HONEYMOON | LOSE YOURSELF IN LAOS

Thailand has become one of the major honeymoon destinations in Asia, and even Vietnam and Cambodia enjoy some trendy cred among couples seeking an off-the-beaten-path getaway. Laos gets overlooked by comparison, but this small nation has a timeless appeal with its grand Buddhist temples, melting pot of cultures, and vast wilderness areas waiting to be explored.

Laos is the least Westernized nation in Southeast Asia, a place where women still commonly wear traditional sarongs, monks are treated with great respect, and life moves at its own pace — slowly, most of the time. Must-sees include the Khmer temples at Wat Phu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Pha That Luang temple in the capital city, Vientiane; and the Iron Age excavations on the Plain of Jars.

Ecotourism options include hiking the Ban Nalan Trail and tubing on the Nam Song River. Honeymooners hardly have to “rough it” their whole time in Laos, however. The luxurious Amantaka and Belmond La Residence resorts are both close to the ancient royal capital of Luang Prabang, while the Anantara Golden Triangle resort shows off the natural wonders of Laos with its elephant camp and expeditions into the jungle on the backs of these “gentle giants.”

>Written by: Bob Curley