Best places to celebrate Christmas and New Year in Southeast Asia

Being Buddhist countries, Christmas is not a public holiday in Southeast Asia. And New Year is celebrated later than in the Western countries. However, we are happy to join the celebrations. Here are some of the best places to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s eve in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam

Sapa


Spend Christmas far away from home in the mountains of Sapa for a typical Christmas in a wooden chalet. You might even see some snow in December.

Hanoi


You can buy all the Christmas decorations you need in Hang Ma Street, in the Old Quarter. If you’re looking for a religious site to celebrate Christmas, St Joseph’s Cathedral is a good option. Strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake on the weekends is easy because it is closed to the vehicles. You will meet many families of locals and foreigners, and you will have a chance to attend musical performances in the French Quarter. You can also attend to a show at the Opera for the occasion.

Ho Chi Minh City


For a warmer Christmas, you better choose Ho Chi Minh City. The decorations are numerous for you to sink into the ambiance of Christmas, especially on Thanh Cong Street (Tan Phu District), filled with lights and candles. The streets nearby the Catholic cathedrals - Notre Dame Cathedral in District 1 is the most famous - will be close for the people to walk easily and safely. Nguyễn Huệ is a pedestrian area for example.
Celebrate 2019 and admire city lights from a rooftop bar. For unique views of the town embark on a romantic New Year’s eve dinner cruise on the river.

Usually, the luxury hotels in the bigger cities offer delicious buffet dinners accompanied sometimes with a music or dance show during the two events.


Thailand

Bangkok



If you didn’t have time for your Christmas shopping don’t worry, shopping centers in Bangkok have great discounts. If you’re seeking for more traditional gifts, you should head to one of the numerous markets. The churches will be open on Christmas day. As Saigon, Bangkok features numerous excellent rooftop bars to party and hotels/restaurants with Christmas buffets.

Koh Yao Yai


Thailand has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. For an unusual Christmas and New Year’s eve go to the beach of Hoh Yao Yai. It is an original way to celebrate it with delicious and cheap Thai food.


Myanmar


If you’re looking to break the routine of the usual Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, Myanmar is your destination. The best time of the year to visit Myanmar is from November to January, a good reason to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s eve in this country. The Christian community is very small so don’t expect to see big events but you will find some churches to celebrate Christmas. If you want to enjoy a traditional dinner, the hotels and restaurants in Ngapali Beach are serving special meals for the occasion of Christmas.

Laos and Cambodia


For a festive New Year’s eve and Christmas we suggest you to head to the Lao and Cambodian main cities: Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Those cities are making decoration and events efforts for the expats and visitors. Many restaurants will be serving a good special dinner for the occasion. Hotels, clubs and bars will be ready for the midnight countdown.


Sources: citypassguide.com, theculturetrip.com

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