If you are coming to celebrate New Year in Thailand and have 3 days in Bangkok just like we did, there are many interesting things you can do here during winter holidays, such as exploring the old town, trying street food, enjoying city’s nightlife and celebrating New Year at one of the top places in Bangkok. This is a perfect way to spend 3 days in Bangkok during New Year holiday!
Day 1 of New Year in Bangkok / December 30
Morning: Arrival in Bangkok
We arrived at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) just a bit before noon. Suvarnabhumi Airport is located 25 km east of the city and is well connected with downtown Bangkok. However, heavy traffic conditions can be expected during holiday season, so we avoided using taxi which can easily cost 400 THB and even more if you will get stuck in the traffic. The fastest way for getting to Bangkok City Center from the airport is taking Airport Rail Link Train and we opted for this option.
Alternatively, if your luggage is heavy and you are after a tiring journey, we would suggest you to book private transfer from the airport to your hotel in advance as it will help you to avoid being overcharged even during harsh traffic conditions.
We have stayed at Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam as it is very conveniently located in central area, near National Stadium BTS Station. For getting there from BKK Airport you need to take Airport Rail Link and change to BTS Skytrain at the last station. The journey by Airport Rail Link from the airport to Phayathai station costs 45 THB but we’ve got train tickets even cheaper because we booked our tickets online.
As Phayathai station is the last Airport Rail Link station, we changed to BTS Skytrain there (doing it is super easy!) and took the train to National Stadium BTS Station. The journey by BTS cost 26 THB per person so we’ve spent less than 70 THB (~2 EUR) each for getting to our hotel. That’s much less than we would be paying for taxi!
If you are planning to use BTS very often during your stay in Bangkok, buy BTS SkyTrain Day Pass as it is really cheap and offers unlimited rides as well as travel distance for a whole day.
If our chosen hotel is fully booked or doesn’t meet your expectations, other hotels that are recommended for this itinerary are as follows:
- Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
- Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit
- Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel
- Mercure Bangkok Siam
- Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit Sukhumvit
- Eleven Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 11
- Red Planet Bangkok Asoke
- CLOUD on Saladaeng Silom Hostel Bangkok
- Ekanek Hostel
Afternoon: Relaxing with traditional Thai Massage
After making check in and leaving our bags at the hotel, we went out for relaxing with traditional Thai massage at the one of the most popular spas in Bangkok - Let's Relax Spa. We went to MBK Center branch which is located nearby our hotel. We can say that this is one of the best massages we've ever experienced during our travels around Thailand. They also served us mango sticky rice (must try dessert in Thailand!) and tea after the massage.
Another popular spa in Bangkok is Health Land Spa where you can enjoy the 5-star experience of Thai massage.
Both of these companies have many branches spread out all over Bangkok so you can choose the one that is the most convenient for you.
Night: Christmas decorations at CentralWorld
We took BTS Skytrain to Chidlom Station in Ratchaprasong area. This area is probably the most popular shopping district in Bangkok and is home to many shopping malls and hotels that are heavily decorated with lights for creating a special winter holidays’ atmosphere.
The most popular place among locals to spend New Year's Eve in Bangkok is CentralWorld that is equivalent to Times Square in New York. They are famous for hosting concerts, light shows, and fireworks so you can expect a SUPER big crowd and a celebration party with many artists and international DJs there. Some of the most impressive Christmas decorations that offer great photo opportunities can also be found at CentralWorld, so we’ve spent our evening enjoying our time there.
DAY 2 of New Year in Bangkok / December 31
Morning: Visiting Bangkok’s must-see attractions
We’ve decided to visit the main attractions in the old town of Bangkok on the last day of the year as the Grand Palace is normally closed on the 1st of January. Don’t forget to check the schedule of Grand Palace before planning your trip there to avoid the scammers who are constantly telling tourists that the Grand Palace is closed.
We started our second day with a visit to Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn. It is one of must-visit landmarks in Bangkok where you can spot its famous giant tower, standing 70 meters high. The temple is decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass surrounded by Chinese porcelain. Wat Arun admission fee is 50 THB per person.
