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Thailand - perfect for a romantic getaway

Thailand for couples

With some of Asia's most heavenly stretches of coconut palm-fringed beaches, Thailand's landscape lends itself to romantic holidays strolling along glittering sands and gazing on stunning sunsets with your loved one. A colourful and enchanting culture and countless restaurants serving up delectable local dishes add to Thailand's allure, making it an ideal destination for a couples' getaway.

Luxury resorts and spa hotels can be found across the country's heart-stirringly beautiful archipelagos, both in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, so you can kick back and relax in complete comfort and style. Most resorts on the islands are low-rise and set behind tree-tufted shorelines ensuring that nothing spoils the wonderful view. Couples who like to explore on holiday will not be disappointed either, with a wealth of natural attractions, man-made marvels and adventurous activities to choose from.

Relaxation and romance

It's difficult to think of an environment more conducive to romance than deserted tropical beaches lapped by sparkling crystal waters and backed by lush rainforest, and Thailand has them in spades. Its elongated elephant's-trunk shaped peninsula is flanked by two coastlines curving around the Gulf of Thailand and skimming the edge of the Andaman Sea. The laid-back resort town of Hua Hin is one of the closest beach havens to the capital Bangkok and such is its beauty that it was once a favoured holiday retreat for the Thai royal family. Here the top-class international hotels back onto powdery white sands.

In the southern gulf, Ko Samui is rightly regarded as one of the world's top beach holiday destinations with glorious stretches of sand and luxurious spa hotels, not-to-mention fantastic restaurants and chic beach bars. The island is the ultimate escape for honeymooners and loved-up couples. On the other side of the Peninsula, Phuket has some great couples' retreats too. The chic enclaves of Surin and Kamala, with serene sweeping bays, plenty of restaurants and a laid-back atmosphere are ideal for a sun-soaked holiday with your partner.

To really get away from it all and find a private enclave, head to a little-known paradise such as Ko Lanta or Ko Kood. The best place to stay in Ko Lanta is Pimalai Resort and Spa, where you will find tranquil crescents of sand with bamboo bars on the beach for romantic evening cocktails. Though Ko Kood is the fourth largest island in Thailand, it has managed to fly under the tourism radar, making it a peaceful escape with an unspoilt landscape. As well as gorgeous beaches, the island is blanketed in rainforest and dotted with rushing waterfalls.

Couples activities

The serenity and spiritualism of the Thai Buddhist culture is a good antidote to the stresses and strains of everyday life and will leave you feeling blessed out in no time. Touring the temples and sampling mouth-watering cuisine in Bangkok and Chiang Mai is a highlight of any couples' trip to Thailand. Equally, visiting one of the country's pristine national parks for elephant treks through the jungle and nature walks to hidden waterfalls will create a wonderful shared experience that you and your partner will never forget.

For couples who like to get active on holiday, exploring Thailand's coastline is an absolute must. From boat trips and kayaking around national marine parks to snorkelling and diving, there are a wealth of exciting easy to discover Thailand's water world. Beautiful Ang Thong National Marine Park, close to Ko Samui, encompasses little emerald uninhabited islands with empty beaches, caves and lagoons just begging to be explored by kayak. Taking a day trip here by boat is also both exhilarating and deeply relaxing. On the western seaboard, Phanghan Bay, between Krabi province on the mainland and Phuket island, has stunning limestone karst cliffs indented with untouched beaches. Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta are two of the most famous of the islands, but there are more than 150 dotted around the coast that can be easily visited by boat.

Honeymoons

Thailand's jaw-dropping scenery and pristine palm-tufted desert islands make it a popular honeymoon destination. It's also ideal for couples who want to soak in some culture inbetween lounging on the beach. In Phi Phi Don and smaller sister island Phi Phi Lee, sheer jagged cliffs draped in emerald foliage form the backdrop for powdery sand beaches that are particularly appealing to honeymooners, with a smattering of upscale resorts that cater to couples only. Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort, for instance, is an ideal base for a post-wedding love-in. Ko Samui is also a great destination a honeymoon, with excellent honeymoon packages available at Tongsai Bay, among many others. Honeymooning pairs will also receive special treatment, with resorts happy to organise candlelit dinners on the beach, couples' massages in the spa and day trips to isolated islands - ensuring you take lots of wonderful memories home with you.

For those who want to tie the knot in an exotic and beautiful setting, Laguna Phuket offers wonderful wedding packages and is said to have one of the prettiest wedding chapels in the whole of Asia. Set over an azure lagoon, the chapel is in the southern Thai architectural style but painted dazzling white inside and out, a truly enchanting and romantic setting for your big day.

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