BangkokEventsThailand

No official plans to cancel countdown parties

PHOTO: New Year's Eve Countdown parties will not be cancelled. (via Tuan Nguyen Unsplash)

The government of Thailand has not officially cancelled any New Year celebrations, the Tourism Authority of Thailand informed. The TAT said all New Year’s countdown events can operate as planned, though some provinces and areas have chosen to scale back their parties. Perhaps most notably, the chief of the Khao San Road Business Association has announced a cancellation of the official party on one of the most popular backpacker tourist streets in the world.

TAT governor Yuttasak Supasorn reassured that there doesn’t appear to be any last-minute cancellations on the horizon. Special events are being thrown in association with private-sector partnerships in 12 different provinces. Neither Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha nor Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakitprakarn have given any hint that there would be any negative action.

Many are worried about official parties in the wake of some recent sombre news, including the health condition of Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati. In fact, many events are asking to add an official blessing ceremony for the princess who has been hospitalized after losing consciousness on December 14, apparently due to a heart condition.

KHAO SAN ROAD

That may be why the head of the Khao San Road Business Association has announced that the official countdown party will be cancelled. They cited a period of fragility in the minds of the Thai people and appeared to be backing down from an official full-blown party out of respect.

That said, there definitely will be partying on the popular backpacker street. None of the bars, clubs, or other venues have been ordered to shut down or tone it down. They will be allowed to operate as usual and celebrate New Year’s Eve. The association had said he expects the number of tourists packing the streets at night to party will not be any lower than if the official countdown was on.

AROUND THAILAND

Pattaya decided to go ahead with their New Year’s countdown parties, but they will not hold any fireworks shows. On the party island of Koh Phangan, their traditional Full Moon Party New Year’s Countdown is back in full force. About 95% of all accommodations are now sold out for the party that’s expected to draw up to 30,000 celebrants.

In Bangkok, several government agencies have announced they are scaling back New Year’s plans according to the Bangkok Post. The Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of The Court of Justice, and the Ministry of Education have all requested staff to hold only muted New Year’s events.

The TAT views the two events that they are holding as both a huge economic stimulus from Thailand and a thank you for all the people who have worked so hard to restart tourism after the pandemic. A predicted 26 billion baht could be made during the holiday celebrations, with an average of 72,000 people entering Thailand per day this month.

They will proceed with their Bangkok party including free concerts and fireworks shows next to Wat Pho. They are also hosting an Amazing Thailand Countdown 2023 party in Hat Yai featuring live music from Malaysian and Thai artists, fireworks, a light show, and a walking street. Officials say hotels in Songkhla province are fully booked with 80% Malaysian tourists.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.