What to do: New Year’s Eve in China

Since it is only 3 weeks until the end of 2016, I thought it would be a great idea to reminisce about last year’s NYE adventures in China. This adventure was a not a very positive one though. It was still a fun evening, but it was a bit different from what we expected.

First of all, the western NYE is not really celebrated in China. There are no fireworks nor parties. Even in big cities like Beijing or Shanghai everything is very subtle and not as crazy as in other countries. I guess Hong Kong would be the best choice but if you want the experience to be in Mainland China, then Beijing comes closest.

We were actually thinking about going to Shanghai, but that was almost impossible. Thus, we decided on a closer destination, namely Hangzhou the place that is famous for its West Lake. We organized a huge group with a lot of friends who joined us. We also looked for hostels and booked a nice one which was way nicer than all the hostels we have stayed at in Hangzhou before.

We managed that everyone met up at the hostel. Quickly we got changed into our dresses and went out for dinner.
The food was amazing, but our table neighbours were very loud and rude so we couldn’t understand each other which was not very good since we were playing some chinese drinking games.
When we finished all our food and drinks and had enough of the noisy people next to us, we decided to leave and slowly get going to the place where we should be able to watch the firework.

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Before and After the New Year

Our friend told us that there was a place where we should be able to see a firework display show so we went there. It was kind of far and none of the taxis would take us there because the area was closed and there was too much traffic. We didn’t want to walk there so we decided to take a taxi from another corner and they agreed to take us. It is always a struggle to find a taxi in Hangzhou, in my opinion the city with the worst taxi drivers in China I have been to.

Upon arriving, we realized that we were not the only people there, looking for the firework. It was already 11pm and everyone was hurrying through the area. It was like a maze and it was really confusing to figure out where to go. We just followed the mass and found ourselves in a round circle amidst some tall buildings. We waited and waited and sipped on our drinks all the time. It was quite freezing since we were only wearing tights with our dresses. Our feet were hurting from all the walking as well but it was only a few minutes until midnight. Suddenly, there was a lasershow which wasn’t really a show but only some green and white lasers searching the night sky. We thought the firework would follow after that but there was nothing. Everyone was waiting, looking up at the sky just to get disappointed. It was a huge disappointment and we couldn’t believe that we walked all the way to see nothing basically. It was the biggest joke of a NYE I ever had.

We were still not in the worst mood and decided to take some funny photos.

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Our friend had a beauty cam app. Everyone in china has something like that :’D

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Anyway, we still wanted to go clubbing which was close to the place the firework should have happened. I forgot the name of the club but it was new and supposed to be quite fancy. We ended up being seperated, some of us not being able to get passed the bouncers. It was frustrating. We were sending messages back and forth to get out and go to another club. We managed to stick together, find enough taxis and walk to Queens Club which was finally a proper club. The drinks were only a bit expensive and the dancefloor was packed but we still had fun, at least the part of the group that was left :’D Some of us have left for the hostel but we stayed 1 or 2 hours longer.

If you wanna see some typical, fancy chinese clubs, here you go:

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Towards the end of the night, when we were trying to find the toilet you can see on the picture above, I tripped over a step in the darkness of the club and nearly fell right on my face if a huge chinese guy hadn’t caught me with one arm. He practically saved my life :’D I think that was the highlight of the night. It is just so nice to know that there are friendly strangers who don’t make a big deal about helping other people :)

Before left the club and went back to the hostel, we found a balloon man and bought 2 helium balloons which were sticking to our hostel room ceiling when we got back :’D

In the end it was a fun evening with a difficult start to it. So if you don’t wanna be disappointed like we were, make sure to go to an official NYE party. Your best source might be an official wechat page you can stick to.

The next morning, we checked out and still had a little bit of time to spend the first day of the new year strolling through Hangzhou. We had lunch at a fish restaurant which was extremely yummy. And then we went to the famous shopping street and looked into all the stands with touristy stuff. I bought small wooden keychains for my parents in which I could let words engrave. I wanted the man to engrave family. It consist of 2 characters so one part I would give my father and it would have his name at the back and the other one to my mom with her name at the backside.

My friends also got some wooden engraved keychains for family and friends. It is an awesome gift and I would recommend all of you to get something like that as a souvenir or a gift.

We also walked into some other stands and shops and I fell in love with some bamboo umbrellas I saw:

In the early evening we slowly had to say goodbye to the wonderful and sunny new year’s day weather and headed back to Yuyao.

It wasn’t the best new year’s eve I have had, but it was not the worst either. Plus I got to spend it with some new friends I have met for life.

So what about you guys? Do you have any plans for this NYE? Have you ever had a disappointing NYE like we did last year?

Thanks for travelling with me!

 

 

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