1 is a public holiday in Thailand and the Thais happily join
in the fun of the occasion, even though the traditional Thai
New Year is in April. In fact, Thailand is probably the only
country in the world where New Year is celebrated three times
every year-January 1, the Chinese New Year in February and
the Thai New Year or Songkran in April.
New Year, a lot of Thais go back to their upcountry homes
and spend the holidays with their families. In Bangkok, the
hotels bring out the fairy lights and organize lots of fattening
and inebriating events. Most hotels, bars and restaurants
arrange special promotions, which are mostly expensive and
need to be booked in advance. If you just go somewhere on
spec, you might be disappointed. It pays to plan ahead for
best places to count in the New Year are in front of the World
Trade Center and around Siam Square, along Silom Road and
Patpong, and at Sanam Luang and Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue.
Firework displays are organized at many spots around the city,
but the most notable are at Sanam Luang and Wat Saket, on
top of the Golden Mount.
A more traditional Thai celebration will underscore activities at the city’s Sanam Luang, with the famed temple roofs and spires in the Grand Palace courtyards providing the backdrop. Crowds will gather on the historic spacious parade ground, facing Thammasat University, to enjoy classical dance performances, folk songs from the various provinces and musical concerts for an older generation of city residents.
As the countdown celebrations get underway, firework displays along the banks of the nearby Chao Phraya River will illuminate the sky.
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