Best Places To Travel In Southeast Asia In December

Discover the Unforgettable Gems of Bali, Luang Prabang, Hoi An, and Siem Reap in Southeast Asia Bali, Indonesia: A Paradise of Natural Beauty Escape to

Peter Lonsdale

Explore the Best Destinations in Southeast Asia in December

Table of Contents

Discover the Unforgettable Gems of Bali, Luang Prabang, Hoi An, and Siem Reap in Southeast Asia

Bali, Indonesia: A Paradise of Natural Beauty

Escape to Bali, known as the “Island of Paradise,” boasting breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cultural traditions, and warm hospitality. With December providing pleasant temperatures, this month serves as a perfect time to visit Bali’s awe-inspiring beaches, picturesque rice terraces, and iconic temples such as Tanah Lot and Uluwatu.

Luang Prabang, Laos: A Tranquil Haven

Hidden amidst lush mountains and surrounded by the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its ancient architecture and serene atmosphere. December offers cooler weather, allowing travelers to explore the city’s ancient temples, marvel at the Kuang Si Waterfalls, and engage in local customs and festivities.

Hoi An, Vietnam: A Captivating Ancient Town

Be captivated by Hoi An, a charming town located on Vietnam’s central coast, known for its well-preserved buildings, enchanting lantern-lit streets, and rich cultural heritage. December gifts visitors with pleasant weather, allowing them to wander through the narrow alleyways, savor Vietnamese delicacies, visit the ancient ruins of My Son Sanctuary, and partake in the vibrant Lantern Festival.

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Gateway to Angkor Wat

Embark on a journey to Siem Reap, the gateway to the majestic temples of Angkor Wat – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the ancient wonders of the world. In December, the favorable weather conditions provide an opportunity to marvel at the architectural marvels, witness the stunning sunrise and sunset views, and soak in the spiritual ambiance of this ancient Khmer civilization.

Unleash the explorer within you and embark on an unforgettable journey to these extraordinary destinations in Southeast Asia during the enchanting month of December. Whether it’s gazing at the pristine beaches of Bali, immersing in the cultural splendor of Luang Prabang, strolling the captivating streets of Hoi An, or unraveling the mysteries of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, each destination holds its own unique allure that will leave you awe-inspired.

Also read:
best places to travel in southeast asia
best places to travel in september in asia


Outdoor Activities in Southeast Asia in December - Best Places to Travel

Discover the Best Outdoor Adventures in Southeast Asia this December

Looking to beat the winter blues and experience some thrilling outdoor activities? Look no further than Southeast Asia. With its tropical climate and breathtaking natural landscapes, Southeast Asia offers a wide range of exciting adventures for outdoor enthusiasts in December. Here are some top recommendations:

Explore the Trails of Chiang Mai, Thailand

If you’re a fan of hiking, you’ll love the trails in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This northern region is a hiker’s paradise, with its verdant mountains and peaceful forests. Dive into the beauty of Doi Inthanon National Park, venture through the picturesque Mae Sa Valley, or take on a challenging trek to the awe-inspiring viewpoint of Doi Suthep. December is the perfect time to visit Chiang Mai, as the weather is pleasantly cool.

Embark on a Snorkeling Adventure in the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

The Perhentian Islands in Malaysia offer a snorkeling experience like no other. Immerse yourself in crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and tropical marine life, including magnificent turtles. Grab your snorkeling gear and explore the inviting waters, where you can encounter an array of fascinating creatures like clownfish, parrotfish, and graceful manta rays. December provides excellent visibility and calm seas, making it an ideal time to delve into the wonders beneath the surface.

Ride the Waves in Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

For thrill-seekers and surfing enthusiasts, Nusa Lembongan in Indonesia is a dream destination. This small island is renowned for its world-class surf breaks and consistent waves throughout the year. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, Nusa Lembongan offers waves suitable for every skill level. Challenge yourself at Playgrounds, conquer Shipwrecks, or enjoy the mellow waves at Lacerations. December is an excellent time to visit, as the swells are consistent and the surf conditions are favorable.

Discover the Serenity of Halong Bay, Vietnam, on a Kayaking Journey

Embark on an unforgettable kayaking adventure amidst the stunning limestone karsts of Halong Bay, Vietnam. Paddle through emerald green waters, explore hidden caves and lagoons, and marvel at the breathtaking landscapes surrounding you. Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is best discovered by kayak. Whether you opt for a day trip or a multi-day excursion, kayaking allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder. December offers cooler temperatures and fewer tourists, making it the perfect time to appreciate the tranquility of Halong Bay.

If you’re seeking an extraordinary outdoor adventure in December, these incredible activities in Southeast Asia are not to be missed. Whether you choose to hike in Chiang Mai, snorkel in the Perhentian Islands, surf in Nusa Lembongan, or kayak in Halong Bay, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime in these breathtaking destinations.

