Mon, 2019-02-04

Best Destinations In Asia To Visit For Free

During Lunar New Year

Experience Singapore’s River Hongbao to Hanoi’s Tet Nguyen Dan

From mainland China to South Korea, from Singapore to Sydney or anywhere in the world with a large Chinese diaspora, it’s the time of the year for you to eat till you pig out (although we advise that you watch those calories), gather with your family for the obligatory reunion dinner, go about your house visits collecting red paper packets filled with money while decked in full bold red.

But, if you are not into customary practices, here are the top destinations for an escapade to usher in the Lunar New Year in your very own style and still soak in the festive spirit. 

River Hongbao 2019, Singapore

Now till 10 February 2019, The Float @ Marina Bay

Free Admission

Photo: River Hongbao Facebook

Running as the 33rd edition of the River Hongbao, this yearly Chinese New Year event is the largest at its scale as part of Singapore’s Bicentennial celebrations.

Photo: River Hongbao Facebook

What to do: Apart from the signature light displays such as the traditional Chinese zodiac animals, pray for your blessings at the 18m tall God of Fortune. Catch the Fireworks Spectacular, an amazing 12-minute long fireworks with pyrotechnics effects by experts hailing from Australia (Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics), China (Tang Hua Fireworks), Italy (Parente Fireworks) and the USA (Pyro Spectaculars Inc.) on 4, 9 and 10 February.

Plus, submit your very own OOTD for the RHBLookbook Challenge in the best Lunar New Year outfit taken at the event to win attractive prizes including a chance at the grand prize of business class air tickets to New York with Singapore Airlines. Read on for our outfit suggestions and you may be just that lucky winner! 

Featured style: 78-5 Classic Wedge Sneakers

What to wear: Swap out the usual red palette yet exude auspicious vibes in shades of orange and pink. Opt for an orangey stripy shirt and pair with a dainty pleated skirt. Finish the look with a pair of comfortable cushy sneakers set on a wedge for the perfect gram shot.  

Chinatown, Singapore

Now till 6 March 2019

Chinatowns around the world symbolise the epicentre of all things culturally Chinese. With over 100 stalls dotting throughout the vicinity, brave the crowd and feast on traditional Singaporean Chinese goodies from cookies, sticky rice cakes, to bak kwas. Bargain for the best price and shop till you drop as vendors slash their prices during this last-minute shopping period.  If you are into flowers, shop for fresh spring blooms at the Flower Market.

Soak in the festive atmosphere and get your camera ready for the gram with an exciting line-up of performances and vibrant light displays featuring an innovative Piglet theme. Be sure to check out the lion dance competition, nightly stage shows and festive street bazaar.

Photo: Be Scene

What to do: Discover the rich heritage of this precinct with the Chinatown Walking Trail, a free expedition to explore Kreta Ayer Road, Pagoda Street, Sago Street and New Bridge Road. On the eve of Chinese New Year, amp up the festive mood at the Chinatown Chinese New Year Countdown Party with firework displays. Be amazed by Asia’s largest street performance and float parade at Chingay @ Chinatown on 17 Feb.

Featured style: 073-2 Textured Round Toe Heels

What to wear: It might be Chinese New Year, but that does not mean you have to dress up as a walking angpow in red. Go for a failproof neutral palette in a casual white boyfriend shirt and taupe leggings. Slip into a comfy pair of round toe heels for your Insta-worthy #OOTD shots against the night lights in Chinatown.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Experience Tet Nguyen Dan, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year that follows the same Chinese lunar calendar. Although Chinese influence is strong, the Vietnamese has their own interpretation blended with local traditions. Considered to be one of their most important festivals, foreigners are welcomed to join in the Tet fun.

Photo: Halong Explores

When: Start from 5 Feb 2019, with most celebrations taking place between the second and seventh day of the week.

Photo: Asia Tourist

What to do: Witness traditional celebrations in Hanoi, with fireworks kickstarting the occasion at the stroke of midnight on the eve of Tet. Major highlights include the Dong Da Festival; the Co Loa Festival where locals flock to in their traditional costumes; and a calligraphy festival where artists and locals come together to buy papers with auspicious Chinese characters at the Temple of Literature. For a flowery visual feast, visit the Quang Ba Flower Market (opens daily from 3 am) for a taste of local prep to the New Year.

Featured style: 9878-38 Pointy Front Ballet Pump Heels

What to wear: Keep cool and look pretty in pink in a pastel slip-on dress. Strut your sass in a comfortable pump set on a low heel so you can snag those effortless yet ‘gram-worthy #OOTD shots through the picturesque streets of Hanoi.

George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Now till 19 February 2019

Photo: Flickr

This UNESCO World Heritage site boasts a colourful blend of architecture that spring to life during Chinese New Year in a unique way. Wander along the streets of George Town and be impressed by their Chingay parades featuring lion dances, dancers and drummers.

When: 4 - 19 Feb 2019

What to do:
Visit Kek Lok Si temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Asia, and admire the magnificent sight lit with thousands of red lanterns. Walk your way through Penang’s historical district and be welcomed to traditional Chinese clan houses (or Chinese Kongsi) from 9 February.

Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Admire the sunrise at Padang Polo as hot air balloons in vibrant colours fill the sky at Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2019.  Rides are permitted onboard some special tethered balloons.

Featured style: 209-23 Glossy Origami Pointed Flats

What to wear: Carry off the festive look with contemporary style and comfort in a touch of modern chic with a one-piece utilitarian jumpsuit that’s easy to wear. Show off your fancy footwear with a glossy pair of glossy origami flats that easily puts the posh on any outfit.


073-2 Textued Round Toe Heels

073-2 Textured Round Toe Heels

78-5 Classic Wedge Sneakers

9878-38 Pointy Front Ballet Heels

209-23 Glossy Origami Flats


Enjoy this? Share it!

Posted in