I’ve only spent the Chinese New Year’s Eve in China once since I moved there 2.5 years ago. In the two other occasions, I preferred to travel in the neighboring countries. This year I happened to be in Bangkok during the CNYE, and I went on purpose to China Town, to check if anything special is going on.
As I was expecting, many Chinese tourists were flooding the place. They were visiting the Buddhist temples and the local markets. I would say, 2/3 tourist I saw there were Chinese. After traveling to SE Asia, I understand better how important is China for these countries whose economies rely so much on tourism.
The Chinese people who go abroad during the Spring Festival are often called by the Western media the nouveau riche. They had become rich, so they want to travel abroad and break with the traditional family reunion.
Many of the locals selling in those markets are Chinese ethnics. Some of them have a similar story with my foreign classmates from Shanghai who descends from families that emigrated from China during the Civil War.
I chatted with them in Chinese, and it seemed to me that they weren’t very skilled. In comparison, the Chinese ethnics I met in Malaysia were more fluent in Chinese.
The following day I decided to go once more to China Town, as it was on my way to the Grand Palace. It was nice, full of people everywhere, an enjoyable chaos that I’ve only seen in Asia. I captured the moment in a video, you can check it below.