For the first time in my life, I celebrated the bells at New Year away from my homeland, seven hours ahead of Scotland. Yes – a new experience for me as Thailand and its many tourists got into party mode.
My second invitation to take photos at a wonderful bar in Rompho in the south of the city of Pattaya, Thailand was presented to me from the bar owners. This bar is known simply as The Corner House and is aptly named, seeing as it sits on the corner of The Rompho Complex.
I had attended the Christmas Lunch festivities last week and enjoyed a delicious meal, courtesy of the The Corner House but it has to be said they surpassed everything I have witnessed at Rompho previously.
I have attended many parties and events with the Rompho Complex, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed but none had went to the expense of laying on a live band before. And what a great band they were too.
The party was put together in conjunction with The Sexy Girl Bar on the opposite side of the thoroughfare. Between them they hired a group of musicians from the Philippines, who I later discovered had no name for they were put together especially for these sort of events. This had no reflection on the quality of the musicians, for they were excellent, doing great covers of mainly rock songs. From Blondie to The Animals to Dire Straits, they nailed every tune.
The party was halted by twenty minutes of rain, which threatened to sabotage the night’s entertainment but like most precipitation in Thailand, it did not last long, and if anything enhanced the atmosphere of the early celebrations as everyone crammed into the bars. I met a multitude of new people as the rain poured from the heavens.
The raise ceased and soon everyone was returned to the seating areas outside in the warm evening to enjoy a drink and edibles.
The Corner House had a buffet laid on as did their counterparts The Sexy Girl Bar and by all accounts, the offerings were superb, although I was kept busy and missed the opportunity to sample the food.
That was until the barbequed pig was cooked to perfection and served to the many queuing patrons. I will add that all this marvelous food was free of charge.
I said the to the owner of The Corner House “You have put on a fine spread here and the band are phenomenal”. The response was simple and to the point. “If something is worth doing, then do it right.”
It was indeed carried out to perfection.
Faces young and old were present. From babies to great grandparents. People from the UK, Canada, America, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Australia, France, Germany and many more were to be found partying and dancing the night away. A multitude of Thai people helped balance things out as everyone mixed in unity. The world could learn some valuable lessons from Thailand from the way everyone gets on together.
There was one gentleman who entertained a number of children for hours on end. His stamina and patience was a joy to watch as he danced with the youngsters for the majority of the night. I was enthralled just watching the kids jubilant smiles as ran around getting into the party spirit. I bet the slept well when they got home!
The band were exceptionally good and before long people of all ages were bopping away on an area retained for dancing.
I was kept busy, for as at all parties, people see a photographer and wish to have their photos taken. This is me in my element. I love working with people and Thailand has lovely folks in abundance.
I had the opportunity to take photographs of beautiful ladies and handsome men. People with faces that told stories, that lived in appearance.
Dancing children prancing around having a ball. One little girl saw it as a game, running away just as I was about to press the shutter button. I got her though – in the end.
At the bells streamers and tinsel were strewn everywhere as the band brought in the New Year.
Sadly there was no fireworks out of respect for the late King, who passed away earlier in 2016 but the party was still a massive success, pulling in at a guess around 200-300 guests. Over the piece it would almost certainly be more for visitors came and went as they sought out friends to wish them all the best for 2017.
Personally I felt tearful at midnight for I miss so many people back home but it didn’t stop me enjoying myself with new friends in Pattaya.
There were no lager louts, no one so drunk that they became troublesome or even a little bit annoying to others in attendance.
So well done to both bars and the festivity goers, who made this a brilliant night to remember.
A happy New Year to one and all and as they say in Scotland “Lang may yer lum reek.”
A full set of photos can be found here https://www.flickr.com/gp/139555139@N07/9xu7V4