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Best Luxury Travel Destinations in the Month of December

Angkor Wat

Where will December take you? Where should it? Maybe to a sophisticated city, or a rural hideaway. Or to a beach, a ski slope, or all the way to the South Pole (since the North Pole dwellers will be a bit busy this month). Wanderlust alert! Here are our top picks of the best luxury travel destinations in the month of December.

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where’s the best place to go in december?

First and foremost, December is island time. You could visit a cosmopolitan city island (we’re thinking Hong Kong, Singapore or Manhattan). Or opt for a tried-and-true luxury island beach destination.  Feeling the need for adrenaline-fueled adventures? Head to a gorgeous remote island getaway filled with exotic animals and architecture (we’re looking at you, Chiloe Islands).

Of course, if an island getaway is not your thing, a luxury shopping trip abroad is always a fine idea — what better time than now? You could stroll along one of the iconic shopping streets in the world, or visit one of the great Christmas Markets of Western Europe. Personally, we’re dreaming of snow and a luxury ski trip. The global contemporary art flock will touch down in Miami during the first week of December for Art Basel. And it’s definitely time to make plans for New Year’s Eve. It’s all waiting for you. Let’s go!

our 10 picks for the best luxury travel destinations in the month of December

1. New York City.

New York is always changing, and there’s a vast array of new things to see and do in the city this holiday season. Plus the iconic classics that make for the perfect luxury visit in December. There’s shopping, ice skating, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and the Radio City Christmas Show. New York City Ballet performs George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, and Alvin Ailey’s in town. The Holiday Train Show is perfect for kids. And the store windows are magical. What’s not to love?

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Entrance to the New York Public Library

2. Aspen-Snowmass.

We love Aspen in December, and this year there are even more reasons to go. EMP Winter House, from the team behind Eleven Madison Park in New York City opens as a seasonal pop-up in mid-December. Snowmass Village is unveiling the first phase of a $600 million development project. The new 99-room, ski in/ski out Limelight Hotel is home to a five-story climbing wall. The private Snowmass Mountain Club provides members with lockers, parking, and a lounge area right at the foot of the mountain. The Hotel Jerome debuts its new makeover. And from December 17 to 22, catch the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship. The inaugural Snow Polo Gala is sure to be big fun.

Caribbean islandsChiloe Islands

Aspen Snowmass

3. Paris.

There’s never a bad time to visit Paris. December is particularly excellent, though. Paris at Christmastime is filled with magic. Stay at a grand dame “palace” hotel. Shop at some of the most charming stores imaginable. Refresh yourself after a long day with a champagne tea. Or a coffee or hot chocolate at a chic cafe. And then revel in the City of Lights, which will be particularly bright after dark during the holiday season.

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The Champs Elysee in Paris in December

4. St. Kitts and Nevis.

Most luxury guides will send you to St. Barth’s for a December Caribbean vacation. But we urge you to consider an alternative. We visited St. Kitts for the first time earlier this year, and we really love it. Nevis is always high on the list for our jet-setting friends, in part because it’s a hassle-free journey. Both of these Caribbean islands are easier to get to than ever: Delta has a direct flight from JFK to St. Kitts, joining United’s EWR route. Once you arrive, the luxurious Park Hyatt inside the 2,500-acre Christophe Harbor development combines resorts and restaurants with a super yacht marina.

New Year's DayNew York Public Library

The Park Hyatt St. Kitts – Nevis

5. Zermatt.

Zermatt occupies a special place in the hearts of the Swiss, and it’s easy to see why. It provides the gorgeous snowy-mountain scenes that winter dreams are made of. You’ll find horse-drawn sleighs, twinkling lights, glühwein stalls, all in a village nestled in a lovely valley beneath the Matterhorn. Best of all? You’re sure to find snow. No wonder it’s Switzerland’s top ski resort.

