On New Year's Eve 2012 we visited a dam just outside Chiangmai for a magnificent view of the lake (you just have to believe me - we took no photos!) The dam was a bit tricky to find. Signposts in Thailand are rare, vague and inconsistent!
We followed the visit to the dam with a visit to the temple at Doi Sakat. Doi Sakat is dominated by the huge gold Buddha that sits on the hillside. It is lit at night and visible from miles around. Everyone at the temple was busy preparing for New Year (2556 or 2013). We also got to see first hand the process of "making merit". This involves the monks at he temple selling something to visitors. The visitors then make their purchase an offering to the temple and are blessed and earn merit towards their next life. I'm fairly sure that is right!
We celebrated New Year at midnight by releasing three lanterns that Sam had brought. We also set off fireworks Thai-style which is like British style, but without all of that health and safety nonsense! Sam treated us to a demonstration of dancing around a lit firework and I learned how to hold a fire a Roman Candle!
Happy New Year!