Do you want to escape the cold weather and jet off to somewhere exotic and warm? Then we got the list of the perfect winter escapes in Southeast Asia. What’s great about this region is that the weather is always mild somewhere and you can always find the sun shining on your face. Everything from island paradises to beach towns, here is where to spend a warm winter in Southeast Asia.
Nusa Islands, Indonesia
Forget about the Gili Islands and go to Nusa Islands instead. Bali is known for its iconic rice paddies and exotic beaches, but it’s also popular for its islands. The Nusa Islands used to be very difficult to access, which means that tourism was halted. Nowadays, it’s a bit more easy since there’s lots of boats that can take you there. The Nusa Islands consists of Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, both with terrific natural sceneries. Nusa Lembongan is where most of the tourist facilities are located but it’s a must to head to Nusa Penida as well. You can easily ask a local fishermen if he can take you with his boat for a few dollars, but just make sure that he comes and picks you up afterwards too. Otherwise, you might have to sleep on the island. Nusa Penida is the biggest of the islands and there’s countless spots that one can visit. You will have to rent a motorbike though and the roads are far from developed, but if you feel like you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views and beaches.
Sentosa is Singapore’s gem and is a favorite amongst both locals and expats living there. For those who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s a great escape. Sentosa’s party beach Siloso is especially popular during the weekends, but there’s also hidden caves on the western side that makes for a more quiet excursion. Singapore is more than just big skyscrapers, there’s also great natural sceneries.
Hoi An, Vietnam
The weather can get quite cold in northern Vietnam during winter, but that’s why one should fly down to central Vietnam. Hoi An is situated close to Da Nang and this trading port town has quickly become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers an authentic Asian atmosphere. Here, you can stroll along colorful houses, peaceful rivers and visit hip cafés. The town is small enough to walk around in, but there’s lots of things to do outside of Hoi An. In fact, you can rent a bicycle and head to the beach in just a few minutes! You can also find My Son nearby, where you can wander through ancient Hindu temples. Most were unfortunately ruined during the Vietnam war, but you can still see a piece of history nestled in the jungle.
The Philippines is great to visit anytime of the year, but perhaps during winter it’s particularly good. If you’re looking for sand beaches that are so white, they’ll blind you (literally!), then Boracay is the place to go. This paradise island has faced some tough times lately though and had to close down due to overtourism. However, it has now begun to reopen and the government is now regulating the number of tourists who may go there. If you’re one of the lucky ones that can go, you’ll be blessed with perhaps Asia’s finest beaches.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most beloved islands and is located just on the other side of the peninsula from Phuket. You can either access the island by flight from Bangkok or take the ferry from Surat Thani or Don Sak. You can go diving, snorkeling, sunbathe on beautiful and tropical beaches, try some authentic Thai cuisine and just relax.
Tourism in Maldives has risen immensely over the past years. What used to be an exclusive destination for honeymooners has now become a travelers paradise. Although it’s still not a cheap deal to visit some of the islands in Maldives, it’s still doable. Those who has the means should definitely consider heading to Maldives for a winter escape. Imagine crystal clear water, an amazing marine life, some of the best snorkeling and diving spots you can find in the world, and luxurious resorts where you can get pampered. Is there any better way to spend your vacation than here?
Galle, Sri Lanka
Finally, head to the charming island of Sri Lanka. A country that has been shaken by its tumultuous history but is now recovering. Sri Lanka is a surfer’s paradise, with the perfect waves for both beginners and the more experienced. But even if the beaches of Sri Lanka are incredible, it’s a small town that has stolen people’s hearts: Galle. It’s a 300 year old Dutch Fort where you can wander around in old colonial buildings. It’s also a World Heritage Site. What makes Galle so charming is the trendy boutiques, charming cafés, serene ambience and the architecture. The walled city is small and easy to walk around in, but it’s still worth spending a few days here just to unwind and relax before heading to the beach again.