Tag Archives: new year

Best Places in Asia For Celebrating Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is just round the corner so here at Travelog we’ve come up with a list of the eight cities across Asia where you can best see the festivities and experience a century old tradition come alive in modern settings!

Beijing-CNY

1.  Beijing, China

Beijing is where the biggest of all Chinese New Year celebrations take place across the world. With thousands of years of tradition waiting to come alive during this period, Beijing holds one of the world’s most colourful and interesting celebrations. Many temple fairs are set up during this festive period which showcases martial arts demonstrations, lion dances, folk performances. There will also be special sales and loads of festival food. Most people spend this period spending time with their families and visiting temples to pray to the gods. However, as it is after all China’s biggest public holiday, you can be sure that Beijing’s Chinese New Year celebrations will not be disappointing. Oh, and be prepared for an endless array of fireworks!

Find out more >>

Penang Malaysia

2.  Penang, Malaysia

Penang, particularly George Town, is where the festivities begin. Listed as one of the UNESCO heritage sites in Southeast Asia, George Town literally lights up during CNY. With lanterns hanging all over, a warm reddish-orange glow floods the streets as people celebrate with performances, delicious food and happy smiles! The renowned Kek Lok Si Temple would probably be the biggest light source in the area as it often lights thousands of lanterns and bulbs, illuminating the century old temple in preparation of the festivities.

Shanghai

3.  Shanghai, China

Shanghai, just like Beijing, will see tons of people flocking the streets of this Chinese city. However, unlike Beijing, Shanghai has its own charm and unique character. The Longhua Temple, the oldest in Shanghai, will see 108 Buddhist monks invited to climb the pagoda to strike the bell as a symbolic welcome of the new year while chasing away evil spirits. The Yu Yuan Gardens holds the city’s most famous lantern show – locals dress up in traditional garb and walk around the gardens holding ornately decorated lanterns as they revel in the festivities with delicious food and interesting merchandises that are for sale. To catch spectacular fireworks, head to The Bund which also has many party spots for you and your friends to get a drink and unwind.

Find out more >>

Hong Kong

4.  Hong Kong, China

With a full 15 days to celebrate age old traditions and cultural festivities, Hong Kong is no stranger to the Chinese New Year get up. Locals will flock to temples around the city to pray for good fortune in the new year, as do most places. However, in Hong Kong, the holiday kicks off with a fabulous parade along Tsim Sha Tsui with dozens of floats and performing groups. Fireworks are a definite must as well and you can catch the spectacular display of pyrotechnics along Victoria Harbour. And to make the holiday even more exciting, promotions, discounts and sales pop up all over giving locals to tourists alike, a wonderful shopping spree to stock up on new clothes for the new year.

See more >>

Bangkok

5.  Bangkok, Thailand

Home to the largest population of Chinese in Thailand, Bangkok naturally holds one of the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations in the country. Being predominantly Buddhist, most of the Chinese would take a day off to visit temples and give offerings in hope of a blessed year ahead. From red lanterns strung across streets, to loud music and lion dances as well as street performers, Bangkok is bustling more than ever during this period. Not to forget rows of stalls selling a variety of street food that will provide much needed relief as you’re out immersing yourself in the festivities. Do check out Nakhon Sawan, 220 km north of Bangkok as they have one of the grandest celebrations. One of the highlights would be the acrobatic performers who climb a 10m pole to retrieve the money affixed at the top!

Learn more >>

Singapore

6.  Singapore

Singapore’s official colours may be red and white but during CNY, red and gold is strewn across the streets especially in Chinatown where huge statues and pretty lanterns line the roads. Although fireworks are not so common during CNY as compared to other countries in Asia, the Singaporeans still have a good time during this season. From lion dances to street bazaars and acrobatic carnivals and shows, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained. Not to mention all the delectable Chinese New Year goodies which are only available during this period. As Singapore is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, Chinese New Year will lead up to one of the grandest parades ever to be held – Chingay 2015, themed “We Love SG”, so if you’re in town for CNY be sure to extend your stay to catch it!