Phum BaitangPleneau Bay

Zermatt, Switzerland

6. The Cook Islands in the South Pacific.

Rarotonga is the largest of the 15 Cook Islands. It’s surprisingly easy to get to: Air New Zealand stops over on the way from LA to Auckland once a week on the Saturday-evening flight. The island is dense with greenery and hilly in the center. But it’s ringed by white sand beaches. Win-win! Going stand-up paddle-boarding at night on the Rarotonga lagoon is a magical way to see the coral reefs and marine life. Pineapples, papayas, mandarin oranges, starfruit and bananas are among the local delicacies. There’s also bike riding and snorkeling. Choose from among several five-star properties, including Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa; Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa; and Nautilus Resort. All are on Muri Beach, on Rarotonga’s southeast coast.

Siem ReapSouth Pacific

Rarotonga

7. The Chiloe Islands of southern Chile. 

December is a great month to explore some of the forty islands that make up the Chiloe (pronounced “Chi-lo-ay”) archipelago running down southern Chile’s coastline. Puerto Montt – the gateway to Chile’s Lake District on the mainland – is the regional capital. The largest island in the group is Isla Grande de Chiloe or Chiloe for short. There you’ll find abundant seafood, especially shellfish. The Islotes de Punihuil, a trio of islets in the Pacific Ocean, are home to Magellanic and Humboldt penguins (it’s the only place in the world where the two species are known to share a common breeding ground). You’ll see pelicans, cormorants, kelp gulls and more: there are 110 species of birds native to these islands. Castro, the capital of Chiloe, is known for its colorful palafitos – traditional wooden stilt houses. Its wooden churches look like upside-down boats. The 4-star Hotel Parque Quilquico is a fine place to make your home base.

St. RegisSwitzerland

Chiloé’s Wharf of Souls art installation Photo Courtesy The Wall Street Journal

8. Cartagena, Columbia.

In December, the summer is approaching in this South American city. Once a 16th-century Spanish port, Old Town Cartagena is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its streets are filled with original Spanish Colonial architecture. Special Christmas markets arrive in December. Stay for the New Year’s Eve fireworks. Or use the city as a base to explore the rest of Colombia, including Barranquilla, Santa Marta and Tayrona National Park.

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Bocagrande and Old Town Cartagena Colombia

9. Siem Reap, Cambodia.

December is the dry season for Siem Reap. You’ll find cloudless skies and comfortable temperatures, ideal for walking tours of Angkor Wat or cycling through the city streets. The lodging options are plentiful. The 5-star hotel Phum Baitang is comprised of 45 stilted villas perched over rice paddies. And you know you’re in the right place when hot luxury travel company 700’000 Heures is running a pop-up hotel inside a traditional Khmer house. Open through April 2019, the temporary hideaway will offer experiences like visiting local markets, riding an oxcart through rice fields, and meeting with archaeologists who are restoring the temples of Ankgor Wat.

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Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

10. Antarctica.

If this is your dream trip, now is the time to go. Tourists can only visit during the Antarctic summer: November to March. It’s the only continent not permanently occupied by humans, making it an incredible experience of the natural world. You can fly from Cape Town, South Africa; Punta Arenas, Chile; and Ushuaia, Argentina. Or sail from New Zealand’s South Island. In December, there are 22 hours of daylight. The penguin chicks will be starting to hatch, and seal and whale sightings are common this time of year.

Chiloe IslandsCycling

Crabeater Seal at Pleneau Bay, Antarctica

That’s it! The best luxury travel destinations in the month of December. Wherever the month takes you, have fun out there.

Come and join our community! For a weekly round-up of insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Sunday Read here. And see luxury in a new light.

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Things to Do in the Indochina Itinerary

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Indochia is the area of ancient culture, especially the culture of Buddhism. However, in addition, each country has its own distinct beauty. Visiting each city of the Indochina itinerary, you will have a unique experience. Please find out what is it in the following article.

