Chiang Mai is often included in a list of top destinations when visiting Asia. This popular city in northern Thailand is much more lush and culturally diverse than other cities closer to the capital, making it a top spot for vacationers and expats.
Once a difficult trek from the more populous areas of the country, Chiang Mai’s isolation helped protect it from being overdeveloped and overpopulated. Today, many tourists flock to this city throughout the year, and especially during the Loi Krathong Festival which takes place in the city each November (date changes depending on Thai calendar).
This year, the Loi Krathong Festival will be held on November 28, 2012.
The festival is believed to have originated as a way to pay respect to the spirit of the waters. During the festival, ornamented boats, or krathongs, are floated down the river in a beautiful spectacle.
The krathongs are normally made of banana leaves, bread or styrofoam. They contain candles, flowers, incense sticks, coins and other small, decorative items.
Tourists and locals gather along the banks of the river to watch all of the sparkling krathongs, in addition to many other small boat and rafts, float downstream. Fireworks and other celebrations also take place during the festival, as Chiang Mai becomes a city of lights during Loi Krathong.
Don’t miss this beautiful display with rich cultural meaning if you are in Thailand in November. It’s surely a sight you won’t quickly forget.
Photo source: Life in AsiaNZ