The Loi Krathong festival shows you the best of Thailand’s festive spirit. This year’s festival will take place from November 13 to November 17, and everyone from babies to grandparents will come together in a time to ask for good fortunes and forgiveness by making beautifully handcrafted Krathongs made from banana tree trunk, banana leaves and decorative flowers.
People set the floats to sail, as the sun goes down, on rivers, ponds and beaches creating an amazing sparkle in the water that looks like stars reflecting from the sky.
The festivities don’t end there; you can spend the festival watching beauty pageants, catching folk shows, feeling the sonic boom of fireworks and witnessing the famous Lanna-Style sky lantern show that makes it feel as if you’re in a completely different world.
Among my favorite stops during festival, Chiang Mai Province and Bangkok are my top two choices. All the provinces that celebrate Loi Krathong are great, but those two places are a tourist favorite.
The second you get to Bangkok, the city lights at night automatically capture your eyes. Imagine floating down the Chao Phraya river and seeing a warm orange reflection of the city lights, except they’re not city lights, but thousands of Krathong floating in the river with candles! Next, picture buildings and historic sites along both sides of the river glowing with candle light as you float alongside Krathong to your final destination, the district of Banglamphu.
There you have a plethora of restaurants to satisfy your Thai appetite, but one that will make both your taste buds and wallet happy is Lotash Seed. Their Tom Yum Goong was spicy, and I would not hesitate to cross the river again just for a bowl of that dish.
Among many great restaurants in the district, there were also great people sharing smiles and food with each other in honor of the festival.
Celebrating Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai is something out of a movie. There are beautiful landscapes, people and a spectacular lantern show under a full moon and clear night sky. Thousands of people gathered in an open space with buddhist monks sitting upon grassy ledges with candles lit next to them.
People watched on as thousands of us came out with Lanna-style lanterns, which are made from rice paper. This was a time to pay respect to the higher deities. One-by-one the lanterns made their way into the night sky, filling the sky with warm light that made me feel like time had stopped completely and there was no where else I had to be except right there.
As the lanterns went further and further, they began to look like a newly formed constellation floating to place in the sky. I have yet to experience anything else that spectacular.
Both Bangkok and Chiang Mai took my breath away with their amazing Loi Krathong festivities, but I am sure there are still hidden gems all over Thailand I have yet to experience in this week long festival. The festival may end, but the search for the next spectacular thing will continue, until then, leaw-jor-kah-mai (see you later)!
For a list of planned activities during Loi Krathong, see the below charts:
|Loi Krathong Festival: Bangkok View the illuminated boat procession, Loi Krathong activities as well as illuminated buildings and historical sites on both sides of the Chao Phraya River.|
|Date:/Time: 15-17 November / 19.00 – 21.30 hr.|
|Location: AsiaTique The Riverfront, 2194, Charoenkrung 72-74 Rd. Rd., Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120 Thailand|
|Bang Sai Loi Krathong Tam Prathip Festival: Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province Relive the glorious past of Ayutthaya on this atmospheric night. Enjoy the traditional procession of beauty queens from all 4 regions and experience the relaxing surroundings of a floating market demonstration.|
|Location: : Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province|
|Date:/Time: 15 -17 November|
|Samut Songkhram Loi Krathong : King Rama 2 Memorial Park, Samut Songkhram Province Experience Loi Krathong , which made of banana trunk more than 100,000 pieces, enjoy Thai folk shows, Noppamas beauty pageant and Krathong contests, Bang Sai Loi Krathong and offering food to Buddhist monks along the river.|
|Location: King Rama 2 Memorial Park, Samut Songkhram Province|
|Date:/Time: 17 November|
|Sukhothai Loi Krathong and Candle Festival : Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai Province Experience the festival of the Dawn of Happiness city with chandelier lamp parades and fire blast, play small confection cup spark fireworks, enjoy traditional performance, local recreational games and markets.|
|Location: Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai Province, Muang Sukotai, Sukhothai, Thailand 64000055 614 304|
Loi krathong-Light and sound 2013 please reserve and contact at
|Date:/Time: 13-17 November|
|Tak Loi Krathong Sai Festival: Rattanakosin 200 years Bridge, Tak Province Sightseeing floating 8,000 lanterns parade to be competed along Ping River at Hall of Fame Building where the handicrafts contest is held, shopping One Tumbon One Product or OTOPs and enjoy traditional performances.|
|Location: Rattanakosin 200 years Bridge, Tak Province|
|Date:/Time: 15-20 November|
|Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival: Chang Klan Road, Chiang Mai Province Enjoy traditional performance in Lanna style and floating lantern contest, join a demonstration of how to make Krathong s and Yee Peng lanterns.|
|Location: Chang Klan Road, Chiang Mai Province|
|Date:/Time: 10-18 November|
|Suphanburi Loi Krathong Festival : Suphanburi River (Tha Jeen River), Suphanburi Province. Enjoy a procession of hanging lanterns, Krathong design contest, fireworks display and arts and culture performance by local artists.|
|Location: Suphanburi River (Tha Jeen River), Suphanburi Province|
|Date:/Time: 17 November|
– Marcos Coto-Batres