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Tailored from £5,100 per person excl. flights

19 Days Ho Chi Minh, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Bangkok, Koh Samui, Yangon, Ngapali, Bagan, Colombo, Galle Fort

Ring in the New Year with an itinerary of colourful Asian holidays & festivals

Escape to Asia this January whilst immersing yourself in colourful cultural festivals being held in the new year.

Here, the winter season means long days of blissful sunshine, blue skies and lively festivals.

Ring in the New Year somewhere incredible, then continue the celebrations with an amazing tour across Asia’s best beach destinations and unique cultural festivals.

You’ll start in Vietnam with a gorgeous flower festival in Da Lat and world-class diving in Nha Trang.

Next, you’ll hop over to Thailand for a fascinating insight into Thai culture at a Bangkok festival, before heading down to Koh Samui for a dreamy island escape.

Venture over the border to Myanmar, a magical destination only recently opened for tourism.

Here you’ll revel on secluded, unspoiled beaches and witness the chanting of a thousand monks in an ancient Buddhist ritual.

For your last stop, you’ll fly to Sri Lanka, a jaw-dropping island surrounded by pristine shores.

You’ll have the chance to hear from some of the world’s greatest minds at a literary festival in Galle Fort, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This winter sun escape is a celebration of culture, tradition and nature, taking you to some of the most unforgettable places on earth.

What’s included:

  • Activities & transport as in full itinerary
  • Your choice of accommodation styles
  • Services of private vehicle & driver
  • Professional local staff with fair salaries
  • All activity entrance fees
  • Local English speaking guide

Call us on 0203 143 4293 to start planning your holiday, we’re
looking forward to hearing from you.

or

Your Holiday at a Glance

Day 1

Fly into Ho Chi Minh and celebrate the New Year

Day 2

Fly to Da Lat for the Dalat Flower Festival

Day 3

Dalat Flower Festival

Day 4

Transfer to Nha Trang for a beach escape

Day 5

Relax on the beaches of Nha Trang

Day 6

Explore Nha Trang

Day 7

Fly from Nha Trang to Bangkok

Day 8

Un Ai Rak Khlay Khwam Nao Festival

Day 9

Explore Koh Samui

Day 10

Explore the islands around Koh Samui

Day 11

Fly from Koh Samui to Yangon

Day 12

Fly to Ngapali

Day 13

Explore Ngapali Beach

Day 14

Fly to Bagan

Day 15

Ananda Pagoda Festival

Day 16

Fly to Colombo

Day 17

Galle Literary Festival

Day 18

Where to next?

Trip Itinerary

Vietnam

31 December - Fly into Ho Chi Minh & Celebrate the New Year
31 December - Fly into Ho Chi Minh & Celebrate the New Year Listing Image

You’ll be greeted in Ho Chi Minh airport by your private driver and transferred to your accommodation. Ring in the new year with a cocktail at the hotel’s rooftop pool bar, or head out into the city for the celebrations. Take a river boat cruise, stroll along Nguyen Hue Walking Street and watch the midnight fireworks explode near the Bitexco Tower. 

You'll stay at Hotel des Arts Saigon, an award-winning luxury hotel in the heart of Ho Chi Minh. Elegantly designed with exquisite antiques, paintings and lavish furnishings, you can unwind with a massage in the onsite spa and enjoy the stunning city views from the rooftop swimming pool and bar.

1 January - Fly to Da Lat for the Dalat Flower Festival

Board your domestic flight from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat. The flight takes one hour and you’ll be greeted at the airport on arrival and transferred to your accommodation. Da Lat is a lively city in Lam Dong, renowned for their amazing Dalat Flower Festival. This cultural festival celebrates the Dalat blossom industry, honouring the value of floriculture. It showcases an array of brilliant blooms, vegetables and ornamental plants. It is held every second year and this year it’s running from 23rd December 2018 to 2nd January 2019.

