By The Nation Weekend
On Monday night, the world says farewell to what can only be described as an eventful 2018 and starts the countdown to what we all hope will be a better year.
So take time out with your loved ones and experience magical moments at the many colourful celebrations being held both in Thailand and neighbouring countries.
Here are some places to have fun welcoming the Year of Pig.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) joins up with Iconsiam and communities living by the river for the “Amazing Thailand Countdown 2019”, featuring a stunning show of fireworks to usher in the New Year.
Taking place at the new shopping mall on the theme “The River of Prosperity”, the event is a tribute to the Chao Phraya River, regarded as national iconic landmark and one of the world’s celebrated destinations. More than 130,000 visitors are expected to join the festivities.
Iconsiam’s River Park will serve as the main event space and business operators, hotels and owners of historic properties in the area have also collaborated to organise a wide range of activities. Visitors will be enthralled by enter?tainment, live music and that magnificent firework display, which will be divided into five different themes each lasting five minutes.
Five barges will be stationed at different spots along the river to shoot the fireworks that will span 1,400 metres, making the show the largest firework display to be performed across the river. Prime locations for watching include the Peninsula, Millennium Hilton, Shangri-La Hotel, Mandarin Oriental and Royal Orchid Sheraton hotels as well as Sathorn Bridge, His Majesty the King's 80th Birthday Anniversary Park, Sathorn Pier, Marine Police Station 2, Khlong San Pier, a parking space near Sampeng, the Communication Authority of Thailand office, Bang Rak branch, the Suwan Pier, the SCB and 19th-century Chinese mansion Lhong 1919.
Also not to be missed is the masked dance khon performance of the “Phra Rama Krong Mueng” episode, which celebrates Phra Rama’s return to Ayodhaya. Celebrities booked to join the event include Ton Tanasit, Aim Sathida, Boat Siriroj from True Academy Fantasia, Ice Siphoom The Voice, Hunz The Star, Gel Sopitcha, Kangsom, Rit, Gam Witchayanee, Kan Naphat, Tong Tong, Bright, Zern and Frank from GMM Grammy.
For details, visit www.Tat.or.th
OneSiam – the collective name for Bangkok shopping malls Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery – is aglow with radiant lights and attractive art installations until January 6.
Singers Popetorn Soonthornyanakij, Jetrin Wattanasin and Burin Boonvisut will be at Parc Paragon on December 31 to lead the New Year countdown.
Inspired by the Northern Lights, the art installations across OneSiam assume marvellous crystalline shapes and glitter like an Arctic glacier, with Santa’s elves along for the ride.
Tomorrow and Monday, perform?ers from Europe will be entertaining shoppers. Theatre Tol from Belgium combines popular seasonal tales with bicycle stunts. The Romantic Carillion from Italy works magic on the piano as ballerinas dance. And Teatro Pavana from the Netherlands, its members clad in red silk, will pres?ent “Danzanti”, elegant yet rapid dance moves to upbeat music.
Each of the three malls has a Christmas tree that suits its charac?ter. At Siam Paragon is a 15-metre-tall Crystal Tree radiating colourful light to illuminate the Crystal Walk out front, with its own tunnel of lights.
The tree at Siam Center is a con?struction of triangular prisms form?ing the shape of a pyramid. It was inspired by the kinetic, futuristic installations of Pantone, whose works are currently on display at the mall. There’s also an Elf Forest and Elf Village. Siam Discovery has the Circular Living Recycled Christmas Tree to promote environmental con?scientiousness. It’s made of reused materials, including thousands of CD cases, and stands 10 metres high. Visitors are welcome to decorate it with their own recyclable materials.
Learn more at www.OneSiam.com.
Central Pattana and Advanced Info Service (AIS) are welcoming the Year of Pig with the Thailand & AIS Bangkok Countdown 2019 that runs from 6.30pm to 12.30am at Central World.
True to its theme “Eclipse of Time”, visitors will get a 360-degree enter?tainment experience, featuring a light-and-sound extravaganza along with spectacular fireworks that will be broadcast live on AIS channels and on the panOramix, the world’s largest digital interactive screen.
More than 200 popular artists and DJs from all over Asia will take it in turns to rock the town. The line-up includes Da Endorphine, J Jetrin and his son Jao-Nai, Joey Boy, Potato, 25 Hours, SB Five, BNK48, James Jirayu, Taew Natapohn, Peck Palitchoke, Bella Ranee, Toey Jarinpohn, and Put Puttichai.
In southern Thailand, Central Phuket is organising the International Countdown 2019 with a list of renowned international EDM DJs and popular Thai artists taking the stage.
Find out more at www.CentralWorld.co.th.
Entrepreneurs around Ratchaprasong district have joined forces to host the Ratchaprasong Lighting & Countdown 2019 that boasts amazing lights, a truly festive mood and Eat-Pray-Stay-Shop activ?ities.
Many of the high-rises are adorned with striking lighting effects to cre?ate colourful festive vibes in down?town Bangkok. Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard presents the “Beautiful Bangkok 2019 light-and-sound projection show on the elegant 60-storey building and the Symphony of Happiness event high?lights a musical performance by Rudklao Amratisha and a grand cho?rus, whose powerful voices will move both hearts and minds.
Amarin Plaza teams up with Rabbit Card and Rabbit Line Pay to present amazing light decorations together with impressive light-and-sound performances. There’s also the Amarin Villa de Rabbit at Ratchaprasong with gleeful activities and hand out gifts.
