With under a month to go until Chinese New Year, now is the perfect time to plan your escape from Hong Kong and explore the sights and sounds of a brand new destination. To help you pick the best spot for your next big adventure, we pick the brains of our friends at Lazysuitcase, a website that helps English speaking Hong Kongers plan exciting holidays without facing all the hard work – and the language barrier.
1. Yangon, Myanmar
Myanmar seems to always be in the shadow of its more popular neighbour, Thailand. But Yangon — the largest city in Myanmar — does have its own charm, with a pretty well-connected train system to boot.
If anything, the view of the Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset alone looks beautiful enough to warrant a visit to the city. The large Chinese community in Yangon celebrates the special day with big dragon dances and temple festivals in Yangon China Town.
Travel time: 3.5 hours from Hong Kong direct
Check out this 3 day private tour of Myanmar
2. Da Nang, Vietnam
Touted as one of the twenty cleanest cities in the world and the most liveable city in Vietnam, Da Nang is a destination that you simply cannot afford to miss. Dovetailed with romantic Han River, featured with the seductive My Khe Beach, and backed by Ba Na Mountain.
Hoi An UNESCO World Heritage Site is a beautifully preserved small-scale trading port that boasts various constructions of different Asian cultures, among which Japanese Pagoda Bridge and Chinese Phuc Kien Assembly Hall are the most outstanding. Hoi An’s handicrafts and tailor-ship are renowned worldwide. The highlights of New Year’s Eve will be a lion dance, lantern parade, and flowered car parade to invite tourists to join the holiday.
Travel time: 2 hours from Hong Kong
Check flight deals to Da Nang
3. Sydney, Australia
No matter what your kids are interested in, Sydney is sure to have something on offer to keep them entertained. From great wildlife options to sporting events, educational museum exhibits and family-friendly shows, Sydney is just as much of a kid’s playground as it is an adult’s haven. Celebrate the Lunar New Year at City of Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival.
This vibrant arts festival has a program bursting with cultural events, markets, tours, exhibitions, and entertainment, most of them free. Be part of the fun as the city’s streets come alive with giant lunar lanterns and more. Don’t miss the extremely popular Dragon Boat Races that see the spirit and power of the dragon come alive as 12-metre long boats, with up to 20 paddlers, battle it out to the beating of drums!
4. Beijing, China
Intricately linked to its glorious, notorious past, yet hurtling towards a power-charged future, Beijing – one of history’s great cities – is as complex as it is compelling. There is a recommendation we would make for anyone visiting China in the winter. Go to Harbin.
Yes it is cold, but so is Beijing and anywhere else in the north of China. However, Harbin, in winter, holds the world’s largest Snow and Ice Festival. This is a spectacular event that is amazing to see. In addition to the festival, you have the special local culture with its curious mix of Chinese and Russian influences.
Travel time: 3 hours plus from Hong Kong
Book your hotel at great prices
5. Niseko, Japan
All areas have fantastic facilities for beginners: in Niseko village, after conquering the basics on the beginner area, do the rounds on the cleverly named ‘Next Stage’, then follow a confidence-boosting succession of greens from the Country Road chair, all the way back to base. Hanzano has less by way of green runs, but it does tend to be quieter – the 3.3km ‘Silver Dream’ beginner run is the longest run in the resort, ideal for building up a rhythm.
The other sectors have their fair share of greens too, with favourites including the tree-lined ‘Holiday’ in Hirafu, and ‘Paradise’ at the bottom half of Annupuri. Experts can dart down the short blacks from the top of the mountain, then link reds and blacks down to each of the villages. We love the ‘Misoshiru’ in Niseko Village – also known as Miso Soup – which somehow seems to be different every time you’re on it. The crazy thing about Chinese New Year is that the restaurants and hotels are bursting at the seams, but the ski hill is relatively peaceful.
Travel time: 4 to 5 hours from Hong Kong
Book your ski trip (with an English speaking guide)
Like what you see? Get in touch with Lazysuitcase and let them help you plan your adventure. They can help you find the best packages and prices to book, plan your itinerary, and give you the best tips to enjoy your chosen holiday spot to the fullest with their ‘city tips’ section.