Didn’t imagine Asia as a winter spot? The reality is that the continent has some great winter destinations that even rival Europe’s constant snow-falling places. And the best thing is that winter in Asia takes many forms: there are places with sunless days, there are places with icy peaks and glaciers, and of course, there are places where cool winter breeze and warm sunshine go hand in hand. For more ideas and inspirations on where to visit as the temperature drops in Asia, come take a look at this list of winter destinations in Asia.
Iya Valley, Japan
When you think about a winter holiday in Japan, it’s very likely that its cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka come into your mind. But there is the breathtaking mountainous valley of Ira which works as a great winter destination too. Acknowledged as the ‘Tibet of Japan,’ this hidden gem can be found at the centre of Shikoku Island, in the western Tokushima Prefecture. You’ll get lost in an altogether different world as you trek along its mountainous slopes, enjoy a relaxed Iya River cruise, and cross the lush valley through one of its age-old vine bridges, among others.
Any time is great to visit Manali in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, but it is extra special during the winter months from November to February. It’s sure to impress you with its snow-covered Himalayan peaks, eye-striking valleys, and revered mountaintop shrines. Moreover, it’s a haven for alpine and adventure sport lovers, with facilities made available for skiing, tobogganing, paragliding, and zorbing.
Placed about 350 kilometers from the capital city of Hanoi, Sapa is a pretty mountain town in Vietnam’s Lao Cai Province. It’s ideal to visit here during fall and summer months, but winter months (late December to February) are what make it truly special, although extremely cold. Experience snow falls, see its otherwise lush green terraced rice fields covered in snow, and be part of the special Christmas and New Year festivities.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Looking for a very special place for your next winter vacation? Consider the immensely charming Luang Prabang, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage city. It’s set in the northern Laos mountainous region and sits at the meeting spot of two rivers: Nam Khan and Mekong. It’s particularly captivating for its beautifully preserved townscape complemented by structures that fuses the elements of both traditional and colonial architectures. Add to this serene setting some luxury hotels and cool dining options.
There is no city in Asia that turns into a magical winter land quite like Harbin! Located in the north-eastern part of China, it’s also the capital of Heilongjiang province. Besides enjoying a wide array of winter activities such as skiing, sledding, and winter swimming, you’ll be able to shop at Hongbo Square Underground Shopping Mall, try authentic Harbin foods, and visit attractions like Siberian Tiger Park and Harbin Polarland. What’s more? You can also be part of the iconic Harbin International Ice Snow Sculpture Festival marked by ice sculpture expos, competitions, fireworks and more.
If you’re looking for an exotic winter retreat that has a bit of all, Singapore is a place to consider. It may not be your usual white winter destination, but it would still entice you, thanks to its cool repertoire of historical and cultural places of interest, amazing events and festivals, and top-notch leisure and entertainment attractions. The bonus is its refreshing weather which is ideal for everyone in your group, regardless of you’re traveling with your tiny tots or elderly members. Moreover, with minimal Singapore visa formalities to abide by, you can easily plan and complete your travel procedures.
Pyeongchang, South Korea
The venue of the 2018 Winter Olympics has all the markings of a perfect winter spot. It’s located in South Korea’s Gangwon County and is bounded by Taebaek Mountains. As the temperature dips to as low as -15 degree Celsius in the winter, people mainly come here for its winter sports, thanks to its advanced ski resorts. But it’s more than its snow activities; don’t miss its attractions such as the Lee Hyo-seok Culture Village, the historic Gangneung Unification Park, and Woljeongsa Temple with its scenic setting amidst fir trees.
Kampot is one Asian destination that overspills with charm and immense possibilities for exciting activities during winter. It’s located in the southern part of Cambodia, along the Tuek Chhu River. It’s sought after for its cool pleasant weather, helped by the unspoiled nature, heart-racing water sports, classic colonial architecture, highly venerated shrines, and mostly, the inspiring past. Further, be sure to sample the region’s traditional cuisines which are certain to delight your senses with its unique taste and flavors.
The temperature in Ulaanbaatar drops to -10 degree Celsius to -14 degree Celsius during the winter months, but that doesn’t make it any less compelling. So if you’re ready to withstand this extreme weather, you’re in for a treat! Discover its stunning snow-covered settings along the Trans-Siberian route, soak up the beauty of the fantastical Eurasian steppes, and be in awe at the friendly Mongolian people and their charming nomadic culture.
Want to skip all winter blues and instead retreat to a cool tropical paradise in Asia? Thailand’s biggest island guarantees you a winter getaway like no other, with its palm-fringed white beaches, verdant forested hills, and breathtaking coves and bays. It’s aptly acknowledged as the Jewel of Andaman Sea. Apart from these, its strategic location in the southern part of the country, along with smooth Thailand visa procedures, makes it a firm favorite of people looking for a quick, hassle-free holiday in Asia.
With this above list of best winter destinations in Asia, we hope that you’re now convinced about taking a winter escape to Asia. No matter which destination you choose, it would present you with a totally unique, special and spectacular holiday.