Designed on the Gaysorn Christmas Courtyard theme, Gaysorn Centre sets up the Gaysorn Cocoon Dropoff zone on the first floor to ensure visitors enjoy shopping, eat?ing and taking photos, while a giant Christmas tree and decorations light up the venue and lift the spirits.
Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel organises the 11th charity Christmas tree decoration contest with proceeds from the event going to Friends in Need (of Pa) Volunteers Foundation and the Thai Red Cross.
The newly opened Mahanakhon SkyWalk –Thailand’s highest 360-degree observation deck – at King Power Mahanakhon Building is a new venue to countdown to the New Year.
The 74th floor is home to indoor observation desk, which is hosting a Sunset package from 4 to 7.30pm at Bt1,250 per person including a soft drink, DJ and live entertainment.
The Countdown package from 9 to 1am invites guests to countdown to 2019 with DJ spinning, live band, games and entertainment show. The price is Bt2,800 per person including a free flow soft drinks and one glass of Prosecco to be enjoyed with canapes and oysters.
The building’s outdoor observation deck on the 78th floor also offers s Sunset package for Bt4,000 per person with live music and DJ entertainment. The ticket includes two glasses of champagne and canapes.
The Countdown package is set at Bt12,000 per person and guests will countdown to 2019 with glow in the dark tables, a Swan Lake ballet show on the Glass Tray, lighting show, live band, DJ entertainment and a balloon releasing celebration at midnight. The package includes two glasses of champagne, an oyster bar and canapes.
Book at www.KingPowerMahanakhon.co.th or call (02) 677-8721 extension 4045.
Pattaya and Mono 29 will turn Laem Bali Hai into a fun venue for the two-day Pattaya Countdown 2019: Universe of Entertainment event that starts from 5pm.
Tomorrow night, visitors will enjoy a free concert by Room 39, Ben Chalathit, Stamp Aphiwat, Singto Namchok, Rose Sirinthip, Lamun Band and Tao Somchai.
On Monday, the celebration kicks off with an exciting boxing match from the Mono 29 Top King World Series 2019 and follows up with a con?cert by Eh Jirakorn, Nakarin “Pang” Kingsak, Retrospect, Tony Phee and Blue Gents, while the sky will be illu?minated at midnight with a 15-minute firework display.
Find out more by calling the Pattaya Contact Centre at 1337.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board is planning a spectacular “pyromusical” for the New Year countdown, light?ing up the sky above Victoria Harbour.
The 10-minute show of pyrotech?nics set to stirring music will begin just as the clock strikes midnight and the landmark Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre will display the numerals “2019” and New Year blessings in various lan?guages on its facade. The celebration of light and music culminates as the “Celestial Kaleidoscope” dazzles Hong Kong with brilliant flashes of colour and morphing patterns, end?ing with 45 different patterns of fire?works in one minute. It’s the work of an Italian specialist, all choreo?graphed in synchrony with the festive soundtrack, highlighted by tradi?tional Chinese music. From 11pm, spectators can also make wish on the pyrotechnic shooting stars launched from the rooftops of high-rise build?ings around the harbour.
Find out more at www.DiscoverHongkong.com/countdown
Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay will hold a countdown celebration on the theme “Bay of Hopes and Dreams” including light projections, a concert, food truck festival, and bazaar. And at midnight, Avex Group will light up the sky with multi-sensory fireworks and the light show Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition, fea?turing pyrotechnics and lasers, 3D surround sounds, and exciting per?formances. The Star Island show will be held at The Float @ Marina Bay where entry tickets can be purchased.
And until next month, Orchard Road remains illuminated with Disney’ characters on the theme “Disney Magical Moments” inviting visitors to snap a few shots with Elsa and Anna from “Frozen”, Mickey Mouse & Friends, Pixar’s Toy Story, Ariel and Cinderella.
Learn more at www.Stb.gov.sg or www.VisitSingapore.com.
Christmasland is back and boasts the biggest 3D projection mapping light shows until January 1.
Designed on the theme of Space and Planets, New Taipei City sees 45 high-end projectors being used to project 3D mapping light shows to a total area of about the size of 17.6 bas?ketball courts, including the Christmas trees.
Some 900 tubes of RGB pixel-con?trolled LEDs, each of which can deliv?er 256 colours, are installed at the cloister on the second floor of the New Taipei City Hall. Provided by Germany’s Madrix, the advanced pixel-controlled lighting system is utilised to create a gigantic circular screen that runs from the New Taipei City Hall to the Christmas tree.
The master of best sound effects shortlisted by the Golden Horse Awards is responsible for making soundtracks for the main light shows. This year’s decorations come in a rose-golden colour to create a roman?tic atmosphere and four different colours are used in the four light zones, namely the romantic Rose Golden Star Overpass, the dream-like Pink Star Overpass, the Galaxy Star Overpass in cold-white, and the Blue Light Star Overpass.
New York artist Jen Lewin is show?casing her interactive light-and-shadow art installation at The Pool. The vivid and delicate changes of light and shadow projected from more than 40,000 light bulbs in 360 degrees go up and down with the exciting music, turning the flat 3D light sculpture into stereoscopic 3D, which surrounds the audience and subverts the imagination.
Also available is the Fantasy Planet, a giant ball-like artwork made with more than 100,000 LED lights that performs a brilliant light show from 5.30 to 10pm.
Find out more at https://Christmasland.ntpc.gov.tw/en/.