New Year’s Eve is a time of hope and happiness; a time to forget the problems of the past, to gather together with our loved ones and look forward to a brighter future. All across the world, New Year’s Eve is celebrated in a variety of ways. From Sydney to San Francisco, the world’s major cities become fun-filled party venues, as party-goers flock into the streets to countdown the last moments of the year, and usher in the new dawn as firework illuminate the night skies.
In Asia’s thriving mega-cities, these classical year-end festivities are often infused with local traditions and to create unique celebrations that combine the joy of New Year’s Eve with local culture. Whether you wish to bid farewell to 2018 in Asia by making the first temple visit of the year in Japan or watch the first sunrise in Seoul or having a classy celebration by gazing the firework that illuminates the night skies, there is always something to offer for all different travellers in Asia. With the New Year approaching us, WebBeds is presenting a list of the best New Year’s Eve celebrations in Asia’s major cities…
Where to usher in New Year: Hatsumode Festival at Sumiyoshi Taisha Temple
In Japan, “hatsumode” means the first temple visit of the year, as millions of people flock to their local shrines. Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka is one of the most popular hatsumode shrines; join the locals at this exquisite temple, which is just a short walk from Sumiyoshitaisha Station on the Nankai Main Line. Make your wishes for the New Year and buy your “omamori” (amulets) for a happy and prosperous 2019.
Where to Stay: Holiday Inn Osaka Namba
Just a short distance from the Sumiyoshi Taisha Temple, Holiday Inn Osaka Namba is perfectly positioned for guests seeking a diverse end-of-year experience. Head into Namba’s entertainment district for shopping and nightlife, or enjoy excellent cuisine and an extensive wine list at BARKT, the hotel’s restaurant and salon bar. Then visit the shrine and celebrate the New Year in traditional Japanese style.
For a limited time, find out more about Holiday Inn Osaka Namba and take part in a simple quiz to stand a chance to win a 2D1N stay (Standard Twin with Breakfast) at the hotel worth up to JPY 18,700.
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
Where to usher in New Year: Haneul Park Sunrise Festival
Welcome the New Year by watching the sunrise at Haneul Park, which offers breath-taking views of the South Korean capital. Haneul means “sky” and provides the perfect spot to gather with your loved ones, and hundreds of other local residents, to watch the first sunrise of 2019. The park can be accessed by an electric tram, or by climbing up almost 300 wooden steps – a great way to kick-start your New Year’s fitness pledge.
Where to Stay: Sejong Hotel
Stay in the heart of Seoul’s most vibrant shopping district, Myeong-dong, at the Sejong Hotel. Indulge in some year-end retail therapy, dine at a choice of stylish restaurants, visit the Sejong Gallery or stroll through the dramatic sculpture-filled sky garden with panoramic views of Namsan Mountain, before heading to Haneul Park for the sunrise celebrations.
Where to usher in New Year: Stylish Celebrations at SO Sofitel
Enjoy an intimate yet festive countdown meal with your loved ones in the heart of Bangkok. SO Sofitel Bangkok puts the “SO” into “social wining and dining”. The Park Society restaurant serves exquisite and authentic cuisine overlooking Lumpini Park in downtown Bangkok. After dinner, head to the hotel’s HI-SO Rooftop Bar for the perfect private celebration, gazing out over the glittering city as fireworks light up the sky.
Where to Stay: SO Sofitel Bangkok
SO Sofitel Bangkok is a luxurious urban retreat where guests can unwind in an ambience of upmarket style and sophistication. The 237 contemporary rooms and suites feature the latest technology and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows,while the impressive dining destinations – including a rooftop bar – promise unforgettable experiences and views across the cityscape.
For a limited time, find out more about SO Sofitel Bangkok and take part in a simple quiz to stand a chance to win a 2D1N stay at the hotel worth up to THB 10,500.
Where to usher in New Year: Fireworks Over the Harbour
Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour is one of Asia’s most iconic destinations, and it is never more impressive than on New Year’s Eve when spectacular fireworks and LED and laser displays light up the night sky, accompanied by a dramatic musical soundtrack. Surrounded by lively bars,restaurants and street performances, this is the best place to countdown to the New Year in the company of your family and friends.
Where to Stay: InterContinental Hong Kong
InterContinental Hong Kong gives guests front row seats for the dazzling New Year’s Eve celebrations. Guests can unwind in style with their loved ones and enjoy the spectacular pyrotechnic display, which starts directly in front of the hotel. Enjoy a special six-course dinner at the Lobby Lounge for HK$2,988 per adult, or reserve a table in any of the hotel’s restaurants then join the Countdown Party in the Lobby Lounge and dance the night away to the music of the Red Verse band.
Exclusive to FIT Rewards members, read more about the property and stand a chance to win one pair of tickets to New Year Eve’s countdown party at InterContinental Hong Kong.
Where to usher in New Year: Fireworks at Taipei 101
Soaring 509 metres from the city streets, Taipei 101 is a breath-taking backdrop to any break in Taiwan’s capital.Every 31st December, this soaring skyscraper becomes the centrepiece of the New Year’s Eve celebrations as fireworks are launched from each level of the tower,transforming it into a huge Roman candle. Watch this dramatic display with the crowds at Taipei City Hall or Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
Where to Stay: Les Suites Da-An
Situated in downtown Taipei’s Da’an District, Les Suites Da-An is the perfect base from which to enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations, with Taipei 101 just a short stroll away. This smart and stylish property offers a choice of rooms and suites, all featuring free Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations and flatscreen TVs. Enjoy a drink in the hotel bar before heading out to join the festivities.
Where to usher in New Year: Dance the Night Away at Clarke Quay
Nestled on the banks of the Singapore River, Clarke Quay is one of the Lion City’s liveliest party places. Meet your friends and head down to this stylish waterfront area,which is home to many of Singapore’s most popular bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs. On New Year’s Eve,Clarke Quay also thrives with street performers and live music, and provides the perfect spot to bask in the festive atmosphere, ringing in the New Year on a high.
Where to Stay: Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay
Surrounded by vibrant nightlife, Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay is the perfect place to experience New Year’s Eve. The 403 rooms include options for families and friends, while a choice of restaurants are ideal for special occasions. After dinner, stroll out in the heart of Clarke Quay to revel in the celebrations, or usher in the New Year with free-flow canapés and drinks at the hotel’s Premier Lounge from 11pm to 1.00am – just S$110++ along with a spectacular view of the magnificent Marina Bay Fireworks Display from the lounge!