Luxtripper Travel Editor
Check out our list of the top 2020 month-by-month events!
Thaipusam Batu Caves
Each year, thousands of people climb the 272 steps of the Batu Caves in Malaysia on a pilgrimage for Thaipusam, a festival originating from South India that celebrates the full moon on the 10th month of the Tamil calendar. A dazzling display seen nowhere else, the festival is loud with colour; its devotees clad in yellow and orange follow a silver chariot adorned with statues to the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple located snugly within the Batu Caves. A short distance from Kuala Lumpur, we recommend staying at the stylish Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection to see the festival before heading off to the tropical Langkawi Island in the Andaman Sea.
Wadi Tiwi Hike
Winter in the Northern Hemisphere certainly does have its advantages; the cool breezes of winter make hiking Oman's sublime Wadi Tiwi much more pleasant than the scorching desert heat of summer, and the water, though chilly, is still suitable for swimming. Wadi Tiwi runs adjacent to the popular Wadi Shab, and is considerably greener than Oman's other wadis. An adventurer's paradise, the emerald pools of crystal-clear water make for a unique wild swimming experience and the tall, craggy cliffs of the ravines are exhilarating to hike. Afterwards, the Chedi Muscat - A GHM Hotel is ideal for relaxing on the beachfront or exploring Oman's historic capital city.
Japan Cherry Blossom
As Spring arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, nature unveils a new lease of life; the most extraordinary of this spring rebirth is Japan's cherry blossoms, a phenomenal natural event that coats the country's landscapes annually in an array of soft pink and white. Drawing in thousands of visitors each year, the cherry blossoms are forecast for the earlier time of March this 2020, beginning their spectacular display in Tokyo. Perhaps the most beautiful place to see the cherry blossoms bloom is at the Meguro River, where the cherry blossoms form an alluring tunnel of never ending shimmering pink. To chase the bloom, head to Kyoto and stay in the tranquil Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto.
The arrival of Spring is best played out with Holi, an uplifting ancient Hindu festival known as the 'Festival of Colours', signifying the end of winter. An festival of high spirits, the gathered crowds are transformed into a rainbow mirage as the splattered powder paints form vivid clouds in the air. On a tour of Rajasthan, Holi is best experienced in Jaipur, India's 'Pink City', where the local people surround the historic pink buildings and cover their friends and family in organic coloured powder before savouring delicious Indian delicacies. For ornate splendour, Rambagh Palace is the best place to stay; once a palace built in 1835, it offers guests luxurious suites and rejuvenating Indian therapies.
Vietnam Grand Prix
Speeding into April is the Vietnam Grand Prix, hosted this year on the historic streets of Hanoi. With tickets still available for this world-famous sporting event, Formula 1 fans should flock to Vietnam this year to experience Asia's newest street circuit. The Grand Prix is the perfect reason to explore more of Vietnam; for beautiful beaches, Fusion Resort Phu Quoc offers secluded luxury on the tropical island of Phu Quoc along with spa-inclusive treatments; for cultural experiences, you can wander the mystical streets of Hoi An whilst staying at the Hotel Royal Hoi An MGallery.
Bhutan has mostly remained off the beaten track, but this 2020, it has taken the centre stage. In April, visitors to this tranquil nation can attend the Paro Tshechu festival, a religious dance festival featuring brightly-coloured traditional costumes and local food, including the national butter tea. Whilst in Paro, the world-famous Tiger's Nest Monastery beckons, a Buddhist sacred site and temple complex perched on a cliff side in the upper Paro Valley. For 5-star luxury in Bhutan, COMO Uma Paro is immersed in the lush forests of Paro Valley, offering sweeping mountain views and revitalising Bhutanese treatments in its spa.
Tahiti Pearl Regatta
As the rainy season comes to a halt and the humidity decreases, now is the time to head to French Polynesia, right in time for the Tahiti Pearl Regatta. This spectacular series of boat races takes place on different islands within the Leeward Islands each year, with an average of 30 yachts from across the globe. After the racing is over, the islands host a range of Polynesian food, music and dance, as well as a exhilarating ritual fire dance following the prize giving ceremony. To explore French Polynesia by yacht yourself, Tahiti Yacht Charter offers private exclusive cruises to different destinations within the Leewards Islands, including the exclusive Bora Bora.
