One of the most picturesque festivals in Bangkok is the evening of Loy Krathong, when people gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing beautiful lotus shaped rafts, decorated with candles, incense and flowers onto the water.
Every year, Loy Krathong falls on the night of the twelfth lunar month (usually in November), at the end of the rainy season when the full-moon lights up the sky. The sight of thousands of Krathongs, their flickering candles sending a thousand pinpoints of light far into the horizon is a truly magical site, and there are plenty of places in Bangkok where you can get involved with the festivities.
Where can you float a Krathong?
Traditionally, Thais release their krathongs into rivers and small canals called ‘klongs’. Today, a pond or lake is also good. Many places host a string of cultural activities, such as ‘Ram Wong’ dance performances, krathong-making competitions and a beauty contest. People have started releasing lanterns in Bangkok, but this is only a small part of the festival. For the full lantern experience, head up to Chiang Mai for ‘Yee Peng’ festival, although people fly lanterns in Phuket and Samui, too.
Many hotels in Bangkok host a Loy Krathong event at their swimming pool area (contact your hotel for more information). You can try your hand at Loy Krathong, or even the traditional ‘Ram Wong’ dance, without fighting your way through crowds of people outside the hotel grounds. Hotels located along the Chao Phraya River, such as The Royal City Hotel, Shangri-la Bangkok and Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, provide exclusive access to the river, along which you can release your krathong.