Stockholm and Oslo
The month of December in Denmark is filled with Christmas spirit and Copenhagen is the center of it all. Christmas markets abound throughout the city complete with live reindeer, sleighs, handicraft and seasonal snacks and drinks. Nyhavn Christmas Market in the 17th century harbor district is one of the largest while Tivoli Gardens is not to be missed at this time of year with its’ stunning Christmas decorations and lighting, along with all the entertainment it offers all year round.
Amalienborg Palace showcases Denmark’s royal history of one of the world's oldest monarchies. A remarkable museum and a beautiful palace square complete with a changing of the guard is an idyllic step back in time in this people friendly capital.
Outside of Copenhagen, within 40 minutes are sites rich in history and culture, Frederiksborg Castle and Rosenborg Castle are Nordic landmarks as is the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde for those interested in maritime history.
Stockholm is one of Europe’s most culturally diverse cities. The city extends over 14 islands, united by a series of tunnels and bridges, a symphony on water. In November the Stockholm Film Festival showcases creative high quality modern films, while for music enthusiasts Sound of Stockholm, the annual Swedish festival for contemporary experimental music, brings together both prominent local and international musicians.
Stockholm is significantly rich in culture and history and the city’s Royal Canal tour provides a pre-recorded audio guide throughout that makes a voyage on the canal both informative and interesting. Stockholm is very much a pedestrian city making a stroll around the Royal Palace, the Old Town and Djurgarden a relaxing and photogenic experience. The Vasa Maritime Museum, displaying the only preserved 17th century ship in the world, and Skansen, the oldest open-air museum that showcases Swedish life in the past are also well worth a visit
For the adventurous, a trip to Swedish Lapland and Jukkasjarvi town, and a stay at Sweden’s famous Ice Hotel is an unforgettable experience. Be warned, this destination is 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, dress warmly.
Oslo, located on the Oslofjord is surrounded by hills and vast areas of woodlands and is one of the world’s most pristine urban areas. It was named The European Green Capital 2019 for its dedication to conserving natural areas and reducing pollution. Oslo is also a city of culture and the arts with an array of museums; Edvard Munch Museum, the amazing Vigeland Sculpture Park, Fram Polar Ship Museum, Kon-Tiki Museum, Vikingship Museum on the beautiful Bygdoy peninsula, the tiny Ski Museum, the National Gallery, the Akershus Fortress and Castle.
Like Sweden, a 2 hour flight to northern Norway and the town of Tromso will not disappoint. Here is the best place in Norway to view the spectacular northern lights and the surrounding Fjords are a haven for whales. Whale watching expeditions abound with a variety of species in these rich waters, Minke, Humpback and Blue whales can all be sighted.
Korea and Japan
Busan is a lively port and trade center and also South Korea’s second largest city with a myriad of attractions, historic and cultural sites, teeming fish markets, chic designer cafes, and a constant cycle of festivals of all kinds.
In November the Busan Fireworks Festival in Gwangalli Beach area is an explosion of dazzling light and sound. If you are a computer gamer and gadget enthusiast, G-Star 2019 Int’l Game Exhibition held around mid-November and the U-IoT World Convention event is a global gaming highlight.
At Seaside, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is located on the northeast coast of Busan, famous for its picturesque location and also a hot spot for watching the sunrise on any day of the year. Busan Sea Life Aquarium is a state-of-the-art facility and one of Korea’s top aquariums. Jagalchi Fish Market, the largest seafood market in Korea teems with action with many food stalls serving up the freshest on offer.
Gamcheon Culture Village is a maze of street art and galleries, a must for anyone who is interested in the arts and photography. BIFF Square a trendy long street lined with movie theatres, fashion outlets, and Korean cosmetics shops comes alive at night with the Gukje Market where you can find everything, electronic items, clothing and food stuffs, with bargaining expected. Lastly, the Busan Christmas Tree Festival is an winter event that includes New Year with a festive atmosphere with street performances and activities.
Sendai, THAI’s newest destination in Japan is a city in Miyagi Prefecture and the largest city of Tohoku Region. In this sprawling “City of Trees,” there are many attractions especially in autumn and winter.
Zuihoden, located near the center of Sendai City, is home to the mausoleum of famous samurai Date Masamune and during November the fall foliage of the forested grounds is illuminated, contrasting the colorful leaves and black-lacquered mausoleum structures. Tenshukaku Gardens, a traditional Edo-style garden set against the natural backdrop of the nearby mountains is the perfect place for a quiet stroll to commune with nature. Sendai is also famous for its hot springs, Akiu Onsen and Sakunami Onsen are just on the city’s outskirts.
During 14-31 December the Sendai Pageant of Starlight, is the largest winter illumination in downtown Sendai on Jozenji Street that is lined with 160 zelkova trees, lit up with over 600,000 lights. Musical performances, local foods and drink add to the festival atmosphere and on December 23 there is even a Santa Claus parade.
Sendai is also renowned for its local cuisine, fresh seafood, especially oysters, and Gyutan, grilled beef tongue. Thoroughly tenderized and marinated, the texture and flavor, attracts Japanese from far and wide, a delicacy you’ll want to experience at this new THAI destination.
Fly THAI direct to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Busan and Sendai for a wonderful festive holidays. Book instantly at thaiairways.com