Merry Tri-National Christmas
If you are one of those people who complains about how early the Christmas decorations go up each year, Asia is not for you. Starting the day after Halloween (there’s no Thanksgiving here), the Christmas trees started popping up around us in Osaka. The tinsel and the carols followed us to Kyoto. We explored the temples and fall foliage to a sound track of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Jingle Bells. From Japan, we made our way to Taiwan where we discovered crowded German-style Christmas markets filled with bratwurst, gluhwein, pretzels and Chinese dumplings.
Yes, we swayed to Stille Nacht (Silent Night in German) as we stared up at Taipei 101, Asia’s most stunning skyscraper, and basked in the light of fake log fires and a sea of twinkly Christmas lights. From Taiwan, we moved on to Bangkok, our home away from home in Asia. It was time to catch up with our Thai family at MyView in Sukhumvit and our old friends at the Taling Chan Floating Market. Hilariously, even after 5 years, our favorite green papaya salad lady immediately screamed with delight when Thomas walked up. Although, given the amount of papaya salad Thomas can consume, that really wasn’t that surprising! Bangkok may seem like a strange place for Christmas… but this will make it our fourth Christmas here and we love it!!! For us, it’s all about tons of amazing food, the latest movies (in English), great atmosphere and awesome people.
Christmas in Kyoto
The train station in Kyoto featured a massive Christmas tree with a mock-up of Prague’s Old Town Square around its base with epic views of the Kyoto Tower off to the left.
Christmas in Taipei
The square next to Taipei 101 offered up a Chinese take on a traditional German Christmas market including a range of German edibles as well as a huge illuminated trellis walk-through.
Christmas in Bangkok
The Christmas decorations were noticeably more subdued this year due to the King’s recent death; however, “subdued” in Bangkok still includes multiple Christmas trees, a sea of illuminated white flowers, a gigantic walk-through trellis, a gargantuan bell structure and an outdoor Thai boxing ring on Christmas Eve. (See lead pic.)