The Christmas season is considered one of the happiest and most upbeat times of the year, but for most people in the West it also means having to endure the very chilly weather. This is why Southeast Asia has become one of the top holiday destinations for people who want to experience a bit of warmth and sunshine during the holidays. Sandy beaches, underground rivers, World Heritage sites, ancient ruins, and great food can all be found in Southeast Asia. Here are the top 5 South East Asian holiday destinations.

First up is Cambodia, home of the world famous Angkor Wat temple ruins. Some of the other fascinating sites of this country include the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake, the white sandy beaches of Sihanoukville and Kep. Both beaches have been described by the Telegraph as "Asia's hippest new beach retreats." The artsy city of Battambang is brimming with Thai, Khmer, and French architecture. Travelers can also explore the capital city of Phnom Penh to learn more about the nation's troubled past and explore its museums.

For our next destination, we head northeast of Cambodia to the nation of Vietnam. This country is a holiday traveler's dream come true because it has beautiful tropical beaches and awesome spots for people who enjoy the nightlife. Ho Chi Minh City is packed with street side foods and exciting nightlife hotspots, while the seaside haven of Nha Trang provides you with a tropical getaway from the busy city life.

Next up is the Philippines, home to the world famous white sand beaches of Boracay and the underground river of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. There are also other great tourist destinations in this nation consisting of more than 7,100 islands. Take a tour of Intramuros and admire Spanish colonial architecture. Marvel at the Chocolate Hills in Bohol and swim with whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu.

From the Philippines, we head southwest to the island of Indonesia. Enjoy a relaxing getaway in the beautiful beaches of Bali or go see the breathtaking wildlife in Rinca Island, home to hundreds of Komodo dragons. You can also spend your night under the stars at the Pink Beach of Komodo.

Last on the list is Thailand. If you are looking for a destination that can give you spectacular beaches and well-preserved ancient ruins, then this is one destination that should be on everyone's bucket list. Spend a couple of nights exploring the city of Bangkok where you can indulge yourself in the country's food, walk around in sacred temples, and enjoy an authentic Thai massage. After that, it's all about enjoying the country's awesome beaches which include Phuket, Koh Yao Noi, and Ao Nang. Anyone who has ever traveled to Thailand knows why it has been dubbed as "the ultimate nomadic destination" by the Huffington Post.