It’s hard to stay at home for Christmas, when it’s pretty much the same every year: people rushing in stores, markets and malls, a ceaseless rush hour making traffic not only unbelievably annoying, but sometimes even impossible, people faking smiles while offering gifts to people they don’t even care about. Again, being pretty much the same every year makes it not only predictable and boring, but also unpleasant, so here’s a list of some awesome places where you’ll even forget that somewhere far, some people celebrate Christmas.
Nepal, the spiritual journey.
Yes, it’s true, I would recommend this destination whenever I get the chance to, because it’s the best place to be, but this time it’s also appropriate to. And while you may think that the mountainous area will make you think of Christmas, that’s really not going to happen. This is because of the uniqueness of the place, the fact that the things you can do and see here are nowhere else in the world to be found combined. Trekking is the first and most popular thing you should try in Nepal, but far from the only attraction of this country. However, if you seek wild life and heavy treks, you can opt for the Everest or Annapurna Circuit Treks. But after having admired the most impressive mountainscapes in the world, you can go visit Patan for instance, especially if you’re an art lover. The wood and stone carvings you’ll find here are impressive even for the untrained, combining fine concepts and visions with exquisite executions. And if you still think that being surrounded by snow is a little too much for someone who wants to avoid Christmas, remember that Nepal’s not only the hikers’ and trekkers’ Mecca, but an impressive cradle of an amazingly open civilization. And you don’t have to be an adventure junkie to love it here. The UNESCO World Heritage national parks are not to be missed, putting together stunning wildlife samples with beautiful wild animals, such as rhino and tigers, or elephants that you’re also allowed to ride.
Thailand, the heaven of cocktails
It’s the second best option. There’s no way to leave this country unimpressed, its diverse points of attractions are of contrasting difference. If the reason for which you decide a Christmas exile is overcrowding, than isolating on one of the country’s islands should be heaven. And not only would you have all the peaceful, blissful alone time, but you’d also get to replace the traditional, common Christmas menu with delicious, exotic dishes of the very much praised local cuisine. But you may just want to step out the monotony of this time of year, and Bangkok is an ideal place. It looks as if history has built it based on contrasts and antithesis. The cultural attractions and artfacts include magnificent museums and temples, narrow streets paved with stone, bohemian vintage houses with classy, tasteful accessories. And one of the reasons why this whole opulence looks a little more glittering than it really is is because it’s counter-position with the clubs, the modern nightlife, the music playing late at night, the vibration of a place that seems to never get old, the sensation of a never ending party season. Plus, getting to see Thailand during its wintertime is a very good choice, because the cold season sun makes the temperatures bearable for any tourist, giving you the possibility to enjoy all its feasts and entertainment while sunbathing.
Sankt Petersburg, the winter without the feasts
A perfect winter: a place where snow never ceases falling, yet you won’t hear Christmas carols everywhere, nor will you find the agglomeration and bustle along with preparation ceremonies. Since the Old Style calendar only celebrates Christmas when for the western people it’s already 7th of January, Sankt Petersburg is a safe place to be. Of course, you can spend this holiday visiting this worldwide famous attractions such as the Hermitage Museum or the Winter Palace and St. Isaac’s Cathedral, making yourself a little familiar with the Russian exuberant culture. Or go see a ballet spectacle, you’ll never regret it, they’ve got the most charming, delicate and precise ballet school in the entire world. Or you can just roam around, follow the main streets and stop for warm coffee and mulled wine whenever you stop feeling your fingertips because of the cold wind outside.