Yi Peng and Loy Krathong (Lantern Festival)

Yi Peng and Loy Krathong (Lantern Festival)

Yi Peng and Loy Krathong (Lantern Festival)
Yi Peng, a festival of lights celebrated mainly in the north of Thailand, overlaps with Loy Krathong, which is celebrated during the full moon of November and is Thailand's 2nd most important festival after Songkran. It is a time to be with family and friends and to make merit. People gather near lakes, rivers and canals to launch paper lanterns into the sky, and to float their 'krathongs' with loved ones. Krathongs are circular rafts made from banana tree trunks, which are decorated with flowers, candles and incence sticks. These offerings create a wondeful show of lights, both in the sky and on any body of water. It is believed that if you and your partner's rafts stay together after being launched, you will have a happy future together.
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186 reviews
Very good

Pune, India339 contributions
Nov 2019
We are regular visitors to Chiangmai so this time we visited to view this festival.
As our Hotel Top North is next to Thape Gate we could attend the programs connected
to LOI KRATHONG and few parades and let me say it was really worth it. We could get
good seats also the parade was well managed .Locals really take care to make the floats beautiful and all the tourist enjoy them.
We tried to go to river where the lanterns are lit and let go to sky the best sight.
Will be back again next year.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ng Adeline
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia372 contributions
Nov 2019 • Family
Once in a life time experience, the Yi Peng& Loy Krathong festival. There were celebrations for approximately 3 days. Very interesting culture exposure and there were street parade by the locals, floats made of flowers, cultural costumes and endless night markets with varieties of food, souvenirs etc..
Written June 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John G
Los Angeles, CA31 contributions
Oct 2018 • Family
Hi Folks, I am a bit confused (and concerned about my plans)...I now see this event is listed as 2 days...confused like the rest of the world here...what day would I expect the most lanterns in Chiang Mai...would it be the 22nd or the 23rd? I thought it was going to be the 22nd to booked tickets the 23rd to move on, but having second thoughts...
Written October 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vratin Shah
Mumbai, India1,161 contributions
Nov 2019
We went to see the event early night, but the place was too crowded and event just started which we were not able to see. The actual lantern release was rare during early hours, only few lanterns to see. Other recreational activities & food stall available, but everything was crowded.
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nick Silva
Sintra, Portugal17 contributions
Nov 2022
Visiting Chiang Mai during the festival is truly a sight of beauty! However the Lantern festival was a bit of a let down. Perhaps it was because it's was the first year after Covid, but there was a huge lack of staff members during the actual launch of lanterns, which posed a bit of danger since it was windy and a lot of lanterns caught on fire in the middle of the crowd.

