As we get ready to welcome in a new year and all it entails, the question on many lips is a simple one – what are you doing New Year’s Eve? If you find yourself halfway around the world from home, this question can be even more vexing. But if you’re willing to roll the dice on a bit of adventure, there’s no better time to travel around the region. These are some of our favourite countdown hotspots…
Hong Kong’s illuminations are a regular feature on New Year’s Day news clips. The fireworks are set alight from barges in Victoria Harbour, giving people on both sides of the sea uninterrupted views. Tamar Park and the Central Harbourfront are fantastic places to see the show, but we advise getting there early as you’re likely to not be the only one with the idea.
While the fireworks and laser show in Shanghai are worthy competitors to Hong Kong, one thing may have you opting for an indoor affair – the bitter cold. Celebrate instead in style (and comfort). The Ritz Carlton’s five-star offers just that – its New Year’s Eve package is inclusive of one night in a luxury hotel room, breakfast, and two tickets to its Orient Express Countdown Party. The best part? The hotel understands the trials and tribulations of New Year’s Day after a night on the town and offers a complimentary late check out, at 4pm.
The best way to celebrate the New Year in a city like Kuala Lumpur is from the top. And while there are scores of rooftop bars across the city, the Heli Lounge Bar stands out. With two bars (one on the top floor of the Menara KH Building and the other atop the rooftop helipad), you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to watch the fireworks.
If you’re looking for a New Year’s to remember that doesn’t involve hitting the clubs and cramming indoors, Beijing has the answer; head for the hills to the Great Wall NYE 2017 party, hosted at the Huaibei International Ski Resort for a day of skiing followed by a bottomless brunch before you drink and dance the night away. Shuttles run between BLCU East Gate Station and the resort.
Let this New Year’s Eve soar to great heights at Bangkok’s tallest rooftop bar. Sky Bar, situated 820 feet above ground, hosts a ball drop in a similar vein to the iconic Times Square event, with a seven-foot glitter ball set to drop as the clock strikes 12.
Starting the year right doesn’t mean crowded clubs and rowdy evenings for everyone. Alila Seminyak swing into 2018 with its 1930’s themed evening, offering guests a five-course dinner. This black-tie affair will be soundtracked by a live jazz band, offering an intimate alternative to the hustle and bustle of the parties in nearby Kuta.
Looking for a fun-filled evening to eat, drink and be merry? Surin Beach is one of Phuket’s famed party centres, and it transforms on New Year’s Eve into an elongated party strip, many of which offer package deals including dinner, drinks and entertainment from live bands, DJs and performers. There’s also the popular Bangla Road and its famed nightclubs, for those looking to carry on into the night.
Though it’s not given much attention on the international tourist circuit, Shenzhen offers much more than just the promise of retail therapy. It has quickly become one of China’s clubbing hotspots, with event promoters creating unique parties to remember. This New Year’s Eve will be no exception – discreet rooftop club Top Lounge welcomes live DJ performances and food and drinks stalls to its Enchanted Garden Masquerade party.
Step into a world of five-star luxury at Le Meridien Hotel, and indulge in the New Year’s Eve dinner menu at Le Brasserie restaurant. Wine and dine the night away amid the surrounding glitter and gold, and raise a glass to the year ahead.
Traffic in Manila is challenging on the best of days, and New Year’s Eve will prove to be no exception. For a fun experience in the centre of town, opt for a countdown party and stay at one of Makati’s hotels, as many will boast views of the midnight fireworks. The Pan Pacific’s Sparkles & Fireworks Countdown Party features a dinner buffet, live music and a fantastic view of the firework rooftop display.