Lotus Lantern Festival
Drawing in travellers from all across the world is South Korea's Yeon Deung Hoe, most commonly known as the Lotus Lantern Festival. Originating more than 1,300 years ago, this ancient festival marks the coming of Buddha into the world and brightens the streets of Seoul, as well as the heart's of the local people. Using traditional lanterns made from hanji (traditional Korean paper) in a variety of colours and shapes, the bright lights dazzle all as they shimmer down the streets in vibrant processions; expect to taste some delicious Korean delicacies as part of the festivities. To really see Seoul, Signiel Seoul is a modern hotel located between floors 76 and 101 of Lotte World Tower, boasting panoramic views of the city from all its rooms.
Orangutans in Borneo
Orangutans are the face of Borneo; their distinct orange fur and gentle disposition have been luring avid wildlife seekers to this lush island for decades. Whilst they can be difficult to spot in the wild, Borneo's fruiting season begins in June, meaning that the orangutans take to the trees, tasting the sweet wonders that the rainforest has to offer. Staying at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge, an eco-lodge located on the banks of the Kinabatangan River, visitors can embark on several river safaris to spot Borneo's 'big 5', as well as expert-led land treks.
Bali Art Festival
There's no better way to be immersed in Bali's rich culture than at the island's Art Festival in June, hosted annually for an entire month. A showstopper of a festival, there are daily music and dance performances in Denpasar as well as exhibitions showcasing colourful paintings and traditional sculpture designs. For all the foodies out there, the festival also features an array of food stalls serving the best of Bali's cuisine! For easy access to Denpasar, Alila Seminyak is perfect, offering a pristine beachfront with a sleek, contemporary design.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
The Olympics are back, and this time it's Tokyo who are getting ready to host this global sporting spectacle. For visitors looking to watch the games, there is still the option to book Olympic packages that will guarantee tickets to multiple sporting events; for those content on soaking up the atmosphere from the Tokyo streets, the city is guaranteed to be bursting with life and excitement. Park Hyatt Tokyo is ideal for exploring the city; located in the popular neighbourhood of Shinjuku, the hotel has stunning views of the city's illuminated skyline.
Madagascar Whale Festival
A gentle calm of ocean expanse, shattered suddenly by the colossal emergence of a giant from the water. This dramatic scene is a common occurrence in Madagascar at the Madagascar Whale Festival, held annually on Ile Sainte Marie. Each year, many humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to the warm, shallow waters surrounding the island, providing a breathtaking show as they bathe in the glistening turquoise of the Indian Ocean. Where to stay? Time and Tide Miavana private-island offers an exclusive castaway experience for guests looking for luxury.
The Great Migration, Masai Mara
The Great Migration is one of Africa's most phenomenal events, and the best time to see the continent's much-loved wildlife. Between July and November, hordes of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and antelope move into Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve, as well as hosting exceptional populations of cheetahs, lions and elephants. A protected reserve, the sweeping savannah landscapes are like a scene from The Lion King; the grazing animals are completely mesmerising. For ultimate seclusion, AndBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is nestled along a private concession of the Masai Mara, and features 40 luxury camps with spectacular views across the plains.
The Festival of the Tooth
Sri Lanka is a cultural hot-spot, its diverse blend of traditions leading way to a kaleidoscope of festivities. Kandy Esala Perahera, most commonly known as The Festival of the Tooth, is one of the most magnificent festivals in Sri Lanka; located in Kandy and held each summer, the festival honours the sacred tooth of Lord Buddha, as well as paying its respects to the old gods of Sri Lanka. Staying at Cinnamon Citadel Kandy, Sri Lanka's beautiful hill country awaits, its outdoor pool overlooking the stunning Mahaweli River. Afterwards, we recommend catching the train to Ella, one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, to continue your Sri Lanka cultural tour.
As September comes around, a heartwarming festival takes place near Rwanda's misty Volcanoes National Park. Kwita Izina is a traditional Rwandan ceremony that has existed for centuries, though the ceremony itself was officially founded in 2005. This heartwarming event is a gorilla-naming ceremony in which gorilla infants are given official names, all with specific meanings in the Kinyarwandan language. For animal-lovers out there, gorillas are one of the most adored African animals to discover; at Bisate Lodge, guests can embark on mountain treks to encounter the gorillas in their natural habitat, before relaxing in one of the Lodge's 6 exclusive rooms.
