Pattaya has quite a large Chinese community living and working in the city and has done for decades. It is estimated that 14% of the population in Thailand has some Chinese blood within their family. When this is combined with the increasing number of Chinese expats along with swathes of Chinese tourists that come throughout the year, it is hardly surprising that Chinese New Year in Pattaya is a big thing!
The entire celebrations last around three weeks but the actual Chinese New Year this year is on 25 January as it is dependent on the lunar year. 2020 will be the Year of Rat and will be celebrated all around the world, but here are six places you may want to consider in Pattaya.
1. Chinese Temple in Naklua
Naklua, to the north of Pattaya, has a sizeable Chinese population, so it is perhaps not surprising that many of the events targeted at locals will take place here. The main Chinese temple will have something of a carnival atmosphere with music, Chinese dancing and dragons available on 25 January. All of the Naklua area will have red Chinese lanterns adorning the streets to help people get into the spirit of things.
2. Lan Po, Naklua
The park at Lan Po in Naklua, next to the seafood market, will also be a site for many celebrations on the main day. Again there will be a carnival with traditional Chinese food, dancing and shows taking place. Of course, everyone is made to feel extremely welcome, and this is an excellent photo opportunity as well as a chance to experience something genuine and authentic.
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3. Central Festival
Throughout the entire three weeks leading up to the festival, Central Festival Shopping Mall on Pattaya Beach Road with be hosting shows and music around the ground floor entrance on Beach Road. It can be extremely entertaining, and a real spectacle but is undoubtedly aimed more at tourists rather than the Chinese nationals living in the area. Nevertheless, it is well worth going along.
4. Pattaya Beach Road
Pattaya Beach Road will be closed to traffic on 25 January with stalls selling Chinese food and produce opening early in the morning. Throughout the day there will be different shows and displays culminating in a carnival and firework display in the evening. It is again far more like Naklua in the fact that it is authentic.
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Like many of the major hotels in Pattaya, the Hilton at Central Festival will have a range of events taking place where you can celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Edge restaurant will have a special menu available, and this is a great vantage point for taking in both the carnival and fireworks. As you would imagine, the banquet is excellent with something available for everyone.
6. King Seafood
Of course, Walking Street is never known to miss out on a good celebration, so it is no surprise that you will be able to celebrate there. King Seafood is one of the most popular destinations, offering a Chinese banquet and a real party atmosphere. Booking early is recommended as each year it gets incredibly busy.