How to celebrate Halloween in Bangkok

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Wondering if and how people celebrate Halloween in Bangkok? If so, read on. Here’s the ultimate guide to Halloween in Thailand’s capital.

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Once a year, ghosts and goblins come out near and far to play some trick and get a treat. Terrifying ghouls wander the streets and make passers-by take a second look. And then there are the creepy clowns wearing fake blood make-up. 

October 31st is the day when kids, couples, teens, and adults clad in spine-tingling costumes ward off souls of the dead roaming the earth.

November 1st, initially the day to honor the Saints, started with bonfires in the eighth century and transitioned to a celebration on the evening before – All Hallows Eve, or Halloween. Trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, devouring grilled charred corn, and savory crescent roll pumpkins at festive gatherings galore – All Saints’ Eve is fun.

But is Halloween celebrated in Thailand? More on that in just a bit. Here’s everything you need to know about the festivities in Bangkok.

What is the cultural significance of Halloween in Thailand?

Because of their deep beliefs in supernatural beings, Thai people don’t typically celebrate Halloween. They’re tremendously respectful of spirits and believe it would rile them if they took part in Halloween celebrations. However, you’ll find a few Halloween parties in Bangkok’s touristy areas where foreigners (and Thais) can enjoy themselves. As it’s an opportunity to have fun and make some money, not all locals ignore it completely.

Wherever in Thailand you may be, getting to the capital is easy. You can take a minivan from the nearby beach location of Hua Hin to Bangkok, hop on a bus from wild Pattaya to Bangkok, fly from popular Phuket to Bangkok, or even travel to the metropolis from the diving paradise of Koh Tao to Bangkok.

Also, if you’re holidaying in Thailand’s Rose of the North, you don’t need to travel from Chiang Mai to Bangkok just for All Hallows’ Eve, as there are a couple of Halloween bashes in this northern city, too.

What can you expect at Halloween parties in Bangkok?

Good-sized pumpkins large enough to hollow out are rare in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand. Rather, you’ll find inflatable pumpkins, but that doesn’t take away from the pleasure in the slightest. 

So where to celebrate Halloween in Bangkok? Pop into Khao San Road or other tourist hot spots, and you’re in for a blast. You won’t get free candy, but the farang-orientated bar and club owners spare no expense when it comes to deco and costumes as Khao San Road holds a party night for the occasion.

Those Thais that do join in love the zombie, ghoul aspect of Halloween. Nearly all of them dress up as a ghost and rock the place.

How can you make the most of Halloween in Bangkok?

If you want to take Halloween up a notch, remember that the bash is supposed to be scary. So where to buy Halloween costumes in Bangkok? The major shopping malls like MBK, Siam Center, and Central World are prepared for foreigners keen to celebrate this festival.

To make the most of Halloween in Bangkok, we recommend you don’t forget the joys of wearing a blood-curdling, don’t like-to-look-at, shocking costume. Don’t get caught up trying to find a punny, clever, or even sexy costume. If you embrace the wicked, the gross, and the frightening, that’s when real Halloween fun starts.

But remember to show respect to Thai people. While they might know that it’s Halloween, don’t loom above someone on the BTS Skytrain to act super scary. Also, Halloween is no excuse for positioning your head higher than the Buddha. 

But if you let common sense prevail, you’re free to paint the town red – or orange!

Posted October 24, 2021
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Philipp Meier
Philipp Meier is a Phuket-based travel writer passionate about Thai culture and wandering off Thailand’s well-trodden tourist trail. His work has been published on the Nat Geo Traveller India, South China Morning Post, Culture Trip, BootsnAll, GoNOMAD, and elsewhere. You can find him at Writer Philipp Meier and LinkedIn.
image of blog writer Phil