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Victoria Harbour Hong Kong
Photograph: Shutterstock

Alternative ways to celebrate the New Year

Because clubbing and watching the fireworks is off the books this year

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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We might have no luck with fireworks and counting down with the crazy crowds at Lan Kwai Fong this year, but we’ve certainly waited too long to say ‘thank u, next’ to 2020 without some sort of celebration. Socially distanced we may be, there are still a lot of great things to do around Hong Kong, or in the comfort of your home. So if house parties and window shopping are getting a little too banal for you, try these alternative ways to end your 2020 with a bang. By Elaine Wong

RECOMMENDED: For those preferring something a little more mainstream – but nonetheless fantastic – check out the brand new restaurants and the best things to do in Hong Kong this month. If you're looking for more off the beaten path experiences? Venture out to some of Hong Kong’s secret islands, or add these unexpected activities to your bucket list.

Please note that some venues may temporarily close because of the latest social distancing regulations. Be sure to check ahead before visiting and heed the social distancing guidelines, particularly when heading out in groups.

Witness the last sunset of the year
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Hangraffiti

Witness the last sunset of the year

Characterised by a conglomerate of urban skyscrapers, jam-packed against the sky and overlooking the Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong’s skyline may very well be one of the most iconic and postcard-worthy sceneries in the world. To take truly memorable sunset pictures for the ‘gram, head to

the best spots in the city to catch the sunset like The Peak, the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter, or hike to High West (Sai Ko Shan). For the ultimate romantic experience, have a picnic under the stars with your partner at West Kowloon Art Park.

Catch the first sunrise of 2021
Photograph: Courtesy cc/flickr/leo.wan

Catch the first sunrise of 2021

If the thought of getting in touch with nature (waterfalls, anyone?) while embracing the first rays of the new year sounds idyllic to you, look no further – we’ve got it all planned out for you. Whether you’re a morning person who prefers to get a good night’s sleep before waking up nice and early or a night owl who likes to stay up partying until the wee hours, our round-up of night hikes, as well as sites for stargazing, camping, and glamping would give you plenty of ideas for your sunrise itinerary. For an active start to 2021, try these short hikes and walks on January 1. For those looking for even lesser-known routes in Hong Kong, check out these heritage trails and alternative hikes.

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Cruise along the Victoria Harbour
Photograph: Courtesy Marcel Lam

Cruise along the Victoria Harbour

 

Since few of us have managed to cruise along 2020, New Year’s Eve may just be the prime time to get on a boat and wave goodbye to this rather treacherous year. While there will be no countdown and fireworks at the Victoria Harbour, the show goes on for the Symphony of Lights every evening, so join our Victoria Harbour Cruise Tour (from $230/head), or the Harbour Cruise Bauhinia with a dinner buffet (from $470/head). Aqua Luna also offers a range of cruises (from $210) on its traditional Chinese junk boat. However, as the current social distancing restrictions have been greatly affecting boat parties and cruises, be sure to check beforehand if the events are due to proceed.

Enjoy a tipple at home
Photograph: Shutterstock

Enjoy a tipple at home

With the virus still raging across the city, it’s probably best to stay in and let your hair down this New Year. Set up a bar at home, stock it up with your favourite liquors, and you’re good to go. If you’d like some bartending inspirations, browse through our collection of recipes for DIY cocktails. Get alcohol and cocktails delivered straight to your door to avoid having to go out, and don’t forget to grab some grub to pair with your drinks.

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Escape the hustle with a staycation
Photograph: TA

Escape the hustle with a staycation

Whether you’re trying to steer clear of holiday crowds, or simply tired of staring at the same four walls at home, you’d benefit from some peace and quiet at a relaxing staycation. Apart from trying out The Hari Hong Kong which has just opened this month, there are a variety of staycation packages out there to cater to your every need. From wellness staycations and gourmet experiences to coastal getaways and pet-friendly hotels, you’ll be able to find the perfect refuge for yourself and your loved ones this New Year.

 

Run a movie marathon
Photograph: Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix

Run a movie marathon

The chilly weather always calls for a cosy night in with a cup of hot chocolate in hand and some good ol’ Netflix on the telly. Admit it, most of us wouldn’t have survived 2020 without Netflix, with all its fantastic new shows, foreign movies, and K-dramas. For some good vibes in time for 2021, binge on these feel-good films, comedies, Korean variety shows, and Studio Ghibli favourites, or host a Netflix party with your friends. We’ve also rounded up some of the most classic romcoms and crime thrillers in Hong Kong, the masterpieces by Stephen Chow, as well as an ultimate list of Hong Kong’s best movies so that you wouldn’t run out of things to watch this season.

 

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Make a fresh start with new wellness habits
Photograph: Shutterstock

Make a fresh start with new wellness habits

 

This one’s for the ‘new year, new me’ gang. While gyms are closed at the moment, it’s never too late to hop on the hiking bandwagon or to incorporate some healthy habits into your lifestyle. Don’t fret even if you’re just starting out – we’ve got your back with our compilation of the best local hikes for beginners, and if you need extra motivation, have a go at these Nintendo Switch programmes to up your fitness game, or head to these scenic spots for a jog. Get your friends to cheer you on when you post about cycling on these Instagrammable routes and attempting some quirky exercises. For those preferring to stay home, we recommend following these easy at-home workouts and complement your exercise regime with a cleaner diet.

 

For your well-deserved R&R

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