One of the reasons I came to Hong Kong almost a week early, for attending the Mad Asia Forum was to celebrate new year’s in this city. The city does put on a great show for the new year’s eve, with new year’s countdown at many places and a fireworks show on the skyscrapers of Honk Kong island which can be seen from the Kowloon side of the Victoria harbour.
So to experience this pyrotechnics show from the buildings in person, I went over to Tsim Tha Tsui water front with some friends. I knew the place and the metro ride to it would be crowded but the situation was worse than I had thought. It looked like the whole of Hong Kong with its population of 7 million had descended there for the celebration.
Despite going there at around 10:30, crowds had already gathered occupying the first few rows. Some were playing games, some were chatting and some were dry humping. Every half an hour from 11PM we would get to see a “blink and miss” fireworks display which would send the crowds cheering and hooting. Then came the much anticipated countdown followed by the display. The entire show can be a bit disappointing compared to the enthusiasm and the excitement before the show starts. Once the short fireworks display was over you are once again part of the rivers of humanity that flow towards the nearby metro stations. The police probably having the busiest day of their life cordoned off some areas and were controlling the human traffic by blocking and diverting streams of people.
Despite all the organized chaos and the feeling of being stuck in a huge never ending human traffic jam, the celebratory mood at the countdown is infectious and is definitely worth giving a try. I would prefer one of the buildings with a view of the fireworks next time probably. Do check out the video I took a couple of minutes after the countdown ended ( a bit grainy but manages to capture the fireworks display as well as the cheering crowds)