Spending New Years Eve in Chiang Mai

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This post is part of a larger trip report from my 17 day trip to Thailand (Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bangkok) and Hong Kong! This is a trip that was taken in December 2011/January 2012 and I am still getting around to finishing up the trip report! However all the information is still accurate!

  1. Using Miles to Book Flights on American Airlines Home from Hong Kong
  2. Using Miles to Book Flights on Continental to Thailand
  3. Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort Review
  4. Thailand Beaches Day 1: Phi Phi Excursion
  5. Thailand Beaches Day 2 & 4: Railey Beach
  6. Thailand Beaches Day 3: Hong Island
  7. Massages and Dining in Ao Nang, Krabi
  8. Northern Thailand – First Stop Chiang Mai
  9. Three Day Trek and the Golden Triangle Day 1
  10. Three Day Trek and the Golden Triangle: Day 2
  11. Three Day Trek and the Golden Triangle: Day 3
  12. Spending New Years Eve in Chiang Mai
  13. Wandering Around Chiang Mai
  14. Le Meridien Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Hotel Review
  15. Aloft Bangkok Hotel Review
  16. Temples, Activities, and Dining in Bangkok
  17. Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel Review
  18. Things to do in Hong Kong
  19. A Day in Macau

Our trek ended on December 31st, right in time for us to spend New Years Eve in the city of Chiang Mai. We were against staying at the Le Meridien as they had a compulsory dinner and it cost about $150 per person – NO THANK YOU! I emailed the hotel in advance to get the menu and see if we could opt out. They were pretty strict about it and would not budge. After looking at the menu for a few minutes my mind was made that there was no way I was going to travel all the way to Thailand to eat Maine lobster for dinner. While I am sure it was amazing, I grew up going to Maine every summer enjoying a lobster roll and really did not need to go half way across the world for this.

We explored a few hotels and landed on Hotel M as they did not have a required dinner and the rate was $67/night – a steal I thought for New Years! The location was also amazing, as it was right outside of the Old City walls where the massive new years party was taking place.

The Old City Walls

Hotel M room – while the hotel was nothing luxurious, it was extremely clean. It was a little more dorm style, but was great! There was also complimentary breakfast in the morning.

We had a nice dinner at W by Wamalun (which I’d absolutely recommend) and then headed out for the street party. There were massive fireworks, a band playing outside, and people launching their own good luck balloons. There were literally thousands of these good luck balloons in the sky – it was really cool and made for a very pretty sky! There were what seemed like a million people in the street, and the best part was the street food vendors all over!

The massive amount of people in the street! This was all within the Old City Walls

Band playing right in the center of the Old City. Hotel M is actually right behind this on the other side of the wall.

There were many fireworks – most of them non regulated and being shot off from all directions

We bought a few of the good luck balloons from some women walking around selling them. After lighting the inside candle, you have to hold the balloons down close to the ground to let enough oxygen in. After a few minutes, we were able to let the balloon go, and there it went. I did see a few of these catch on fire when they got stuck in the trees, but to my disbelief, nothing happened and no one seemed concerned. The balloons just wilted away and that was that.

Waiting for the balloons to be ready to launch
All the balloons in the sky!

This was my first New Years really being in a city center where anything goes, so it was quite a site to see!

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7 years ago

OMG, I was at Chiang Mai on the same day!

7 years ago
Reply to  Bo

@Bo – so funny. Have fun?!

The Weekly Flyer
7 years ago


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