You'll stay at Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa. Tucked away in the lush forest of Da Lat’s highlands, you’ll enjoy a picturesque escape just minutes from the heart of Da Lat. The French colonial villas are beautifully designed with elegant furnishings, fireplaces and terraces. The exceptional La Cochinchine Spa provides a range of therapeutic treatments, there’s a fantastic onsite restaurant and you can go exploring through the surrounding farming countryside.

2 January - Dalat Flower Festival

Spend the day taking in the beautiful blooms of the Dalat Flower Festival. Walk around the themed ornamental gardens and check out the program of events with exhibitions, markets, tours of the flower production facilities, and gorgeous parades of flower carriages through the streets.

There are a range of art programs from calligraphy to painting and photography and there’s plenty of local wine, tea and coffee to sample. Be sure to check out the bonsai exhibition and catch the closing ceremony.

3 January - Transfer to Nha Trang for a Beach Escape

Today you’re headed to Nha Trang to soak up some glorious winter sun. You’ll take a private transfer for the three hour drive to Nha Trang, a coastal town surrounded by stunning beaches, coral reefs and world-class diving sites.

You'll stay at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay. This exclusive luxury hotel is an eco-friendly haven set into the rocky hillside cliff of the pristine Ninh Van Bay. Only accessible by boat, you’ll have a quiet stretch of white sandy beach, private pools and a range of activities including scuba diving, island hopping and yoga classes.

4 January - Relax on the Beaches of Nha Trang

Hit the beach and sink into the sugary white sand and sparkling turquoise waters. In January you’re almost guaranteed blue skies and sunshine every day, so you’ll have ample opportunity to relax on the beach with a good book and a refreshing coconut. Discover the region’s underwater treasures with a snorkelling or scuba diving adventure in some of the best diving spots in Asia.

After a busy day exploring the coral gardens, indulge in a traditional pampering in one of the natural hot springs and mud baths. Said to have therapeutic healing powers, the warm mud baths and mineral springs are soothing on your sun-kissed skin.

5 January - Explore Nha Trang

Spend another day lounging on the blissful beaches or go exploring around Nha Trang. For more beautiful nature, head out to Ba Ho Waterfall for a refreshing dip among the peaceful trees. Ba Ho translates to ‘three pools’ and this is a great spot for a quiet hike in the forest. 

Experience the ancient culture of the city with a visit to Thap Po Nagar temple, one of the best preserved Cham temples in Vietnam. It was built between the 7th and 12th centuries and is still used for worship by the Cham people. Take a trip to Tray Thui mountain to see the giant white Buddha statue of the Long Son Pagoda. This beautiful Buddhist pagoda was built in 1886 and is one of the most important religious sites in the city.

Thailand

6 January - Fly from Nha Trang to Bangkok
6 January - Fly from Nha Trang to Bangkok Listing Image

This morning you’ll fly from Nha Trang to the dreamy shores of Thailand for the next leg on your winter sun escape. You’ll be met at Bangkok airport and driven to your accommodation. Bangkok is a bustling city full of world-class gourmet cuisine, lavish rooftop bars, lively markets and river cruising. Here, you’ll witness the Un Ai Rak Khlay Khwam Nao festival, a celebration of Thai culture running from 9th December 2018 to 19th January 2019.

A multi award-winning luxury hotel in Bangkok’s exclusive Langsuan area, Hotel Muse will spoil you with two fine dining restaurants and an infinity pool overlooking the skyline. Head to the sky bar to sip delicious signature cocktails with panoramic views of the city.

7 January - Un Ai Rak Khlay Khwam Nao Festival

Spend the day soaking up Thai culture at the Un Ai Rak Khlay Khwam Nao festival at the Royal Plaza. It runs all day, from 10:30am to 9:00pm at night, with a wide range of fascinating exhibitions. Experience flora and fountain gardening and see royal Thai arts and inventions at the exhibition of King Rama V and King Rama IX.

