Nobody really knows the origins of Halloween but one thing is for sure, it is a festival that has survived the test of time around the world. The western influences are apparent in Asia, if you ask people the origins of Halloween I’m sure many people have no idea what it is all about, they just love a good party! Asian countries really go out of their way to celebrate Halloween.
In some Asian countries they actually celebrate by carving out Pumpkins, particularly in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore. In Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia they also celebrate with pumpkins or more ready to hand fruits such as watermelons. Over the past few years, children in Asia have taken to trick or treating. Again, due to the influence of western pop culture and the growing number of international schools in the region.
Halloween decorations are not necessarily evident in Asian homes but in the shopping malls, bars and restaurants there are decorations a plenty. Many schools will have celebrations, adult Asians will dress up in the office and of course the bars and restaurants will have parties that run into the early hours. Here are some of the places you can celebrate Halloween this year in Asia.
Unfortunately due to the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 13th October, Thailand has gone into a yearlong state of mourning with a 30 day ban on celebrations and parties. It is unlikely Halloween will be celebrated in any big way this year, if at all, out of respect for His Majesty.
Lan Kwai Fong holds a street party every year with Halloween themed menus and drinks and a special make-up service for those that don’t want to do it themselves. Try the Ocean Park Halloween fest where you can go to the Ghostbusters academy. Of course the usual party areas of Wan Chai and SoHo will be filled with Halloween themed fun all night long.
One of the busiest party zones in Asia, there will be no shortage of partying in this city on 31st October. There are some huge clubs and bar areas in Manila, some of the best celebrations will be going on in Chaos, Below and Valkyrie nightclubs. As Halloween is on a Monday this year, expect the parties to start the weekend before and last throughout.
Singapore will be partying in all the high end places such as Sentosa and Universal Studios. There will also be parties at the bar hub in Clarke Quay. Check out Nightmare on Clarke Street on 29th October in fountain square, 10 parties with drink and food promotions.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phnom Penh has taken on a real change of identity over the years and in recent times has been booming. New bars and clubs are opening all the time. The bars along the riverside will no doubt have their own special Halloween parties, try streets 130 and 136 for the biggest parties. The club scene in Phnom Penh has also taken off, there will be many with Halloween parties including clubs like Pontoon and Heart of Darkness as well as new dance clubs like Cambo disco club and High Rise.
For more information on Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Asia's up and coming city, please visit my Phnom Penh Travel Guide
Wherever you are in Asia this year there is a party for you. Celebrate and have fun, the locals really get into the festival.
And don't forget your costumes! Really anything goes for Halloween these days, doesn't even have to be scary. It's just an excuse for a costume party. Follow the links below to find the costume that is right for you.