Download your exclusive 2016 Events Calendar now! Our interactive planner is the ultimate guide to what’s going on in Asia.
• One reference place throughout the year for all events.
• Discover local cultural events that only an insider would know about.
• All national holidays are listed so you can plan around them.
• Scroll over any event to reveal a pop-up box with more information.
• Know the best festivals taking place in Asia up to a year in advance.
The Destination Asia 2016 Events Calendar is packed full of festival dates, holidays and special events, allowing you to keep one step ahead of your competitors. It’s free to download and is the perfect reference when planning any trip to Asia.
Follow the link below to download an interactive pdf file, then scroll over the highlighted boxes for more information on each event – or simply print the entire calendar and pin it up on the wall. A complete index of every entry gives a quick overview of what’s on in Asia throughout 2016.
CLICK HERE to download your calendar.
HOW TO USE YOUR EVENTS CALENDAR
After opening the PDF file, simply scroll down to the index page and click on an event,
for example: Shwedagon Pagoda Festival. By clicking on an event name you will be
taken directly to the month it’s in.
Hover the mouse over the event name and a pop-up box will appear with more
information on the event.
A ‘Go to Cover Page’ button is located at the top right of each page should you wish to
return to the front at any time.
Discover the Remote Craft Villages of Shangri-La
For guests travelling to Shangri-La, we have an exciting new program designed to reveal the true beauty of this staggeringly diverse and well documented region. We start the morning with a drive to Nixi village, famous for producing Shangri-La pottery. About seventy out of the one hundred families are engaged in the traditional art of pottery making, all of which is handmade, unique and precious. The raw material, clay, comes from a mountain roughly three kilometers from the village.
Following lunch at a local restaurant we then take a cable car up to the summit of Shika Snow Mountain which towers 4449 meters above the city of Shangri-La. The views are magnificent, reaching as far as Gyalthang and the Napa grasslands, creating a momentous occasion that will always be fondly remembered.
Plan Bee Create a Buzz in Pindaya
Plan Bee is a not-for-profit organization that recently opened in the town of Pindaya to provide information and skills training in the art of bee keeping. Providing knowledge and equipment across 20 villages in the southern Shan State, Plan Bee’s community initiative aims to leverage the unique beekeeping potential in Myanmar to empower and improve livelihoods, nutrition and food security. Through training and financial assistance, they make it possible for local farmers to increase agricultural production via pollination. In their information center, they also showcase and sell crafts such as beeswax balms and candles.
The center’s terrace overlooks peaceful Pindaya Lake and is the perfect place to have a cup of coffee or tea with honey and crackers. In the near future, Plan Bee hope to offer short beekeeping courses for travelers, with honey tasting and the opportunity to try on a beekeeping suit.
Join a Private Japanese Tea Ceremony
There aren’t many travelers who can say they have joined a private tea ceremony within the grounds of an exclusive temple. Korin-in Temple was founded in 1613 and its garden was believed to have been designed by the master craftsman, Kentei. The teahouse, built in the early Meiji period (1868 to 1912), has a reputation for being one of the most majestic in Japan.
However, Korin-in Temple is not usually open to the public, so the opportunity to enjoy a private tea ceremony here through Destination Asia Japan is very prestigious. The best quality tea is used and seasonal sweets from a traditional sweet maker are provided. The tea ceremony teacher will instruct guests on how to eat the sweets and drink the tea, after which, the teacher will show guests how to make tea themselves.
The Artisans and Craftsmen of George Town
Despite being a 21st century city with many modern day traits, the multicultural George Town remains home to traditional artisans and craftsmen such as the songkok-maker, signboard carver, Chinese seal cutter, rattan weaver, stonemason and tombstone engraver. They are all part of the intangible heritage of George Town and give the city an inherent richness and vitality that is increasingly hard to find elsewhere.
Guest can explore or even better, get a hands-on experience with these vanishing traditional arts and craft practices. Destination Asia Malaysia can connect guests with arts such as batik painting, wau making, bead sewing or rattan basket weaving. Another way to experience George Town is to simply walk along the streets and aisles of this Heritage City with our heritage guide who will recount its history and tell stories about its traders who are the living legacy of George Town.
New and Improved National Museum Opens
Those visiting Bangkok should take time to visit the recently renovated National Museum located downtown. The newly renovated space has an improved layout with bilingual descriptions showcasing all the antiquities. The collection housed within the museum consists of exhibits and artifacts from Thai Royal Throne Halls and former Royal households, along with ancient pieces of art from around the kingdom. The museum aims to be a source of education for all visitors and become a leading museum within the ASEAN region. To celebrate the re-opening the National Museum, public opening times have been changed to 16:00–20:30 every Friday & Saturday from December 2015 until March 2016.
