Some of Asia’s most romantic sights are world-famous: the Taj Mahal, Mount Fuji in cherry-blossom season, those pristine Thai beaches... They’re all very impressive indeed, but if you choose them for your romantic holiday or honeymoon, you may well find yourself sharing your special moments with other couples who’ve had the same idea!
If you’re looking for a romantic Asia holiday away from the beaten track, we recommend heading to Laos, where you’ll find lovely (riverside) beaches, gorgeous rural landscapes, showstopping temples, and secluded luxury.
One thing about being out on a river, drifting along with the movement of the water, is that it really helps you slow down. You just have to go with the flow... literally! A low-key Laos cruise along the Mekong or Nam Ou is a wonderful way to connect with your surroundings, not to mention precious uninterrupted time to relax and reconnect with each other.
Set out from Pakse on a colonial-style Mekong riverboat for a journey to the atmospheric Khmer-era ruins of Vat Phou, and look out over the landscape from the foothills of Champasak province before continuing down to Si Phan Don, the blissful ‘4,000 Islands’ region. Alternatively, try a leisurely boat ride from Luang Prabang to Ban Lan Commune for a home-cooked lunch, before kayaking gently back downstream. Or simply enjoy some shore-time in tranquil Nong Khiaw, on a really beautiful stretch of the Nam Ou river where thousands of butterflies fill the air against a backdrop of striking karst mountains...
Tucked away in the remote rural north, Muang La sits where the Nam Pak river cascades gently between misty hills and lush forest. The beauty and tranquility of this secluded region is captivating, and it’s the perfect place to spend time together away from the relentless rush of everyday life. You’re already well off the beaten track, so can simply settle down, breathe deep and enjoy the calmer pace. Check in to the Muang La Resort - modest looking from the outside, yet unexpectedly chic and modern within - for a few days of R&R between wanders through rice fields, visits to rural villages, picnics in the forest, and long soaks in the natural hot springs.
The 4,000 Islands are a collection of sandbanks and islets, complete with heavenly river beaches, which must be one of Asia’s best-kept secrets. It gives visitors to Laos a taste of the beachlife, which is pretty unexpected in a landlocked country! Cycle together from coast to coast on these tiny islands, explore timeless fishing villages, ride to remote Buddhist temples, and tuck into lunch with welcoming locals, before finishing each day with a cold Beerlao as you cuddle up in a hammock to watch the sunset… Combine with a trip downriver into Cambodia to cycle around Koh Trong for an extended romantic light adventure.
For something a few steps beyond the ordinary, check into the unique Nam Et Nests to create some stand-out memories, with all the seclusion and tranquility you could want. Hanging in the jungle of northern Laos, these bamboo eco-pods get you as close to nature as it’s possible to get. Embark on a 2-day or 3-day trek into the pristine and fragile natural landscape of the Nam Et-Phou Louey protected area to spot wildlife, meet local villagers and learn about the region’s many medicinal plants, before arriving at camp as the sun sets, and climbing up into your private idyll floating above the forest floor. The nests are perfect to snuggle up in after a day’s trekking, as you fall asleep to the sounds of the forest.
Although there’s nothing like exploring together by boat, bike or on foot, sometimes you just need a little downtime to pause and relax together in comfort. Vang Vieng, on the banks of the Nam Ou river just north of Vientiane, offers the ideal balance between unspoilt Eden and relaxing resort luxury. No longer the backpacker party central it once was, this charming town is geared up for visitors who expect a little luxury, as well as providing plenty of opportunities for trekking, village visits, watersports, climbing and caving, if you feel like stretching your legs. Check into the blissful Riverside Boutique Resort, lay back together by the pool, and gaze at the breathtaking limestone hills…
Luang Prabang’s UNESCO-listed blend of ancient and modern, urban and wild, makes it one of Laos’ best-loved destinations. Every morning at sunrise, monks emerge from the city’s many temples and monasteries to gather alms, and tempting smells waft through the air from the morning market as the stallholders cook breakfast for work bound passers-by. It hasn’t got the neon highrise glitz of Bangkok or Tokyo, but holds its own as a bustling hub of local life in which you can get a little lost in. Opt for secluded mid-city luxury at Maison Dalabua, set on a UNESCO protected lily pond. When the candles are lit and the sun sets, it becomes really atmospheric, and it has one of the finest restaurants in Laos: the perfect combination for a romantic evening.
About an hour’s drive from Luang Prabang, in an almost impossibly idyllic glade, you’ll find cool water tumbling over the tiers of Kuang Si Falls. To get there, just hire a tuk-tuk, sit back, and enjoy your journey into Laos’ lush northern countryside. Although the falls are a popular tourist attraction, if you get there first thing in the morning you’ll often have the place pretty much to yourselves. Top up the charm even further by tucking into a delicious gourmet picnic breakfast as you look down upon the turquoise waters. Soak in the sounds of the forest and falls all around you, then take a dip in those tempting pools… what could be more romantic than that?
Speak to one of our Laos Specialists on +44 (0)1273 670 001, or send us your enquiry.