The best countries to visit in 2018 - based on your zodiac sign

Plus, find out which zodiac sign you should travel with

Photo: Expedia

As we head into the new lunar year, a change of scenery could be just the recipe to flavour things up for you. Travel website lines up the most auspicious destinations for each Chinese zodiac sign, and even who to travel with.


Born in the Year of the Dog 

Photo: Expedia

2006, 1994, 1982, 1970

Head to: Kyoto, Kalimantan
Your zodiac travel buddies: Tiger, Rabbit or Horse

With 2018 being the year of man’s best friend, it’s time to hustle up your best pals for a well-deserved getaway to keep your spirits high. Sample the freshest sushi and sashimi in the Land of the Rising Sun. Ignite your inner culture vulture and fly to Kyoto (above), the former capital city of Japan, where you can wander around historic temples and castles set amid lush greenery.

Or, set your sights on Kalimantan, the Indonesian side of Borneo. Famous for their native headhunters of the past, Kalimantan today is a breathtaking destination that’s home to world-renowned heritage sites, islands, and national parks where you can spend days on end exploring. Must-visit spots in Kalimantan include Balikpapan (city and launchpad to dive sites), Maratau Island (for clear waters and sea turtles) and Banjarmasin (a cultural city facing Gunung Meratus). After all your adventures, treat your tastebuds to some authentic local Kalimantan cuisine.


Born in the Year of the Pig

Photo: llee_wu

2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

Head to: Guangzhou, Kaohsiung
Your zodiac travel buddies: Rabbit or Goat

Don’t we love the gregarious Pig? Many of the ancestors of those born under this sign are linked to Guangzhou (above), southern China, where the most obvious influences on modern living are their methods of cooking and seasoning. Dim sum is a hot favourite in this city, although that’s hardly all that’s on offer at this coastal area where a hive of activities keeps the local economy bustling.

Next in the stars for you, is Taiwan. Try exploring Kaohsiung, which used to be an industrial city, and has now transformed into a modern metropolis.


Born in the Year of the Rat

Photo: Expedia

2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960

Head to: Manhattan, Brazil
Your zodiac travel buddies: Cow, Dragon or Monkey

The ones born in the Year of the Rat are known to be very alert and aware of their surroundings. In the new year, how about letting your hair down and relaxing a little?

Check out Manhattan, New York (above), home to iconic places such as Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Carnegie Hall. Catch a Broadway performance or two, sink your teeth into a piping hot taco from a street vendor, and be swept away by the vibrant city’s pulsating vibe.

For soccer fans, soak in colourful Brazilian carnivals in Salvador, Bahia, Recife, and learn to salsa while you’re at it. Fancy a break from the city? Retreat to the Amazon rainforest, or visit the majestic Iguaçu Falls, where the natural wonders will not fail to amaze you.


Born in the Year of the Ox

Photo: Expedia

2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961

Head to: South Africa, Tanzania, Cambodia
Your zodiac travel buddies: Rat, Snake or Rooster

You’re the zodiac that puts 100 per cent into what you’re doing, so for you, taking a break requires some effort.

Ever wondered how animals survive in the wild? Visit a safari in South Africa (above), and observe the big five and their friends up close. Who knows, you may glean some wisdom from the wild ones.

Like a little sparkle in your life? Consider a trip to Tanzania, which produces some of the world’s finest stones such as rubies and blue sapphires.

Continue on the gemstone trail to Cambodia, where zircon is popular. It is still an affordable stone to collect before the deposits run out.


Born in the Year of the Tiger

Photo: Expedia

2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962

Head to: Tokyo, Jakarta
Your zodiac travel buddies: Horse or Dog

For those born in the Tiger year, bravely venture beyond what’s tried and comfortable. Break new ground. If you’ve always been a beach person, why not plan an escape to a new city?

For starters, immerse yourself in the cosmopolitan vibes of Tokyo (above), Japan and Jakarta, Indonesia. They may not be off the beaten track, but these cities always keep things fresh and there’s always more to uncover.

Experience the unique offerings of each city and the sheer variety of dining and entertainment options available. From Shibuya’s chic boutiques offering streetwear and limited-edition sneakers, to the traditional markets of Jakarta which sell everything from fabric, to accessories, and traditional artworks.

The confident and charming personality of those born under the Tiger sign will see you making new friends on your journey. So don’t be shy, and ask for recommendations to hidden gems to see the local side of these popular cities.


Born in the Year of the Rabbit

Photo: Expedia

2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963

Head to: Germany, Shanghai
Your zodiac travel buddies: Goat, Dog or Pig

Friendly and sociable, Rabbit year people are independent travellers who relish experiences that open their minds.

In 2018, jet off to marvel at Germany’s (above) stunning landscape and castles, and admire the expansive forests that pepper the country. For those born after the Berlin wall was demolished (in 1989), it may be hard to imagine a time when the country was separated by the historic wall. Learn about its rich history and the part it plays in the country’s culture.

