Celebrating Christmas in Bangkok

Written by Team Expique
Published: November 18, 2021

Looking for the best Christmas Dinners, fun Xmas events, and all other topics related to Christmas in Bangkok? Our ultimate guide is full of ideas of how to spend your 2021 Christmas and the festive season in Bangkok.

While Bangkok is increasingly opening up, things are subject to change due to COVID-19

In this guide:

Introduction to Christmas in Bangkok?

Christmas is not exactly a national holiday! While around 95% of Thais are Buddhist, Thailand has plenty of religious diversity, with almost a 4% Muslim population and around 0.7% Christians, mostly Catholics.

The official Thai new year (Songkran) is actually in April, but New Years Eve is still a huge thing in Thailand and Christmas does play its part in setting the mood for the New Years holiday period.

While Christmas is not officially celebrated, especially in the most commercial parts of Bangkok and tourist destinations, Christmas usually gets a significant amount of attention. Given the large expat community and that in normal years it is peak tourism season for tourists, there is big demand for Christmas activities in Bangkok.

If turkey is what you crave, then Bangkok shall deliver - photo by Dan Germain

Christmas Dining and Drinking

What is Christmas without overdoing it on the food and drink front? Bangkok delivers on this front too, and you certainly won’t go hungry for festive fare. If you want to celebrate in style (and eat a lot) then check out one of Bangkok’s 5 star hotels for their full on buffet dinners for both Christmas and New Year. They might be just what you are looking for in terms of a ready-made package of familiar celebrations, but they can also be pricey.

We have compiled a list of some of the best options for hotel Christmas Dinners. These include many of the top hotels in Bangkok including special dinners from Capella Bangkok.

If you simply want a good Christmas meal at a reasonable price many of Bangkok’s international restaurants provide the perfect alternative. For example one of our favourites near our office is Kai New Zealand (Sathorn Soi 12), who have a special Christmas menu.

Alternatively try pubs like  Hemmingway’s (Sukhumvit Soi 11), The Robin Hood on Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 (BTS Phrom Phong) for a British Xmas, Bourbon Street on Sukhumvit Soi 63 (BTS Ekkamai) or Roadhouse BBQ on Rama 4 Road (BTS Sala Daeng/MRT Silom) for an American take, or Bei Otto (at new location in Huay Kwang) for a German Christmas.

For drinks, Central World shopping centre makes the most of the cooler winter weather and puts on a popular beer garden just outside its front door on Ratchaprasong Road before, during and after Christmas; beer gardens also pop up all over other parts of Bangkok.

Finally, for those who want to cook their own Xmas Feast, most supermarkets will have special Xmas foods and frozen turkeys are usually available from supermarkets like Villa, Tops, Foodland or Macro. Villa Supermarket and Sunrise Taco also provide good options for precooked turkeys and hams that can be delivered direct to your door. For Mince Pies and other Xmas treats check out the offering from Sarnies – one of our favorite coffee shops in Bangkok.

Decorations at MBK - 2019
Christmas Decorations at MBK – December 2019

Bangkok’s Best Christmas Lights and Decorations

December is among the busiest months of Thailand’s peak tourist season, and with that comes plenty of opportunity to dress the capital up with familiar Christmas decorations. Bangkok’s infamous high-end, sky-scraping shopping centers and luxury hotels sprout Christmas trees and fairy lights that become an attraction of their own – you could easily take a walking tour just to decide which mall has the best display!

In this fantastic article by our friend Little Wandering Wren – she has reviewed the best hotel Xmas decorations and offerings of Xmas joy!

With the opening of the massive IconSiam shopping mall, they heated up the competition for the best decorations which typically would center around the central Siam and Sukhumvit areas, where Siam Paragon, CentralWorld, Terminal 21 and Emquartier are among the malls to hit for a Christmas decoration selfies.

Xmas decorations at Siam Discovery 2019
Xmas decorations at Siam Discovery – Dec 2019

Many of the high end hotels aim to impress and some with classy and sophisticated decorations. These usually include the Grand Hyatt Erawan, the Penninsula and the InterContinental.

Bangkok Christmas Shopping

For Christmas shopping, while this may not be Frankfurt, a number of Christmas markets set up offering festive homewares, food and gifts. Each year there are more than ever before!

What follows is a list of some of the events happened in 2020

More events to be added and you can also find more Xmas Events at All Events

Christmas Decoration Shopping

For those who live in Bangkok who are looking for a real fresh Christmas, Ikea has always been a favourite amount expats. Last year (to be confirmed for this year) when you buy your tree, they give you a 500THB Ikea voucher and if you take it make after Xmas you get another voucher for 500THB.

Alternatively for an artificial Christmas Tree you can pick check out Triumph Tree who have a great range of trees. They are a massive manufacturer and exporter of fake trees and run an annual sale for locals for the trees they have not exported.

All department stalls will sell Christmas decorations but for a wide selection and good prices visit Samphaeng market in Chinatown. Or if you are feeling lazy you can order online at Lazada or equivalent sites.

Santa Cruz church in Bangkok - photo by Chris Wotton

Christmas Carols & Christmas Services in Bangkok (to be updated for 2021)

If you are looking for some good old Christmas Carols then the British Club usually has an event. Many churches also have carol services.

Bangkok has its share of Christian churches, and if you are looking for a religious service to attend on Christmas Day – or just want to take a wander around a church in the festive season – you won’t have trouble finding one. Below are a few options:

New Years Eve in Bangkok

Looking to celebrate New Years Eve in Bangkok. Read more about New Years Eve in Bangkok.

Have you celebrated Christmas in Bangkok? What are your favourite festive activities in the Thai capital?

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