Given that Bangkok is a huge city that is full of amazing restaurants, bars and clubs there are plenty of places to choose from for Christmas dinner and to welcome in the New Year!
As I turned the last page of my 2016 desk calendar just a few weeks ago, I came to the realization that we had arrived at ‘that time of year’ again. The time of year when I need to decide where to have my Christmas dinner and where to welcome in the New Year! Luckily, given that Bangkok is a huge city that is full of amazing restaurants, bars and clubs, it’s not too hard to find lots of places that suit my budget and my tastes.
Each Christmas I spend in Bangkok, I always like to begin with the same ritual of wandering the streets of Siam and Chidlom at night, soaking up the light displays and Christmas decorations on display. Being right in the center of the city’s commercial district, it is also extra convenient to pick up some last minute Christmas gifts for friends and family back home…and sometimes also something for myself!
Travelling from Webster University Thailand’s Bangkok Campus is easy – simply catch the BTS skytrain from Chong Nonsi to Siam and viola! After disembarking at Siam it is a direct walk straight down Sukhumvit Road to CentralWorld at Chidlom, home to Bangkok’s most iconic Christmas tree. Whilst you will have battle with the inevitable crowds, there are plenty of restaurants, malls and cafés to explore along the way for some respite.
As with many international students at Webster University Thailand, the prospect of spending Christmas far away from close friends and family can seem a little daunting. However, there are so many great places to enjoy Christmas dinner with your Bangkok family that you’ll hardly notice you’re not home. Most major hotels for instance offer a buffet dinner of just about every food you could possibly imagine. Many also include drinks and other optional extras.
If you’re after something a little more low-key and easy on the wallet then perhaps you may want to make your way down to Chinatown. Accessible by either the MRT underground train or by taxi, Chinatown not only has 101 amazing restaurants and bars to choose from, but is also has an atmosphere quite unique to the rest of Bangkok. My personal favorite is Tang Jai Yoo restaurant, an establishment that cooks up a delicious suckling pig that is perfect for sharing with a big group of friends.
After the food coma of Christmas passes, it is time for the next big holiday celebration – New Years Eve. For most people in Bangkok that means heading out for a few drinks with a group of friends and counting down until 2017 rolls in. There is definitely no shortage of places to celebrate this event no matter what your have in mind. With only a couple of weeks until 2017 is upon us, here are a few suggestions for how you might like to spend it:
New Years with a View
Perhaps the most popular way to ring in the New Year is with some drinks atop one of Bangkok’s famed rooftop bars. With a number of bars spread right across the city, the hardest thing you’ll have to do is to decide which one you want to visit. The two most famous ones located near Webster University Thailand’s Bangkok Campus is the Banyan Tree Bangkok and the Lebua Hotel rooftop bars. Unfortunately, because it is NYE, most rooftop bars across the city only offer a set menu and it can get pricey! Some smaller bars like the SkyTrain Jazz Bar at Victory Monument offer a more chilled vibe and are definitely less harsh on the wallet.
Another popular spot to ring in the New Year is by the stunning Chao Phraya River at Asiatique. Located relatively close to Webster University Thailand, it is only a short BTS ride to Saphan Taksin followed by the free boat to the Asiatique Pier. Starting at 5.00pm, expect an evening of premium food and drinks, night markets and the classic New Years Eve countdown. If you have somewhere in mind that you’d like to eat, it’s recommended that you book ahead as seats fill up fast. For those willing to take a chance, there are also plenty of market stalls to ensure you are adequately fed and hydrated.
Party like it’s 1999
For some, New Years Eve is a time to truly let their hair down and have some fun. One of the best and most conveniently located places to do this is at the pumping Royal City Avenue, more commonly referred to as RCA. With a strong lineup of local and international DJs, it doesn’t really matter which place you wander into. Each place will be throbbing until the early hours and will provide you with a chance to celebrate 2016 and officially welcome in the New Year.
No matter where you choose to celebrate, one thing’s for certain – you’ll have a memorable evening surrounded by good music, food, friends and drinks. You really can’t go wrong!
See you all in 2017 and enjoy the holidays!