Asia – are there really enough words to describe it? Nothing can do justice to the rich diverse flavours that make up this dynamic continent. A visit here enthralls your senses, envelopes you in cozy comfort and rattles you with its frenzy. In no other place does calm co-exist with chaos so effortlessly.
Understanding the cultural rendezvous of the continent may take a lifetime, but a quick glimpse of it at all is seen at the festivals celebrated across countries here. Apart from the unique smells and tastes, the colours of Asian festivals stun you with their beauty. Vibrant, gorgeous and elaborate — these festivals show you the world at its prettiest.
Here is where you should head to enjoy tradition, religion, folklore, food, costumes, dance and music —the five most colourful festivals in Asia.
Ever wondered what the world’s most intense water festival would look like? Catch that first flight to Thailand! Songkran means change and change is sure to be served to you with a double dollop of fun when you participate in water related festivities that last up to a week in some places.
Locals believe the ritual gives you a spiritual cleanse and rids you of ill luck so don’t hesitate to get drenched with a Capital D! Ice bucket baths, water hose fights, and sprinklers – there is no better place than here in mid-April at the peak of the summer heat.
Where should you stay? We know just the kind of places you’d love.
Luxury condo in central Bangkok
When it comes to location, this fully furnished three bedroom HomeAway slays it with style. Get ring seats to the action. Sukhumvit road is where the government’s Amazing Songkran Joyful parades run every year. This area is also home to malls, restaurants, parks, nightlife, and so much more. But living in an upscale address doesn’t mean you have to live in a shoe box.
Polished wooden floors, high quality home equipment, high-rise views, and 24 hour convenience stores in the vicinity are just some of the many impressive features of this place. Got kids? With a special toddler’s garden and a library just for them, they are sure to have a great time.
Average price per night: MYR 595
Tranquil three-bedroom retreat
Away from the noise and hustle bustle of Central Bangkok lies this gem of a HomeAway which promises to give you the peaceful, relaxing break from routine that you desire. With pastel interiors, soft lighting, and eco-friendly amenities, this home packs quite a punch.
After frenetic Songkran celebrations, you are sure to appreciate the calm demeanor of this home. Soak into the Lagoon style pool or hit the driving range. Need to indulge in retail therapy? The host offers you a complimentary shuttle van to take you to the BTS and shopping hubs of Bangkok.
Average price per night: MYR 717
Bali Spirit Festival, Indonesia
A festival where the body, mind and soul intertwine and the participants inspire and unleash positive vibes for each other. That, in a nutshell, is the Bali Spirit Festival held in the idyllic island of Bali in the first week of April.
Billed as a global meet for Yoga, dance, music and healing, the festival brings together like-minded individuals who are on a spiritual search. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a master, if Yoga interests you, there is no other place you’d want to be. Sign up for a workshop with the instructor you have admired from across the globe.
Sashay to West African dance moves or Indian Bhangra. Book a session with a traditional healer, enjoy Balinese performances and load yourself up with unique outfits, crafts, and food from the vendor stalls. Leave your baggage at the door and come inside to reconnect with your inner self, say the organizers. Maybe it is just the thing you were looking for.
If beautiful Bali is on your mind, consider these attractive HomeAways.
Traditional Balinese home
The concrete jungle and the impersonal high rise towers are not for you. You want a home whose walls are pages of history and whose lawns transport you to an era far gone. Then this three bedroom HomeAway in the heart of Seminyak will touch a chord with you. Balinese architecture is about building a home that is in harmony with nature, and this place sure fits the bill.
Wake up to the view of your lush green tropical garden with frangipanis and orchids. Have the chef make you a garden lunch with fresh local ingredients. You could also try some of the best beach restaurants that are just a five-minute walk away.
Average price per night: MYR 939
The name says it all, right? Luxurious interiors, privacy, fresh ponds, open architecture – those are the perks of this stunning earthy HomeAway. But this property manages to surprise you with its deft touches – like the fresh flowers in your room and a staff that makes you breakfast just the way you like it. Designed by a high-end fashion designer from Holland, this villa takes its service tag seriously.
