Spending the festive season overseas - Alvinology

Spending the festive season overseas

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Spending the festive season overseas - Alvinology
Festive lights along Lan Kwai Fong

I don’t normally attend New Year countdown events.

But a couple of years ago, I decided on a lark that Hong Kong was perhaps a good place to usher in the New Year.

So just days before the event, I bought a set of air tickets from Tianjin to Shenzhen, from which I would take a bus to Hong Kong (it’s much cheaper than flying directly to Hong Kong).

On New Year’s Eve, I arrived in Hong Kong just hours before the countdown event along Victoria Harbour.

Spending the festive season overseas - Alvinology
Making my way to the New Year Countdown

After putting down my bags at the guesthouse, and grabbing a quick dinner, I made my way to the area around the Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower, where there were performances by TVB artistes.

Except, it seemed like everyone had the same idea.

When I arrived there at around 7pm, a full five hours before the New Year, the area was already packed.

From where I stood, I could only see the back of the stage, so there goes any hope of catching the performances.

But I can still see across the harbour, and that means I can still catch the fireworks at midnight, so I decided to wait around the area.

Spending the festive season overseas - Alvinology
TVB actor-host Patrick Dunn

The five hours went by very very slowly.

I was alone, so I’d lose my spot if I left the area, even for a toilet break.

And while others around me were happily chatting away, I could only stare at my watch and hope that the hours and minutes pass by more quickly.

Spending the festive season overseas - Alvinology
Festive lights in Tsimshatsui

Finally, I can sense a surge in the energy levels from the crowd.

The sense of anticipation was heightening, as the hour drew closer.

Those who were sitting on the floor got up to their feet, and everyone pressed forward.

As if on cue, everyone started taking out their mobile phones and cameras.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

The cameras started clicking away.

Happy New Year!

Spending the festive season overseas - Alvinology
Hong Kong’s New Year Countdown event

Across the harbour, fireworks whooshed out from the skyscrapers and erupted in a kaleidoscope of colours.

The people around me broke out in song, exchanged greetings and wished each other Happy New Year.

All the while, the fireworks were lighting up the night sky.

Spending the festive season overseas - Alvinology
Cameras snapping away

After a good ten minutes or so, the fireworks display finally came to an end.

And people started streaming out of the area.

Nathan Road, which is usually a busy thoroughfare, was closed to traffic on that night.

And the merrymakers walked to the road – singing, dancing and snapping pictures.

All in all, an interesting way to usher in the New Year.

But next time round, I’ll probably spend it with family or friends.

Spending the festive season overseas - Alvinology
Nathan Road after the New Year Countdown

So are you thinking of spending the festive season overseas this year?

And if so, where are you planning to spend NYE?

Spending the festive season overseas - Alvinology
Christmas tree adorned with 144,000 Swarovski crystals – Queen Victoria Building, Sydney

This is my last blog post of the year.

Before I sign off, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody!

See you all in 2015!

Cheers,

Jeremy

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