Dare to escape snowy Europe to spend Christmas in Thailand?
How many of you dream about a white Christmas? Anyone out there thought of escaping winter to spend Christmas in Thailand? I know, I know, it’s pretty hard to imagine to feel the Christmas spirit wearing bikini and swim shorts or at least short sleeves, or is it?
When your thoughts run through your head analysing the magic word Christmas, you instantly think of being cosy, surrounded by your longing family, succulent smell of crispy roast dinner, gigantic portions of guilt-free gooey desserts (huh, isn’t it what Christmas is about?) and Christmas gifts that you’ve been secretly waiting for just to complain about them shortly after.
It’s a great opportunity to reunite with your family members after all but what if you feel a little different this year and are wanting to trade off your cold and dark December days for a summer feel?
Why would you want to spend Christmas in Thailand
I’ve got a simple answer for you. Because it’s so different. It’s as if you were suddenly thrown into this roasting hot spot. Yes, you’ve just escaped the cold European weather associated with warm jackets, winter boots and hats. So you are one up on the winter. In Asia, where Christmas is nowhere to be associated with stuffing your face with mince pies!
My heart wants to shout, in about 12 hours you can comfortably manage to leave cold Christmas and trade it off for the tropical palm trees and blazing hot, 12 hour sunshine. So here we were, sipping on the sensual, thirst quenching coconuts, spending our first and definitely not last Christmas in Thailand.
How big is Christmas in Thailand and other parts of SE Asia
If you’re looking to experience the companionship, Christmas carols in every shopping mall and omnipresent Christmas frenzy building up towards that special day, you won’t like what I’m going to tell you. Most South East Asian countries go about their usual, daily activities and don’t cater for tourists as much. Unless it’s a more prestigious hotel that caters towards Western type of clientele.
What’s the weather like during Christmas in Thailand and SEA
I’ve already given it away at the beginning of this post but I thought it would be better to go into a bit more detail. Generally speaking, Asian winter is an equivalent to European summer with warm evenings and still very hot but pleasantly dry air and minimal rainfall. This is the most desirable weather in Asia and hence why it’s often referred to as high season, beginning in early December and ending in February.
Given that you’ve just escaped temperatures oscillating around 0 and often much below 0, you’ll be glad to experience this heat and not the one in March or April! Combining your holiday with Christmas in Thailand, who wouldn’t want that?
Keep an eye on the temperatures around different countries, parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore might be pretty rainy and humid around that time! However, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos are pretty good. Not sure about the Philippines. Anyone? Generally, the closer you are to the equator, the more humid it gets but it won’t be unbearable (unless the changing seasons are a bit delayed and you’ll land in Asia in the middle of wet season!)
We spent Christmas in Chiang Mai, Thailand where the weather around that time would be closest to late Jun – July weather in the Mediterranean countries (pretty hot but pleasant and most importantly dry with clear skies throughout the day).
Our memories from spending Christmas in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Unforgettable. That’s because of how we planned it ourselves, not how Christmas is celebrated over there which can be portrayed as pretty unevenful. We stayed in the North of Thailand surrounded by the Lana culture in the remote highlands of Thailand. It was a pretty busy time for us as we spent a few days in the Chiang Rai province shortly before coming back down to Chiang Mai for Xmas.
I wouldn’t call it proper Christmas if it weren’t for the Christmas feast, ha! This feast was nothing else but traditional Thai cuisine from the north of Thailand, most commonly referred to as Khantoke dinner. You can read all about it here.
Since in some European countries people tend to celebrate Xmas for 3 days, this time celebration time couldn’t any different but the vibe didn’t appear to be so Christmasy! Bigger cities in Asia have so many things on offer, with Chiang Mai being a great base for young, entrepreneurial expats who often choose to stay over Christmas who won’t run out of options for some slight Christmassy touch (remember, you won’t the European Christmas vibes here).
You should definitely check out Ta Phae Gate and… the Christmas night market available only for a few days so snap this opportunity while it lasts! The local street food vendors and food quality was very good and probably catered more towards more privileged Thai hipsters in their 20s (that’s our perception) with plenty of good stuff going on, fire, live bands and loads of lights all around the market!
