Southeast Asia's Top 7 "Winter" Destinations for a Cool Vacation
Imagine yourself curled up under cozy blankets, gazing out your window at a frigid but peaceful countryside as a cool breeze touches your face. The best thing, though? To experience it, you won't need to travel to Europe or take a flight longer than 12 hours.
So, stop searching for your own personal winter wonderland. Here are some of the best places in Southeast Asia to visit if you want to feel like you've left the tropical environment behind.
1. Lorentz National Park, Indonesia
The biggest national park in Southeast Asia, Lorentz National Park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. It is situated in Indonesia's Papua Province and is also home to several indigenous ethnic tribes and Gunung Puncak Cartenz, also known as Mount Carstensz Pyramid.
The park has 123 different types of mammals and more than 630 different bird species, making it a fantastic place to go bird watching if you're a nature lover. Climbing Puncak Cartenz is a different well-liked pastime. But it's strongly advised that only experienced mountaineers with assistance try the snow-covered peaks.
2. Kundasang, Malaysia
Due to the tranquil atmosphere created by cattle grazing in the fields, Sabah, Malaysia frequently receives comparisons to Scotland or New Zealand. Despite the lack of snow, you'll think you're abroad thanks to the fresh air and blue skies.
To feed cute calves and purchase fresh dairy products, consider going to the Desa Dairy Farm. Enjoy the fresh mountain breeze while sipping Sabah's finest tea while looking over the tea estate. After all that trekking, you may either opt to relax by dipping your feet in the nearby natural hot springs or treat yourself to an impromptu foot spa by getting your feet massaged by local native fish.
3. Putao, Myanmar
Putao, a charming town shrouded in mist and fog and situated at the base of the Himalayan foothills, is found in the northern region of Kachin State. Bring warm clothing because it can become chilly and even freeze outside.
The highest snow-capped peaks in Southeast Asia can be scaled, and nearby activities include river rafting on the Malikha River, taking in the diverse flora and fauna of the Khkakabo Razi National Park, and visiting the local hill tribes to learn about their customs.
4. Sagada, Philippines
Sagada's location in a valley between the Philippine mountain ranges of the Ilocos and Cordillera helps explain why it is colder there. Bring a jacket with you to protect yourself from the cold since wintertime temperatures range from 15 to 17 °C (59 to 63 °F).
The hanging coffins of Echo Valley are one of the most well-known attractions in the area, but use caution—advisable it's to hire a guide because the valley is easy to get lost in. There are a number of hiking trails near Sagada if you're not interested in seeing coffins. Enjoy a cup of Philippine Civet Coffee, also known as Coffee Alamid, which is made from the excrement of civet cats.
Coffee connoisseurs regard it beyond all others, and a pound of it costs at least $160.
5. Chiang Rai, Thailand
Thailand's temperatures are expected to fall this year. The Thai Meteorological Department predicts that the chilly weather will linger from late December to mid-January due to stronger cold fronts. At night, Chiang Rai's temperatures may drop as low as 10°C (50°F).
There are numerous activities available in Chiang Rai for everyone to enjoy. For those who wish to learn more about religion, there are temple excursions available. For those who just want to unwind, health spa experiences are also available. Treks and overnight stays with ethnic hill tribes are also possible if you're seeking for excitement.
6. Sapa, Vietnam
The tranquil mountain hamlet, which is home to a number of ethnic tribal tribes, is in Vietnam's northwest and is open to visitors who are curious to see how different cultures may coexist together.
The temperature in Sapa drops significantly during the winter, so you might be able to view the hills and mountains covered in new, white snow. Only experienced hikers are advised to go out because it will be difficult and require extra equipment to hike in this conditions because of the added fog.
7. Da Lat, Vietnam
The small Vietnamese village of Da Lat is a wonderful location to create memories when it is shrouded in a gentle fog throughout the winter. Snow is also infrequent, so if you're sensitive to the cold, you might need a jacket, but you won't need to buy winter gear in advance of your trip.
Around town, there are several places for sightseeing and tourist attractions. At the Datanla Waterfall, you may go canyoning, ride the cable cars, and more. For those who wish to take it easy and take in the sights and sounds, the Flower Park in the heart of Da Lat offers a charming and tranquil setting.