I didn’t really have a plan for what to do for new years but I got a few ideas from my guides at the elephant camp. Since new years eve happened to be on a Saturday there was a night market in town, so I went there to start my evening with some street food. It’s a huge market, and it was very crowded but I did find some tasty food. 

Someone told me there would be activities at the various temples, and there were, but they seemed to be mostly for worshipers. I skipped that and kept strolling around the streets of old town Chiang Mai. There were things going on everywhere, with vendors in the streets and several bands performing. Not so much a typical new years party as a street festival. 

Didgeridoo band

Japanese funk (?) group

Eventually I made my way down to the Tha Pae gate where there was a huge crowd setting off floating paper lanterns. It was very beautiful with the whole sky full of glowing orange balls.

When I had watched the lanterns for a while I figured it was high time for a drink so I went in search of a bar.

Bars are great for celebrating but I didn’t feel like being in one for the stroke of midnight, so I bought a couple of beers in seven eleven then went back to the Tha Pae gate to watch the lanterns. The floating globes of light worked as a kind of silent fireworks display and people kept letting them off and cheering as the clock struck. I just wish I had someone there to celebrate together with. 

Happy New year! Gott nytt år! Sabaidee pi mai!