Chinese New Year is great – dumplings, food and friends paired with that four-hour long variety show prattle in the background. But sometimes we want to ring in the new year with a good old-fashioned bout of Western-style revelry. Look no further! This is your guide to the region’s best New Year’s bashes on the eve of 2018.
With stunning coastlines, unreal islands and rich mountain greenery, Thailand is a must-visit country, no matter the season. However, near the New Year, the weather is particularly impeccable and the parties outstanding. We picked a number of spots to ring in the New Year in Thailand.
1. Chiang Mai: Lanterns, Lights and Live Music
Chiang Mai is a favorite for travelers. With its exquisite temples and live music on nearly every corner, it makes for an amazing visit year-round. During the Western New Year, Chiang Mai goes all out. Head to the Pae Gate in the walled city for some live music and drinks, a countdown, fireworks and the main event: releasing thousands of lit lanterns at the stroke of midnight.
Chiang Mai also boasts live music along the eastern banks of the Ping River for New Year’s Eve celebrations. This strip along the river has a number of bars and restaurants hosting outstanding music performances with the Ping River as a serene backdrop.
2. Bangkok: Loy Nava River Cruise
If you like the idea of spending your New Year’s Eve riverside, the Loy Nava River cruise on the Chao Phraya River is right up your alley. This option is especially appealing for couples who want to ring in the New Year with a candlelit traditional Thai meal and onboard live performances on a historic teakwood rice barge. Though this excursion is not exclusively reserved for New Year’s Eve, cruising down the Chao Phraya River on December 31 offers a spectacular view of the Bangkok fireworks show. Tickets are USD48.54 (RMB317) per adult and USD31.11 (RMB204) per child.
3. The Countdown
Sometimes the classics are the best, like a good old-fashioned countdown to the New Year. This celebration is highlighted by fireworks, pyro-artwork, concerts and, of course, live broadcasts of worldwide countdowns.
4. Koh Phangan Island: Full Moon Party
No matter what time of year you visit Thailand, if you like to party, the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan island is an absolute must-see-to-be-believed ordeal. The term ‘full moon’ is to be taken lightly, as the full moon appears only once per month, while the full moon revelry and partygoers appear more than once per month on Haad Rin beach. Check out DJs, fire dancing and general carousing on December 31 to ring in the New Year.
5. Phuket: Surin Beach
Phuket holds the reputation of being one of the biggest party spots in all of Thailand. With its wild club scene on Bangla Road and its proximity to screensaver-esque beaches, Phuket never fails the imagination of the true partygoer.
Surin Beach on Phuket Island holds one of the most dazzling New Year’s celebrations in the country, supported by Paris Hilton, who has long been the driving force behind the Surin Beach New Year’s parties, which include live performances by big-name pop artists.
A top destination for travelers worldwide, Bali doesn’t disappoint with its wild beach parties and tranquil scenery. Whether you’re looking for the party of the year or just a relaxing place to kick up your feet, these three options have something for everyone.
6. Bali: Kuta Beach
If you really want to let your freak flag fly on New Year’s Eve, then head on over to Kuta Beach on the Indonesian island of Bali. Here, you will find an afternoon carnival with a party that rages through the night and straight into 2018.
7. Jimbaran Bay and Sanur Beach
Though Bali can be a place of unrelenting festivity, it can also be a place of deep serenity. If the beach is your thing, but so is peace and quiet, check out either Jimbaran Bay or Sanur Beach for some peaceful reflection on the past year and the new one to come.
If you’re more of a mountain/lakeside person, Bali’s got you covered. This lakeside paradise also offers a memorable (depending on your alcohol intake) beach party and fireworks for New Year’s Eve.
Check out Boracay Island for a more off-the-beaten-path New Year’s adventure. You might be surprised to learn that Boracay ranks 13th in a survey of the best places in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve. See what all the fuss is about.
9. Boracay: White Beach
The party on White Beach is an all-day event with a range of bars and restaurants to grab New Year’s Eve drinks and a pristine view of the white sand beaches and clear turquoise water as a backdrop. The highlight of the party begins at 11.30pm with the fireworks displays and an ensuing countdown and festivities that’ll have you up until the first sunrise of 2018.
Singapore is well known for its liveliness and prowess in entertainment and hospitality. New Year’s Eve is no exception. Check out these two amazing parties to say hello to 2018.
10. Marina Bay: Countdown
Arguably the best place to be in Singapore for New Year’s Eve celebrations is Marina Bay. There, you can watch the countdown and fireworks on the Marina Bay skyline or celebrate at one of the area’s best resorts, including the Marina Bay Sands Resort which has an observation deck and infinity pool facing the city’s skyline and New Year’s fireworks display.
11. Siloso Beach Party
Siloso Beach is one of the main attractions in Singapore on New Year’s Eve. The beach is transformed to a party haven on December 31, with 12 hours of music, dancing and even a foam pool.
If you want to be one of the first in the world to ring in the new year, fly yourself over to the land of the rising sun and get an early New Year’s Eve kiss.
12. Tokyo: Countdown Japan
Countdown Japan in Tokyo is a pretty big deal. This event takes the ‘eve’ part to a whole other level, starting four days before the actual event on December 28 and ending December 31. For one to four days, you can rock out to Japanese pop stars and big names in electronic music. Tickets are available for one day or all four and the pricing ranges from USD102 (RMB673) to USD310 (RMB2,047). The tickets are distributed via raffle due to the concert’s popularity, so be sure to sign up early!
If you’re looking to stay a little closer to the neighborhood, China has plenty to offer in the way of Western New Year. Check out these five spots to get your New Year’s fix.
13. Hong Kong: Time’s Square Countdown
Again, sometimes the classics are the ones that can leave you with that warm tingly feeling. The Time’s Square countdown in Hong Kong is one of those events, marked by live music and entertainment and a live countdown to 2018.
14. Victoria Harbor Cruise
If you want a glimpse of magnificent Hong Kong fireworks but you don’t relish the crowds, take a spin on one of Victoria Harbor’s all-included food and drink cruises and watch the fireworks. New Year’s Eve Victoria Bay cruises range around USD80 (RMB528) to USD265 (RMB1,750).
15. Lan Kwai Fong New Year’s Party
Lan Kwai Fong is a focal point of partygoers in Hong Kong, and during New Year’s Eve, it kicks up to the next level. Many clubs ask for a cover charge in exchange for food and endless drinks. You can also just grab a few beers at the 7/11 and spend your evening clinking bottles with the crowd of revelers in the street.
16. Chinese Taipei: Taipei 101 Fireworks Show
This metropolitan city is a fantastic place to ring in 2018, with plenty of bars and clubs to help you stay up until midnight and a display show centering around Taipei 101.
17. New Year’s Eve Countdown Party
Having the distinction of being the third tallest building in the world, Taipei 101 is impressive even on a normal day. However, add to it fireworks displays and a light show, and the tower is outright majestic. On New Year’s Eve, the celebrations will take place around this impressive construction, with a light show that lights up each floor of the tower as the countdown takes place. There will also be live performances by pop stars from 7pm to 1am.