Norbert Figueroa a RoamRight Blog Author

Unlikely Romantic Destinations

Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Burma. CT

You’re thinking of going abroad to a romantic destination with your special someone, but you don’t want to follow the crowds by visiting Paris or Venice. You want to do something different, something unusual, like going to a place where most people won’t think is romantic; but that in reality, there’s some romanticism hidden there for you to enjoy with your sweetheart.  To help you with that decision, here are five unlikely romantic destinations that are not on every couple’s radar.

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is the main destination that draws tourism into Myanmar, yet it is still far from being a tourist town.  The beauty of Bagan lies in its more than 2,200 ancient temples and pagodas that still survive, spread throughout the vast plains and forests. 

The most special moment comes at sundown, when you can go to any of the temples, hike up to its terrace or climb up the pagoda, and witness with your special someone one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see – with hundreds of pagodas poking out of the forest.  The romantic part about Bagan is that it is easy to get away from the crowds by just biking a bit off the main road and find a temple where there’s absolutely no one, or just a handful of other people looking for the same – some quality time with their partner, surrounded by the beauty of Bagan. 

Hội An, Vietnam

Hội An, which literally translates as "peaceful meeting place," is an exceptionally well-preserved ancient trading port town dating back to the 15th century.  It still preserves almost intact its distinct Chinese atmosphere with low, tile-roofed houses and narrow streets.

Walking along the romantic low-scaled alleys, paired with a nice traditional dinner in front of the Thu Bon River, is the best way to absorb the ancient charm the town presents. While taking a stroll along the river, you will see locals lowering floating candle lanterns into the river as they silently cast their prayers and wishes.  

You and your loved one can participate by throwing your own floating lantern either from the river side or from one of the popular romantic dinner cruises – which also gives a great opportunity to take gorgeous sunset pictures of the mountains and all the fishing activity on the river.  

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia has one of the strangest yet most beautiful landscapes in the world.  This moon-like landscape hides a lot of history dating back over 3,000 years in its underground cities, cave churches, and houses carved in the rocks.

I’ve mentioned sunsets as being romantic in the previous two destinations, but in Cappadocia, the sunrise is the most romantic time. Do a hot air balloon tour over the landscape and you’ll watch how it all slowly illuminates as the sun comes up, creating interesting shadow patterns with the fairy chimneys and eroded surfaces. 

Splurge a bit more and hire a balloon just for you and your partner.  You’ll enjoy the romantic moment with just the two of you (and the balloon pilot, of course).

If ballooning is not for you, no worries, you can rent a car or bike and go to Devrent (Imagination) Valley on your own.  Hike to a secluded point along the eroded landscape and watch the scenery from a high vantage point while letting your imagination go wild as you name the different animals and shapes created by the rocks.

Ouro Preto, Brazil

Ouro Preto is the pure definition of old, cute, and small. This well-preserved Portuguese colonial town from the 18th century might be easily considered as a romantic destination. Its cobblestone narrow streets, its colonial buildings and churches, and the unique location up in the mountain form part of the various ingredients needed to make it a destination romantic. But, Ouro Preto is not that mainstream, so you can enjoy the romanticism of the town without the crowds.

Ouro Preto, which translates as “black gold”, was developed as a gold mining town during the Brazilian gold rush in the 18th century. As soon as the gold ran out, the city center stopped developing and preserved its character almost intact. Today, you can walk along the alleys and narrow streets and you can easily feel like you traveled back in time.

Srinagar, India

For me it is extremely hard to picture India as a romantic destination, but Srinagar is one special place that doesn’t really feel like the rest of the country. Nestled in the Himalayas, Srinagar is a lake town where all buildings are actually boathouses. It is actually referred as the Venice of the East. You can take a small canoe to “stroll” (or row) around the town, visiting the restaurants down the “flow”, the little shop three boats ahead, or to the floating cafe where all the locals meet. 

Just imagine yourself rowing on the lake, just the two of you in the canoe, surrounded by the beautiful Himalayas, the boathouses in the distance, and the welcome sight of other rowers passing by. It’s just beautiful. Everything here goes at a really slow pace and the atmosphere has a very pleasant vibe that makes you feel good about yourself. 

Have any of these destinations sparked your romantic side?

About the Author

Norbert Figueroa

Norbert Figueroa, a RoamRight Blog Author Norbert Figueroa is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at globotreks.com, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips, and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and he is currently based in Milan, Italy... when not roaming around the world, that is. He has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.

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