As you continue eastward, get acquainted with the charms of Shanghai, China. It is now one of the most modern cities in the world, with skyscrapers juxtaposed against old tea houses. Take a visual snapshot of the cultural contrast between old and new in person, before the heritage architecture completely disappears.


Born in the Year of the Dragon

Photo: Expedia

2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964

Head to: California, Malacca
Your zodiac travel buddies: Rat, Monkey or Rooster

Known to be visionary and ambitious, those born in the Year of the Dragon are also kind-hearted and willing to lend a hand to those who need their help. The more enterprising ones may seek leisure and business in new lands that inspire them, such as San Francisco, California (above).

Apart from its famous orange exports, California also has some of the best grapes that nature could offer. Another draw: the presence of the tech industry giants which have based their headquarters here, surely deserve a spot on the itinerary.

For a destination in Asia, Malacca has the best-preserved Peranakan Nonya heritage. Jump on the food, nature, and architecture trails that reflect the cultural fusion between the diverse ethnic groups here.


Born in the Year of the Snake

Photo: Expedia

2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965

Head to: Colombia, Edinburgh
Your zodiac travel buddies: Cow or Rooster

Those born under the sign of the Snake are generally elegant and wise, with a fondness for the finer things in life.

Escape to exotic Colombia to check out its precious emerald gems for your collection. As one of the largest producers of the world’s coffee thanks to its ideal growing conditions, it is the perfect place for caffeine junkies.

With their sensitive creative souls, Snake year people are also fond of historical places steeped in art and culture, so Europe would be a great holiday destination. Whenever the United Kingdom is mentioned, visuals of ancient castles come to mind, and Edinburgh, Scotland (above) is definitely a history buff’s dream come true, with stunning highlands, mysterious dungeons and plenty of heritage museums to keep you happily occupied.


Born in the Year of the Horse

Photo: Expedia

2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966

Head to: Seoul, Bali
Your travel zodiac buddies: Tiger, Goat or Dog

Gallop your way to Seoul, South Korea with its many attractions. Independent and passionate, the ones born under the Horse sign have an appetite for excitement. Taste hot and spicy kimchi, a staple side dish at most traditional restaurants, or you can even join a class and get hands-on making this national dish. Try the many variations of this versatile ingredient in kimchi pancake, kimchi dumplings and kimchi stew. During winter, there’s nothing more comforting than slurping a bowl of the spicy soup.

Those born in the Horse year are known for pushing their limits ever so often, but you also need to relax. So, take any chance to unwind with a relaxing beach getaway. Hop on a flight to Bali (above) to enjoy the famous Balinese massages and spas, art markets, and rejuvenating ocean views. Bring the balance back to your body and mind with an essential escape from urban hustle and bustle.


Born in the Year of the Goat

Photo: Expedia

2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967

Head to: Hong Kong, Sydney, Taipei
Your zodiac travel buddies: Rabbit, Horse or Pig

Soft-hearted and elegant, the ones born in the Year of the Goat have a love for luxury, which makes a jaunt to the shopping haven that’s Hong Kong a great joy. The best time to visit is during the summer sales in August. If time is on your hands, take another hour’s journey to Macau or Taipei where you can indulge in more local food and shopping.

The winds are also blowing in the other direction to Sydney, Australia. Journey Down Under and catch a performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House (above). Enjoy the melting pot of cultures in Australia through its food and the arts.


Born in the Year of the Monkey

Photo: Expedia

2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968

Head to: Phuket, Italy
Your zodiac travel buddies: Rat or Dragon

After a hectic work spell, people born under the Monkey sign would do good to kick back and enjoy a sweet coconut on one of Asia’s best beaches.

Lounge on the beachfront in Phuket or at any of the famous beach destinations in Thailand. The combination of endless ocean views and sea breeze is bound to invigorate any weary soul.

Foodies can consider booking a trip to Italy (above), home of the legendary 3Ps – pasta, pizzas, and pastries. Feast on the mix of fresh local produce and rich flavours, and be sure to slot in a vineyard visit.


Born in the Year of the Rooster

Photo: portengaround

2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969

Head to: Melbourne, Nepal
Your zodiac travel buddies: Ox, Dragon or Snake

For 2018, as you pass the baton to the Dog, make exciting travel plans to mark the year with awesome memories.

If you’ve ever considered setting foot on Mount Everest, make this your year of adventure by training for base camp. Challenge your limits by exploring Nepal, where the Himalayan mountains await.

Experience Melbourne and catch a glimpse of The Twelve Apostles (above) along the Great Ocean Road. Marvel at the spectacular beauty of Mother Nature and how it can withstand the ravages of time.

This article was first published on Silverkris.