Expique’s Guide to Christmas in Bangkok

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Published: November 13, 2020

If you are wondering how best to celebrate the perfect Christmas and the festive season in Bangkok, then here is our ultimate guide.

This article is regularly being updated for XMAS 2020.

While we ourselves have festive activities in the form of our Santa Tuk Tuk Tours, here we share ideas on what else is going on in Bangkok over Christmas. You can also check out our list of the best Christmas Dinners.

In this guide:

Do People Celebrate Christmas in Bangkok?

Christmas is not exactly a national holiday! Thailand is frequently referred to as a Buddhist country, yet there is in fact no official state religion. 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 have 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.

If you simply want a good meal at a reasonable price many of Bangkok’s international restaurants put on a lower-key Christmas spread that could be the perfect alternative if you still want to mark Christmas Day with a traditional meal. 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  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 on Sukhumvit Soi 20 (BTS Phrom Phong) 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.

Christmas in Bangkok with Expique

We love decorating our tuk tuks for Xmas and on December 24/25 the drivers dress as Santa. This year we have a lot of festive fun

  • Bangkok Night Lights Xmas Edition – With Xmas Dinner on Dec 24
  • Family Canal & Tuk Tuk Adventure – With Xmas Dinner on Dec 24 / 25
  • Bangkok Night Lights Xmas Edition – With local dinner on Dec 25-27

Our Christmas Tuk Tuks are also available for hire if you are planning on a doing an Xmas Dinner somewhere else but fancy arriving or going home in style!

Finally on Dec 26/27 we will be organising a Festive Family Scavenger Hunt

Click here for full details

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

Bangkok’s Best Christmas 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 centres 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!

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 (Confirmed Events for 2020)

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 happening in 2020

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.

Finally, don’t forget to visit Samphaeng market in Chinatown, for your xmas decoration or cheap gifts.

Santa Cruz church in Bangkok - photo by Chris Wotton

Christmas Services in Bangkok

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.

Assumption Church is worth a visit over Christmas. Sunday services are held at Santa Cruz Catholic church, which our Diversity & Harmony tour visits, at 6am and 6pm. The Holy Redeemer Church, on Soi Ruamrudee in Phloen Chit, performs mass daily in English and Thai, with four services in each language on a Sunday, while the English-speaking Anglican Christ Church on Silom’s Convent Road has Sunday services at 7.30am and 10am.

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?

Explore Bangkok with Expique

At Expique our mission is to help people discover the real Bangkok and the local cultures. We do this through a range of experiences including Food Tours, Walking Tours, Tuk Tuk Tours, Cooking Classes, and Market Experiences

Our Bestselling Experiences

• Check out our Award Winning ★  Bangkok Night Lights Tuk Tuk Tour
• If you love food as much as us you will love our Evening Food and Tuk tuk Adventure
• If you wanna learn to cook check out our Thai Cooking with a Twist Class
• If you feel adventurous take an eScooter Scoot Bangkok’s Backstreet
• Don’t forget our famous Bangkok By Day: Temples, Markets, Snacks & Local Transport

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About Expique

Expique is an award winning experience operator based in Bangkok. We show guests the beauty of Bangkok through tuk tuk tours, food tours, eScooter tours, walking tours, cooking classes and a lot more.

Experiences You May Like:

Family Focused Bangkok Adventure
Family Canal and Tuk Tuk Adventure
The Dark Side of Bangkok
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Classic Thai Cooking Class
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