Chinese New Year is all about awaited family reunions, delicious feasts and thoughtful gifts. CNY is celebrated across the globe with much fanfare and is a festival which fills your heart with warmth, love, goodwill, and hope. With a wave of modernism touching the traditions, people are open to newer ways to celebrate. If you want to celebrate the festival with your family by taking them on a vacation, or are looking to witness the mammoth festivities the Lunar New Year brings along, why not go someplace which will give you the perfect festive flavour? Here are the top destinations you can visit to be a part of this beautiful festival.
The forever blingy and lively Hong Kong hits a new peak during Chinese New Year. While Hong Kong is all dressed in modern amenities and luxuries on the outside, its heart is still deeply traditional. From the lively and colorful parade in Tsim Sha Tsui to the mesmerising fireworks over Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong celebrates Chinese New Year with a lot of excitement. Its colourful flower markets and swarming temples add to the festive charm. What’s more? Your kids will love to see their favourite cartoon characters dressed in traditional Chinese attires at Disneyland Hong Kong and witness the energetic Dragon Parade. While that can be the highlight of your kids’ trip, why not let yours be winning some surprise money at a horse race or making a wish at the Well-Wishing Festival along with the locals.
Where to stay?
Stay at this luxurious, modern apartment in the heart of the city to catch all the action. If the nearby coffee shops, galleries, restaurants with world cuisine and parks are not enough to excite you, the sweeping sea-views from the high floor apartment sure will.
Sleeps: 6 people; Average price per night: PHP 10,723
2. Beijing, China
Visiting Beijing for Chinese New Year is like hopping onto an exciting cultural roller-coaster. Fireworks, temple fairs, and sports are the highlight of the festival’s celebration in the Chinese capital. Shop your heart out at a vibrant miaohui (temple fair) which have unending displays of local handicrafts, artifacts and delicacies. To take a break, watch one of the many cultural performances that are lined up throughout the day. Visit the Dongyue Temple fair for taking the perfect peek into Chinese culture and tradition.
Where to stay?
Enhance your Chinese New Year celebrations in Beijing by staying at this modern, fully-serviced apartment in the Chaoyang Central Business District, which is walking distance from two subway stations. The Fulicheng Gardens, where the apartment is, is a gated community providing guests a safe and secure environment when in Beijing.
Sleeps: 9 people; Average price per night: PHP 10,925
3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Red, red and more red! Chinese New Year is a much-awaited festival in Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur surely knows how to celebrate in style – by being painted in red. The city is dressed up in beautiful lanterns, vibrant lion dances and spellbinding firecrackers. Witness some lively lion dances inside shops as well. When in Kuala Lumpur, don’t miss visiting Chinatown’s Petaling Street area and gorging on and tossing some delicious Yee Sang (a raw fish salad) – the tossing ritual symbolises good luck.
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur?
Wake up to the magnificent view of the Petronas Twin Towers when you stay at this luxury apartment on the 32nd floor of a contemporary condominium! During your stay here, enjoy the tower’s infinity pool, jacuzzi, squash court, and many more fabulous services. The best part? The bustling Chinatown is a leisure stroll away.
Sleeps: 8 people; Average price per night: PHP 6,444
4. Penang, Malaysia
Fancy doing something different this Chinese New Year? Why not hop onto a hot air balloon with your loved ones and get a bird’s eye view of the beautifully decorated Penang city. You can start your memorable ride at Padang Polo, George Town on the eighth and ninth day of Chinese New Year. While you are there, don’t miss seeing the enthralling ‘Night Glow’ show and free-flying balloons. Apart from this adventure, Penang has loads to offer for Chinese New Year – lion dances, streets decorated with lanterns and delicious street food.
Where to stay in Penang?
To max up your experience, why not stay at this cosy apartment along the seafront promenade offering panoramic views of the sapphire sea and the Penang Bridge?
Sleeps: 3 people; Average price per night: PHP 2,195
Casinos, carnivals, and churches – Macau has it all! From trying your luck at some of the finest casinos to shopping at massive malls, your Lunar New Year celebrations in Macau can be diverse. However, the highlight of your trip will surely be the vivacious parade which can be witnessed on all the main streets of Chinatown. This never-ending parade with lively lions, dragons, and music will surely be fresh in your memories years after this vacation ends. Apart from this parade, there are many live street shows, dances, and bands that keep Macau buzzing throughout the festival. If you are seeking some adrenalin rush on your Macau trip, why not try bungee jumping from the 338-meter tall Macau Tower.
Where to stay in Macau?
To soak in the spirit of Macau, book this penthouse apartment close to Cotai Strip with 24-hour security. The owner might offer a discount on this apartment from time to time, so make sure you check it out before booking your stay in Macau.
