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December 31, 2009

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Where to ring in 2010

SHOULD old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind" goes the classic New Year's Eve tune "Old Lang Syne." Scottish bard Robert Burns, who penned the ballad in 1788, reminds us in these words that on New Year's Eve, it doesn't matter where you are as long as you are surrounded by friends when the clock strikes 12.

Of course, some great beats, smooth wines and mesmerizing fireworks would top the night off, so here's help for those making last-minute party plans.

If you are going to be making New Year's resolutions, then why not resolve them in the highest bar in the world? At least that way you're likely to remember them when you look out at the Shanghai skyline.

Unless the Sherpas aren't toasting the New Year on Mt Everest, then the bar on the 92nd floor, at 448 meters high, in Pudong's Shanghai World Financial Center will be hosting the highest party in the world. US band Carton J Smith will play pop and R&B songs. Tickets are 788 yuan (US$116) in advance.

Chinese love their shopping malls, so it's no surprise one is hosting a countdown party to ring in the new year. Shop, bop and drop at Plaza 353 on Nanjing Road E. It's free, except remember it's in a shopping center so there will be temptations. There will be hip-hop dancers, DJs, live music and prizes for best dressed.

If you are wanting to combine the good things in life - eating and drinking - then head to Zapata's for a complete end-of-year blowout. The Hengshan Road establishment promises dancers, fireworks and music from all of its 2009 parties. The all-you-can-eat buffet is 250 yuan, or 2,010 yuan with champagne and spirits.

At Xintiandi the stars of Chinese entertainment come out to play and will lead a crowd of around 2,000 in a countdown. Amping up the crowd will be Hong Kong entertainer Aaron Kwok, Taiwanese singer Sky Wu who wrote the "Better City, Better Life" theme song for World Expo 2010, and local actress Huang Yi.

Shoppers can score a ticket if they spend more than 600 yuan at Xintiandi. Organizers say800 tickets have alreadybeen snapped up.

For those wanting to dance up a storm, Glamour Bar is one of the places to go. Japan's DJ Fujiko and resident DJ Alessandro will spin pop, disco, electro and 80s new rave tunes.

Entry is free and there will be complimentary cocktails from 11pm to 1am.

Once bodies are rested, the first day of 2010 can be enjoyed with a little bit of culture.

The Russian Imperial Ballet Company is bringing the Tchaikosky classic "Swan Lake" to the Majestic Theater. Tickets range from 100 yuan to 680 yuan.

For the kids the Barbie Cafe on Huaihai Road M. is hosting an afternoon of fun with games, prizes and food. It's 150 yuan for a family of three.

So take a cup o' kindness yet for auld lang syne.


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