Start the Indochina itinerary in Luang Prabang – Laos

Owning special cultural features, temples with the special architecture, and delicious food, Laos is a destination that many people choose for their journey of discovery. Luang Prabang welcomes you to Indochina itinerary. Its name means “city of the Golden Buddha Phra Bang”. It’s called the must-come place to visit in Laos that attracts millions of tourists per year. In Luang Prabang, there are so many things for you to explore, such as:

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Visit Royal Palace Museum, where you can see a range of interesting artifacts
Have an excursion on the Mekong River, where you can admire a peaceful and poetic scenery of the countryside
Visit Ban Xanghai village, where local rice wine is made.
Reach Pak Ou Caves – two famous caves in the limestone cliff, where you can see myriad Buddha images.
Admire magnificent Wat Xiengthong –  one of the most important pagodas of Lao and remains a significant monument to the spirit of royalty, religion, and traditional architecture.
Visit the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center to learn about the cultures of Laos’ ethnic group.
Stop at Wat Prabath – a peaceful place to admire the sunset, the last beauty of the day.
Visit Night Market, where you can see many types of handmade textiles and buy some souvenirs.

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Walk around the temporary morning market. Just set on the ground, the local people come here to barter their day’s catch from rice, fish, meat, chicken or vegetable.
Visit Wat Visoun, the oldest temple in Luang Prabang was once home to the Prabang Buddhas. It has dating back to 1513 during the reign of King Wisunarat (Visoun).
Take a rest at Kuang Si waterfalls, the most famous falls in Luang Prabang, about 29 kilometers (18 mi) south of city.
Visit the Bear Rescue Center, where dozens of animals are rescued from illegal traffickers and hunters.

The next destinations in Vietnam

Hanoi

After experience the beautiful nature and featured culture of Laos, let’s continue the Indochina Itinerary by visiting Hanoi – the 1000-years capital of Vietnam that own many relics such as Ho Guom, The Huc Bridge, Quan Su Pagoda, West Lake, 36 streets… It is not only famous for beautiful landscapes but also known by the famous dishes of Ha Thanh people. Coming here, don’t ignore:

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Visit The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which displays the stamp of 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.
Take a look at the Temple of Jade Mountain that is dedicated to the King Tran Hung Dao. It sits on a small island in the northern part of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Enjoy the Water Puppet show – a traditional show of Vietnamese people in the theater.
Take a tour by Cyclo around the old quarter and experience the local life of Hanoi.

2. Ha Long Bay

Halong Bay is a tourist destination you should go once in a lifetime. The beautiful landscape is created in a very natural way. In the Indochina itinerary, you can experience some interesting activities such as:

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Enjoy a sumptuous lunch on the boat while cruising into the magnificent Halong Bay, admiring its thousands of extraordinarily shaped limestone islands that are considered as the heaven on the Earth.
Discover Lờm Bò area – an outstanding masterpiece of Mother Nature in Ha Long Bay.
Explore Mê Cung Cave – one of the most beautiful caves here. In addition, don’t forget to climb up to see the breathtaking panoramic view of the Halong Bay from above.
Admire the sunset – the best moments of the day from LaFairy Sails.
Experience a memorable dinner on the deck under the light of thousands of stars in the middle of the Bay, savor delicious dishes. Then, you can join squid fishing.
Visit Titov Island and swimming in the emerald water. After that, hike up to the top of the island to take the panoramic view of Ha Long.

