Singaporebrides | Home & Travel

July 2011

Spectacularly Uncommon Honeymoon Destinations

Most couples spend all their efforts and energy into ensuring that the perfect wedding goes without a hitch. But by the time it comes to choosing the perfect honeymoon destinations, few brain cells are left. Think out of the box and you might just discover some unexpected treasures.

If you’ve got your chin rested on the palm of your hand because you keep finding yourself on Google searching for “the usual holiday destinations” like Bali, Paris and the Gold Coast, enjoy these ideas from five couples who deliberately chose uncommon (but breathtakingly spectacular) destinations for their first holiday as man and wife. The concept of discovering these unique countries together as a couple is in itself significant and extremely romantic, don’t you think?

SOUTH AFRICA

Cecilia Yong, 37, Financial Analyst and Spencer Foo, 40, Entrepreneur, have always been avid travellers. So they agreed that their honeymoon destination had to be somewhere neither of them had been. Cape Town, South Africa, is hardly a place one would mention in the same breath as the word “honeymoon”. But with its gorgeous scenery, white sand beaches and friendly locals, it is easy to see why it ranked #1 on Trip Advisor.

Must-dos, according to Cecilia and Spencer

  • Go to jail! Visit Robben Island, where political prisoners like Nelson Mandela were kept behind bars. It also is home to over 100,000 African penguins.
  • Stay at Winchester Mansions! The service is fantastic, the food is great, and the hotel is well located. The Jazz Brunch is fantastic!
  • Take the cable car ride up to Table Mountain. The view is absolutely stunning. You can also spend the night or book for guided walks.

Tips!

  • Book your Robben Island tickets beforehand to avoid disappointment.
  • The Hop On Hop Off buses stop at all the major tourist attractions if you’re don’t feel comfortable taking public transport.
  • Bring lots of water with you because some places are quite far out and bottled water is not always available.

How to get there?

You can fly directly to Cape Town via Singapore Airlines, or via Emirates with one stopover.

How much?

About $4,000 per person for airfare and accommodation.

MOROCCO

Itching for an adventure because they “didn’t want to spend their honeymoon just lying on the beach”, Tan Qinghui, 30, a Vet, and her Banker husband Colin Ho, 33, hopped on a plane for two exotic weeks in Morocco.

Must–dos, according to Qinghui and Colin

  • The Moroccan Hammam with the locals! (not unlike the Turkish baths, just that you’re pinned down butt naked on the tiled floor with 65 other similarly non-attired women and scrubbed down till your skin is sore)
  • Ride a camel and camp in the Sahara desert.
  • Drink copious amounts of Mint Tea whilst eating copious numbers of olives – every day, at every meal.
  • Get lost in the wondrous Medina in Fez.
  • Eat cookies atop the Kasbah in Rabat.
  • Get conned into buying a carpet.

Tips!

  • There can be four seasons in one day, so bring layer-on clothes, sunblock and sunglasses.
  • Moroccans truly treat bargaining like a game, and may seem very fierce sometimes. For larger items, play the game, or you will lose out. However, also remember that most of them earn barely enough to feed themselves, so don’t bargain for half an hour to get a $3 souvenir down to $2.50. Your $0.50 might go a long way.

How to get there?

Fly Singapore Airlines or KLM/Air France to Fez.

How much?

Approximately $4,500 per person for airfare and accommodation.

LAOS

A magazine was all it took to get Marine Biologist James Guest, 40, and Physiotherapist Choo Li-Yeng, 34, on a plane to Laos. The couple knew they wanted to go somewhere regional and Luang Prabang sounded like the perfect place to chill out, relax and take in the local life – exactly what they wanted. They spent a total of four nights in Luang Prabang and one night in Vientiane.

Must–dos, according to James and Li-Yeng

  • Wake up early to watch the very serene and beautiful procession of monks collecting their alms (do observe their culture in terms of photographing the monks and participating in their procession)
  • The nightly local market has great local art and craft and is a fantastic place for souvenirs.
  • In the middle of the town, there is also a Wat (temple) on top of a hill. Take a trek up to watch the sunset!
  • Enjoy the local cuisine from roadside operators!

Tips!

Don’t be too much in a rush to do/see many things. Explore Luang Prabang on foot – it’s a small town centre peppered with colourful buildings, pretty architecture, quaint cafes, good restaurants, majestic temples, interesting little shops and surrounded by greenery, the river and mountains. Or sit in a café and watch the peaceful local life go by.

How to get there?

Only Vietnam Airways gets you directly to Luang Prabang.

How much?

About $3,500 per couple for airfare and accommodation.

EGYPT

Assistant Directors Dora Yip, 35 and David Turner, 34, chose Egypt and Jordan because they were always been fascinated by the Middle East, and exploring ruins and historic sites. They spent six weeks there, true backpacker style, and enjoyed it so much that they named their son Jordan, after the country as well as the river.

Must–dos, according to Dora and David

  • The number one must-see is the ancient Nabatean city of Petra.
  • Float in the Dead Sea, and give yourself a mud mask and sea salt scrub after!
  • Climb Mt Sinai in Egypt – join masses of other hikers and pilgrims on a nightwalk to make it up there for the sunrise. And don’t be surprised if you come face to face with camels in the pitch dark!
  • Have the freshest seafood meal on the corniche in Alexandria in Egypt, then go to the scariest crypt you’ll ever see deep underground.
  • Have a meal and some sheesha by the Nile in Cairo.
  • Hang out in backpacker beach heaven Dahab, on the Red Sea.
  • Sit in the shade of a ginormous column in the ancient temple of Luxor, and gaze at the amazing artwork adorning the ceilings, painted more than 3,000 years ago!

Tips!

  • Give yourself plenty of time to explore. Egypt and Jordan are not the easiest places to travel.
  • Expect lots of haggling, potential for scams and over-charging and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.
  • Learn a little bit of the language. Example, saying “La Shukaran” (or “No thanks!”) goes a long way there.

How to get there?

Many airlines fly to Cairo, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Thai Airways and KLM.

How much?

Approximately $4,000 per person for airfare and accommodation.

CAMBODIA

Avid divers Ngoh Joo Lee, 39, a Human Resources Manager, and Low Kuoh Ching, 39, an Assistant Network Manager, had been wanting to visit Cambodia and seized the opportunity for a six-day trip for their honeymoon.

Must–dos, according to Joo Lee and Kuoh Ching

  • Visit Angkor Wat!
  • Savour the local food

Tips!

  • Be mentally prepared to rough it out!
  • Read up on the place and have a map on hand

How to get there?

Fly directly from Singapore to Siem Reap on SilkAir or Jetstar

How much?

Approximately $1,500 per couple for airfare and accommodation

You’ll have a lifetime to travel together, but do put some extra thought into your first trip as a married couple. Be sure to go somewhere that will be enjoyable and entertaining for the both of you. Even if you don’t intend to get out of the hotel much (wink!).


Credits: All images are kindly provided by the respective couples.