Valentine’s Day is a popular time of year to get engaged and start planning that dream honeymoon to South-East Asia. Many of our honeymoon clients have organised honeymoon surprises for their new bride or groom, and we've even helped to organise a couple of proposals! All this romance has rubbed off on us, so here are our favourite inspirational ideas for extra-special honeymoon surprises.
Climbing Borneo’s Mount Kinabalu is not for the faint-hearted, but the visual rewards are second-to-none. The whole experience takes three days, beginning with a drive through lush national parkland and a day exploring the jungle-trails on foot, before beginning the ascent on day two and arriving at the summit just before dawn on day three. Once at the top, you can sit together and watch the sun rise above the forest; a once-in-a-lifetime sight with which to mark the start of your married life.
Getting up close to the temples around Angkor Wat is a ‘must-do’ activity for many who honeymoon in Cambodia, but it can be hard to find privacy and romance amid the constant crowds. Find privacy by arriving at these ancient shrines on horseback, or taking a microlight flight right above them, or even having a gourmet picnic breakfast right in the temple grounds.
There are few metaphors more apt for the start of married life than heading out into the ocean to explore new islands and bask in the sun, and that is exactly what is on offer with a chartered cruise around Komodo National Marine Park and the Flores Sea in a traditional wooden phinisi. You can mix diving and snorkelling amid turtles, rays and hundreds of tropical fish, with kayaking and sunbathing on deck as the mood takes you. With a full crew on board to see to the smooth running of things, all you’ll have to worry about is which direction to head in next.
For classic romance, you can’t beat a journey aboard the celebrated Orient Express. Though the facilities have been modernised, the elegance of rushing through the countryside en route from Singapore to Bangkok, stopping in Kuala Lumpur and the Cameron Highlands, remains intoxicatingly evocative of a bygone era. Your journey starts in the famous Raffles Hotel, favourite haunt of Hollywood starlets, where you can toast your future with a Singapore Sling or two.
Massages and spas tend to feature prominently in most honeymoon packages, but the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat near Kuala Lumpur takes things to a whole new level, literally: underground! A network of caverns has been transformed into the ultimate wellness retreat, offering a staggering 420+ treatments, geothermal springs to soak in, reiki in crystal caves and (perhaps most appealingly) a space truly removed from the rush and stress of modern life: perfect for giving you and your spouse some proper self-care.
Southern Sri Lanka’s beautiful stretches of pristine sand are popular with newlyweds wanting to soak up the sun and take a well-earned break (especially after all those months of wedding planning!). As you’ll be right on the coast, this is the ideal time to head out into the bay to go whale watching and see nature at its most powerful and graceful. This experience is one you can truly surprise your other half with, too, as you can simply lead them from the beach onto the boat when the time comes.
Everyone in the team who's taken a hot air balloon flight over Myanmar comments on the sense of space and tranquillity. Though the roar of the burner can be pretty loud, when it’s idle the sounds from the ground float gently up and you hear the world in a whole new way. You can choose to fly over the temples of Bagan or Inle Lake, taking some stunning panoramic photographs as you go, and the complimentary glass of champagne when you land helps you celebrate taking your relationship to new heights (sorry!)
If you’re feeling more hungry than schmaltzy, a night-time Vespa tour of Ho Chi Minh City offers an authentic taste of the city’s nocturnal side. Zipping through the side-streets and markets, riding pillion (behind an experienced local driver!) on a vintage Vespa, you'll get a glimpse into everyday Vietnamese life as well as access to some of this up-and-coming foodie city’s finest flavours. Having eaten your fill and perked up with a strong Vietnamese coffee, you’ll end the evening in a nightclub where you can dance ‘til dawn.
For many, it is a lifelong dream to get up-close to some of South-East Asia’s indigenous wildlife, and giving your loved-one this opportunity as a honeymoon surprise will earn you lots of brownie points. The Anantara Elephant Camp in Thailand has you staying right in the middle of free-roaming elephants, meeting babies in the nursery and even helping to give them a bath!
A honeymoon is the symbolic beginning of a lifetime of adventures together, and adding in an exceptional experience to kick it off will certainly start things on a high. Our travel specialists can help you put together your ideal honeymoon package, and ensure you can add in all those little touches to make it relevant and meaningful to you. Now you just have the excitement of surprising your new husband or wife (and yes, the novelty of introducing them as such lasts a while!)