Thailand is one of the world’s top tourist destinations with around 29 million visitors expected in 2015, many who will come to celebrate New Year. The Thai New Year is celebrated in April during the Songkran festival. Thais also celebrate the Chinese New Year in February and the one that is familiar to most people on 31st December. If coming to Thailand to celebrate the New Year there are plenty great locations to choose from. With so many cities putting on elaborate and well planned events to see in the New Year, it is a case of being spoilt for choice. It really depends on personal taste but there are events to suit all tastes and age groups.
In the Capital
Bangkok has many places to celebrate but the largest and most well-known is the event at the CentralWorld Mall, the world’s 6th largest shopping mall. The area around CentralWorld is closed to traffic and hundreds of thousands flock there for the live music, light shows, street food, and revel in the friendly carnival atmosphere and watch the spectacular fireworks. It is a very popular street party with locals and tourists alike but for visitors who donot enjoy largecrowds, they may want to choose one of the many other popular locations.Asiatique is an excellent family friendly place to celebrate, with its photogenicMekong Ferris wheel, riverfront restaurants, boutique shops, and many bars. Alternatively they may try a meal and cruise along the river with a stop at midnight to watch the amazing fireworks from Asiatique and hotels around the Sathorn stretch of the river. These get booked up well in advance so need to be booked early.Khao San road,an area popular with backpackers and the younger crowd is a lively place to celebrate. There are countless bars, many with excellent live music. Most people spend their night bar-hopping to take in all that is on offer.
Outside of Bangkok for anyone looking to combine theirNew Year celebrations with a little sand, sun and sea, they need not look any further than Pattaya. Pattaya is a lively resort town just 100 kilometers south of Bangkok. It is renowned globally for its diverse and abundant entertainment venues, and is a popular destination for Thais and tourists alike. New Year is always a spectacular event and regarded by many as the best in Thailand. Most of the entertainment venues are on Beach Road and the adjoining streets. Beach road is also home to some of Pattaya’s best hotels, such as the Holiday InnPattaya, which provides a comfortable stay and offersfamily discounts in the heart of the celebrations. The Bali Hai Pier is one of the most popular places to see in the New Year and watch the amazing firework display. It also offers free concerts and shows, as well as bars and restaurants.
Chiang Mai is another very popular city to spend New Year. The celebrations are not quite on the same scale as Bangkok or Pattaya but it is probably the most beautiful, as thousands of Chinese paper lanterns are released. The focal point of the celebrations is around the old town and Tha Pae Gate, where there is live music and an abundance of bars, restaurants and street vendors. Despite not being as large as Bangkok and Pattaya it is still incredibly busy with a real party atmosphere. Outside of the old town, there are many riverside restaurants where a quieter New Year can be enjoyed. It also has many great hotels and resorts to choose from.
Perhaps the one of the most famous countdown celebrations is on Koh Phangan, an island next to Koh Samui to the south of Thailand. Full moon parties are held each month on The HaadRin Beach and are attended by around 15,000 people in low season but that doubles for the countdown celebrations. This is the place to be for anyone into the dance scene, possessing a sense of adventure and an open mind. There are 12 sound systems along the length of the beach with some very talented DJs, as well as enough bars and places to eat for the 30,000 party goers.
Thailand is one of the most popular places in the world to see in the New Year. Events and hotels do get booked up well in advance. Whatever their countdown preferences are, visitors need make sure they book early to avoid missing out on a New Year to remember in beautiful Thailand.