Party like it’s 2018 – Top picks for where to ring in the New Year

New Year's Eve fireworks over Sydney Harbor. Source: Markus Gann/Shutterstock

THE last twelve months have been a blur of travel innovation, experience and adventure, so we’re not surprised that 2017 seemed to disappear in the blink of an eye and New Year’s Eve is once again just around the corner.

While the countdown to 2018 has begun, it’s not too late to find the ideal place to ring in the new year. Here’s the lowdown on some last-minute parties and events that will keep you celebrating into the night:

Sydney, Australia

Sydney is famed for its annual display of fireworks to ring in the new year. Source: Taras Vyshnya/Shutterstock

As one of the first major cities to see the stroke of midnight, Sydney has long been a firm favorite for New Year’s revellers – and it doesn’t disappoint.

One of the biggest events in the world, the celebrations draw more than one million people to watch the boat parade, the Sydney Harbour Bridge light show, and the fireworks over the Sydney Opera House.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

thousands of candle-lit lanterns are released at the stroke of midnight in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Source: Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a more spiritual approach to your first hours of 2018, Chiang Mai offers a time to reflect along with all the fun of your usual NYE celebrations.

Every year, thousands of candle-lit lanterns are released at the stroke of midnight, lighting up the skies around Thailand’s mountainous northern capital. Believed to bring good luck for the new year, the sea of light illuminating the night makes for a memorable spectacle and a calming break from the surrounding partying.

Bars and restaurants also stay open well past midnight with live music and festive crowds spilling into the streets until the wee hours of the morning.

Hong Kong, China

Firework display on the New Year’s Eve at the Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. Source: Javen/Shutterstock

Victoria Harbour is the belle of the ball for Hong Kong’s spectacular New Year countdown. A street party brings a festive atmosphere during the day, while a 10-minute pyro-musical lights up the night skies against the iconic Hong Kong skyline to welcome in the new year.

Tokyo, Japan

While countdown parties and late-night revelry have become more common in recent years, some of Tokyo’s more muted and traditional New Year’s celebrations are well worth experiencing.

Far away from the champagne and fireworks, many locals hike to see Hatsuhinode – the first sunrise of the New Year in the Japanese capital.

A great option is to get outside of the city and watch the sunrise from a vantage point on nearby Mount Takao or Mitake. You’ll be joined by local priests conducting a “festival to welcome the light” as you gaze out onto the sun cresting the horizon and contemplate the coming year.


The new year will be ushered in by a spectacular six-minute midnight firework display set up in a linear configuration across a larger area of the bay for the first time. Source: Shutterstock

Singapore knows how to party and New Year’s Eve is no exception.

Arguably the best place to be in Singapore when the ball drops is Marina Bay. There you can watch the countdown and fireworks on the famous Marina Bay shoreline or celebrate at the Marina Bay Sands Resort which has an observation deck and infinity pool facing the city’s skyline and New Year’s fireworks display.

Away from the city center, Siloso Beach on Sentosa Island puts on its own celebration. The beach is transformed to a party haven on December 31, with 12 hours of music, dancing and even a foam pool.

With less than two days to go, everyone here at Travel Wire Asia wishes all our readers a fantastic, happy and safe new year. Whether you’re quaffing champagne on a rooftop bar or enjoying some quiet reflection in nature, enjoy! And we’ll see you on the flip side for more travel adventures.