New Year’s Eve in Thailand

WHEN

Do you really need to be told this one?! Specifically, New Year’s Eve in Thailand will be taking place on a Sunday in 2017.

WHAT

Well… it’s New Year’s Eve!

The ways in which the New Year’s Eve in Thailand festivities are celebrated vary from place to place, and we’ll get to that later. But in general just know that, whether you’re looking for a crazy, drunken night to forget, or a pleasantly chilled-out, beachside evening, Thailand has something for everybody looking to bring in the new year in style.

WHY

The Thai people actually get to celebrate not one, not two, but three new years in a single one of their years. These are Chinese New Year, in January; Songkran (the actual Thai New Year), in April; and of course the Gregorian calendar’s New Year’s Eve, on December 31st.

This is down to two main factors. Firstly, the Thai people will seize any opportunity they can to have a big celebration and this includes New Year’s Eve in Thailand on the 31st. The sheer amount of festivals on their calendar is evidence of that.

Secondly, over the past century or so in particular, western culture has become more and more influential in the country. Amongst many other examples, this has manifested itself in the Thai people’s increasing embrace of Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

WHERE

One of the best things about spending New Year’s Eve in Thailand – and why you should definitely try do it at least once in your life – is the sheer variety of ways to celebrate that are available.

If you want a classic, enormous party, then Bangkok should be your number one destination. The biggest event in the city takes place outside Central World, a shopping mall right in the city center. Thousands upon thousands of people pack out the streets, which are cordoned off to traffic. It gets extremely crowded there, but the live performances and firework displays at midnight ensure an unforgettable night (depending on how much Chang you consume). Alternatively, Khao San Road – the backpacker party capital of Southeast Asia – also has a typically wild celebration.

As is the case in many areas, Chiang Mai offers a much more laid-back alternative to the bustling capital. The classic Chiang Mai New Year’s Eve experience involves hundreds of people releasing floating lanterns into the night sky, in much the same way as they do during Yi Peng. The hub of activity is around Tha Pae Gate, as it is for many of Chiang Mai’s festivals.

If you’re in the south of Thailand at the end of December, Phuket is the place to head to. The island’s (in)famous Bangla Road is the best spot to go for the biggest parties, or you can head to Surin Beach for a more relaxed celebration, with fireworks, barbeques and live performances aplenty.

Central World Bangkok

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