New Year’s Eve is one of the largest global celebrated festivals all around the globe. Southeast Asia offers exciting parties and vivid celebrations on New Year’s Eve. From a sleepy Chinese mining village, Kuala Lumpur has transformed itself into one of the most happening holiday destinations in the world.
With an active urban population of 6.5 million people and a place surrounded by legendary stunning natural wonders, Kuala Lumpur offers a great variety and wonderful options to enlighten your New Year celebrations. It offers exciting and happening parties which you could be a part of this New Year. The New Year is one of the colorful and celebrated occasions of the year out here. There are massive parties, bustling street fairs, colorful fireworks displayed as a countdown to the New Year. These events are attended by several people, tourists, visitors, and locals. You have options from booze-filed parties to live concerts, be a part of the fun-loving crowd, vivacious ambiance, wonderful entertainment, spectacular fireworks and much more. Click here to understand the process of how to obtain a visit visa for Malaysia. Although it is difficult to list all the happening places in just one article. We have tried to collate some of the top places which are going to make your New Year celebrations truly memorable during your Malaysia holidays.
How to Celebrate New Year in Malaysia?
Ringing in the new year in Malaysia promises lively celebrations steeped in multicultural festivities. Pick a hotspot like Kuala Lumpur’s iconic Petronas Twin Towers, beachfront countdown venues along Desaru Coast, or the neon-lit highland party capital of Genting Highlands. Join public gatherings to soak in electrifying concerts, dazzling fireworks shows at the stroke of midnight, and joyful crowds flocking to temples as the year shifts.
Feast on beloved local holiday delicacies like tasty pineapple tarts, creamy curry puffs or warming bowls of laksa noodle soup. Toss the auspicious ‘Yee Sang’ salad for increased luck and prosperity in the coming year. Dress to impress in colorful traditional outfits like cheongsam dresses or baju kurung as families often don new apparel to symbolize fresh starts.
Children will delight in staying up late to catch fireworks then receiving red packets stuffed with lucky money gifts. As the night winds down, join friends sipping creamy Teh Tarik pulled milk tea while recounting fond memories from the year gone by and aspirational hopes renewed for the promise of a new dawn. No matter how you choose to celebrate, welcome 2023 with open arms in this vibrant, diverse country.
Best Places for Visiting on New Year’s Eve in Malaysia
1. KLCC Park
This is located within walking distance from the Suria KLCC shopping center. The 50-acre park is home to Lake Symphony, which is a 10,000 sqm man-made lake with a 43-meter bridge cutting across it. There is plenty of green space around, beautiful fountains, patterned footpaths, and much more. A family destination for most of the year, this place transforms into a party hub on New Year’s Eve. There are live music concerts by both local and international artists that end with a grand round of colorful fireworks against the iconic Petronas Towers in the backdrop. There are several pubs, bars, restaurants, and lounges in the vicinity of the park which you can check out as you wait for the clock to strike 12.
Location: Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
2. Rooftop Bars
A popular destination for people who love late night parties, impressive food & beverage offerings, laid back ambiance coupled with live entertainment, and spectacular vantage point of Kuala Lumpur. Nestled on the roof of the high-rise buildings and five-star hotels, these rooftop bars are perfect locations for someone who is looking an alternative from the overcrowded bars in the city. Savor the international cuisine among the scrumptious Greek, Italian, French, and Spanish cuisines available at Troika Sky Dining or visit the Sky Bar if you are looking to enjoy a glass of alcohol while watching the colorful fireworks display around the city. One of the perfect places to be while celebrating New Year’s Eve in Malaysia.
Other locations: Some popular rooftop bars are Troika Sky Dining and Skybar, Heli Lounge Bar, Sky Bar, Play Club at The Roof KL, and Canopy Rooftop Bar and Lounge.
3. Changkat Bukit Bintang
This is one of the most happening night out destinations in the city. It is home to several pubs, bars, lounges, and lively restaurants with unique dining concepts all available in a single street. The streets light up during weekends and are constantly buzzing with people, and ever flowing drinks and food till wee hours of the morning. There are special theme parties arranged on New Year’s Eve with DJs playing a mix of electro-dance, trance, house, pop, and hip-hop latest tracks for the party addicts ushering into the New Year. The place is well connected via monorail, which makes it one of the best places to be during New Year’s Eve.
Location: Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 50200, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
4. The Curve Shopping Mall
There is a massive street party and fireworks display at the Street, which is a spacious al fresco walkway located in the mall. All this is available absolutely free – at no cost or fee. There are live performances by local bands and dancers. The crowd gathering at the mall intensifies post 6pm. Check out the cafes, bars, restaurants, bistros situated along the Street as they offer special promos for New Year’s Eve. A perfect place for someone looking for wine and dine options. The place is well connected with the LRT connecting Kuala Lumpur Sentral to Kelana Jaya and catch the free shuttle that heads to the Curve Shopping Mall.
