I'll be in South East Asia in December and yet to decide on where to spend Christmas
I was just wanting to hear from people who have spent Christmas in this area whilst travelling. Did you choose beforehand where to spend Christmas or was it more on a whim?
I'm in the Philippines in Oct-Dec but im wondering whether to stay there for Christmas and maybe new year or to move on somewhere else, possibly Bangkok/Cambodia.
Anyones thoughts on this or alternate destinations would be great. Cheers
It depends whether you want Chrismassy stuff, or to spend it on the beach?
Singapore is pretty cool at Christmas.
Christmas in the Tropics
Or a beach party?
What sort of experience are you looking for?
You'd be better off planning it earlier rather than later as beach type accommodation can sell out.
Yep, if you are looking a alot of Christmassy stuff, not much to be found in SE Asia apart from Jingle Bell tunes in the department store. The Christmas lights in Orchard Road, Singapore, are well overated, and somehow with the heat, it doesn't feel Christmassy at all. Tokyo is great for Christmas and New Year as the whole nation have kind of adopted it as a reason to party, shop, lose your virginity (Christmas Eve), spend with family (New Year).
I will spend Christmas probably in Mexico. A bit of sun is always nice and it is a really cheap location from Canada. For short vacation is nice to keep it cheap and not spend half of it in a plane. We are also considering central america if we can extend it to three weeks... will see.
'Christmas eve is a good time to loose your virginity'? Seriously? Tell us more....
Yep, in Japan, the most important date for a romantic dinner is Christmas Eve so you'll find all the top restaurants fully booked weeks ahead, and all the top hotels also fully booked. Young Japanese refer to this day as "Ebu" and since it is not a National holiday, all the workers leave their office early to buy gifts for their loved ones and prepare for their special date. Many girls will happily de-flower on this day. There is also an island off the coast of Japan called Niijima (by ferry from Tokyo it takes about 6 or 7 hours overnight). This island is also nicknamed Nanpajima which loosely translated means "pickup island". It is a great little island with some great beaches and world famous rave parties, but it is also said that Japanese girls are known to go their to lose their virginity. Anyway, I am wondering off the beaten path here. Back to Christmas. I'd probably spend it at the top of Marina Bay Sands !
We usually specifically plan where we are going to be at Christmas - we have so far spent Christmas in New Zealand, Indonesia, India (x 2) and Thailand (x 2). As you can see by that, we liked India and Thailand at Christmas - if you choose the right place then it's not overrun at all.
Yes, Christmas doesn't quite feel the same at first with hot weather, but we soon got used to it and now think it wouldn't be the same unless we were on a beach in hot weather.
A word of warning about Christmas in the Philippines. As it is a Catholic country, the build up to Christmas is unbelievable and the travel busy-ness really starts around 15th December. Most flights get booked very early and buses can be rammed - a lot of people travel domestically to visit family. It can be very (even more so than usual!) chaotic and personally we wouldn't want to be in the Philippines over Christmas time because of this.
Take Donna and Neil advise. Expect if you think is really to have a Christian Christmas, get out of Philippines before it!
after that..it's waht you wish...
Nicolas, I love your comment on Dean...Dean, shouldn't it be...lose your virginity at New Year...don't know??
This year...we have a family Christmas...big big time....the location is irrelevant, it's all about the family...and for NY...we'll be surrounded by lights, eating oysters and drinking champagne...going for shows...but that's way irrelevant...comapre to Christmas!
Nope, definitely Christmas Ebu. Eve is for couples, Day is for friends, and New Year is for family and Toshi Koshi Soba for long life. As a thought, You might want to try Hokkaido for Christmas if skiing is your thing. Or an even better idea, though I have never been, the Christmas Island. Distance wise it is not to far from the Phillipines, but not sure how you'd get there. If you go in November, you'd see the red crabs !
Personally i'm not religious at all and i'm not that bothered about Christmas at home, just as its a busy period, well this side of the world anyways was wondering about SE Asia, lots of insightful thoughts from you all.
I know the philippines is a highly religious catholic country mainly, and on the advice from above i think i'll probably head out from there before the rush starts.
Ideally i'll like a quite relaxed Christmas, but not to be somewhere completely unaware of Christmas (if that makes sense). Then a more party like New Year scene. To combine these 2 ideas I'm thinking Thailand could well be the choice as that was my planned destination after the philippines but where in Thailand? Donna and Neil, where abouts did you spend your 2 christmas' in Thailand.
As much as the Japanese Christmas Eve tradition sounds appeals Japan has never really been on my plan as i believe for a backpacker it to be too expensive, it is interesting tho, can say i've never heard of that before.
My vote for Thailand....far away above every other place...Ko Lipe...
Last year Christmas was spent at Ngwe Saung in Myanmar - it was a cottage only a few metres from the beach and this was certainly a deliberate choice - this photo is taken from the front landing.
Our two Christmas' were spent on Koh Lanta, which might be a bit too quiet for you. Last year we had our friend from the UK join us and he was hoping for a bit more of a party. We like it a bit quieter and we love it there.
As Peter suggests, Lipe could be a good option with just the right mix of party and quiet from what we have heard about Christmas there or maybe Phi Phi for a full on party? The Andaman side (Krabi/Lanta/Lipe) is a much better bet weather-wise at Christmas rather than the Gulf side (Samui/PhaNgan/Tao).
I will invest Xmas probably in South the united states. A bit of sun is always awesome and it is a really inexpensive place from North the united states. For brief holiday is awesome to keep it inexpensive and not invest 50 percent of it in a aircraft. We are also considering south the united states if we can increase it to three several weeks... will see. Response to this
When we were traveling in 2007 & 2008 we made a decision about where we wanted to spend Christmas. We picked New Zealand.
I think the advice above to make reservations early for the holidays is a good idea. I was surprised how many people were traveling that time of year. Plus you may want a bit of extra comfort during the holidays.
We'll also be in SE Asia for Xmas. Haven't decided where to spend it yet, but (as said above) will probably have to book some place. Thinking Thailand though - some beach and atmosphere would be nice, so recommendations welcome.
We spent Xmas 2010 on a beach in New Zealand. Was a little weird and didn't feel very Xmassy. I missed my roast dinner! 😊
Having the same dilemma!
Xmas Day 2010 was spent in Cambodia, viewing the amazing temples of Ankgor Wat at sunrise then relaxing by a pool and having a few drinks in the town at night. We loved it. NYE was spent at the Full Moon party in Koh Phangan - crazy!
Xmas 2011 we flew to India, to Goa, and went to a dance festival on the beach for 3 days which was v different and fun!
Xmas 2012...Probably Thailand? Maybe Ko Lipe, haven't been there and looks great - not too developed with gorgeous beaches. May stay there for NY as well or move to somewhere a bit livelier.
Wherever you are in Asia will be special, different and more than likely hot and sunny, so enjoy it!