Minneriya Elephant Gathering
Whilst Africa is commonly thought of as the best place to see elephants in the wild, it may come as a surprise that Sri Lanka is the site of one of the worlds largest elephant gatherings. Often referred to as a 'mass exodus', the Minneriya Elephant Gathering features over 300 Asian elephants as they collect in the wild during the country's dry season. A true sight to behold, this large gathering will is remarkable, and showcases the rich biodiversity of Sri Lanka's natural landscape. For access to the Minneriya National Park, Heritance Kandalama is a luxury resort in the heart of Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle with a tranquil infinity pool looking across the spectacular Sigiriya Rock.
California Vineyard Festivals
As autumn draws in, now is the time to reap the rewards of the warm, summer sun and head to the many Vineyard Festivals hosted in California's wine counties, featuring local food, live music and sumptuous wines. For dedicated wine enthusiasts, you can head to Paso Robles wine country on a California road trip and savour the fruity aromas of the vineyards before sampling the delicious wine yourself on the Doce Robles Estate. As you head further up the coast, Bernardus Lodge and Spa is the perfect place to stay; located in the Carmel Valley, this boutique lodge is set within the vineyards on a 28-acre private estate.
Turtle Nesting, Borneo
At Turtle Islands National Park off the north-east coast of Borneo, it is between July and October that this small island group comes to life. The peak season for hawksbill turtle nesting, you can watch as hundreds of turtles emerge from the water and make their way on to the sand where they'll carefully bury their eggs, alongside previously laid turtle eggs hatching; the baby turtles are simply adorable as they shuffle towards the water. Dedicated to turtle conservation, visitor numbers are restricted to the islands and all visitors are urged to be quiet and not use bright lights. Whilst in Borneo, you can enjoy a luxury stay at the Gaya Island Resort where you'll be able to see how sea turtles and rescued and cared for at the resort's Marine Centre.
Yi Peng Festival
November brings the night's sky to life with Thailand's Yi Peng festival in the northern city of Chiang Mai. A Siamese festival celebrated on the full moon of the twelfth lunar month, thousands of lanterns are released to the sky, creating a dazzling display of warm, orange orbs of light that are akin to small suns rising into Space. Once the festivities are over, there is much of Chiang Mai to be explored, from delicious local food at the Chiang Mai Gate Night Food Market to cultural temples, such as the golden Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. For opulent luxury, Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai offers grandiose luxury fused designed to reflect a lavish Thai palace.
Cambodian Water Festival
As you cross the border, you'll discover a festival of a different kind in Cambodia; Bon Om Touk, also known as Cambodian Water Festival, is one of the the country's most popular festivals, located in the capital Phnom Penh. Featuring spectacular boat races and concerts, this energetic festival will keep your eyes moving as you watch the vivid boats race up the river. After the festival, you should head to Siem Reap; staying at the 5-star Belmond La Residence D'Angkor, you can visit the vast temple complex of Angkor Wat, exploring the ancient religious monuments with an expert guide.
Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival
As December dawns, Harbin in China's northernmost state resumes its annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival to mark the arrival of winter. As you enter this enchanted ice wonderland, you'll feel like you're in a scene from The Snow Queen; imagine colossal castles carved out of ice and intricate structures depicting traditional scenes. Once you've been blown away by the ice sculptures, we recommend you head back to Beijing to experience China's culturally rich capital. Staying at the Aman Summer Palace, you can enjoy the hotel's traditional architecture fused with a minimalist style.
Birding Skeleton Coast
To avoid the cold wintry weather, December is ideal for visiting Namibia's sublime Skeleton Coast. With long stretches of ochre sand dunes, barren shipwrecks and vigorous waves, the Skeleton Coast may seem devoid of life. Yet, between November to April, the region is home to a wide variety of migrant birds, from the sweeping great white pelican to the racing ostrich. The vivid pink flamingo also flocks to this vast desert expanse, its bright colour standing in stark contrast to the sandy surroundings. For luxury in this harsh wilderness, Wilderness Safari's Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp provides exclusive tents as well as dedicated 4x4 game drives.
If you can't wait to pack your bags and see some of these spectacular events this year, contact one of our Luxury Travel Specialists today to organise your exclusive tailor-made holiday...