Valentine’s Day is just round the corner. With stunning tropical islands, breathtaking scenery, ancient ruins and deliciously fiery food, you don’t have to go far to find romance in Asia.
Whether you’re plucking up the courage to propose, trying to reignite the passion, or single and searching for your soulmate – there’s a place out there for you in amorous Asia.
And luckily we’re here to help point you in the right direction to start your hearts racing:
Sri Lanka – for seductive proposals
Looking for somewhere different to pop the question? How about on the top of Sigiriya, the 5th Century ‘Fortress in the Sky’. There’s nothing like getting on your knees to propose surrounded by the foundations of a royal palace and looking out over the surrounding countryside. On the way up the rock, the stairway passes by exquisitely erotic frescoes of beautiful women – some say they’re celestial nymphs, others say queens and concubines.
Then head to the historic city of Galle and prepare to be seduced by its ambiance and magical sunsets. There’s no small amount of romance in the rambling lanes lined with stylish cafes, quirky boutiques and impeccably restored hotels.
Cambodia – for culture lovers
Watching the sunrise over the incredible Angkor Wat is the perfect way to kickstart a romantic getaway. Shrouded in mystery, the enormous smiling stone faces of the Bayon Temple are sure to arouse emotions.
But don’t forget to check out the hauntingly beautiful Banteay Srei. Built from pink sandstone, the walls of this sweet temple are covered in exquisitely preserved and delicate carvings of ethereal women. In need of something a little more erotic? Head out to Kbal Spean, also known as the River of 1000 Lingas. The attraction is the spectacular rock carvings etched into the riverbed, under the water. There are over 1000 carvings of Yoni and Linga – yes that’s correct, these are very sexy carvings!
Vietnam – for potential lovers
Finding love in the modern world is not easy – even with apps like Tinder. So forget swiping left or right and instead head north to the remote villages in Vietnam, as you may well have better luck there. The Sunday markets attract a wide variety of ethnic minority groups who walk all the way from their mountain villages. They’re also known as the Love Markets, as young men and women dressed in their colourful traditional clothes and silver ornaments come to flirt and seek partners.
You’ll find small Love Markets around Ha Giang. The larger market in Sapa, starts on the Saturday evening with leaf whistling, singing and dancing as well as the trading of bags, clothes and silver jewellery.
Thailand – for beach lovers
You just can’t help but fall in love with Koh Samui’s white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. They vary from the lively Chaweng Beach to much more tranquil stretches. Island hop to Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Mudsum and Koh Taen. Then there’s the Ang Thong Marine Park with its jagged limestone islands, hidden lagoons and empty beaches. For a break from the sand, hike out and take a dip in the natural pool at the foot of the Na Muang Waterfalls.
If the prolonged time with your other half starts to take its toll, go to Lamai Beach to see Hin Ta and Hin Yai. Also known as Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks these unusual rock formations shaped like male and female genitalia are guaranteed to titillate and raise a smile.
Gili Islands – for water lovers
Loved-up couples and honeymooners who want to pretend they’re castaways in paradise, should look no further than the Gili Islands. These islands near Lombok are characterised by sandy beaches fringed with palm trees. The absence of any motorised transport gives them an easy-going island vibe. Here, you can snorkel, swim and even dive. There’s traditional villages to be explored by horse and cart, while evenings can be spent wooing your partner over authentic Indonesian cuisine in cosy beach huts.
Gili Trawangan is the largest and busiest with more of a party vibe; Gili Meno is the smallest and quietest; while Gili Air has a slight hippy feel to it. So which Gili is best for your love life?
India – for secluded lovers
What could be more romantic than drifting through the Kerala backwaters on a traditional wooden houseboat? Alleppey, also known as the ‘Venice of India’, is a watery world of narrow canals, rice barges and punted canoes. Relax with your loved one as your private boat slowly floats past local villages, lush rice paddies and coconut palms.
Combine this with a few days on the beaches of Goa where you can explore your soulmate’s spiritual side with sunrise yoga and meditation. Laze on long stretches of beach or wander hand in hand through hippy markets and Catholic churches.
And we couldn’t write a blog about romance without mentioning the Taj Mahal – India’s exquisite monument to love! Add it it your itinerary.