Asia’s best destinations to ring in the New Year.
1. 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 26 – 31 December, during which guests will be encouraged to watch and talk with talented local artists as they create artwork from26 – 29 December. The artwork will be showcased at an exhibition nightly from 29 – 31December between 05.00PM – 07.00PM 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.
The Anam Villas
Long Beach, Northern Peninsula Cam Ranh
Phone. +84 583 989 499
2. 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.
Grand Hyatt Taipei
No. 2 Songshou Road
Taipei – Taiwan
Phone. +886 2 2720 1234
3. 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 1-2 January 2019. 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 2 January one of only two days in the Japanese calendar where parts of the Imperial Palace’s private grounds are opened to the public.
Palace Hotel Tokyo
Tokyo – Japan
Phone. +81 3 3211 5211
4. 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. For more information, please visit: www.paradisecruise.com
5. 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 10.00PM with traditional Thai dancing, live music and, of course, fireworks and cocktails to bring in the chimes of 2019.
Banyan Tree Samui
99/9 Moo 4,
Koh Samui – Thailand
Phone. +66 77 915 333