Find out more here >>

Taiwan

7.  Taiwan

When we think of Chinese New Year in Taiwan, we think of lanterns, lanterns, lanterns. They vary vastly in shape and size and patterns but all bring joy and light to the people of Taiwan and its visitors. The culmination of celebrations ends with the biggest lantern festival where paper lanterns are lit and released en masse into the skies. People often write their wishes on the paper lanterns and send them up towards the heavens in hope of them coming true. The best place to catch the lantern festival would be in Pingxi. The sight of all the lanterns being released at once is truly one to behold.

Ho Chi Minh

8.  Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Considered one of the most important celebrations of the year, Chinese New Year or Tet as it’s called in Vietnamese is one of the most celebrated festivities. Tet is well known for its gorgeous flower displays where they would be arranged in the likeness of the animal that represents the coming year. A good place to catch the flower displays would be Nguyen Hue Flower Street. If you’re not so into flora, try the entertainment parts such as Dam Sen Park or Sui Tien Park. With music shows, games and activities, these parks transform into a mini carnival of sorts for everyone to revel in the festive spirit. Ho Chi Minh definitely comes alive during Tet with multiple performances along the streets, flowers blooming and lots of activities for one and all to take part in.

Still not sure where to celebrate this year’s Chinese New Year?  


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) CPCSSchoolsWonderful MalaysiaShanghai HighlightsHK MagazineWikalendaContinental People10kBlessingsFengshui and VoyagestoAntiquity.

Still not sure where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Asia this year? Check out these useful links for more ideas:

The Essential Guide to Celebrating Chinese New Year in Hong Kong in 2015

Chinese New Year this year begins on February 19, and what better place to experience it than in Hong Kong? Chinese New Year is a huge celebration of food, festivities and Chinese culture across Chinese countries and cities. Hong Kong has it all, from the bursts of colour in the streets to delicious Chinese New Year goodies begging to be eaten. Join in on their annual Chinese New Year street parade, the dazzling display of fireworks and the raucous nightlife that is sure to keep the festive buzz going for the traditional 15 days of celebration. Street markets, banks, public utilities and government offices will be closed from February 19 to 21, but everything else is open for the revelers in Hong Kong. Who said that the city shuts down during the Lunar Festival? In Hong Kong, Chinese New Year is when the party begins.

1) 19th February : Tsim Sha Tsui, Chinese New Year Parade on 1 cny parade

Position yourselves early along Nathan Road, Canton Road or Haiphong Road for a prime view of the annual Chinese New Year Parade. It’s a glorious mess of floats, lion dancing and even pyrotechnics, traversing down the usually traffic-laden road of Tsim Sha Tsui. Plunge right into the crowd and join in on the revelry!

Click here for more information on Tsim Sha Tsui >>

2)  20th February : Victoria Harbour, Chinese New Year Fireworks Display
2 fireworks

Very much like their New Year’s Eve fireworks display but just as opulent and astounding, if not more. Join the merrymakers along the sides of Victoria Harbour and prepare to be amazed by the fireworks, guaranteed to add a bang to the already-exhilarating celebrations. The dazzling show starts at 8:00 p.m. but as always, go early to secure the best view!

Get more information about Victoria Harbour here >>

3) Disneyland
3 disneyland

If you fancy a move away from the hustle and bustle of the city for the day, pay a visit to the Chinese New Year themed Disneyland! You may very well meet the same excited faces that you met at the parade or the fireworks display, but only in Hong Kong Disneyland will you see the iconic Disney festooned in the traditional burst of red and gold. Grab a pair of Mouse Ears and spend a day celebrating a different sort of Chinese New Year. With one-of-a-kind Chinese New Year-themed food and souvenirs, remember to drop by if you want a unique Disneyland experience.

Click here for more information on Hong Kong Disneyland >>

4) 5th March : Lantern Festival
4 lantern festival

The Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities, but rest assured the same amount of effort has been put into this festival to make sure the celebrations end off with a bang! Happening on the 15th day of Chinese New Year, Tsim Sha Tsui will be adorned with lanterns of all shapes and sizes, adding even more light and colour to the already-vibrant Hong Kong. Head to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza for the Lantern Exhibition, where you can admire the myriad lanterns for free. Also at the Cultural Centre is a lantern carnival, where lively performances by folk dancers and acrobatic performances are the order of the day.

