Loy Krathong Festival is one of the most meaningful, spectacular and beautiful festivals in Thailand, which is held every year on the night of December 15 of the Thai calendar (usually in November).
One of the special features of the festival is that on the night of that day, the water is filled with water lanterns and candlelight, whether in the city or in the township, as long as it is near a river or a lake.
And this day in Chiang Mai will also be in this day to light the Kong Ming lantern, because Thai people believe that in that way they can throw away the bad luck. The festival is also known as one of the "Seven Wonders of Thailand" because of the magnificent spectacle of 10,000 people releasing Kong Ming lanterns in Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand, every year.
The place that you can join in the Loy Krathong Festival are divided into free and paid venues, and the free venues may vary from year to year. The paid venues are held in seven locations throughout Thailand, among which the Chiang Mai venue is the biggest one and is usually held near the Thapae Gate.
Each year's Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Festival has multiple venues hosted by different organizations, and currently there are four venues which have official websites with public tickets. In these venues, the audience is larger and arrangement is safer, but usually the tickets for the 10,000 people Loy Krathong Festival are snapped up as soon as they go on sale, and they are quite expensive.
There are 4 fee-paying venues:
1) Maejo University field.
20 km from the ancient city, about 40 minutes drive, 3000 people. There are religious ceremonies and Thai snacks. Ticket price is the most expensive. The site is small and tourists cannot release water lanterns, only monks can.
2)Maejo University Hot Spring Field
The same organizer as Maejo University field, 35 km from the ancient city, about 1 hour drive, 2,500 people. Cheaper than the Maejo University field, but the distance is farther. Traffic will be heavy on the day, which takes 2-3 hours round trip.
3) Cowboy Army Riding Club (CAD)
11 km from the old city, about 20 minutes drive, 4,000 people. There are religious ceremonies, traditional performances and food stalls. No water lantern experience.
4) Thailand International Cultural Sky Lantern Festival (Malin Park)
Officially hosted by Chiang Mai Tourism Association, 10,000 people with a maximum of 5,000 people, 14 km from the old city, about 20 minutes drive. There are food bazaar, folklore performance, cultural experience, religious ceremony, water lantern and sky lantern blessing, free transportation by double bus.
VIPs are able to free water lanterns, ordinary customers can also pay for the water lanterns, the key is the venue is very large (as large as 13 soccer fields, there will be less crowded security issues).
The best place in Bangkok is of course the Chao Phraya River. You can take the BTS directly to Saphan Taksin station pier. Then take a boat tour along the river.
Nowadays, the most popular place to celebrate the Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand is Sukhothai City, the ancient capital of the Sukhothai Dynasty, where the festival originated. Sukhothai is located 440 kilometers from Bangkok in the Sukhothai Province in north-central Thailand.
Actually, November in Chiang Mai is not really cool, it's still a little hot and humid compared to December, and it's the kind of season that needs air conditioning, and there are occasional showers.
In 2012, after the sky lantern releasing, there was a huge rainstorm and most people got wet, so please check the weather forecast in advance and bring rain gear or poncho if it might rain.
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