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mad Mar 2nd, 2004 11:33 AM

active honeymoon location?
Planning our honeymoon in July and am not sure where to go. We like to be very active- kayaking, fishing, sailing, biking, etc. and are also looking for a bit of luxury, but without mobs of tourists. We have about 12 days and a very decent budget. any suggestions would be appreciated!

Andrea_expat Mar 2nd, 2004 07:03 PM

You can plan an active vacation for almost any destination in Asia, but Bali is one of the easiest that I'm aware of.

There is paragliding (including schools for beginners or just tandem flights), GREAT kayaking, biking, hiking, snorkeling, diving, kite surfing, surfing, etc.

There are some trips offering deep sea fishing, and I once got up at 4 a.m. to join the local fisherman in Chandidasa on their morning fishing run (nets followed by trolling - didn't catch anything!), but little to no fly fishing (organized).

And there is plenty of luxury!

Bali's tourism sector has been hit pretty hard by security scares, so there are very few tourists compared with recent years. Some Balinese we've talked to say that it's like Bali of 10 years ago.

I think Thailand offers much of the same, as does Malaysia (which also has some rain forest canopy walks and orangutan preserves), as does India, and even South Korea has been marketing itself as an active vacation destination!

Cicerone Mar 3rd, 2004 12:08 AM

Congratulations! You have quite a choice before you, IMO.

I second Bali as a great honeymoon destination. The weather is also excellent in July, very little rainfall. There are several operators in Bali which can organize biking, hiking, canoeing and/or kayaking, and they have some white-water as well. There are lots of very nice luxury hotels to be found as well. It is also such a magical place, really one of the most special places I have every been so far.

Take a look at and for historical info on temperatures and rainfall, a big consideration when planning a trip. For instance, July in north India (New Delhi, Taj Mahal) is brutally hot and I would not go there in July.

I think if you really want an active vacation with lots of sports, you have to consider Australia and/or New Zealand first . You will find tons of sports-related activities on offer, the Australians and New Zealanders are really quite sports mad. You could even ski in the Queenstown, New Zealand area. Slight drawback is that July is "winter" there; however temps in Sydney are in the mid 50s F (and people still go to the beach on a sunny day) so it is all relative. There is little rain in Australia in July which makes it good for touring. New Zealand would be a bit cooler and would be rainier than Australia, but still beautiful. I have not seen any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but if you have, then you have an idea of how beautiful the country is, esp the South Island.

Phuket and other parts of Thailand are generally very rainy in July, although the east coast (Hua Hin) gets much less rain the Phuket and areas on the west coast. The east coast of Malaysia is one of my favourite places and would be a good place for an active vacation. You could fly into Singapore and rent a car and drive up from there. You could also combine it with a trip to East Malaysia (island of Borneo) for wildlife viewing and climb Mt Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in SE Asia. Search this board for suggestions on the east coast of Malaysia and the Hua Hin/Koh Samui area of east Thailand.

The South Pacific like Fiji, Tahiti, etc would of course be beautiful and could offer the activities you are interested in as well.

I think Sir Lanka would be a great place for a honeymoon, esp if you like wildlife. I have not done an active vacation there, but I would think they could offer most everything you are looking for, do some searching here or on the web generally.

The Maldives would be a good choice, you would not be able to do much biking, but it would have everything else you are looking for. It is a long flight from the US, but if you have 12 days (does that include flight time?) it is certainly doable. If you are from the east coast of the US and want to go to the Maldives, look into flights via Europe and perhaps you could stop in London or Paris for a few days on the way out or back. One thing with the Maldives is that July can be rainy in parts (they have a bizarre weather pattern and two rainy seasons). I have not been there in July and can't comment specifically on your chances of encountering rain.

Although technically in Africa, the Seychelles Islands or Mauritius are beautiful places which could offer most of what you wanted. (Biking and kayaking may not be ideal there, but sea kayaking would be possible.)

Cicerone Mar 3rd, 2004 01:42 AM

To continue my plug for Australia, temps along the "Gold Coast" of eastern Australia (Great Barrier Reef, etc) would be in the low to mid 70s and virtually no rain, so it is not really winter there as you might know it in the US. (Summer temps in December are in the mid 80s F). I think it would be great in July. You might not want to lie out on a beach in 72 F, but hiking and biking and very pleasant in those temps, IMO.

Personally, I would have a hard time deciding between Bali and Australia. Both the Australians and Balinese are very warm and friendly. Culture is Bali is much more interesting. Outdoor sports are more accessible and I have to say better organized in Australia. (Golf is much, much better in Australia.) Beaches are actually prettier in Australia, but Bali has the gorgeous rice terraces in the inland areas.

mad Mar 3rd, 2004 05:51 AM

thank you for all of your suggestions. I'm leaning towards Thailand at this point- Ko Samui possibly, as I've been to Malaysia and want a little warmer weather than Australia in July. Bali does sound amazing, however. The only reason I didn't think of it first is because it seems really touristy. We want comfort without the crowds. Any thoughts on this- Ko Samui vs Bali in terms of crowds and activities?

gard Mar 3rd, 2004 06:36 AM


My wife and I are going to Sun Island in the Maldives in April and we are looking forward to that. It is a pretty small island but it seems like it will be possible to keep us in activity there because they have a gym, squash courts, tennis court, badminton courts etc. And you have the possibility of snorkelling, fishing etc. I will post a trip report from the trip on my personal homepage when we return home in April ((H)) You can find more information about Sun Island on

We have also been to vacations to Thailand and I have trip reports and pictures from trips to Samui, Krabi, Phuket, Bangkok and Hua Hin on my page.

Stavanger, Norway

Andrea_expat Mar 5th, 2004 06:14 AM

In terms of numbers of tourists, Bali should be your best bet (between Bali and Koh Samui). Bali has been hit very, very hard by the bombings and simultaneous international increased attention to terrorism. Did a quick check online and found that the 2003 tourist arrivals were the lowest they'd been since 1993. When we were there in October, we were absolutely, positively shocked at how few people there were, even in downtown Kuta at night (literally wall to wall with tourists when we were there just a few months before the bombings in 2002).

Even at the hight of popularity with tourists, Bali has plenty of destinations that are more secluded/quiet. But right now, it's extremely low key, and all of the Balinese are bursting with happiness to see you.

You could also combine Bali with Java (where the incredible, massive temple of Borobudur is on my list of things I must visit next trip) and Lombok, and call it a trip to Indonesia.

I'd say on an average day, Koh Samui and some of the areas of Bali are about equal in terms of being tourist-friendly destination (e.g. wide variety of food choices, tourist shops, English spoken), without being TOO overrun with tourists. However, with tourism down so much in Bali right now, the lack of tourists (and the deals to be found) would tip the balance for me.

As the other posters have said - you can't go wrong no matter what you choose! Congratulations!

mad Mar 5th, 2004 08:49 AM

thanks so much for your valuable input- I'm going to check airfare and see what the difference is- think that'll make the decision for me. they both sound wonderful-thanks again!

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