Head over to the observatory deck for a view of the rice paddy fields and the western chain of Bali’s famed volcanoes. Watch little geckos and fireflies go by, harmlessly sharing nature’s space as intended. This is what living in the ‘island of Gods’ is all about.
Average price per night: MYR 850
Boryeong Mud festival, South Korea
Remember jumping in muddy puddles as a kid? The smell of fresh earth, the carefree times spent with your equally mud faced friends? Those were the days! Don’t you wish you could rewind time? Here’s some good news for you – you can still do it! The mud festival at Boryeong beach in the end of July is the biggest mud party in the world and you are invited!
Unique doesn’t even cut what’s in store for you here. From mud themed games, sports, slides, snowmen, making mud soaps, mud art to mud baths and facials, this is mud like you’ve never seen before. Squirmy about hygiene? You should know that the mud in this area is nutrient rich and excellent for your skin. Beauty therapy and unbeatable fun – is there a better holiday combination? And when you are tired from all the lathering, you can sit back on the beach and enjoy the best of K-Pop bands strutting their stuff.
Boryeong is just 2 hours away from Seoul, so you can stay here and take the Korail train to the Daechon station. Alternately, you can also take the bus from the Central Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal.
Check into these HomeAways in Seoul. They will perfectly complement this crazy holiday.
Award winning home
Step into this timeless HomeAway designed intricately with wood, traditional interiors and paintings and you will know why it has been a recipient of architectural awards and the shoot location of a well known music video. This is a three storied labour of love that boasts of a meditation room, latest appliances, and a quiet street view.
Living here is like living at the heart of Seoul, with the train station just a few minutes away. Soak into local culture and make new friends. The area is home to some of the best museums and markets.
Average price per night: MYR 471
Traditional Hanok house
There are few sights as beautiful as a simple but thoughtfully constructed Hanok house. From the authentic door knocker to long curved roofs and alternating ondol and maru flooring that help maintain ideal temperatures, you cannot help but fall in love with this traditional three bedroom home that is a perfect example of this stunning architecture.
But don’t be fooled by its ancient look. This home comes equipped with all the modern appliances you would need for a comfortable stay.
Average price per night: MYR 640
Loy Krathong, Thailand
If Thailand is on your bucket list, you should not miss Loy Krathong, the country’s spectacular festival of lights. Held in the first half of November, this festival is about paying respects to life sustaining lakes, rivers, and canals. The centerpiece of the thanksgiving revolves around the release of beautiful lotus shaped water floats called Krathongs containing candles, incense and flowers.
As darkness falls, the sight of thousands of floats glittering away on rivers and ponds are a feast for the eyes. Let your Krathong float away and with it the grudges you hold. This symbolic gesture is also believed to bring you good luck. All the more reason to go there! Enjoy this stunning spectacle along with the dances, music, games, events, food and stalls that liven up the sidelines.
For the ultimate celebration, head to Chiang Mai, a misty and mountainous hidden gem in Northern Thailand. Here, you can witness the Yee Peng (Lantern festival) preceding Loy Krathong where thousands of lanterns are released into the sky. The view of the skyline, decked with colourful lanterns may just be the most striking thing you have ever seen. Make a wish as you release a lantern and as the Buddhists believe, it may just come true.
Book one of these HomeAways at Chiang Mai that are sure to make your festivities memorable.
Cozy and private home
As you offer your gratitude to the water gods during Loy Krathong, how about a reclusive villa that lets you have a quiet reflective stay, away from the chaos of the city? Beautifully designed and equipped for a hassle-free stay, you can enjoy a meal on the terrace or a rejuvenated soak in your private salt water pool here.
Average price per night: MYR 521View This HomeAway
Vintage Zen villa
Experience an authentic Thai stay at this picturesque and sprawling villa that is right by the river side. Built in traditional style with teakwood, the windows panels with their vintage designs are a highlight. The rooms, constructed in symmetrical balance, have plenty of open spaces for natural sunlight and breeze.
With a sprawling tropical garden outside, you are sure to enjoy this outdoor retreat. Start your morning with yoga or meditation by the serene river or take time out for fishing during the holiday.
Average price per night: MYR 2076