Hong Kong was the place I decided to spend NYE 2017 in. The cold weather, delicious food, and unlimited shopping options were the main reasons I stayed there for 7 days. It was my first time away from my crazy family’s new year tradition. See, our family does not scrimp on fireworks. We always have pretty fireworks lighting up the sky every new year’s eve. But, it has always been my dream to spend a holiday away from all that and experience it on my own.
I wasn’t really alone, though. I spent NYE with the best travel buddy and partner on Earth, Kennymae. In my mind, it was going to be an amazing experience, watching the fireworks from the bay, kissing at midnight, and drinking my heart out in LKF afterwards. The reality did not even scratch the surface of what I built up in my head.
We left our hotel at 8pm to go to the Harbour Bay. I was not expecting the massive crowd in the MTR and along the streets. The roads were already gridlocked and getting to the Harbour bay was a real life obstacle course. When we finally found a spot by 9pm, we realized that it’s still 3 hours until midnight so we walked to the nearest 7-Eleven and bought some beers. When we returned to our spot, it was brimming with people.
Finding another spot was a challenge but we did. Was it a good spot? It definitely was not. When the fireworks started, we only saw a quarter of what was going on. The whole thing was overshadowed by tall buildings and electric lines.
After the 15 minute fireworks display, we were so tired from standing up all night and decided to go back to the hotel. The police were managing the crowds and we were stuck there waiting for them to clear the barricades for at least a couple of hours. Worst of all, we walked all the way back to our hotel because we didn’t want to join the crowd in the MTR. It was not too far, though, our hotel was along Nathan Road but it was still exhausting after standing up all night.
My grumpiness probably ruined my NYE. Ken made it all better somehow. She made me laugh to take my mind off the long walk and tried to stay positive all throughout.
Spending NYE in a foreign country is no joke. You need to plan intensively and research the pros and cons. But the pros always outweighs the cons. I may have had an awful night, but the most important part was spending it with the one I love.
If you are contemplating doing it, don’t be swayed by my negativity and experience. Spending a few extra days in a country is always a learning experience. You learn about their ways, culture, and you find shopping spots! Also, it made me appreciate my family and my partner a whole lot. Traditions will always be there and it’s good to deviate once in a while. My week in Hong Kong taught me so much about being independent, eating cheaper, living in a tiny hotel, and loving another culture.
Maybe this year, we’ll be somewhere in Europe. Fingers crossed! 🙂