Say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019 by traveling to the best places in Thailand and Asia to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Watch fireworks from a rooftop Bangkok, participate in traditional Japanese traditions in Tokyo, soak up Halong Bay’s spectacular limestone karsts, indulge champagne sorbet and lobster on Koh Samui, or stroll through an open-air art studio on Vietnam’s Cam Ranh peninsula.
Spectacular fireworks and music and dance performances celebrating Thailand’s rich and diverse cultural heritage as well as the importance of travel and tourism to the national economy will be held at the following locations:
– Bangkok: ICONSIAM, the glittering new shopping, entertainment and educational complex on the Chao Phraya River, the River of Kings;
– Northern Region: Clock Tower, Chiang Rai province;
– Northeastern Region: Clock Tower, Nakhon Phanom province;
– Central Region: Clock Tower, Ratchaburi province;
– Southern Region: Pakbara Pier, Satun province.
The biggest turnout of spectators for the “Amazing Thailand Countdown 2019” will be in Bangkok where the countdown will begin at 18.00 Hrs. on 31 December 2018. This is six hours of back-to-back celebrations and performances based on the theme of “The River of Prosperity” being jointly organised by TAT and ICONSIAM in collaboration with numerous other private and public sector partners.
The highlight will be a magnificent display of fireworks made from Thai sticky rice to ensure minimal environmental impact. The five-minute, five-part fireworks extravaganza will showcase the history of the Chao Phraya River pertaining to the Thai way of life, traditions and legends of Siam. One part will also celebrate Thailand’s global status, highlighting the flags of all countries and their linkages with Thailand through tourism, trade, education and cultural exchange.
The best visibility spots have been identified as follows: Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Peninsula Hotel, Millennial Hilton Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, and Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel, Sathorn Bridge, Chaloem Phrakiat Park, Sathon Pier, Police Station 2, Khlong San Pier, Sampheng Parking Lot, CAT-Bang Rak Branch, Wat Suwan Pier, Siam Commercial Bank and LHONG 1919. The evening will also see a performance of the “Khon” Thai traditional dance in honour of it being listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.
Wine n’ Dine on Coconut Island
Those lucky enough to be spending New Year’s Eve at Banyan Tree Samui can savour a splendid six-course meal including Alaska king crab, coconut soup, champagne sorbets, succulent Boston lobster and sizzling Wagyu beef, all complemented with aromatic Thai herbs and spices. Then, it’s a slow mosey on down to the resort’s private beach where the fun n’ games begin at 10pm with traditional Thai dancing, live music and, of course, fireworks and cocktails to bring in the chimes of 2019. For further information, visit: https://www.banyantree.com/en/
Usher in the New Year with a firework extravaganza in Taipei
Named by CNN as one of the world’s top ten spots for ringing in the New Year, Taipei is annually flooded with visitors who come to view the breathtaking fireworks show at Taipei 101. Revellers looking to kick off 2019 with a bang should look no further than the iconic Grand Hyatt Taipei. Located right next door to Taipei 101, the city’s largest five-star hotel guarantees a night of fun and excitement with a countdown party at The Residence — featuring live entertainment, a decadent buffet, free-flowing drinks as well as exclusive access to the hotel’s outdoor terrace to witness the spectacular fireworks up close and personal. For more information, please visit: https://taipei.grand.hyatt.com
Slurp soba, jive to jazz, make mochi and wave to the emperor in Tokyo
With Japan’s Heisei era on the verge of coming to a historic end in the new year, Palace Hotel Tokyo is presenting a suite of activities over its traditional three days of celebrations. At the iconic moatside property, you can eat soba noodles, feast from a lacquered box of traditional foods, and witness the first Japanese tea ceremony of the year, all to a soundtrack of koto music on Jan. 1 and 2. Lion dancers will also shimmy before audiences on the second day of the new year. The planned abdication of the current monarch in April 2019 makes this New Year the last with the current head of state — Japan’s 125th monarch to occupy the Chrysanthemum Throne (and the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy) — and Jan. 2 one of only two days in the Japanese calendar where parts of the Imperial Palace’s private grounds are opened to the public. See more details
Countdown to the New Year Amid Halong Bay’s Limestone Karsts
Revelers would be hard-pressed to find a more compelling destination to celebrate the new year than Vietnam’s famed Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site. To mark the occasion, Halong Bay’s leading luxury cruise provider Paradise Cruises will host special menus including delectable fresh seafood before the countdown on its Paradise Luxury, Paradise Elegance and Paradise Peak cruises. A live Filipino band will entertain with an eclectic mix of tunes ranging from jazz and pop to Vietnamese classics on Paradise Elegance. When the sun appears on New Year’s Day, guests will again be greeted by awe-inspiring vistas of the bay’s limestone karst formations rising up from turquoise waters. See more details about Paradise Cruises: https://www.paradisecruise.
Soak Up An Open-Air Art Studio on Cam Ranh Bay
Taking prime advantage of its beachfront digs on Vietnam’s up and coming Cam Ranh peninsula, the Anam’s lush gardens will transform into a sprawling open-air art studio in the lead up to the new year. The resort will hold its annual ‘Garden and Sun Artist in Residence’ from Dec. 26-31, during which guests will be encouraged to watch and talk with talented local artists as they create artwork from Dec. 26-29. The artwork will be showcased at an exhibition nightly from Dec. 29 until Dec. 31 between 5pm-7pm at Au Lac Ballroom to a backdrop of traditional Vietnamese music with complimentary drinks and canapes. The resort will also host an exquisite gala dinner, buffet and degustation menu on New Year’s Eve before the countdown at a party where DJs will spin the decks. For more information