5 Best Places in Asia to Visit for Easter 2023
Japan: Best Place to Go for a Truly Magical Easter
Japan has always been a top travel destination for its rich culture, temptatious food, breathtaking scenery, high-tech innovations, and much more. But Japan in late March to mid-April is purely magical – as it is also Japan’s sakura (cherry blossom) season.
There are over 1,000 cherry blossom hotspots across the country. Their flowering and full bloom periods vary from city to city due to geographical and weather conditions. In most cities, cherry blossoms will start flowering in the third week of March and reach full bloom at the end of the month or early April.
Nighttime Hanami festival in Maruyama Park
During the sakura season, visitors and locals alike are drawn to the cherry blossoms hotspots to partake in seasonal events such as nighttime festivals and outdoor markets. People will even put on traditional Japanese clothing, wafuku, to celebrate the occasion and capture the best photos. Some of the more popular cherry blossom festivals include Goryokaku Cherry Blossom Festival in Hokkaido, Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival in Tokyo, Mount Yoshino Cherry Blossom Festival in Nara and Osaka Castle Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Osaka.
The Easter period is also a time when restaurants and shops offer seasonal menus or speciality items. You can find menus filled with edible sakura flower infused delicacies. Going into shops and supermarkets, you’ll discover rows after rows of limited edition sakura-flavoured foods and snacks, as well as a sea of pink sakura-themed items, which will make the perfect souvenirs.
For adventurous spirits who want to venture outside the urban cities of Japan, April also marks the opening of the Japan Alps routes and regions like the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route and the scenic valley Kamikochi in Nagano. Mount Kintoki in Hakone is also a popular hike as its summit gets a beautiful view of Japan’s famed Mount Fuji on a clear day.
Photo credit: @tdr.jp (Facebook)
What’s an Easter vacation without some festivities? While Easter may not be as big as other Western festivals like Christmas, it is growing in popularity in Japan as a non-religious, family-friendly celebration. One of the main reasons is the efforts of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, where special parades, merchandise and decorations donned the two vast parks, attracting thousands of visitors to join in on the celebrations each year.
Thailand: Best Place to Go in Easter 2023 for Those Who Love a Party
With the majority of its population Buddhist, it is no surprise that Easter isn’t as widely celebrated in Thailand compared with other destinations we have on the list. The holiday is mainly celebrated by the 1% Christian population and the expat community, with hotels being the most likely places to offer special Easter events. Nonetheless, Easter is one of the busiest travel seasons in Thailand as it is a popular destination among European travellers and tourists from nearby regions, such as Hong Kong, who prefer an Easter vacation in the sun.
Easter isn’t a national holiday in Thailand, but April marks the beginning of the Thai New Year and Thailand’s most famous festival, the Songkran Festival. Usually celebrated between 13 and 16 April, the traditional Buddhist festival is also known by many as the “water splashing” festival. Expect major roads to be closed as people nationwide head out to the streets with their buckets for a spectacular ritual cleansing water fight.
Don’t let the party stop when the sun goes down. A popular event among tourists, especially European travellers, the Full Moon Party is a mega-party that takes place every month on Koh Phangan Island, which is around an hour ferry away from Koh Samui. It attracts some 30,000 visitors who escape to the island for a night of non-stop music and partying on the beach until dawn. For 2023, the Full Moon Party will be on 5 April.
Singapore: Best Place to Travel to in Easter 2023 for Groups & Families
Photo credit: @worldgourmetseries (Facebook)
April is the time for chasing stars in Singapore – Michelin stars that is, as Singapore plays host to the World Gourmet Summit. April 2023 will see the 27th edition of the annual epicurean extravaganza, where local culinary talents and international Michelin-starred masterchefs get together in the Lion City to showcase the best the city has to offer. So grab your foodie friends and book one of their culinary master classes hosted by master chefs, or indulge in good food and wine with themed menus at the many partner restaurants.
Singapore is also a popular family Easter vacation destination for its hassle-free transportation and plethora of family-friendly activities. Apart from their must-visits such as the Universal Studios, Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and landmarks, those travelling with kids can take part in Easter egg hunts by parks around Singapore. Jurong Bird Pak, Fort Canning, Gardens by the Bay and HortPark are some of the parks that has hosted Easter egg hunts in previous years.
