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    Chinese New Year: Vacation
    destinations for each zodiac sign


    With the Year of the Snake starting on February 10 (running until January 30, 2014), we’ve consulted the Shēngxiào (Chinese Zodiac) and are suggesting some vacation destinations based on the characteristics of your sign.

    Read our Top 12 to find out where you should vacation this Chinese New Year:

    The Rat

    Determined, ambitious and charming, rats can be among the most successful members of society. Clever and hard-working types, they often do well in business and are able to splash out on the types of high-octane vacations that some of the other signs can only dream about. On the other hand, they’re known for being good savers so while they have the means, they may go for destinations that offer good value for money. These go-getters love to burn off energy so activity vacations will appeal to them. Spa breaks, giving them a chance to regroup and plot their next move, are popular too. A brave and pioneering sign, Rats are often the ones first in to a newly-opened-up destination.

    Best destinations for the Rat: New York, Dubai or Rome for no-expense-spared city breaks. Barbados, Fiji or French Polynesia for indulgent vacations. Burma if the Rat feels like charting “new” territory. Spain and Sri Lanka if the Rat wants good value for money.


    The Ox

    Think about the animal, and you have a good idea about those born in the Year of the Ox. Strong, hard-working, dependable and practical, they like routine. Ox vacationers value the “known” in a destination and will return year after year, often with family in tow, to the same resort. Family and the home are very important to Oxen and they’ll often choose to vacation at home or wherever their family members live.

    Best destinations for the Ox: The Bahamas, Spain, Portugal and France for guaranteed sun. Mountainous destinations for fitness vacations such as the Highlands of Scotland, parts of Ireland, the Swiss Alps, Canadian Rockies or even Himalayas. Orlando, Florida, for the theme parks and beaches. Voluntourism and vacations where they can learn a new skill or practise a hobby are also popular with the Ox.


    The Tiger

    Tigers are the risk-takers of the zodiac. They dazzle with their sense of adventure, love of a challenge and sparkling, extroverted personality. They’re friendly and warm types, quick to make friends while travelling (they’re great at Gap Years and Round the World trips) and their lucky sign means that even if they hit a bump in the road, they always land on their feet. They don’t like to plan vacations too far in advance; they’ll find a cheap flight, grab a toothbrush and their passport and dash.

    Best destinations for the Tiger: New York, Bangkok, Dubai, Barcelona, London for city breaks. Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia for backpacking. Bhutan or Nepal for mountaineering. Iceland and Patagonia for sheer adventure.


    The Rabbit

    Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the Rabbit is a youthful sign. Rabbits have bags of energy and, the Chinese say, enjoy lucky lives. Their attractiveness and good nature mean they get along with lots of different types of people. Often shy and sensitive you’ll find many creative types who are Rabbits. Solitary trips where they can melt into the background – browsing the flea markets of Morocco or Istanbul – appeal to their love of different cultures.

    Best destinations for the Rabbit: Cities with lots of history and culture such as Rome, London, Boston, Charleston (South Carolina), Paris, Prague, Athens for short breaks. Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal and Laos for longer, backpacking trips. Haridwar and Rishikesh in India to get in touch with their spiritual side.


    The Dragon

    The Dragon is the only mythological sign in the Chinese Zodiac. And those born under this sign are as powerful and charismatic as you could imagine. Dragons are a law unto themselves. They can be forceful but they’re very lovable. You’ll often find that the richest and most successful men and women are Dragons (such as Bruce Lee, Liam Neeson, Pele, Salvador Dali and Martin Luther King).

    Best destinations for the Dragon: A safari in Kenya or Namibia, mountain climbing in Nepal, or scaling Mount Everest on the China/Nepal border. Staying at an Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Swedish Lapland or Quebec, Canada. For city breaks, Venice for the Carnival, New Orleans for Mardi Gras or Up Helly Aa in Shetland, Scotland, for the fire festivals.


    The Snake

    Snakes are wise and mysterious types. Detached and shrewd, they like to hang back until a destination is established. And when they do vacation, they prefer sophisticated company and elegant surroundings. Lazing in the hot sun is a favourite pastime too so ritzy, beachy destinations will be in high demand.

