Me and my mates have six weeks planned for South East Asia which cross over Christmas. Anyone have any tips / advice for some good places to go for Christmas / New Year? We haven't planned too much yet, other than having narrowed it down to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos.
#1 nja21 has been a member since 3/8/2009. Posts: 2
Ko Pha Ngan for New Years would be an obvious candidate, but as per bruce -- four countries in 6 weeks -- you're going to be moving a lot! Check the suggested itineratries (centre column at top) for some suggestions.
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,800
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"One of the things I love about SEA is the fact that it is still possible for Christmas to pass by totally unnoticed in some places. ;-)"
Not where I live. Except for the fact that it was freezing, we had Chritmas music playing in the supermarkets, the lighting in town looked just like Christmas lights, and it was even a bit nippy (but not snow). We had a Thai Santa at Lotus!!! In my wife's village, though, Christmas is just another day (unlike New Years - where everyone has an excuse to get drunk and women grope me).
Hey, so i dont think you ever got an answer. Im going to SEA this summer coming (10/11) and will be there over there during the xmas and new years period. Can anyone sugest any exciting places to be during this time? I already know od the full moon party on in Ko Pha Ngan.
#8 monkindy has been a member since 30/5/2010. Posts: 15
Depends on what you are after.... if it is party party party I can't be of much help I am afraid.
What surprised me last year when I was there was how much the people of HCMC are in to Santa, not so much the "Christ" side of Christmas, but there were certainly smiling santas in all the stores, little kids dressed up in red and white etc etc. I wasn't there for Christmas day but in the lead up.
For Christmas we wanted to do something special. We are not particularly religious, but Christmas had always been big with my extended family, so I knew I was going to miss them.
What we ended up doing was volunteer teaching at a school just outside Battambang in Cambodia. It was really the experience of a lifetime. Only actually work a couple of hours a day. The kids were wonderful, and we stayed in the homestay organised by the bloke who started and runs the school.
We got to eat with his family for lunch and dinner, and in the mornings he took us to the market for breakfast. The chance to just hang with some locals while doing a bit of good work was my idea of a truly special Christmas.
If you are interested the school is at http://www.kngo-home.org/2.html. I highly recommend it.
#9 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221
I can't help you much for Christmas, as we spent it on the slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang (though we had a good game of drinking UNO in our room in Pakbeng with some people we had met on the boat), but I was in Vang Vieng over NYE and it was great.
Went tubing on NYE day, got back, had a shower, had dinner with more people we met that day and then went out. Lots of people, good vibe; it was really fun. I would think will be able to have a good time anywhere on the normal trail... if having a few drinks is what you consider a good time over those particular holidays.
#10 eddyirving has been a member since 10/8/2009. Posts: 8
I would definately stay in Thailand for new year. Probably go to Ko Phang yan if you really want to party or another island like Ko Phi Phi if you feel that Ko phang yan will be too much!
Thanks everyone. For what it's worth we ended up having Christmas on a party boat on Halong Bay and New Year in Nha Trang, both of which I would recommend.
I agree with eddyirving - at the end of the day I would say that if you are on a tight schedule you need to find somewhere on your route to make the most of the occasion and you won't have much trouble. Slow Boat for Christmas and tubing for New Year - both fine choices! Although Christmas night in a Pakbeng 'hotel' may not be the most comfortable way to round the day off! :)
#12 nja21 has been a member since 3/8/2009. Posts: 2
I spent my last Christmas in Tonsai, in Krabi, one stop over from Railay West. I had an AMAZING time there during Christmas and New Years. If you are looking for a calm, car-less, beach paradise, with really intense parties at night, then I would definitely recommend it. As a rock climber, my 3.5 months spent there spread out between September '09 and May '10 have been the best of my life, but even the non-climbers love it. It's the rock climbing center of SE Asia and there are great guides for beginners to get into it and climbing to the best views in Thailand, in my opinion. See everything from up to 120 meters higher up than everyone else. There's amazing snorkeling nearby and it's walking distance from 2 epic beaches, Railay West and the even more beautiful Phra Nang Beach.
So my recommendation is Tonsai Beach, for the paradise, the calm, the adrenaline rushes and the parties!
If you want to hear more, or see pictures, feel free to contact me, I kept a blog.
What was the name/website of the party boat you went on at Christmas?
I will be in SEA Nov10/Feb11. Plan is to spend Christmas in Vang Vieng and Halong bay at New Years.
Any other ideas that anyone has would be much appreciated and im sure there are many other interested to know as well.
#14 monkindy has been a member since 30/5/2010. Posts: 15