It’s that time of the year again when everyone is in a holiday mood and many people are planning how to spend the last few days of the year.
However, not all of us are fortunate to have deep pockets and therefore can’t afford a luxurious version of a New Year’s Day countdown.
For those of us who are trying to stretch the Ringgit at the end of the month but still want to count down in a fun and vibrant environment, here are just some ideas that can help you:
1) Join The Local Public Countdown Event
For those living in the Klang Valley, you can head on over to Dataran Merdeka for the yearly tradition of counting down with other Malaysians. There will be plenty of food stalls where you can buy drinks and a meal for less than RM 10.
If nothing suits your taste, there are plenty of mamaks
around Dataran where you can eat before the countdown starts.
Usually, there will be a stage with performances to keep the crowd entertained until the real countdown begins near midnight.At midnight, you can expect a beautiful fireworks show.
Apart from Dataran Merdeka, there will be separate countdown events at KLCC Park, KL Tower and the Esplanade. In each state, there will definitely be a local countdown event organised by the local government, so look out for announcements on the locations online.
Since the place going to be really congested, it’s advisable to take public transport there, like the LRT. Usually, the trains will extend their services past midnight on New Year’s Day to accommodate revelers.
LRT ticket: RM5 maximum
Food on site: RM10-RM15
Total costs: less than RM20
2) Picnic At A High Point
If you’re not a fan of crowds, you can have a quieter countdown with just a few close friends or family members. In the Klang Valley, there are several popular look out points including Changkat Semantan, Jalan Bukit Pantai and the Ampang Lookout Point in Bukit Permai.
You’ll have to have your own car to reach these places, unless you can be sure that you can get a taxi or ride sharing car to these places. Some of them can be very remote, so car pooling removes the need and anxiety for transport.
Pack a small picnic or just ‘tapau
’ some food up to these high points. It doesn’t have to be a sumptuous feast. Just some affordable finger food to share will do. Spread out a mat, or just sit on your car bonnets while waiting for the fireworks show.
Petrol Costs: RM1 to RM10 depending on how long you plan to travel
‘Tapau’ food: RM8- RM20 per pax
Total Cost: RM9 to RM30
3) Road Trip Staycation
Staying in your own city for the New Year can be a bit boring, so if you want to see some new sights and sounds, why not take a road trip out into some neighbouring small towns?
If you’re staying in KL, you can pack a few friends into your car and take a night drive down to Muar and maybe even catch some breakfast there in the morning. Consider taking the trunk roads and staying off the highways for a more interesting drive.
Make sure your car is in good functioning order, and have a backup driver so that you can take turns to rest. Get a good direction map app like Waze or Google Maps to guide you.
After breakfast and some sightseeing, it’s time to drive back. This way, you don’t have to spend on any accommodation.
Be sure to research on what the local specialties you can try or buy in the places you’re passing through. Usually, you can have quite a good breakfast at a ‘warung’ or kopitiam for below RM15 each in any of our small towns.
Shared Petrol Cost: RM10 to RM20 each (with about four-five people in the car)
Total Cost: RM25 to RM35
4) A Pot Luck Countdown
A pot luck party is one way to split the cost of hosting a New Year’s countdown party. The easiest way to do this is to create a Facebook event page and invite all your friends.
This will make it easier to coordinate what food is being brought by who. If you’re hosting the party at home, try not to invite too many people as it may get too noisy and disturb the neighbours.
If you have to host more than ten people, it would be better to have the pot luck in a public space like a park, or your neighbourhood basketball court. Be sure to provide some mosquito repellent if you’re outdoors at night.
The key to making your pot luck party a success is to share the cost, and keep the amount of guest below 20. If you’re cooking, you don’t have to make food for everyone. You can estimate the amount of food for only a quarter of the total guests as everyone else will be bringing food too.
Cost Estimate (for a party of 20 people)
Pot Luck food: RM25-RM40
Transport: RM5 to RM10
Total costs: RM30 to RM50
5) Ride Your Way To The New Year
Spread some New Year cheer if you have some bicycles. Round up your biking ‘kaki
’ and hit your local roads and high five your neighbours, or just wish them well.
Always make sure you ride with safety gear, and that your bicycle is outfitted with the proper reflectors and lights to make them as visible as possible.
Wear bright clothing, ensure that your helmet has reflector stickers and have a safety vest on too. Riding around town on the New Year’s Eve will allow you front row seats on how others are celebrating and you’ll be able to soak up the atmosphere better.
Just be sure to take the necessary precautions, and try not to bring any under-aged cyclist along. Also, avoid the city centre with its busy streets and stick to the suburbs where traffic is less crazy.
In the Klang Valley, cyclists seem to like riding around Putrajaya as it’s well lit and traffic is relatively sparse at night.
Absolutely free (perhaps a bit of petrol money if you want to drive to Putrajaya)
Now you know how to have fun on New Year’s Eve, it’s time to start planning. Remember, it’s not how much money you spend that will determine if you have fun; it’s how much time you spend with your loved ones creating memories that will make this New Year’s countdown matter.
So, go forth and have a fun and fulfilling time. Happy New Year everyone!