Bringing in a Fresh Start: Chinese New Year in Bangkok 2019
Chinese New Year in Bangkok is a huge party in Chinatown and is easily the best way to experience the festival in Thailand. This city knows how to party, and how to party right. You’ll have no problem getting into the spirit of it, but it’s worth knowing what to expect.
This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, event in the Asian calendar. There are 3 main days of events focused on Chinese New Year, there are also some smaller events over two weeks that culminate with the Lantern Festival on the first full moon. While Thailand has its own lantern festivals, Yee Peng and Loy Krathong, the Chinese New Year ones are a bit different.
Where to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Bangkok
If you really want to get into the thick of it, you’ll want to head down to Chinatown. Specifically, you’ll want to head for the Yaowarat Road. This is where you’ll find the greatest concentration of events, Chinese temples, markets and more. Yaowarat has been the centre for Chinese culture in Thailand for centuries. In fact, the Chinese population only moved to Yaowarat to make way for The Grand Palace.
What to Expect
Don’t expect to find much information on events online, after all most of them are put on at temples who aren’t renown for their digital marketing. To be honest, if you can head to Chinatown over any of the 3 days of Chinese New Year you won’t be able to miss events and celebrations. That said, if you can be there for the actual day of the Spring Festival, the party will be even more impressive.
The streets will be closed to traffic, packed with people and full of celebration. When you get a ride to the area don’t be shocked if the taxi driver drops you off a way away from your expected destination, the roads are almost impossible to navigate or shut entirely.
All day you’ll see some incredible sights. Lion dancers, lines of drummers, hundreds of people attempting to help you achieve good luck through their wares.
When to Arrive
Midday is generally the best time to arrive if you’re looking to get a good spot and don’t want to stuck in crowds for your whole visit. The real action begins at 3pm. This is when the lion dancers begin their performances and parades start to flood the streets of the area. These dragons are a sight to behold in their own right, they can be hundreds of feet long that require dozens of dancers to perform.
It’ll be a long day, but it’s worth hanging on until the evening. Once daylight leaves and night descends the whole Yaowarat area becomes full of light from the lanterns hung on each and every corner, wall and alleyway.
Yaowarat too busy for you? Head down some of the side streets and some of the lesser known temples. This can, actually, be one of the best ways to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells during the festival. Expect to see people lighting joss sticks, buying special “bank notes” (hongbao) and lighting candles.
Bodegan Tip for Celebrating Chinese New Year in Bangkok
If you can time your trip with Chinese New Year 2019 then you’re in for a hell of a time, no matter where you are in Thailand. Yaowarat is another level! Plan in advance, get yourself a squad, have yourself some unforgettable times! Try as much street food as possible, drink some rice wine if you can find it and make sure you get back to Bodega Bangkok safe!