Chinese New Year is fast approaching and since fireworks are banned in most places in Mainland China, Hong Kong is where people go to catch splendid firework displays. Usually, there’s a display on New Year’s Eve and also Chinese New Year. This year, the Chinese New Year show is going to be on January 29 at 8:00 PM.
You can catch the views from either side of the Victoria Harbor. The problem is… there’s usually a crush of people waiting to see the show as well. If you want a good spot along the waterfront, you have to stand there for hours before the show to reserve your place. In some extreme cases, people reserve their places as early as in the morning.
If you want to avoid the crush and enjoy the fireworks while celebrating with your friends, there are several ways to do it. I’ve researched some options last year when I was planning to catch the show so I’d like to share them with you.
OPTION 1: SPLURGE
If you have lots of cash to burn, then you can book a room or dine at one of the luxury hotels and restaurants by the harbor. For instance, Intercontinental Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui usually has some special offers during Chinese New Year. Moreover, it boasts an incredible view of the harbor. This way, you can comfortably watch the fireworks while enjoying a delicious meal, relaxing at the comforts of your own room, or drinking at one of Hong Kong’s best rooftop bars.
Budget for two people: Around HKD2,500
OPTION 2: COMFORT ON A BUDGET
For something a bit more affordable, you can book a Chinese New Year cruise with your friends. I haven’t tried this yet, but I think this could be interesting. Since you will be in the water, you will have an unmatched view of the fireworks since no buildings will be blocking your view. Based on some reviews, though, it seems that the food on these cruises is not so good so better just get the cheapest one and dine somewhere else.
Budget for one person: HKD145-500 (depending on the package you choose)
OPTION 3: SUPER SAVER (My choice)
Find a friend who lives in an apartment building with a rooftop view of the harbor. This way, you can all just go to the rooftop, have your own little private party, and enjoy the view FOR FREE! Fortunately for me, I had a friend staying in an apartment in Hung Hom with an accessible rooftop that was rarely used. The best (or scary) part is that there’s a billboard attached to the side where you can climb to get a better view of the harbor.
Budget: It depends! Bring booze and food to share! 😀
And so, I spent last year’s Chinese New Year watching the fireworks whilst drinking wine and standing against a giant billboard on the rooftop of a multi-story apart building. I actually have a slight fear of heights so my adrenaline was on overdrive the whole time. It was exhilarating and the view was gorgeous. Although some buildings were blocking our view, it lent a more interesting look to our photos because you can also see the skyline.
Do you have other tips about the best places to watch the firework displays in Hong Kong? Let me know in the comments section!