Romantic Landmarks in Asia

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Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal

From Japan’s snow peak-covered mountains to Southeast Asia’s forested highlands to beachfront tropical island property, the continent of Asia offers diverse landscapes, providing visitors with an assortment of romantic settings. Many of Asia’s 48 nations also feature storied pasts dating back thousands of years, adding a sense of romance often associated with historic rulers and eras.

India

Located in Agra, India, the world-famous Taj Mahal is a mausoleum that was built between 1631 and 1648 for the wife of Emperor Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth. Visitors may explore Mumtaz Mahal’s white marble tomb, covered in semi-precious jewels, or stroll through the surrounding gardens lined with reflecting pools.

Rajasthan’s own Rambagh Palace began as a royal hunting lodge and guesthouse in 1835 before becoming the private residence of the maharaja of Jaipur in 1925. The palace now serves as a hotel, offering 85 guest rooms and suites, complete with marble floors, four-poster beds and carved pillars. The 47 acres includes gardens, outdoor candlelight dining and a spa with private couples’ tents equipped with chandeliers and rugs.

Rambagh Palace
Rambagh Palace

>> Customs of Southeast Asia

Korea

Jeju Loveland sits on Cheju Island, known as Korea’s “Honeymoon Isle” thanks to its numerous beaches, mountain hiking trails and temples. Measuring the length of two soccer fields, the outdoor Loveland features more than 140 erotic statues scattered around a park setting. Although it is limited to adults 18 and older, parents may drop off their children at an attached playground.

Namiseom Island lies 40 miles northeast of Seoul, accessible via ferries. The island features strolling paths lined with towering metasequoia, pine and redwood trees. Numerous ponds and more than 10 gardens, including a secluded region entitled Lover’s Woods, grace the premises. The island also provides a merry-go-round, roller skating rink and accommodations, including bungalows and resort villas.

Cheju Island
Cheju Island

Japan

Based in Tokyo’s Bunkyo-ku district, Rikugien Gardens dates to 1702, created by a feudal lord in the shogun era. The garden includes rambling pathways, rolling hills dotted with maple trees, bridge-covered ponds with islands and sprawling green spaces filled with weeping cherry trees. Visitors may enjoy traditional Japanese tea service at two on-site tea houses, one of which provides outdoor seating next to a stream.

Hiiragiya was built in 1818 and began operating as an inn in 1861. The historic hotel, located in the heart of Kyoto, offers just 33 guest rooms, complete with reed ceilings, lacquered bathrooms and gold-painted folding screens. Many rooms provide views of the hotel’s traditional Japanese garden. Guests receive a multicourse Kaiseki meal served in the privacy of their own room each night.

Rikugien Gardens
Rikugien Gardens

Laos and Thailand

Derived from the Mekong River, the Khon Phapheng waterfall lies in Laos, just feet from the Cambodian border. Although the cascading waterfall measures only 50 feet long, the roaring rapids stretch more than a half-mile wide. The waterfalls draw large crowds, with Laotians viewing the waterfall as a sacred space that traps the souls of the dead.

Thailand’s oldest reserve, Khao Yai National Park measures more than 830 square miles. The park features diverse landscapes, including monsoon rainforests, mountainous terrain and sprawling savannahs. Home to orchids, more than 200 species of birds and 250-plus elephants, the national park also features numerous wineries, some of which include gourmet restaurants. While certain wineries, such as Granmonte, offer guest rooms, the park also includes campsites, upscale resorts and lodges.