    Best destinations for the Snake: Las Vegas for the opulent hotels and high-class entertainment, a Grand Tour of Europe’s most refined cities such as Vienna, Prague or Florence. Seoul for Gangnam-Style glamour. St. Vincent or Palm Beach, Florida, for a luxurious resort holiday.


    The Horse

    Horses are hard-working and independent types with masses of energy. They’re changeable, sometimes said to be erratic, but their good humour is in high demand and they make great guests. The ability to gallop away at a moment’s notice is important to the Horse so this is not the type of sign that’s suited for lots of routine while on vacation.

    Best destinations for the Horse: Vancouver or Lebanon (skiing and sunbathing – depending on the season), the Algarve or Arizona for the sun and spa breaks that’ll help them recuperate. Ireland for getting out into nature and perhaps do a little horseback riding. Mongolia for far-flung adventures.


    The Sheep

    The gentle, kind and polite sheep is an easy one to get along with. They make great travelling companions. Refined with gracious manners, Sheep need a certain type of calming atmosphere. They hate hurly-burly, rambunctious destinations so you can rule out large cities and rule in small villages and resorts. They like the company of others so guided tours of museums or cities are popular.

    Best destinations for the Sheep: Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand or Laos. The gracious ways of the people in these countries will enthral the sheep, but 24-hour Maximum Cities such as Bangkok will repel them. Guided tours of storied places such as Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Myanmar or a trip down the Mekong River taking in countries such as China and Cambodia will suit the sheep down to the ground.


    The Monkey

    Monkeys are among the most sparkling signs of the Chinese Zodiac. They’re quick-witted, playful and need to be amused. They’ll need a destination where there is plenty going on, plenty of people to talk to and plenty to see. They’ll like the museums and galleries and street markets but they’ll need to be able to play once they’ve had their fill of culture. A lively club scene is necessary.

    Best destinations for the Monkey: Las Vegas or Atlantic City or Macau for the gaming. Mumbai, Bangkok or London for the night life. Ibiza or Cancun for the beach and the clubs. Istanbul for that Asia-Europe hopping and its all-night-party scene.


    The Rooster

    The Rooster is a flamboyant, confident type, who enjoys a crowd, an adoring crowd. They’re an early adopter of a “new” destination and will happily tell all about their discovery. Roosters are used to telling others what to do so won’t necessarily go for a holiday of learning or doing. They won’t settle for two weeks on the Costa del Bucket and Spade, their vacation will be in the coolest, hippest destination.

    Best destinations for the Rooster: Brooklyn, New York (newly trendy thanks to TV shows like Girls), Istanbul, featured in the latest James Bond film. Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, or Jerash, Jordan, a couple of the hottest destinations for 2013. Mozambique. Liberia for the surfing. Dubai for the five and six-star luxury hotels. Classic rides such as It’s A Small World and the Haunted Mansion are given luminous festive makeovers, while Main Street is decked out in all the best Christmas trimmings.


    The Dog

    The faithful Dog is loyal to family, friends and vacation destinations. They’re dependable, honest and hard-working. They know the value of earning money – and they know how to spend it too! When they find a vacation destination that they love, they return year after year. They know the value of friendship, marriage and family life and they might be most likely to vacation at home or wherever their family reside.

    Best destinations for the Dog: Algarve, Spain, France and Italy – the family-friendly destinations of Europe. California and Florida for the theme parks, those destinations that have something for everyone.


    The Pig

    The Pig knows how to enjoy himself or herself. They’re cheerful and optimistic types, sociable and warm-natured. They love to enjoy themselves with food and drink so a vacation that combines this with warm, beautiful surroundings is a must. They also know how to be treated well, so a stay at an island resort where their every need is catered to, would suit them down to the ground.

    Best destinations for the Pig: Noted “foodie” destinations such as Italy, France, Spain (San Sebastian), Japan or Vietnam. Resorts in Thailand, the Maldives or French Polynesia where the service is around-the-clock.