Travel Guides & Tips

8 Best Destinations In Asia To Celebrate Christmas With Unique Decor & Pretty Light-Ups In 2023

Best Christmas decor & light-ups in Asia 2023


Chances are you’ve already made all, if not most of, the bookings for your year-end holiday. And if you’re going to popular cities like Tokyo, Taipei, or Seoul, you’re in luck. We’ve brought you a list of the prettiest Christmas light-ups in Asia to make your trip that much more magical. After all, it’s the festive season and you don’t want to miss out on the most IG-worthy attractions.


1. Yomiuriland Jewellumination – Kawasaki, Japan



Image credit: @yomiuriland via Instagram

It’s no surprise if you’re among the thousands of people flocking to Japan from Singapore. If you’re going to Tokyo, it’s worth taking the 1-hour train ride out to Kawasaki to check out Yomiuriland Jewellumination. It’s basically a giant theme park that lights up after dark to reveal rides, playgrounds, a carousel, and a giant Ferris wheel.


Image credit: Yomiuriland

The highlight, though, has got to be this long rainbow-coloured passage made from dazzling lights criss crossing each other to form a tunnel of light. This spot is where you get your money shot.


Image adapted from: Sagamiko Resort

Btw, if you have a car and don’t mind driving a further hour down to Kanagawa, then Sagamiko Illumillion is another stop to add to your itinerary. This 40,000sqm resort consists of 10 themed zones featuring activities like a seated rainbow lift and a mirror maze. Happening from now till 12th May 2024, the event also features a Doraemon theme this year.

Yomiuriland Jewellumination
Admission: From ¥1,000/pax (~S$8.98)
Address: 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, Tokyo 206-8725, Japan
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8.30pm | Sun 9am-8.30pm
Contact: Yomiuriland website

Sagamiko Illumillion
Admission: From ¥1,200/pax (~S$10.78)
Address: 1634 Wakayanagi, Midori Ward, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0175, Japan
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 4pm-8pm | Sat-Sun 4pm-9pm
Contact: Sagamiko Resort website 


2. Midtown, Roppongi, Meguro River – Tokyo, Japan



Image credit: @roppongihillsofficial via Instagram

Various parts of Tokyo will also be decked out in lights for the holidays. The best part is that you can see almost all of it for free as you roam the streets of neighbourhoods like Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Omotesando.

At Roppongi, also known as the street fashion shopping area, you’ll see a recreation of the famous Christmas market in Stuttgart. In fact, 10 of the stores will be selling original German goodies such as mulled wine and sausages. At Tokyo Midtown, there will also be an ice rink all the way till 25th February 2024.


Go for a riverside stroll at Meguro River.
Image credit: @minna_no_illumi via Instagram

Meguro River, which is usually known for its cherry blossoms during spring, turns into a 2km walkway decorated with pink LED lights to recreate the effect of cherry blossoms in winter.


3. Christmasland 2023 – Taipei, Taiwan



Image credit: Taiwan Tourism

Despite having only a small number of people who celebrate Christmas traditionally, Taipei does a spectacular job of showcasing the holiday through Christmasland 2023. Happening at the open square between Banqiao Train Station and New Taipei City Plaza, the event goes on till 1st January 2024.

Look forward to Christmas markets, live concerts, street parties, and even a children’s carnival over the weekends. Apart from the special events, the square will be lit – literally – with light projections and illuminated zones daily.


Image credit: Taiwan Tourism

The 2 IG-worthy photo ops are at the giant Christmas tree and the tunnel decorated with a canopy of hanging fairy lights. Those with kids can head over to Fuzhing Road where a Gingerbread World has been built featuring a “chocolate” house.

Admission: Free
Address: No. 161, Section 1, Zhongshan Road, Banqiao District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Opening hours: 5.30pm-12am, Daily
Contact: Christmasland New Taipei City website 


4. The Garden of Morning Calm – Gapyeong, South Korea



The garden has been used as a filming location for many K-dramas.
Image credit: @elemah via Instagram

Those heading over to the land of K-pop should definitely visit The Garden of Morning Calm as a day trip from Seoul – it’s just a 2-hour drive away. From 1st December 2023 to 17th March 2024, as soon as the sun sets, the gardens turn into a glowing winter landscape that looks straight out of Alice in Wonderland.

While the garden is open all year round, this lighting festival only happens during the winter season. Shrubs, bushes, and tall trees are covered in bright neon lights. Oh, and the whole garden is blanketed in real snow between the months of December and March.


Image adapted from: @elemah via Instagram

There’s an entire field covered in blue lights to give the illusion of the ocean. All around you’ll see plenty of fairytale elements like giant heart frames, carriages, and cottages. One section will even transport you to the world of Pandora with its magical atmosphere.

Admission: ₩11,000/adult (~S$11.28) | ₩7,500/child (~S$7.69)
Address: 432 Sumogwon-ro, Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Opening hours: Sun-Fri 8.30am-9pm | Sat 11pm
Contact: The Garden of Morning Calm website 


5. Hong Kong Disneyland – Hong Kong



Image credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Name a place more magical than the happiest place on earth to celebrate Christmas. It’s a no-brainer to head to Hong Kong Disneyland if you’re in the city for the festive season. I mean it is the only place where you’re guaranteed to see fireworks against the backdrop of a castle every single night. 

From now till 1st January 2024, the park will also be covered in holiday decorations like wreaths, bells, and mistletoes. The characters will also adorn Christmas-themed costumes and perform at special events such as the Mickey and Friends Christmastime Ball.


