Peak season continues in mainland Southeast Asia and the beaches are packed. The east coast of the Malay peninsula starts to dry off as the rains move further east; still raining in Bali.

Chinese New Year

This lunar festival (sometimes occurring in January) is celebrated in Chinese-dominated towns. In Penang, it's a family affair and businesses close for one to two weeks. In Bangkok, Singapore, Phnom Penh and Kuching, there are dragon-dancing parades, food festivities and deafening fireworks.


Vietnam’s lunar New Year (sometimes occurring in late January) is the country’s biggest holiday, signalling the first day of spring. It involves family reunions, ancestor worship, gift exchanges, fireworks and lots of all-night luck-inducing racket. Travel is difficult; businesses close.