If large outdoor crowds aren't your thing, there are plenty of other possibilties that cater for every taste, creed, persuasion or sub-culture. Parties organised at the capital's top-notch clubs are always bound to be first-rate choices. Perhaps a spectacular dinner at a riverside or five-star hotel - normally accompanied by traditional dance performances, fireworks and dancing the night away - is more up your alley? Since this is Bangkok, you can choose to have a Go-Go experience too, or to be tickled pink...
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
River Cruise Countdown
No doubt, one of the best places to be is at the riverside. Better still, on the river! Enjoy a quiet and romantic New Year's Eve dinner accompanied by light entertainment while cruising the majestic Chao Praya River. Then, as the clock strikes twelve, what better place to appreciate the fireworks magically lighting up the skies above Bangkok than on the river, away from the maddening crowds? These cruises are very popular, so make sure you book well in advance.
All Bangkok's posh riverside hotels hold opulent gala dinners with entertainment and excellent views of the midnight fireworks displays. These events come at a price, but the experience will be unforgettable. Expect a real Thai experience with classical dance performances, live music provided by a band, exquisite flower decorations, festive lights and free-flowing champagne at midnight. Booking is essential.
Most of the city's finest hotels have prepared festive programmes that promise a more personal and intimate atmosphere. Ideal for families, these New Year's events typically include a buffet spread that a whole army can feast on, together with entertainment like live music, lucky draws and classical Thai dance performances.
Notorious for over-the-top, extravagant celebrations, Bangkok's swanky clubs are hot spots for the fabulous and trendy. Long recognized as one of the most popular up-scale nightspots, Q Bar hosts an elaborate bash on New Year's Eve. The floor crowds with model-esque creatures, moving to music spun by internationally esteemed DJs. Champagne flows freely along with martinis and a broad selection of libations from two bars located on opposite ends of the dance floor. Q Bar's trendy dcor pales in comparison to its eye-catching guests though...
Yet another ritzy scene, BED Supperclub in Sukhumvit throws a brilliant countdown bash. Perhaps the most unique design in Thailand, the egg-shaped club's super-contemporary dcor makes the place nearly space-like with seventies retro-style 'whiteness'. Silent films are projected onto the walls, enhancing the ultra chic and hip vibe, while a full kitchen is available late into the eve to satiate those final cravings for Thai delicacies. Low slung chairs, curved walls, and actual beds for lounging ensure that this trendy joint will manage to be an impressive New Year's option. Also renowned for employing the sexiest staff in all of Bangkok.
Younger crowds celebrate around Silom Road and RCA. Guaranteed fun, these places are likely to be pretty packed, as well as more inebriated. Entrance is around 1,000 baht and includes two drinks. But as these parties are sought after gigs, you'd better get tickets in advance. Clubs worth mentioning are Route 66, Slim/Flix and Luminous. For a complete list of Bangkok's best clubs, have a look here, and keep your eyes peeled for more event details in our What's On section.
Go-Go Bar Countdown
If a squeaky clean New Year's Eve isn't how you'd prefer to end the Western calendar year, head to Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza or Patpong for a wayward night of profligacy and a Go-Go party that will live up to your wildest fantasies. Raunchy and sordid it is, however these certainly allows one to live it up before those resolutions kick in. The Dollhouse in Soi Cowboy is particularly famous for throwing wild New Year's bashes, starring a line-up of sexy pole dancers and an unruly and appreciative audience. Table-dancing isn't limited here to only the 'performers', so it's not uncommon for a rowdy patron to hop on board, offering an impromptu performance.
A place for boys who like boys, the selection of bars and clubs in Silom's Soi 2 and 4 cater to a gay crowd and promise a rowdy evening of decadent pink revelry. These areas are most definitely not for the bashful, and boast a collection of venues staffed by a colorful cast of characters. Flirtatious bartenders and club workers have as much fun as guests, and shirtless dancing is a prerequisite. Sphinx, Tapas, Balcony Bar and The Telephone Pub are a few popular establishments lining Soi 4.
Although these places will promote their own New Year's parties, as midnight approaches unruly hordes pour into the street, forming a collective mob of dancing and general uproar. And then it's off to clubs like DJ Station or G.O.D. for shaking some booty along with a throbbing and sweaty shirtless crowd until the early hours of the morning. If a pink night is your thing, have a look at our gay section for a complete orientation and a list of venues.
Khao San Road Countdown
Some may argue that the endless rows of food stalls in Khao San Road may compete with a deluxe hotel buffet (at a fraction of the price), but the issue is still up for debate. Unmistakably true though, is that Khao San Road remains the favorite spot of the patchouli-scented backpackers. Whether you celebrate the New Year with a cheap cocktail at a pavement bar, a tattoo or a banana pancake, this backpacking ghetto provides merrymaking for all those on a low budget.
People-watching reaches its zenith here, and it's the right place to take a seat on the curb with a Chang and ogle the freak show as it passes you by. Perhaps a facial piercing will suit your fancy in 2008? Either way, Khao San Road is great fun and won't cost you an arm and a leg.
The Morning After
It's the morning after... It's the same story every year: you've partied too hard and you wake up on the first day of the new year feeling rather groggy. Luckily, you're in Bangkok and there are many instant cures that will make you feel a whole lot better, and set you off on a good start...
A good way to start the first day of 2008 that will make you feel a whole lot better, would be with a wonderful food feast - especially since you overslept and missed breakfast. Some of the most sumptuous brunch buffets are to be found in Bangkok, typically at good hotels. Let our comprehensive online Restaurant & Dining section guide you to the right spot to fill that gap...
Spa & Massage
Always a good way to rejuvenate is a pampering session at one of the city's luxurious day spas. Many top-end hotels also have their own in-house 'sanctuaries of utter indulgence', and you can't go wrong here. Alternatively, seek retreat in one of Bangkok's numerous massage shops and enjoy a heavenly foot massage. For some of Bangkok's best hotel and day spas - as well as a detailed orientation of Thai massage - head straight to our Spa and Massage section.
New Year Buddhist Merit Making
While some of you might be dealing with the repercussions of a late night of celebrations, many Thai people will visit temples to make merit. To ensure happiness, health, good luck and prosperity for the year to come, locals often visit as many as nine temples in one day. It is a very special Buddhist tradition, and one that comes highly recommended if you want to experience an auspicious occasion like New Year's Day the Thai way. It also provides the perfect opportunity to try to squeeze in nine of Bangkok's spectacular temples. Considering that there are more than 300 temples in the city to choose from, it is very accomplishable indeed.