The Hong Kong Tourism Board calls Victoria Harbour “the belle of the ball” for the BOCHK Hong Kong New Year Countdown Celebrations 2017, and rightly so. At about 10 pm a street party will kick off in the area around Star Ferry Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon) near Star House. Adding more vibrancy and excitement to a festival atmosphere that will have been building for hours already, live music by local artists will warm up the crowds of revelers as midnight approaches. From 11 pm to 11.45 pm at 15 minute intervals, a series of ‘shooting stars’ will set off from rooftops around Victoria Harbour for revelers to see and wish upon. Then, at the stroke of midnight, a fantastic display of fireworks and special effects will light up the sky over the harbour and the city’s iconic skyline in a breathtaking pyromusical to farewell 2016 and welcome 2017. Among the best vantage points from which to take in the dazzling show is along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Open Piazza and the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and, on Hong Kong Island, along the Central Harbourfront area, the area around Central Piers 9 and 10 and Golden Bauhinia Square in Wanchai. A New Year countdown cruise on the harbour itself is another option, with or without a dinner included in the cruise price.
The New Year countdown festivities on 31 December each year are the culmination of the annual Hong Kong WinterFest celebrations that begin in late November and envelop the city in a festive atmosphere throughout December with glittering decorations everywhere, buildings brightly lit up, shopping malls decked out in all their yuletide finery, restaurants serving festive dishes and the bustling streets even more bustling than usual. Coinciding with Hong Kong WinterFest is the nightly Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light Show, an exhilarating spectacle of music and illuminations that can be enjoyed at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Open Piazza. Up until 28 December 2016 the show takes on a festive theme to add to the holiday celebrations. There are four show times, with each session about eight minutes long – at 8.20 pm and 9.15 pm (English version), 8.45 pm (Cantonese) and 9.45 pm (Mandarin). Another key attraction during Hong Kong WinterFest is the Statue Square Christmas Tree in Central on Hong Kong Island, where visitors can hang ‘Love Locks’ (with sales going to charity) and soak up the joyous festive vibe. This is open throughout the festivities up to 1 January 2017 and includes extended opening hours til midnight on 24 and 31 December. Many hotels and serviced apartments in Hong Kong also join in the festive mood, offering holiday promotions and seasonal items at their in-house restaurants and sales outlets. A good number of these are located close to the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) network, which is a convenient and affordable way to travel around much of the destination. Some of the student accommodations in Hong Kong are also situated handy to the MTR, such as Campus Hong Kong which opened in 2015 offering stylish off-campus student housing in a picturesque setting on the South China Sea shoreline in Tsuen Wan (the New Territories). Guests staying here can use the complimentary shuttle bus that Campus Hong Kong operates to and from the local MTR stations, making it even easier to travel into the central city and Victoria Harbour. Campus Hong Kong offers accommodation in two categories, these being Bed – a shared dormitory – and Room – a private room for four students with four individual beds. And when not relaxing or studying in these comfortable student apartments in Tsuen Wan, guests have a range of facilities on hand including Anchor’s Seafood & Beer House, a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness centre, the Leisure Space with complimentary computer stations and open air swimming pool (in summer).