Guests lucky enough to be renting a holiday villa on an island in Thailand for the festive season, have the option to transform their Christmas into a unique tropical celebration.
Although for many people there could be nothing better than escaping to a private island hideaway for Christmas; global travellers who observe the annual festival often like to keep up a few of its traditions, even when they are far away from home.
Islands like Phuket and Koh Samui are generally warm and sunny in December, which makes a beach or poolside setting an attractive alternative to the cossetted indoor atmosphere of most traditional Christmas festivities. Many of the holiday villas in these popular destinations also boast lush, green gardens decorated with exotic flowers, so there’s no shortage of festive colours to add to the tropical experience.
Christmas holidays generally involve good food, family fun and some much-needed relaxation, all of which are also integral to a memorable vacation in Thailand.
Although it’s easy to join a special events or book a Christmas dinner at a restaurant, with a little creativity it’s also fun to combine Christmas with an idyllic private island lifestyle to enjoy the best of both.
Seafood Christmas Feast
Food is always high on the priority list at Christmas and for those that can't survive without traditional dishes such as turkey and roast potatoes; Thailand’s islands are awash with Christmas lunch and dinner menus to suit every taste. Many guests at a private villa, however, enjoy the added joy of a private chef. This means they can let their imaginations run wild and plan a customized menu of fresh seafood and Thai favourites that will not only match the occasion, but also the tropical setting. A Boxing Day barbecue is also a delightful alternative to those cold turkey sandwiches.
Light Up the Night
Although Christmas trees are not a tradition in most Thai people’s homes; the retail sector has embraced festive décor with gusto, which means it’s fairly easy to source Christmas decorations at one of the islands’ larger shopping malls. Many private villas will already have a small tree set up for guests that celebrate Christmas, but it’s also great fun to decorate the palm trees and plants with lights and tinsel to create a tropical version of Santa’s grotto in the garden.
Pool Party Games
Party games after Christmas lunch or dinner are a tradition in many western households so when you stay at an island holiday villa in Thailand it can be fun to follow family custom but add a new twist. Access to a private swimming pool or stretch of beach means active outdoor games like volleyball, swimming races or Marco Polo are great for children. You can simply switch the schedule round to enjoy a few activities before the big meal instead of afterwards.
Salty the Sandman
People that come from cold countries may find they miss the joy of a snow filled Christmas when they spend their winter holidays in the sun. To re-create the fun of building a snowman with the kids, you can always head to beach and build a sandman instead. Those that fancy themselves as sculptors can even set a bigger challenge by creating a whole winter wonderland in the sand with snow capped peaks, a magic castle, a few pine trees, and perhaps even and sleigh and reindeer crafted into the beach scene.
Festive Sunset Cruise
Hiring a boat for a sunset cruise is one of the most memorable island treats on offer when you stay on Phuket or Koh Samui. You can set sail on Christmas Eve or wait until after the festive feast on Christmas day, then head for the horizon in relaxed comfort. Vessel choices on either island include everything from replica Chinese Junks to luxury catamarans, swish speedboats and even superyachts, all of which provide a unique venue for the ultimate Christmas cheer.