Hot now! Offbeat honeymoon destinations


Maya Hari,Indiwo.com
May 28, 2009 at 05:43pm IST

So you are different... You find the idea of going to Goa or Singapore or Seychelles for a romantic escapade is, well, a path trodden too often.

Why not explore some offbeat and yet very romantic locations for your honeymoon or even a romantic holiday with your better half? The novelty of the location can add to the adventure and romance of the place.

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Here are some amazing places to cast an eye on.

GET AWAY: Sikkim has the perfect tranquility to form the most romantic backdrop for a honeymoon.

Gangtok - Sikkim

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Nestled in the gorgeous Himalayas, this lesser known destination could just be your drop in the ocean of your life's romance. Sikkim has the perfect beauty and tranquility to form the most romantic backdrop for a honeymoon. It has an amazing variety of things you can explore while coochie-cooing to your significant other. You know, it is like what the directors say about every new Bollywood movie: There is something in it for everyone!

Make it a point to explore active trekking and take in breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga mountain ranges. Also enjoy hot springs in the middle of the alpine forests.

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You can soak Tibetan influences with Buddhist monasteries, cottage industries and the colourful bazaars of Gangtok.

If you and your spouse are nature lover, explore over 600 species of orchids, chill out at pictueresque lakes and visit the Cardamom plantations on the outskirts of Gangtok.

A must do - Enjoy a day of tea picking in the romantic Sikkimese tea estates.

A must bring back - Wooden painted small furniture to add a touch of the exotic to your home

Amsterdam

The moment you hit this lovely city, you will be embraced by magical electricity that is very unique and exciting.

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You and your better half will be surrounded by incredibly beautiful canals and architecture. You must take the romantic canal cruise around the city by the night and even enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine and some cheese as you take in the city in the lights. Oh, and Brad Pitt has a home on a canal in Amsterdam. If you get the cruise guide drunk enough he might just tell you where it is.

Amsterdam is home to lovely art and artifacts with large museums like RijksMuseum and Van Gogh Museum. To make the transition from colourful art to the rich colours of tulips all around you, you must visit Keukenhof outside of Amsterdam. The gorgeous tulip fields are a must see and make a perfect Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge type setting.

For the more adventurous among you, visit the Sex museum and the red light district in the heart of the city. They are good for at least a few jokes, giggles and blushes.

By the moonlight, you can take a walk around the city tracing the lanes and by-lanes by the canals. Sneak a peek at the picturesque houses with large French windows showing off gorgeously neat and artistic homes behind them. The front rooms of the houses are decorated in a spectacular fashion with large bookcases and colorful lamps will leave you oohing and aahing.

Amsterdam can fill your honeymoon with some amazing memories for you from everything from fun pubs to international film festivals and cozy, candle lit hole in the wall Indonesian restaurants (resulting from influences of the past when Indonesia was a Dutch colony).

A must do - Joining the locals and riding a bicycle around town. It's a great way to see the city.

A must bring back - Hand painted wooden clogs to deck your walls back home.

Maui, Hawaii

Think Maui and visualise amazing lush greenery, glorious sunsets over the sea, flowers of every colour, orchid leis (garlands), the sweetest tropical fruits you have ever eaten and of course glorious white sand beaches rush to mind.

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Maui is one of the most beautiful of the Hawaiian Islands. If you and your spouse are beach babies, this is the place to go! You can try tandem Scuba diving lessons to explore the colourful fishes and life under water. Or you might prefer to snorkel and swim with turtles.

Take a break from the gorgeous beaches and head to the tropical forests complete with thick vegetation, water channels, caves and magnificent water falls. Pack a romantic picnic lunch to have at the arboretum with sandwiches and chilled white wine. Your resort or bed and breakfast can help you with this.

A visit to the Japanese mission in Maui will let you explore the large Buddha with the Haleakela Mountains in the background.

No trip to Maui is complete without experiencing a Luau. A Luau is a traditional Hawaiian dance performance set to the romantic notes of the Hawaiian guitar over a sumptuous dinner.

A must do - Stay at a cozy Hawaiian bed and breakfast to enjoy authentic Hawaiian hospitality and style.

A must bring back - Coffee, Chocolates and confectionaries in Hawaiian Macadamia nut flavour.

Siam Reap, Cambodia

Siam Reap is an unlikely piece of beauty set in the middle of the war and poverty ridden Cambodia. It is famous for its beautiful Hindu and Buddhist temple complex called Ankorwat. You can lose yourselves in these serene structures of beauty and serenity with your partner.

Take nostalgic rides on cycle rickshaws driven by cheerful locals who can show you around. The temples are intriguing for Indians as they could very well have been in the south of India at first glance. Yet, look closer and you will see the characters of the Ramayana sculpted with features resembling Cambodians like rounded eyes and more.

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The same structures were converted to Buddhist temples in later centuries and this is the one place where Hindu and Buddhist influences co-exist in parallel in complete harmony.

After the temple tour, hit one of the many amazing spa or massage parlours that abound the city. For no more than Rs.500, you can get a 30-60 minute massage in traditional Cambodian style, or even Thai or Balinese style, if you so choose. This is a guaranteed blissful experience and you should try and get a couple's massage in the same room side by side if you can to get your romantic juices flowing.

Evenings beg for a leisurely boat ride in the nearby lake in Siam Reap to watch the sunset. Hit the hip and cool bar street in the heart of the city at night. You will find some of the most fashionable bars in the world here.

Food and drinks are very affordable, so you will have no excuse not to try all the wonderful local delicacies. A cuisine influenced by Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian influences; unique one of a kind cocktails and yummy appetizers will make your evening and your honeymoon magical.

A must do - A visit to the local supermarket to discover local foods, chocolates and crafts

A must bring back - Pictures taken with the adorable Cambodian street children.

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