The Best Destinations to Travel to in Asia During the Winter Season
Whether you're looking to meander your way through powdery snow, or seek out warmer waters to relax in the sun, we've got you covered, here are some of the best places you can travel to during the winter season.
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For That Perfect Winter Wonderland...
Easy to get to and one of the easiest countries to get around, Japan's northern climate and mountainous terrain gives the country a number of fantastic snowy destinations to travel to during the winter months, but none quite as beautiful as the northern island of Hokkaido. The capital of Sapporo is covered in snow throughout winter and is home to the world renowned Sapporo Snow Festival which takes place during February in the center of the city showcasing all kinds of snow sculptures. You'll find a number of ski resorts in the surrounding region, some close enough that you can even base yourself in the city and go there on day trips.
While Japan has always reigned king for ski and winter holidays in East Asia, China is an up and coming destination to hit the slopes with a huge range of ski resorts to choose from in the Northeast region known as 'Dongbei'. The northern city of Harbin is also the site of an ice and snow festival similar to Sapporo's and yet even more impressive. In fact you'll often see ice structures so huge here it almost feels like a miniature city made out of ice.
For a ski holiday on the more luxury side, head to Club Med's resorts in Beidahu or Yabuli. Another option is Wanda Changbaishan International Ski Resort, which is styled off a European ski town in the mountains with a range of options and things to do apart from just skiing.
Northern India is full of idyllic mountain towns with incredible views over the slopping valleys or out to the dramatic Himalayas one of the most impressive being Shimla, a city sprawled all over the high-rising mountains in the Himalayan foothills. Unsurprisingly for its high-up location, the city is covered in a blanket of snow during the winter, making it particularly picturesque. If you're looking to add some skiing with your scenery, Kufri is a short drive away and offers some perfect slopes.
Not your average holiday destination, Central Asia is home to some of the most underrated destinations on the continent, especially in regards to the incredible scenery. The mountainous nation of Kyrgyzstan is full of beautiful scenic views that look even better when given a lick of white in the winter. Although hardly frequented by many visitors from outside of the country, you'll find a number of ski resorts here such as ZIL Ski Resort, a short drive from the capital of Bishkek.
Lake Baikal, Russia
The second largest lake in Asia, Lake Baikal completely freezes over during the months of January and February, bring locals and visitors alike to travel on the lake via quadricycle, dog-sleighing or ice skating. In the midst of Siberia, the surrounding area is home to a number of ski resorts too if you're looking for something more conventional.
If You're Looking for Somewhere Warmer...
For those wanting a relaxing beach spot that don't want to sizzle in the hot sun of Southeast Asia, Taiwan's southern coastal areas stay at the perfect temperature at this time of the year. It rarely gets much hotter than 25 degrees Celsius, generally staying in the low 20s and December is the driest month of the year, meaning the chances of having your holiday ruined by rain is extremely low.
Along the laid-back Southeast coast, Taitung is a sleepy city frequented by surfers for having some of the best swells in the region along with some beautiful beaches that are paired with the dramatic surrounding mountain scenery. Or head to the island's southern point of Kenting, this national park area has some of the most picturesque white sand beaches along with caves and corals to explore. As one of the most popular getaways on the island, Kenting Town is well suited for tourism, with a range of hotels and resorts along with a lively nightlife scene.
If you're looking for both sand and snow on your winter vacation, Taiwan has you covered, head into the central mountains to Mt. Hehuan where it regularly snows during January and February.
Cebu, the Philippines
As one of the most predominately Christian countries in Asia, Christmas in the Philippines is a spectacle that's highly worth checking out. In fact the Christmas season here is the longest in the world, with the countdown actually starting as early as September 1st. Of course the biggest celebrations are during December, where locals hold extravagant Christmas parties. The most of which are held in Manilla, but if you're looking for more of a beach holiday then consider heading to the southern capital of Cebu, close to an array of beautiful beaches that can be easily reached.
Whatever you might be looking for in a winter vacation, chances are you can find it in Asia. While traditional Christmas markets and snowy Swiss mountain towns like you'll find in Europe might be out of reach. There are a range of unique getaways you can escape to here, offering a fascinating range of cultures and a winter outlook you wont find anywhere else.