New Year’s Eve in Bangkok with our 2-year old is definitely one of our fondest travel memories. Would we, at any point before we left on this trip, have considered waking a 2-year old to roam the streets at midnight in search of fireworks? No way! But we did it anyway and had a marvelous time. Bangkok is one of our favorite cities in the world and it was very special to be there with our little world traveler. Celebrating New Year’s there with him was indeed a celebration.
For parents with young kids, the big question for New Year’s Eve is always ‘Do we let the little ones sleep, or do we wake them?’ For a second we considered letting Jace sleep, but we decided to be a little bit selfish this year and wake him up so the three of us could find out what New Year’s Eve in Bangkok was like. Jace’s first New Year we spend with friends in Holland, his second New Year we were with friends in Egypt and this year it was just the three of us in Bangkok.
Would you rather celebrate New Year’s Eve in Thailand on one of the beaches in the south or surrounded by the amazing green hills in the north? Check out this family friendly beach in Phuket and this post about spending three days in Pai.
Why did we choose Bangkok?
Well, that’s an easy question. We love Thailand and Bangkok is a fantastic city! We love traveling in Thailand and Bangkok always feels a bit like coming home. Busy as it is, family-friendly may not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Thailand’s capital. But you’d be surprised about the sheer amount of things to do with kids in Bangkok. There’s also a number of great day trips you can do from Bangkok with kids.
Where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Bangkok?
It’s easy to find info about celebrating New Year’s Eve in Bangkok. Lots of information online about all kinds of parties in the coolest rooftop bars and big clubs. But absolutely nothing about where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Thailand’s capital with a child. Not too much info about fireworks either. Then we discovered that there was supposed to be a fireworks show over Wat Arun. So we decided to go to the riverfront near Wat Pho with our fingers crossed that we’d be able to see it.
Like any other day
The last day of the year we really didn’t do anything special. There are a lot of fun things to do in Bangkok, but we decided to take it slow this day. We knew we’d be waking him to go outside later in the evening. Therefore our priority was to make sure our little world traveler did an early nap and we had an early dinner so he could get some sleep before we woke him.
Nice vibe during the day and early evening
The day went remarkably well. It was nice and busy in the streets when we went outside after his nap. We felt really happy to be in our favorite city and Jace was very happy and cheerful as well. After our early dinner, we walked to Khaosan Road to see what was happening there. It was already really crowded, with a DJ spinning tunes (the Thai way, so quite loud) and a big clock counting down the hours until 2016.
Fairytale lights in the streets of Bangkok
We walked around a little bit before returning to our guesthouse. We specifically chose Erewan House on Soi Rhambuttri because of the location near Khaosan (click here for more ideas of where to stay in Bangkok). The whole area around the democracy monument was lit up with thousands of little lights. It was really pretty. Of course, we had to take some pictures! We went home early and were lucky that Jace decided to cooperate that night and went to sleep without a fight around 20:00. He was a bit grumpy when we woke him up at 22:30 but quickly became his cheerful self again once we were outside.
Large crowd heading to Chao Phraya riverfront
There were a lot of people in the streets and there was a good vibe. As decided before we headed to the riverfront near the King’s Palace and Wat Pho. We took it easy and stopped for a drink along the way. Jace loved all the pretty lights. With maneuvering around all the people also going in that direction it took us about an hour to get there. Big banners shouting ‘Countdown 2016’ told us we were in the right place.
Waiting for the fireworks
Again we were lucky with our little world traveler. In order to see the fireworks, we had to get close to the river bank and wait for about 25 minutes in a huge crowd. Jace didn’t mind. He was happily sitting in the carrier on my back, watching people and pointing things out to us. Finally, the clock on the big screens showed it was time to count down the last 10 seconds of 2015! 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… BANG! Lots of really loud and beautiful fireworks, exactly as we had hoped 🙂 Jace was a bit scared and first, but once we started pointing out the colors and the amazing lights in the sky he really liked it.
Crowded Khoasan Road
Since there wasn’t too much going on besides the fireworks, we decided to head back. Our little guy was remarkably cheerful for the late hour. We did a quick detour to Khaosan Road and even entered the street a few meters, but then decided not to go further. It was crazy busy and very loud. Would have been fun if it had been just the two of us, but not with Jace. We didn’t mind though, the evening already went so much better than we could have ever hoped for.
Late night pancakes!
So we walked back to Soi Rambuttri and our guesthouse. On the way we stopped to get a banana pancake. Being up so late makes you hungry! Actually, simply walking around in this area makes you hungry, there are food stalls everywhere! Even though it was already past 1am, Jace wasn’t complaining and had some pancake too.
A night to remember…
Again, Jace proved us proud. By 02:00 our little one was back in his bed. He went to bed without fussing and slept until 09:00! Lucky us! We didn’t get to party like we would have before Jace was born, but we still had a really good night and got to experience the crowds and the cheerfulness of a New Year’s Eve in a big city. For us New Years Eve 2016 is definitely one to remember! Would we do it again? In a heartbeat! Traveling with kids is different from traveling as a couple, but this trip has shown us again and again that so much more is possible than we originally thought.