BANGKOK – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is inviting local and international tourists to enjoy the New Year countdown to 2016 in Thailand, where celebrations will be held throughout the nation with the highlight being in Bangkok at the Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun, one of the kingdom’s important landmarks. The Thailand Countdown 2016 at Wat Arun will be presided over by Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of TAT said, “During the New Year festive season, Thailand has launched several activities to promote tourism for domestic and international travellers. Among those activities, the Thailand Countdown 2016 at Wat Arun is set to help reinforce the good image of Thailand as a tourist destination to the world. This grand celebration is also to commemorate His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 88th birthday anniversary and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 84th birthday.”
The Thailand Countdown 2016 is set to be the centre of the New Year celebrations in the kingdom, and will take place on the banks of the majestic Chao Phraya River from 29 to 31 December 2015. Spectators can see the rehearsals of performances on 29 – 30 December, 2015, at 21.00 – 22.00 Hrs. at the Nagaraphirom Park while people nationwide can watch the live broadcasted countdown celebration via www.youtube.com/Thailand and various TV channels on 31 December, 2015.
The highlight, the countdown to 2016, will take place for the first time at Wat Arun as the iconic venue to celebrate the arrival of New Year’s Day. On New Year’s Eve, as the clock strikes 12, Wat Arun’s distinctive spires are set to shine the brightest with a 9-minute pyrotechnic display of more than 5,500 fireworks, including 2,016 to ring in the global New Year and the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), 2,559 to ring in Buddhist Year, and 999 to pay homage to His Majesty the King of Thailand (King Rama IX). Following the fireworks extravaganza, there will be 45-minute display on the ‘Chronicle of the Land’ presented by a multi-media performance of lighting and projection mapping on the stupa of Wat Arun together with music by the Mahanakhorn Philharmonic Orchestra and Usa Asil, the first multi-cultural ASEAN music ensemble.
Across the river, the 300-metre stretch from Maharaj Road – at the section where the Nagaraphirom Park is located – to Chetuphon Road will be turned into a walking street with the theme of an ancient Thai-style market, selling GI (geographical indication) products from across the country, the one-tambon-one-product (OTOP) selections from TAT’s 24 hidden gems and plus destinations, and famous products from 50 districts of Bangkok. The special three-day market also features a stage for contemporary and cultural performances. Thai and international tourists are able to come and celebrate this festive event together from 29 – 31 December, 2015, during 17.00 -22.00 Hrs. while the walking street extends to midnight on New Year’s Eve.
TAT is also supporting the countdown celebrations in seven more key destinations in Thailand including:
– 2559 AIS Bangkok Countdown 2016 @CentralWorld on 31 December at Ratchaprasong Intersection;
– 2559 Chiang Mai Countdown 2016 on 25-31 December at the Tha Pae Gate;
– Pattaya Countdown 2016 on 29-31 December at Bali Hai Bay;
– Hat Yai City of Fun: Joyful Night Paradise for All on 31 December at Sanehanusorn Road (Lee Gardens Plaza);
– Phuket Countdown at Promthep Cape, Phuket on 31 December;
– OK Khon Kaen Happy Land Countdown 2016 on 25-31 December;
– Three Nations Countdown 2016 in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai on 31 December 2015 and 1 January 2016.
In addition, there are several other countdown celebrations organised by the public and private sector at locations across the country, such as:
– Chiang Rai Flower Festival from 23 December 2015 to 31 January 2016;
– Cha-am Countdown on Cha-am Beach from 29 December 2015 to 2 January 2016;
– 2016 Amphawa Countdown in front of the Amphawa District Office on 31 December 2015 and 1 January 2016;
– Korat Countdown on 31 December 2015 and 1 January 2016;
– Chiang Rai Countdown at the Chiang Rai Clock Tower on 31 December 2015 and 1 January 2016;
– Welcome the first rising sun in Thailand at Pha Chanadai, Pha Taem National Park, and other unique locations in Ubon Ratchathani.
Furthermore, Buddhist devotees can join the sacred New Year praying rituals at temples across Thailand. This is another way of celebrating the New Year by praying for prosperity in the coming year.
TAT estimates that during the New Year celebrations, from 31 December 2015 to 4 January 2016, Thailand would earn around 15.3 billion Baht in tourism revenue. Also, during the period, Thailand is expected to record about 3.2 million tourists. The domestic trips are estimated at 2.73 million Thai travellers and the international ones are expected to welcome about 470,000 foreign tourists.
“We would like to give this grand celebration as a special present to Thai and International tourists for this New Year occasion. The Thailand Countdown 2016 at Wat Arun on the Chao Phraya Riverbank will attract more travellers around the world as well as encourage re-visitors to Thailand. Moreover, this event will mark Thailand as one of the world’s countdown destinations in the New Year celebration calendar,” said Mr. Yuthasak.
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