. The spas
Nothing puts you in the mood to relax more than a spa treatment, and most spas in Thailand offer couples’ packages so you can enjoy being pampered with your partner beside you. The resorts and hotels throughout the country offer wonderful services that will leave you feeling lighter than air.
8. The sunsets
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the setting sun in Thailand. You’re usually up for a treat. On the west coast, the sun sinks into the ocean, but you can also catch it dipping behind palaces and pagodas in Bangkok and mountain temples in the north.
9. The culture
From food, fashion and festivals to arts and crafts, architecture, religion, and lifestyle, from the moment you arrive in Thailand, you’re immersed in its rich culture. But while Thai culture is immediately apparent, it’s also so nuanced that there’s always something new to learn, something to keep you coming back.
10. The sea
Warm and welcoming, the Gulf and the Andaman Sea are perfect for sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming and surfing. And from the deck of a boat, a whole new aspect of Thailand emerges. Little islands and atolls appear on the horizon, lagoons that would otherwise be unreachable become part of your itinerary, and seclusion from everything but the romance of Thailand is yours.
For more romantic travel ideas, head to Mr & Mrs Romance.