The festival shows (before the actual launch of lanterns) was lacking and poorly visible if you are not in the first rows since the stage is on ground floor.
Written December 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Weymouth, UK3,637 contributions
Nov 2019
HOPEFULLY people will read this review, take on board the many positive points I make and use my advice to avoid potential disappointment.
I have been to Loy Krathong before but in Phuket, so not only was this my first time in Chiang Mai but it was my first time ever for Yi Peng.
Like many reviewers I had done a considerable amount of research on my trip during which I uncovered some quite disturbing prices for organised viewing points for the festival and lantern launch ranging from $200-$500 per ticket right up to some eye-watering claims from people who said some outlets they approached wanted as much as $2,000 for a VIP ticket!
They must have had hot and cold running champagne for that price so, as I'm not a rich man, I opted to take the advice of seasoned Chiang Mai reviewers and simply go to the Nawarat Bridge and the Iron Bridge and do it myself.
It worked like a dream and I would strongly advise those considering attending the festival in 2020 to make their own similar arrangements. Here is what I did and experienced.
To start with we were in Chiang Mai for 17 days with the festival smack in the middle of our stay, so we had plenty of time to follow the build-up, notably at the Tha Phae Gate which became our barometer for how festival preparations were going.
To start with there were only a hundred or so lanterns hung on framework towards the left front of the square in front of the Gate but, as we went past most nights, we could see more frameworks going up, more brightly coloured red and gold lanterns make an appearance and a specific area being cordoned off with seating for several hundred people, big television screens going up, sound systems being installed and rehearsals being carried out for several parades which looked pretty big.
We actually got lucky with the parades because we didn't know a start time, but we'd gone for an early evening meal in the Old City and came out to walk straight into a big parade with brightly lit palaces, kings, queens and princesses, dancers, elephant statues, marching groups, music and thunderous drums.
We followed first one group of floats and then another before gradually making our way into and down Tha Phae Road towards Nawarat Bridge.
Along the way we agreed to pay a woman 20 baht and watched as she rummaged on her table piled high with flowers to bring out leaves and blooms to make us our floating offering for Loy Krathong complete with incense sticks and a little candle. It was beautifully done, covered in bright flowers and looked a treat. We could hardly wait to launch it on the Ping River.
That proved easier said than done because the closer and closer we got to the Nawarat Bridge then the denser the crowds got until within 50 yards of the bridge everything became one giant happy scrum of people.
Again we got lucky, opting to go out on the bridge first which immediately gave us a grandstand view of other people launching their floating offerings below us.
Now we knew where to go, but we were still unprepared for what happened next when we fought our way off the bridge and down into a lower area leading towards the river's edge.
This area, if possible, was even more densely packed with people than the bridge and we felt a bit like lemmings heading for a cliff. That danger factor became reality when we joined scores of people edging out on to a rickety bamboo landing stage crudely set up at the river where we literally had to wait for several minutes to allow the crush of people in front of us to thin as visitors lit their offering and got it into the river before joining the stumble back to and up the riverbank and steps.
Our turn came in swirls of smoke, fuel and incense and we suddenly found two arms extended towards us. It was a man up to his waist in the river who was taking offerings from people and gently putting them in the river where the current drifted them away to joined thousands of others downstream in a bobbing river of light. It was so beautiful.
We got back up on the bridge unscathed and spent some time watching drifts of brightly lit floral display candles move slowly away as the first lanterns began to be released into the sky.
Soon there were dozens in the sky, then hundreds and then thousands with the main area embracing more than 30,000 celebrating people split between the Nawarat Bridge, the far side of the river and down to and on the Iron Bridge.
We decided to walk over the Nawarat Bridge past excited groups of people flicking lighters to set fire to the fuel cell in their lanterns and make for the far side of the river between the two bridges.
It was a great choice and we found scores and scores of food stalls which had turned air in the area into a fog of mouth-watering aromas from pork, chicken and beef to prawns, fish and octopi with battalions of dips, sauces, sticky rice, noodles and, of course, mountains of the famous pad thai.
We grabbed a couple of spicey Chiang Mai sausages and battled on downriver towards the Iron Bridge and this is where I would recommend anyone to enjoy this festival.
We got the mass drift of floating floral displays with their flickering candles at river level, the spectacle of crowds at Nawarat Bridge and along the riverside while overhead we had the growing host of illuminated lanterns rising into the night sky until there were many thousands of them.
We couldn't go 50 metres without someone trying to sell us a lantern and we eventually gave in and bought one, taking it out on to the Iron Bridge, watching how others lit their lanterns and then doing so ourselves to watch it rise slowly into the night.
There is an art to doing ir correctly because you must hold on to the thin paper surround until sufficient hot air has built up to give the lantern lift off. Release too soon and it slumps into the river, release it without checking your surroundings and it can be caught up in trees or cabling.
And make sure you take care with the flames. One little girl got burnt and screamed for a long time until taken away. It is easy to get burnt without care and the fuel can drip on to exposed flesh.
By now we were surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colour from lanterns overhead and all around us to a giant slowly turning neon wheel on the riverside near the Bus Bar.
All this fantastic free entertainment lasted for a number of hours from the time of the parades to the time we finally left the lantern launches by the river. Our only costs had been 20 baht for a floral display and 50 baht for a lantern.
We found out later over a beer that many other people who went to "organised" displays had not been anywhere near so lucky.
If we heard one tale of being ripped off we must have heard half a dozen of people being charged hundreds of dollars for a ticket at a big display slightly away from the city which, while spectacular, was claimed to be badly organised with some people abandoned by their organisers and left to make their own way back. This perhaps wasn't a disaster, but it certainly seemed to have left a nasty taste in their mouth and affected their enjoyment of the festival.
So the message is loud and clear. Make your own simple arrangements and you will probably have as much fun or more than the big expensive displays at a fraction of the expense.
I hope this helps those heading for the 2020 festival to make their minds up on how they would like to celebrate it. The simple approach certainly worked for us and we had a memorable time with some stunning memories of this special spectacular. Make sure you go at least once in your lifetime. You'll never forget it.
Written December 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

40 contributions
Nov 2016 • Couples
Yee Peng and Loy Krathong Festival usually celebrate on November and according what i have read, Chiang Mai is the best place to see this festival.

