Chinese New Year is widely celebrated around Asia and while it is not a public holiday in Thailand, Thai locals still make the effort to come together as a family to celebrate. About 15% of Thailand’s population is of Chinese descent so many will take leave to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Many tourists also fly in to celebrate Chinese New Year in Bangkok because in case you do not know, all shops in Thailand remain open. This is priceless information, especially when in many countries, most businesses, including shops and restaurants, are closed during the first few days of the festival. This makes Thailand the perfect place to spend your Chinese New Year vacation.
If you happen to be in Bangkok, here are 4 tips on how you can spend your Chinese New Year holidays.
#1 Dress in Red
During Chinese New Year, you will see many people dressed in traditional red clothing as it is an auspicious colour. Some supermarkets and restaurants will ask their staff to wear cheongsam too. Don’t be shy, dress in red and join the festivities.
#2 Visit Yaowarat (Chinatown)
In Bangkok, Yaowarat (Chinatown) is where most of the celebrations take place. The Samphanthawong district office, business and civic leaders in Yaowarat will organise a big annual Chinese New Year celebration, with many events centered around the Odeon Gate.
When you visit Yaowarat during Chinese New Year, you will notice that the streets are filled with lanterns. There will also be firecrackers, dragon parades and acrobatic performances throughout the day. Coupled with the Thai street food Yaowarat is famous for, it will be a feast for all your senses.
#3 Eat Yu Sheng
Yu Sheng is a Chinese New Year delicacy only eaten during gatherings with family and friends to symbolize good fortune and to start the new year with a bang (thanks to the customary rowdy tossing motion required before tucking in). In Bangkok, you can find Yu Sheng in most Chinese restaurants based in 5-star hotels. Alternatively, you can also check out Ping’s Thai Teochew Seafood Restaurant where many Singaporeans / Malaysians living in Bangkok will frequent this fun and delicious Chinese New Year dish.
#4 Take a road trip up North
As Chinese New Year usually falls in the end-January, early-February period, it coincides with the end of the cool season in Northern/North-Eastern Thailand. It is never a bad idea to rent a car and take the leisurely 2-4 hour drive up North, to Khao Yai or Khao Kho to chase the last of Thailand’s cool breeze. If you miss it, you still have an abundance of fresh air and amazing natural scenery to enjoy!
Remember, it is business-as-usual in Thailand during Chinese New Year, so you need not worry about shops being closed during your vacation. Start planning now!
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