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STYLE | travel

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Like the idea of the sky lanterns, but not the chilblains? Every year, thousands upon thousands of candle-lit lanterns are released on the evening of 31 December around Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai to herald good luck for the new year. Simply breathtaking! Chiang Mai

RING IN THE NEW YEAR, TWICE You can only celebrate New Year’s Eve once a year... on a budget. Those with well-endowed wallets can fly to Australia, party until midnight at the Sydney Opera House, then hop on the world’s fastest private jet, PrivateFly’s Gulfstream G650ER, for a 9.5-hour zip to Honolulu to do it all again. Charter the entire plane with 12 besties for a mere AUD$290,000. Bonus points for staying awake the entire time. Another way to manipulate time and celebrate twice over, is to board an eastbound cruise liner that crosses the International Dateline so you can party in Pago Pago and onboard ship the next night enroute to Bora Bora. PUT NEW YEAR ON ICE For the ultimate adventure in luxury, board the Silver Explorer expedition ship on its new year cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula from Ushuaia at the southernmost tip of Argentina. That will set you back a cool $40,000. One of the hottest, yet chilliest, celebrations on the planet happens on a massive scale in Iceland’s party capital Reykjavik. Celebrations start at 6pm with mass at the city’s cathedral before everyone heads outdoors to gather round neighbourhood bonfires to burn away the woes of the previous year. Thousands of fireworks and maybe even the Northern Lights will light up the night sky. Expect big drinking, folk songs and people dressed as trolls and elves and a restorative early morning soak in the hot pools. It’s said no one celebrates new year like the Russians, so triple-layer your thermals and embrace the winter wonderland that is St Petersburg. Its fabulous palaces, boulevards and bridges are at their most dazzling covered in snow and illuminated in white lights. Join the crowds at the Hermitage Museum to await the huge fireworks show over the Neva River – and be prepared to sip your “Soviet champagne” well into the wee hours (we’re talking 3am fireworks). The President’s address, live music, and hundreds of paper lanterns launching into the sky fill the wait. Reykjavik

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