Watch some local cultural performances and visit the market stalls to sample divine Thai cuisine and local artworks. The stallholders dress in traditional costumes and it’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know the Thai culture.

8 January - Fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui

It’s time to retreat to the idyllic southern islands of Thailand. Fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui, a jungle-cloaked island surrounded by palm-fringed beaches and crystalline seas. You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation to spend a relaxing afternoon by the beach.

With its own secluded stretch of beach in the stunning Thongson Bay, Melati Beach Resort is a luxurious hideaway nestled in the rainforest. With private pools, an open-air restaurant right by the beach and an award-winning spa, this is the perfect place to warm up in the winter sun.

9 January - Explore Koh Samui

Spend the day lapping up the Koh Samui sun and exploring its crystal clear waters. Chaweng Beach is the busiest and most beautiful beach, Lamai Beach is more laidback with deeper waters, and Lipa Noi Beach is great for kids with shallow clear waters and powdery white sand.

Go hunting for waterfalls in the jungle. There are two magical spots at Namuang Waterfall where you can swim and enjoy the beautiful scenery. See the famous Wat Phra Yai, a golden 12 metre Big Buddha statue and visit the colourful Wat Plai Laem temple, an important place of worship. Take a trip to Bophut, a charming fishing village full of traditional wooden homes built in the 19th century.

10 January - Explore the Islands Around Koh Samui

The southern shores of Thailand are dotted with mesmerising islands and Koh Samui is a fantastic entry point. You can take snorkelling and diving day trips to many of these islands including Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan.

One of the best places to visit is Angthong National Marine Park, a spellbinding archipelago of 42 islands smothered in dense jungle and pristine white sands. You’ll cruise along the glimmering seas, docking at islands to go kayaking, snorkelling and trekking to incredible inland lakes and mountain views. Tranquil and unspoiled, this is an enchanting corner of the world.

Myanmar

11 January - Fly from Koh Samui to Yangon
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

This morning you’ll board a flight to mystical Myanmar, a long-isolated country recently opened up for visitors. You’ll touch down in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, where you’ll be met at the airport and driven to your accommodation. Spend the afternoon exploring this fascinating city.

Take a tour of the many captivating temples including the famous Shwedagon Pagoda and Sule Pagoda. Stroll around the peaceful Kandawgyi Lake and see the glittering Karaweik Palace. Sample some authentic Burmese cuisines and watch the sunset over the Botahtaung harbour.

The Savoy Hotel is a charming luxury stay overlooking the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda. Elegantly designed with colonial-style architecture and traditional Burmese antiques, the hotel has an outdoor pool, sumptuous spa, two on-site restaurants and the famous Captain’s Bar.

12 January - Fly to Ngapali

Escape the crowds and head to one of Asia’s best hidden gems. Ngapali Beach is an unspoiled oasis of white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and sparkling blue waters. Untouched by mass tourism, Ngapali is quiet and serene, surrounded by local fishing villages. Here you’ll get to see an authentic side of Myanmar and a region that has retained its traditional way of life.

Tucked away between Rakhine Yoma Hills and the spectacular Bay of Bengal, Pleasant View Resort offers deluxe bungalows with breathtaking views of Ngapali Beach. Get a massage, enjoy fresh seafood at the restaurant, and watch the jaw-dropping sunsets from your balcony or the outdoor pool.

13 January - Explore Ngapali Beach

Spend the day soaking up this stunning beach haven. Lounge on the fluffy white beaches or get out into the crystal waters with kayaking, swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving trips. The coral reefs around the Bay of Bengal are full of delightful shoals of fish and sealife.

Explore the local fishing villages to sample the freshest seafood and visit Thandwe, a little town with lively markets and glistening pagodas. Take a boat trip to nearby Pearl Island or a cruise down Thandwe River. Be sure to sit back and take in the brilliant sunset over the beach each evening.

