Unforgettable NYE Experiences: Ringing in the New Year in Thailand

If you are going to be celebrating the New Year in Thailand, you may wonder which part of the country is the best choice for your celebrations. Or perhaps you already know where you will be staying but are unsure what the best options are for the big night. Well, Bangkok local Stephen Christopher has seen in the New Year from a few different cities in Thailand and shares his tips with us below. 

If you are wondering where to celebrate a remarkable New Year‘s Eve in Thailand, fear not; you’re spoiled for choice. You may find yourself under a rain of fireworks on a bustling Bangkok street or potentially dancing your way into the new year on an idyllic beach on an island like Ko Samet, Koh Pha Ngang, or Phuket. 

Celebrating New Year in Thailand

I’m going to take you on a quick journey around Thailand, starting in Bangkok and then heading south. I’ll highlight my favourite ways to ring in the new year. At the end of each destination, you’ll find my insider tips from someone who’s seen my fair share of NYE celebrations in Thailand.

I’ve been in Thailand for over seven years and am about to attend my eighth NYE party. There really is something for everyone, and I hope you find what you’re looking for in my guide. 

If you plan on spending your New Year’s Eve in Thailand, Bangkok is a great choice. While the Chao Phraya River is where most locals and tourists flock, there are alternatives like dancing the night away on a rooftop bar or partying hard at centralwOrld or Khao San Road,

New Year’s Eve on the Chao Phraya River

Let’s start with the festivities along the Chao Phraya River. Fireworks at midnight are the main attraction, so why not begin the night at a riverside hotel serving exquisite cuisine? Most hotels and restaurants have a NYE package, which includes food, champagne, and exclusive views of the fireworks.

Wat Arun is a popular place to spend New Year in Thailand
Fireworks at Wat Arun

Another option is to join a dinner cruise on the river. You’ll sail down, eating delicious food coupled with live entertainment. Just before midnight, the boat will berth in a top location for premium fireworks.

A river cruise at twilight is stunning anytime but even more beautiful on NYE

If you just want to join the countdown, several riverside hotels have a last-minute viewing package. One year, I paid 1,000 baht at 11 pm. It included a glass of bubbly and access to the river in front of Icon Siam, where the fireworks were let off.

Sky High Celebrations

Take a trip to the city’s rooftop bars and party with some of the world’s most renowned DJs. Sathorn and Sukhumvit areas have some of the best rooftop bars in Bangkok; some are 30+ floors up. With many offering 360° views, you’ll get a birds-eye view of the fireworks from the river at midnight.

The Roof Top of the Maha Nakhon Building in Sathon

My two favourite rooftop bars are the one at SO/ Bangkok and Vertigo Bar, which is on the 63rd floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel in Sathorn. Others you might like to consider include; Avani Riverside’s Seen Bar, Sky Bar at Lebua Hotel, Bar Yard at Kimpton Maa- Lai or OJO at the Standard.

centralwOrld NYE Celebrations

The street party in front of centralwOrld is where the young party crowd goes for New Year’s Eve. There are live DJs on rotation, street food of all kinds, and vendors selling NYE gear; snap up some flashing headbands or sparkly date sunglasses and dive right into the party atmosphere.

2023 will end with a 15 minute performance by K-pop star Rain, followed by a 15 minute firework extravaganza.  

Want something a little less crowded? Head to one of the centralwOrld rooftop bars like Red Sky Bar or CRU Champagne bar if your budget allows. Prices from THB 9,955++ per person.

Other Shopping Malls in Bangkok

Many of the large malls in Bangkok host family friendly concerts that run from 6pm until just after midnight. Check out: Asiatique or Emquartier who will host parties on the 31st. The biggest will likely be at IconSiam who will host one of the biggest shopping mall parties which will take place over 3 days from the 29th of December.


Khao San Road on NYE

The former backpacker haven has been transformed into the ultimate party street for every adult, every day. On New Year’s Eve, it’s business as usual, with every bar keen to get you in their doors. The only difference is that at the south end of the street, a stage is set up with a giant screen that’ll livestream the fireworks at midnight. 

Insider tips for spending NYE in Bangkok

  • No matter where you go in Bangkok, it will be crowded. So, plan your night accordingly. As for getting home, expect that to take longer than usual. Grab will apply a peak surcharge of up to 400% on fares, so be prepared for that as well.
  • If you stay near a BTS or MRT station, those services will operate until 2 am on New Year’s Eve to assist people trying to get out of the city. It may even be worth moving your accommodation closer to one of these just for this reason.
  • Some hotels along the river will include a compulsory New Year’s Eve dinner in your reservation. As you’ve paid for it, take advantage of it. These guests get priority seating in the best viewing locations.

Phuket is a fun place to ring in the New Year. Most people flock to the beach, but it’s not the only place to party.

NYE Beach Parties in Phuket

The island’s largest beach, Patong, is renowned for its vibrant NYE celebrations. Start your evening on the sandy beach, cocktail in hand, basking in the glow of the setting sun. Then, as midnight approaches, the area comes alive with a spectacular fireworks display. Fire shows, live music, and beach parties with international DJs continue until dawn, ensuring a memorable start to your new year. 

Fireworks with silhouettes of people in a holiday events.New Year fireworks on the beach. Travelers and people celebrate New year day at Kamala Beach Phuket, Thailand.
NYE on the beach in Phuket

Looking for a more laid-back experience? Head over to Kata or Kamala. You’ll find more family-friendly festivities there, including street food stalls and local performances. It’s a fantastic opportunity to sample some traditional Thai cuisine and soak in the local culture. 

