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YEAR OF THE RABBIT | Where to travel in 2023 according to your Chinese Zodiac

18th January 2023

Welcome the Year of the Rabbit!

Hoppy Lunar New Year!

Maybe 2023 is off to an incredible start, and you’re celebrating all your wins. If so, congrats! Let’s keep them high vibes flowing. 

Or, maybe you haven’t had the freshest start to the new year (for me, both my car and my emotions broke down). But luckily for us, we have another chance for redemption – New Moon, New (Lunar) Year, New Me!

Dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and hop back on track. 
2023 will be a year to remember (and the year you finally check off a bunch of your travel goals!).

What is Lunar New Year and Where is it Celebrated?

Lunar New Year is a collision of calendars – it’s the first New Moon on the Solar Calendar, marking the first day of the Lunar Calendar. 

This special date is the biggest celebration in China, with festivities lasting 15 days. 

In fact, the celebration (and Zodiac Animals) are so important that they travelled beyond China to many East Asian and South East Asian countries including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan!

In each of these countries, there are slight variations in the animals and the myths, but they’re honoured with the same reverence. 

And thanks to globalisation, the Lunar New Year and Zodiac Animals are loved all around the world.

How does it work? A Quick Guide to the Lunar Calendar and Zodiac Animals


The Lunar Calendar is based on a 60-year cycle, represented by the Zodiac Animals:

  • Each animal rules 2 hours in each 24-hour day.
  • Each animal is represented by a day in a 12-day cycle.
  • Each animal rules a year in a 12-year cycle. 
  • Each animal is governed by one of the Five Elements (Earth, Metal, Air, Fire, Water), which brings the unique properties of that element to the Zodiac Animal (and year).
  • This is multiplied by the 12-year cycle, bringing it to a 60-year cycle.

This year is the year of the Water Rabbit!

*PS: The system is actually much more complex than this – with Celestial Stems and Earthly Branches adding nuance and intricacies – but we’re keeping it simplified for now, and leaving the complexities to someone much more qualified to explain.

The Legend of the Zodiac Animals

The Zodiac Animals were first documented in the Zhan Guo period (around 5th Century BC), and they became officially formalised in the Han Dynasty (around 206 BC). 

However, according to Chinese legend, it was the Jade Emperor who first created the lunar calendar around 2673 BC. 

As the story goes, The Jade Emperor held a race for all the animals in the kingdom, promising the first twelve to cross the finish line a place in the calendar in their honour. 

The Rat (and in some variations, the Cat) realised they couldn’t swim well so they road on the back of the Ox to be able to get to the finish line. The Rat tricked Ox (and also the Cat, who ended up coming 13th in this variation of the tale), and slid to the finish line first once they had crossed the finish line. 

The Ox came second, then the Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog until finally the Pig came in at 12th place (having been distracted by some delicious snacks). Thus, the order of the Zodiac Animals was determined!

So, What Will the Year of the Water Rabbit Bring?


It’s said to be a year of hope.

The Rabbit is known as the gentlest and most tender of the Zodiac Animals, symbolising peace, luck, and success! 

Moving from the dynamic Year of the Tiger – which was ruled by strength, growth, vitality, and Yang energy – the Year of the Rabbit should be more subtle, nuanced, Yin, and peaceful; still brimming with success, but achieving it in a more calm and decisive manner. 

Bunnies are also known for their witty, ingenious, and socially affectionate nature, so this year is also set to be full of friendship, love, attractiveness, popularity, and is particularly auspicious for networking and partnerships!

Being governed by the Water Element only adds to this; with water gracing us all with fluidity and adaptability, creativity, intuition, diplomacy, strength, and subtle charm – all adding to your charisma, and helping speed negotiations along. 

All in all, luck is on your side, and it’s set to be a fantastic year ahead!

A word of advice: 

Even though professional success and advancement is yours, you’ll still need focus, hard work, and dedication. Pay attention to the big picture, and try not to be too distracted by less important tasks. You might also find that your dreams and goals from 2011 (the last Year of the Rabbit), start fruiting in 2023. Because relationships are important this year, business partnerships and mentors can be of great help, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, if you find yourself in a jam, remember that a gentle, steady stream of water can carve mountains. Go with the flow, but stay on course, and persevere!

Animal: Rat


Birth years: 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

Travel destination: Portugal

Currency: Euro (EUR) 

Clever, resourceful, charming, quick-witted Rats need lots of variety and excitement in their lives – and tend to be on the social side. Hit up Portugal for a country filled with colourful architecture, delicious food, history, mystique, trendy street art, and a thriving party scene. It’s also a fairly cheap destination, and Rats being good savers might appreciate that fact!

We recommend a 50/50 split between cash and a Travel Money Oz Currency Pass. Use your cash for the little things (Cristiano Ronaldo bobble-heads and other souvenirs at the markets), and tap your card when buying your meals (with sangria of course). Find more tips Portugal travel money tips here.

