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Looking to spend a romantic time with your significant other but feeling uninspired?

Fret not, here’s part one of our roundup of three tropical paradises in Asia (excluding the crowd’s favourite, Bali) that will grant you a blissfully memorable Valentine’s day. Before you book the trip, make sure none of you are allergic to seafood!

Mirissa, Sri Lanka 

Made up of three bays along the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Mirissa beach is gaining popularity as the next insta-worthy destination for the sun-seekers and surfers.

Enjoy a fresh coconut from your hammock and watch the sun take a slow dive into the sea. Life’s a breeze in the coastal town.

Where to stay? Depending on your budget, there are modest guesthouses like Surf & Yoga, as well as chic hotels like Triple O Six around Mirissa beach. And if waking up to ocean views rank high on your list, check out Sri Sharavi Beach Villas & Spa.

We recommend spending 2 to 4 days here to bask in its laid-back atmosphere fully. At night, Mirissa beach turns into a moonlit dance floor with DJ spinning tunes till late.

Things to Do in Mirissa

Coconut Tree Hill

Photograph by alex_alderuccio via Instagram

When you’ve arrived at Mirissa, head as far left as possible, and you will discover the picturesque Coconut Tree Hill that is increasingly becoming the next hotspot for instagrammers. Time to check this off your #couplegoals list ✔

Whale Watching Tour

Photograph by quest_4best via Instagram

Go on a whale watching tour with your beloved. The waters off Mirissa are home to the world’s largest living mammal, the blue whale. You may even get to see dolphins and turtles as you cruise on the Indian Ocean. The best time to spot whales is from the end of November til April.

Day trip to Unawatuna and Galle Fort 

Photograph by tripshire via Instagram

Take a day trip to Unawatuna and Galle Fort. Both are located along the southern coast of Sri Lanka, which is approximately an hour’s drive from Mirissa beach.

Instead of taking a dip at the usually crowded Unawatuna beach, make your way to the town centre of Unawatuna, just right behind the beach featuring a line-up of trendy eateries and bars.

Drive further south of Unawatuna, you’ll arrive at UNESCO World Heritage Site Galle Fort – once a well-known spice trading port steeped in history. Discovered by the Portuguese in the 16th century, it was later overtaken and fortified by the Dutch in the 18th century, earning it the nickname ‘the Dutch Fort’.

Photograph by thingstodoinsrilanka via Instagram

Spend a day roaming through the narrow alleys, taking in the sights of colonial relics and sampling exotic spices within the walls of the ancient city. Once a bustling trading port with an assembly of traders from afar – today it is an undeniably charming point of interest for travellers worldwide.

Sunset views from Fort’s Wall

Photograph by pubudu.udara via Instagram

Reminiscing the sunset scene from the latest Kdrama ‘Encounter’? You don’t have to fly all the way to El Malecon, Cuba to catch the sunset from an ancient fort. Every evening, locals and tourists sit atop Galle fort’s wall, their eyes steady to the horizon, face aglow with the last orange rays. This is undoubtedly the best place to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean with your better half.