Thailand will accept any excuse to party, and even the Western New Year of 2011 is good enough for clubs, malls and hotels to break out into festival mode, enticing both local and foreign celebrants to cheer on the incoming year with music, food and merriment. If you find yourself in Thailand on the eve of December 31 this year, you can party at one of these events.
Photo courtesy ofÂ victoriapeckham.
Started by a group of tourists during a lovely full moon, the Ko Phangan Full Moon Party draws some 10,000 to 30,000 party-goers each month. The New Year Full Moon Party promises to deliver twice the fun as DJs blast their hypnotic beats to the crowds along the Gulf of Thailand, while jugglers, fire-eaters and other fringe entertainers add to the festivities that last until the wee hours of the morning. However, watch your conduct as some of the parties get out of hand and local enforcement agencies look down on foreigners who participate in illegal activities like drug use and excessive public inebriation. Book your stay in hotels like the Morning Star Resort as early as possible as rooms can quickly run out during this period.
Photo courtesy of honou.
This celebration is part of the “Hands Bangkok Countdown”. A giant screen will broadcast activities in nations within the same time zone, while 21 metres up in the air, a 3 metre diameter LCD orb screen will dazzle the crowds below with a light and sound show. Over 200,000 guests are expected to attend the festivities, and can enjoy the week-long celebration with beer gardens, concerts, shopping and performances ending with fireworks across the Bangkok sky. CentralWorld will have no problem handling this huge crowd as it is Asia’s largest shopping center, possessing 500 stores, 21 movie theatres and 50 dining establishments. For convenience, book a room at Centara Grand at Central World Bangkok Hotel, which is right in the heart of the action.
Photo courtesy of pittaya.
This jam-packed venue will be entertained by Thailand’s biggest celebrities, who will perform songs, dances and other activities for those in attendance and the rest of Thailand via television. The National Stadium is a mere two kilometres from CentralWorld Square, can be accessed via Skytrain, and is right next to the parade grounds of Sanam Luang.
Photo courtesy of Keng Susumpow.
The Grand Palace will provide an eloquent backdrop as more traditional performances will be organized to greet 2011. Folk dances, songs and concerts will entertain the capital’s older residents, followed by a series of fireworks along the Chao Phraya River to cap the evening. Expect the speeches by government officials and religious leaders to be conducted in Thai.
These major New Year’s parties will draw enormous crowds, so if you are bothered by squeezing in with the locals, you can celebrate in any of the smaller resorts and establishments. Many of these will have their own themed festivities and will be be attended by a smaller number of guests guaranteeing a more intimate setting. You should also beware of hotels and travel packages enforcing a compulsory and very expensive New Year’s Eve dinner during this time, with some as high as $300 per person. And if you miss out on the goings-on on December 31, worry not: there’s going to be an even bigger celebration during Songkran, the Thai New Year in April.