Location : 6, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
5. Merdeka Square
This place offers unique, exciting and free indulgence in the New Year celebrations in the city center. Located in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad building, the iconic landmark which has the Malaysian flag flying high on a 95-meter-tall flagpole. Come New Year’s Eve, there are special choreographed traditional dances, marching bands, singing shows, and a grand fireworks display on the parade grounds. Sit back and relax on the grassy lawns as you enjoy the wonderful ambiance on display. The Merdeka Square is well connected and is approximately a 14-minute drive from the Kuala Lumpur city center. Alternatively, you can catch a monorail to avoid heavy traffic congestion.
Location: Jalan Raja, City Centre Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, 50050
6.The Top, Penang
The Top is the most extravagant place that you can stop by. It is the one-stop who want to witness the beautiful city and the wonderful celebrations from a total height of 247 meters. While live music bands and dance performances are entertaining, there are almost 18 themed restaurants and the top view is much to enjoy. Just get your favorite cocktail and marvel at the view from the top. The famous Rainbow Skywalk is also found here. The Observation Deck from the 65th floor lets you witness 360° views of George Town and Penang Island from the glass panels that extend up to the ceiling. Another striking feature is the 90-meter-long zipline course that lines the exterior of the building. The 3rd and 5th floors include a Kid’s entertainment zone comprising 7D Discovery Motion Cinema, The Zombie Outbreak, The Jurassic Research Center, The Top Boutique Aquarium, and The Tech Dome that lets them learn and explore science the fun way.
Location- 1, Jln, Penang, George Town,10000, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
7.Sunway Lagoon Neon Party
The Sunway Lagoon’s Surf Beach hosts a unique glow-in-the-dark New Year’s party. It is known for hosting Malaysia’s largest Glow Neon festival.-the Claudora festival.It is a major art carnival with lots of LED neon light flea markets where you can purchase many items at affordable prices. Then follows the eight-minute-long fireworks show. An extensive music show was set by international DJs like Tori Levett and Woodland in previous years. So, you can expect guest appearances at the event.
Location: 3, Jalan PJS 11/11, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Where to stay in Malaysia this New Year’s Eve
The hotels and resorts in Malaysia that are located close to the city center offer rooms at affordable rates for tourists and guests. One of the hotels which offer stunning views of the amazing fireworks is Traders Hotel. There are several hotels which offer discounted and packaged deals in the New Year season. Check out for a place which is easily accessible by foot, monorail, train service or taxi. Although you will find it really difficult to book taxis on New Year’s Eve. Other services such as train and monorail services run till wee hours of the morning on New Year’s Eve. Apart from the hotels, you can look out for condo suites and apartments available at affordable rates.
Special Traditions for Lunar New Years in Malaysia
The Lunar New Year brings abundant special traditions to Malaysia. As families unite for reunion dinners on New Year’s Eve, homes are thoroughly cleaned to symbolize clearing away the old year’s bad luck and opening portals for the arrival of spring and fresh starts. Dinner tables display foods with auspicious symbolic meanings of prosperity, luck and longevity like whole fish, longevity noodles, tangyuan glutinous rice balls, and steamed citrus fruit. Red is featured everywhere from paper lanterns to ang pow envelopes stuffed with money gifts for children.
The liveliest tradition is tossing raw ‘yee sang’ salad as high in the air as possible while chanting uplifting phrases – the higher the toss, the more increased fortunes, promotions and literal upliftment one expects in the coming year! Other common rituals include reconciling conflicts before the strike of midnight, wearing new clothes at the dawn of New Year’s Day, paying respects at temples through prayer offerings, opening windows and front doors at midnight to release old spirits and welcome in fresh auspices, and abstaining from profane language or acts like using knives or scissors for the first crucial days of the new year. With so many colorful, thoughtful customs, it is easy to see why Malaysians wholly embrace Lunar New Year revelries.
Tips to Remember for a Memorable New Year’s Eve in Malaysia
As the year 2023 comes to an end, it is now time to celebrate and welcome the new year with open arms. If you plan to spend New Year’s Eve in Malaysia, keep these tips in mind to make your evening memorable. Firstly, dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. It’s best to wear light and breathable clothing as the weather could be quite warm and humid. Secondly, plan and book your accommodation and transportation in advance to avoid last-minute hassles. Thirdly, if you are planning to attend a public event, arrive early to secure a good spot and avoid the crowds. You may also reach KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur at the time of sunset to catch a beautiful fountain show. If you want a musical night, we suggest you head over to The Black-Tie bar as it has some of the most amazing gala nights. Lastly, stay hydrated and drink responsibly. Talking about drinks, there is one more suggestion. You should definitely try local infused cocktails at the Helipad bar for a good refreshment. With these tips in mind, you are all set to have a fantastic New Year’s Eve in Malaysia.