The World’s Largest Light Illumination”Kingdom of Light” at Huis Ten Bosch Park, Sasebo, Japan

The World’s Largest Light Illumination”Kingdom of Light” at Huis Ten Bosch Park, Sasebo, Japan

Japan Thailand

Burj Khalifa | The World’s Tallest Building

Huis Ten Bosch is known as one of the biggest theme parks in Japan. In addition, this theme park is sort of a Dutch Disneyland, with the whole idea being a recreation of an old Dutch city.

Huis Ten Bosch holds “Kingdom of Light” as an illumination event every year. Their Christmas light extravaganza runs from November into March and has millions of Christmas lights. In other words, this is the best time to visit Huis Ten Bosch. If you are planning a trip to Kyushu around Christmas & New Year, you may want to visit this spectacular winter wonderland!

After research, I decide to take my family (2 aunts and my mom, average age 65+) to Kyushu for the New Year holidays. And, where else can you enjoy a classic new year eve celebration with music, fun and fireworks? Huis Ten Bosch come into my head. Not only this place is like an adult’s Disneyland, but also a memorable, family-fun way to celebrate an awesome year of fun.
Read more info about Huis Ten Bosch.

Huis Ten Bosch Entrance Gate

Waiting for the Canal Cruise

It can’t be Amsterdam without Canal tours

We arrive the park around 10pm and don’t have to wait in line for too long. The canal is covered with rainbow colors in the evening and when canal cruisers pass, illuminated fountains are sprayed. Meanwhile, the outside weather is about 1-2 celsius degree so it’s nice to stay inside.

Light and Fountain Canal

Light and Fountain Canal

Canal Cruise at Huis Ten Bosch

Visit the Dutch Village in Huis Ten Bosch

Japan’s Secret Dutch City

Japan’s Secret Dutch City

Good outdoor seating area to eat and enjoy the view.

Huis Ten Bosch at night

ハウステンボス

Huis Ten Bosch food court

Huis Ten Bosch Food Court

On New Year’s Eve, there is a live concert with DJs and Japanese artists at center stage, which leads up to a countdown to midnight and fireworks celebration. At midnight, 8000 fireworks launched into the air over the water. This is the largest New Year’s Eve fireworks in Western Japan.

Huis Ten Bosch New Year Countdown Fireworks

Huis Ten Bosch Countdown Fireworks

Huis Ten Bosch New Year Countdown Fireworks

Huis Ten Bosch New Year Countdown Fireworks

Huis Ten Bosch Countdown Fireworks

Huis Ten Bosch Countdown to Midnight

Huis Ten Bosch New Year Countdown Fireworks

New Year's Eve Fireworks | Huis Ten Bosch

Bring your dogs! It’s a dog-friendly theme park!

Huis Ten Bosch Countdown Fireworks

Huis Ten Bosch New Year Countdown

The tower is the landmark of Huis Ten Bosch. It is beautifully lit at night.

tower city in  huis Ten Bosch

Tower City

The Most Impressive Firework Display for New Year’s Eve in Dubai

The Most Impressive Firework Display for New Year’s Eve in Dubai

Dubai Thailand

Burj Khalifa | The World’s Tallest Building

When I think of where to celebrate the New Year’s Eve, Dubai’s spectacular New Year Eve firework display at the Burj Khalifa come to my mind. The city is known for hosting a magnificent display of lights every year. People travel to Dubai to have an experience of a lifetime.

The Burj Khalifa is located in Downtown Dubai, next to the Dubai Mall. In the New Year Eve, security was bolstered everywhere to ensure public safety. Make sure to plan ahead as roads and access to the Downtown area will be restricted after 8pm for crowd control. It’s almost impossible to get in unless you enter the mall hours before the show starts. Even then, getting a good spot at The Dubai Mall is extremely hard. 

Dubai Mall | Dubai doesn’t do anything small

The Dubai Mall is located right next to Burj Khalifa. This is the most popular location for watching the New Year Eve’s fireworks show. This Mall is gigantic. It’s got not only shops (over 1200 stores), department stores, food outlets, but also has a indoor ski resort, ice skating rink, movie theater, waterfall and an aquarium. The architecture is jaw dropping!

