10 mesmerizing snowy destinations in Asia
(VNF) - Some of the world’s most gorgeous snow destinations are nestled in Asia. Plus, there are also snowy places in the region that can be enjoyed without a visa. For an unforgettable snowy trip in Asia, check out these suggestions handpicked Skyscanner.
1. Harbin, China
They don’t call Harbin as “Ice City” for nothing. After all, it is the official host to one of the largest and most elaborate ice and snow festivals in the world – the Harbin International Ice Festival. Held from January to February, this festival showcases over 1,000 larger-than-life and mesmerizing ice sculptures that dazzle with multi-colored light illuminations. From iconic international landmarks to mythical creatures, the festival will make your jaws drop with its scintillating array of ice sculptures.
As an added plus, the festival will also have firework displays and a series of snow activities and theatrical performances. To make things even better, there are tons of wintry experiences that can be enjoyed in Harbin, such as winter swimming, amorous sleigh rides, dog sledding and watching safari-style Siberian Tigers.
The gigantic ice sculpture in Harbin International Ice Festival.
2. Seoul, South Korea
Seoul – the land of K-Pop and the bustling capital of South Korea – transforms into a magical winter wonderland with a world of pleasures to offer to Pinoy travelers during wintertime. As you walk along its snow-clad pavements, you’ll get to feast your eyes on bright twinkling lights and towering beautifully decorated Christmas trees. What’s more, the city will be filled with merrymakers singing Christmas carols, exuding a quintessential Yuletide feel. And, when your stomach gets hungry after your city tour, you may please your palate by slurping down on mouthwatering and piping hot kimchi as well as eating on a variety of tasty street food.
The beautiful snow in Seoul covering its intricate temple.
3. Tokyo, Japan
Headed to the “Land of the Rising Sun”? There’s no better place in Japan to spend an exciting winter getaway better than its capital, Tokyo. Even though Christmas isn’t a religious affair and a national holiday in Japan, you’ll still feel the festive air in Tokyo, with its visually enticing illuminations and extravagant decorations. Not to mention, it has enthralling and extremely entertaining theme parks that will let you take a walk down memory lane, relieving some of the sweetest memories of your childhood.
A striking light Xmas display in Tokyo.
4. Niseko, Japan
In the mood for a mind-blowing adventure? Then, make sure to hit the snowy, steep slopes of Niseko – one of the most popular ski resorts in all of Japan. Not only will let you touch and see real snow, but these adventures can also you give you a one-of-a-kind adrenaline rush. Of course, Niseko also is jam-packed with attractions and sights that will make your trip even more exciting and fun, including Arishima Memorial Center, Kanrosui, and Niseko Ohashi Bridge.
The powdery white snow of Niseko, Japan.
5. Northern Vietnam
Think you need to secure a visa to experience snow in Asia? Guess what? For 21 days, you may experience a little snow and a whole lot of adventure in the highlands of northern Vietnam. There are plenty of beautiful places in the side of Vietnam where you can indulge on snow, but our best bet is the striking Sapa. With its verdant landscapes wondrously covered in white, you’ll definitely have a blast admiring the splendor of Sapa during winter.
The lovely and dazzling icy landscapes of Sapa, Vietnam.
6. Jeju Island, South Korea
Speaking of visa-free destinations, you might want to include Korea’s beloved island of Jeju to your bucket list. From Ecoland Theme Park to Hallasan Mountain, Jeju is home to a myriad of photogenic spots that look even more striking in winter. With a favorable climate, you’ll likewise have a lot of opportunities to hike and enjoy some outdoor activities in this part of South Korea. Furthermore, Jeju has a host of attractions that can spice up your winter escape, including Love Land, Jeongbang Waterfall, Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, and Teddy Bear Museum.
The stunning winter scenery of Jeju Island, South Korea. (Photo credit: Flickr/Jeju Island/Republic of Korea/CC-BY)
Looking for a snowy place that’s unique and far the flocks of tourists? Why not pack your bags, and head to Mongolia in winter? With its majestic landscapes and countryside covered in white, snow seekers will absolutely find their bliss in this pristine and untouched land. For bona fide adventurers, Mongolia can help you unleash your wild side with its mishmash of outdoor thrills, such as canoeing, horseback riding, mountain climbing and skiing. And by the way, did we mention that it can be accessed by Philippine Passport Holders without a visa?
A group of eagle hunters in Mongolia. (Photo credit: Flickr/Parade of Eagle Hunters/Mongolia/CC-BY)
8. Lhasa, Tibet
When winter is in full swing, Lhasa transforms into one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful snowy wonderlands on the face of the earth. With cheaper hotel accommodations and fewer crowds, the place can be a boon for budget travelers and backpackers in winter as well. While it can be rather chilly, Lhasa has a lineup of festivals that can add color and fun to your winter escape, like the Butter Oil Lantern Festival, Tibetan New Year, and Great Prayer Festival.
The towering peaks of Tibet.
9. Beijing, China
Traveling to China during winter? China’s capital gets pretty cold in December, with the average temperature sitting around negative 2 degrees Celsius. Besides being a low-tourist month (you can enjoy super affordable fights and hotels in December in Beijing), you likely find snowfall in this city during Yuletide getaway.
Most of the city’s ski resorts open their doors, when December sets in, meaning you can try your hand at tobogganing, snowboarding and skiing. If you’re lucky to catch some snow during your visit, make your way to The Summer Palace, for breathtaking snow views. And don’t forget to check out the world renowned Great Wall of China, to enjoy elevated view of its snowy surrounding landscapes.
A bunch of tourists enjoying the snow in Beijing.
10. Sapporo, Japan
No list of the best snowy destinations in Asia is complete without the inclusion of Hokkaido. Every February, Hokkaido’s capital, Sapporo, draws throngs of travelers from all corners of the world, with its internationally beloved winter spectacle – the Sapporo Snow Festival. One of the world’s most distinctive and largest winter events, the festival lets you catch sight of hundreds of gigantic ice sculptures and snow statues.
But, make no mistake about it – there’s more to Sapporo in winter than its famed ice festival. For active travelers, there are dozens of exciting things you can do in Hokkaido in winter, snowball flights, smelt fishing, skateboarding and skiing.
The impressive and towering ice sculptures of Sapporo. (Photo credit: Flickr/Sapporo/かがみ～/CC-BY)
According to Skyscanner