Animal: Ox


Birth years:  1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

Travel destination: Nepal

Currency: Nepalese Rupee (NPR) 

The Ox is known for being kind, intelligent, hardworking, determined, and resolute – thriving in low-key vibes with an abundance of natural beauty, and with the endurance to embark on long journeys. Embrace slow travel with a trek through the Himalayas – and while you’re there, immerse yourself in Nepal’s rich history, spirituality, and cuisine.  

You’ll need to pre-order Nepalese Rupees (NPR) from your local Travel Money Oz store before your go – keep an eye on how both Nepal’s currency and the Indian Rupee is doing, as the two currencies are linked. Also, make sure to invest in travel insurance too.

Animal: Tiger


Birth years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

Travel destination: Antarctica 

Currency: Antarctic Dollar (but you’ll need to take USD

Confident, magnetic, thrill-seeking Tigers are known for their courage, boundless energy, never-give-up attitude, and passionate nature. Idealistic leaders penchant for risk-taking, Tigers should travel to excite the heart and get the adrenaline pumping. Crossing the Drake Passage should stir the butterflies to a nauseous frenzy, but afterwards you’ll be cruising through the stunning and severe Antarctic landscape – icebergs, leopard seals, penguins and more – and be one of the few people in the world who ever step onto the continent.

Fun Fact: Antarctica has its own currency! Affectionately nicknamed “Emp” (after the Emperor Penguin), the Antarctic Dollar is used throughout the Federated States of America. But it’s not exactly legal tender – it’s more a collectible souvenir for the intrepid adventurers who make it that far south. As most expeditions depart from Chile and are paid for in USD, that’d be your best bet. If you need to withdraw some cash (USD only), you can also visit the world’s loneliest ATM at McMurdo Station - a research station on Ross Island.

Animal: Rabbit


Birth years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Travel destination: Italy

Currency: Euro (EUR)

It’s your year! According to Chinese legend, you should wear red underwear when it’s the year of your Zodiac Animal as it’s said to better your luck!

Rabbits are kind, artistic, sincere, compassionate, warm, and sociable creatures who love a laugh and have a great sense of humour. With your eye for detail and a love for all things beautiful, why not embrace the rich tapestry of art and culture that is Italy! From Michelangelo, to Raphael, to Da Vinci – Italy is the birthplace of some of the most renowned artists of all time. 

Take both cash and a prepaid travel money card when setting off on your romantic journey through Italy. And remember - if you pay with cash, you often get a better price! Read more tips for Italy on our Travel Guide.

Animal: Dragon


Birth years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

Travel destination: Costa Rica

Currency: Costa Rican Colón (but you’re best to take USD and exchange there) 

The only mythological creature in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon is fearless, charismatic, wise, and an idealistic leader. Are passionate, powerful, and luck always seems to be on their side. Why not lead your travel group on an adventure through Costa Rica. From cloud forests to volcanos to ice-blue waterfalls to the Caribbean coastline, there’s a world of exploration in Costa Rica for you and your crew.

The official currency is the Costa Rican Colón (CRC), but your best bet is to take crispy new USD notes in small denominations ($20 and smaller), as well as USD loaded onto a Currency Pass. Once you’re in Costa Rica, you’ll find many places accept USD for payment, but you should exchange some money to CRC especially for smaller purchases and smaller townships.  

Animal: Snake


Birth years: 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025

Travel destination: Cambodia

Currency: Cambodian Riel 

Introverted yet charming Snakes are a bit of an enigma – they love both peaceful natural environments as well as the more refined travelling style. Clever, curious and alluring, Snakes will enjoy travels that reflect these traits, so perhaps a gorgeous stay in Cambodia will satisfy your needs. There’s a rich culture and deep history to explore, which will quench the Snake’s thirst for knowledge, as well as quiet natural reserves for when Snakes start to crave solitude. On top of this, Cambodia is very budget-friendly for the Australian traveller, so you can stay in some luxurious accommodations without putting a dent in your wallet.

Most places in Cambodia accept both Cambodian Riel and USD, which means it’s common to receive your change in mixed currencies. Take both on your trip abroad – pre-order Cambodian Riel from your local Travel Money Oz, and load up a Currency Pass in USD.

Animal: Horse


Birth years: 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

Travel destination: Ecuador 

Currency: United States Dollar 

Horses might love travel the most out of any Zodiac Animal. Enthusiastic, independent, energetic, and seizing every opportunity available, Horses love to set their vivacious spirit free with lots of space to explore. From the lush Amazon jungle, glacier-capped Andean highlands and the stunning Galapagos Islands just across a stretch of sparkling seawater, there’s no shortage of activities to do and places to explore for the Horse personality. 

Ecuador is one of three countries that uses United States Dollar (USD), so make sure to take cash in small notes, and a prepaid Currency Pass travel money card for when you’re in larger cities or making bigger purchases (hello wildlife cruise). PS: make sure to read our South America budgeting guide before your trip!


