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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

New Year's Eve Thailand Staycation

Happy 2021, y'all! I'm not saying it'll be much different than 2020, but you gotta have hope, otherwise, what's the point? While we don't know if we'll be able to actually travel this year, we do know that we can continue to staycation like nobody's business, so we finished off the year with a Destination Date, giving big donations to organizations that will help those struggling in our community, eating fancy cheese, and Zooming with friends. 

This Destination Date was a lunch date in Thailand, where we watched their 2021 New Year fireworks show (because they are 14 hours ahead of us, they already had it online) and chowed down on some delicious Thai food.  

Every year there is a giant fireworks display at the Buddhist temple of Wat Arun on the Chao Phraya River and I was able to get a backdrop made of that. Wat Arun is massive and one of the most beautiful temples you've ever seen, even on screen. I look forward to seeing it in person one day. 

My table was easy to put together. The lotus flower always says Thailand to me, so these pretty floating ones made it onto my table, along with this set of praying hands with Buddha figures inside. My husband is Buddhist, and I thought these would really resonate with him. With that, all I needed were a few celebratory props (party noisemakers and a pack of sparklers I had) and a colorful tablecloth.

I used all my own regular dishes for this, as I felt it worked well. I also liked the look of these napkins I have. They give me sparkling and water vibes. What we ordered: street fried rice with shrimp (this was under the street food category) and pineapple red curry with chicken.

I also saw that they had this taro milk tea and I had to try it. There were a few options to make it more fun and I chose "rainbow", which ended up being these colorful, flavorful jellies. I loved everything about this drink. It was sweet, but not overly sweet. I can't really describe it for those that haven't had it before, except to maybe say if you drank the milk from a finished bowl of Fruity Pebbles, but not gritty. I promise, it's way better than that. 

While we ate, we watched the fireworks show from two different angles, and then we took a river cruise and explored the largest floating market. I wanted to eat everything they were selling, so it was good that we already had lunch that we were eating. 

You have to cap off a celebration meal with a dessert and this one was a huge winner in both of our books. We choose mango sticky rice. It was great, considering all the fresh fruit we were seeing being sold at the floating market, and because it was super good. The little squares were Thai sweet pancake. They were basically a crepe with a sweetened condensed milk sauce and then rolled up and cut into pieces. It wasn't my favorite, but I still enjoyed it.

I invested in this great fireworks backdrop that I knew I'd use more than just for New Years, so we could be surrounded by fireworks here, use it later in the evening for our Zoom party, and then bring it back out for other celebrations throughout the year. 

Look! We made it to midnight. Woo! 

Are you looking to throw your own Thailand staycation? I wouldn't blame you, because it's pretty awesome. Here are some things you can do to decorate your table and room/porch:
  • A good backdrop:
  • Lotus flowers
  • Any colorful flower garland, because Thailand is covered in flowers. 
    • I love this one, because you can use it for other staycation destinations too
    • And these are a great deal for how many you get
  • A Thai statue
  • A good tablecloth. If you don't have a whole treasure trove of tablecloths like I do, investing in a really pretty one that's also affordable might be something you want to invest in. I love this one with elephants on it, and it comes in a bunch of different colors. You can also use it as a throw (or a picnic blanket, if that's the kind of staycation you're going for).
  • A travel guide to plan your trip:
  • A good YouTube playlist:
  • Thai ice tea mix - yes, this one is spendy, but it's awesome and the company is owned by women and it's fantastic
  • Thai cookbook, if you want to include cooking into your staycation instead of ordering out
  • Learn some of the Thai language

Because I had to have my backdrop specially printed, this date came out to around $150, but I'll be able to use my second backdrop again and it was still much cheaper than going out for New Year's Eve (when we were able to). You can totally stretch out the day with activities, more virtual tours, games, cooking at home. You name it. 

Happy New Year again to you all. I hope 2021 treats you better than 2020 and you struggle less, love more, help others, and are happy...and finally get to hug people outside your household again. Meanwhile, don't forget to keep wearing your masks, washing your hands obsessively, and social distance to keep everyone safe and healthy.

How did you ring in the new year?

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I may be compensated should you choose to make any purchases through them. This allows me to keep this blog running for you. Thanks in advance!

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