The ball drop in New York's Times Square has long been a mainstay of New Year's Eve celebrations, but the sparkling ritual extends far beyond the United States to other countries and continents too. This year Thailand is set to host the world's tallest ball drop, with a sparkling globe that will descend 64 stories from the top of a Bangkok luxury hotel.
"This is an opportunity for Thailand to join the likes of other countries, and have an iconic New Year's celebration all its own," said Lebua Hotels and Resorts CEO Deepak Ohri. "The golden top of the Dome, the Tower Club's signature dining destination, has been a long-time icon of Bangkok's skyline. The ball drop, which is set to become an annual event, is now poised to be another."
Ohri conceived of the ball as the hotel's "gift to Thailand," he said in a statement. Weighing in at 1.2 tons, the ball measures 7 feet wide and combines 2,950 LED lights, 50 strobe lights, a steel frame of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons, and is covered with a translucent fabric.
At 10 seconds to midnight, the "Bangkok Ball" will begin to make its 49-foot descent from a pole atop the Tower Club at Lebua. Upon reaching the bottom, another LED sign reading "2014" will be lit, as will a series of pyrotechnics over the Chao Phraya river for a grand finale.
Dinner guests at the al fresco restaurant Sirocco that sits atop Lebua will enjoy front-row seats to the spectacle, along with a luxurious menu that includes foie gras and oysters, black truffles and blue lobsters, Wagyu beef and cherry blossom desserts.