Most of us are still hoping that 2017 was just a bad dream. For those who kicked-ass this year, kudos to you! Celebrating the year to come or bidding goodbye to a bad year – whatever you choose, choose to do it in style. So what better than bringing in the New Year at some exotic destination? Let’s be honest, it’s not going to be a shoe-string budget, but hey, no kidneys on sale either. Here are 10 countries around India that’ll help you end 2017 with a bang!
1. Chiang Mai, Thailand
The lesser-known, ancient, and pristine part of Thailand is Chiang Mai. This mountainous city in northern Thailand is where you can spend NYE old-style with a country vibe. It attracts visitors throughout the year for its temples, lush greens, waterfalls and a strong prevalence of Thai culture. But around New Year’s, thousands of tourists flock here to witness the spectacular Lantern Festival. Remember Tangled? Rapunzel and Charming on the boat and above them thousands of lanterns? This is pretty much like it. At the stroke of midnight, floating sky lanterns are released together along with fireworks. Imagine what a fabulous way to bring in 2018! To revel in some dancing, eating, live music performances, and drinking head to Thapae Gate. The party here is on the streets!
Average Ticket Cost: ₹ 21, 085 (One-Way, Last Week of December)
2. Bangkok, Thailand
If you want to go all out this NYE and we don’t mean out of cash, then Bangkok is the place to do so. Thailand’s notorious capital is well known for its party scene. Be it lavish, extravagant, rooftop parties at some of the best bars with a panoramic view of the skyline with fireworks or be it the streets – Bangkok’s party scene can be tailored for every need. Lebua, Sirocco, Octave, Above Eleven are some places that host the biggest rooftop parties in Bangkok. Want to get wild on the streets? Khao San Road is where all the clubs are. CAUTION: It’ll be pretty crowded. Or go a little wilder at the Walking Street in Pattaya and visit some pleasure houses! Music, dancing, drinking, food, fireworks and the skyline, what more do you need?
Approximate Ticket Cost: ₹ 19, 021 (One-Way, Last Week of December)
3. Ubud, Bali
Mention of Bali and images of azure waters, white sands, palm trees, and overwater bungalows instantly flash before your eyes. All you can think about is watching the sunset with your BAE. While that happens to be one of the many great experiences Bali offers for NYE, it also has a few party spots. Kuta, Seminyak and Legian beaches are where DJs drop throbbing beats, cocktails keep on coming and you dance till dawn. Potato Head Beach Club, Mozaic Beach Club, Da Maria, and Old Man’s are a few clubs to ring in 2018. The beach and a scenic view of the island, your New Years 2018 will be memorable. Want to be sober and immerse in the culture instead? Ubud is where all the cultural festivities take place. Sober, raving or romantic the tropical vibes of Bali will help you slide into 2018 with style!
Approximate Ticket Cost: ₹ 12, 522 (One-Way, Post-Christmas)
4. Disneyland, Hong Kong
Cruising on Victoria Harbor and viewing the Symphony of Lights (light and sound laser show), fireworks on the most beautiful skyline, the countdown to 2018 at Hong Kong’s Times Square, and sipping on cocktails and dancing till your feet hurt at Tsim Sha Tsui – they are all excellent ways to spend NYE in Hong Kong. But if you want to bring in 2018 a bit differently, Disneyland is where you should be. A literal fairytale ending to your year. Meet Mickie, Minnie, and Santa Goofy and watch your favourite characters parade on the streets this NYE. The sparkling decorations and dazzling buildings will brighten up your mood. However, the flamboyant Disney Fireworks take the cake. The Sleeping Beauty Castle all lit up with vibrant, colourful fireworks in the background. Oh! What a thing of beauty. Children will definitely enjoy this, but it’ll warm your adult hearts too.
Approximate Ticket Cost: ₹ 21, 326 (One-Way, Post-Christmas)
Disneyland Ticket Price: HK$589 onward
5. Dubai, U.A.E
No one can do ‘style’ better than Dubai. Remarkable hotels, restaurants, yachts, Arab Princes, gold and sky-high buildings – Dubai knows extravagance. But you don’t need to stay in these five-star hotels or eat at these restaurants to bring in the New Year with grandeur. This city has countless options to make sure you ring in 2018 the right way. Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa each year, at midnight lights up with lasers, and fireworks burst out through the entire length of the building. Picnic at Jumeirah Beach and see the spectacular light show at Burj Al Arab. You can also see the fireworks of Atlantis the Palm from a distance! Madinat Jumeirah is where new meets old. Live entertainment, fire dancers and musicians – all the carnival feels in the Souk. For a rare experience, head out to the deserts! New Year’s amidst the sand dunes is definitely unique.
