Celebrating Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai

We’ve been to Chiang Mai a few times but the Loy Krathong festival (also known as Yee Peng) in November was definitely the highlight of our visits. Although there’s a mass (more touristy) release of krathongs as well, we learned that the celebrations at Mae Jo university were being organized by a Buddhist sect and actually has not much to do with the actual spiritual event.

We arrived the night itself at the Wat Phan Tao temple grounds which weren’t overly crowded and looked in awe at the rituals and celebrations. Later we moved to a big crossroad near the riverside (and next to the parade) where locals were releasing their lanterns in street. It was the perfect evening and it didn’t cost a cent.

Loy KrathongReleasing lanterns for Loy KrathongFloathing krathongsA lot of lantern dots in the skyGirls letting their krathongs floatLittle girl releasing her krathongA lot of krathongs in the skyMon Cham, Mae Rim restaurant with a view

 Loy Krathong information

  • Information about the event: Detailed information about the parade and locations can be found here.

 Chiang Mai travel information

  • Transport: We came in once by train and once by plane from Bangkok. In big group we always stopped a red songthaew to get to places (and our guesthouse could arrange them as well). When we were just the two of us we rented a motorbike to get everywhere.
  • Stay: We stayed at the wonderful Baankiri guesthouse where we reserved 3 rooms (which were more like small houses with their own kitchen and porch). The owners are a super sweet couple who go out of their way to give you a wonderful stay. They even made us a krathong! The location is super quiet and close to nature.
  • Do:
    • Celebrate Loy Krathong
    • Take a motorbike and drive up to the top of Doi Suthep
    • Take a songthaew to Doi Mon Cham in Mae Rim and have lunch with a stunning view (see last picture above)
    • Go to the Sunday market at Thaphae Gate
    • Take a pottery course at In Clay, it’s super fun and you go home with an original souvenir.
    • Visit pandas at the Chiang Mai zoo!
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