10 Of The Best Places To Go To Avoid Christmas

There are many places where December 25th is a day like any other. Make your own cheers this year and hop on a plane for exotic travel adventures to stunning destinations that do not celebrate Christmas.

  1. Algeria

This country has natural beauty and a rich history to enhance your exotic travel. Algiers, a busy city is a fantastic place to start your visit. The close by ruins at Tipasa, Timgad, and Djemila will enrich your experience with the country’s history. Other places to visit while here are the towns of Ouargla –referred to as ‘the golden key to the desert’ for its unique architecture and the Holy town of Beni-Isguen.

  1. The Bahamas

The Bahamas is a great destination to get away from it all; with an impressive bank balance, you can easily acquire an island of your liking. You can try out the Caribbean or the Musha Cay for variety.

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  1. China

The country has many attractions to keep your visit pretty busy. The activities will include Great wall, Beijing Pandas, bicycles, Ming Dynasty, Terracotta Army, Mau Tse Tung, rice, noodles.

  1. Iran

A visit to the country’s prehistoric ruin of Persepolis, Isfahan-one of the Islamic finest cities and the sophisticated and cultured city of Shiraz will start you off on the right tone. You can later enjoy some skiing in the Alborz and walks on the trails encircling the well known Assassins Castles.

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  1. Japan

Traditionally Christmas is not celebrated here. You can instead sample the traditional culture in cities like Nara and Kyoto. Tokyo will offer you its futuristic cityscapes while Hokkaido will amaze you with its powder snow as you enjoy the friendly and hospitality of your hosts.

  1. Nepal

For trekkers and mountaineers, Nepal is a Mecca to them and the Himalayas is just the right setting for an exotic travel. Nepal has other great outdoor activities like kayaking, white water rafting and mountain biking in the inspiring surrounding scenery.

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  1. Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea

North Korea does not celebrate Christmas, this keeps their borders closed to almost all tourists, except for few organized tours. Thus you’d be pushed to get there in time for the Promulgation day on 27th December.

  1. Saudi Arabia

To visit Saudi Arabia, you need to have a visa. You can marvel at ‘Saudi Arabia’s Petra’- Madain Saleh and later visit the world’s biggest sea of sand and origin of Arabian oryx- The Empty Quarter. Saudi’s Red Sea waters have the most pristine reefs and it’s also a scuba diver’s heaven.

  1. Turkey

Even with the spreading Western influences (like Christmas celebrations), Turkey is an alluring exotic travel destination away from clichéd seasonal revelries. Istanbul offers both striking traditional architecture and the growing reputation of its being the hippest city around.

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  1. Thailand

November to February is a ‘cool’ period in Thailand when the humidity drops. Thailand has the additional benefit of being Christmas-free. December is when most events and activities continue to take place as planned. Whether you consider Krabi, Phuket, or another quieter place, you have a choice of beachside accommodations from the available world-class resorts.

Whether you like the idea of celebrating Christmas your own special way or you just want to avoid it altogether, your only choice is to travel, rather than to huddle under the blanket at home. Come and check out with us what crazy ideas we have for your Christmas trip at askus@ladyredot.com.


Kally Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

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How to visit Japan on shoestring budget

Japan, the little island with so much to see in culture and nature, always on the bucket lists of wanderlusts worldwide. But, there is a big but, it’s too expensive, the bias that stuck in our head all the time has stopped us from exploring this beautiful country. The reality is, you CAN visit many cities in Japan on your tight budget if you plan well, let’s us brief you a little.

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Time to visit
Cherry blossom is extraordinary in Japan, so no doubt, Spring is the best time, that is March to May, but avoid the golden week around the end of April and beginning of May.

Next best time is, of course, autumn, September to November in Japan. Finally, for winter lover, who enjoy the snowy cold, book your flight to Japan between the December – February time, again, avoid the peak at New Year or Christmas.

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Accommodation
Of course, if you are an avid traveller and has an excellent profile on Couchsurfing, you can cut off the cost of accommodation intensively. Sadly, not everyone is lucky enough or comfortable enough to crash overnight at stranger’s house, so here come a few suggestions for accommodation:
There are plenty of budget options: (around $20 – $40/night): hostel, dorm or capsule hotels are among the top choices for shoestring travellers. All these places are facilitated with shared shower, toiletries and kitchen. Around this range, you can also make use of internet café, where you can buy the pass for 5 hours or so, with shower, the internet, snack, drinks, not bad at all.

Travelling with a friend? Opt for business hotels, as you pay the same price for hostel option, but being much more comfortable and private.

A few more tips to save extra on accommodation: make use of the 24 hours’ bath if you are only transiting in town, and opt for the comfortable overnight bus to save on the hotel cost.

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Transportation
Japan has it all that will suit your budget requirements comfortably. From the bus, train to flight.