Cultural Festivals in Southeast Asia in December

Discover the Cultural Extravaganza of Southeast Asia in December

Awe-inspiring Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Immerse yourself in the enchanting cultural festivities of Southeast Asia in December by experiencing the mesmerizing Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This extraordinary celebration, known as Yi Peng, takes place on the full moon of the twelfth lunar month and signifies the conclusion of the wet season. Witness the spectacle of countless lanterns gracefully soaring into the night sky as thousands of locals and tourists gather to partake in this unforgettable event. These lanterns are believed to bring good fortune and represent the release of worries and troubles.

Vibrant Christmas Celebrations in Manila, Philippines

Embark on a journey to Manila, the captivating capital city of the Philippines, during the month of December and be captivated by the lively Christmas celebrations that fill the air. Experience the Filipinos’ unrivaled festive spirit as you marvel at the stunning decorations that adorn the streets and houses, illuminated by a myriad of multicolored lights and ornaments. Ensure to visit Manila’s famous Christmas markets, offering unique local handicrafts and traditional Filipino delicacies. The city also hosts an array of Christmas concerts and performances, spreading joy and merriment throughout the season.

Unforgettable New Year’s Eve Countdown in Singapore

Singapore’s reputation for extraordinary New Year’s Eve celebrations beckons you to witness the grandeur of its renowned countdown event held in Marina Bay. Prepare to be awestruck as the city is transformed into an awe-inspiring wonderland of dazzling lights, with iconic landmarks like the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer illuminating the night sky. The countdown extravaganza features exhilarating live music performances, breathtaking fireworks, and a mesmerizing light show. Joining in the festivities in Singapore promises an unforgettable experience that draws visitors from around the globe.

Spirited Water Festival in Yangon, Myanmar

Experience the vibrant Water Festival in Yangon, Myanmar, during December, a thrilling celebration that welcomes the Burmese New Year, known as Thingyan. The heart of this festival lies in joyous water fights and the shared experience of splashing water on friends and strangers alike. The streets of Yangon come alive with the sounds of music, traditional dances, and colorful parades. It is a time characterized by immense joy, contagious laughter, and spiritual cleansing, symbolizing the washing away of sins from the past year and commencing the new year with a fresh and purified spirit.

Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia in December

Discover the Exquisite Beaches of Southeast Asia in December

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, known as the Gem of the Andaman Sea, presents an enchanting beach getaway in Thailand. December brings bright skies and pleasant warmth, making it an ideal time to experience this tropical paradise. Phuket showcases a multitude of breathtaking shorelines, including Patong, Karon, and Kata. Visitors can immerse themselves in a myriad of aquatic delights, such as swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and engaging in thrilling water sports. The electrifying nightlife, tantalizing local cuisine, and rich cultural attractions guarantee an unforgettable sojourn for every traveler.

Langkawi, Malaysia

Langkawi, an archipelago comprising 99 idyllic islands in Malaysia, beckons discerning travelers seeking a blissful beach escape in December. Boasting pristine sandy shores, crystal-clear waters, and lush vegetation, Langkawi unfurls a mesmerizing tropical utopia. Pantai Cenang and Tanjung Rhu emerge as favored havens for relaxation, sun-soaked leisure, and an array of water sports. Embark on an adventure through the Mangrove Kilim Geoforest Park, marvel at the iconic Langkawi Sky Bridge, and delve into the distinctive local culture and cuisine to complete your Langkawi experience.

Boracay, Philippines

Boracay, a world-renowned destination in the Philippines, is famed for its powder-soft beaches and crystalline waters. December marks the advent of the dry season in Boracay, offering serene weather ideal for beach endeavors. White Beach, Puka Shell Beach, and Bulabog Beach beckon sun worshippers, offering opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and engaging in thrilling activities like kiteboarding and snorkeling. As the sun sets, immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of Boracay, with its plethora of bars and restaurants creating an energetic atmosphere that will leave you wanting more.

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sihanoukville, situated on the scenic southern coast of Cambodia, boasts mesmerizing tropical beaches and a laid-back ambiance. In December, the weather remains warm and pleasant, making this coastal gem an idyllic destination for beach enthusiasts. Serendipity Beach and Otres Beach allure tourists with their tranquil surroundings, providing a haven to bask in the golden sun and embrace the soothing sea breeze. Adventure-seekers can also explore nearby islands such as Koh Rong and Koh Russey, renowned for their untouched splendor and pristine waters.

  • Exploring Ancient Wonders: Historical Sites to Discover in Southeast Asia this December

Historical Sites in Southeast Asia

A Glimpse into the Past: Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Steeped in history, Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is an awe-inspiring temple complex that mesmerizes travelers from around the world. This UNESCO World Heritage site, constructed in the 12th century, showcases impressive Khmer architecture adorned with intricate stone carvings. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or an adventure seeker, exploring Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples is an absolute must. With pleasant weather in December, Siem Reap offers an ideal setting to embark on this extraordinary journey.

An Archaeological Wonderland: Bagan in Myanmar

Experience an archaeological paradise in Bagan, Myanmar, where thousands of ancient temples and pagodas stand as icons of the past. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, Bagan holds immense historical significance. In December, the mild weather creates a perfect backdrop to wander around this breathtaking temple city. Renting a bicycle or taking a hot air balloon ride are popular ways to traverse the expansive landscapes adorned with majestic temples.

