Desperately Seeking Santa

Posted by - December 21, 2011 | Category: Asia, Escapes, Thailand

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.

Chatuachak market Bangkok

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.

Gifts Galore

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.

Chatuchak market Bangkok 12

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.

Chatuchak market Bangkok 6

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…

Chatuchak market Bangkok 16

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.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

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…

Chatuchak market Bangkok 15

…to shirts for the subversive on your list…

Chatuchak market Bangkok 19

…to sandals for the kids (or for the kid in you).

Chatuchak market Bangkok 18

And what child wouldn’t want a Hello Kitty bubble blower?

Chatuchak market Bangkok 21

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.

Chatuchak market Bangkok 17

Festive Food

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?

Chatuchak market Bangkok 9

Or a festive feast of squid eggs?

Chatuchak market Bangkok 5

And then finish off your meal with a chocolate covered banana?

Chatuchak market Bangkok 8

Seeking Santa

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.

Chatuchak market Bangkok 3

And not sure what’s going on here. Maybe they leave out milk and cereal for Santa instead of milk and cookies?

Chatuchak market Bangkok 2

And then there were these fellows with the completely wrong idea of how to stuff a stocking. (Or perhaps they were Mummers?)

Chatuchak market Bangkok 4

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.

Punk at Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok Thailand

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?

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26 comments - add one
    1. You’ll be happy to hear there is Santa in Phuket. Of course, he’s a mannequin in a lingerie shop surrounded by ladies in red nighties, but at least it’s a start. 🙂

  1. As a 17 year old I spent Christmas in Chiangmai and will never forget how home-sick I felt. No Santa in town that day! But I do remember a lunch fit for a King – the fact that I was with the Princess Regent that day possibly had something to do with that!

  2. I’ve always ended up being somewhere Christmasy every year. With the holiday madness, though, sometimes I think it’d be a nice change of pace to be somewhere Santa-free. I MUST put one of those toilet paper dispensers on my list for next year!

  3. Hope Santa drops by where ever you are, certainly sounds Christmas is more in evidence here in Pattaya, many of the malls put up lavish decorations and Christmas trees, haven’t seen him yet but I reckon Santa will be hanging out in a grotto somewhere in Pattaya.

  4. Thank you for sharing these pictures. I love the statues.. They are great for gifts on this Holiday season… Happy Holidays.

  5. chatuchak is one of my fave markets, so many interesting stuff… hehe and i remember seeing that man… wass a shocked at first but i think he looks cool with all the skulls in his necklace…


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