Explorations Blog

Loi Krathong in Thailand: A Festival Worth Traveling For

Posted by:

Loi Krathong in Thailand: A Festival Worth Traveling For

While staying  on an island in the Andaman Sea in Thailand a few years ago, we were lucky enough to get to know the manager of a small resort. He was a really friendly guy who was eager to introduce us to the celebrations happening that night for Loi Krathong. Loi Krathong (or Loy Krathong, and other variations) is a tradition that originally had to do with making an offering to a water goddess, now it is primarily a reason to have a fun celebration. “Loi” means “to float” and “Krathong” is the banana leaf bowl that is used for the offering. It happens every year in the twelfth lunar month, which typically is some time in November. We had never heard of it before and were more than happy to join him. We helped put together some Krathongs (offerings) at the resort before we left (the bowls had flowers, candles, and incense in them).

Loi Krathong Thailand

Me with my newly constructed Loi Krathong Offering


Then we jumped in a little truck with a few Thai people and first went to an outdoor variety show where little kids were performing traditional Thai dances up on a stage and there was a traditional Thai costume display.

Once it was dark enough out we all walked over to the beach and lit the candles on our Krathongs. One by one we placed the offerings in the water, made a wish, and watched them float away.

Loi Krathong Offering in Water

Setting the Loi Krathong offering out into the water

When we got back to the hotel we decided to walk out to the beach again since it was such a beautiful night. We got lucky again and witnessed lanterns being lit and sent into the air. I’ve come to learn that these lanterns are for the Yi Peng festival which is held around the same time as Loi Krathong.

Loi Krathong Lanterns

Loi Krathong/Yi Peng lanterns to be set up and released on the beach

Loi Krathong Lanterns

Loi Krathong/Yi Peng Lanterns

We managed to get to Chiang Mai a couple days later. Chiang Mai has a beautiful and elaborate display for Loi Krathong and Yi Peng… just imagine lights hanging all over trees and buildings, flying in lanterns in the sky, and floating on offerings down the river. Loi Krathong celebration is in my opinion its one of the best times to travel to Thailand. Its one of those magical experiences that you remember for a lifetime.

Explorations designs customized itineraries to Asia and can help you have authentic cultural experiences worth traveling for. For help with your next trip to Thailand, contact Elise at Explorations.


About the Author:

As a Travel Advisor with Explorations, I love creating memorable, life-changing travel experiences for my clients. I customize each trip to your individual needs and take care of every detail to ensure time spent traveling is spent on the things that matter. I have a special interest in cultural travel, adventure travel, and elegant, unique destination weddings and honeymoons. Contact me at elise@explorationsltd.com for help with your next trip.

Add a Comment