Once decided on the destinations you love to visit, check out the bus or train pass, which gives you the best deal for intercity trips. One of the best public wide coverage bus passes you can reserve online is Willer Express, where you can enjoy three non-consecutive days pass starting at 10000 Yen (about $90). The site even offers an illustration on how this option benefits you, check it out, and you will be surprised that at least you can hop to 5 major cities in Japan with the 3 or 5-day pass.

Another incredible deal you can get if you travel in Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Wakayama, Shiga, Hyogo) is the Kansai Thru pass (about $50). The single use pass works for bus, subway and train, non-consecutive day and also comes with several discounts at major tourist spots.

Compared to the seven consecutive days pass JR train at nearly $300, the bus pass is a better option for budget concern folks with the extraordinary flexibility.

Tight on time? Don’t worry; Japan is incredibly convenient when it comes to purchasing a flight pass, check out at http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2364.html for the most suitable pass.

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Food
If you fancy noodles, fantastic! Follow the locals and enjoy your cheap, delicious ramen meals, which is typical around $4-5. If you are not that into the local food, the pre-packed meals from the supermarket, convenience stores or kiosk at train stations are also very economical while still delicious and nutritious. Finally, don’t forget to hit the street markets and Japan’s vending food machines for the variety of options that won’t break your wallet.

Tips: make lunch as your main meal, as many restaurants offer the cheaper lunch set menu, starting around $9 or take away at $5. While take away the meal from groceries in the evening will help you to save a few more bucks. Another way to save is to pay attention when booking your accommodation that may offer 1 or 2 meals per day.

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What to do
Regardless if you are a museum people, nature wanderlust, photography hobbyist or a technology geek, Japan has plenty to offer for free. Make sure you research well at each destination, there are always a mix of experiences you can try for free and get the authentic tastes of Japan, like watching cherry blossom if you come during Spring time, stroll around the famous temples or time your visit right and get free entry to museums.

Finally, bear in mind that planning in advance is the best way to keep your budget in control, as being such popular tourist spot, several services in Japan got booked out several months.

So, I hope after this article; start planning your Japan trip without worrying about the cost, after all, it is entirely worth it to visit a country where the beauty of tradition and nature has well blended with the most advanced modern technology.

Or leave all the planning to us. There is always a travel plan to suit every budget and lifestyle. Just askus@ladyredot.com.


 

june
June explores different roles to find out what is her passion. She used to be a travel consultant, a Kindergarden English teacher, an Expedia’s Lodging Partner Support agent, and the latest is being a freelancer. Eventually, she figures that her passion is to express the hospitality spirit from her heart and inspire others from her works. Being a writer for LadyRedot, where she get inspired and inspire others, and running her own bed and breakfast in her homeland. She views life as a colorful and adventurous journey, join her as she shares her passion with you! You can reach out to her @ LinkedIn.

Christmas Desserts Around the World

Christmas is coming! That means your family is probably already planning what to prepare for the anticipated Christmas dinner. If you are tired of the usual, or if you simply want to try something new this year, you might want to try these delicious desserts from all over the world:

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Brigadeiro, Brazil
These chocolate truffles are made by mixing condensed milk with cocoa powder and butter. Balls are formed and are covered with chocolate sprinkles. This delicacy is truly scrumptious!

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Cola de Mono, Chile
Sometimes called colamono, it’s a mixture of milk, coffee, aguardiente (alcohol), sugar and cloves. It’s similar to eggnog or white Russian and is best if served chilled. This beverage dessert is smooth and creamy, yet powerful.

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By Fisherjs at English Wikipedia – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25336250

Bunueolo, Mexico
Sometimes rolled into a shape of a ball, or laid flat, these fried cookies or fritters are topped with powdered sugar and are best if served warm. These are great with your coffee or hot chocolate!

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Bûche de Noël, France
Called the “Yule Log”, it is made by baking a thin sponge cake which is then rolled to form a log. The middle is filled with frosting and chocolate ganache is used to make it look like a real log. Just delicious!

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Vaniljerkranse, Denmark
These butter cookies (or vanilla wreaths) exude simplicity but are very delicious with crispy vanilla taste. Luckily, people all over the world can get a taste of Denmark’s special cookies. Yes, it is similar to the commercial Danish cookies you can buy at the grocery store. Thanks, Denmark!

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Stollen, Germany
This is a simple yeasted cake filled with dried fruits, marzipan, nuts, and cinnamon flavour. Yes, it’s sort of similar to the usual fruitcake, but a lot better because of its sweet outer loaf or covering. Köstlich!

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Julgröt, Sweden
This Swedish rice porridge or pudding is a mixture of cream, almond or cinnamon flavouring, and of course, rice. It truly warms you up on a cold winter night!

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Banketstaaf, The Netherlands
This pastry has a buttery, flaky outer layer which and has a sweet almond paste filling. It’s usually topped with sliced almonds, frosting or even cherries. A perfect pair for your coffee or tea!