So, last year we went to Chiang Mai just to get into this festival.

Here is some tips :
- Find exact date for Yee Peng and Loy Kratong, since it is not the same every year.
- Be in Chiang Mai days before, so you can do sightseeing before the festival starts and avoid the trafic.
- If you want to joint event at Mae Jo (actualy this is not a real Yee Peng Festival but celebration to release sky lantern together in ONE TIME organised by Budhist Foundation), you have to purchased the ticket months before. The standard tickets cost USD 151 include transportation (bus from Chiang Mai to Mae Jo), food, drink, lantern (1 lantern for 3 people), and souvenir.
- However, if you want to enjoy the festival like local, just go arround Ping River. There you can sharing this experience with local and other traveler. You can release your Kratong to river and the lantern too.
- We joint the mass release lantern at Mae Jo and though the ticket a little bit pricy, but it worth. It was one of the nice festival i have seen.
- Booked the accomodation before and we think it better outside the old city, because many attraction take place from Tha Pae Gate and arround Ping River.

For us, we love the athmosphere of Chiang Mai on November.

So.. enjoy Chiang Mai !!
Written March 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jeffrey W
Gold Coast, Australia10 contributions
Nov 2017 • Couples
Guys this is on once a year and I done heaps of research on it where various companies wanted hundereds of US dollars to view this - don't do it. First off it is most likely held on the first full moon in November - so plan around that. Next pick a hotel close to the centre - we chose the Empress. From there you simply walk to the bridge and there you will see the whole thing in glorious color. Lanterns are launched constantly for hours over 2 nights. You will also see the lanterns on the river being launched. Great party atmosphere where the whole world comes together - everyone is happy. If you want to see the parade (which goes up to the bridge) it goes for about 4 hours and you will not stop taking photos of various Thai costumes - brilliant. You can buy lanterns everywhere and everyone will help you launch them. I ended up putting 2 in the river but we had 2 successful launches. It is a really cool thing to do - just do it. Chiang Mai is beautiful - you will fall in love with it. Give yourself at least 5 days and get out to the elephant camps etc. Guys - use the Tuk Tuks - it is the cheapest and they are fine. We go one and he took us around for 500 baht for the full day. We had a blast - this is way cheaper than organised tours.
Written November 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nathan S
Lake Oswego, OR1 contribution
Nov 2015 • Family
I have been before and loved it but I just eard that it is cancelled for 2016 because of the King's Death! Check before booking!!!
Written October 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Valrie S
Anchorage, AK11 contributions
Nov 2016 • Friends
The Loy Krathong and Yi Peng festivals are combined in Chiang mai with the main day being on the day of the full moon. Nawarat Bridge was the location with an arrangement to meet friends at Tha Phae Gate in order to tick a significant event off my bucket list. Releasing massive lanterns into the air and releasing all negativity with it, along with releasing good wishes for the future up to the ether...

The sight of all those thousands of lanterns floating upwards was a Phenomenal sight for me personally! The Yi Peng has been on my bucket list for a while so I do consider myself blessed to have been able to participate in the festival this year. November 15th 2016 will remain with me.

There were crowds of happy people everywhere, traffic driving both ways over the Nawarat Bridge causing us to jump out the way. Our driver parked a way away from the bridge and walked us up to the Tha Phae gate. Needless to say we couldn't find our friends. We looked around for lantern sellers only to find that we should have bought the lanterns in the area where we had parked the car. Our driver had us stay stationery on the bridge as he went back to purchase these for us.

We were advised to light the lantern and hold it close to the ground to fill the huge lantern space with hot air. (This advice received after having released two lanterns that the wind took straight into the trees). We were amazed that with the number of lanterns burning out in the trees on Narawat Bridge, that there were no incidence of major fires. Someone we hoped had done a pretty stringent risk assessment as the risk seemed to be high for major tree fires.

With our third lantern we followed the advice. The lantern lets you know when it is ready for release as the pull to rise forces you to grip the base firmly. We let go on a count of three and watched our lantern take its place against the night sky, amongst the many thousands of lanterns floating gracefully upwards.


Still smiling now! I smile every time I think of it...

Put this experience on your bucket list and then go to the Yi Peng and Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai and feel the energy and positivity of all those people releasing all those wishes in one go...I will return to repeat this experience and complete the Loy Krathong.
Written November 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Yi Peng and Loy Krathong (Lantern Festival) (Chiang Mai) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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