Another major event every Easter, the Singapore Rugby Sevens, a leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, will be held during the Easter weekend on 8 and 9 April 2023. With over 50,000 spectators filling the stands of Singapore National Stadium, it is an exhilarating carnival-style weekend packed with fun activities and entertainment for all ages, on top of the actions from the world’s top rugby sevens squads.
South Korea: Best Place to Go for an Enriching Easter Vacation
Fancy seeing a city blanketed in cherry blossoms in person, but Japan is a little out of reach for your budget? South Korea is your best destination. South Korea is bursting with tourist attractions where visitors can experience a harmonious mix between cultural heritage and modern culture. Stepping away from popular destinations such as Seoul, one can learn about the Korean heritage, experience a slower way of life and enjoy some of Korea’s magnificent outdoor gems.
Spring flower and cherry blossom festivals can be found in many cities during Easter. Among those, the Jeju Canola Flower Festival is one of the most scenic hotspots where visitors will find fields upon fields of bright yellow canola flowers as well as cherry blossoms lining some of the fields – talk about killing two birds with one stone. Jeju Island is also known for the dol hareubang volcanic stone statues, which alone draw hundreds and thousands of visitors to the island all year round.
If you want an in-depth understanding of Korea’s culture and history, the city of Gyeongju is one not to be missed. Once the capital of the ancient kingdom Silla between 57 BC and 935 AD, Gyeongju is described by UNESCO as the museum without walls for its rich cultural heritage, historical architecture and archaeological sites. Lying on the southeast coast of South Korea, the tranquil city is perfect for those who want to enjoy a slower-paced Easter vacation and get to know Korea beyond its modern metropolis and the charm of its pop culture.
With the mild weather in April, travellers will find the perfect opportunity to dress in hanbok, South Korea’s traditional attire. Although it is now mostly only worn by locals on special occasions, such as weddings and national holidays, there is no shortage of hanbok rental and photoshoot experiences in most major cities in South Korea for tourists to re-enact their favourite K-drama scenes and take home a special memory from their Easter vacation.
Hong Kong: Best Place to Go for a Lively, Cosmopolitan City
Hong Kong is one of the best places to go for Easter vacation with the abundance of delightful cuisine, exciting entertainment, ample cultural happenings and festivities. As a legacy of the city’s colonial era, Easter is celebrated widely in Hong Kong. It is a 3-day public holiday that runs from Good Friday to Easter Monday. For the Christian community that makes up around 1.3 million of the population (as of 2021), Easter services are held in many of the city’s churches.
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But for most in the city, it is an enjoyable long weekend packed with exciting holiday specialities and special offers from shops, restaurants and hotels – themed brunches and afternoon teas, hotel staycation deals, theme park promotions, you name it. The commercial aspect of Easter is one that’s been strongly rooted in the city. You’ll find large installations and decorations in most shopping malls and dedicated corners in supermarkets stocked with Easter chocolate bunnies and eggs.
The Lion Rock
April in Hong Kong tends to be warm, with average temperatures ranging from 21℃ to 26℃. It is one of the last chances to explore one of the many trekking trails before the scorching summer heat arrives. Some iconic trails include the Lion Rock Hiking Trail in Sha Tin, Lantau Peak Trail in Lantau Island, Devil’s Peak Train in Lei Yue Mun and Ngong Ping Train in Ngong Ping.
Photo credit: @hkiffs (Facebook)
Prefer something a little more laid-back? The annual Hong Kong International Film Festival will take place from 30 March to 10 April 2023. It is one of the oldest film festivals in Asia and one of the city’s largest cultural events. During the 12-day festival, films from Asia and around the world will be screened in local cinemas. If cultural activities are up your alley, check out some of Hong Kong’s cultural venues such as Tai Kwun, PMQ, The Mills, West Kowloon Cultural Districts and one of the local museums for a wide array of events, exhibitions and shows year-round.
Photo credit: @HongKong7s (Facebook)
Learn from the rugby fans that flock to Hong Kong for what is widely recognised as the best rugby sevens tournament, the Hong Kong Sevens, which will be held between 31 March to 2 April 2023. It is one of the favourite stops in the world series for its party-like atmosphere and world-class event experience. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. Many will then head for Singapore as that’s where the next tournament is on the Easter weekend.