The western calendrical New Year has just passed yet there is another celebration in Bangkok and all over Thailand waiting for you — the Chinese New Year. Also known as the Spring Festival, it is based on the ancient Chinese Lunar Calendar, who was started in 2698 BC. Each year another animal is tied to it and this year it will be the Year of the Rat, which implies wealth and surplus while married couples pray for children.

Since Bangkok has a huge Chinese population, expect a lot of festivities, mainly centered in Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat. The major day this year is Saturday, January 25th 2020 plus one day before and after on a smaller scale and ending officially with the Lantern Festival on Sunday, February 9th, 2020. During the main day the whole 4 lanes of Yaowarat road will be closed and turned into a walking street and festival venue. Expect a lot of traffic around and be prepared for a longer journey. As a visitor in general and possibly guests from one of Sukhumvit Soi 4 hotels, we recommend using the recently opened subway (called MRT in Bangkok) and exit at the station Wat Mangkhon.

Once you arrive there, you will see a lot of decorations and Chinese lanterns, all in red color, which symbolizes fire along with drum sounds and firecrackers. A visit of the temples and shrines in the area during this time is a wonderful experience with incense smoke, candles and red Joss paper bank notes, that are burned for good luck. The first dragon parade on Yaowarat road starts at 3pm followed by numerous other performances of dancers and more dragons later that day closing with a solo concert of traditional drummers about 10:50pm. After this the crowd is awaiting midnight, which is seen as the start of the new year and people wishing each other a happy new year — Xin Nian Hao.

If you are looking for a hotel to stay in Chinese New Year festival, is a comfortable and affordable option of where to stay near Sukhumvit Soi 4.