About the Festival
During the festival, which happens on the full moon day during the 2nd month of the Lunar calendar or the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar, many rice paper lanterns known as khom loi are set off in the sky. The faithfully significant lantern ritual used to be for the monks’ participation; however, today, visitors and guests can join by highly coveted entry tickets.
This festival comes forth announcing the ending of the rains and the start of a clear, bright as well as gay atmosphere. As the event approaches, streets begin to get accentuated with overhung lighted lanterns. Boats are also decorated beautifully, and alleys and streets buzz with travelers and happy locals; each one is ready to welcome the event with arms wide open.
Festival Dates (2023)
Chiang Mai Festival of Lights is a yearly festival, which is scheduled according to the Thai lunar calendar, which always happens on an entire moon evening. Usually, it falls in the month of November, yearly. It is an 8 night and 7 days celebration. This year, the festival takes place from November 27-28, 2023.
Festival Where About
The event will be happening in Chiang Mai, the capital city of the Province of Chiang Mai, which is steeped in history. From its foundation, the city has enjoyed both turbulent and prosperous times. The making of this moated city can be traced back to the Lanna Kingdom.
The city was founded in the year 1296 as Lanna Kingdom Capital. King Mangria and his close friends King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao pick this fertile place in the Ping Valley, near the Ping River. The place served the city very well with the trade the Ping river brought. What is more, the city sat at the base of Doi Suthep, a mountain that provided wood for the city.
How to Get There
Train: It takes 11 hours to 15 hours if you choose to train. However, it is the simplest and easiest way to reach Chiang Mai from Bangkok. For those put off by the concept of train travel, understand that in Thailand, trains are far superior to those of other countries in Asia. Thailand trains are extremely comfortable, efficient, modern, and are contemporary with international safety standards.
Bus: It takes nine hours to eleven hours to reach Chiang Mai by Bus from Bangkok. Like the Thai trains, these buses are also contemporary and give more comfort to make your trip comfortable and memorable.
Flight: It takes one hour to two hours to reach Chiang Mai from Bangkok by plane. It is the quickest way to get to the place. Many airlines run this route regularly; therefore, finding a flight is not an issue. The price isn’t that high as well.
Train Plus Bus: No train operated from Phuket to Chiang Mai. So, if you are from Phuket, you have to take a bus to Surat Thani. Then ride a train to Bangkok. Then continue your trip to Chiang Mai. It sounds overwhelming; however, it is so easy, particularly if you are able to set aside a whole day of travel.
Other amazing lights festivals in Asia are:
As mentioned above, the event will happen for eight days and seven nights. Usually, the show starts at 7 in the evening upward.
How much it costs to visit the Festival
The ticket usually costs 100$-$300. You can buy your tickets from the authorized tourism agencies. This might be expensive, but it is very worthwhile as you witnessed an amazing festival of lights in Thailand.
Weather in Chiang Mai
Weather-wise, the cool season that runs from the month of November to mid-February is the perfect time to visit the place. This is the most comfortable time, with daytime temperature approximately 28 degrees Celsius, and in the evening, the temperature can go down to 10 degrees Celsius.
Daytime is warm and cool in the evening. It is advisable to wear pants and a tshirt when attending the event. Wearing sandals or rubber shoes is also recommended.
Where to Sleep in Chiang Mai
137 Pillar House
This is a very charming hotel located near Ping River. Here, you will experience a peaceful stay and amazing service. This is a five-star hotel. To make sure it keeps its stunning history, both conservation and historian experts worked on getting the style as close to the novel 1889 structure as possible, at the same time integrating contemporary touches for guests’ comfort.
Ning Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa
Located in a riverside, this is one of the best hotels in Chiang Mai. The colonial architecture is well maintained that guests will feel like in the old time. It has 19 suites, and each has its own unique style with matching wallpapers, furnishing as well as colors.
Four Season Resort Chaing Mai in Mae Rim
If you stay at this hotel, you will be in the mountains, in a fifteen drive of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park and Maejo University. It has amazing amenities such as limo car service, a 24-hour business center as well as dry cleaning and laundry services. This has two meeting rooms for different events. They offer a roundtrip airport shuttle service for a surcharge and free self-parking.
