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Where in S.Asia should I spend Christmas and New Year?

Travel Forums Asia Where in S.Asia should I spend Christmas and New Year?

1. Posted by merc (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Hi, I'm planning to go travelling around South East Asia during mid December to early Jan '09, and will therefore be away for this coming Christmas and New Year.

Has anyone been travelling around that region at that time of year and can suggest where I should go? I've been told one of the many beaches in Thailand for New Year. Or perhaps New Year in Hong Kong? I read Philippines is suppose to be good for Xmas...

Any suggestions or advice would be really appreciated. Thank you :)

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1596 posts) 8y

Quoting merc

Hi, I'm planning to go travelling around South East Asia during mid December to early Jan '09, and will therefore be away for this coming Christmas and New Year.

Has anyone been travelling around that region at that time of year and can suggest where I should go? I've been told one of the many beaches in Thailand for New Year. Or perhaps New Year in Hong Kong? I read Philippines is suppose to be good for Xmas...

Any suggestions or advice would be really appreciated. Thank you :)

Thailand will have cheaper hotels than the Philippines. You can find hotels about the same price but in Thailand you will get a better room for the same money and almost always a security box for storage too! Both Manila and Bangkok will have cheaper hotels than Hong Kong.

So, how's your budget? If you normally stay in hotels in the $50 - $100 range then there might be no difference in hotel prices because you can find hotels in that same price range in Thailand and the Philippines but it is what you get for that same amount of money will be the difference!

I think you will have more fun in Thailand and save money too! I have been to all three countries. Just last month I was in Thailand and the Philippines. I think you have to like shopping to really like Hong Kong! (And have a big wallet too!)

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 8y

Merc,
I am going to suggest Thailand for beaches and the excitement of NYE. Hit some of the best beaches down south, Krabi area. Railay Beach, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta. Then up the Pattaya for NYE. Pattaya is one of the best cities for NYE. Heaps of foreigners having a good time at the bars/go gos, fireworks over the bay, great restaurants and a decent beach over on Koh Larn.

I have a blog entry on Pattaya and Koh Larn. Send me a PM if you have questions.

4. Posted by pau_p1 (Respected Member 214 posts) 8y

well.. do spend it in the Philippines... Christmas is a very big thing here and you can feel its spirit as early as the first 'BER' month (September) when you'd here malls or radio stations playing Christmas songs already... Christmas decorations are also being installed in certain places... and as of today there is a countdown to Christmas already..

also usually around the month of November certain malls here like the Ayala Center in Makati area and at the Mall of Asia, they have fireworks display every weekend until Christmas..

the city of San Fernando, north of Manila is dubbed as the country's Christmas capital... there is a street in Mandaluyong area along Policarpio Street where all houses are dressed with Christmas lights and decors as early as November...

and as most Filipinos are Catholics, by December 16th, people attend the midnight/dawn mass called the Misa de Gallo for 9 days until Christmas Eve... during this period of the year certain delicacies abound the country...

New Year time.. firecrackers shall be heard in every nook and corner of the country... fireworks display are also being shown major centers...

and I'm not sure if the World Pyrolympics will again hold the fireworks display competition around the later weeks of December like it used to in the past years... here different countries compete in their fireworks display in Manila Bay across the Mall of Asia..

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 6, 2008, at 6:07 PM by pau_p1 ]

5. Posted by teddy-bear (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

No hesitation, Thailand is the best for Xmas

6. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 8y

Depends how you want to spend xmas really. If you want a huge party with a lot of western tourists then the beaches in Thailand will be the best. However if you want a cheaper option and one that doesn't involve westerners, then I would head to the Philippines. Both countries have amazing beaches, but in the Philippines the beaches are not so populated, so it has more of the deserted desert island feel to it. Hong Kong is always busy and it is a big party city all year round so I imagine xmas there will involve a huge party.

7. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 8y

We spent last Christmas in Indonesia, on the Gilli islands and it was great. Not too many tourists, but cheap with good food (cheap alchohol too!) and lots of parties and a really nice beach too! The locals even made an effort on Christmas day coming around and wishing us a happy Christmas, it was a lovely day.

A lot of expats we know leave the Philippines around 15th December saying it gets a bit crazy from then on both travel-wise (they have said buses and planes are too busy to go anywhere) and hotel-wise with people getting away for a break over Christmas. We have never spent Christmas in the Philippines, but I can tell you that there are Christmas decorations in hotels at the moment and Christmas music in some malls we have been to...considering it's only the beginning of October, the Christmas spirit is starting early in the Philippines!

It is up to you though whether you want to spend Christmas in a Christian country. The way we have always looked at it...we can have a Christian Christmas celebration at home, we want something different when we are away.

8. Posted by pau_p1 (Respected Member 214 posts) 8y

yeah December most of the time is a hectic month for the transport industry here.. as Filipinos from abroad come home to celebrate the holidays... people in Manila also start to leave the metro to their own provinces... Christmas is very much revered at home...

oh.. and this year, we might have a very long Christmas break as holidays eat up the weekdays between Christmas and New Year as they are both on a Thursday and the eve of it the day are declared as holidays also... and the day after each are sandwiched by the weekend... so we'd expect many locals taking this opportunity to travel to their provinces or abroad...

last year I spent my Christmas in the US... in expectation of the peak period.. I booked my flight as early as October...

9. Posted by treks (Budding Member 6 posts) 7y

Hi Merc
For you Christmas I think kerala (India) or Pokhara and Chitwan (Nepal ) is best , you will enjoy your chritmas there

thanks