Finding out all about the Eve
Not into clubbing? Annabel Walker gives a rundown of the most popular New Year's Eve events
The Big Apple event at Times Square is as close as you're going to get to the New York experience. Hong Kong's own New Year's Eve fun starts at 8.30pm with an onstage show of computer games, followed by a live Canto-pop performance featuring Andy Hui Chi-on, Edmund Leung Hon-man, Gigi Leung Wing-kei and Leo Ku Kui-kei until the 11.59pm countdown. Expect confetti, balloons and fireworks, as well as a bit of a squeeze (organisers predict 50,000 people will turn up). Times Square Apple Countdown, Open Piazza, 8.30pm-12.15am. Inquiries: 2118 8988.
In a flap
It's called Steppin' Out, but steppin' back is more appropriate. Not to the 1970s, the staple era of retro parties, but to the roaring 20s and glamorous 30s. Dress in vintage flapper style and gaze down on one of the most dramatic views of Hong Kong. The set menu is $780, and the event runs from 8pm-2am, Cafe Deco, Level 1, the Peak Galleria. Inquiries: 2849 5111.
Spice and easy
Celebrate Hogmanay Thai-style at the Wan Chai venue that boasts day beds upstairs to flop into once you've eaten or drunk too much. Get 20 friends together for the party rate of $150 per person that includes an open bar and snacks, or enjoy champagne for $40 a glass all night. From 6pm until late, Klong Bar and Grill, Wan Chai. Inquiries: 2217 8330.
Don't sweat it
Rather than getting into a sweat over the usual New Year bar crawl, cut out the stress and head to Ooh La La on Lantau's Pui O Beach. Lie back to lounge music and cuddle up around the wood fires. When you get the nibbles, there's fondue: meat is $330 for two, cheese $220 for two, and chocolate $80 per person. 6pm-late. Inquiries: 9645 8871.
There's nothing like a good sing-song to see in the New Year. Forget tuneless renditions of Auld Lang Syne - nobody knows the words anyway - and watch the professionals in La Traviata. With the backing of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Opera Hong Kong Chorus and the Hong Kong Dance Company, Verdi's opera of a wayward woman with a heart of gold is performed in Italian with English and Chinese subtitles. Until January 4, 7.30pm, $120-$680. Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, TST. Inquiries: 2734 9009.
Forget the Fong
If you want to get away from the Lan Kwai Fong throng, the Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel could be what you and the kids are after. The five-star resort boasts three restaurants, with lunch and dinner buffets ranging from $148 for children to $488 for grown-ups during the New Year period. On New Year's Eve, there'll be a carnival atmosphere, with magic shows, stilt walkers, unicyclists and jugglers from 6.30pm, plus salsa and samba dancing taking you up to midnight. From 10pm, there will be an entry fee of $88 for children and $128 for adults, including two drinks. If you get pooped, promotional room rates mean a superior sea-view room will cost you $939 a night, and for each $1,200 spent you can enter the lucky draw to win a holiday to Singapore. Inquiries: 2452 8833.
Convinced this is going to be your lucky year? What better time to have a flutter on the horses than on New Year's Day, as Sha Tin holds the Chinese Club Challenge Cup, an annual event that's been running for almost 100 years. For entertainment value, a day at the races is a snip at $10 for entry, provided you don't gamble away all of your cash. Inquiries: 1817.