The Chinese New Year is a big occasion across Asia and indeed it is no different in Pattaya, thanks to the large Thai-Chinese community-based in the city. This year, New Year falls on Friday 12 February, and despite the lack of tourists, the celebrations will take place in earnest, as they always do across the city. Regardless of how long you have lived in Pattaya, you can never fail to be amazed at how impressive this day is and will no doubt be woken early in the morning by firecrackers lit by those celebrating.

Although many of the usual places such as Central Festival, King Seafood, and the major hotels are limiting their celebrations, here are some excellent alternatives.

1. The Chinese Temple in Naklua

The Chinese Temple near the junction for Sukhumvit Road is a prominent place to celebrate the New Year. Buddhists and other religions will visit the temple to offer prayers for the year ahead. Usually, there will be some stalls in the car park with traditional Chinese food and offerings. There are typically some traditional shows as well as firecrackers in the morning, although, at this stage, it is unclear if this will take place in 2021.

2. Lan Po, Naklua

There is a large Chinese population in Naklua and celebrations will take place at Lan Po, the area next to the seafood market. This year, there is expected to be displays of traditional Chinese dance such as dragon dance and music along with the usual foods and other events. Typically, the event is very well attended from the early hours of the morning, so we would recommend going on foot and, of course, wearing face coverings.

3. Pattaya Beach Road

Many of the businesses, including hotels and restaurants along Pattaya Beach, will be celebrating and will be setting off firecrackers as well as having food offerings such as the traditional pig’s head. There is no fixed time for this to place, but things will usually start from around 7 am and continue throughout the morning. There is no structure for these celebrations, and it is down to the shops to arrange their own celebrations.

4. Jomtien Beach

There will be similar celebrations to those on Pattaya Beach Road in Jomtien. Currently, due to the larger expat community that has remained there during the pandemic, this year there will likely be more things happening. As there is no structure, we cannot suggest specific places; it is more a case of celebrations will occur during the day.

5. Mabprachan Lake

There are expected to be celebrations taking place at Mabprachan Lake with suggestions that there will be a fireworks display in the evening along with some form of fair. Unfortunately, this has not been confirmed due to the current circumstances, so we would suggest referring to local news networks and tourism websites closer to the event.

*Unfortunately, due to the unusual circumstances because of the COVID-19 pandemic, very few events are confirmed or organised.