Around the World with the Chinese Zodiac
Happy Chinese New Year! Today we roar into the year of the tiger. The Chinese believe the tiger personifies courage and daring, so perhaps this is the year to take that adventurous trip you’ve been thinking about?
If you’re looking for ideas on how to earn your travel stripes this year, why not take inspiration from the Chinese Zodiac? Below you can find out how the lunar Calendar can determine where you should visit based on your Chinese Zodiac sign, from dogs in Botswana to roosters in Portugal.
Tiger (1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022)
It is officially the Year of the Tiger and according to the Chinese zodiac people born at this time are independent and love an adventure. We recommend a trip to India, home to one of the largest wild cat breeds in the world, the Bengal tiger. Tiger zodiacs love a challenge, so they’ll be determined to steal a glimpse of this striped stalker on a game drive in Ranthambore National Park, and committed to the greater good knowing it’ll contribute to their protection. That’ll stay with you far longer than just a year!
Rabbit (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023)
The kind and sensitive rabbit would love a peaceful getaway to Alladale’s Wilderness Reserve in the Scottish Highlands where they might just spot the elusive mountain hares that live there. People born in the year of the rabbit won’t mind though, they understand because they also favour escapism, preferring to hide their confidence and strength. It doesn’t mean they won’t still achieve their goals or socialise to their heart's content!
Dragon (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012)
The dragon is revered in Chinese culture and in the past, emperors were thought to be reincarnations of dragons. We have to wonder if perhaps people born in the year of the dragon will find affinity with the powerful Komodo dragons of Indonesia. If you like chilling in the tropical rainforest and consuming 80% of your own body weight in food, perhaps you were a Komodo dragon in a previous life?
Snake (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025)
Snakes get a bit of a bad rep but in Chinese mythology, the creator of the world was part human, part serpent. They’re thought of as complex with great wisdom. This favourable view of snakes is shared in Japan. Thanks to their resemblance to dragons, snakes are seen as guardians and protectors. Japan is the perfect place to engage your curiosity, with your fast-paced mind thriving in metropolis cities and your calm exterior feeling at home in nature.
Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014)
People born in the year of the horse crave freedom and wide-open spaces, the kind that wild Mongolia has in abundance. Horses outnumber the human population here and are held in high prestige. Satisfy your desire to escape it all by seeking the world’s last remaining wild horses in the steppes of Mongolia, or even enjoying a spot of horseriding yourself. Fame or money is fickle, happiness is the true driving force of the horse. Mongolia’s beauty is raw and an escape here shows the horse that happiness can be achieved in the way they always suspected - simply.
Goat (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015)
People born in the year of the goat are loving and selfless. They often think of others, even at their own expense. This reminds us of the welcome you’ll receive in Pakistan, which also has one of the highest populations of goats in the world. Visit our friends in the Kalash in Pakistan’s Hunza Valley to truly experience the hospitality of Pakistan, and spot goats clinging to the dramatic mountainsides.
Monkey (1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the monkeys of the zodiac are light-hearted pranksters, but they are also intelligent, creative, curious and strong-willed. Perhaps they have this in common with the ancient Nazca culture of Peru, best-known for the dramatic Nazca lines that include a giant monkey. One of the world’s biggest mysteries, we don’t really know the purpose of the Nazca Lines, which are best seen from above and also include a hummingbird, a spider and a condor. Indulge your natural curiosity by immersing yourself in the ancient cultures of Peru and trying to solve some of those mysteries.
Rooster (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017)
The rooster is known in the Chinese zodiac to protect against evil spirits and roosters are decisive, loyal and sociable. The cockerel has become a symbol of Portugal after an old legend. A pilgrim travelling through Barcelos was accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Swearing his innocence, he pointed to a cooked rooster before the judge and claimed it would crow at the time of his execution. Sure enough, the rooster jumped up and crowed as predicted, and saved the pilgrim’s life. Sounds like Roosters will find good luck in Portugal!
Dog (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018)
It’ll come as no surprise that the dog zodiac is characterised by their loyalty and deep devotion to their family…or pack. Just like the African wild dog, who roam the north of Botswana in large packs. They’re incredibly social animals and such affective hunters, working on a persistent strategy to exhaust their prey, that they have an incredibly high success rate. They never stop pursuing their dreams (or dinner) - much like those who share this zodiac sign.
Pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019)
In Chinese culture, pigs are symbols of wealth and there sure is a wealth of wild boar in Slovakia’s Tetras Mountains. People born in the Year of the Pig work hard and are enthusiastic about all kinds of work. The wild boars found in Slovakia are extremely adaptable and will enthusiastically eat, well, pretty much anything. Not that we consider eating work. If you’re born in the year of the pig, you’ll appreciate their tenacity, enjoying the work involved in seeking wildlife in these stunning settings.
Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020)
People born in the year of the rat are typically clever, quick-witted and kind. It makes sense then that these robust rodents are used to detect and locate landmines in Cambodia. It’s estimated that between 1.9 and 5.8 million unexploded devices are leftover from the Vietnam War in Cambodia, causing over 64,000 casualties since 1979. Pop over to the APOPO visitor centre in Siem Reap and meet these ‘hero rats’ who aim to have Cambodia land-mine free by 2025.
Ox (1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021)
Oxen are known in Chinese culture as reliable, honest, hard workers. People born in the year of the Ox will therefore appreciate the hard work of Laos’ community education venture, Lone Buffalo (OK, not quite an ox, but close!) who work hard helping to improve opportunities for young people through quality, structured English study and football coaching. Calm and collected, the ox makes a great leader, and Lone Buffalo is a testament to those characteristics.