The season of merriment and gift-giving is just a few months away. Preparations for this festive time of the year starts as early as the start of the last quarter of the year. In Asia, Christmas celebration varies among each region. It simply is a collection of practices by different religions occurring during this holiday period. The Western influence, though, makes Christmastime more fun and exciting in the East.
Before you plan out anything for Christmas, make sure to check out these 15 places to celebrate Christmas in Asia.
The little red dot in Asia may be a quick choice for very obvious reasons, but Singapore never miss to surprise. Trust me, they have a lot to offer during Christmas season. From grand decorations and Christmas theme presentations at Gardens by the Bay to the fancy decorations along Orchard Road, you can definitely feel the essence of Christmas all around in Singapore. For kids who wish to experience a festive kind of Christmas with a bonus of snow falling from the skies, no need to book a flight to Western side, because Universal Studios Singapore has got it all covered.
When your idea of Christmas celebration is shopping ’til you drop, then Hong Kong would be a perfect place for you. Stroll along the streets of Tsium Sha Tsui to get some best deals of the latest and most fashionable items. If you get a little hungry after a long day of walking then you’ve got to go to Long Island and enjoy one of the tastiest barbecue on the island. They serve all different kinds of marinated food that you can think of.
You might consider Sri Lanka as an odd choice to celebrate Christmas, but there is so much to do in here. From the tea plantations of Kandy, the Safari at Yala National Park to the relaxing beaches of Galle, Bentota and Mirissa, a cold yet summer-ish Christmas vibe in Sri Lanka is surely fantastic.
Planning on celebrating the holiday season in Tokyo? Don’t worry on missing out the fun because Japan have embraced Christmas tradition with utmost enthusiasm. Typical Tokyo at night is full of lights especially with big screens along main crossroads, but during Christmas season the entire city glistens everywhere especially in Ginza and Roppongi Hills. Almost every establishment are covered with Christmas lights and has towering Christmas trees. Go with the hundreds of people walking along the Starlight Street around Tokyo Midtown.
Who says you can never experience the chilly breeze during Christmas in a tropical country like the Philippines? Subtle bright neon lights, children carolers crooning around, fancy decorations giving reverence to the yuletide season and the cold and biting Christmas breeze are some of the things to see in this coldest region in the Philippines. This is where some of the best and uniquely-designed Christmas lanterns are being displayed for a show. Also, visit the Christmas Village in Baguio Country Club to feel the spirit of this special holiday season.
Thanks to a flourishing expat population and a very competitive tourism industry, the essence of the yuletide seasons has crept into the Balinese culture over time. You can either choose to celebrate Christmas peacefully in a beautiful villa fronting the ocean in Sanur, Lovina, and Amed or get along with the lively festivities in Ubud and Seminyak Villas. Shopping isn’t a problem in Bali because there are great finds in Matahari Shopping Center perfect for gift-giving.
The primary activity in Kuala Lumpur on this public holiday in December is shopping. But there’s more to do in the capital of Malaysia other than that, you can also catch music festival, mingle with people in a world-class entertainment bar in Bukit Bintang. And if you want to relax after a night-long party, chill out in KLCC park.
South Korea is the lone country in East Asia that recognizes Christmas as a public holiday. Celebrating the yuletide season in Seoul might be a little different than in any countries in the West. The month long festivities tend to be enjoyed by young romantic couple and as a religious feast for Christians in Seoul. Although most South Koreans engages in gift-giving, decorating Christmas tree and children singing Christmas carols and playing with their version of Santa Claus called Santa Haraboji.
Getting in Shanghai around December might give you a different impression of what you have at home. Nevertheless, you can still get a glimmer of Christmas exuberance in a country where the concept of Christmas remains fundamentally unrenewed. There are many exciting activities to get involved in to help you get through the chilly days of December in Shanghai. Also, enjoy ice skating with your family and friends in Hongkou and skiing in Minghang.
If you want to get off from the obnoxious, unnecessary and overwhelming madness kind of Christmas celebration in some big cities, you might want to hop on a very random holiday destination like Penang. This state in the northwest coast of Malaysian peninsula is a fusion of East and West culture. Although Christmas celebration isn’t widely celebrated here, but locals and visitors you meet along the streets keep the spirit alive by exchanging greetings and sweet smiles.
Let’s settle one thing first, Jordan is an Arab country. Arab people are not just Muslims, there are also some Arab Christians too. In this beautiful Arab country, Christians and Muslims have a very amicable relationship with one another. If you plan on celebrating Christmas in the Middle East, then Jordan would be the best pick. And, make sure to attend the lighting of the tallest Christmas tree in the town of Fuheis.
Just because Thais love any excuse for a party, it’s no wonder even though Christmas Eve is not an official holiday, many locals, expats and travelers all of the over the globe enjoy the Christmas Eve in Bangkok. Big hotels and shopping centers take on all the trappings and trimmings of Christmas. Even convenience stores deck the walls with fairy lights and strips of tinsel.
Supermarkets, malls and homes are lit-up, restaurants getting creative with their menu, offices closing and the weather that is almost freezing are some of the things to expect in December. The season of gift-giving brings more festivity in Delhi that any other months in a year. And, a trip to Connaught Place is a must during Christmas and New Year’s eve.
If you’re looking for a place to travel this yuletide season, why not consider Taiwan? Well, Christmas is not a national holiday in Taiwan. Commercial establishments are draped with flashing Christmas lights, golden and silver bells, and Christmas trees, but it is not as extravagant compared to any other cities in Asia. If you want to spend a peaceful holiday, where you’re not going to be pressured to shop for gifts and whatnot, then Taiwan should be for you.
In Macau, casinos are everywhere. Even if you’re not a casino-type of person, you will still enjoy spending Christmas holiday in the beautiful city in South China. Other than their famous casinos, Macau also boasts to have offerings of delectable food from around the world, concerts, unique events and grandiose decorations in MGM are more than enough to begin a memorable Christmas experience abroad.
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