Learn more about Hong Kong Cultural Centre here >>

5)  Party at Lan Kwai Fong or Wan Chai 5 lankwaifong

For the night owls, the party hubs at Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai are sure to tickle your fancy. There are a variety of bars and clubs to suit your preferences, be it a wild night out partying or a relaxed sit-down with your friends. Just remember to keep that hangover in check for more celebrating the next day!

Still not sure what to do when visiting Hong Kong for this year’s Chinese New Year?  Check out Travelog for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit in Hong Kong.

Click here >> 


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Discover Hong Kong (1 and 5), New Years Eve Blog (2 and 4), Hong Kong Disneyland.

Still not sure where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong in 2015? Check out these useful links for more ideas:

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong

The New Year Celebrations in Hong Kong are an extravagant affair and display a good mix of Chinese and Western culture in their celebrations.  Start off your night with the ball drop in Causeway Bay before heading down to the Victoria Harbor for the breathtaking New Year Firework and Symphony of Lights show and finishing off at Lan Kwai Fong for a good time with your loved ones. For those who prefer to avoid the crowds, catch the New Year’s Eve Countdown Carnival that would be broadcasted all over Hong Kong. Hang out with locals and celebrate with the Lion and Dragon Dance Parade the next day. We are sure that you’ll find something amazing to commemorate 2014 and welcome 2015 in Hong Kong!

1.  New Year Fireworks & Symphony of Lights Show

new year fireworks

Hop on to any cruise at the Victoria Harbor for a spectacular time with a sumptuous dinner, fascinating lights and lovely company. The Symphony of Lights show is a unique visual performance that attracts thousands of visitors every day, and on the last 20 seconds of 31st December 2014, there would be breathtaking fireworks to boot. If you do not wish to cruise down the river and prefer to remain on land for the celebration, the viewing deck on the Victoria Harbor is a pleasant place for a great view of the light show and fireworks.

Learn more about Victoria Harbor >>

2.  New Year’s Eve Countdown Carnival

hong kong countdown carnival

An annual affair, Hong Kong’s countdown carnival is watched by many families at home or those with a New Year’s Eve house party. The large scale countdown event is from 8.30pm on the 31st to 12.15am and features many stellar performances by many different artistes. It is held in several different locations, namely Sha Tin Park, Sha Tin Town Hall cum City Art Square. If you’re not satisfied with just watching the countdown carnival from a tiny black box at home, do join in the festivities at the various locations across Hong Kong. The carnival promises plenty of fun and excitement to welcome the New Year.

3.  Ball Drop in Causeway Bay

ball drop in causeway bay

The New Year celebrations in Hong Kong begin with the Ball Drop in Times Square Mall at Causeway Bay. A replica of the New York ball drop, the promising Hong Kong version is fantastic as well. The buzzing energy from the crowd, the crazy lights in Causeway Bay and the general atmosphere makes one expectant of the New Year. Before you head off for the other festivities in Hong Kong, one definitely has to come to witness the ball drop at ‘Times Square’.

Find out more about Times Square Mall >>

4.  Lan Kwai Fong

lan kwai fong

How else to celebrate the coming of the year other than with some close friends and mugs of beer? Enjoy the festivities in over 100 F&B outlets all over Lan Kwai Fong and celebrate the New Year with traditional fireworks (get a seat outside for a better view!) and a countdown you’re your loved ones. Please don’t be startled by the presence of police and security officers all over the place, it’s just an indicator of the huge buzzing crowd that’s going to gather to celebrate the night.

Learn more about Lan Kwai Fong >>

5.  Lion and Dragon Dance Parade

lion and dragon dance parade

The New Year celebrations we have mentioned so far are typical New Year festivities that can be found all over the world and takes place on the 31st of December. However, for those who prefer a localized celebration on the first day of the New Year, do check out the Lion and Dragon Dance Parade that starts from Canton Road along Hong Kong Cultural Centre and finishes at UC Centenary Garden, East Tsim Sha Tsui. The event starts at 1.30pm but do head down earlier for a better view of the parade.

Find out more about Hong Kong Cultural Centre >>

Still not sure what to do when visiting Hong Kong this New Year’s?

