If you are fortunate enough to be in Thailand for New Year, you can expect to have a good time. Every major city and town in the Kingdom is organizing 2006/2007 New Year Countdown celebrations. Expect fireworks, a frenzy of activity, and like everywhere else in the world, massive throngs of people!
If you are in Bangkok on the run up to New Year you will be near some of the country’s biggest organized celebrations. Although many parts of the city will see gatherings of people, the two key places where people see in the New Year are around the Central World Plaza building (near Siam Square in central Bangkok) and the world renowned Khao San Road.
Central World Plaza (formerly the World Trade Center) did not start out as being a focal point for New Year festivities, but with only a handful of clock towers in the whole of Bangkok, it slowly became recognized as a meeting place to bring in the New Year. Things are much more organized these days – expect a massive outdoor video screen (purportedly the biggest in Asia) with a live link to a variety of locations around the world, world-class local bands who are currently in the limelight, DJs, dancers, and a great time had by all. The whole thing will be televised on Thai TV so wear your best shirt or dress! Luckily, Central World Plaza is very near Erawan Shrine (or San Phra Phrom as it is
known locally), the world famous shrine to ‘Brahma’, or ‘Phra Phrom’ – the four-headed god. The local take on this shrine is that if you promise to maintain the shrine by providing flowers, incense and other items the shrine requires, then your wishes will be granted. What better way to affirm your New Year resolutions than a visit!
If you are a tad more adventurous than the regular tourist you might find the New Year’s entertainment on Khao San Road meets your liking. As you probably know, Khao San Road is famed for being a backpack center and home to cheap backpacker accommodation and facilities, but over the last few years the area has blossomed into a major entertainment area where some of Asia’s best clubs attract the capital’s well-healed youth. This year’s festivities are sponsored by Singha Beer and events kick off around 19:00 with a big stage set up outside the street’s ‘boutique’ hotel, Buddy Lodge. Here you will experience the talents of local DJs and the “Venus Flytraps” – an English-speaking troupe of transgendered entertainers (known locally as ‘Ladyboys’) who offer cabaret and games that the audience will be invited to take part in. Although every bar and restaurant on Khao San Road and the surrounding area will be celebrating in some fashion, places of note include the Brick Bar, and Cinnamon where Thailand’s hip-hop giants Thaitanium will be playing their set – well worth checking out. Events on the street are earmarked to finish around 01:00 or 02:00 but some of the clubs in the area have licenses that will allow them to stay open until 03:00, so plenty to do as you go into 2007!
If you are in Chiang Mai the festivities are no less awesome! Chiang Mai New Year Countdown 2007 revolves around the Tha Pae Road and Tha Pae Gate and will include a food festival featuring local and international cuisine, a music street and an entertainment plaza featuring folk performances and contemporary Lanna music. Expect the ubiquitous firework display as the New Year comes in, but believe me; Thais do firework displays very well indeed so be prepared for a visual treat… As mentioned earlier, locations like Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Samui and every other place of interest to visitors in the Kingdom will be organizing something, so don’t worry – you are in for a good time wherever you will be!
Whether you are in Thailand for the New Year, or anywhere else in the world, we here at DiscoveryThailand.com wish the very best for 2007. Let’s hope the New Year will bring us all the very best possible!
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