5 Ways to Ring in the New Year
Whether you're a sophisticate looking for the super-luxe or an adrenaline junkie seeking a thrill, we've got just the New Years Eve trip for you.
1. THE CLASS ACT
You have a deep appreciation of the finer things in life, like private planes and limited-edition sports cars. So when it comes to New Year’s Eve, you set the bar high. For a party with panache, Singapore’s our go-to city. This itinerary sticks to the classics for a night sure to appeal to your discerning sense of refinement.
• 6 p.m.
Sunset drinks on your own private catamaran. Let the crew freshen up your champagne flutes while you and a few dozen of your closest friends watch night fall on a cruise around the city-state. boatbookings.com
• 8 p.m.
Dinner at JAAN, a contemporary French restaurant with an eye-popping, 70-story view. For New Year’s, Chef Julien Royer has pulled out all the stops with a special menu featuring ultra-luxe dishes such as foie gras with black truffle, prawns with osetra caviar, and venison loin with blood orange. jaan.com.sg
• 10 p.m.
Cocktails at 1-Altitude, 282 meters above the ground for birds-eye perspective of the city. 1-altitude.com
• 12 a.m.
Head back to your room at the Ritz-Carlton Millennia Singapore for an intimate champagne toast and a front row seat to the firework display over Esplanade Bridge. ritzcarlton.com/singapore
Take a spin on the dance floors that have propelled Singapore’s
burgeoning nightlife to international fame.
After a long evening of being classy, you’ll probably need to refuel. If you make it past daybreak, Wild Honey in Scotts Square has a curative frittata packed with rosemary, white truffle oil, mascarpone and caviar. wildhoney.com.sg
2. THE MEGA-ADVENTURER
The only way you are wearing a tux is if it moisture wicking. And you can do without the fireworks—what are a few sprays of light in the night sky when you’ve repelled into the mouth of a volcano, fought through white water rapids and scrambled up sheer cliff faces. We’re impressed, but we’re not daunted. We still have a New Year’s Eve we think you’ll like. For a death-defying daredevil like you, we pick Nepal. Take 2013 to towering new heights in the Himalayas and spend the day summiting Kala Patthar, or “black rock” in Nepali and Hindi. From this vantage point you’ll be looking down at the clouds, encircled in the jagged white peaks of the famed mountain range, with Everest’s elusive apex almost within reach. What better landscape to set the scene for the year ahead?
Where to stay
The ascent begins at Gorak Shep, at 5,164 meters. it isn’t so much a town as it is a collection of small lodges, but it will provide a welcome place to rest after a long day’s trek. Snow Land Highest Inn (snowlandhighestinn.com) provides simple and cozy accommodations, along with hot meals and climbing gear, if you need it.
How to do it
The simplest way to hammer down an itinerary is to enlist the help of a tour operator. Snowy Horizon (snowyhorizon.com), Buddha Nepal Trek (buddhanepaltrek.com) and iTrekNepal (itreknepal.com) all offer New Year’s Eve packages for treks through the Himalayas.
3. THE SEAFARER
For you there’s no smell more intoxicating than salt air; no sound more alluring than crashing waves; no sight more bewitching than the rolling expanse of open sea. You are a salt dog and you belong out on the briny deep. So what better way for you to navigate into the new year than on the deck of a 180 meter long ship. If you’ve got the time, embark on a 14 day New Year’s Eve high sea voyage through the waters of Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Azamara (azamaraclubcruises) cruise liner is tricked out with two stately restaurants, spa facilities, butler service, cafés and sunning verandas, so while you are in the middle of the ocean, you’re still afloat in the luxuries of home (for those of you with a butler at home). The big eve will find you in Sihanoukville, Cambodia and as the clock strikes midnight all aboard will gather for a wild poolside party on the main deck, complete with a live band that’s sure the get the boat rocking.
4. THE RAIL-RIDER
You long for that rhythmic clickety-clack of a locomotive on its tracks. Sure there are faster ways to get around, but none capture your imagination like the anachronistic overnight passenger train. Accommodation, transportation and experience all rolled into one speeding mammoth metal bullet. Of course on a night like New Year’s Eve you’ll want something a little more upscale than your standard choo choo, and for that there’s the Orient Express (orientexpress.com). The private cabins, with interior walls made of cherry wood and elm burr panels, with fine attention paid to the inlay details and haute décor, make for a ritzy ride. Watch the scenery roll by as you pass from country to country and year to year on the four-day journey from Singapore to Bangkok. The night of December 31 is celebrated in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, Thailand, with a special dinner followed by a beach party, with music, champagne, fireworks and all manner of revelry.
5. THE SUN-WORSHIPPER
If you have a tan year round and everything you own is marked with that tell tale gristle of sand, this is a no brainer. Beach party! In Southeast Asia the beach party is like the firecracker of New Year’s Eve bashes it seems so simple and yet inspires such joy (until somebody loses a finger). Beers, bikinis, beats and beach. You just can’t argue with that kind of alliteration. But there are so many beautiful coasts, the tricky part of the equation is narrowing it down to one. So what if you take a step back and attack it again from another angle? Instead of watching the sun go down at after dark danceathons like those in Koh Pha Ngan in Thailand, Sentosa in Singapore and Kuta in Bali, follow the sunrise instead. The Homigot Sunrise Festival on Pohang Beach in South Korea is a celebration of the dawn how rife with symbolism is that? Perfect for all the sentimental pondering required as you bid farewell to 2012. If that isn’t enough to get you drafting haikus, there are also two giant stone sculptures shaped like human hands, one stretching out from the sea and one on land, known as the Hands of Harmony, to inspire your poetic streak. Don’t worry it isn’t just about tranquility and the first blush of new light; there’s booze and debauchery too. In fact, the party goes all night long with dancing, cultural performances and fireworks at midnight. But the grand finale is the sun peaking out from under the blanket of ocean, marking the dawn of a new year. This beach, on the far eastern coast of Korea, will be the first in the country to ring in 2013, and each year the celebration draws around 10,000 visitors eager for the head start. (eng.ipohang.org)