Where to Eat in Chiang Mai
Chao Nang Coffee Shop
This is one of the best places to eat and dine in Chiang Mai. The lunch buffet is unmatched in variety that provides you perennial favorites like som tumor or Thai green mango salad, pad thai or stir-fried noodle with tamarind sauce and bean sprouts and yellow tofu. There are also northern sausages, green curry, and many other dishes.
Khao Mao Khao Fang
Situated on Highway 105 and a good two kilometers from Chiang Mai, it takes investment in time and distance to get to this place. If you’re looking for trims and dining in the atmosphere of a tropical forest, but this is going to be worth your while.
This restaurant specializes in salads. They take pride in its vegetable garden as well as the servers will be eager to show around if you ask. Here you are certain that the greens you are consuming are truly fresh and are cultivated in the garden near the restaurants.
More Things to Do in the Area
Aside from the Festival of lights, there are other things you can do and see in Chiang Mai; some of these are as follows:
This is a great all-day adventure for the whole family. This is one of the most renowned temples in entire Thailand. You can travel up the mountain to the temple with ease on a tour van or song theow. Upon reaching the top, there’s a big market filled with an array of foods and other Thai products. If you’re done looking around the market, you can go to the temple.
There’s a tram that can take you to the pinnacle or climb the more than 300 stairs that is a good experience and good exercise as well. Upon reaching the top, you need t give out 30 baht to enter; however, it’s well worth it with all the culture you are able to take in from the surrounding. There’s an amazing view, and you are able to witness the Chiang Mai city from this temple.
If you are searching for a relaxing, great water splashing day, then this is the best place to visit. Bua Thong waterfall is only the place for you that offers amazing relaxation and have fun. This waterfall isn’t like any other. Here, you can climb up the face of the falls.
This exceptional feature offers great and amazing enjoyment for all, and you have an amazing feeling of accomplishment after going up to the three stories of calcite covered with stones.
There are restaurant stands in the park, for food when you get hungry. The grassy fields on top of the waterfall offer an amazing place for a calming afternoon picnic. This is a family attraction you don’t want to miss when you are visiting the city of Chiang Mai.
One major attraction that almost all guests take part in is the many elephant camps the city offers. These camps are remarkable in which there’s no other place where you are able to ride, feed pets as well as watch elephants all in the day. The elephant rides are like no other experience.
You can ride on the back of an elephant in the Chiang Mai jungles and take pleasure in the beautiful scenery. After your treks in the jungle, you are able to take pleasure in fun-filled, entertaining elephant shows, which take account of the elephant playing sports, painting, and doing tricks. These elephant camps are a remarkable place to brings your kids.
1. What are the Parking Options?
In Chiang Mai during the Festival of Lights, also known as Loy Krathong or Yi Peng, parking can be extremely limited near the main festival areas. We recommend using local transport or ride-sharing services to get to the venue.
2. Is Smoking Allowed?
Smoking is generally prohibited in the main festival areas, especially near the temples or where lanterns are being released. If you must smoke, look for designated smoking areas and please be mindful of others.
3. Can I Bring My Pet?
Pets are usually not advised due to the crowds and the potential danger posed by floating lanterns and fireworks. If you must bring a service animal, please keep them on a leash and be extra cautious.
4. Are Food and Drinks Available?
Yes, you’ll find plenty of food stalls offering a variety of delicious local and international cuisine. Enjoy the flavors of Chiang Mai while you marvel at the lights!
5. How Do I Participate in the Lantern Release?
Lantern releases are one of the main attractions of the festival. However, it’s crucial to follow the guidelines set by the local authorities for safety reasons. Always purchase your lanterns from approved vendors.
6. Is the Festival Kid-Friendly?
Absolutely, the Festival of Lights is a magical experience for people of all ages. However, due to the crowds and fireworks, it may be overwhelming for younger children, so parental discretion is advised.
7. What Should I Wear?
Wearing traditional Thai clothing to the festival is common and adds to the celebratory atmosphere. However, comfortable casual wear is also appropriate. Just be mindful of the cultural and religious significance of the event.
8. What Safety Measures Are in Place?
Local authorities usually have safety measures like first-aid stations, and police and fire departments on standby. In addition, many temples have their own security to ensure the smooth flow of the event.