When you think of Christmas, you think of snow, Christmas trees, fairy lights and carollers on the streets warming you with their sweet tunes. You would also expect Christmas markets stocked to the brim with festive goodies just like those in Europe.

But did you know that you can actually find such Christmas markets, complete with the above-mentioned experiences in Asia too? Here are some picture-perfect Christmas markets in destinations you wouldn’t have guessed. 

1. Hong Kong, Pulse Light Festival

A tapestry of lights and colours.

The bright lights of Hong Kong await you this Christmas. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board.

An annual event organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board where you can soak in the joyous and festive atmosphere right in the heart of the city where the skyline will be illuminated by beautiful Christmas lights, setting you in the mood for love.

With the Statue Square Christmas tree towering over the festivities, be dazzled by international interactive light installations like 40 Hexaedron and Angels of Freedom from France and Israel respectively.

A perfect setting for families to spend quality time together, this event is also great for lovers to take a romantic stroll, or simply explore the food and shopping experiences that Hong Kong is famous for with your friends.

Usher in 2019 with a spectacular fireworks display at Victoria Harbour.

Date: 29 November 2018 to 24 February 2019 

Locations: Hong Kong, Pulse Light Festival

-       The Statue Square Christmas Tree: North Statue Square, Central, Hong Kong Island
-       Light Shows: Harbourfront area near Hong Kong Cultural Centre
-       New Year Countdown: Victoria Harbour 

2. Taiwan, Christmasland in New Taipei City

The colours of Christmasland.

Be greeted by a spectacular assortment of colours. Photo courtesy of Tourism and Travel Department, New Taipei City Government.

Taipei is a fun city to be in all-year round but during the Christmas season, the festive vibes gets taken a notch higher at Christmasland in New Taipei City.

Photo opportunities at Christmasland.

Soak in the festive vibes with visitors from around the world. Photo courtesy of Tourism and Travel Department, New Taipei City Government.

An annual event happening in New Taipei City with activities, concerts and performances, food and games and even stalls selling hand-made goods. The family-friendly festival has expanded over the years with this year’s edition being the biggest. 

Marvel at the 3D light project display, with the world’s largest 3D projection Christmas tree in the world along with dancing Christmas lights that will certainly delight your family.

The extravagant lightings will provide you with beautiful Instagram-worthy shots as you soak in the atmosphere while enjoying one of the many performances. Taiwan’s Christmas land is an experience that could possibly be the highlight of your year.

Date: 16 November 2018 to 2 January 2019 

Location: Taiwan, Christmasland in New Taipei City

-       New Taipei City Hall Citizen Plaza Station Square of Banqiao Station 

3. Tokyo Christmas Market

Entrance of Tokyo Christmas Market 2016.

Walk right through the gates for a memorable experience. Photo courtesy of Tokyo Christmas Market.

If Tokyo has always been your destination of choice, then you really want to be there during the Christmas season as the city will experience snowfall during the period, giving you a picture perfect “white Christmas”.

Enjoy the pretty Christmas lights decked up to spice up the festive mood by taking a walk down the market with wine and cheese in hand to warm you up. Don’t forget to snap some pictures against the beautiful and warm fairy lights.

Just like traditional European festivals, Tokyo’s Christmas Market features a Christmas pyramid, with plenty of food and drinks available.

The Christmas lights shining through dusk.

Experience an authentic European Christmas market right in Tokyo. Photo courtesy of Tokyo Christmas Market.

Looking for a unique Christmas gift for a loved one? You can purchase ornaments imported from Germany and much more at one of the many stalls available there.

Live performances and workshops held in the market will also keep you entertained throughout and bring out your festive spirit, making you wish it never ends.

Date: 29 November 2018 to 25 December 2018

Location: Tokyo Christmas Market

-       Hibiya Park 

4. Singapore, Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay

The magical lights of Gardens by the Bay

Capture the sparkling lights and colours at Gardens by the Bay. Photo courtesy of Christmas Wonderland.

Fancy enjoying Christmas in the tropics? Head down to Gardens by the Bay and you will be greeted by the sight of magnificent Luminarie light sculptures, handmade by craftsmen from the south of Italy. This amazing maze stands at a whopping 7 stories tall. After taking in this holiday spectacle, partake in several carnival games and rides with over a hundred gifts up for grabs at Santa’s Grotto.

The festival features a full calendar of events for the month of December from illustrious illusions by America’s Got Talent 2018 quarterfinalist Rob Lake; yuletide sessions by local singers to Christmas-themed displays and even a ‘Blizzard Time’ snowfall session which you can enjoy with your family, friends or significant other for a romantic date.

There is also a diverse range of items available at the market from handmade toys and accessories; hand-painted musical carousels to plenty of food stalls. If you’re hungry, you can find options ranging from gourmet dishes from Michelin-starred restaurants, to snacks like churros, turkey drumsticks and piping hot rosti.

Kids enjoying the skating rink

Skate in the tropics with your little one. Photo courtesy of Christmas Wonderland.

Besides the sparkling structures on display, you will also find a 324 sqm synthetic outdoor skating rink brought in from Switzerland, that will give you the unique experience of ice skating under the stars, in tropical weather.

And just a short walk away in the Flower Dome, be mesmerised by “Poinsettia Wishes” featuring Disney’s Tsum Tsum. Amidst a wintry landscape of poinsettia flowers and conifer trees see your favourite Disney characters stacked up around the Christmas trees as you are whisk you off to the Nordics.

Date: 30 November 2018 to 26 December 2018

Location: Singapore, Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay

Admission Fees valid for one-time entry between:

-       30 November 2018 – 6 December 2018: S$4 (Online) S$6 (At the gate)
-       7 – 13 December 2018 & 26 December 2018: S$6 (Online) S$8 (At the gate)
-       14 – 26 December 2018: S$8 (Online) S$10 (At the gate)

These are our recommendations for the best Christmas markets you can visit in Asia this festive season. So – whether you’re looking for a white Christmas, a unique Christmas gift or skating under the stars, these places are sure to make 2018 end with an unforgettable experience.