Finally, some reasons to pull an all-nighter with your team. Below are some nocturnal activities around Asia that are worth considering:
What time? 7pm to 11pm between the months of April to September. Boat rental typically lasts four hours.
What’s in the night? Squid fishing after dark
Go on a dinner feast aboard a junk boat, where the main course is the catch of the evening. Squid fishing in Hong Kong is easily arranged by renting a boat from local tour operators. Tools of the trade are usually included in the package: hook, line, fish and sinker, as well as cooking utensils – and a buffet, should groups request it. And then, all they need to do is enjoy waiting for their catch, over a drink or two under the moonlight. A word of note from Jubilee International Tour Centre: “We recommend participants to wear dark-coloured clothes, because the squid will release sepia ink when they are frightened.”
Group size: Jubilee’s junk boats can accommodate groups of 30 to 40.
OVERNIGHT DESERT SAFARI
What time? 3:30pm to 9am
What’s in the night? Camping beneath the stars after driving through dunes in four-wheel drives
Groups are packed, six to a vehicle, for a trip through the Dubai desert, where they can enjoy 20 to 30 minutes of flying across sand dunes amidst the backdrop of the setting Arabian sun. Other participants can also set up their tripods and cameras to capture the sunset, or hop on camels for a desert jaunt. In the evening, enjoy a belly dancing show (except on Ramadan), henna painting sessions and rounds of shisha puffing. A buffet dinner and barbeque will be served, along with Arabic coffee, alcohol (except on Ramadan) and unlimited soft drinks. Participants then stay overnight at the desert camp and wake to a breakfast of buttered toast and eggs, before departing at 8:30am.
Group size: The tour operator can accommodate up to 100 people per group.
ABORIGINAL DANCE SHOW & DINNER, TJAPUKAI ABORIGINAL PARK
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
What time? 7pm-9:30pm
What’s in the night? A showcase of the aboriginal Tjapukai people’s culture
The tour starts off with a warm welcome from members of the Tjapukai community, who will also be the evening’s stars. A Quinkan Spirit performance follows, after which is an initiation of traditional face painting before proceeding to the lake. Once there, watch the Tjapukai make a fire by using traditional fire sticks for a corroboree, an aboriginal meeting ceremony, before launching a spear into the sky. The night is capped off with a buffet dinner accompanied by a show of cultural dances, which guests can participate in. Afterward, the visitors can opt for a camp fire session where they can chat with the Tjapukai and get to know more of their culture.
Group size: The tour doesn’t count how many people they will accommodate – as many as they can, is the idea. But groups of at least 40 can choose to experience the show at a private function room, on their own special booking.
MT JOHN NIGHTTIME OBSERVATORY TOUR
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
What time? The tour goes for two hours, at varying times in the evening depending on weather conditions.
What’s in the night? Stargazing from Mt John Observatory
Take in the gorgeous New Zealand sky as it is lit by hundreds of thousands of stars. With the assistance of astronomy guides, groups can learn more about the constellations, view distant planets, nebulae and galaxies through powerful telescopes, and photograph the glittering backdrop with the help of experienced astroimagers, who make use of special equipment to capture the night sky. Afterwards, they can also warm themselves over a cup of hot chocolate at the observatory’s candle-lit Astro Cafe, and then cap off the evening with a tour of the Mt John Observatory, which is ordinarily off-limits to the public. The working research observatory houses research projects that utilise the MOA, New Zealand’s largest telescope.
Group size: Each tour accommodates up to 44 people, and are offered in English, Japanese and Mandarin.
ZOO TAIPING & NIGHT SAFARI
What time? 8pm to 11pm Monday to Friday; 8pm-12am on Saturday and the eve of public holidays
What’s in the night? Nocturnal creature sightings
Aboard a tram, visitors are offered a chance to spot animals active at night, such as Asian elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros, zebras and owls, to name a few. Battery-operated torches and flash cameras are prohibited, and making any noise is discouraged. Some groups may prefer to do this tour on foot, allowing for greater exploration and adventure.
Group size: Any number of people is welcome, but the tram seats up to 29. Discounts are offered to groups of over 20.