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Because Asia is so large and hosts so many different cultures, climates, and geographies, a visit any time of year will bring the traveler unforgettable experiences. However, travel to the region during the months of December and January can be especially rewarding.
These months are part of the dry season for much of Southeast Asia, and while sometimes crowded with tourists, it is some of the best time to escape the cold wet winter of much of the rest of the world. But, not all of Asia is crowded during these months. Some Asian destinations have cheap rooms and attractions due to a lull in the tourist season. There are also some amazing festivals during this time of year that many travelers miss.
Sunny Southeast Asia
If you are desperate to escape the cold rain and snow of your winter climate, travel to Southeast Asian destinations like Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. These locales are warm and dry during December and January. While the prices will be more expensive during this time of year, Thailand and Malaysia are still among the cheapest luxury stops in the world. These months are great for enjoying the beach and drinking tropical spirits. The local cultures of the region, especially places a little less visited like Cambodia and Vietnam, are always vibrant, but are easier to appreciate during the dry months.
Smaller Crowds in Taiwan and Hong Kong
If you want to get away from crowds and aren’t searching for a tropical getaway, December and early January is a great time to visit Hong Kong and Taiwan. The weather can get chilly and a little wet, but the crowds are sparse and the prices are cheap. Hong Kong and Taiwan are densely populated and so getting around without the extra groups of tourists makes visiting this time of year a fun and you may experience better service. The later in January and the closer it gets to the lunar New Year, the more crowded and expensive things become.
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
If you are interested in culture, winter in China a great time to visit. Much of the north of the country is cold and snowy this time of year. But, seeing the Great Wall with a little snow is a rare sight for tourists. Consider traveling to the northeast of China to Harbin for the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. You won’t run into many tourists, but you will see beautiful ice artwork displays and thousands of Chinese lanterns. The festival only dates back to the 1980’s, still brand new by Chinese standards, but every year the festival has grown more elaborate and breathtaking.
There are many treasures to be found in travel to Asia. Consider making it your destination this December and January.
What is the best place you have visited in the months of December/January?