By: Sarah Richard
Here at Expat Living, we aren’t ones to turn down a glass or two of champagne, especially on New Years Eve! However, we are all too aware of the pressure that comes along with an NYE party. Maybe you’ve just had a little one, maybe you have to work the next day, or maybe you just feel like relaxing and waking up, hangover-free. So for all of you out there that aren’t donning your dancing shoes and heading into Central, we’ve come up with some ideas for other things you could be doing to celebrate the beginning of 2016!
Hong Kong New Year Fireworks and Countdown
Watch the year peter out in style with New Year Fireworks over the Harbour. The best thing about it? There are so many options for places to watch – and they’re completely free. Why not bring a picnic and some bottles, gather together your friends and loved ones, and sit away from the crowds? Beginning at 11pm for 15-minute intervals, rooftops around the harbour will emit a series of ‘shooting stars’.The countdown begins 60 seconds before midnight, and at the stroke of 12am, the fireworks start to fly! One of our favourite spots to watch is from the TST side, where you can watch all along the Promenade and Avenue of the Stars from the Star Ferry Terminal to the New World Centre in the East.
Camp on Lantau
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and head to Lantau Island where there are beaches rivalling those that require a plane to reach. There are also many camping options; the best campsite is at Pui O. The site has 52 spots on the beach front, providing you with plenty of space and BBQ pits, free of charge(obviously you have to bring along your own food and gear). There is also Ooh La La Restaurant right behind the campsite, as well as some other convenience stores. Wrap up warmly, get the BBQ on, and watch the last sunset of 2015.
Opt for a night at the concert hall rather than a night at the disco hall (if that is even still a thing?) Enjoy a night of Western orchestral music in the grand HK Cultural Centre. Once you the show is finished, you can head to the harbour front and catch the fireworks and countdown!
Tickets start from $180-$480 , Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
Who said it has to be summer to go ‘glamping’? We think the idea of camping in a teepee on NYE sounds awesome! All teepees are uniquely hand-painted with artwork, and go up 22 feet in diameter allowing for up to 30 people, sitting down. And no need to worry about the weather anyway, as the teepees can withstand storm winds in excess of 60 mph. Bring the food and booze, and you have all the ingredients for a great alternative to New Year’s Eve.
Ferry to Mui Wo from Central Pier 6 and taxi or bus 1,2,4 or A35. MTR to Tung Chung then taxi or bus 11, 23 or A35 at the Bus Terminus.
And you thought you knew it all about Hong Kong? Think again, there are dozens of private kitchens and restaurants hidden around the city ready to let you take the credit for the exclusive find! In fact, we love them so much (and trust us, your friends will think you are the ultimate foodie) that we’ve written a whole separate article on the Top 10 private kitchens in Hong Kong. This one’s on us- we won’t tell anyone we told you.
I don’t know if any of you have heard of a little known movie called Star Wars? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware that it has hit HK cinemas, and people are going crazy for it! Beat the crowds and opt for the screening on NYE, and enjoy this year’s most anticipated movie while being transported from one year to another by the time you exit. UA Cinemas have a showing on 31st December at 19:20 and 20:00. Tickets are $210. Check out your nearest cinema here.
Have a party at home
But without having to cook! There are tons of caterers around the city on hand for your NYE parties. Check out our favourite festive hampers available for order, and have a look at some of our festive decorations for your home here. Sometimes there is just no place like home!