The Lunar / Chinese New Year is the biggest festival in China and sets a complete country in motion. With all the Chinese influences here in Thailand this, obviously, does not pass unnoticed in the Land of Smile as well. Lots of Chinese employees / workers will go home to spend time with their family or take the time off to travel with their friends.
What’s happening during Chinese New Year in Thailand?
Celebrations! Obviously. You will see Chinese decorations and specials everywhere. Special discounts in shops, malls, heck even at 7-11. Besides that there will be lots of concerts and shows everywhere.
Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Happy New Year)
Even though the Lunar New Year is not an official Thai Public Holiday there are still some provinces in the south of Thailand that declared it public holidays due to the huge amount of Chinese people living and working there.By the way, in 2015 we are entering the year of the goat!
Besides those official celebrations you will also see lots of Chinese groups moving through city and performing Chinese (dragon) dances and collect some money. The highlights of the ceremonies will be, when talking about Bangkok, obviously in China Town (Yaowarat). Food, party, singing, dancing, it’s going to be wonderfully crazy ;-)
If you’re not in Bangkok you can also join big celebrations in Phuket, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Trang, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Sawan, Songkhla’s Hat Yai district, Ayutthaya, Pattaya and Chiang Mai – every other city will likely have smaller events as well though!
Money Money Money through Chinese New Year
It’s not all about parties though! It’s also about spending money. Lots of money. This year Thailand is looking to an increased spending which will likely hit a 10 year high (source: the nation)
Just to make your jaw drop a little further: The Thai Tourism Authority (TAT) predicts that the New Year celebrations will make around 716 million baht.
Behave yourself during Chinese New Year
As mentioned above Thailand is a common travel destination for Chinese tourists. If you followed the news over the past few weeks you already know that Chinese tourists don’t necessarily have a good reputation here and after some incidents over the past few weeks Chinese tourists are now going to receive ‘manuals’ that will tell them how to behave properly here in Thailand. This will mainly happen in Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai (north of Thailand) since those incidents took place there.
Talking about tourists: Suvarnabhumi Airport is expecting more than 2 million tourists during the Chinese New Year alone. That’s 926 flights and 164,000 passengers per day! Insane! Most of them, yes you guessed it, coming from China. If compared with last year the numbers are thought to increase about 20%. Seems like Martial Law and Junta rule are nothing that keeps Chinese tourists away. Commenting on the ‘why’ would now be too easy ;-)
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