4. Hue

Thinking of Hue, people often think of the stunning palace, the ancient beauty of a royal age. They want to travel to Hue once to see the vivid evidence of the last feudal dynasty. Not only that, the relaxed gentle nature and slow life here also make many travelers love. Visiting Hue, you can:

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Take a leisurely boat trip along the Perfume River and visit Thien Mu Pagoda – a famous landmark of Vietnam.
Visit the tombs of Nguyen emperors in a valley to explore their unique architecture and understand more about the royal life.
Visiting Forbidden Purple City and Imperial Citadel that was created in the 19th century for the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty
Go to Dong Ba market to know about the life of local peoples here.
Visit Hue National School (‘’Quốc học Huế’’) – one of the oldest high school in Vietnam
Taste the diverse gastronomy in Hue with the cheap price such as “Bun Bo Hue”, “Banh Beo”, “Che Hue”

5. Hoi An

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Leaving Hue, Hoi An welcomes you in your  Indochina itinerary with river town, crammed with historic homes, tiny museums, cafes, and bustling silk and fish markets. This UNESCO-designated World Heritage site has many exciting things for you to explore.
Admire wonderful scenery on the way from Hue to Hoi An: Hai Van pass, Lang Co beach, Marble mountain.
Visit Japanese Covered bridge, an invaluable property and officially be the symbol of Hoi An.
Visit wonderful Fukian Hall, representing the Chinese architecture in the heart of Hoi An.
Walking around Hoi An town to feel the peaceful air of this city.
Enjoy local street food here such as the bread Hoi An, Banh Xeo…
Take a visit to Red Bridge Cooking School and join the cooking class of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes.

6. Ho Chi Minh City

Dubbed as the “Pearl of the Far East”, Ho Chi Minh City has long been a cultural, economic and political center of Vietnam. Traveling to Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City more than 300 years old, you can meet the high-rise buildings located close to the sanctuary, amusement park, crowded shopping center, but also lack ancient villas Glass, traditional markets that have existed for hundreds of years.

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Visit the Reunification Palace,  the famous historical witness which passed through the two fierce wars against the French and American colonials.
Visit the Central Post Office, one of the oldest buildings in Ho Chi Minh City. It attracts tourists by its typical French colonial characteristics from interior to exterior decoration.
Take a look at the Notre Dame Cathedral, which is considered the symbol of this exciting city.
Go to Ben Thanh Market: being a bustling market and a social center, Ben Thanh Market is a must-see sight of Ho Chi Minh City.

7. My Tho

Following, you will leave the hustle Saigon and be heading to My Tho, the closet delta town to Ho Chi Minh city. This city is located in the Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam, where the boat rides on the river are so popular with tourists.

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Visit Vinh Trang Pagoda, the most beautiful and ancient pagoda in Mekong Delta.

visit fruit orchards  and enjoy fruits, take a scenic cruise, listen to the traditional music performance, “Cai Luong” by local people
Admire Thao Nguyen orchid flower gardens and have a great chance to while tasting tea – honey bees
Head to the fishing villages around Phoenix Island to find out how the Red Tilapia is fed
Stop at Ankhanh Canal & Mrs. Ut Phím’s house and taste the coconut candy – special products of Ben Tre province.

Discover Siem Reap in Cambodia

Siem Reap is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia. It is a popular resort town and a gateway to the Angkor region. Nowadays, this city becomes a popular tourist destination. You can easily find a large number of hotels, restaurants, resorts, and businesses here.

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Visit the largest as well as the complete temple of Angkor Wat. Visit the largest temple of Angkor Wat. This architectural masterpiece covers an area of about 210 hectares and dating in the 12th century.
Come to the fortified city of Angkor Thom.
See Ta Prohm, undoubtedly the most atmospheric ruin at Angkor. Unlike the other monuments of Angkor, it has been left to be swallowed by the jungle
Continue to Psar Chars or the  “Old Market”, one of the city’s lively open markets, where everything is for sale!
Visit Wat Bo, a large temple founded in the 18th century. This temple is respected by local people. The Wat Bo’s Vihear contains unique Reamker murals that are thought to date back to the late 19th century.
Visit biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonlé Sap, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the river.
Take a local boat and visit the charming village of Chong Khneas located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap.

Your Indochina itinerary is coming to the end. During the journey, do not forget to take photos and buy specialties, souvenirs to commemorate this memorable trip.

The post Things to Do in the Indochina Itinerary appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

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