Journey Back in Time: Ayutthaya in Thailand

Located just north of Bangkok, Ayutthaya takes visitors on a riveting expedition through Thailand’s glorious past. This once-thriving capital of the Kingdom of Siam now offers an archaeological site showcasing the remnants of its former grandeur. As you explore Ayutthaya’s historical park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, you can uncover the country’s rich history and marvel at the architectural wonders of yesteryears. Immerse yourself in Thai heritage as you wander among the ruins of temples, palaces, and statues.

A Majestic Imperial City: Hue in Vietnam

Discover the captivating history and culture of Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. The Imperial City within Hue was once the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors and now serves as a testament to Vietnam’s splendid past. The complex of palaces, temples, and tombs will transport you to a bygone era. December brings cooler temperatures to Hue, providing a comfortable atmosphere for exploring these historic sites. Take a boat trip along the Perfume River and immerse yourself in the rich heritage, visiting the mesmerizing tombs of the emperors.

Visiting these historical sites in Southeast Asia during December offers a remarkable opportunity to delve into the region’s remarkable past. While learning about the inspiring architecture and captivating stories behind these sites, you can also enjoy the pleasant weather and create enduring memories in this enchanting part of the world.

Frequently Asked Questions about Traveling in Southeast Asia in December

What is the climate like in Southeast Asia during December?

December brings warm and humid weather across Southeast Asia. However, it’s important to note that the climate can vary across different countries in the region. Temperatures typically range from 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F), with occasional rainfall. Make sure to check the specific weather conditions of your desired destinations for a more accurate forecast.

Are there any travel restrictions to be aware of in December?

Due to the ever-changing nature of travel restrictions, it’s crucial to stay updated with the latest information from relevant authorities, such as official government websites or travel agencies. Various countries in Southeast Asia may have different entry requirements, visa regulations, and quarantine measures, especially considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Familiarize yourself with the necessary travel documents and guidelines before planning your trip.

What are the popular tourist attractions in Southeast Asia during December?

Southeast Asia offers a multitude of captivating tourist attractions that draw visitors from around the world. Some popular destinations to explore in December include:

  • The Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia
  • The breathtaking beaches of Thailand, like Phuket and Krabi
  • The stunning Halong Bay in Vietnam
  • The cultural heritage sites of Myanmar, such as Bagan and Mandalay
  • The exotic islands of Bali and Lombok in Indonesia

These are just a few examples, as Southeast Asia is filled with numerous other captivating places to discover.

What should I pack for my trip to Southeast Asia in December?

When packing for your trip to Southeast Asia in December, it’s important to bring lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for the warm weather. Consider including the following items:

  • Lightweight and quick-drying clothes
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • A hat or cap for sun protection
  • Insect repellent
  • A raincoat or umbrella for occasional showers
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Swimwear
  • A small backpack for day trips

Don’t forget to check the specific requirements and recommendations for each destination you plan to visit.

How crowded are the tourist destinations in December?

December is generally considered a peak tourist season in Southeast Asia due to the pleasant weather and holiday period. With this in mind, popular tourist destinations can be quite crowded, especially during the Christmas and New Year period. To ensure a smooth experience, it’s advisable to book accommodations and attractions in advance. If you prefer less crowded areas, consider exploring alternative destinations or visiting popular attractions during non-peak hours.

Are there any special events or festivals happening in December?

December brings a festive atmosphere to Southeast Asia, with several special events and festivals taking place. Some notable celebrations include:

  • Christmas – celebrated in many Southeast Asian countries, particularly in urban areas with a significant Christian population. Festive decorations, lights, and events can be enjoyed.
  • New Year’s Eve – various parties, firework displays, and countdown celebrations are organized throughout the region.
  • Chiang Mai Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Thailand – an enchanting event where thousands of floating lanterns are released into the night sky.
  • Bali Spirit Festival in Indonesia – a vibrant festival celebrating yoga, dance, and music with workshops, concerts, and performances.

These are just a few examples, and you’ll find many more local events and cultural celebrations happening in different parts of Southeast Asia.

What are some recommended local dishes to try while traveling in Southeast Asia?

Southeast Asia is renowned for its diverse and flavorful cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to try these must-try dishes during your travels:

  • Pad Thai – a popular Thai stir-fried noodle dish
  • Nasi Goreng – Indonesian fried rice with various toppings and flavors
  • Pho – a traditional Vietnamese soup with rice noodles and aromatic broth
  • Laksa – a spicy coconut-based noodle soup found in Malaysia and Singapore
  • Tom Yum Goong – a tangy and spicy shrimp soup from Thailand
  • Satay – skewered and grilled meat served with peanut sauce

These are just a few examples, as each country offers a wide range of delicious local dishes showcasing unique flavors and ingredients. Exploring the local street food scene is an excellent way to experience the authentic tastes of Southeast Asia.

Related Post