Find yourself in the land of smiles over the holidays? Lucky you! Thailand has long been a tropical refuge for those who shy away from winter (anyone else need a break from the snow?) or the extended family. Though whether you visit solo or with your partner and the kids in tow, you’re in for nothing but summery bliss and fresh coconuts from the moment your sleigh descends upon a swath of powdery sand.
Sure, this might not be the land of Santa, but if you’re willing to swap a Christmas tree for a palm tree swaying gently in a warm breeze, you might just find yourself presented with the biggest gift of them all – quality time and memories to last a lifetime! Here’s what to do on your festive trip to the Thai Kingdom.
Get jolly at Bangkok’s Great Gatsby Christmas Market
Yes, you read that right: Bangkok has its very own Christmas market. Held annually at K-village, a stylish shopping mall in Sukhumvit, the week-long event attracts more visitors every year – and it’s not just holidaymakers! Many Thais love the traditions surrounding Christmas and with its vintage feel, the Great Gatsby market unites locals and visitors in the spirit of celebration!
Cultivate your very own Santa-style belly by eating your way through a whopping 150 food and drink stalls, enjoy festive carols and participate in the many fun photo-ops… Sound like music to your ears? Of course it does. Meet us by the tropical mulled wine stand, where we’ll be sending our taste buds on a jolly joyride.
Attend a Christmas concert
Smiley about being in the land of smiles but sad you’re missing out on Christmas carols? Don’t be: There are many churches all over Thailand, from Bangkok’s stunning Assumption Cathedral to St. Joseph’s Church in Ayutthaya’s Portuguese settlement – once the centre of Christianity in ancient Siam.
Many of the country’s churches put on Christmas concerts throughout the month of December, and there is truly something special about hearing ‘O Come All ye Faithful’ and ‘Holy Night’ in a tropical destination! Not religious? No problem. We’d argue these churches and concerts are worth a visit either way – there’s more to Thailand than temples!
Pick up a bargain or two from the post-holidays sales in Bangkok
Boxing Day as such doesn’t really exist in Thailand, but Bangkok’s world-class shopping malls sure know how to incentivise shopping Queens to part with their Baht. Ho, ho, ho your way to Gaysorn Mall or the hugely popular and oh-so-deluxe Siam Paragon for some seriously reduced prices not only on Christmas articles, but on many fashion and beauty products, too.
Marking the end of the festive period, sales usually start between the years – though that doesn’t mean the decoration’s come down yet! In fact, one of our favourite reasons to go on a Bangkok shopping haul in winter are the incredible displays… You haven’t spent the holidays in Thailand until you’ve seen a Christmas palm tree!
Treat yourself to a festive dinner on the beach
If you’re not big on Christmas to start with, but you do enjoy taking a moment to celebrate with your beloved ones over the holidays, you’re of course spoiled for choice in Thailand.
Though a private dinner on the beach, courtesy of The Sarojin Khao Lak Resort, might just be the ultimate treat: forget about Brussels sprouts and roasted chestnuts and spoil your family with a hearty BBQ on the beach – it’s the most tropical way to celebrate… dramatic sunset included!