Friday, 17 February 2012

Chinese New Year Fireworks in Hong Kong

Do you know what makes travelling exciting for me?  I guess the normal reply you'd get from most people is something along the lines of 'when everything works out just right...'.  For me, it's usually the opposite.  It's 'satisfying' when things work out no doubt, but when events take a wild turn, that's when the biggest thrill usually occurs.

Several weeks ago, Hong Kong hosted the Chinese New Year Fireworks, which we shot off Victoria Harbour.

5 Best places to view Fireworks in Hong Kong:

1) TST (Kowloon side)
2) Wan Chai - (HK Island side)
3) Central - (HK Island side) - OUR SPOT THIS YEAR
4) North Point (HK Island side)
5) Along Victoria Harbour (Ferry)

Hong Kong hosts quite a lot of fireworks during the year and I had already seen them from TST.  I loved the view from this side so much that I just had to go back as it offered views such as these. But a group of us gathered for the celebrations and we all agreed that IFC (International Finance Centre - tallest building in the link above) would be even better, so we decided to stay on the Hong Kong Island side instead of join the crowds at TST (Tsim Sha Tsui).

We decided to venture up to the roof of IFC, a spectacular building which was completed in 2003.  It is now the second tallest building in Hong Kong following the ICC (International Commerce Centre) which opened in 2011.  See this link for photos of the ICC.  If you want to see the view from the ICC, then see this link.

The night went on, we braved the cold and had some snacks (well, maybe some of us ate a LOT) and waited *read: counted* down for the show to begin.  We were lucky that we came early, as it soon got packed.

And this.... is where the thrill began...  THE FIREWORKS exploded but we DIDN'T SEE them!  No matter where we went to on the roof, we just could not see them well.  Swarms of people started running around the rooftop, many almost slipping on the wet floor.  Some got up on backs, others pushed ahead to the front.  Somehow, the fireworks had been shot from a different position from where everyone anticipated.

So, deciding to take the risk and loose our spots, we rushed downstairs, flying down escalators until we felt dizzy.  It didn't matter.  We passed the apple store (which by the way, had a PRICELESS view!) and burst through the main glass doors out onto the footbridge.  It was packed to and people were pushing.  Somehow we secured some spots and sighed in relief as we saw the remainder of a spectacular 20 minute performance.  For those who have photographed fireworks at night will know how difficult it may be at times to get a good shot.  Believe it or not, these are all hand-held and I'm happy they turned out so well.



View from the Roof of the IFC


It was raining, check out the railing...


Note the ICC - it keeps changing patterns...


Best pattern so far...


And it BEGINS!


Smart, wish I could...


Most of the fireworks were to the left...


Now we take a chance and run from the roof downstairs...  By the way, think of the 'roof' as more of a 'terrace'...


Sky turned blood red!



My FAVOURITE PHOTO from the night!






Sometimes heads just... ruin photos...


again...






and again...













You better be taking photos!  Loving the 'BOKEH' from my camera!





And it all comes to an end in a spectacular last few seconds of random explosions...

Why don't you visit Hong Kong next time for an exciting fireworks display!  I promise that you will not be disappointed!  It's an amazing destination for tourists...

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Did you attend the show, if so where were you and how did you find it?  Comment below!
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