Chiang Mai Loi Krathong 2015
This year, for the first time lanterns could only be released on November 25, as part of Chiang Mai Loi Krathong 2015 – sometimes spelled Loy Krathong – festival. That’s it. One night. Of course, that’s the way it was always intended: a night of awe and amazement (then back to the carport for beer and karaoke). But it’s gotten out of hand lately with lanterns released for weeks and distracting pilots trying to land at Chiang Mai’s busy little airport.
We’ll release lanterns again on December 31 to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The ban has come into effect after last year, multiple flights were delayed or cancelled due to risks posed by lanterns flying too close to the airport. Though there has yet to be an accident, a million fires in the sky over the airport poses a real challenge for pilots’ concentration. If lanterns get caught in an aircraft’s engines it could cause serious damage. Chiang Mai Airport has rescheduled flights on November 25 and December 31 to accommodate the lanterns. Areas with the ban include Muang District, Hang Dong, San Sai, Mae Rim and Saraphi. Authorities encourage all residents and visitors to the areas to respect the ban.
The Good News? Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai 2015 was the best for years.
Here are a few tips about enjoying Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai this year:
- The best action is by or on the river. The river breeze is reliable and the reflection of 100,000 lanterns in the river is magical.
- If you like crowds, the river is where the crowds will be thickest.
- If you don’t like crowds, book a table at a riverside restaurant. Eat, drink, be merry. I’ve listed a few riverside spots where I’ve enjoyed this festival and which I recommend.
- Gape in awe at what a million beauty-loving Thais can create with just some clay, wax, paper, bamboo and matches. Awesomely simple, staggeringly effective.
Riverside Restaurants for Watching Loi Krathong 2015 in Chiang Mai:
- The Goodview : on Charoenrat Road, just left off Tha Phae Road Bridge.
- River Market: Charoen Prathet Rd next to the Iron Bridge
- Vieng Joom On Teahouse: 53 Charoenrat Road
- The Gallery: 25, 27, 29 Charoenrat Road
- Mamia (my favorite): on the east side of river, 700 metres south of Nawarat Bridge, 400m south of the Iron Bridge, set far back from road behind a big, graveled parking lot. Low red building. Khun Nid is the owner and makes everything. GPS 18.7816969, 99.0060884.
For more information on Thailand’s Loi Krathong festival along with details about Loi Krathong and Yee Peng in Chiang Mai, check out:
- Loy Krathong – Festival of Light — Thaizer
- Looking Ahead to Loi Krathong 2015 – Bon Voyage Thailand
- Yi Peng Festival – 8 Miles from Home (a gorgeous video!!)