Now that Christmas is over, it's time to think about your New Year's Eve plans. If another overpriced countdown dinner at a hotel or fancy restaurant sounds really boring, then read on and check out what various local personalities consider their all-time most memorable ways to bring in a New Year.
Founder, Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation
I left the UK in 1985 to travel to Asia with my partner, Peter. I had never been outside Europe before and found the experience quite daunting. We spent our first Christmas and New Year away from home in Bangladesh of all places. On New Year's Eve, we set off on an overloaded boat down the Ganges for a three-day trip. We were doing things on the cheap so we thought we'd save money by not getting a cabin and just sleeping out on the deck with most of the passengers. What we hadn't bargained for was the interest we would cause. Bangladesh did not have a thriving 'tourist trade'. We were tall and blonde and very much a novelty. For three days - which turned into five when we got grounded on a sandbank for 36 hours - we were gawked at and prodded by the entire boat's population eager to meet a 'foreigner'. Fortunately, I love an audience. I was sitting on top of a 10-foot-high pile of mattresses surrounded by hundreds of Bangladeshis with all eyes on me. What a great way to spend New Year.
Founder, Life of Circle
New Year's Eve is a reminder for me to push myself and to think back to what I have accomplished throughout the past year. Am I closer to my dream? Am I closer to not worrying about the business, or do I have the time to be a tracker or a wildlife reserve guide on the mainland? My favourite place where I spent the New Year was in the Laohu Valley in South Africa, witnessing the first south China tiger student learning how to hunt in Africa. My wish is to be a guide and help tourists to have a glimpse of wild tigers in China. None exists anymore, but it will be back again through our effort in saving the south China tigers.
Director, Jilian Lingerie
Last New Year's Eve, I went diving in Sipadan in Sabah, Malaysia, with a group of close friends. It's one of the top 10 diving sites in the world, with abundant marine life like barramundi, black tip sharks, manta ray, sea turtles. It was so gorgeous. We went for a night dive just before the turn of the year, reading from our hi-tech dive watches we counted down 15 metres under water surrounded by beautiful fishes. It was such an exhilarating experience.
My most memorable New Year was in New York City in 2002. I had a good friend from school who was a presenter on E! Entertainment News and she took me to some of the hottest parties in the Big Apple. I met a lot of celebrities and a lot of people who I knew by face but not necessarily by name. I was especially excited to meet Mariah Carey, who has the most luminous skin on the planet. Then this guy comes up to me and thought I was Lucy Liu. He kept talking about how he liked seeing me on Ally McBeal and asked for my autograph. I tried to contain my laughter and my friend started to play along too. She whispered in the ears of some photographers so when the guy asked me for a photo, some of the paparazzi guys even came over and snapped our picture. It was fun to feel like a movie star for a few minutes.