By Nina Huang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
The Hawaiian Islands
Lydia Hsu and Ben Liang got married in June and went to Maui and Oahu for their honeymoon, where their priority was seeking out good food.
Growing up, Hsu’s father always told her to save Hawaii for her honeymoon and that was ingrained in her head.
“We also just wanted somewhere we could relax and not feel like we needed to go out and sightsee,” she said.
They chose Hawaii over Europe or Japan because they wanted to just hang out on the beach and make the most of it, rather than trying to go out and see everything.
Not only did Hsu and Liang relax on the beach, but they also did some sightseeing, snorkeling, and hiking. They booked a Costco package that bundled up a rental car and resort. They also chose activities based on the locations of where they wanted to eat.
Their favorite meal was at Mama’s Fish House, located right on the beach. They enjoyed the freshly caught seafood, as well as the views.
“Maui’s less developed than Oahu so the pace is a lot slower. It was a great place for us to unwind and take things slow. Everyone there is not in a rush,” she said.
Hsu recommends booking a reservation ahead of time to experience the Haleakala sunrise.
She described herself and her husband as active and appreciative of history and culture. They went on an outrigger canoe ride and learned its significance in Hawaiian culture.
Sarah and Daniel Koerner got married in July 2018, but postponed their Greek honeymoon to April of this year. They were on vacation for a little over two weeks.
Sarah was inspired by the Kardashians’ trip to Greece.
“Greece looks so beautiful and serene, it looked like a perfect place to relax and explore the historic side as well,” she said.
They visited Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos, and booked everything themselves on travel sites like Travelocity after reading Google reviews.
Sarah said that Greece has a little bit of everything for everyone and you can do whatever that matches your desired pace. They chose a mix of accommodations, from Airbnb to upscale hotels, to experience more of the culture and traditional Greek hospitality.
They rented mopeds and ATVs in Santorini and Mykonos to explore the islands. They also did a wine tour at Santo Wines and experienced the gorgeous sunsets on rooftop bars. In addition, they hiked along the coast of Santorini.
While in Athens, the couple also got matching anchor tattoos on their fingers to mark and commemorate their honeymoon.
After eight years together, high school sweethearts Grace Xia and Jared Howell are getting married in August, and they’ve decided to visit Bora Bora for their honeymoon.
Howell won an all-expenses paid trip last year at work for his accomplishments and the couple decided that they would save that trip for their honeymoon.
“We love to travel and travel a lot, but we felt like no other place would top this, so we chose to use this as our honeymoon,” Xia said.
Xia said that other top honeymoon contenders were Greece and Italy, but ultimately decided that they could always go back, but Bora Bora was a prime destination for honeymooners.
They’ll be staying at the prestigious Four Seasons resort for five nights.
Xia is most excited to jet ski because the last time she jetskiied was in high school.
They plan to stay on the property because there’s already so much to see and do there. They wanted to go somewhere where they didn’t have to plan everything out, and that they could just relax.
Xia explained that they really enjoy quality time with each other, and are very comfortable not doing an activity. In fact, their favorite activity is relaxing together and reading a book next to the pool.
“We don’t really allow ourselves to fully relax and even though we like to travel together, we’re still homebodies,” she said.
Xia has heard that Bora Bora is a hot destination for honeymooners and she looks forward to meeting other guests at the resort.
The couple will be staying in one of the resort’s bungalows.
“The bungalow is bigger than our apartment, but we’ll still be in a different country experiencing new things and we’ll get a sense of home as well,” she said.
Spencer Chan and his wife Chelsie Noel also took a belated honeymoon after their wedding last September. In addition to a mini-moon in Victoria, the couple took their postponed South American honeymoon to Peru and the Galapagos Islands.
Chan is the planner of the two, so he took on that task. Machu Picchu and the Galapagos had always been on his bucket list, but they also kicked around other ideas, including France and Australia.
They ended up using a service called anywhere.com to book their trip. They work with a lot of local businesses and operators to curate their itinerary and accommodations based on your preferred budget and timeline.
Food is also one of Chan’s top priorities when traveling. He said that Lima is an amazing food town and home to three of the world’s best restaurants. Make reservations early because many don’t take walk-ins.
The small town of Isabela was their favorite. It’s central to some of the best snorkeling and home to the tortoise conservatory.
The couple brought small tin candles to light up the rooms they would stay in to give their home away from home a familiar scent.
“It’s a nice way to settle and help freshen things up,” he recommended.
Joanne Chen and Andrei Balasz, who wed last July, opted for a different type of honeymoon in Africa. They picked the location because they really wanted to see the Serengeti, which is where the wildebeest migration happens. They were deciding between Tanzania and Kenya, but chose Tanzania because they knew people there.
Chen said they also wanted a beach component, so they visited Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania.
“The best part was being—and being completely cut off from the world,” she said.
Chen advised that with visiting Africa, you can only really go the high-end route or super budget-friendly.
John Guanzon and Karen Ho got married in Honolulu earlier this spring, but are waiting to honeymoon in Japan. Next spring, they’re planning to visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. The couple plans on using their credit card travel reward points to book the trip.
They wanted to visit another Asian country because they feel a sense of homey-ness in Asia from their previous visits to other places, such as Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. They actually considered visiting Taiwan again for their honeymoon.
To Guanzon, Japan feels like the pinnacle of Asian countries—based on its technological advances, cleanliness, and architecture.
The things they liked about other Asian countries were the cleanliness and ease of public transportation, and Japan is known for these.
He’s also excited to visit the hot springs and stay at the capsule hotels. They’ll most likely stay in a mix of accommodations from the capsule hotels to 4-star hotels.
Food also drives their trip planning and he’s looking forward to eating sushi, ramen, teppanyaki, grilled meats, and wagyu/Kobe beef.
“I grew up loving Japanese things like video games and anime, so visiting places that coincide with those interests will be exciting,” Guanzon said.
He’s also looking forward to seeing the Unicorn Gundam statue in Tokyo.
In addition, as a history buff, Guanzon looks forward to visiting Nagasaki and Hiroshima, particularly for the World War II events, and to see the consequences of Fat Man and Little Boy.
Spain and Portugal
My husband Tony Vongdara and I got married in late July, but have also chosen to postpone our honeymoon to Spain and Portugal until October. Our choice of these countries were inspired by our love of seafood and curiosity of countries that have vibrant cultures and histories.
Like other couples, we’ll likely stay at a mix of accommodations, ranging from Airbnbs to higher-end hotels. We plan on hitting up Barcelona, San Sebastian, Madrid, Lisbon, the Algarve, and Porto.
I’m excited to try all the foods and experience pintxos, paellas, Portugese egg tarts, and more. I’ll be getting recommendations from the late Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, as well as other notable food influencers.
While trying to explore six cities in a little over two weeks is very ambitious, my husband and I are fans of the fast-paced travel style and are ready to accept the challenge.
We’ll relax when we get back to Seattle.
Nina can be reached at email@example.com.