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Old Apr 5, 12, 2:18 pm   #1
 
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Chinese New Year 2013 - Shanghai or Hong Kong?

I am in the process of planning a trip to China for New Year 2013. Specifically, I will be arriving late Thursday, February 7 and returning Saturday, February 16. I plan to visit both cities during my stay... and my best guess is that I'll fly into one city on Thursday, February 7 where I'll stay until Tuesday, February 12 at which point I'll head to the other city until I leave on Saturday, February 16.

But I'm not sure which city to fly into first (and thus stay for Chinese New Year). I've read that many people head out of the cities during Chinese New Year, but it looks like both Shanghai and Hong Kong put on a great fireworks display.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Last edited by FederalFlyer; Apr 9, 12 at 2:03 am. Reason: Corrected dates.
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Old Apr 5, 12, 3:23 pm   #2
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We saw the CNY fireworks in Hong Kong this year. There are four barges in the harbor, down toward the Convention Center. Fireworks went off continuously for close to 30 minutes. We had the perfect view from a harbor facing room at the Conrad.
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Old Apr 5, 12, 4:06 pm   #3
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Easy one. Choose HK for the actual Chinese New Year. The CNY celebration period on the mainland goes on for two weeks after official New Year's Day. Although the main fireworks will be over, most every night will have a lot of illicit fireworks and also nonstop firecrackers. (Tip: Bring earplugs). If you can get to a temple festival during your first day or so in Shanghai area, that might be a nice touch of traditional China to see.
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Old Apr 5, 12, 6:53 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
Easy one. Choose HK for the actual Chinese New Year. The CNY celebration period on the mainland goes on for two weeks after official New Year's Day. Although the main fireworks will be over, most every night will have a lot of illicit fireworks and also nonstop firecrackers. (Tip: Bring earplugs). If you can get to a temple festival during your first day or so in Shanghai area, that might be a nice touch of traditional China to see.
Ah, thanks! This makes the decision easy indeed.
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Old Apr 5, 12, 8:14 pm   #5
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Ah, thanks! This makes the decision easy indeed.
If I were in your shoes (limited time frame), I would pass on SH altogether during CNY, and spend a few days in Shenzhen/Zhuhai/Guangzhou (take your pick) instead. Much better weather, and I presume they have temple fairs there too. Best to save your Shanghai trip for a time when the city is operating at full speed.
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Old Apr 5, 12, 8:28 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
Easy one. Choose HK for the actual Chinese New Year.
+1


Quote:
Originally Posted by moondog View Post
If I were in your shoes (limited time frame), I would pass on SH altogether during CNY, and spend a few days in Shenzhen/Zhuhai/Guangzhou (take your pick) instead. .
+1

Shenzhen/Zhuhai/Guangzhou.
For Real?
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Old Apr 5, 12, 8:40 pm   #7
 
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HKG is a ghost town (relatively speaking) during CNY.
Many shops are closed during those initial days.

On the other hand, it's probably a lot less crowded.
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Old Apr 5, 12, 10:06 pm   #8
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HKG is a ghost town (relatively speaking) during CNY.
Many shops are closed during those initial days.

On the other hand, it's probably a lot less crowded.
Not in comparison to BJ/SH, where the family outings that used to be spent at home now take place in the Maldives. I don't know if the PRD is much different (I figure the rich people there are more of the Sanya mold, but who knows). All I'm suggesting is that if I was in HK during CNY, and reasonably comfortable, SH would not be on my list of places to visit.

Last edited by moondog; Apr 5, 12 at 10:18 pm.
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Old Apr 5, 12, 10:29 pm   #9
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Not in comparison to BJ/SH, where the family outings that used to be spent at home now take place in the Maldives. I don't know if the PRD is much different (I figure the rich people there are more of the Sanya mold, but who knows). All I'm suggesting is that if I was in HK during CNY, and reasonably comfortable, SH would not be on my list of places to visit.
Families- Maldives? Honeymoners.

