Chiang Mai is celebrating the 2019 Loy Krathong and Yee Peng Festivals this November 9~12. The best place to see and feel the cultural festival is around the city of Chiang Mai itself, and it is absolutely FREE.
Please note that for air safety precautions, the date and time people allowed to release sky lanterns are restricted, from 7:00 p.m to 1:00 a.m, for two days only i.e November 11 and 12.
The best place to celebrate the colourful Loy Krathong and Yee Peng Festivals is in the city of Chiang Mai itself, and it is absolutely free.
1. The Front of Chiang Mai Municipal Office
Every night from 6:00pm onward there will be various activities taking place until midnight.
The open ground and road outside the Municipality Office is the main event area for Chiang Mai Yee Peng (Loy Krathong) Festival.
Every day from 6:00pm until midnight there will be various activities happening here such as the traditional Lanna cultural performances, the krathong exhibition and contest, the fireworks display, etc. This area is also where the Grand Krathong Procession that parades across the city, starting from Tha Pae Gate, ends.
2. Nawarat Bridge
Beautiful view of the night sky from Nawarat Bridge.
The bridge that connects the east and the west banks of the Ping River is one of the best spot to release sky lanterns at night. Here you will see vendors selling sky lanterns of various sizes and colours, priced from 30 ~ 50 Baht each.
3. The Iron Bridge
The Iron Bridge is very near to Nawarat Bridge but it’s smaller and less congested. The bridges offer the best views as you’ll see both lights in the sky (lanterns) and the river (the krathong).
The Iron Bridge is another bridge spanning across the Ping River but it’s smaller and only for the pedestrian and motorbikes. Aside from launching the sky lanterns here, you get excellent view from here of the floating krathong released on the banks of the river.
4. Tha Phae Gate
Tha Phae Gate is the most happening place in Chiang Mai and the site for many big events.
As one of most popular landmark of Chiang Mai, Tha Phae Gate is another place where the major events take place. The area is where the festival’s opening ceremony held, and also the Grand Krathong Parade begin their parades across the city all the way to the Mucipality Office event area.
You can also release sky lanterns here. Expectantly Tha Phae Gate will be the most crowded area in the city throughout the period of the festival.
5. Three Kings Monument
The candle-lighting and worshiping ceremony will be held every night at Three Kings Monument.
The area surrounding the Three Kings Monument inside the old city is definitely the most colourful place you will see in Chiang Mai in this festival period. Not just the colourful hanging lanterns and flag decorations, but also thousands of lighting candle trays.
On the first day of the festival, there is a ceremony where you can see hundreds of dancers of all ages performing the Lanna Traditional Dance.
6. Wat Phan Tao
The monks lighting the candles, chanting, giving blessings and lighting the lanterns at Wat Phan Tao.
You will feel magical upon stepping into this beautiful 14th century wooden temple with a decorated garden area. Come here at night when all the lanterns and candle trays are lit. The monks lighting the candles, chanting, giving blessings and lighting the lanterns is simply magical!
7. Wat Lok Moli
Wat Lok Moli has a big garden area for lighting up and floating the sky lanterns.
Located near the Chang Phuak Night Market, Wat Lok Moli has a big ground outside the Buddhist temple decorated with colourful lanterns and hangings. It is an ancient temple built over 500 years old ago.
At night, the temple ground is an ideal place to release sky lanterns especially if you prefer somewhere more quiet and away from the crowded location. There will be vendors around selling sky lanterns and you can lit up the lanterns from the candle fire there.