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Bangkok’s BTS SkyTrain Chinese New Year Extravaganza: A Heartwarming Display of Sino-Thai Friendship

Imagine a vibrant scene on February 2, 2024, where the heart of Bangkok buzzes with excitement and the air carries the scent of celebration. This isn’t just any day at the Phrom Phong BTS SkyTrain station; this is the momentous opening of the “Happy Chinese New Year @ BTS SkyTrain” ceremony. Picture Han Zhiqiang, the esteemed Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Thailand, joining forces with Thailand’s very own luminaries – Sudawan Wangsuphakitkosol, the dynamic Minister of Tourism and Sports, Sermsak Pongpanich, the cultured Minister of Culture, and Keeree Kanjanapas, the visionary Chairman of BTS Group Holdings Public Company Limited. Together, they usher in an era of festivity and friendship.

In strides Kriengsak Tantipiphop, CEO of EM District, with a warm welcome that lights up the room, showcasing the true spirit of Thai hospitality. The event, a brainchild of collaboration between the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Thailand and BTS Group since 2023, not only celebrates the “Happy Chinese New Year” but also strengthens the cultural bonds between China and Thailand. This year, they’ve pulled out all stops to promote the illustrious Year of the Dragon, bringing to life the “Nihao! China” tourism campaign on their media platforms from January 25 to February 24, 2024.

The ceremony was nothing short of spectacular, with the Ambassador, ministers, and BTS executives heartwarmingly distributing 150 sets of auspicious oranges to those gathered. Each orange, a symbol of good fortune, was a beacon of hope for prosperity, progress, and endless good vibes throughout the year. Han Zhiqiang, with a sparkle in his eye, shared that the “Happy Chinese New Year” isn’t just a celebration, it’s a global cultural phenomenon, championed by China since 2004 and embraced by Thailand with open arms.

This year’s celebration features the “Jixiang Dragon”, a mascot that transcends borders, embodying peace, happiness, and hope. Imagine the joy as this delightful mascot, in the form of snuggly dolls, finds a new home with the officers of the BTS Skytrain and passengers alike. It’s like adding a sprinkle of magic to the festive atmosphere!

Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol painted a picture of a future where tourism flourishes like never before, with a predicted influx of over 200,000 Chinese tourists during the golden period of February 8 – 16, 2024. The anticipated economic boom, with earnings estimated at 34,390 million baht, is a testament to Thailand’s commitment to welcoming visitors with open arms, especially with the visa exemption measures stirring up even greater excitement.

Amidst all this, the renewal of the visa exemption for ordinary and official passport holders, effective from March 1, 2024, stands as a symbol of the half-century-long friendship between Thailand and China. With safety and hospitality as top priorities, Thailand ensures that every visitor not only feels welcomed but also cherished and protected, reinforcing the “Safety in Thailand” initiative.

Mr Sermsak Pongpanich’s wishes for happiness, prosperity, and fulfilment resonate deeply, reflecting the spirit of cultural exchange and mutual appreciation. This festive season, he envisions Thailand as a cinematic paradise, inviting Chinese filmmakers and tourists to capture and experience the beauty, identity, and safety of Thailand through the lens of its vibrant film industry.

Mr Keeree Kanjanapas highlighted the mutual visa exemption agreement as a milestone in Thailand-China relations, promising a stronger bond and a flurry of cultural exchanges. With enhanced safety measures from the BTS SkyTrain and the integration of WeChat Pay, the journey of Chinese tourists in Thailand is set to be seamless, adding a touch of convenience and safety to their adventure.

Wrapping up the festivities, Mr. Keeree’s thoughts on Chinese New Year bring us back to the essence of the celebration – a time of togetherness, joy, and the making of cherished memories. “For me, Chinese New Year is a time of red envelopes for children, a time of rest for adults, and a time for families to fully celebrate and create moments of happiness together. I wish everyone wealth and health for this Chinese New Year.”

So, as the “Happy Chinese New Year @ BTS SkyTrain” ceremony unfolds, it becomes clear that this is more than just an event; it’s a bridge of friendship, joy, and cultural exchange between China and Thailand, making the world a tad smaller, one celebration at a time.


  1. John Lim February 3, 2024

    This event sounds like a wonderful celebration of culture and friendship! It’s great to see countries collaborating to promote such positivity.

    • SkeptikReader February 3, 2024

      I’m all for cultural celebrations, but isn’t this just a big PR stunt? Governments use these events to distract us from more pressing issues.

      • John Lim February 3, 2024

        I see your point, but I believe sharing joy and culture is also crucial. It’s about balance. Not every event with government involvement is a distraction.

    • Beijing2Bangkok February 3, 2024

      Totally agree with you, John! These celebrations help strengthen international ties and promote tourism, which is essential for economic growth.

  2. TravelJunkie88 February 3, 2024

    200,000 Chinese tourists expected? That’s huge! Shows how much impact cultural and diplomatic efforts can have on tourism. Thailand is playing its cards right.

    • EcoWarrior February 3, 2024

      But what about the environmental impact of mass tourism? We should also consider sustainability when celebrating these kinds of events.

      • TravelJunkie88 February 3, 2024

        Good point. Sustainable tourism has to be part of the conversation. Hopefully, Thailand will implement measures to ensure that this influx of tourists won’t harm their natural resources.

  3. CinemaLover February 3, 2024

    The part about inviting Chinese filmmakers to capture Thailand’s beauty is intriguing. It could be a fantastic way to showcase Thailand’s culture globally through cinema.

    • Historian February 3, 2024

      While showcasing Thailand through films is great, it’s also important to ensure that these portrayals are authentic and not just catering to stereotypes or exoticism.

  4. DigitalNomad101 February 3, 2024

    Integration of WeChat Pay for tourists is a game-changer. It makes traveling so much easier when you don’t have to worry about exchanging money or carrying cash around.

  5. PeaceLove February 3, 2024

    Cultural exchanges like these are vital for world peace. The more we celebrate together, the better we understand each other.

    • Realist February 3, 2024

      Understanding and peace are noble goals, but cultural events alone won’t achieve them. It takes more systematic changes in policies and attitudes.

      • PeaceLove February 3, 2024

        Agreed, but every little bit helps. Events like these plant seeds of friendship and understanding, which are essential for any systemic change.

  6. TechSavvy February 3, 2024

    Interesting to see how technology like WeChat Pay is playing a role in international tourism. It’s making the world more interconnected.

    • PrivacyConcerns February 3, 2024

      While convenient, reliance on apps like WeChat Pay raises privacy concerns. We’re giving away too much personal information.

      • TechSavvy February 3, 2024

        That’s a valid concern. It’s crucial to use these services wisely while being aware of the data privacy issues involved.

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