Thursday, September 5, 2019

Things to know when participating in the sky lantern festival

Yee Peng is Chiang Mai's most anticipated lantern festival to pay homage to the gods and pray for good luck.

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Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand is held on December 15 (according to the Thai lunar calendar), around November of the solar calendar. Unlike the lantern festivals held throughout Thailand called Loy Krathong (floating flower lanterns on the water), Yee Peng is a festival of releasing flower lanterns into the sky.
Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai sky lantern festival has history from the thirteenth century. Photo: Yee Peng Lantern Festival.

History of sky lantern

The lantern-releasing festival is held to pay homage to the gods and to pray for luck and prosperity in life. The festival's origins are thought to have originated 800 years ago during the thirteenth-century Sukhothai period. At that time, the princesses paired banana leaves into lotus-shaped lamps, added scented candles and then floated the river to express their gratitude to Buddha and nature. Since then, the king has ordered that on December 15 (according to the Thai calendar), the people will make the lanterns float along the river to express their gratitude to nature and pray for a favorable rainy season and good harvests.


There are a number of airlines flying straight from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City to Chiang Mai. In addition, visitors can also fly to Bangkok and then take domestic flights or train, cars to come here.
Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand
By train, although it takes a lot of time, you can enjoy the natural beauty on the road. Photo: Amazing Thailand.
If you choose to take a bus, you go to Mochit station in Bangkok to buy tickets. Bus fares range from 500 - 700 baht (385,000 to 540,000 VND). Time from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is about 7-8 hours. Often visitors can choose to take trips at night to save time. 

By train, you will take about 11 - 12 hours. If you have plenty of time, you should take the train to admire the majestic nature on the way to Chiang Mai. Train ticket prices range from 400 to 1,500 baht (310,000 to 1.2 million) depending on the ticket class.

Special activities

The main activity of the Chiang Mai festival is releasing sky lanterns. Every year, the festival attracts many domestic and foreign tourists to visit. If you want to have a place to drop and watch the lantern light, visitors need to prepare early. The two famous sky lantern drop points in Chiang Mai for tourists are Mae Jo and Narawat Bridge. Mae Jo is a lantern dropping zone of 4,000 skylights. To enter here, you have to pay from 3.5 to 8 million VND a ticket, including a meal, transportation and two lanterns to drop.
Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand
The festival in Narawat will start dropping lanterns at 6:30 PM. Photo: Getting Stamped.
If you want to save more, you can choose Narawat bridge, no charge but you will need to spend 60,000 - 100,000 VND to buy skylights. The best time to see the lantern is at 6:30 pm when everyone drops at the same time. If you are afraid of crowded places, you can choose to watch the sky light from the rooftop bars in Chiang Mai city.

In addition to the Yee Peng Lantern Festival, visitors can also visit other famous Thai tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya or Hua Hin town in southern Thailand.

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