Check out Travelog  for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit in Singapore.

Click here >> 


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Traveling with Annie and Blue, Huffington Post, The Next Web, Wikimedia Commons, Sassy Hong Kong.

Still not sure what to do for New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong? Check out these useful links for more ideas:

 

 

Where to See in the New Year in Shanghai For Any Budget

Shanghai is one of the most exciting cities in China, bustling with people and events. Would you expect any less for your New Year’s celebrations? Here’s a list of places to head to in Shanghai, arranged according to your budget, so you can usher in the New Year!

Free (or minimal cost)

1.  Longhua Temple

Longhua Temple

Ring in 2015! When we say ring, we mean ring. At the Longhua Temple, the city’s oldest temple, there is a tradition that has been taking place in Shanghai since 1988. As a symbol of good fortune for the forthcoming year, people are allowed to ring the 3000-kilogram bell at midnight. However, slots to do this are limited (108 places are available) and you will need to make reservations in advance. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be entitled to one ‘dong’ to bring greater fortunes in 2015. For those who aren’t lucky enough to reserve a spot, you can still join in the festivities, as there will be lion dances, folk performances and a midnight fireworks show for your enjoyment.

2.  Huangpu River

Huangpu River

For those who are into ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ as the spectacular display of fireworks brightens up the night, make sure you secure a spot along the Huangpu River. Find yourself a rooftop pub along the Bund and have some drinks while catching up with friends, reminiscing what a year 2014 has been. Alternatively you can just hang out in the surrounding areas and wait for midnight to approach and watch as the Huangpu River lights up in excitement to welcome in the New Year.

 3.  Windows Too New Years Eve Countdown Party

Windows Too

Admission is free for this party pub where they will be giving out all the partying must-haves you will need. From horns and noisemakers, to hats and glow in the dark paraphernalia, Windows Too wants you to be part of the party atmosphere. With every 80RMB spent on food and drinks, a Windows Coffee Mug will be given for free. To add to the excitement, a lucky draw will be held to win free food and drink vouchers!

Mid-Range (RMB 200-800)

4.  Bar Rouge

Bar Rouge

One of Shanghai’s most famous clubs will be partying it up this New Year’s all dressed in Gold. Sparkle and shine amongst the fashionable and glamorous and make sure you get the special Moët & Chandon Gold Edition package to add more glitter to your night. Entry is 300RMB.

5.  Mr & Mrs Bund La Boum NYE Party

Mr & Mrs Bund

Bringing in DJ Zohan and Ghetto Blaster, Mr & Mrs Bund are throwing a house party that will involve lots of partying and dancing all dressed in a ‘Disco Chic’ theme. Entry is 200RMB.

Click here for more info.

6.  Le Royal Meridien, Shanghai’s NYE Block Party

Le Royal Meridien

This will probably be the most fashionable NYE party to usher in 2015. If you’re looking to attend this party, make sure you’re dressed stylishly because Fashion TV will be there to capture the happenings. Occupying three whole floors, the NYE Block Party will have electro-house tunes on the first floor, Latin music and dance on the second and DJ Jacob will be dropping beats and pumping up the party with diverse tunes on the third. There will also be a hip-hop dance off o add to the excitement and entertainment for the night. Door prices start at 680RMB.

Click here for more info.

Luxury (above RMB800)

7.  MVP Party at the Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt

This party will take you high up, not just in spirits but we mean literally high up all the way to the 91st storey of the Park Hyatt Shanghai. From 8pm to 4am guests will be treated to free flow champagne, spirits and tapas as well as live entertainment. Free transportation to Bar Rouge’s party (after 1.30am) is provided, if you decide that you’re in the mood for carrying on the party. The Park Hyatt’s is rather pricey from RMB888 onwards.

Click here for more information.

8.  M1NT Restaurant

M1NT

With a special six-course menu created just for the New Year’s M1NT Restaurant’s executive chef Michael Jakovljiev will be filling up stomachs with amazing food. Normandy Oysters, foie gras, caviar, a blue lobster pasta, wagyu beef and dessert will be served at a price of RMB 1288 and if you would like wine to go along it’s an addition RMB388. If you’re not too full after feasting and are still able to move, simply stroll over to the club next door for a full night partying! For more information, simply head over to their website here.


