Travelling King - Finance Planner turning holiday dreams into a reality!

Loy Krathong Festival

6 Things To Do in Chiang Mai Thailand

Loy Krathong is my one of my favourite festivals in Thailand (other than Songkran! The water massive fight festival, That I am yet to experience.. one day.. one day…). Loy Krathong is held every year on the night of the 12th lunar month (usually the end of November).

Loy/Loi means ‘to float’, while krathong usually refers to the lotus-shaped container which floats on the water. A krathong is decorated with folded banana leaves, incense sticks, and a candle. We were told that if we put a stand of Hair or a clipping of your nail or a coin in with the Loy Krathong it will take away the negative or bad things in your life.

Plan your trip to Thailand

Need data for your trip to Thailand? We use Tep Wireless which offers unlimited data for $8 per day. Travelling King readers can get 10% off using the discount code TRAVELLINGKING on check out.

Want to learn how to travel on a Budget? Check out our dedicated “Budget Conscious Travel Guide”

Read more on Thailand: 

Looking for a particular destination, see below otherwise you can go to Thailand Travel Guide to view current posts

The hotel staff at the Serenity resort were very surprised when we pulled our a few hairs and put them on our Krathong, not many foreigners know about this custom. Releasing the Loy Krathong is great to do as a couple as it’s the time to make a wish for happiness together and success in life and love.

During this festival you can also enjoy a Beauty Contest “Nopphamat Queen Contests”. We stayed at Serenity during the festival and had the chance to enjoy this contest with some of the female hotel staff, they all dressed up in traditional Thai dress (which are amazing by the way!) and collected roses.

The female attendant with the most roses won the contest. You could purchase the roses from the other wait staff and all the money went to a charity, what a wonderful idea. It was a lot of fun and a really great night! We bought a few dozen roses trying to get our favourite waitress (Gun – her name) to the top and we did, she won!! She deserved it, she gave the best service we have experienced in our years of travel (and from working in hotels myself), always going above and beyond, saving our table, telling us about locals events and things to do! We were sad when she moved to Bangkok!

During the event the hotel put on we got to experience traditional Thai dance, dressed in traditional Thai clothing. The dance was very interesting an not something we had experience before, there was lots of hopping and ballet type dancing.

My FAVOURITE part of this festival is the sky lanterns aka “lucky Balloons” by people selling them on the beach. The lanterns  are made from a thin fabric, such as rice paper, to which a candle or fuel cell is attached, when the fuel cell is lit the resulting hot air which is trapped inside the lantern creates enough lift for the lantern to float up in to the sky. During the festival you can see 10000’s in the sky. If you are in Phuket head to Chalong pier, there are so many people here or stay at Serenity Phuket and you can see all of the lanterns coming off the pier, its just beautiful!

Loy Krathong is a Must do if you are in Thailand during this festival. Don’t miss out on this incredible experience.

What is your favourite festival?

If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.



Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!

Join the discussion

  1. Franca

    Shame we missed this one! We were in Thailand for the Songkran only, which was interesting to watch! 🙂

  2. Travelling King

    Hey Franca!
    Love the Loy Krathong festival, Its BEAUTIFUL!
    Would love to experience Songkran some day.

  3. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    Every time I see these floating lanterns, I want to perfectly time a visit to Thailand to witness it in person. What an amazing cultural experience for you guys. I can’t even begin to imagine the beauty in seeing all those lanterns floating in the sky. For now, thanks for the sneak peek through your beautiful pictures.

  4. James

    Love Loy Krathong. Never been in Phuket for it though.

    As far as I know, the sky lanterns are actually a tradition from the Yi Peng Festival in northern Thailand (Chiang Mai area). It’s a full moon festival too that’s basically merged with Loy Krathong up north. They really are beautiful and such a fun activity – so it’s not surprising that they’ve migrated down to Phuket now too.

  5. Travelling King

    Hey James!

    I think it is. Its such a fun festival!! Although not sure how friendly the lanterns are to the environment?

  6. Pingback: Things to Do: Visiting Thailand

  7. Lana

    I like Loy Kratong better. But of course, everyone should have a songkran experience.

  8. Lana

    Oh, and both festivals are done best in Chiang Mai, but especially Songkran. I don’t know if it’s actually 100s of thousands of people doing the water fight, but it feels like it.

  9. katie featherstone

    This sounds like a lot of fun! Such colourful outfits and interesting traditions. I’m sad I never made it.

  10. Reni (Swiss Nomads)

    So cool! And because it is a MustDo we are now here in Chiang Mai for the Loy Krathong Festival in 2 weeks. Looking forward to it. It looks like we need a nice dress for the festival.

Comments are now closed.