Monday, March 8, 2010

Bangkok - New Years Eve

Many people know of my hatred for Valentine's Day.  But I'm quickly adding a second holiday to my hated list and that is New Years Eve.  I thought being in Bangkok would solve the problem of an expensive holiday, overpriced prix fixe menus, and amateur night out at the bars and restaurants in a big city.  No luck.

Our hotel had several NYE offerings.  All were extremely expensive though.  There is a Times Square type of celebration downtown but we were worried about not being able to get a taxi back to our hotel and we were located on the opposite side of the river so walking wasn't an option.  All the river cruises were charge at least three times as much as they would on a normal night.  Since Thailand actually celebrates the Thai New Year in April, I'd heard the Thais don't really celebrate NYE like westerners do. I figured we'd hit up a casual local restaurant nearby and then head to the river for the fireworks.

Oh no.  All the restaurants in our neighborhood were closed.  There was nothing to eat at our hotel because every eatery was hosting a NYE party and was closed.  We were told the pool bar was open until 8 pm but when we went to go eat it was closed and we had to order room service.

So the bottom line is NYE in a different country still requires lots of cash and planning.

We were able to book a massage at Healthland Spa, a local place I found recommended on Trip Advisor, at the last minute at 8:30 pm for a couples massage.  Nick had never had a massage before.

In the US, the masseuse is very careful to completely drape you and cover up all your private bits.  Not so in Thailand!  They had us undress in front of them and hop in the shower.  By the time it was Nick's turn they were out of the room so he was able to undress in private.  He hopped on the massage table still in his boxers.  His masseuse insisted in a combination of broken English and hand gestures that he had to put on this little spandex brief thing instead.  At this point his eyes are shooting daggers at me for making him do this and I'm trying extremely hard not to laugh.  I will not be able to convince him to ever get another massage.  That's fine.  More for me.

I would really recommend Healthland Spa.  They have several locations all over Bangkok.  The prices are cheap.  You can find cheaper but the quality of the cheap places can vary.  I think our hour long massages were $20 each.  The rooms were very nice, the masseuses were excellent and professional.

Back at our hotel we headed next door to a little local bar on the river to grab a drink and watch the fireworks.  Except they didn't have any more tables outside so we had to sit indoors.  I must admit, it was nice to not be freezing my butt off on NYE.

All of the hotels on the river put on a fireworks show and we had a beautiful front row view along the railing next to the river.  Total NYE cost = $50 for 2 massages, tip, & taxi + $8 for beers at the bar next door.  Much better than all the options that were $100/person or more.


Liz said...

I am totally laughing at the massage story!

Sounds like a nice NYE. I agree that it is a totally overrated holiday.

weezermonkey said...


Please tell your husband that people get nekkid in the States, too.