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New Year's Eve in Bangkok | © Nik Cyclist/Flickr
New Year's Eve in Bangkok | © Nik Cyclist/Flickr
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The 8 Best Places to Spend New Year's Eve in Southeast Asia

Picture of Kyle Hulme
Updated: 29 June 2018
Wherever you are in the world, and whatever the timezone, you can count on the fact that you won’t be too far from an awesome party for New Year’s Eve. If you happen to be travelling around Southeast Asia at this time of year, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to places and ways to celebrate. From beachside parties to sophisticated rooftop bars, here are the best places to spend New Year’s Eve in Southeast Asia.

Bangkok, Thailand

Despite Thailand’s new year actually being celebrated in April, they still pull out all the stops to party on December 31st. A great place to be in Bangkok on this date is by the Chao Phraya river, where you’ll have a great view of a firework show that’s so creative and grandiose that it could be considered a work of art. If you’d rather have a bird’s eye view, there are plenty of great rooftop bars to enjoy the displays from, or if you’d rather drink than see the fireworks then the backpacker haven of Khao San Road is also a great choice.

New Year’s Eve in Bangkok
New Year’s Eve in Bangkok | © Nik Cyclist/Flickr

Chiang Mai, Thailand

The most beautiful element of New Year’s Eve being celebrated in Chiang Mai is undoubtedly the release of the lanterns. Every year, thousands upon thousands of candle-lit lanterns are released around Chiang Mai in order to bring about good luck for the new year. The sight of the candles illuminating the night’s sky and drifting off towards the mountainous highlands is one that isn’t forgotten easily, and might be a welcome break from some of the usual NYE festivities. Of course, there’ll be live music and Thai dancing to keep you entertained, and plenty of drinks too.

Lanterns fill the sky in Chiang Mai
Lanterns fill the sky in Chiang Mai | © Mark Fischer/Flickr

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Thailand’s most famous beach party, the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, is the best option for those who wish to spend their New Year’s Eve partying away in paradise. With a number of internationally-recognised DJs playing tracks to thousands of happy revellers on the beach, it blends the feel-good spirit of NYE seamlessly with the island lifestyle of Thailand, creating a night you won’t forget in a truly stunning location. Throw cheap drinks into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a party.

Full Moon Party
Full Moon Party | © Thomas Suazedde/Flickr

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The best place to enjoy the New Year festivities in Kuala Lumpur is KLCC park. With scenic fountains, lakes and at the feet of the iconic Petronas Towers, it’s the perfect place for families and friends alike to enjoy the fountain and firework shows amidst of backdrop of impressive skyscrapers. If you’re after more of a party vibe, Changkat Bukit Bintang has a number of bars and pub to enjoy a drink or two in. Kuala Lumpur’s equivalent of Times Square, there’s never a dull moment here and it’s a great place to party with the locals.

A firework explodes besides the Petronas Towers
A firework explodes besides the Petronas Towers | © Shanim Sainul/Flickr

Singapore

For a fantastic fireworks show, make sure you head down towards Marina Bay. Here you can catch sight of the famous Marina Bay Sands hotel, Supertree Grove and Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel lit up by the dazzling display, all for free. It will be extremely busy the closer you get, so to enjoy the show without having your personal space too violated make sure to head to the Bay East Garden for a panoramic view that’s simply out of this world.

New Year by the Bay
New Year by the Bay | Fisher Chia/Flickr

Bali, Indonesia

Bali has long been known amongst travellers as one of the places to go and truly let you hair down, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint on New Year’s Eve. Ku De Ta is the place to be; the roads close as a giant beach and street party forms, and party-goers dance into the night and long into the morning. Bali’s idyllic beach settings sure beats singing Auld Lang Syne in your nan’s sitting room, and this tropical paradise is certainly a better place to nurse a hangover than your sofa.

Ku De Ta
Ku De Ta | © Sharad/Flickr

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam’s New Year, or Tet, doesn’t start until February but you can still count on a big party to be found on the streets of Saigon at the end of December. District 1 is a popular location as it’s home to some great nightclubs, but for a more sophisticated way to toast to a “new year, new you”, you might want to head to one of Ho Chi Minh’s many rooftop bars. Chill Skybar has great views of the city and of any fireworks, as well as tasty drinks and talented DJs to keep you going long into the night.

Enjoying a firework display in Ho Chi Minh City
Enjoying a firework display in Ho Chi Minh City | © Quinn Mattingly/Flickr

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is undoubtedly the place to be for New Year’s Eve in Cambodia. The famous Pub Street sees all the surrounding bars and alleyways merge into one big open-air nightclub, full of happy revellers dancing the night away and awaiting the countdown. With travellers and locals alike joining in the festivities, there’s no better place to be in Cambodia at this time of year.

Welcome to Pub Street! Maybe one, two or three beer 😉 📷 @cumbicao

A post shared by Beautiful Cambodia (@beautifulcambodia) on

Siem Reap is undoubtedly the place to be for New Year’s Eve in Cambodia. The famous Pub Street sees all the surrounding bars and alleyways merge into one big open air nightclub, full of happy revellers dancing the night away and awaiting the countdown. With travellers and locals alike joining in the festivities, there’s not better place to be in Cambodia at this time of year.