Go looney for the Lunar New Year and feast and firecracker the night away at these dreamy destinations.
Chinese New Year is upon us soon and we are all geared up for this blissful holiday and some good luck for the new year. It’s actually also the perfect time to experience Chinese New Year in other countries, as even Southeast Asia goes extravagant when we are about to hit the Spring Festival. Whether you’re on a lookout for a warm and romantic afternoon tea or love watching the dragon parades with festive scarlet decor on the streets, it’s time to welcome the new lunar cycle with friends and family on an inspiring trip. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best destinations in Southeast Asia to visit during this Chinese New Year 2020.
Want to experience the spirit of old Hanoi? Swing by the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi for a celebration of tea between the narrow streets of the Old Quarter-style market during 17-19 January 2020. Head down to the Tet (or Chinese New Year) market to enjoy the special culinary offerings — including authentic Vietnamese food, wine, craft beer, and souvenirs along with traditional-style Vietnamese houses that really create the Old Quarter vibe. Right down the hotel’s patio, the tea market at Metropole Hanoi will kick off on Friday 17 January with an opening ceremony featuring a traditional dragon dance. Get ready to indulge in some fiery feasts at The Metropole Hanoi’s special six-course Tet 2020 Gala Dinner at Spices Garden on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Think, grilled oysters with shallots and roasted peanuts, blue prawn in mild coconut soup, and braised Chinh fish with green banana. A wholesome way to embrace the holiday spirit.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, 15 Phố Ngô Quyền, Street, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam, +84 24 3826 6919.
We know Vietnam is on your top list with the countries’ incredibly beautiful landscape and rich character calling you to immerse in their local culture. At Azerai la Residence Hue, in Vietnam’s former imperial capital, Tet is marked in vibrant style. On the day of Chinese New year, kickstart your morning with the traditional lion dance and look out for the auspicious “lucky money” (called li xi in Vietnamese) gifted in those iconic red envelopes for good luck. Go to enjoy the traditional vibe, and stay for the “Taste of the Traditional Vietnamese Tet” menu ( approx. THB 1,372) that features a range of local delicacies — from Hue sea crab salad to grilled beef in betel leaf. Don’t forget to try the Vietnamese Banh Tet (a traditional Vietnamese glutinous rice cake) which is only served during Tet. This menu will be available from 23-31 January.
Azerai La Residence, Hue, 5 Lê Lợi, Vĩnh Ninh, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế 530000, Vietnam, +84 234 3837 475.
The Anam in Cam Ranh is a slice of authentic Vietnamese culture. Experience “Mama’s Cooking” by relishing in centuries-old recipes that have been handed down generations to maintain the Vietnamese classics. Try the bò nướng lá lốt (grilled beef in betel leaf), bún bò Huế (Hue-style beef noodle soup) and bánh xèo (crispy Vietnamese pancake), accompanied by refreshing salads and other treats — all at Lang Viet Restaurant. The highlights include dragon dances, Vietnamese instrumentalists performing T’rung (bamboo xylophone), đàn Tranh (36-string zither), and đàn Hồ (two-stringed vertical violin with a wooden resonator) never like before. Digging deep into art, witness the over 100 Vietnamese opera masks that will be showcased along with a Vietnamese calligrapher who will be there to write you down some good luck. Since you are there, don’t miss out on the Vietnamese street food buffet to get a taste of Tet, too.
The Anam Cam Ranh, Lot 3 Nguyen Thanh Tat Boulevard, Cam Hải Đông, Cam Lâm, Khánh Hòa 650000, Vietnam, +84 258 3989 499.
Nestled in the Balinese countryside, Tanah Gajah, a tranquil resort by Hadiprana (formerly known as The Chedi Club Ubud), will be hosting the ‘Art of the Lunar New Year’ amidst the thriving emerald-coloured rice fields. Welcoming the Year of the Rat, Friday 24 January evening will begin with sunset cocktails and canapés at the resort’s new Panen Padi Lounge. Kick back and soak in the traditional lion dance performance, and afterward, head to The Tempayan restaurant where Singaporean executive chef Dean and his culinary team will prepare for you a five-course Lunar New Year’s Eve dinner (approx. THB 2,670++ per person) in Chinese-inspired family style. The best part? Guests can participate in the floating candle ritual on New Year’s Eve for a year filled with good luck, health, and prosperity.
Tanah Gajah, Ubud, Tengkulak Kaja, Jl. Raya Goa Gajah, Kemenuh, Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia, +62 361 975685.
Not in the mood for a long-haul flight? There’s no denying that Bangkok is one of the best cities to celebrate any occasion — especially the lunar new year. Bangkok is also one of the few places where you can actually enjoy eating a butterly lump of durian to celebrate, too. Whilst durians are often banned at hotels here, the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit decided to make this spiky fruit the superstar of the show by offering a ‘Durian Lover’ afternoon tea set (THB 950++ per set for two) during Chinese New Year from 24th – 31st January, 2 pm-4 pm daily. Expect to indulge in 15 different sweets and savouries made from creamy durian, including dishes like durian sticky rice, durian strudel, and durian macaron. Head down to the hotel’s Sukhumvit Gallery and learn about the city’s most iconic street, Sukhumvit Road, with interesting and rare snaps of the pavement.
Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit, 1 Sukhumvit Soi 13 Rd, Khlong Toei Nuea, Khet Watthana, Bangkok, +66 2 098 1234.
If your idea of a Chinese New Year trip is sunbathing at a tropical beach, then the Banyan Tree Koh Samui is your ideal getaway. Your villa will have its own infinity pool and 24-hour butler service, so it might just be a heavenly spot for all sundowners. On the evening of 24 January, head down to Sands Restaurant where Chef Rainer will host a BBQ buffet on the beachfront (THB 2,020 nett per person) and enjoy the “8-Fires” cooking skills like hearths and flambes. The following day, indulge in your breakfast while watching the Chinese troupe performing the traditional Lion Dance.
Banyan Tree Koh Samui, 99/9 Moo 4, Maret Samui Lamai Beach Koh, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, +66 77 915 333.