One of the most famous pictures you will see of Thailand is the photo of hundreds of lanterns. This is the Loy Krathong and Yi Peng festival which is widely celebrated in the north.
One of the most popular destinations for this celebration is in Chiang Mai.
How to get to Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai
It is really straightforward to get to Chiang Mai, whether you’re already in Thailand or in another country. There are daily flights leaving from Bangkok which are reasonably priced with Air Asia.
It’s also possible to use air Asia to fly in from other local, countries such as Vietnam or Cambodia.
For an even cheaper option, there are buses and trains regularly leaving Bangkok, although much slower than a plane!
Once you’re in Chiang Mai, it’s hard to miss the festivities! Head down to the main river for an unforgettable evening on any of the nights throughout the festival. Just follow the steady stream of lanterns!
When is Loy Krathong
Loy Krathong is on the full moon of the 12th lunar month of the Thai calendar, which is usually in November. The information for when specifically it is running each year can easily be found online.
The main festival happens in the evening, with a full programme. It’s easy enough to walk around an observe the monks paying their respects at Wat Chedi, or to head to the river for a boat cruise.
The lanterns illuminate the sky from 7pm onwards, where you will find many street vendors selling these. On the Saturday evening of the festival is a huge parade which is not to be missed also!
Loy Krathong Price
The festival itself is free. You can wander around the city taking in the atmosphere, watching monks light lanterns and people sending away bad luck with their krathongs.
If you want to take part in the festivities, lanterns cost around 100 baht for three big ones, with smaller ones being even cheaper. The krathongs are also fairly cheap, depending on design and size.
We picked two beautiful ones up for less than 100 baht.
Another option is to look out for a Krathong making session. We found one of these along the river. It was being organised by a local school so it was free.
You can also get a boat along the river to watch all of the lanterns, krathongs and fireworks. This cost 500 baht per person and was worth every penny.
How much time do you need there
After visiting Chiang Mai a few times I definitely feel that within the city walls is the best place to stay! It’s such a small town that it was easy enough to walk down to the river to catch the festival, but a tuk tuk was also relatively cheap.
I have been a few times and always wanted to stay longer! Chiang Mai feels like a special place which draws you in.
If you are limited for time, you can probably get most of the highlights checked off your list within 4 days. Also nearby is the equally beautiful Chiang Rai and Pai which are both a bus ride away!
For Loy Krathong 2 days is enough to see everything without missing any of the fun.
Why should Loy Krathong be on my Bucket List ?
This festival should 100% be on everyone’s bucket list! After over a year in Asia, this is the ,pet breathtakingly, magical event I have seen!