Vietnam, Bali & Singapore
An ideal honeymoon if you like experiencing different cultures
It was Melanie’s decision to embark on I an exciting Asian adventure, following the advice of the expert staff at Royal Travel, who are renowned for planning worldwide honeymoons. Most of the time, they were travelling solo, although at times they had a private tour leader accompanying them. Each of the countries they visited offered the couple a different experience.
“Kevin normally relies on me for such decisions” she smiles. “First I was inclined towards the Caribbean, but since I’ve already been to Mexico and Cuba, I thought that it was a better idea to choose Asia, as it would allow us to have a taste of a different culture. Kevin was quite happy to go along with it!”
They booked their honeymoon with Royal Travel, and departed just three days after exchanging vows, travelling to Vietnam through Dubai, from Vietnam to Singapore and then on to Bali. Most of the time, they were travelling solo, although at times they had a private tour leader accompanying them. Each of the countries they visited offered the couple a different experience.
“Every place that we visited had its own kind of beauty, Vietnam left us impressed – we paid a visit to Ho Chi Minh Complex, which houses Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, House on-stilts and the One Pillar Pagoda. We also visited the Temple of Literature, which was the first university of Vietnam!”
The country is full of natural beauty such as the mountain landscape of Sapa is so magnificent and picturesque, and Halong was one of the most beautiful and unusual seascapes we had ever seen. We stayed overnight on a boat and it was so romantic.
The country is full of natural beauty too-the mountain landscape of Sapa is so magnificent and picturesque, and Halong was one of the most beautiful and unusual seascapes we had ever seen. We stayed overnight on a boat and it was so romantic However, I have to say that the way the bikers drive there is crazy there are horns honking non-stop!”
“On the other hand, Singapore was more luxurious – you can compare it to Dubai in that sense, as we found them to be very similar. A highlight of that leg of the journey was visiting the Universal Studios and taking pictures with all the film characters there” she continues.
“Meanwhile, our final stop, Bali, was the most relaxing part of the honeymoon. We saw the monkey forest in Ubud, Goa Gajah- an elephant cave which was rediscovered in 1923. and Tampaksiring a temple which is over 1,000 years old and whose bathing spot is said to have curative powers. We also visited Gili Trawangan, the largest of the three Gili islands. They’re surrounded by clear waters with schools of tropical fish swimming around. We also spent several serene days in resorts drinking cocktails and basking in the sun, ending our honeymoon on a very chilled note”
Part of the reason why Melanie and Kevin chose three different Asian countries to explore was to experience a culture totally different to their own. For this reason, they did not remain solely in “touristy’areas, but were able to venture off the beaten path to understand what life is really like for the people for whom Vietnam, Singapore and Bali are home.
“We went trekking in villages where we stopped to speak to locals. They invited us into their homes, and we often had tea and lunched with them. It was amazing! They have close to nothing but they were still so warm and welcoming. The fact that they are so happy and grateful towards life with the little they have was a real inspiration” They also sampled the local cuisine – Melanie tried all types of fruit-“I am quite a fruit lover, she says-while Kevin, who has more of a sweet tooth, made it a point to try every single dessert that was available.
Some of the locals have close to nothing but they were still so warm and welcoming. The fact that they are so happy and grateful towards life with the little they have was a real inspiration.
There were times, however, when the culture shock was a little startling. “The food was simple and tasty for the most part- usually a combination of white rice, vegetables and either fish, duck or chicken. However, we would occasionally catch a glimpse of the kitchens and our appetites would disappear-the hygiene wasn’t always up to standard! And when we visited the Gili Islands, we were shocked at the state of public transport There were vegetables and poultry left on the floor in the middle of the public boat, with people walking all over the mess and nobody bothering to clean up.”
Despite this, Melanie and Kevin think of their experience with great fondness and say that they would love to do it all over again. “If you’re considering these three countries as a honeymoon destination, and you enjoy experiencing different cultures and being close to the locals, it’s an ideal place for your first holiday together as a married couple. The only part of the trip that we didn’t enjoy was coming back!”