Celebrating Chinese New Year

We already have clients booking their trips for Chinese New Year in Asia! Folks are getting ready for this wild lunar week, starting February 10, 2013. Call us now to book, because flights and hotels are already filling up!

photo by Benj Roberts

Hong Kong is a wildly popular destination for the Lunar Year due to its fantastic fireworks displays over Victoria Harbor. Want to join in the fun but need to avoid the crowds? Still not sure where to go? Here are some of the great alternative spots to catch the festivities:

1) Beijing

Where else to catch the festivals at their finest than the capital of China, Beijing? With a dizzying myriad of fireworks, acrobats, tours, parades—here there’s no end to the sights, dazzle, and fun activities. Visit a temple for a true immersion into culture, and catch exhibits of feasts, art exhibits, tea ceremony demonstrations, dragon dances, and other entertainment.

photo by tanakawho

2) Bangkok

During the New Year, the wild metropolis of Bangkok is teeming with celebrations, red paper lanterns, and colorful decorations. Travelers can enjoy the Southeastern slant on this dynamic festival—from acrobatics and firecrackers, to dragon parades and street fanfares. Pay your respects to the gods at Leng Noei Yi Temple. Dress up in your best red attire, purchase a gold coin in Chinatown for good luck, and eat at a traditional noodle house.

photo by Chelsea Hicks

3) Bali

Festivities in Bali, though more modest, are no less enthusiastic. Families typically celebrate at home, where they clean their houses of any bad luck, and prepare traditional meals together. Special dishes, such as egg skin dumplings, are thought to usher in good fortune. In the cities, festivities center around small parades, dragon dances, and the lantern festival. For a special treat visit the Buddhist temple in Kuta the Vihara Dharmayana.During thefestival the temple is dressed in red lanterns and colorful masks, with dance performances and tasty feasts for all visitors to share.

photo by Trevor Mills

4) Malaysia

Nearly 24% of Malaysians are Chinese, and so the air is ripe for New Year celebrations. Families usually head home to spend time with their loved ones in the country, but that’s not to say there aren’t festivities abound in Kuala Lumpur. The week of festivals is all about food and dance in the capital. Catch a lion dance, a parade around town, see the midnight firecrackers, or go on a shopping spree, as many retailers hold sales during the week. Enjoy Chap Goh Meh, the 15th day of the New Year, when unmarried women will toss tangerines into the waters and wish for husbands. Head up to Penang, perched on the Malacca Strait, to see this in full blown action.

photo by tanakawho

5) Singapore

The Chinese New Year in Singapore is a conglomerate of festivities, nighttime performances, dancing competitions and more. Vendors set up nighttime stalls and red lanterns in magical night markets. Families clean their home of any bad fortune. Head over to Chinatown, the center of the festival, where decorations are abound and street troupes mesmerize you with their lively acrobatics. Don’t miss the Chingay Parade to view its vividly colored floats, multiethnic dancers, and spectacular Fire Party.

photo by Bridget Coila

Heading to Asia for the festivities in February? We’re already booking clients for winter and spring travel! Ask our agents about their firsthand experiences in Asia. Call us at 503.224.0180.

1 Comment

Filed under Asia, Bali, China, Malaysia, News, Singapore, Thailand

One response to “Celebrating Chinese New Year

  1. Can’t go in February 2013? Consider joining our Walking Softly trip to China in October 2013. Let your Willamette agent know if you are interested. This trip begins in Xi’an, but we suggest you consider adding Beijing and/or Shanghai to the trip before or after. From Xi’an we travel the Silk Road north and northwest, to the border with the “Stans”! Stay in Dunhuang, Urumqi, and Kashgar, ride a camel in the desert, see the end of the Great Wall, view amazing museums, have lunch in a yurt with a shepherd, ride a horse with views of the Tian Shan mountains, and more!

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