This time we wanted to avoid New year craziness. So we were thinking about China, where they celebrate this holiday not on 31th of December, but later. But emotionally we were not ready yet for such an exotics. The answer came out spontaneously – Hong Kong! It is Asian enough, too modern to feel like a stranger and too English to be lost in translation. But who could think that this celebration I would never forget.
31st of December was just like any other day in Hong Kong. Millions of people were running between hundreds of skyscrapers. The air was warm enough for winter – it was +18 C. Even malls were working, as usual. Taking into account that even ordinary malls sold mostly Dior, Chanel, Prada, D&G etc., it was still weird to see queues. Especially when sales season still didn’t start.
Our plan was to climb Victoria Peak – a local sightseeing point and the highest top of Hong Kong with outstanding promising view. The idea was to meet New Year there, enjoying legendary Symphony of Lights. Even if they don’t celebrate New Year when we do, in Hong Kong they make everything for tourists. So great fireworks was guaranteed for the countdown.
To get to the top you have to take a cable car and of course stay in veryyyy long line. The one thing I like about Hong Kong is that they hide the real scale of the line. So when you feel that the line ends near the closest turn, in reality you have to pass dozens of such turns before you reach to the end. You need to spans at least an hour in a queue. When we reached the top we realized that we were not the only ones decided to celebrate New Year on the top. At 5 pm the viewpoint became too crowded, so we had to change our original plan. But before we made a picture and had enjoyed the skyline. The glass skyscrapers reminded bamboo forest, that almost touched the sky.
From the Hong Kong island we took a ferry to Kowloon. It was 3 hours before New Year. But we were not the only smartass, who wanted to watch fireworks at Victoria Harbour. There were millions of people. Not even a single square centimeter was empty – people booked a place from the very morning. Someone were sleeping on the ground – seems they were here for a long time, someone were playing table games. Every single street was full of people. Everyone was waiting for midnight.
We got away from the crowd, and harbor. Walking inland through dirty streets, we passed by some abounded constructions. The perspective to meet New Year in front of landfill was not inspiring. Especially for my boyfriend, who prepared a very special present for me. And the place of celebration could ruin everything.
So we turned to the very first building we saw in Hong Kong. It was the highest construction in the town – 108-storey ICC (International Commercial Center). Several floors of this 484 m construction is occupied by The Ritz-Carlton hotel. Surprisingly, only few thousands of people were around the skyscraper. But to come closer to the harbor was too difficult due to the fence and police.
Few days before we already had been on the top of this building, when climbed to the hightest bar in the world called Ozone. Than we found out that they organize New Year party for 100 euro per person. With a serious face I said to the guard that we have a reservation for the party. He called for another policeman and he guided us to the entrance trough all the fences. Just near the entrance of Ritz we sneaked to the terrace – the best viewpoint for fireworks was hard to imagine!
At 11:59 the show has started. The laser rays started their neon dance. It was fascinating, beautiful and …short. Officially 2012 had started for us. Suddenly my boyfriend passed a small box. I opened it and … and didn’t know what to say. It was a ring! I had no time to react, when intelligent Ritz crowd wearing evening gowns surrounded us. All of them started to cry ‘Oh, its a proposal, its a proposal!!’. Some started to make pictures with us, some were screaming, others were crying. Later I realized that for local girls marriage is the most important event in life. We were like starts in the epicenter of Universe. Someone passed glasses with champagne, everyone congratulated us. After such an attention I just could’t say No. I wouldn’t, anyway. Officially engaged we smiled to crying ladies and run away. To our new year and new life.