Then we took the cross river ferry from Wat Arun to Ta Tien Pier for getting to Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the trip cost us only 4 THB per person.
Wat Phra Kaew is the most important temple in Thailand, located on the grounds of the Grand Palace. The temple enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade. The Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple admission fee is 500 THB per person.
Afternoon: Visiting Wat Pho and Flower Market
After enjoying our lunch at the restaurant on the riverside, we walked to Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), which is located in an easy walking distance from the Grand Palace. Due to the proximity of these attractions, it’s popular to visit these sights together.
Wat Pho is one of six first-class royal temples. The temple houses the famous image of the Reclining Buddha which is a whopping 15 meters high and 46 meters long. Wat Pho is also the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Wat Pho admission fee is 100 THB.
From Wat Pho, we walked to Flower Market also called Pak Khlong Talat, which is located only 10 minutes from Wat Pho. This market is the place where they sell wholesale cut flowers. We’ve been wandering around the market and witnessed stall after stall selling all kinds of flowers and arrangements. It’ a heaven for flower lovers. Flower Market is open 24 hours each and every day but the best time to visit it is early morning.
Evening: New Year's Eve Celebration at Asiatique the Riverfront
We counted down to New Year at Asiatique The Riverfront. Asiatique itself is a nice place with a festive vibe as it is a large open-air area alongside the Chao Phraya River that normally hosts events during many festivals and offer its guests more relaxing atmosphere. Bangkok’s tallest Ferris-wheel can also be found here. Riding it at night is really spectacular as you can see the other side of the city. They had live music and brilliant fireworks all night.
After the celebration, we used the Asiatique free shuttle boat to get to Saphan Taksin Pier and it was hassle free. There we changed to BTS Skytrain and got back to our hotel.
Be noted that on New Year's Eve BTS normally operates until 2:00!
DAY 3 of New Year in Bangkok / January 1
Morning: Visiting Floating Market
We wanted to visit one of floating markets in Bangkok but almost all of them as well as Chatuchak Weekend Market are open only on weekends. So at the end we’ve decided to take a day trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market that are open daily.
When planning our trip there, we've read many reviews on tourist scams at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. So, we've opted to take a well-rated day tour.
The first stop on this tour was at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market which is the most renowned floating market in Thailand. It is pretty touristy and packed with people and things sold here were quite overpriced but the experience was still worth it. However, if you are going to be in Bangkok on weekend, there are many other floating markets to visit and they are more local, closer to the city and significantly cheaper.
The next stop on the tour was Maeklong Railway Market which was probably the most unique and some of our favorite attractions we’ve visited in Thailand. This market truly operates on the railroad. When the train approaches, vendors quickly pull the umbrellas and immediately extend them once the train passes. Really impressive!
Evening: Exploring Ratchada Train Night Market
The tour bus dropped us at Siam Paragon shopping mall. From there we took BTS Skytrain to Asok station where we changed to MRT Metro going to Thailand Cultural Center Station, which is located right nearby one of the most popular night markets in Bangkok - Train Night Market Ratchada.
Train Night Market Ratchada has become a must-see of Bangkok nightlife with hundreds of stalls selling reasonably priced clothes, variety of delicious Thai Food and a number of bars with a view of the market where you can relax after shopping around. For the best picture of the market from above, go to the parking lot of the Esplanade Mall that is located nearby the market.
Night: Experience Nightlife around Khao San Road
We headed to Khao San Road at around 22:30 by taxi. The street was packed with tourists and locals. This is the area worth wondering around or hanging in and out and soaking up the atmosphere after dark during New Year in Bangkok. Many clubs and bars host an ultimate New Year party where you can enjoy drinking and partying. There’s a live band in every other bar along the street.
The area is a little out from our hotel near Siam, so it cost around 150 THB for us to get back by taxi.
Our New Year in Bangkok was over. Thailand is big, time to move forward!