Cherry Blossom Festival for Christmas? Make sure to organise a trip to Chiang Rai province
Ever dreamt of non-white but colourful Christmas? I’m sure you’ve never experienced pink Christmas before with overwhelmingly beautiful, snow-like cherry blossom fluff! If you are looking for a remote touch of Christmas spirit – head up north to the Chiang Rai province to see the spectacular Doi Mae Salong Cherry Blossom Festival which will leave you gobsmacked!
The festival starts just after Christmas, but you can be sure to see the entire village covered in cherry blossoms before the official start. You can rest assured that it is going to be part of a unique celebration with one of the most amazing views you will ever get to see at Christmas in your lifetime.
Feeling guilty to leave your family at a Christmas table?
Christmas escape will be a nice change and can be quite educational. Depends on what you expect from travelling around that time of the year. If it’s a beach escape from the chaos of Christmas responsibility of having to get together with your family, you won’t regret a single moment!
Lively nightlife in Bangkok or Phuket will make you forget you’d be sitting at the Christmas table this very moment. Chilled Chiang Mai would give you a nice cultural orientation where you won’t see priests but monks covered in their orange tainted robes. Other places during that time will be equally good.
I’d treat it as an experience and see how much you’ll miss being close to your family. If you like it, you’ll undeniably do it again and maybe convince others to join you.
If, however, during your Christmas escape in Asia you’ll feel that Asian countries are missing this significant aspect in their culture, then you’ll appreciate spending next Xmas at home, surrounded by your friends and family, reminiscing on your last year’s trip (surely this topic will come up at the dinner table) and cherishing the moments when you are reunited once again.
Are Szechenyi baths the best thermal baths in Budapest? One of the main reasons behind millions of visitors travelling to Hungary are hot springs in Budapest, with one particularly popular, Szechenyi baths. When booking our flights from London to Budapest, best...read more
Best Things to do in Budapest Hungary in 2020 Are you planning a trip to Budapest? Don’t just sit around, with tonnes of things to do in Budapest, you’d rather come prepared. Before visiting the capital of Hungary also known as “the Paris of the East”, never did we...read more
Naked Truth About Gellert Baths in Budapest Hungary When it comes to beautiful places, Europe seems to have it covered, and it’s done it pretty well. Budapest’s Art Nouveau, with its crazy beautiful (and soooo gorgeous) Gellert Baths is no exception but...read more
Welcome, welcome! You’ve come a long way. If you’re after a decent Ishigaki island guide, you can finally get some rest; you deserve it after finding me here. Remember to take your shoes off, it’s an Asian household! You’re going to learn a thing or two about some of...read more
All You Need To Know About Chinese New Year 2020 in London Chinatown With Christmas and New Year making a slow way out of London’s streets and landmarks in early January, there are other festivals unhurriedly making a more discernible appearance in the city in early...read more
I’ve been to Din Tai Fung in London - This Is What It’s Really Like Living in big cities like London comes with a huge list of perks. That’s if you exclude the irritating habits of your neighbours next door, inflated rent prices and overcrowded trains on your...read more
Spending Christmas in London? Christmas-Only Ideas That Will Make You Enamoured Today you’re going to find out all about making the most of Christmas in London and I’m here to help you choose where to go and what to see during this special time. After all,...read more
What is dim sum? All you ever wanted to know about traditional Chinese food ...but you didn’t know who to ask! If you’ve been reading our articles and following our YouTube channel, you’ll know that Kevin and I like to make the most of our travels including...read more
Best day trips from Kyoto in Japan That You Cannot Miss If you’re planning your holiday in Japan, you’re most likely going to visit Kyoto, Japan’s most visited city. Or you’d be the first one skipping it as I don’t know anyone who would plan a trip to Japan...read more
Best day trips from Osaka in Japan That You Shouldn’t Miss – All in One Place Travelling to Osaka in Japan? Be sure that the vibrant city of Osaka won’t disappoint you in the slightest. Quite the contrary, it is going to keep you entertained for at least few...read more