Chinese New Year is celebrated throughout Southeast Asia, around the end of January or the beginning of February. The celebrations last 15 days and begins on the first day of the Chinese calendar. Families gather, exchange gifts, and decorate the streets with red paper lanterns. Festivals, parades, and all kinds of celebrations take place all over Southeast Asia. There are colorful dragon parades, loud drums and cymbals, which are thought to scare away evil spirits, and tons of fireworks all throughout the night. Chinese New Year is a great time of year to consider planning a China eco tour!
Malaysia is a melting pot of races and religion, separated by the South China Sea, creating a country of diverse landscapes and culture. Malaysia has beautiful beaches, peaceful rainforests, exotic national parks, and bustling modern cities. Relax on a white sand beach, trek through the rainforest, or explore the capital of Kuala Lumpur. Of course you can’t forget about the Malay cuisine, a highlight for any traveler visiting this colorful country. Here a few travel tips and suggestions to consider when planning a trip to Malaysia.
When to Visit
Malaysia is typically hot and sunny year round, making it the perfect destination to add to your Southeast Asia tour. Temperatures range between 90 °F during the day and around 75 °F at night. Humidity is also very high in Malaysia. Monsoon season on the west coast is from April to May and October to November. The east coast experiences monsoon season from November to February, with some resorts closing and boat services decreasing. Light showers come and go throughout Malaysia year round.
What to Pack
With the warm temperatures you should be able to travel lightly on your Malaysia trip. If you plan to visit the hill stations, consider bringing a sweater for the evenings. Keep in mind that the country is predominantly Muslim, so you should dress conservatively. If you venture off the beaten track, keep your legs and upper arms covered. When traveling in larger cities, t-shirts and longer shorts are usually acceptable. If you are traveling to the rainforest, bring a light raincoat and be sure to waterproof all your belongings. Long sleeve shirts and pants will help protect you from insects.
Thailand, with it’s beautiful weather, relaxing atmosphere, friendly local people, and delicious cuisine make it an ideal travel destination. A trip to Thailand can include exploring the bustling city of Bangkok, trekking to remote hill tribe villages, relaxing on the beaches of Southern Thailand and visiting incredible historical sites. As some of the islands and beaches have become quite crowded, some travelers seek to explore a more off the beaten path destination in Thailand. Below you’ll find a few of our favorite unique Thailand adventures.
If you’re looking for an off the beaten path adventure that allows you to experience rural Thai life then Lisu Lodge is the place for you! The lodge is named after the hill tribe village of Lisu, which is situated nearby the eco lodge in Chiang Mai. As part of a community-based project Lisu Lodge has initiatives in place to help conserve the natural heritage of hill tribes of Northern Thailand.
The Lisu hill tribe migrated from Southern China and Tibet in the early 20th century. During your stay at Lisu you can enjoy a guided tour through the village visiting local families, perhaps be invited into someone’s home for a cup of local tea, and meet with a local shaman. You should also visit the cultural center and museum, created by the villagers, to showcase the culture and lifestyle of the Lisu and Akha mountain tribes.
Lisu Lodge overlooks the lush fields and hills surrounding the valley, and offers and a blend of adventure, relaxation, and unique culture. Other activities offered including cycling, white water rafting, and trekking.
This is a photo of Yamdrok Yumtso Lake, one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. Also known as Turquoise Lake, it is located about halfway between Lhasa and Gyantse. The largest power station in Tibet resides at the western end of the lake. According to local mythology, Yamdok Yumtso Lake is the transformation of a goddess. It certainly appears to be.
Spend New Year's this year on an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Instead of heading to the crowds in New York or Tahoe, try something different and spend this New Year’s Eve enjoying the fireworks from a cruise ship, hiking the peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro, or exploring the vast deserts of Egypt. Whatever ecotourism adventure you choose, the following New Year's trips are sure to create an unforgettable start to 2012.
The Galapagos Islands is on many people’s bucket lists, and December and January is a great time to visit. Experience the incredible wildlife and scenery on a Galapagos cruise this New Year's Eve! Another ideal travel destination for January is Australia. Sail around the beautiful Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef. Go diving, snorkeling, or relax on the sun deck. With white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and incredible snorkeling and scuba diving you can’t go wrong with a cruise in Australia to ring in the New Year!