We heard and read many good things about Chiang Mai but when we realized our earlier planned visit to Chiang Mai happens during Loy Krathong Festival we were so ecstatic. What a great opportunity to be part of this one of the most illuminating, spiritual and fun celebration. The festival last for three days and it is one of the most popular festivals in Thailand held on the 12th full moon of the year. Everyone can participate in the festival by releasing lanterns in to the air and by floating krathongs down the river Ping.
Even though we were in Chiang Mai for the duration of the festival, our most memorable night was with Ela and Hania, Polish girls we met at the train station in Bangkok. We started our evening by purchasing our krathongs from one of the vendor (there were multitude of vendors selling beautiful krathongs from as little as 15THB). We made it through the crowds of people to the river banks, where we released our Krathong and watched it successfully float, making a wish that our love and happiness will last forever!
Even though the main release of the lanterns took place a week earlier during Yi Peng Festival, there were still many, many people lighting rice paper lanterns and setting them adrift into the night sky. The releasing lanterns represents sending your worries and problems away so of course we had to do it. The joy in releasing it and watching it rise into the sky was an incredible experience.
The rest of the evening we spend watching the Floating Krathong parade from the old city Tea Pae Gate towards the Ping river. It was a magical presentation of Thai tradition with beautiful women and men smiling the entire way.
As we were walking back to our guesthouse we couldn’t stop talking about how fortunate we are to be here in this special place.