Average Ticket Cost: ₹ 13,324 (One-Way, Post-Christmas)
6. Macao – All Of It
How about bringing in New Year’s Vegas style? Nope, you don’t have to catch a flight to America. Asia has its very own mini Las Vegas! Macau is all things gamble and glitz. The city is vibrant all through the year with its extravagant hotels and casinos. Pack your luck along because you’ll be needing it this New Years! Tourists come here to win some and lose some. The chances just double up on New Years. One of the best things to do here on NYE besides watching the fireworks at Nam Van Lake is to hit the casinos. For peace-lovers, Macau has a quieter side too. The Macau Peninsula is where you can explore Chinese & Portuguese culture. The temples, museums and other historic sites give you a glimpse of the rich cultural history of Macau. The cafes and colonial buildings represent the presence of a strong Portuguese influence. The adventure-seekers can head to Macau Tower and take a giant leap! If you’re curious about the luxuries of life, take a tour of the Venetian! There’s plenty for each at Macau.
Take a ferry from Hong Kong to Macau: HK$ 130 – 170
Average Ticket Cost To Hong Kong: ₹ 21, 326 (One-Way, Post-Christmas)
7. Siwa, Egypt
Temples, tombs, pyramids and deserts – be Indiana Jones this New Years. Not a choice for many for NYE, but if you’re willing to ditch parties and countdowns for a new experience, then Egypt is the place to go. The land of the River Nile is blessed with various temples for you to discover. The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx are obvious choices for many. The deserts, the city ruins, the deadly Red Sea, and so many artefacts of ancient times – Egypt is the land for explorers. Adventure seekers can head to Dahab for windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkelling and more. Siwa (a desert Oasis), Alexandria (strong Greek influence), Luxor (ruins of Pharaonic Age), Al-Qasr (1000-yr-old mud houses), Aswan (souks, Nubian villages, the river Nile) – are some the must-visit towns. And for New Year’s Eve? Well, cruising on the Nile is the perfect way to bring in 2018!
Average Ticket Cost: ₹ 19,681 (One-Way, Post-Christmas)
Maldives and a budget. They don’t seem to mix well. But crystal clear waters, atolls, white sand beaches, the sun gilding on your face while you sip on cocktails, a hammock, and the hope of a New Year – these things seem to blend well. Sure, the overwater villas, ocean views, gourmet seafood are the best ways to experience the exotic island. And to do so on New Year’s, it’s not thing short of unforgettable. But if luxury beach resorts don’t fit in your budget, experience the other side of Maldives. The waters are the same, the beaches as white, and the food that delicious, only thing you need to change is your stay. Islands that do not house beach resorts have comparatively cheaper stay options. Since the island’s population is majorly Islamic, drinking is limited. You, your BAE by your side, the beach and the waters. Add to that, exploring the enormous marine life of the Indian Ocean. Maldives has numerous diving spots where you can discover a large amount of aquatic life and corals. What more do you need to ring in 2018? This should be just about fine.
Average Ticket Cost: ₹ 15, 805 (One-Way, Post-Christmas)
Aquamarine waters, sandy beaches and lively streets with good music – Mauritius gives you the best of both. This island nation has its share of rain-forests, beaches, hiking trails and wildlife, but the capital city of Port Louis is bustling with people and things to do. You can spend your afternoons by the beach, lazing under the shades of palm trees, while the nights can be reserved for music, dancing and drinking. On New Year’s Eve, Port Louis turns into a party-hub with numerous beach parties, fireworks and a mix of pop and reggae music. Those who prefer finer things in life can choose from the many luxury resorts that host NYE parties with live entertainment and gala dinners!
Average Ticket Cost: ₹ 18, 883(One-Way, Post-Christmas)
Diverse, contemporary, cultural, megastructures and heritage – all of these things make Shanghai a popular tourist destination. This global financial centre is booming with life all through the year. During New Year’s, it is exuberant than ever. The beautiful Shanghai Skyline, laser lights and fireworks are best seen from Bund Promenade. If you’re not up for a public celebration, you can head out to Yong Kang Road. The street is lined up with many affordable bars. For a real Chinese experience, hit up the Karaoke Bars! The Chinese love Karaoke as much as we love Chai. A one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve is to watch the midnight parade, where extremely talented acrobats showcase their skills. French Concession, a melting pot of cultures with many cafés, museums and art galleries is for those looking for a finer things in life. Or if you want to splash some cash, get some retail therapy at Shanghai’s luxury stores! Be it partying in the hippest clubs, visiting the old town, watching the parade and the fireworks or singing through the night, you’ll never have a dull NYE in Shanghai!
Average Ticket Cost: ₹ 20,114(One-Way, Post-Christmas)
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