There is an inclusive element to Thai culture that makes Thailand a uniquely special place to spend the festive season. The naturally friendly and jolly people are especially fond of festivals, even foreign ones, and go out of their way to wish every foreigner they meet their best Christmas wishes.
Whether you choose to spend Christmas in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, on one of Thailand’s thousands of beaches and islands or in one of the country’s 127 national parks, you are bound to have a memorable experience.
Christmas in Thailand is when Thais go all out to dazzle and seduce tourists into spending money, but it is done so artfully and with such obvious enthusiasm that you hardly notice. Everywhere there are lights, adorning buildings, street lights, trees, bridges and just about anything else. Even the ubiquitous tuk-tuks often sport twinkling lights.
In Bangkok, shopping malls and luxury hotels compete for attention with amazing displays of Christmas trees and lights and you can take a leisurely stroll around the city marvelling at the trouble Thais take to make their visitors feel at home. The shopping experience in Bangkok is second to none, with giant malls that showcase luxury fashion brands, world-class cinema complexes, the best in local and international cuisine and in one, Siam Paragon, the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia.
Shopping malls put on a big display
Food of course is another attraction, and for those looking for a traditional Christmas meal Thailand abounds in pubs and restaurants that offer the whole shebang for every nationality. And if you’re in need of a little spiritual uplifting Thailand has many Christian churches where you’ll be more than welcome.
Saint Michael Cathedral Tharae at Ban Tha Rae
Thailand is one of Asia’s premier tourist destinations for countless reasons and never more so than during festive occasions like Christmas, when these naturally hospitable and welcoming people take immense pride in showing off all that the country has to offer to ensure that you have the best possible experience.
In Chiang Mai the Christmas season is evident in the festive decorations and Thai-style Santas in shop windows and almost every restaurant has at least some Christmas decorations to set the mood. But, unlike, Bangkok, where Christmas is centred around shopping and entertainment, this ancient city offers a much more varied range of activities, including both spiritual and adventurous experience.
Thailand’s islands and beaches are world famous for all the obvious reasons but there is something so exquisitely exotic about spending Christmas gazing at the crystal-clear turquoise waters, sinking toes into powder-fine, brilliant white sand, eating spicy food and getting a massage on the beach while back home everyone you know is huddled around TV sets, working off the over-indulgence of Christmas dinner and wishing they were there.
Wherever you choose to spend Christmas in Thailand you can be assured of an experience that will leave you wanting more. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, they say, and where in the world could you be jollier than in the land where when you tell someone what you ‘ve been up to the most likely question will be “Sanuk mai?” Was it fun?