The capital city of Thailand, and one of the most populous cities in the world, Bangkok holds a serious new years eve party every year, and 2016 is sure to be no exception with a range of events to cater for all tasters, including river cruises, hotels parties, bar and restaurant theme nights all leading up to the midnight countdown and the associated fireworks display which will light up the skies for miles around.
My previous experience of Bangkok is limited to passing through on a flight from the UK to Australia but even in that short visit I was stunned by the sheer scale, noise and activity of the place, so I can only imagine that on a huge day like new year's eve this will be magnified even further, so if you're headed there this year make sure you're full prepared for the experience!
The focus of much of the celebratory highlights is the Central World shopping plaza, which boasts a reputation for currently being the 3rd largest in the whole world! In front of it is the Central World Square, where the crowds will gather from early evening to enjoy the building atmosphere leading up to the explosive fireworks at midnight. The event includes an open air beer garden, a large screen which shows the countdown from other places in the world during the buildup, so you won't miss out on seeing the spectacular Sydney Harbour fireworks among others.
Elsewhere, many of the city's top nightspots will be holding events to remember. The Imperial Queen's Park Tower usually hosts the biggest rooftop party in Bangkok with live music, food and drink in it's signature restaurants and it is certainly ideally positioned to provide superb panoramic views of the city skyline come midnight, including their very own Imperial Fireworks Show.
Other locations with rooftop gardens where you can dine and get drinks with some of the best vantage points are Red Sky at Centara Grand and Vertigo. Also popular rooftop options are Above 11 and Cloud 47, the names of which give subtle hints as to their highlights!
Another top recommendation is the Sky Bar at Lebua, which has now introduced it's very own Ball Drop event, and actually now has the distinction of being the highest anywhere in the world, surpassing even New York's Times Square version! The Bangkok Ball can be seen for around a mile across the city but the best views are from the elevated bars and restaurants at Lebua itself - Sirocco, Mezzaluna, Breeze and Distil.
The bar and club scene in Bangkok is always buzzing, but for the NYE party they aim to crank it up yet another notch. Best areas to head towards are the clubs and bars at RCA, Silom or Khao San Road. There is also a good selection of outdoor bars in the Thonglor district of the city, a little more upmarket than the others.
For Kpop fans and others there is a new Show DC Countdown event at Oasis Outdoor Arena featuring RAIN, BEAST, DJ Schedule 1, DJ Jiyong, Plathong and HIGH4 - tickets are available here
River cruises are especially popular in Bangkok at this time of year, representing an excellent escape strategy from the omnipresent land-based crowds, as well as fantastic uninterrupted views for the fireworks.
If you like to take in some more relaxing scenery back on land then new year's eve and new year's day are a great time to visit one of the country's many national parks, where entrance is being offered for free on both days this year.
When is comes to eating out, the restaurants on Bangkok offer so much more than Thai cuisine these days, although of course there is plenty of that in evidence, especially at Nan Gin Kui and Sirocco at Lebua. International options are plentiful though, from burgers at Papa's Kitchen to steak at Colors Cafe and French at Le Normandie Restaurant at Mandarin Oriental. You can check out the full range of options, including many customer reviews here.
Places to watch live online:
Thailand's hotels are many and varied in terms of price and quality, and in Bangkok this polarisation is amply modified. We advise you to book well in advance to secure a decent location. Check availability and book local hotels here.
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