Sleeps: 4 people; Average price per night: PHP 5,246
6. Yogyakarta, Indonesia
How about ushering in the Year of the Rooster in the beautiful Indonesian city of Yogyakarta this year? The Ketandan Chinatown of Yogyakarta is decorated beautifully in red and gold for the Chinese New Year or Imlek as they call it. Visit quirky shops and eat scrumptious street food, or just be a happy spectator watching the local soak in the festivities of karaoke competitions, fashion shows, puppet shows and the Barongsai – the Lion Dance. Also, don’t forget to say a little prayer for good fortune at the Poncowinatan temple nearby.
Where to stay in Yogyakarta?
If visiting Yogyakarta, staying at this villa – which is in fact a restored Javanese house could be a wise decision. It is located in a stunning location with a view over 100 hectares of ride paddies, surrounded by green hills. At just 10 – 15 minutes distance from the center of Yogyakarta, this could be the perfect abode to relax and unwind after soaking in the Lunar New Year festivities during the day.
Sleeps: 6 people; Average price per night: PHP 9,057
7. Shanghai, China
Only one word best describes Chinese New Year celebrations in Shanghai – Grand! Whether it is traditional or modern, people here know how to celebrate it in a majestic manner. To get a traditional and cultural feel of the new year, visit the ancient Longhua temple and ring the historic Buddhist bells which are believed to bring good fortune. To get a taste of the modern celebrations, head to Taiping Lake for an exciting countdown show or a live music performance. If you want to do the regular, a fabulous lion dance and amazing fireworks will just be around the corner.
Where to stay in Shanghai?
To enjoy the Chinese New Year thoroughly, stay at this freshly renovated loft in the heart of Shanghai. It is conveniently situated close to the metro line, a mall, and many restaurants. Fully equipped with all modern amenities, you’re certain to feel at home in this stylish loft during your Shanghai stay.
Sleeps: 5 people; Average price per night: PHP 9,515
8. Seoul, South Korea
The Lunar New Year or Seollal is a three-day celebration in Seoul. To soak in the real spirit of the festival, visit the colossal Gyeongbukgung Palace and the informative National Folk Museum of Korea which host many cultural programmes and events. Another fabulous place to catch all the cultural action is Namsangol Hanok village. In Seoul, you can also give a taste of winter to your children by getting them to ski as that will be the perfect season.
Where to stay in Seoul?
Since you will be in Seoul for Seollal, a traditional festival, ditch the impersonal hotels for a memorable stay in this traditional house. This little house with wooden elements looks like it is taken straight out of a Korean folktale. This newly decorated house is located close to Kyoungbok-gung palace and boasts of tranquility and a comfortable atmosphere.
Sleeps: 5 people; Average price per night: PHP 9,062
Spectacular aerial acts, mesmerising fireworks, live performances, vibrant floats, magnetic jugglers and so much more! You can enjoy the Chinese New Year to the fullest by witnessing the world-renowned Chingay Parade of Singapore. Be sure you grab your tickets soon! Also, visit Chinatown which will be at its liveliest best during the festival. Be a part of the exciting countdown party and amazed by the sheer grandeur of the lion dance competition. When in Chinatown, don’t forget to shop for knick-knacks and eat mouth-watering delicacies at the festive street bazaar.
Where to stay in Singapore?
Book this cosy apartment for your stay as it is located close to an MRT station making travelling very convenient. There are various malls and eateries close to the apartment too so you don’t need to give up on your gasto-adventures even once you’re back to the apartment.
Sleeps: 7 people; Average price per night: PHP 9,411
10. Manila, Philippines
Planning to go the Filipino way? You will surely witness a spectacular Chinese New Year celebration in the capital city. Head to Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown, to gorge on some amazing street food and drinks. The whole atmosphere is festive buzzing with some amazing rhythmic drums and the red lion dance. Don’t forget to shop for some souvenirs for friends and family back home as you have plenty of choices – from decorative jewellery to keepsakes and from candies to cookies.
Where to stay in Manila?
After an exciting yet exhausting visit to Binondo during the Lunar New Year, all you might need is to crash in this homely apartment which has a breathtaking pool and is completely secure. To keep the kids busy, there is a wave pool too!
Sleeps: 4 people; Average price per night: PHP 2,500
*Actual prices for your selected dates may vary from those shown above. Average prices per night are accurate as on the date of publishing.
HomeAway is the world leader in vacation rentals. The HomeAway network of sites represent more than 1.2 million listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries and is part of the Expedia group family of brands. Visit www.homeaway.com.ph or download the HomeAway Asia app to choose the ideal holiday homes and vacation rentals for your next holiday.