14 January - Fly to Bagan

Today you’ll fly to Bagan, a historical city brimming with enchanting temples and archaeological sites. The vast plains are strewn with sandy roads leading to a maze of over 2000 ancient temples. You’ll get lost in the ethereal fields of pagodas and relish the wonderfully peaceful atmosphere of the town.

Located right outside the archaeological zone, Bagan Lodge is a tranquil haven and the perfect base for your adventures around the city. With an onsite spa, outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, fitness centre, restaurants and poolside bar, you’ll adore this luxurious oasis.

15 January - Ananda Pagoda Festival

This morning you may like to rise early for an iconic hot air balloon ride over Myanmar’s mystical plains. You’ll take in the awe-inspiring sunrise from the best vantage point in town, making for an unforgettable experience.

After a spectacular morning, head out to witness the Ananda Pagoda Festival, one of the biggest festivals in Bagan, running from 12 January to 20 January 2019. The festival celebrates the endless wisdom of Buddha and villagers come from all over, travelling in traditional bullock carts and staying in camps.

The festival is an incredible opportunity to witness traditional Buddhist rituals as 1,000 monks gather in the beautiful, thousand-year-old Ananda temple to perform continuous chanting of Buddhist scriptures. The atmosphere is incredible and you’ll also see performances from local theatrical groups.

Sri Lanka

16 January - Fly to Colombo
16 January - Fly to Colombo Listing Image

Enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading off to Sri Lanka, the next incredible destination on your winter sun escape. You’ll arrive in Colombo, the capital city of an enthralling country full of idyllic beaches, vibrant wildlife, dynamic culture, and delicious cuisine.

On your arrival you’ll be met at the airport and driven two hours south to Galle, a charming coastal town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend the evening exploring the magnificent Dutch Galle Fort, an old colonial trading post filled with cobblestone lanes, historical sites and stylish boutiques and restaurants.

Fort Bazaar is a luxurious hotel is set in a 17th century building inside Galle Fort, designed with gorgeous Moorish furnishings. Relax in the exquisite courtyard, enjoy an authentic meal in the onsite restaurant, take a traditional cookery class, and enjoy the view from your balcony over the fort’s red-tiled rooftops.

17 January - Galle Literary Festival

Today you’ll have the chance to hear from some of the world’s greatest literary minds at the Galle Literary Festival. Showcasing both local and international writers, the festival is an internationally renowned annual celebration of literature, running from 16 January to 20 January 2019.

Besides attending talks from a range of exceptional writers, you can enjoy art exhibitions, cooking classes, dinners, tea parties, rooftop bar tastings, film screenings, fashion shows, markets, cabaret, jazz shows and other musical performances. There’s also a range of workshops and excursions to get involved in, including poetry and fiction workshops.

18 January - Where to Next?

You may like to spend a few more days enjoying Galle and the Literary Festival or head down to Tangalle to soak up even more winter sun in Sri Lanka’s best unspoiled beach destination.

For more cultural festival experiences, stick around in Sri Lanka until 20 January to witness the celebrations of Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day. The day marks the first visit of Gautama Buddha to Sri Lanka and the introduction of Buddhism to the country twenty five centuries ago. It’s an important day for the country, celebrated with huge parades of drummers, dancers, and fire-ball performers.

Accommodation

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our specialist team on 0203 143 4293

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Why Wayfairer

Wayfairer work with local tour operators and accommodation providers which share our values on responsible, sustainable and ethical travel. We also aim to work with locally-managed hotels rather than big-chain hotels, which have a focus on conservation

Our tours also include activities which focus on local culture and benefiting communities. This Asia Festivals Tour takes in cultural events in several countries, so that you can immerse yourself in a place and experience local traditions and holidays.

Read more about our values on responsible travel in our About section.

Why Wayfairer Asia Festivals Tour

Call us on 0203 143 4293 to start planning your holiday, we’re
looking forward to hearing from you.

or