Dec 22 2012
As far as New Year’s Eve goes, you won’t have to look far for a party on Thailand’s Ko Samui. As with Christmas, be warned if you’re booking a hotel that many of the resorts have compulsory gala dinners. If you’re footloose and fancy free, anywhere along the beach is a good bet, as resorts will set off fireworks and wish lanterns, starting well before midnight and peaking as 2013 hits the clock. Pick a spot on the beach near a five-star resort and you’ll see their displays, which must cost a small fortune, without having to fork over a baht.
The beaches with a high concentration of resorts will be the most spectacular, such as Chaweng, Lamai and Fisherman’s Village. Several places offer organised parties with pay-per-head options, or just head down to the beach and work your way from bar to bar, enjoying the open air and no restrictions. Q-Bar, which sits above Chaweng Lake, has DJs and is a sort of open-air club, offering spectacular views across Chaweng; here you’ll have elevated views of the sparkling night sky.
A little warning… the fireworks are readily available for all to buy, so please beware of drunken tourists who don’t know how to handle their crackers holding them the wrong way, or letting them off into crowds instead of out to sea.
Two of Samui’s biggest party venues are hosting NYE affairs. Nikki Beach is holding a Venetian Carnival that promises to be quite a spectacle, with circus acts such as contortionists, dancers and fire breathers plus magicians, mimes, models, carnival games and sideshow performers all making appearances. Nikki Beach is known to go all out with their special events, and it’s the place to be seen; if you’re more of a low-key type, it’s not the place for you.
Beach Republic‘s theme to see in the new year is an “Around the World” buffet and party. Dishes from Japan, Thailand, Mexico and Europe will be served, along with champagne at midnight to toast in 2013. Entertainment includes a fire show, top DJs, and an elaborate fireworks display as the clock strikes twelve.
Big venues and ticket-based parties aside, you’re sure to have a good (and much cheaper) time just heading to the beach. The usual party spots in the main roads of Chaweng and Lamai will also see a lot of action, such as Solo Bar, Sound Club, Green Mango and Reggae Pub.
Word of caution: If you need to drive on NYE, take a taxi. The roads are dangerous on this night and best navigated by a local driver; a visit to a local hospital (or worse) is not a great way to start off the year. Merry Christmas, and a happy new year to all!
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