More and more people are deciding to break from tradition and spend Christmas overseas and we can't think of a better place to bring in the festive cheer than the enchanting Kingdom of Thailand.
How Christmas Is Celebrated in Thailand
Christmas is not a public holiday in Thailand. Thailand is a majority Buddhist country. Most of the Christmas celebrations are undertaken by travelers and expats.
That's not to say that Thais don't get into the Christmas spirit. You can still feel the Christmas atmosphere. In many shopping malls, there are Christmas trees, lights, and decorations.
The locals love a party and are happy to use any occasion as an excuse to celebrate. While most Thai people do not really celebrate Christmas, they are more than happy to join in the fun if an opportunity presents itself.
Christmas tree in a shopping mall
Why Visit Thailand During Christmas
More and more Western people choose to spend their Christmas abroad and Thailand has become a popular destination for a Christmas vacation.
You don't have to cook your own Christmas dinner.
When it comes to Christmas dinner in Thailand, most expats flock to a Christmas brunch at one of Bangkok's many five-star hotels or sit down for a traditional dinner in one of the capital's many expat pubs.
The benefit of Christmas this way is that you can enjoy all of the trimmings of a traditional lunch without having any of the stress of cooking or washing up!
You'll be guaranteed good weather.
December is the peak season in Thailand and the main reason is that the weather is almost guaranteed to be excellent for traveling. The average temperature in December ranges from 25 to 30oC (77-86oF) in the daytime and as low as 15 oC (59oF) in the evenings.
You'll have lots of sunshine and little to no rain. The temperatures are comfortable in Bangkok in December and that's not something that can be said for most of the months of the year. The Christmas period really is the best time to travel to Thailand.
Sunny weather in December in Thailand
You could swap a traditional Christmas dinner for Thai street food.
No set rule says you must eat a roast dinner on Christmas Day. Thailand has been voted as having the world's best street food on numerous occasions so why not swap the roast turkey for a traditional pad Thai or a spicy tom yum soup?
You will spend Christmas on a tropical beach.
Thailand boasts some of the world's best beaches so why not swap the snow for the sand and spend Christmas Day on one of the kingdom's beautiful southern islands? It's a fantastic way to celebrate with your loved ones.
You will enjoy a special dinner on Christmas Eve, which will usually include entertainment, live music, and games for the kids. On Christmas Day, you can switch up the roast dinner for a fresh seafood barbecue on the sand.
You will take a once-in-a-lifetime Christmas Day walk.
You might be worried that spending the festive period abroad means that you'll be missing out on your customary Christmas Day walk with the family.
Fear not, whether you choose to hit the beach, head to one of Thailand's many national parks, or venture to the mountainous north of the country, you're guaranteed to have a festive stroll like never before.
Thailand has great Christmas shopping.
While you won't find anything like the Christmas markets in Berlin, Thailand's unique market shopping is some of the best you'll find anywhere. Whether you are in Bangkok, Phuket, or Chiang Mai, you'll be able to barter your way to some unique gifts to take back home for your loved ones.
Best Places to Spend Christmas in Thailand
If you are wondering where you should celebrate Christmas in Thailand, you have many options. From the cool, crisp mountainous north to the powdery white sand beaches in the south, there's a little bit for everyone to enjoy at Christmas in the 'Land of Smiles'.
Christmas in Bangkok
Bangkok celebrates Christmas more than any other province in Thailand with all of the shopping malls in town seemingly trying to outdo each other with the biggest Christmas tree and the best decorations.
Bangkok's newest mall, ICONSIAM, has an amazing festive light show and fountain display for the whole family to enjoy.
Bangkok's beautiful night view
For parents that want to make sure their kids don't miss out on meeting Santa Claus at Christmas, you can find him at many of the city's malls, such as Central World and Siam Paragon. A lot of the larger hotels in Bangkok also schedule a special Santa appearance for their guests.
December 25th is not a public holiday in Thailand so all the regular attractions are open as usual. In Bangkok, you can spend Christmas morning visiting the incredible temples of the old city before heading off for lunch.
All of the bigger hotels hold lavish Christmas Eve and Christmas Day buffet lunches and dinners. These feasts include traditional Christmas meats and trimmings as well as Thai dishes, sushi, and fresh seafood. You also have the option to include free-flowing wine and champagne for an extra fee.
For anyone wanting to attend Christmas mass, there are a number of Christian churches across Bangkok that have a service on the 24th and 25th.
Having Christmas drinks at an amazing rooftop bar will also be a wonderful experience. Swap your customary glass of Christmas sherry by the fire for a festive cocktail at one of Bangkok's many rooftop bars.
Whether it's a view over the famous Chao Phraya River, the old city temples, or Bangkok's sprawling city skyline you are looking for, your perfect rooftop bar awaits you in the nation's capital. How many cities in the world can boast of more rooftop bars than Bangkok? There's not one that we've found.
Christmas in Phuket
If you're lucky enough to find yourself in Phuket during the Christmas period, you might be surprised by just how much the locals have embraced Western Christmas traditions. Although Phuket is a predominantly Buddhist and Muslim island, the locals go the extra mile to ensure visitors have the Christmas of a lifetime.
You can find special festive dinners and events at many of the island's five-star resorts as well as activities and games for the whole family.
If you want to break from tradition and sample something completely different for your Christmas lunch, you can opt for a seafood barbecue on one of Phuket's pristine white sandy beaches.
Phuket boasts many markets and shopping malls, so you will have no problem scooping up some awesome presents for your friends and family back home.
Christmas in Pattaya
The popular beach resort of Pattaya is a great choice to visit at Christmas for people who don't want to miss out on their home comforts.
Pattaya has the largest number of Western expats in the country outside of Bangkok and, because of this, Western food there is known to be some of the best you can find in the entire country.
You'll have no trouble finding your turkey dinner with all the trimmings in one of the many Irish or English pubs in town.
Situated about an hour south of Bangkok, Pattaya is the closest beach town to the capital to enjoy the festive period.
Christmas in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a little less hectic than Bangkok at Christmas but still very busy with visitors.
Chiang Mai has a much cooler climate than Bangkok and the south and, while it's not as cold as London or New York, the crisp nights can make it feel a little more 'Christmassy'.
There are plenty of hotels, bars, and restaurants across Chiang Mai that put on a Christmas Day spread for their customers to enjoy.
Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai
You can head to the famous Night Bazaar in the center of the city to pick up some Christmas gifts for your loved ones and there is also no shortage of shopping malls that will be decked out with decorations and lights to get you in the Christmas spirit.
If you would like to visit Thailand during Christmas, why not let us create an unforgettable experience for you. Just tell us your interests and needs and leave all the hard work involved with creating the perfect travel plans to us, giving you a trip of a lifetime in the Land of Smiles.