Valentine’s weekend is approaching and visitors to Thailand might be wondering how to make the most of this day while on vacation. How hard is it to find romance away from the crowds and the tourist hotspots? The good news is that some of Thailand’s most romantic locations are just off the beaten path and waiting to be discovered. Whether you stay in the city, head to an island paradise, or spend the day in the quiet countryside, it is easy to plan a holiday to remember in the Land of Smiles.
Plenty of tourists see the capital city of Bangkok as a stopover hub on the way to reaching their actual destination. It’s an unfortunate mistake, since this 24-hour city holds all the vibrant lights, sights, and sounds to make for a memorable holiday with your significant other.
Start with an active day date where you can get your hearts racing together with an easy bike ride for two. One lovely daytime ride in “Mueang Bolan” or the Ancient City is located just outside the city and reachable by the newly opened Green Line BTS Sky train extension. This lovely outdoor park is built in the shape of the county of Thailand. After renting bicycles, you and your date can cycle around to famous temples of Thailand replicated to scale in their corresponding locations. Stop in the shade for a cool drink and don’t forget to snap photos in front of the famous spires that make Thai temples unique and beautiful.
At night, keep the mood romantic and traditional with dinner at Issaya Siamese Club in central Bangkok. Tucked away behind the Khlong Toei Market in a hidden tropical garden, this 100-year-old Thai villa with carved wood and dim lighting is the perfect place to hold hands across the table. Named one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Chef Ian Kittichai and the bar team are sure to impress your date with authentic Thai dishes and cocktails made with fresh local fruit.
For an after-dinner nightcap, you can’t go wrong at J. Boroski in the trendy neighborhood of Thong-lor. This tiny spot is the moodiest place in town. All dark lighting, corner tables, with an upstairs hideaway, this craft cocktail bar is a romantic place to end the day with your Valentine.
Most tourists spend their holidays on the large islands of Phuket or Samui. Though beautiful, these tourist magnets are party central with large, developed hotels playing music long into the night. For a truly romantic getaway, take your date to a quiet and peaceful Thai island straight out of a postcard.
Koh Ngai off the coast of Krabi has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This tiny island, measuring only 4 kilometers by 2 kilometers, sits in the middle of the clear, blue Andaman Sea and isn’t even busy enough to build a pier and is better reached via Trang province. Visitors are delivered on traditional long-tail boats and asked to remove their shoes and hop straight into the water before heading up the beach to their resort.
This is the perfect place to spend your days reading a novel on the white sand and your nights in a comfortable wooden hut listening to the ocean waves as you drift to sleep. For active couples, there are kayak rentals and snorkeling tours to stay busy. For everyone else, there are big, shady umbrellas and fruity cocktails in the sand. Koh Ngai beaches are idyllic: kilometers of empty beach studded with long, thin palm trees swooping out over the water. Not overly developed like the large islands, Koh Ngai is also dotted with a string of small beach resorts like Coco Cottage that boast oceanside open-air dining rooms serving Thai food to the few visitors that pass through. For a private lover’s retreat, Koh Ngai is the stuff of dreams.
Another fantastic idea that tourists do not often plan for is how to make a quick getaway to the quaint countryside. Just outside of Bangkok there are historic towns ideal for a weekend away that both Bangkok locals and expats know well. Towns like Kanchanaburi are just west of the capital have all the tranquil appeal of Chiang Mai without the hours of travel to get there.
One perfect place to spend a romantic weekend is at the X2 (“Cross Two”) on the banks of the River Kwai Noi. This modern resort features cabins on the water as well as trendy pool-side cabin suites made from shipping containers. The breathtaking views at this resort never seem to end. Whether swimming in the property’s infinity pool, on the balcony of your spacious container room, floating in your river cabin, or having a bite in the glass-enclosed restaurant, the wide River Kwai Noi draws your attention as its teal waters wind down through the countryside. With a bottle of wine at dusk, there is nothing more romantic than the sound of the rushing river, the croak of the frogs, and the clink of two glasses. With riverside resorts all along the river, this same experience can be created for you and your honey in practically any location in the area.
Though it may seem like an extra step to fit romance into your Thailand holiday, the truth is that you can find dreamy places to celebrate just out of view of the bustling tourist locations. Whether you prefer the glittering lights of the city or a more relaxed location, Thailand has some of the most romantic hidden spots on earth. If you plan on being in Thailand with your Valentine this year, sneak in a special getaway for you and your love and your special someone will remember this vacation forever.