Christmas in Bangkok
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or is it?
It’s a week before Christmas, and other than the odd Charlie Brown-esque Christmas tree here near Victory monument, it doesn’t feel much like Christmas in Bangkok.
And then there’s that inexplicable giant pink Easter bunny outside of Centre One.That’s not helping matters any.
Of course there are pockets of decorations here and there, but none of the panic that accompanies the holidays back home. Where is the wrapping paper? The bows?
And where, may I ask, is Santa?
So just where do the bells on bobtails ring in Bangkok?
Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok Thailand
If there’s one place where you’re sure to find Christmas, or at least the western version of it, it’s at the mall. So this past Saturday, I decided to check out the Chatuchak Weekend Market to see if I could spot me some tidings of comfort and joy and search for the Big Guy himself.
A small part of the Chatuchak market is open every day, but on weekends it swells to over 5000 stalls covering 35 acres. That’s a lot of potential Santa sightings. And Christmas shopping too I suppose.
The best gifts, in my humble opinion, are the ones that you’re not supposed to take photos of – like these statues. Pay particular attention to the heaven-bound cherub embracing a fish. It walks that fine line between Christmassy and kitschy. Elegant and eclectic. And who wouldn’t want to capture that.
And it’s easy to see why these toilet paper dispensers need to be kept away from the hounding flashbulbs of the paparazzi. It would be Cabbage Patch Christmas all over again. I especially see a run on the boob and butt models.
While Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, there are decorations to be had at Chatuchak if you search hard enough. Such as a tasteful neon sign…
And while you might be hard-pressed to find an angel tree topper, there are plenty of seated Buddhas to adorn your mantel. And animals that look suspiciously like reindeer if you look close enough.
Even if there isn’t much in the way of Christmas decorations at Chatuchak market, thankfully there is plenty of shopping to keep you in the Christmas spirit. From rogue Ralph Lauren…
…to shirts for the subversive on your list…
…to sandals for the kids (or for the kid in you).
And what child wouldn’t want a Hello Kitty bubble blower?
And just what do you do without all that loot? Barring booking flights to Bangkok for all your loved ones to collect their goodies, Chatuchak has a ton of shipping companies at the ready to send your presents around the globe.
And what Christmas shopping trip is complete without a little lunch to keep up your energy?
Perhaps a cup of tea served with traditional Turkish showmanship?
Or a festive feast of squid eggs?
And then finish off your meal with a chocolate covered banana?
In the quest for Saint Nick, I had hoped to spot some of his little helpers. Alas, there were no elves, but plenty of aliens – or whatever this thing is supposed to be.
And not sure what’s going on here. Maybe they leave out milk and cereal for Santa instead of milk and cookies?
And then there were these fellows with the completely wrong idea of how to stuff a stocking. (Or perhaps they were Mummers?)
And Santa? Well, the closest I could find was this guy. And though he clearly relished in (and charged for) photos, there was nary a parent with toddler in tow.
Maybe that thing around his neck was a bit off-putting? In any case, I don’t think that many were willing to sit on his lap.
Have you seen Santa in your travels?