Best place to spend Christmas and NewYears in Asia - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Old 03-03-2006, 02:12 AM   #1
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Although I have yet to decide exactly where I'll be goin I was considering the following countries: India, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and Nepal. I need your opinions on which places are the best to spend Christmas and Newyears!
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:02 AM   #2
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What are you wanting to experience? How these western holidays are celebrated overseas or something completely different? For example, though lunar new year is traditionally the big deal in Japan, they also have a fair bit going on over the Jan. 1 period, while Christmas is a purely commercial venture. India and Korea have local Christian populations who celebrate the religious holiday, but with different traditions...

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Old 03-03-2006, 10:50 AM   #3
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Two things : first, I agree with what Tumblezweedz said. National New Years, special Festival from other calendar, as in China, or Nepal, for instance make great cultural experiences. I lived in few in Nepal. In one, children throw balloons filled with coloured water at people on the street, during the whole day ! They hide on rooftops, or in bushes and bang/ploutch ! This festival has become a "distortion" of an ancient religious fest. The elderly aren't happy about the way it turned out, how crazy and unreligious it is nowadays.

Here's couple of links :

New Year's customs around the world
goasia : new years of Asia

Secondly, Christmas and New Years, western ways, are a blast in Thailand and Hanoi, from my own experience. For Christmas, I was in Hanoi. The young Vietnamese, buddhist of course, took control of the streets at night, it was crazy ! And lots wear the red Santa Claus hat, hilarious ! There is one beautiful catholic church, the only place to celebrate religiously Christmas, if you want. With other travellers, we went to a chic restaurant, and the whole meal for four costed... $30 total. We then went out in a «non-backpacker» club, it was a bit quiet, but at least vietnamese (sitting on pillows on the floor, having to take our shoes off, one foot-high tables, etc.). We enjoyed it very much, especially the litchi alcohol ! There were bars loaded with partying travellers, if this is what you're looking for.

In Bangkok, I left the morning of the 31st, so I wasn't there for the big night, but they were building stages for live music. There was a spectacular crowd of Thais and travellers in the streets, electrical ambiance, and that was only daytime !

In Nepal, tourists gathered in clubs, that's all. I arrived in Kathmandu on the 31st, at night, and nothing was going on in the streets, nor in my hotel as a matter of fact. So I slept.
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