Take the road less travelled for your honeymoon with these breathtaking yet affordable destinations.
Wedding season is upon us once again which means so is the best type of planning; scouting for honeymoon destinations. Once the stress of the wedding planing is done, world here we come - well, on a budget. With the devaluation of the Egyptian pound, it may seem like finding a dream destination that won’t break the bank is impossible. However, if you look beyond the norm, some of the most underrated spots are also some of the most beautiful. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a list of five gorgeous destinations that are on the affordable side, but are no less fitting.
For the Adventurers: Nepal
The Southeast Asian country of Nepal is best known for being an adventurer's paradise. Home to one of the world's highest peaks (Mount Everest), it’s filled with a wide range of activities including trekking, hiking, bungee jumping and rafting among others.
Activities aside, to experience a country is also to experience its food. Usually though, that’s what we end up blowing most of our budget on it. But not in Nepal! Considered it's one of the cheapest countries in the world in terms of food, a quality, authentic three-course meal can cost you as little as EGP 90. They’ve got quite a few hidden gems that’ll help you stick to your budget while still eating like a king. Check out Mithos and Melrose Restaurant and bar, both of which are in Kathmandu.
We’ve also heard through our network of travel informants that the restaurants to definitely try in Kathmandu are the Fire and Ice Pizzeria and The Rum Doodle. The Rum Doodle is the spot where all the Mount Everest Climbers go for a bite and to leave their signatures. So whether or not you decide to climb the infamous slope, this is the spot where you take a photo as proof for your friends that you did indeed "climb" the world's highest mountain.
Visa: Upon arrival
Plane ticket price range: EGP 7000 - 16 000
Traveller's tips: Have a personal photo with you upon arrival for the visa as the lines for the photo-machine are quite long.
For the Party Animals: Thailand
Thailand's Koh Phangan island has a bit of everything, with its gorgeous beaches surrounded by greenery, raves, cheap markets and more. And for the ladies, this is your excuse to forget you even own pants and spend your days the way you were meant to; in shorts and a bikini top. That means you'll need to make sure you've packed all the necessities. That is, your moisturizers because it gets humid and an epilator because you’ll be walking around baring all for most of the trip. We recommend braun Silk-Epil – 9 as the results last up to 4 weeks so you won't have the hassle of constantly having to shave every morning. Epilate under warm water (the Braun epilator is waterproof) to keep your skin hydrated. Now that the beauty regimens are out of the way, you can get back to whispering sweet nothings in each other's ears.
The boutique hotels on Haad Rin beach are also remarkably affordable, with double rooms starting at EGP 500 per night. Another one of the island's perks is the alcohol prices (not that we're raging alcoholics or anything, we've just done our research thoroughly). It's dirt cheap with a bottle of beer costing as low as EGP 20. We recommend the buckets though, which are literally plastic sand buckets, but instead of sand, there's ice, hard liquor and a mixer. Yum.
You can also head to the Haad Rin market where you’ll find silver shops, souvenir shops and more, selling everything for a bargain price (haggling doesn’t hurt either). After the long day bargaining, you can drop by the Family Guy bar which basically plays the series on small screens 24/7. They've also got loads of tattoo parlors too if you want to commemorate your eternal love with matching doves.
Visa: Takes 3-4 days from date of application.
Plane ticket price range: EGP 10 000 - 28 000
Traveller's tip: If you're a drinker, then you have to try their local beers. We recommend Singha.
For the Explorers: Cambodia
Cambodia is every backpacker’s paradise with affordable transportation and lodging making it quite easy. A 6-7 hour bus ride from one area to another can cost as low as EGP 80 so you can imagine the prices for inner city. It was also voted one of the cheapest countries in terms of accommodation by SkyScanner in 2017 with hotel prices going as low as EGP 300 per night.
Other than the Angkor Wat – which is one of the largest religious monuments in the world – Cambodia is a realm of unexplored spots. One of which, Rabbit Island doesn't have electricity or Wi-Fi so you’ll be forced to talk to each other (shock, horror). Don't forget to drop by the Human Gallery in Battambang (Joseph Etxebarria) which is the Asian version of Humans of New York. Here’s the twist though - the artist’s pictures aren’t for sale online so you’ll have a one of a kind piece of memorabilia to make all your artsy friends jealous.
Visa: Upon arrival (30 days)
Plane ticket price range: EGP 10 000 - 25 000
Traveller's tip: If you're going in April, they'll be having their New Year's celebrations with a big water fight.
For the Foodies: Mauritius
Mauritius - which is the priciest one of the bunch - was voted top destination for street food by CNN. The capital, Port Louis is famous for its food carts, with the country's cuisine being a mix of African, Indian, French and Chinese. The central market is definitely worth a visit where you get to haggle with the vendors selling a variety of different items. Basically, this is the moment every Egyptian's life has been leading up to, having had years worth of experience living in a country where everything is up for bargain. In Mauritius, haggle to your hearts' content!
For food, you can spend as little as EGP 90 for curries, fritters, roti and noodles. If you want to 'splurge', check out Chez Tante Athalie in Grand Baie. It's a restaurant located on an old sugar plantation that offers a three course creole lunch for around EGP 200.
The country's brimming with natural scenery so be sure to grab a street-food packed goodie bag and head out to one of the waterfalls for a romantic lunch.
Visa: No visa required (90 days)
Plane ticket price range: EGP 13 000 - 22 000
Traveller's tip: We hear Grand Baie has quite the nightlife scene so be sure to make a stop there.
For the Cultured Romantics: Tanzania
For Tanzania, Zanzibar is definitely the place to go; it's your typical honeymoon spot but on a budget. They've got quite a few beachfront boutique hotels and bungalows with prices starting at EGP 700.
When you get to Stone Town, throw out the map and go through the little alleyways packed with antique and memorabilia shops. Keep your phone charged though because they haven't got many street lights. Dining at the local restaurants in the area won't cost you much either, with meals starting as low as EGP 30 - 40. For something a little more romantic, Emerson Spice boutique hotel's restaurant is your go to. The hotel itself looks like a kind of Arabian chateau. The restaurant serves a five-course meal on the hotel's rooftop overlooking Stone Town and, all things considered, it's actually quite reasonably-priced.
The island excursions are cheap, too, so be sure to check out Prison Island which is home to a prison-turned-hospital-turned-tortoise-sanctuary.
Visa: Upon arrival.
Plane ticket price range: EGP 7000 - 23 000
Traveller's tip: When booking, make sure the season you're going in has high tide otherwise you won't be able to swim.