5 Destinations to Visit During Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is fast approaching on 5 February 2019. While it is a time when families and friends gather, it could also be a time for a short getaway. Here are some suggestions that break the myth that it will be a quiet period.

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TAIPEI

Taipei’s annual Chinese New Year’s celebration attracts over one million visitors in the celebration months. Dihua Street is a must see attraction when it comes to exploring Taipei. It opens up two weeks before Lunar New Year and is filled with traditional New Year treats and traditional food stuff, bright lights and a festive ambience.

The Yangmingshan Flower Festival, which lasts from the 15th of February until the 17th of March, will allow you to see a park full bloom of flowers, diverse performances and participate in an array of activities such as exhibitions, tea parties and book exchanges under cherry trees. This is the prettiest time to visit Yangmingshan, where you’ll get to enjoy music and dance performances!

Yuan Xiao (15th day of the first lunar month) is where the people of Taipei and visitors will gather in the village of Pingxi to celebrate the Lantern Festival. Remember to write your wishes for the year on paper lanterns before releasing them into the sky!

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HONG KONG

Hong Kong is known for its bright and fabulous celebrations. Families with children can visit Disneyland and experience "the happiest place on earth" with its characters decorated in a bright red and gold.

At the Tsim Sha Tsui area located near the harbour, is where most of the celebrations will take place and where you will be able to catch the Chinese New Year night parade when it passes through.

Time: Tuesday, February 5, 2019, from 6pm to 9:45pm

Location: along Nathan Road, Salisbury Road, Canton Road, and Haiphong Road

Tickets for seats range from about 300 HKD to 480 HKD per person. It is free if you view the parade from the street.

On the second day, don’t miss the massive fireworks by the Victoria Harbour, a must-see during the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong.

Time: Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at 8pm

Location: along Victoria Harbour

Free admission

If you want to go shopping or grab a bite, Harbour City and the Temple Street Night Market are great places to go as they will be open during the celebration periods.

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BANGKOK

Chinese New Year celebrations are a big deal in Bangkok. Although it is not an official public holiday in Thailand, people usually take a day off to enjoy the festivities and spend time with their families. Chinatown will be buzzing with activities, colors and crowds during the festive season. Make sure to plan some extra time when you visit, so that you can get the full experience of what Chinese New Year is like in Bangkok.

In other parts of Bangkok, Chinese restaurants and shopping malls have special Chinese New Year promotions, which range from discounts to free fengshui advice for their customers. Performances, parades and other celebrations will be held, plus you will also get a fair share of delicious food from the street vendors scattered throughout the city. For those who love Bangkok, this is a good time to enjoy!

LONDON

London houses the biggest Chinese population of Europe and celebrates Chinese New Year. The whole of Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and the Westend turn into a celebration site for one whole day, where you get to enjoy Chinese New Year parades, enjoy Chinese dishes and observe the spectacular fireworks after the sun sets.

Be sure to catch the dragon and lion dances that kicks off the vibrant Chinese New Year parade consisting of more than 50 teams! The parade takes place at Charing Cross Road, and passes through Shaftesbury Avenue in Chinatown.

You can also experience fun-filled stage performances including Chinese dance and music shows, acrobatics, Chinese rock hits, interactive dance sessions and an exciting line-up of artists from China at Trafalgar Square.

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NEW YORK

Or why not celebrate Chinese New Year in the Big Apple this year ? Housing the biggest Chinese community outside of China in the world, New York is a great place to be during the New Year celebrations.

The district of Chinatown completely transforms in preparation for Chinese New year with traditional parades, lantern festivals and huge amounts of food to please the crowds.

Before going for the festivities, check out surrounding areas such as Little Italy to try the crack cake, or visit the Museum of Chinese in America where you’ll learn the development of Chinese communities on these shores from the 17th century. Shopping can be really enjoyable in this neighbourhood, remember to bring home souvenirs and Asian Cuisine!