Dubai Mall on New Year’s Eve

Dubai Mall decorations

Roads are closed in Burj Khalifa downtown area

Burj Khalifa fireworks to ring in 2019

Roads are closed and barriers set up inBurj Khalifa for crowd control. Hundreds of thousands headed to the family viewing areas in Burj Khalifa to witness the iconic show. The area is swamped a few hours before the fireworks. It is extremely difficult to walk back to the hotel from the Dubai Mall.

Huge crowd waiting across the Dubai mall

People wait to witness the fireworks at Burj Khalifa

Manzil Hotel NYE pass

The hotel stuff told us as long as we have this NYE pass, then the security will let us come back to the hotel. Well, it turned out the security guard at the Dubai Mall doesn’t recognize this pass. We had to try other routes in order to get back to the hotel. It was quite frustrated.

Hotel Manzil Dotwntown

Finally got back to hotel Manzil Downtown to watch the fireworks.

Burj Khalifa fireworks to ring in 2019

The fireworks are lit just after the stroke of midnight. We get back to Hotel Manzil Downtown just in time to catch a good spot to watch from.

The fireworks display at Burj Khalifa on New Year’s Eve in 2019

The duration of the fireworks display is about 20 minutes. Emaar host the world-renowned firework display on the world’s tallest building this year (Emaar is the master developer of Burj Khalifa). The fireworks display on New Year’s Eve is phenomenal!

The fireworks display at Burj Khalifa on New Year’s Eve

Fireworks explode around the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Lasers beam from the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building

New Year’s Eve Magic in Chiang Mai, Thailand

New Year’s Eve Magic in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand

Chiang Mai has always been a popular destination for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Every restaurant and bar is packed full and street vendors can be found all along the major streets. Fireworks, sky lanterns, delicious food, and all manner of party objects to add to the atmosphere.

Thai traditions for this New Year Eve’s celebration

Thai people often exchange gifts or cards with family members and friends during this day. They celebrate in their hometowns with family and friends eating, drinking, and preparing meals together. It is also common for Thai people to pay a visit to their local temple to mark the changing of the year with good luck and prosperity either on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Making merit and giving alms to monks are common. It’s the Thai spiritual way to begin the new year with peace of mind. If you want to catch a unique cultural experience, I recommend you go to one of the prominent temples in Chiang Mai.

Wat Phra Singh (Gold Temple)

For the most memorable experience, try to coincide with a festival.

To receive blessings from the temple

De Naga Hotel Chiang Mai

For four nights we stayed at De Naga Hotel, a small bed and breakfast located in the historic old city of Chiang Mai. Only 5 minutes walk to the Tha Phae Gate. The location was perfect, close enough to walk to many shops and restaurants. After our new year eve dinner, we walked around the Tha pae Gate and the night market that leads up to it. 

De Naga Hotel New Year Eve Buffet

De Naga Hotel Traditional Thai Live Music & Dance

De Naga Hotel Buffet

Chiang Mai Night Market

Chiang Mai Night Market

Tuk Tuk

Wat Phan Tao Temple at night

Next to the famous Wat Chedi Luang, the entire temple was made from teak wood and had been previously part of the royal palace. The monks began their ceremony around 10:30pm. Thousands were gathered here with the monks to spend the last few hours of the year in meditation and chanting in a serene candle-lit hall. The place was fully candle-lit, lanterns hang from the trees, and the water was lined with sparkling lights, which made the atmosphere feel even more magical.

Lanterns twinkle in the water in Wat Phan Tao Temple

New Year’s Eve Magic in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Pray with the monks at the Wat Phan Tao

Wat Phan Tao Temple at night

Along the banks of the river

This was the scene along the banks of the river in Chiang Mai during the New Year’s Eve celebration. We spent a while just absorbing the environment and watching all the different folks light their lanterns. The candle was placed inside the lantern, the flame then heated the air within the lantern causing it to rise into the sky until the fire went out. According to tradition, releasing a lantern in the sky symbolizes new beginnings and good luck.

Dozens of people lined along the banks of the river

Beautiful lanterns released into the night sky

Lanterns light up the river

Tha Phae Gate

Tha Phae Gate was the place to release lanterns. This was the most central location for the countdown to midnight. As it got closer to 11pm, we joined lots of people at the main square near Thapae Gate in releasing lanterns into the sky. We had bought one big lantern to let off for good luck in the new year. As the clock counted down to zero, you saw thousands of lanterns released into the sky. We made a wish and released the lantern. Our lantern floated into the sky and joined the hundreds of other lanterns disappearing into the darkness. It was such an amazing night. We had lots of fun! The experience celebrating the new year in Chiang Mai was an unforgettable one. The last day of 2017, I felt blessed and grateful and being with awesome friends who make the world a better place.