If you are looking for something extra special then attend a ‘Special Gala Dinner’, served within the museum. Traditional Royal Thai Cuisine is served as classical Thai dance performances take place at Sala Samranmukmart Pavilion. The dinner is available on the following dates, subject to availability (rates available upon request): Friday 25 December 2015, Friday 26 February & Friday 25 March 2016.
A Walk Through the History of the Vietnam War
There are several landmarks, museums and experiences in Ho Chi Minh City that have a strong association with the Vietnam War, and this newly created half-day excursion affords the opportunity to explore some of them first-hand. The program starts at the Hotel Continental, a Saigon institution that was immortalized in Graham Greene’s 1955 novel, The Quiet American. Nearby, the former CIA building from where the last helicopter evacuations out of the city took place is visible from an elevated position.
The Reunification Palace is now an absorbing museum complete with period meeting areas, war rooms and a basement communication centre, while the War Remnants Museum offers a fascinating insight into many aspects of the war. Complete the tour with a visit to the sombre monument dedicated to Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk who demonstrated against the South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War by setting himself on fire. There is an option to visit an art gallery at the end where genuine and reproduction propaganda art is available to purchase.
Exclusive Cruise Around an Ancient Temple Moat
Looking to add a touch of sophistication to a journey through the ancient temples of Angkor? The next time you are planning a trip to the fabled UNESCO World Heritage destination of Angkor Thom, add this unique Khmer experience – a sunset gondola cruise. Combining Khmer tradition with the chance to see the temple from a new perspective brings the fascinating history of Angkor to life. Away from the crowds guests can truly appreciate its megalithic prowess.
Cruising between the gates of Angkor Thom, guests can choose from either sipping High Tea or opt for delicious canapes, drinks and cocktails whilst appreciating the centuries old landscape surrounding them. This is an excellent activity for incentive groups or those returning travelers who want to try something a little different while in Cambodia.
he Intriguing Cultural Exploits of Nias Island
Taking advantage of the convenient Garuda Indonesia Airlines connection between Medan and Nias (just a 55 minute flight), the island of Nias presents not only one of the world’s best surfing spots, but a cultural paradise. It is, and few people know this, a destination for flamboyant festivals and quirky cultural exploits. Nias Island has ancient war dances and stone jumping rituals that take guests back to medieval times!
In bygone days, the stone jump was a ritual taken very seriously. Boys would leap to their adulthood, dressed in warrior garb to signify they were ready to fight and assume the responsibilities of men. Today the jump is still taken seriously, with many tourists also joining to observe the unfamiliar traditional rites of a unique and compelling culture.
The Traditional Arts are Alive in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a kaleidoscope of life, a sophisticated fusion of East and West, a city of diversity where new and old meet at every turn. On this program guests discover how traditional Eastern values live in harmony with the fast-paced Western influences in metropolitan Hong Kong. Start the day with a slow motion tai chi class. During the hour-long lesson on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, guests are treated to fantastic views across Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island. We then continue to a tea house and learn about the intricate rituals involved in drinking tea. As guests listen to our expert, they will start to comprehend the magnitude of the ritual they are involved in.
Guests then have the chance to sample a traditional Dim Sum meal. This is Cantonese cuisine at its best, created from the freshest local ingredients by a team of regionally renowned chefs. The final stop of the day is for a foot reflexology session – soothing away any stresses and strains.
A Festival of Color and Culture in Singpaore
In Singapore, Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated from the 15 January for four days and is marked by thorough spring-cleaning, as well as the discarding of old belongings to signify a fresh start. Oil lamps are lit, new clothes are donned and colourful designs in rice flour are created on the floors of houses as people honour the Sun God. Every household cooks a pot of rice with milk to offer up to Surya at dawn, while relatives and friends visit each other to exchange greetings. Multi-coloured beads, tinkling bells and flower garlands are placed around the necks of cattle.
Pongal offers visitors a peek into a rich culture and way of life that has been celebrated in Southern India for centuries. The tradition has been kept alive in Singapore and is another example of the multi-cultural society travelers can discover here.
Luang Prabang Restaurant With UNESCO Pond
Luang Prabang keeps adding unique experiences to its growing list of exceptional encounters for travelers to take part in. Visitors to the region can now dine in the surroundings of a UNESCO classified pond! The restaurant is MANDA de LAOS and features magnificent Laotian family cuisine taking influence from regions across the country. The property has been passed down through generations and its three charming lotus ponds have been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.
Those wanting to dine or simply enjoy one of their specialty cocktails can do so under the stars in one of the city’s most inviting gardens. As the sun sets the sky passes through a kaleidoscope of colors, all enjoyed from the comfort of your cushioned armchair.