CNY - Las Vegas...family at home.
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Old Apr 5, 12, 11:11 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Not in comparison to BJ/SH, where the family outings that used to be spent at home now take place in the Maldives. I don't know if the PRD is much different (I figure the rich people there are more of the Sanya mold, but who knows). All I'm suggesting is that if I was in HK during CNY, and reasonably comfortable, SH would not be on my list of places to visit.
So true: my wife's language tutor spent CNY in the Maldives with her husband. Not sure what he does, but clearly her salary cannot pay for such a vacation (and this was in a over-water bungalow etc, so not cheap!).

tb
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Old Apr 6, 12, 6:26 pm   #11
 
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Well I've read elsewhere that the cities empty out during CNY, and everyone here seems to agree with that. I guess my question now is whether I should skip CNY altogether and head somewhere else (Thailand, Bali?). The thing is, CNY looks pretty amazing in the YouTube clips I've come across from both SH and HKG. But all they really show are the fireworks. If eateries and places to grab a drink won't be widely open, then it seems I should save my first trip to these places when things are busier. I see that at least one person above suggested just that... Is that the consensus?
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Old Apr 6, 12, 6:30 pm   #12
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Well, most expats in these areas try their best to head out to somewhere else during CNY, if that tells you anything. I don't think planning a special trip to China or HK for Chinese New Year (unless you are Chinese and returning to visit family) is all that great an idea. Better to do a trip to the area at a non-holiday time.

As said above, with the discretionary wealth floating about the region now, many Chinese (mainlanders as well as HK'ers, Taiwanese, etc.) are traveling to other resort spots to spend the holiday. If you want to avoid the additional crowds of millions this brings, then places like the beaches of Thailand are not a good choice. A better choice would be something unpopular with them, such as....Indonesia (except Bali) or maybe Myanmar, Laos, or Cambodia, or upcountry Thailand. Philippines a possibility? You don't have a lot of time but could spend a quickie 2-3 day CNY w/fireworks in HK then quick flight over for the balance at Boracay or Palawan or similar lovely beaches. Either open jaws into HKG then MNL-home or round-trip Hong Kong, then separate r-t HKG-MNL-final Phils destination.

Last edited by jiejie; Apr 6, 12 at 6:37 pm.
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Old Apr 6, 12, 6:50 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by FederalFlyer View Post
Well I've read elsewhere that the cities empty out during CNY, and everyone here seems to agree with that. I guess my question now is whether I should skip CNY altogether and head somewhere else (Thailand, Bali?). The thing is, CNY looks pretty amazing in the YouTube clips I've come across from both SH and HKG. But all they really show are the fireworks. If eateries and places to grab a drink won't be widely open, then it seems I should save my first trip to these places when things are busier. I see that at least one person above suggested just that... Is that the consensus?
CNY is worth experiencing at least once, but grows old very quickly. If you're going to do it, why not fly into Beijing (the eye of the storm) on NYE or the day prior, enjoy the fireworks, do the temple fare routine (though probably not Llama Temple on day 1; extremely long line), and break away to SE Asia the same evening?

Most mid-sized and above restaurants are open during CNY, but tend to lack customers (which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the venue). Like I (and others) have mentioned in previous CNY threads, CNY is a bit like Thanksgiving (family holiday), but YOU can be "family" for a day or two.
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Old Apr 6, 12, 7:49 pm   #14
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HKG, Shanghai is dead at CNY
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Old Apr 6, 12, 8:08 pm   #15
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Chinese New Year for 2013 is on Feb 10, people! Fireworks in HK will be on 2/11. And all restaurants and most retail shops will be open way before the OP arrives. And most locals and expats and most everybody else will be back in the city.

The period the OP will be visiting HK has really little to do with CNY. Instead, he may want to worry about finding good western food to eat on 2/14 as many restaurants have pricey Valentine's Day specials only.
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