Letting off lanterns

SFFC lantern

SFFC lantern

Chiang Mai New Year Countdown

The square was filled with Thais and tourists from all over world enjoying the celebrations together. It was truly spectacular to see hundreds of sky lanterns floating up into the night sky.

SFFC lantern

Our own milky way of lights!

Sky lantern during New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Watch dazzling fireworks illuminate the night

Must See Temples in Chiang Mai’s Old City

Must See Temples in Chiang Mai’s Old City

Thailand

We spend four nights in Chiang Mai, Thailand. There are a lot to do here day or night. Temples are still a central part of Thai life so we decided to do temple hopping during the day time. There are lots temples in Chiang Mai. We set out to see four temples for this trip. As always at temples in Thailand, made sure to dress properly and act respectfully. Shorts, T-shirts, bare shoulders, and any overly casual clothing should be avoided.

Wat Phra Singh Temple วัดพระสิงห์วรมหาวิหาร

Founded in 1345, Wat Phra Singh is the most elegant and culturally significant temple within the old city of Chiang Mai. The grounds and buildings are beautiful and spiritual.

Wat Phra Singh Temple

Main Chedi

The oldest structure on site is the main chedi, which was constructed in 1345 by King Phayu to enshrine the ashes of his father, King Khamfu. 

Wat Phra Singh Woramahaviharn

New Year’s Eve at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai

Main chedis (pagodas) at the Wat Phra Singh (Gold Temple)

The golden yellow Chedi is blindly bright in the sunlight

Monks sat in the traditional lotus position in front of a sacred Buddha statue

The decoration inside is also quite rich. There is a brocade-like gold and red pattern on parts of the roof and back wall behind the altar.

Wat Phra Singh Woramahaviharn

From Wat Phra Singh, you might want to go on to Wat Chedi Luang, which is just a short walk away. In addition, another important temple within the walls is the oldest: Wat Chieng Man. It’s another short walk away

Wat Chedi Luang Temple วัดเจดีย์หลวง

The original temple dates back from the 14th and 15th centuries. Wat Chedi Luang was possibly the largest structure in ancient Chiang Mai, Thailand. It must have been the most impressive temple back then. The chedi was mostly destroyed within a few hundred years of its construction. 

Wat Chedi Luang Temple

Inthakhin Pillar Vihara

Why Can’t Women Entry Inthakhin Pillar Vihara

A sign outside reads, in part:

“Women are prohibited to enter because they menstrate. It is believe that it humiliates and ruins the sanctity of the city pillar. Besides, men who dress inappropriately are not allowed to walk in. It is believed that any disobeying of the rules will cause social instability.”

Inside the main prayer hall, the altar is backed by a magnificent standing Buddha

Wat Chedi Luang Temple

The pagoda has been partially reconstructed

Wat Chedi Luang Temple

Wat Chiang Man วัดเชียงมั่น

Wat Chiang Man is Chiang Mai’s oldest temple, which was constructed at around the city’s development in 1296.

Wat Chiang Man

Wat Chiang Mun

Wat Chiang Mun

Elephant Chedi

The Elephant Chedi is the oldest construction within the temple complex. In addition, you can recognize it from its life-sized brick and stucco elephants carrying the upper levels of the construction on their backs. They are guardians that had been standing watch since 1296.

Wat Chiang Man Elephant Chedi

Wat Chiang Mun

Wat Chiang Mun Elephant Shaped Tree

Wat Phan Tao Temple วัดพันเตา

Wat Phan Tao is next to the famous Wat Chedi Luang Temple. Particularly, the entire temple was made from teak wood and had been previously part of the royal palace. It is one of my favorite temples in Chiang Mai.

New Year’s Eve at Wat Phan Tao

At night, thousands were gathered here with the monks to spend the last few hours of the year in meditation and chanting in a serene candle-lit hall. The place was fully candle-lit, which made the atmosphere feel even more magical. 

New Year’s Eve at Wat Phan Tao in Chiang Mai

Pray with the monks at the Wat Phan Tao