In addition to Chinese New Year in February and traditional Thai New Year (Songkran) in April, the Land of Smiles pays tribute to the Western New Year too and does it quite flashily. You'll find countdown parties and fireworks all across the country, from Phuket in the south to Chiang Mai in the north. Thus, celebrating New Year's Eve in Thailand is always a great idea! Scroll down to find out the best destinations to mark the occasion.
The energetic Thai capital is the king of New Year's Eve events in Thailand. The options are immense, but we list the most outstanding ones to ease your choice. First of all, check out Thanon Khao San or Khao San Road, which is always flooded with crowds on the last day of December. Join giant countdown parties, which take place at CentralWorld, Asiatique The Riverfront, and ICONSIAM. Or check out the highest countdown in MahaNakhon Sky Bar, the tallest building in the country. Lastly, consider a boat cruise on the charming Chao Phraya river if you wish for a little more privacy.
Outside of Bangkok, yet still relatively close to it, you can also celebrate NYE in Pattaya. People gather at the Bali Hai Pier to enjoy family-friendly festivities, including live concerts, a countdown, and a dazzling fireworks display over the city's skyline. Additionally, this destination caters to hippies and hipsters. If you seek to dance into the new year with like-minded folks, head to Walking Street (Pattaya Beach Street), lined with hip bars.
Phuket is the best choice for avid party animals. Yet, we'd recommend visiting the island's beach parties for the utmost NYE experience rather than staying in Phuket City. Discover the most astonishing rave on Patong Beach, praised as the heart of nightlife on the island. Other beaches along the west coastline throw smaller NYE parties worth visiting too. South of Patong, you'll find Karon and Kata beaches, and north of Patong—Kamala and Bangtao beaches. Feel free to try all of them and choose your favorite bash.
Chiang Mai, located in the mountainous northern part of the country, is different from other cities across Thailand. This place stands out with its harmonious combination of urban life and ancient medieval vibe. No wonder local New Year's Eve is also unique. On December 31, cheerful crowds flock to the Tha Phae Gate in the Old City to release thousands of lanterns for good luck in the year to come. The magic happens at midnight when floating lights fill up the sky. Everyone can join in the celebration—the vendors will be there selling a lantern for about $1. Also, the night traditionally ends with sparkling fireworks.
For more details, please check official websites (our External Resources section could be helpful). Also, plan your NYE stay in advance to avoid the last-moment issues. Use the map below suggesting the best accommodations near the spots featured in the article.