Although the holiday season is upon us, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenges of the cold. Ice, wind and snow abound in some places we call home, and hostile weather can put a damper on the most festive of moods. Yet don’t despair, since spring is around the corner, and is a perfect time to discover Asia! Here’s some of our top destinations and activities to beat that winter blues and see spring bloom in Asia.
See Stunning Sapa – Vietnam in Bloom
Many travel to Vietnam for the holidays and springtime can be associated with towering temperatures, as the spring swelter sets in. However, there are some destinations in Vietnam that are perfect at this time of year, and the best one is simply Sapa.
Known for its rolling mountains of tiered rice paddy fields and colourfully diverse minority cultures, Sapa is at its best in the springtime. Due to the northern Vietnamese climate, Sapa has four distinct seasons, unlike many other regions of Vietnam. The winter’s icy spell lifts up, as the cold is cast away and the snow melts. After the thaw, everything grows anew. Blooming blossoms of cherry trees abound overhead, tiered buckwheat fields turn the mountains purple and green and the region truly comes back to life. Temperatures are mild, views are spectacular, and the hiking’s much easier without all that snow in the way. Discover the majesty of Sapa in the spring season on one of our Sapa treks through the valley.
Cool off in Ngapali, Myanmar
Winters can be long, cold and dark. Sometimes all you want is to shed the snow and head straight for a beach! While there are many destinations in Southeast Asia that are perfect for beach holidays, Ngapali offers something different.
Located in Myanmar on the Bay of Bengal and a short flight from the former capital Yangon, lies Ngapali. Wide open white sand beaches with laid back locals, crystal waters and magnificent sunsets, it’s a pinch of paradise. With relaxing as the activity of choice, it’s easy to see what makes it so appealing. Spring in Myanmar is the hottest season of the year, so many may find the heat overbearing. Exploring the temple scattered fields of Bagan is truly magnificent but a bit intense in the heat waves of the plains. So if you’d like to explore the mystical golden land, be sure to spend a few days at the beginning or end of your trip kicking back at the beach of Ngapali as the perfect way to cool off.
Another great thing about heading to Burma in the spring, is the water festival. Held annually in celebration of Burmese New Year, the city of Yangon gets soaked. For four to five days in mid-April locals wash away the sins of the previous year throughout the country, but Yangon takes it to another level. Not only is there a large parade and live performances, but everyone gets out whatever vessel they can muster, garden and fire hoses, water balloons, pots! Everyone is fair game for a soaking (with the exception of monks and pregnant women).
Discover the City of Eternal Spring in Yunnan, China
China is a massive endeavour for any traveller, with vast terrain and the second most World Heritage Sites in the world, there’s a lot to keep you busy. But come springtime, Yunnan province is a must.
With mild temperatures and a temperate climate year-round, Yunnan and its capital Kunming are great to visit at any season. Yet, in April, this destination is at its best. Sunny and not too humid, the clear skies and breadth of plant life make it especially charming. Kunming offers lovely parks with blossoming trees and hundreds of birds. The stone forest just outside of the city is a geological marvel that’s lush with greenery. Furthermore, the province is home to Shangri-La, and the spectacular Tiger Leaping Gorge, offering plenty of majestic natural and spiritual wonders that suit many a traveller. See firsthand what makes Yunnan a must for any springtime journey to Asia.
Trek and Venture in Breathtaking Borneo, Malaysia
Sometimes after a long winter’s run, getting outside is a top priority, and being able to trek and explore vibrant rainforests of southeast Asia is a perfect way to swing out of chilly weather. Why not hike to the top of Mt Kinabalu for an once-in-a-lifetime panorama? Or go try your hand at diving in the East of Sabah? Malaysian Borneo has plenty to offer any springtime adventurer.
Malaysian Borneo is a must for the adventurous soul, or general fan of epic natural beauty. At its driest in the springtime, Sabah offers incredible hikes of mountain peaks surrounded by dense jungle. The views are spectacular, and the options are endless. For those who’d like some beachside fun Kota Kinabalu is a bustling destination that offers an array of scrumptious seafood, although best in March before the rainfall. Be sure to take advantage of the driest season with a spring fling in Borneo!
Sunny Side Up in Peninsular Malaysia
For those who enjoy venturing for culinary expeditions or to explore natural wonders and compelling culture, Peninsular Malaysia is a great option for the spring season! With lots of sun and little rainfall, destinations like Langkawi and Penang have a ton to offer.
The island of Langkawi is on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, home to breathtaking beaches, a ton of wildlife and charming vistas. Sunny and less humid in March, it’s an ideal place for a beach escape with a little extra. While there, it’s a quick jaunt to the southern island of Penang, famous for its distinctive architecture, diverse cultural communities and established food scene. Many claim that some of the best grub in Malaysia can be found here, so why not taste it for yourself?
Delve into the Ancient Custom of Hanami in Japan
Many destinations in Asia are perfect in the spring. One that’s imagery is almost as iconic as its variety of activities, in on the incredibly beautiful nation of Japan, the annual cherry blossom festivals.
A sakura flower blooming in a tree is probably one of the most iconic images of Japan. These cherry blossoms occur once a year, blooming only from March to May. This occasion is widely celebrated throughout Japan hanami or flower viewing festivals. Throughout major cities, pink blossoms flutter in the breeze as locals celebrate their emergence with sake, or rice wine, and plenty of food! There’s tons of celebration in this centuries old tradition, with parties, shows and dancing. Originally practice to celebrate the natural beauty of these trees in bloom in association with shinto spiritual belief that spirits are housed in these stunning trees, as well as the announcement of rice-planting season, this festival is massively popular to this day. Buffalo Tours will be announcing its range of Japanese tours coming this new year, so keep an eye out and maybe you can celebrate the season there with us!
Ready to escape the winter in Asia? Talk to our travel experts and plan your spring getaway for 2016! We’re here to create a customised itinerary that takes you to the most stunning places in Asia.