This article is brought to you by Skyscanner.
This New Year’s Eve, don’t be left out in the cold. The best parties are booked fast, so you’ll want to get ready now. This handy guide by Skyscanner will help you choose where to go for your New Year vacation, plus how you can best usher in 2018 and say goodbye to 2017!
Where to travel nearby for New Year countdown vacations?
- Hong Kong
Our neighbors to the south have some amazingly extravagant holiday parties in the works, so if you don’t feel like travelling so far this year, consider Singapore for your holiday plans. December 31st in the Lion City is the biggest party night of the year, and it is a great spot to end 2016 with a bang. Options abound, including a 2-day beach side bash at Sentosa Island’s Tanjong Beach Club featuring superstar DJs and premium champagne. Singapore’s iconic 1 Altitude nightclub is throwing a bash of its own, and you can ring in the new year at the highest nightspot in town.
Welcome 2018 across the border with a big bang.
Read more: 10 free things to do in Singapore at night
2. Hong Kong
Hong Kong does New Year’s Eve in style, with delicious food, tasty drinks and a display of pyrotechnics that puts most cities’ to shame. (The Chinese did invent gunpowder, after all!) Victoria Harbour is especially radiant on this evening, where throngs of locals and tourists flock to see the sky light up and ring in 2018 with noise and warmth. If you’d rather be indoors for this special night, try Ozone’s glitzy red carpet party. Here in the world’s highest bar you will enjoy some of the hottest music and coldest drinks to be had. Rub elbows with the local glitterati and enjoy the amazing views at this exclusive party.
There’s a New Year party for everyone in Hong Kong.
For partying locally, it goes without saying that Bali will be popping off on NYE. The beaches and nightclubs of the island will be crawling with revellers, and finding a good place to celebrate will be a matter of simply stepping out the door of your villa. There’s something for everyone here, from families looking for a place for their kids to frolic to singles looking for that special someone. The fireworks displays can be seen from any of the island’s central beaches, so park yourself on Kuta beach with some drinks and some friends and enjoy the show. For an exciting night of dancing, try Double Six Beach at Seminyak, or Cocoon Beach Club, where the music will be raging until the wee hours of the morning, featuring DJs from Europe, New Zealand and more.
Where to go for a winter holiday?
As we all know, December in London is magical, and the country that birthed so many of the world’s holiday traditions is just as good on New Year’s Eve. Trafalgar Square, home to London’s largest Christmas tree, will provide the backdrop to one of the most memorable selfies of your life. Despite the closure of Fabric, London’s club scene is alive and well, so there will be plenty of places to dance the New Year in, like Wapping’s Tobacco Dock, where Carl Cox will be manning the turntables. For something with a little less bass, you can join the festivities on the London Bridge, where the fireworks will be bringing the night sky to pulsating life.
Countdown with Big Ben.
For those of you who have never experienced snow, and would like a shot at ringing in the new year while catching snowflakes on your tongue, consider Seoul. The city itself may not get any snow, but you’ll be a short drive away from the snowy slopes of the country’s mountains, a perfect place to learn the basics of fun winter sports. For something a little more central and less punishing on the body, you can try ice skating in the capitol. Seoul of course also throws fun and memorable NYE events, including W Hotel’s Woo Bar, where international DJs will keep you dancing till dawn.
Have a K-pop holiday in Seoul this winter.
Read more: Seoul under RM1700: budget itinerary from KL
Paris is the perfect romantic spot for an illuminated holiday, bundled up and huddling close to the one you love… It’s not actually that cold, with averages in the 5 to 7 range, and the heated cafes and museums offer cosy respite from the chill. The shopping is, of course, excellent, and the food is equally amazing. Do we need to mention the wine? For revelry, check out the Champs Elysee Grand Parade, with its grand views of the Eiffel Tower and festive street displays of civic pride.
Treat yourself to a romantic Parisian New Year.
Tokyo is amazing even on the most ordinary of days, but as far as times to visit are concerned, you could do a lot worse than New Year’s Eve. The world’s capital of cool is even better when it’s getting ready to celebrate the arrival of the new year. If it’s a taste of ancient Japan you’re seeking, the temples and shrines will be doing things the old fashioned way, as they have adapted their customs to the Gregorian calendar. Sensoji, one of Tokyo’s grandest shrines, is a great place to taste the past. For something a bit more 21st century, Tokyo has plenty of parties at which you can shake your rump. Though traditionally a family holiday, many young Japanese have embraced the new year’s countdown and all night rave, so nightlife neighbourhoods like Roppongi will be dancing till the break of dawn.
New Year is Japan’s biggest celebration.
Where to go for a last-minute domestic getaway?
- Kota Kinabalu
Langkawi, one of Malaysia’s loveliest offshore jewels, is a perfect destination for people seeking some fun in a laid back tropical atmosphere. There may be some rain, but more than enough sunshine for you to enjoy the lovely beaches and reefs of the island. For parties, the resorts and hotels will be thronged with revellers, such as the Westin and the Andaman, or for something a little more unique, try a cruise with one of the local outfitters like the Damai Indah.
Do New Year’s on a boat or at the beach in Langkawi. Photo credit: Langkawi Info
Penang is a natural choice for those not looking to go too far afield, but who want all the fun and excitement of an international New Year’s getaway. In terms of weather, December/January is a mild time of year, sunny but not overly so, though the rain patterns may introduce an element of unpredictability to your planning. But if the rains do fall, just go makan! There will be plenty of activities on, as this is the high season for tourists. You’ll want to book your hotel earlier rather than later, but you’ll find a lot of exciting events on at that time.
Penang can turn its quaint-self into a party town. Photo credit: Visit Penang
Read more: Where to stay in Penang: 10 best hotels
10. Kota Kinabalu
For an under-the-radar year-end destination, try Kota Kinabalu for some food, fun and culture. Due to its favourable position outside the storm belt, the weather here is always reasonable, and tourists won’t have to deal with raging storms or freak showers. The warmth of the locals and the flavour of their food will wow you, and you’ll enjoy sampling the many varieties on offer. KK offers a taste of both the old and the new, with its colonial era neighbourhoods retaining their sleepy charm, while malls and condos grow up around the burgeoning city. And for those who would rather enjoy the great outdoors, KK is the doorway to wild adventures both onshore and off.
Say goodbye 2017 and hello 2018 with your loved ones in KK. Photo credit: Nomad is Beautiful
Read more: Top 10 year-end destinations for Malaysians