Christmas and NYE are just around the corner – it’s a matter of a mere two weeks now. The temperature’s already dropped and people are snuggling into warm robes.
If a white Christmas is not your thing, how about spending Christmas and NYE under the warm sun without worrying about cooking and shopping and decorating? How about splashing about on the pristine beaches of South-east Asia?
1.Hanoi, Ho Chi Min – Vietnam
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh turn into twin mega party cities during Christmas and NY; they are some of the best places to visit in South East Asia. There are innumerable parties on the beaches and plenty of fireworks and the booze runs freely. These two party cities are perfect for the end of the year, when a huge crowd of expats and visitors come to enjoy the end of the year festivities.
2.Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Phu Quoc is sheer paradise; it is one of the coolest destinations in Asia. It’s the perfect beach break for your end of the year festivities. The pristine beaches, the tranquil water and vibrant sunset cocktails will leave you feeling like it’s party time forever. Stay at a resort on the Six Senses Con Dao beach which is the very best in Vietnam. Spend Christmas Day under the warm sun, enjoying some beach time. Enjoy a fantastic Christmas dinner at the long beach’s candle-lit restaurants.
3.Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
During the holidays, the Phi Phi Islands transform into an unparalleled party scene, with Christmas lights everywhere and tons of parties, booze and fun activities. Join in on the many pool parties, enjoy boat cruises, water sports or just bum about on the beach. Take advantage of South East Asia tours this year and celebrate your Christmas at a destination such as Phi Phi Islands.
4.Siem Reap, Cambodia
Spend the Christmas day checking out south-east Asia’s most impressive temples. Angkor Wat will leave you speechless as will the jungle-clad ruins of Ta Phrom temple. The Bayon Temple’s intricate carvings are remarkable. Hire a bicycle or quad bike and explore the dirt tracks, discovering more wondrous ruins such as the Banteay Srei. Stay in one of the top hotels and enjoy a wonderful Christmas dinner and NYE celebrations.
5.The 4,000 Islands, Laos
If you like the idea of lying on a hammock at the 4,000 Islands in southern Laos this year-end, you’ve got the right idea. These lovely islands are dotted on the mighty Mekong River; some of them are just a few trees on sandy banks while others have quaint old shops and guesthouses. Pull on your shorts, hire a boat and explore this incredible spot. Keep an eye out for rare river dolphins and incredible waterfalls!
6.Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
If you want to experience a truly ‘British’ Christmas and NY, head to the Cameron Highlands. You can enjoy a fabulous stay at one of the beautifully decorated special Christmas suites at any hotel, and participate in Christmas dinners at tea and coffee estates. The Cameron Highlands are one of the top Malaysia attractions, well worth obtaining a Malaysia tourist visa for.
[Also Read : Malaysia during off-season]
7.Ngapali Bay, Myanmar
This lovely crescent-shaped bay and the calm, inviting sea surrounded by jungle-like dense growth is sheer paradise. There are many wonderful boutique hotels nestled in the thick jungle growth under thatched roofs. Head to Bagan and Inle Lake for Christmas; you can enjoy traditional parties and drinks and fireworks and sing carols all night long.
8.Luang Prabang, Laos
This charming UNESCO heritage town is rife with beautiful ornamental temples, many hotels and restaurants and charming wooden homes. Get yourself to the legendary 525 Bar for a tipple on Xmas eve, which stocks every kind of gin in the world. Enjoy a blissful, beautiful NYE with other gin lovers and bring in the New Year on a vista that’s unbelievably rich.
9.Koh Rong Samoem, Cambodia
How about heading to Koh Rong Samoem in Cambodia for a rustic beach bungalow Christmas vacation? It is one of the most stunning islands in South East Asia; maybe a bit less developed but it has the most amazing turquoise waters and pristine white sands. The accommodation is simple, so don’t expect much. What’s fabulous about this place is that just a 20-minute walk through the jungle takes you to some fabulous beachside restaurants and bars where you can celebrate Xmas and New Year with pals.
10.Myeik Archipelago, Myanmar (Burma)
This is a virtually undiscovered archipelago, comprising of over 800 islands off southern Myanmar. There is no accommodation on the islands though you can camp or stay in a luxury houseboat. Enjoy amazing snorkeling in the crystal clear blue waters and swim to your heart’s content. It’ll be a unique Christmas and New Year’s at the archipelago, when it’s just you and your family and mates celebrating the birth of Christ in the most natural possible way.
A Christmas and New Year’s vacation at a South East Asian destination may not be the traditional Christmas you’re used to, but that’s the fun of it. Who said that Christmas must be spent in a particular way? Head out to these pristine beach locations and celebrate Christmas in your own way.