Spending Christmas with family and friends has been a long-standing tradition around the world. In Singapore, families sometimes escape the sweltering heat to places that can offer an authentic Christmas experience – sitting by the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa flanked by a tall Christmas tree with dotted with countless ornaments.
However, even as most people adore Christmas festivities and traditions, travellers have been desperately seeking new ways to challenge underlying conventions and turn it up a notch!
This year, bust out your T-shirt, shorts, and slippers for the season as we’ve consolidated a list of 5 amazing destinations to jingle off to for an unforgettable Christmas unlike anything you have experienced before.
- Nepal, India
Nepal, an adventurer’s paradise with its range of undulating mountains that offer thrill-seekers a chance to experience Christmas like no other. With over 6,000 meandering rivers from the peaks, the most prominent river journeys as recommended by National Geographic would be that of “Sun Kosi”. A 3-hour drive from Kathmandu, its beautiful snaking tributaries, river rapids, and hidden temples amongst the lush jungle foliage that flanks it creates one of the most dynamic and visual landscapes the locals endearingly refer to as the “River of Gold”.
Amongst the diverse range of activities to cater to different groups of people, the most popular activity is the famous 10 day expedition along 270km of the “Sun Kosi” river channel that involves white water rafting or kayaking. If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, try trekking along the foothills of Nepal or visiting a Safari.
Throw the idea of sledding out of the door, and take a trip down the white rapids of Nepal.
- Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia
Off the coast of Cambodia lies the beautiful remote tropical islands of Koh Rong – the perfect getaway for city dwellers and adventure seekers. Visitors will be astounded by the vast 7km stretch of pristine, white sandy beaches with the azure blue sea as the backdrop. However, that’s where Koh Rong’s impression of a castaway island ends. With tropical themed modern bungalows dotting the island offering a plethora of activities, it is nowhere close to being a disconnected, abandoned island.
Paddle boarding is one of the most popular activities on the island; a sporting phenomenon that has its roots dating back thousands of years to ancient Hawaiian culture. For all you water babies, other aquatic activities include scuba diving, kayaking, and even fishing.
Tourists would be in for a surprise when night falls, with a phenomenal spectacle that is bioluminescent planktons lighting up the beach in blue. Keeping the twinkling lights of Christmas alive, giving a different take to the overall atmosphere and festivities.
- Sapa, Vietnam
Source: Vietlong Travel
Helen Keller once said that “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” and there is no place more befitting of that bold statement than the Sapa province of Vietnam. A mountainous region located along the east coast, its hallmark rice terraces lay backdrop to the idyllic lifestyle that provides a perspective into the everyday rural experience in Vietnam. There is no better way to get closer to nature than with a cycling trip through various counties in the Sapa region. Witness the breathtaking sights and sounds that the country has to offer.
If cycling is not your cup of tea, try light trekking to nearby Cat Cat Village that is home to some ethnic groups including the Black H’Mong. Catch a glimpse of the daily life of the local ethnic people in the rustic village, and observe their craftsmanship and trade skills.
- Queensland, Australia
Source: Artisan Mud Baths
Ever heard of the Christmas Day Dip? It’s when crowds flock to the beaches in wintery Nordic countries on Christmas for a daring swim in the freezing cold ocean. Instead of risking hypothermia, why not have a relaxing mud bath in the outback of Queensland, Australia. The uniquely themed mud bath house offers an authentic outdoor experience, surrounded by nature and in view of the perfect sunset.
Those raring for an experience on the “wild” side can get up close and personal with Australia’s animals on both land and sea by island-hopping or taking a dive and witnessing the majestic Great Barrier Reef and its occupants. Spend your Christmas with an experience so diverse, you’ll be left wondering why you had not been there sooner.
- Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Source: Tourist Expedition
Raja Ampat is the jewel of South-East Asia and has been growing in popularity amongst divers, sport enthusiasts, and photographers. Rightfully so, being one of the most biologically diverse marine environments in the world, diving or snorkelling
at Cape Kri would expose you to 374 different species of marine life and a wide range of corals that produces a kaleidoscope landscape of colours that would light up everyone’s Christmas day. For those who prefer to stay above the water, break a sweat while exploring the beautiful island landscape by kayaking or sailing
Other activities include cave explorations
that shine light into the history and culture of the settlers in the region with various wall paintings and art. Don’t stay home this Christmas and head out to the great outdoors and Raja Ampat would be generous in unforgettable experiences in the season for gifting.
ZUJI Singapore is now offering a 5% flight rebate, 6% package rebate and a 12% hotel coupon code in partnership with Mastercard to make it that much sweeter! Make your bookings to have a jolly good Christmas today!