It was sixteenth of December and I decided that I’d go down into Bangkok to see what the Christmas or should that be the New Year lights looked like, seen as Thailand was a Buddhist country. The main retail area of Bangkok known as Siam, normally trimmed up to the nines, but this year owing to the death of the King, I wasn’t too sure what the lights and decorations would be like, as all festivities had been requested to tone down celebrations in respect. However, in today’s newspaper, it had stated that CentralWorld shopping complex had trimmed up by paying tribute to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, using white that represented mourning and yellow that representing the day of the King’s birth.
Now as I said, this area is normally trimmed up like any other major capital in the west, be it London, Paris or Rome, but this year I knew that it was going to be different due to the circumstances. As I arrived at Siam BTS Station the surrounding shopping centres from what I saw of them had little if any decorations; certainly in comparison of previous years, nothing really much to attract the crowds for coming festivities, not that these shopping centres here needed any encouragement, they were always busy regardless.
But apart from some models of three white snowmen kneeling with their tongues sticking out, looking rather peculiar, there wasn’t much here to get excited about. I concluded that the traffic flow and the nearby Berkeley Hotel had more interesting lights and they were on display all year round.
Giant gold and white baubles had been placed outside the Paragon Shopping Centre, but they were low key from the display of previous years. I’m sure any international tourist would have been deeply disappointed by the display, but this year as I said was different and they’d just have to accept that Thailand was still in mourning.
But I knew that it wasn’t all subdued I’d read in the newspaper that the CentralWorld shopping centre had trimmed up outside in yellow and white representing the concept of ‘Winter White’ and the ‘Garden of Happiness.’ In the hope that it will encourage Thais to ‘lighten up together.’
I earnestly made my way down to the shopping centre, which was some walking distance from the main entrance of the Paragon Shopping Centre. At first, I wasn’t really sure on what to expect, but when I arrived the crowds had obviously flocked there on mass, I could hardly move it was as if this is what they wanted at this time of year, it was packed with Thais and foreigners taking photographs of the light display. Obviously, CentralWorld would cash in on this making it a bumper period for them.
There were yellow Christmas trees over ten metres tall, illuminated reindeers, five-pointed stars, white wreaths with bells attached to them and glowing snow crystals. Further round there was a walkway, all illuminated with what looked like yellow flowers inside. It all looked wonderfully bright and the crowds of people just made it the place to be.
Even from the skywalk, which was the suspended walkway people took photographs from the railings. It was a wonderful moment I was just happy that I’d taken the time out if only to have been a part of it.
I was aware of how well the area of Siam had trimmed up in the past, below are a collection of photos that I have taken back in 2011.