 

Check out our article on ‘Top 5 Rooftop Bars in Shanghai‘ for more ideas for where to see in 2015 in Shanghai, click here >>

 Still not sure where to see in the New Year in Shanghai?

Check out Travelog for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit in Shanghai.

Click here >> 


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Meet in Shanghai, China International Travel, Erin O’Leary, SmartShanghai.com, Shanghai Listings (5,7 and 8), Le Royal Méridien Shanghai.

Still not sure what to do for New Year in Shanghai? Check out these useful links for more ideas:

 

Where to Enjoy the Festive Season in Hong Kong

If you happen to be in Hong Kong during Christmas, you will not be disappointed. The Travelog team have selected the top events for celebrating this special day with your friends and families. Be prepared to have tons of fun and to takeaway loads of memories.

1.  Hong Kong Disneyland

1

There is nowhere else to spend your Christmas other than in the most magical place on Earth – Disneyland. This year, Hong Kong Disneyland will be celebrating the festival with the theme ‘Frozen’.  Popular Disney characters Queen Elsa and Princess Anna will be making their appearances. There would also be the usual light show and Disney parade that we guarantee will make this Christmas one that will leave you reminiscing for years.  Don’t forget to grab some last-minute Christmas shopping from the Disney store for your family and friends.

Click here for more on Hong Kong Disneyland >>

2. International Commerce Centre Light and Music Show

icc light and music show

For the month of December, the International Commerce Centre (ICC) Light and Music show would be displayed on the tallest building in Hong Kong. The theme for the show this year is ‘Spreading Love in a Winter’ where a Love Train will make its way through the North and South Poles to meet Polar Bears and Penguins for a smashing adventure in the snow. On Christmas day itself, the ICC would also be featuring countdown illuminations. The best viewing place would be the outdoor terraces of the IFC Mall.

Click here for more information about IFC Mall >>

3.  Ngong Ping 360

ngong ping 360

Located on Lantau Island, the festivities at the culturally themed Ngong Ping village will be one of a kind. Start off your journey from the Hong Kong Island with a cable car ride that offers a magnificent view of parks, the bay and even the airport. Wander through a great range of dining, shopping and entertainment outlets, all Christmas decorated and ready to heartily welcome guests for this special day. This year, you can also watch the winners of the inaugural ‘Ngong Ping 360’s Got Talent’ show off their skills on the grand outdoor stage. Do visit the typical tourist attractions on Lantau Island while you’re here as well.

Learn more about Ngong Ping here >>

4. Hong Kong Ballet Show

hong kong ballet show

For those who prefer to spend their Christmas with fine opera and dance, head down to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre where ‘The Nutcracker’ would be performed live by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Guest artists, Aki Saito from Japan and Dmitry Semionov from Russia will also be participating in the performance. This is a show suitable for families where the famous Christmas story comes alive.

More about Hong Kong Cultural Centre >>

5. Hong Kong Malls

hong kong malls

To look for the best Christmas decorations in Hong Kong, you have to do a mall-hop to check out the various themed decorations. The malls treat Christmas with utmost importance and the decorations are detailed and amazing. Also, during Christmas eve and Christmas, groups of carollers from churches and schools would be making their rounds around the malls in Hong Kong to perform.  This is the best local Christmas fun you can get in Hong Kong and we highly recommend you to just check out a couple of malls and look out for performances by the carollers.

Malls we recommend:

  1. Langham Place Mall, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon
  2. 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
  3. New Town Plaza, 18 Sha Tin Centre St, Sha Tin, New Territories
  4. Harbor City, 7-27 Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
  5. The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong Island

Check out our article on ‘Hong Kong’s Top 10 Shopping Malls‘ for more information on Shopping in Hong Kong, click here >>


 

Still not sure what to do when visiting Hong Kong this Christmas?

Check out Travelog for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit in Hong Kong.

Click here >> 


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) China International Travel Service, Sun Hung Kai Properties, SimpleDreamer.com, Hong Kong Ballet, Want China Times.

Still not sure what to do for Christmas in Hong Kong? Check out these useful links for more ideas: