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I suspect they celebrate anything in Vietnam if they beleive it will bring in the tourists.
I’ve been to many places, like Malacca, Steve, where they celebrate anything. Which is why I was trying to think of somewhere non-touristy and fairly orthodox Muslim – and I was warned against going to the north-east corner of Malaysia for that reason, as I’d have to cover up completely to be safe.
One other alternative – Iran. Which sounds a bit unlikely, given all the hype about it. But I had neighbours who led tour groups there, and loved it. Leaving the politics aside, they are kind and welcoming people. I think you might be safest in a group, but it might be worth thinking about.
Local people don’t celebrate Christmas in Cambodia or Laos, Steve
Do you think its the same in Vietnam Jo?
I know a Malaysian lady who lived near Mallacca. Although not necessarily reflective of all parts of Malaysia, she said they all celebrated each others religious holidays (any chance to party). In Malaysia she says Christmas is open house, people just pop in through Christmas Day for a drink and a to exchange seasons greetings. She’d wrongly assumed it was the same here and on her first Christmas in the UK was devastated when no-one called round.
Local people don’t celebrate Christmas in Cambodia or Laos, Steve – but they do cater for a significant tourist population. If they have discovered that Christmas trees and lights bring in the tourists, then they’ll provide them (that’s the problem in Nepal). If you can get off the beaten track, it is probably fine (this may well be true, too, in India).
One place that might be Christmas-free is parts of Malaysia – although it claims to be multi-faith I met people who claims the Christians and Chinese felt discriminated against. Islamic principles are said to be more strictly adhered to in the north-east – worth a try.
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How about Cambodia or Laos, neither celebrate Christmas to my knowledge & the weather should be lovely & warm in December. You can read about my experiences (albeit Feb/Mar) here: https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/blog/destination-features-asia/indochina-with-selective-asia-chapter-6-phnom-penh
and there’s a thread with more pictures & members comments at: https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/forums/travel-places/5654-vietnam-cambodia-laos
I’m not sure about neighbouring Vietnam as far as celebrating Christmas goes, what do you think @JoCarroll ?
North Korea perhaps?
It’s hard – I’ve been in Nepal for Christmas, where more Nepali are Buddhist or Hindu – but Pokhara was still full of fairy lights and tinsel.
I suspect your best bet is somewhere with a majority Islamic population – Bangla Desh, maybe.
Has anyone who does not celebrate Christmas, any ideas of where to go over that period to avoid all the “hype”.