Animal: Goat (also known as Sheep or Ram)


Birth years:  1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

Travel destination: Thailand

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)  

The character for this Zodiac Animal,羊 yáng, translates to Caprinae – which is a family bovids (including goats, sheep, ram and ibex). Whichever animal you choose to represent you, all are strong and resilient yet kind and peace-loving. Goats (or Sheep) are loved for their easy-going, empathetic, cheerful nature, and as social creatures, travel best in a pack! So, why not explore Thailand with a group of your best friends? Whether you’re craving the bustling excitement of Bangkok, island-hopping in pristine waters, or an adventure to the lush north, Thailand is sure to please the crowd.

You’ll need Thai Baht for your adventures. We recommend taking both some cash for markets, rural areas, and smaller purchases, as well as loading up a Currency Pass travel card for when you’re in the bigger cities. Plus, with a Currency Pass, you can lock in your exchange rate!

Animal: Monkey


Birth years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

Travel destination: Indonesia (Bali)

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)  

Fun, energetic, entertaining, intelligent, optimistic, sociable, unpredictable active.

Fun-loving monkeys are known for their optimism, wit, energy, intelligence, and like China’s famed mythological figure – the Monkey King – have a bit of a mischievous streak. Monkeys are curious, and love a good laugh, so a high-energy destination like Indonesia where you can embrace and learn the culture is perfect for you! From chasing waterfalls, to visiting your Zodiac Animal in the Ubud Monkey Forest, to exploring the mystical side of Bali, this gorgeous destination will be perfect for your monkey spirit.

You’ll need some Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) for your travels through Bali, and for the more intrepid monkeys, the other Indonesian islands. Grab your foreign cash from Travel Money Oz before you head off on your adventure (and keep it close – the cheeky monkeys around temple grounds are known to steal tourist’s sunnies, wallets, and anything else left unattended).

Animal: Rooster


Birth years: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Travel destination: Singapore

Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD) 

Roosters are independent, hardworking, confident, observant, and brave (contrary to their names, this Zodiac Animal is not one to chicken out of an adventure!). They’re also practical and perfectionistic, and love to be efficient when travelling. Singapore will feel like home for these logical animals, with the Rooster making the most of slick, systematic and sparkling Singapore even before they step out of the world-renowned Changi Airport. 

Roosters also love to be practical and efficient with their money. Grab your Singapore Dollars (with our Rate Move Guarantee and Best Price Guarantee before you go, and also load up your Currency Pass prepaid travel card in Singapore Dollars (so you have more money to spend with less money to carry).

Animal: Dog


Birth years:  1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

Travel destination: Fiji

Currency: Fijian Dollar (FJD) 

Man’s Best Friend is sweet, loveable, playful and friendly. Being so helpful, honest, faithful, kind, and unselfish, Dogs are loved in their social circles, and when it comes to travel, they (like their animal counterparts) love to be outdoors and meeting new people! So this year, head to warm and welcoming Fiji for a beachy paradise, outdoors adventures, and share kava in a traditional Fijian ceremony with the friendly locals. 

You’ll need to grab some Fijian Dollars (FJD) for your island adventures in Fiji, and make sure to bring along some snorkelling gear, reef-safe waterproof sunscreen, and your closest friends.

Animal: Pig (also known as Boar)


Birth years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Travel destination: Switzerland 

Currency: Swiss Francs (CHF)

Loving, generous, caring, and trustworthy, Pigs (or wild Boars) are the Zodiac Animal known most for their love of luxury. Pigs enjoy the finer things in life, are skilled at generating wealth, and enjoy sharing the beauty and indulgence that it can create with their loved ones. With all this in mind, why not take a luxury trip through the stunning Swiss Alps? While Swiss holidays tend to be on the expensive side, Pigs know how to save well and live abundantly, so enjoy all the chocolate, cheese, skiing, and glorious scenery to your heart’s content.

Fun Fact: Switzerland neighbours Italy, France and Germany, so different Swiss regions speak different languages! However, they all take the same currency. You’ll want your piggy bank filled with Swiss Francs before you go, so drop into your local Travel Money Oz store to grab the cash you need. You might also want a Currency Pass prepaid travel card loaded in Euros if you plan to explore the neighbouring countries! 

Whichever Zodiac Animal you are, and whichever destination you’re travelling to, we’ve got your foreign currency covered.

Come and see us in store and chat with our experts for tailored advice, or if you prefer, check out our online currency guides and inspirational blogs.

For inspo, updates, and advice delivered straight to your inbox, join the Travel Money Club and follow us on socials: Instagram @travelmoneyoz Facebook @travelmoneyoz TikTok @travelmoneygroup and YouTube @travelmoneygroup.

Love to explore your travel options by personality type?

Read our other archetype-inspired blogs!

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