A time to celebrate the passing of the old year and the arrival of the new one, New Year’s Eve is celebrated all over the world. As hundreds of tourists flood to Hong Kong for December 31st, citizens and visitors alike prepare to let the New Year in with a bang. While Hong Kong’s main New Years celebrations are reserved for the beginning of the Chinese New Year in February, there is still plenty for visitors to the area to do and see. Home to seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Known for it’s deep natural harbour and reputation as a financial capital, this bustling city has a lot to offer for a special night out.
Hong Kong Harbor
Next step is to find a good, cheap hotel. Here you have two options: the most authentic is to sleep in the traditional Japanese pension called Ryokan, but if you need more comfort or you’re travelling with your family you can also go to a Tokyo hotel to find some kind of exclusive services. Much like the famous city of Hong Kong there are hundreds of modern and uniquely built hotels. Many of them even offer discounts to local museums or restaurants. Booking in advance does not only help lower costs for flights, but it can also help you save on room accommodations. Searching and comparing hotels online is a great way to ensure you are getting the best deal possible. Combining your flight with your hotel accommodations is another way to cut down on expenses.
The city’s own version of the famed New York Times Square celebrations, the Times Square countdown is the place to be for those looking to be part of a crowd. Much like it’s inspiration, visitors can listen to live music and entertainment, count down the clock and watch the ball drop at midnight. Another popular option is the Victoria Harbour fireworks display: propelled over the buildings of Hong Kong Island, this magnificent spectacle of pyrotechnics is framed beautifully by a backdrop of skyscrapers. A popular event, the area around the harbour can get crowded at midnight, if you want to avoid the throng, the fireworks are best viewed from one of the harbour’s many inclusive food and drink cruises, open-top bus tours or the Avenue of Stars in the Tsim Sha Tsui district. Since this time of year can entice a lot of visitors, it is recommended to book your Hong Kong hotel early to secure your spot.
The focal point for many of the city’s merrymakers is the area’s many clubs, pubs and bars; a majority of these charge an ‘all inclusive’ ticket price that will cover a buffet meal, entertainment and free drinks. While the Hei Hei Club, Drop Dragon-I and Aqua are popular options on New Year’s Eve, many party-goers choose to buy their own drinks from nearby supermarkets and celebrate with the locals in street festivals.
While a spectacular New Year’s Eve event is vital, equally important is your choice of hotel. After a night on the tiles, the last thing you’ll want is a long journey. Luckily, Hong Kong offers a wide variety of premier hotels to suit a range of budgets. It is worth checking into a hotel close to where you will be ringing in the New Year, as this will not only make the journey to your bed shorter after your night out, but make it easier to grab dinner beforehand, or even to pop back to drop off items or pick up extra layers during the festivities. A number of the larger hotels will hold New Year’s Eve celebrations of their own, so if you fancy a low-key spot of dinner then it is worth purchasing a ticket. At the higher end of the scale, several of the more exclusive establishments have Michelin Star restaurants and offer a view of the harbour without the crowds.
Photo : Roger Wagner