Looking to spend a romantic time with your significant other but feeling uninspired? Fret not, we turn to William Shakespeare’s prose for ideas:
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
If you are in a pinch for an incredibly romantic gesture, take a minute to memorise lines above and wow your lover (or bestie), with your diction and line endings, or even better, literally recite them by the shimmering sea.
Here’s a roundup of three tropical paradises in Asia (excluding the crowd’s favourite, Bali) that will grant you a blissfully memorable Valentine’s day. And before you book the trip, make sure none of you is allergic to seafood.
Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Made up of three bays along the southern coast of island-nation Sri Lanka, Mirissa beach is gaining popularity as the next insta-worthy destination for the sunseekers and surfers.
Enjoy a fresh coconut from your hammock and watch the sun takes a slow dive into the sea. Life’s a breeze in the coastal town.
Where to stay? Depending on your budget, there are modest guesthouses like Surf & Yoga, as well as chic hotels like Triple O Six around Mirissa beach. And if waking up to ocean views rank high on your list, check out Sri Sharavi Beach Villas & Spa.
We recommend spending 2 to 4 days here to bask in its laid-back atmosphere in the day fully. At night, Mirissa beach turns into a moonlit dance floor with DJ spinning tunes till late.
Things to Do in Mirissa
Coconut Tree Hill
When you’ve arrived at Mirissa, head as far left as possible, and you will discover the picturesque Coconut Tree Hill that is increasingly becoming the next hotspot for instagrammers. Time to check this off your #couplegoals list.
Whale Watching Tour
Go on a whale watching tour with your beloved. The waters off Mirissa are home to the world’s largest living mammal, the blue whale. You may even get to see dolphins and turtles as you cruise on the Indian Ocean. The best time to spot whales is from the end of November until April.
Day trip to Unawatuna and Galle Fort
Take a day trip to Unawatuna and Galle Fort. Both are also located along the southern coast of Sri Lanka, which is approximately an hour’s drive from Mirissa beach.
Instead of taking a dip at the usually crowded Unawatuna beach, make your way to the town centre of Unawatuna, just right behind the beach featuring a line-up of trendy eateries and bars to get day-drunk on fruity cocktails.
Drive further south of Unawatuna, you’ll arrive at UNESCO World Heritage Site Galle Fort – once a well-known spice trading port steeped in history. Discovered by the Portuguese in the 16th century, it was later overtaken and fortified by the Dutch in the 18th century, earning it the nickname ‘the Dutch Fort’.
Spend a day roaming through the narrow alleys, taking in the sights of colonial relics and sampling exotic spices within the walls of the ancient city. Once a bustling trading port with an assembly of traders from afar – today it is an undeniably charming point of interest for travellers worldwide.
Sunset views from Fort’s Wall
Reminiscing the sunset scene from the latest Kdrama ‘Encounter’? You don’t have to fly all the way to El Malecon, Cuba to catch the sunset from an ancient fort. Every evening, locals and tourists sit atop Galle fort’s wall, their eyes steady to the horizon, face aglow with the last orange rays, this is undoubtedly the best place to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean with your better half.
Sanya Island, China
Sanya lies on the southern isle of Hainan is the next glitzy beach holiday destination on the up. Sun is plentiful, and temperatures hover around 30 degrees Celsius year-round. The once-neglected coastal town is revitalised with hyper-developed resorts, an airport, a highway and rail links.
As the only tropical isle in China, Sanya is enjoying its rising fame as the Hawaii of Asia – bright blue seas hugging its golden shore, palatial resorts, shopping malls and burgeoning tourist attractions, Sanya is, no doubt, every pleasure-seeker’s paradise (and it comes with a hefty price tag).
Where to stay? If you are wishing for a glamorous retreat, we recommend checking in one of the exquisite hotels at Yalong Bay(亚龙湾) like The Sanya EDITION. Alternatively, DaDong Hai(大东海) is dotted with mid-range guesthouses and villas such as Dadonghai Hotel Sanya.
We recommend spending 4 to 5 days in Sanya, at least two days in DaDong Hai and the rest in Yalong Bay.
From outdoor adventures and wildlife viewing to spectacular dining and relaxing afternoons, there is never a dull moment in Sanya.
Things to Do in Sanya
Locks of Love at Luihuitou Park
Luhuitou Park literally means Deer Looks Back Park, it is Sanya’s only mountain top recreation park. Legend has it that a hunter was about to kill a deer for a pair of horns requested by a tyrant ruler. Approaching the edge of the cliff, the deer looked back and transformed into a beautiful lady, and he fell in love with her.
Tianya Haijiao (The Lovers Rock at the Edge of the World)
The Lovers Rock is impossible to go unnoticed as it is the famous landmark of Sanya City.
Tianya Haijiao which literally means ‘At the Edge of the World’ is rooted in a legend about a pair of star-crossed lovers, think Romeo and Juliet.
The young couple from two feuding families fell in love, had no other choice but to run away from their disapproving families. In a desperate attempt to get away from the agents sent by their families, the lovers jumped into the sea during a thunderstorm and were struck by lightning and turned into two giant boulders.
Today, the two boulders have bewitched couples from all over the globe and appeared in dozens of wedding photos as they stand for eternal and faithful love.
Wuzhizhou Coral Island
Billed as ‘The Maldives in China’, Wuzhizhou Coral Island is a playground for holidaymakers. While it is the best location for scuba diving, there are many places of interest to explore including the Lover’s Bridge, Sunrise Rock, and Lover’s Island, just to name a few. You may want to spend a night here to catch the sunrise at the Sunrise Rock.
The warm sun sinks beneath the sea, aroma of sea salt lingers in the atmosphere, feel the soft sand on your feet, and the waves that roll up the shore becomes a soothing soundtrack – this tropical paradise will make you feel so relaxed and rejuvenated without putting a dent in your wallet.
Krabi has a certain castaway charm; it is relatively underdeveloped as compared to Koh Samui and Phuket. The resort town situated in Thailand’s southern province is every island-hopper’s paradise – a simple search via Google will display countless suggestions of beaches to visit nearby.
Where to stay? There are many great places to stay in Krabi, take your pick at luxury resorts like Railay Village Resort & Spa or family-friendly villa like Anata Burin Resort. We recommend spending at least 3 days here.
Things to Do in Krabi
Island-hopping (Full Day Tour)
With an abundance of islands wreathed in a romantic spell-binding aura to explore, we recommend going on a full day island-hopping tour to make your time worthwhile. Take your beloved out on the Andaman Sea and explore the best of Krabi together.
Go Kayaking in Railay Beach
You would have read and seen plenty of reviews and photos of Railay Beach. Visitors to Railay beach are easily charmed by its crystal-clear blue waters and dramatic landscape surrounded by giant limestone cliffs. The beach offers plenty of activities, especially for the rock climbers, and it gets crowded when the day picks up. Go kayaking with your beloved and take in the sights of the natural wonder, far from the madding crowd.
Café-hopping in Krabi Town
Enough of the action-packed itinerary amidst the mountains and seas, it’s time to appeal to the foodie at heart – go on a café-hopping date in Krabi Town. For the caffeine addict, try Easy Café which has a selection of coffee beans; for a hearty brunch, check out Café 8.89.