It’s time to party this February in Asia! Whether it’s Chinese New Year festivities, or winter festivals, the locals know how to make the most of the month. Sun seekers will also be pleased, with warm weather and low humidity in the tropics. For those looking for a half-term holiday with plenty of sunshine, there’s plenty to choose from. Here’s our pick of the best places to visit in Asia this February. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or comments in the comments section or via email.
Swim with whale sharks in the Philippines
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, why not try whale watching in Donsol in February? This month brings high numbers of the gentle giants of the ocean, meaning snorkelers and SCUBA divers can spot them almost daily in the bay.
Although the area may not have many luxurious amenities, getting there is easy thanks to flights from Legaspi to Cebu and Manila. This makes it easy to combine your whale watching trip with visits to other nearby islands, beaches, dive spots, and lush hotels.
Party in Penang, Malaysia
This month, Chinese New Year brings a vibrant energy to the streets and temples of George Town in Penang Island. With a large community of Chinese descent, this UNESCO-designated heritage city celebrates the holiday with aplomb. While the crowds can be intense, experiencing the illuminations of the temples at night, the traditional lion and dragon dances, the drumming competitions, the fireworks, and all the festive activities makes for a truly remarkable few days. Don’t forget to check out our hotel picks for accommodation ideas.
Marvel at snow sculptures in Japan
For those wishing to experience Japan in winter, the Snow Festival in Sapporo is the undisputed highlight. Every year, this dazzling event attracts over a million visitors to witness the incredible ice and snow sculptures scattered across several venues. Food stalls and kiosks fill the air with the smells of hot food and drinks, offering visitors a chance to warm up and keep their spirits high. With Japan’s mountains providing some of the best ski areas in the world, skiers of all levels can revel in the powdery snow and long runs that Japan has to offer. For those looking for a change of scenery come February, Okinawa is the perfect place to visit, already in the midst of Cherry Blossom season.
Explore the northern states in India
February is an excellent time to explore the northern states of India, namely Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. During this period, the morning fog and city smog that usually linger in December and January start to dissipate, affording travelers the opportunity to appreciate the colourful and vibrant nature of these regions. With our Classic Rajasthan itinerary, you can gain a glimpse into both urban and rural life in the north, with chances to savour the culture, food, and rich history of the area. What’s more, a ride on India’s renowned train network can be included to make the journey more memorable.
Something for everyone in the Maldives
Are you looking for a romantic getaway this February? The Maldives is the perfect destination to escape to with your significant other. The sunny skies and clear weather make it an ideal place to spend Valentine’s Day, and there are plenty of indulgent treats in store for couples.
But don’t worry, the Maldives is also great for family trips. With dozens of child-friendly islands just a short speedboat ride away, it’s perfect for a February half-term holiday. Whether you want to relax in the spa while the kids enjoy the kids club, or take a scuba diving taster course, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Vietnam
February is a special month in Vietnam, as the sun emerges from the rain, the south becomes delightfully tropical, and it marks the Chinese New Year (or TET). This is an important festival in Vietnam, and one of our favorite places to celebrate is the UNESCO city of Hoi An. The streets and rivers are transformed with hundreds of lanterns lighting up the night, and the dates of the festival are determined by the lunar calendar, so it changes each year. In 2020, Tet falls in January, but it will be celebrated in February for 2021 and 2022. To experience the best of February in Vietnam, we recommend our Highlights & Tropical Island trip.
Get off the beaten track in Myanmar
February is a popular month for those looking to explore Southeast Asia due to the excellent weather, however, those wishing to avoid the crowds should consider heading to Myanmar (Burma). This country is still largely undiscovered, home to isolated and stunning beaches, where you are much more likely to encounter local tribespeople, known as “sea gypsies”, than other tourists. One of the country’s best-kept secrets is the Myeik Archipelago, a collection of hundreds of islands with pristine white sand and crystal-clear water with incredible visibility. We recommend cruising this area, as offered in this itinerary, for an extraordinary and authentic experience.
Celebrate Independence Day in Sri Lanka
As the south, west, and middle parts of Sri Lanka boast a pleasant weather in February, it is the perfect time to explore the hills and take a hike from one waterfall to the next. You can even stay in a tea planter’s bungalow or an active tea estate, and if you feel like it, you can help out with the tea leaf picking.
If your preference is the beach, you can select from the ones on the south and west coast, and enjoy a comfortable stay in a luxury villa. Furthermore, February 4th marks Sri Lanka’s Independence Day, and the island will be holding a variety of festivals, parades, and fireworks.
Get Festive in Laos
For those looking for an unforgettable holiday experience, Lao is the place to go. Every month is a celebration, but February takes the cake with more festivals than any other month of the year. The perfect weather makes it all the more special as locals and tourists alike come together to enjoy the festivities. Magha Puja and Wat Phu, both full-moon celebrations, as well as the incredible Elephant Festival, are just some of the most popular attractions. During this event, more than 50 elephants are blessed in a special ceremony and bathe with the monks. Our Perfect Introduction to Laos is the perfect place to start planning your dream holiday.
Escape the humidity in Cambodia
February is a great time to explore Cambodia, with the rain gone, the festive season behind us, but before the humidity rises. You can have the country to yourself, without having to hide from the midday sun! The iconic temples of Angkor can get very crowded during peak seasons, so it’s best to plan your visit for a slightly less busy time – and February is perfect for that, as it falls in between the busy Christmas and Easter periods.
For a unique and undiscovered experience, why not look into our ‘Temples to Jungles and Paradise’ itinerary? With it, you can truly uncover the secrets and delights of Cambodia.
See Thailand in bloom
Visiting Thailand in February can be a great experience for travelers. Not only will you get to experience great weather in most parts of the country, but you’ll also find lower prices for flights and accommodation compared to December and January, the other high season months.
If you’re in Bangkok near the end of January and into early February, you can join in the celebrations for the Chinese Lunar New Year (25 January 2020, in February in 2021). Make your way to the city’s Chinatown district and join in on the festivities. At the beginning of the month (7-9 February 2020), it’s also a great time to head north and experience the beautiful Chiang Mai Flower Festival.