Phuket Bars and Clubs

Even if you’re in Patong and would prefer bars to the beach, Bangla Road, the main party street of the town, comes alive on New Year’s Eve. Keep in mind this is very adult entertainment, and if you have kids with you, it’s not the right destination. Open-minded adults, especially singles, will enjoy this place the most.

There are places to drink all over the island; some are five-star establishments, and some are stools around a pop-up bar. Everyone gets into the festive spirit, and it doesn’t matter where you are; you’ll find a party to go to.

Insider Tips for celebrating in Phuket

  • It’s not just about the beach. Like in Bangkok, many hotels include a compulsory New Year’s Eve dinner. This could include live music and a local fireworks show, especially if you’re staying out of Patong. 
  • LGBTQI+ revellers, the place to go in Phuket is The Paradise Complex on the second road in Patong. Gay bars align two sides of the street, and there are drag performances, live DJs, and a countdown at midnight. I’ve spent some enjoyable New Year’s Eve here.

Koh Pha Ngan is globally renowned for its Full Moon Party. On New Year’s Eve, it shifts gears, turning into a thrilling hedonistic party, attracting revellers from all corners of the world. Imagine ushering in the New Year on a moonlit beach, with the sand underfoot and the sound of the ocean nearby.

Fire shows ring in the new year at the Full moon party for NYE on Koh Phangan

Koh Pha Ngan is the literal representation of a party paradise. As the clock ticks down to midnight, the island transforms into an explosion of sound, colour and vibrancy. With world-class DJs spinning tracks that reverberate across the bay, fire dancers illuminating the night, and thousands of glowing lanterns soaring into the sky, it all makes for a New Year’s Eve show like nowhere else in the world. 

Insider Tip for partying on Koh Phangan

There are many different vibes at this beach party. One bar may play techno while the next one plays 80s rock ballads. My advice is to walk the entire area and find the vibe that’s right for you. I’ve had so many friends tell me they couldn’t get into it, only to discover that around the corner was the perfect bar for them.

Pattaya comes alive like no other time of the year during the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Imagine a grand fireworks spectacle illuminating the Gulf of Thailand while the city’s renowned nightlife scene adds a distinct flavour to your celebrations. From jaw-dropping beach parties to epitomising club events, Pattaya has it all. 

Pattaya Central

For the 2024 festivities, they’ll run for three days from 29 December to 31 December. The entire beach will be a party zone, and local live bands will perform on the main stage. There will be a massive countdown at midnight on the 31st. 

Pattaya International Fireworks Festival on the sea, Thailand
Fireworks off the beach in Pattaya

Pattaya’s many restaurants serve some specially designed New Year’s Eve menus. So, if you’re a foodie, you’re in for a real treat. Local temples host year-end prayers, lending a spiritual touch to your transition into the New Year.

In short, Pattaya blends traditional rituals, delicious food, thrilling parties, and awe-inspiring fireworks into a unique New Year’s Eve experience. 

Jomtien Beach

For my LGBTQI+ friends, Supertown at Jomtien Beach, the next beach south of Pattaya Beach, has you covered. This block of streets has bars, restaurants, nightclubs, cabaret shows and massage shops. Street performers will entertain revellers right in front of their table if they’re lucky enough to get one street front. This is a fun yet more laid-back night out and one of my favourite places to start the year. 

Insider Tips for NYE IN Pattaya

  • Pattaya isn’t known for being overly family-friendly. There is a lot of adult entertainment there. However, the Central Festival Mall at the beach has family activities and is a safe space. 
  • The famous Pattaya Walking Street hasn’t fully recovered from being closed down during Covid and isn’t the same party place it was five years ago. The beach will make for a better destination this year. 

One of my favourite New Year’s Eve experiences was on Ko Samet. This small and serene island off the eastern coast of Thailand offers a unique NYE experience. While stunningly beautiful by day, this beauty transforms into an exuberant party hub as dusk falls on the 31st. 

Celebrating NYE on Koh Samet

What sets it apart? The island’s bounty of seafood restaurants and beachfront bars ensures you indulge in Thailand’s best food while you await the grand fireworks display at midnight. The iconic beach parties are not to be missed. With live music, fire dancers and a vibrant crowd, it’s an extravaganza that engulfs the whole beach. 

Insider Tips for Koh Samet NYE

  • Sai Keaw Beach is where most of the partying takes place. My tip is to try and book a hotel nearby so you can stumble home. Trying to get transport to the other side of the island won’t be easy.
  • LGBTQI+ friends, Tubtim Beach is the place for you to go if you want to party with other like-minded travellers.

So there you have it: no matter where you are in Thailand, a party will be waiting for you. The most significant places though are Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Pha Ngan and Ko Samet.

Thailand’s capital promises you a fireworks display you’ll remember forever. See it right on the river or from a rooftop bar 60+ stories in the sky.

Phuket visitors should head to the west coast and party the night away on either Patong or Kata Beach. For the wildest party scene for New Year’s Eve, Kho Pha Ngan’s monthly full moon party becomes an extra special event — for one night of the year.

And finally, Ko Samet, just off the coast of Rayong, offers revellers a tropical paradise with a sensational beach party that will live in your heart well into the new year.

What are you waiting for? Book your tickets and fly over here. I’m ready to party with you.

About the author: Stephen left Australia in 2016 with a one-way ticket to Thailand
and hasn’t been back since. Seven years later, he’s “living the ex-pat dream”, married and settled down; he and his partner travel across Thailand competing in half-marathon running events and sampling coffee at cafes.