5 unusual but wonderful ways to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia

Although unusual, we have listed five of the most beautiful locations around the Far East, perfect for all restless hearts and avid adventurers to visit during this time of year. 

Unusual but wonderful ways to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia
Unusual but wonderful ways to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia
17 Dec 2015

Unusual but wonderful ways to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia

Far from the grandeur of Europe and North America's cold, white Christmas celebrations, laced with glistening snowflakes and real oak trees, Southeast Asia is probably the last place on earth you'd consider spending this festive holiday. Although unusual, we have listed five of the most beautiful locations around the Far East, perfect for all restless hearts and avid adventurers to visit during this time of year. It's time to toss your coats aside and embark on a unique holiday, guaranteed to leave you with lasting memories. 

Hop on a hot air balloon for a bird's eye view of Angkor Wat
Hop on a hot air balloon for a bird's eye view of Angkor Wat
16 Dec 2015

Hop on a hot air balloon for a bird's eye view of Angkor Wat

This truly monumental temple complex located in the heart of Cambodia is listed as one of UNESCO's - World Heritage Sites. What was once considered the largest pre-industrial city to exist besides the Mayans, now stand the silent ruins of an ancient civilisation. Housing five lotus-like towers rising 65 metres into the sky, there is no better way to take in these breathtaking landmarks than from above.

Ideal for couples, solo travellers or families, relax in these sturdy balloons that have been built to accommodate the weight of 12 people. Be sure to snap pictures for that National Geographic photo contest, as you soar over Angkor Wat at what’s possibly the best time of the day, when the evening sunset drenches the fading landscape in a spectacular blood-orange glow.

For added comfort and your well-being, this tour will provide you with refreshments and an English-speaking guide. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, rest assured you will be fully refunded or reorganised for a different day.

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Learn to care for nature's gentle giants in Chiang Mai
Learn to care for nature's gentle giants in Chiang Mai
16 Dec 2015

Learn to care for nature's gentle giants in Chiang Mai

There is no better way to spread the joy of Christmas than to give back to Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. Why not do something meaningful this festive season and head to the forested foothills of Chiang Mai, home to Thailand's most sacred and respected animal, the elephant. Sign up for an experience of a lifetime, caring for these magnificent creatures for a day.

Alongside the guidance of a mahout, liberate your soul by stepping into the lives of these gentle giants. The Happy Elephant Camp, nestled in the hills of Chiang Mai, take good care of all their elephants and have opened its doors to the public to help you gain a greater understanding and appreciation for these animals.

Put aside your fancy clothes and throw on a traditional mahout's outfit, before heading down to the Mae Taeng River where you'll spend the day bathing and interacting with your new friends. After this, make your way back to camp through the lush greenery, only to be welcomed with a traditional Thai-buffet spread and a swimming pool to relax in.

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Celebrate life by waking up to a view of Bali from Mount Batur
Celebrate life by waking up to a view of Bali from Mount Batur
16 Dec 2015

Celebrate life by waking up to a view of Bali from Mount Batur

Among the many active volcanoes that surround the island of Bali, Mount Batur holds the most sacred value according to Hindu belief. Drawing in a great number of tourists with the promise of both beauty and adventure, it boasts some of the most spectacular and unforgettable sunrises upon reaching its peak.

Ideal for individuals in good health with previous climbing experience, your morning begins bright and early with a tedious four-hour trek up the volcano that will be well worth it when you arrive at your destination. The view that awaits you will be one to remember for years to come. The calm and breathtaking peak is a perfect place to meditate and find peace deep within your soul.

After your arduous journey, enjoy the fruits of your labour by going for a dip in a natural hot spring nestled in an area close by. Aside from this much-needed break, this tour provides you with a delicious lunch spread to help you recuperate and regain the strength you'll need for your journey down.

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Bask in the beauty of love on a quiet beach in Phuket
Bask in the beauty of love on a quiet beach in Phuket
16 Dec 2015

Bask in the beauty of love on a quiet beach in Phuket

If you’re looking for a meaningful way to spend Christmas with that special someone, it doesn’t get any better than watching the sunset on one of Phuket’s picturesque, white-sand beaches. Besides the many island-hopping options available and the hundred other ways to have fun on this island, why not set aside one day to spend a meaningful evening in each other’s arms just to reflect and fall in love all over again.

On a quiet corner in Bang Tao or Surin beach, a cosy picnic is set up for you surrounded by Tiki torches, a picnic mat, white wine, cold-cuts, chocolates and strawberries. Dine in the sunset, within the calm and quiet of only you and your partner’s presence, before writing your wishes down on two heart-shaped lanterns and releasing them into the night sky.

Far away from the Phuket night scene, take comfort in the knowledge that this romantic experience was designed specifically to make you and your better half feel like the night is yours, with the sole focus being the two of you alone. Towels will also be provided in case you both decide to abandon all inhibition and dive into the night sea, trading in all worry and care for Christmas love and peace.

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Explore the deep blue off the coast of Koh Samui
Explore the deep blue off the coast of Koh Samui
16 Dec 2015

Explore the deep blue off the coast of Koh Samui

Despite being recognised as a well-loved favourite in the tourism business, the island of Koh Samui shows no sign of retiring anytime soon. Known for its long stretches of sandy white beaches, clean roads, undisturbed nature and beach bars, the island’s stand-out feature comes from its miles and miles of clear, blue sea that’s home to a rich diversity of marine life. 

A perfect way to spend a Christmas that’ll leave you with unforgettable memories will be to take your family on a snorkelling tour off Crystal Bay and Silver Beach. Unlike scuba diving, what’s unique about this highly personalised ‘Snookah’ dive tour is that you don’t need to be a certified diver in order to get the experience of a lifetime.

Let personal instructors guide you through the underwater wonders surrounding the infinite Gulf of Thailand before retiring to light refreshments and a complimentary souvenir.

Try this activity here.

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