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Biko, Philippines
A type of rice cake, it’s made by mixing coconut milk, brown sugar and sticky or glutinous rice. It’s traditionally placed on heated banana leaves and is topped with latik (which sometimes called coconut caramel or coconut milk curd, it’s a type of syrup derived from coconut milk and sugar). Tropical taste!

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Pavlova, New Zealand
Although this dessert is mainly composed of meringue, its inside or crust is actually crisp and soft at the same time. It is usually topped with strawberries and/or raspberries, but any fruit of your preference will work. Perfect combination!

So, we have just mentioned the traditional desserts from all over the world, but go ahead and be adventurous! Add a twist to these depending on your preference. Have fun, and taste Christmas in your mouth.


 

mish

Mish worked as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since she graduated, she decided to give up her corporate job. She now focuses on her 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. She is a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, she’s tiny but she is an Olympic-level glutton. Let her bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach her at LinkedIn.

Top 5 locations for Christmas

Christmas, a festive season for many families to get together and celebrate the wonders of Christ. Besides getting too commercialised and think Christmas is all about surviving the mad crowds and rush discounted shopping, it is also about giving and sharing, under the blanket of snow on a magical night, in front of a warm fireplace. Here are some of my personal favourite locations for Christmas.

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Munich, Germany
The Bavarian capital- is a great way to spend a traditional Christmas. With the city dating back to 1158, there seems to be a story behind every building. The Christmas gem, what gives this place its charm during the holidays, is their famous city markets. Marienplatz (St. Mary’s Square) is Located in the centre of Munich. The shops start on November 25th and lasting until the December 24th. At this century-old event buyers can find Bavarian wood carvings, local food, clothes, carved nutcrackers, homemade soaps and much more. Along with this, the scene is illuminated by a 100ft Christmas tree and during the afternoon live music can be heard.

New York, U.S.
With a population over 8 million, everyone can find their holiday niche in the big apple. For the more touristy people, Rockefeller Center Plaza should be the first stop. With their 80ft Norway Spruce decorated with over 45,000 lights topped off with a 550lb star, this iconic sight fills spectators with holiday spirit. Next take a trip over to a Broadway performance or check out the Rockettes at Radio City Christmas spectacular. For more local visitors, try driving through the city’s boroughs to check out neighbourhood competition for better decorations or if the weather permits, go to one of the many parks for some sledging.

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Napapiiri, Finland
Most popularly known for their midnight sun, northern lights and ski resorts, Napapiiri makes this fairy tale come true. With Santa Claus Village, an amusement park that opened in 1985, tourists can walk to the Arctic Circle, talk with Santa or visit their mail post where over 15 million letters have been received. For the older crowd, this place is great for skiing and snowmobiling or maybe you’re looking to take a sledge ride with reindeer. For the more laid back, trying spending the holidays with savoury finish food after a candle lit saunas out looking a snow white landscape. But be warned, this area only has 5 hours of sunlight during December and temperatures can reach far below freezing.

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By Benh LIEU SONG – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5984776

Paris, France
As the 3rd most popular place in the world to visit, the city of lights does not disappoint coming Christmas time. With the colourful carousels and markets that come to life and decorated stores competing for the best window displays, this location exudes the holiday charm. Some of the most recommended places to visit include making a trip to the Notre Dame Cathedral, exploring the dazzling light displays and ice skating on the first level of the Eiffel tower, at 200 ft. Maybe even stop at a before bakery to grab a famed pastry.

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Christmas is not always the picture-perfect winter wonderland, but even so, places like San Juan still pull it off. This Spanish capital is known to have the longest Christmas celebration, starting the day after Thanksgiving and ending January 14th. The music is different, the food is different, the traditions are different, but the man in the red suit is still the same. One great tradition is the parrandas you might hear after night. Friends will gather together and surprise one of their buddies by spontaneously playing music. After they are done sometimes more will join sparking parrandas that last the whole night. Another, one of the day’s highlights occurs on Jan. 6th when the wise men, three locals riding horses, ride into San Juan, signifying the start of gift giving.

It isn’t too late to plan where you like to spend your Christmas this year. Leave it to us to create the perfect Christmas holiday for you and your family at asks@ladyredot.com.


 

josh-may

Hello! I’m Josh and I’m a journalism and business student from the U.S. I grew up near Boston but now I’m living in Thailand. In the past I’ve been a ski instructor, waiter, and camp counselor. Now I’ve taken up the pen and want to develop my skills as a writer. I got hooked on traveling last December. I found the microscopic image of my town and realized how much of the earth I hadn’t seen. Since then I’ve had a fire in my belly to see and do as much as I can. My experience here in Thailand has been so great and now I’m eager to share and inspire others to get out, it’s worth it! You can keep in contact with me at LinkedIn, Upwork or Facebook.