There’ll be a tree lighting ceremony every night at 6.15pm.
Image credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

At the eateries you’ll be able to enjoy festive treats and at different times of the day hear live carolling all over the theme park. Bring the kids to Goofy’s show where he dresses up as Santa and makes it rain giant inflatable snowballs. Also, if you haven’t already heard, World of Frozen is a new section that just opened this year where everyone can belt out Let It Go together.

Admission: HK$639/pax (~S$109.85)
Address: Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 10.30am-8pm, Daily
Contact: Hong Kong Disneyland website 


6. Pavilion KL Christmas decor – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Image adapted from: @duseong_ko via Instagram

There’s no need to travel too far to see twinkly Christmas lights, though – you can find a picturesque display just next door in Kuala Lumpur. At Pavilion KL, there are not one but many, many Christmas trees. The one by Cartier greets you just outside the entrance and has fake snow surrounding it.

The one in the mall is made up of multiple trees hanging from the ceiling to form the shape of a massive tree, topped with a golden star and surrounded by floating lanterns.


Image credit: @beariemisa via Instagram

The main foyer is where all the action is taking place – photo taking with Santa and his reindeers, a carousel for kids, and a mystical display of forest animals. While you’re there, it might also be a good chance to look around for Christmas presents at the mega shopping mall.

Address: 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opening hours: 10am-10pm, Daily
Contact: Pavilion KL website


7. Wake Up Festival 2023 – Phu Quoc, Vietnam



Image credit: Vietnam Travel

If you want a truly star-studded experience, then the Wake Up Festival in Phu Quoc is the place to celebrate Christmas. From 9th December 2023, a ginormous Christmas tree at Grand World will light up every night, setting the stage for festive celebrations in the northern part of this island. 

The place will turn into one huge party with live concerts and part of the festivities will also include the 8Wonder Winter Festival happening on 16th December 2023. Here’s the clincher – American pop rock band Maroon 5 will be headlining this music festival, performing alongside local pop artists and DJs.

 

When it comes to entertainment, there’s another must-watch show – the Gondola aristocratic boat racing festival where you’ll get to witness Vietnamese acrobats displaying their talent. There’ll also be a Santa parade, a Christmas fair, and a carnival. 

In a bid to make the celebrations more eco-friendly, there will also be kid-friendly activities such as tree planting and making animal models from recycled items.

Admission: From VND1,000,000/pax (~S$55.40)
Address: Grand World, QT 01_14, Đường Hội Hè, Bãi Dài, Gành Dầu, Phú Quốc, Kiên Giang, Vietnam
Opening hours: 9am-10pm, Daily
Contact: 8Wonder Winter Festival website 


8. Ayala Triangle Gardens Festival of Lights – Manila, The Philippines



Image credit: Ayala Triangle Gardens Facebook

Over at the Makati area in Manila, a 20,000sqm garden is transformed into a festive wonderland every evening till 14th January 2024. The Ayala Triangle Gardens Festival of Lights features luminescent “rainbow” trees, hanging lights, and interactive floor projections. 

The ground becomes a blank canvas every night for colourful animated projections of cute animals like flying butterflies. There are also other interactive art installations that kids can have fun with such as submitting their Christmas wishes on a screen which will then be flashed onto a giant wall.


Image adapted from: @samsonaris, @palaboy123 via Instagram

A light and sound show plays every 30 minutes with well-loved Filipino Christmas tracks plus K-pop hits. And to satisfy your hunger pangs, just head over to the food booths selling tacos, burgers, and other street snacks.

Admission: Free
Address: Paseo De Roxas St, Makati, 1209 Metro Manila, Philippines
Opening hours: 6pm-10pm, Daily
Contact: Ayala Triangle Gardens Facebook


Prettiest Christmas decor & light-ups in Asia & beyond for 2023

While we’ve focused on the events happening closest to Singapore, everyone knows you can find such festivities all over the world. There are the charming German Christmas markets, ice skating in New York’s Central Park, and Santa’s village in Finland to indulge in the holiday spirit.

No matter which part of the planet you’re heading to, don’t forget your travel insurance. And if you’ve had the unpleasant experience of having to cancel a trip at the last minute, you know how much of a hassle it is to claim back the expenses of non-refundable bookings.

Plus, most insurance companies have very specific rules as to when you’re eligible to make these claims. In most cases, even legit reasons such as failure to obtain a visa, work commitments, or your pet falling sick don’t cut it. 

For that very reason, FWD Singapore has introduced a new Cancel For Any Reason Benefit in their travel insurance. Whether you’ve had to postpone a holiday, cut it short, or call it off completely, with this benefit, you’ll be covered in circumstances that are usually out of the scope of most basic travel insurance.

Of course, you’ll still be covered for common reasons like medical emergencies, home damage, flight cancellations due to airport closure, and having to fulfil legal duties. 

Life is unpredictable and such unforeseen events are more common than you think. This add-on benefit from FWD Singapore can give you peace of mind when reasons for cancelling your trip are genuine so you can still receive your payout even if they are not typically covered under your base plan. 

FWD Singapore’s Cancel For Any Reason Benefit gives you enhanced financial protection, reimbursing you up to 50% of total expenditure on your accommodation and transport that you have paid for in advance and are unable to get back from any other source.

If you need to cancel, postpone, or cut short your trip, and can’t make use of the pre-made travel arrangements, consider this your ticket to recover part of your money back.

Find out more about FWD travel insurance

 


This post was brought to you by FWD.
Cover image adapted from: @sharon.chang.98 via Instagram, Yomiuriland, Taiwan Tourism, Trazy

 

This is for general information only and shall not constitute as a financial advice.
T&Cs apply. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Aditi Kashyap

Serial offender of binge-watching whodunnit shows

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