I had been wanting to go to Chiang Mai for a very long time, and the Yee Peng Festival was one of the primary reasons why. A large number of lamps coasting without end into the night sky is a mystical sight and a standout among the most magnificent things I had ever observed. Fantastic and dreamlike, it felt relatively like a scene in Disney cartoon “Tangled”.
If you wish to visit Chiang Mai to join this festival, it will be a long story for your knowledge to reach this beautiful destination.
Here are some tips for you to “protect” your Yee Peng trip from unexpected problems:
If you can not use Google in Thai language, it will be harder to find information regarding to Yee Peng festival like “The Festival of Lights” or “Lantern Festival” by foreigners.
The release of lanterns happens everywhere throughout the city when the night descends on the Yee Peng date and even on the days around it. However, there are territories where everybody focuses on the primary day, to discharge the lanterns at the same time.
1. Where to go?
Mae Jo University in the edges of Chiang Mai (around 15 minutes via auto/bicycle, without activity) has 2 distinctive Yee Peng Festival: a commercial one for global travelers and another one, where local people and guests intermingle. Tickets for the global form of Yee Peng cost around $100 and it seems out of selling for many time.
Yee Peng festival – a festival of Thailand with mind-blowing vibes and those uncommon chances to hang out with Thai families in the friendliest… against an entrancing lit up all the landscape!
(Source: Instagram – Mikevisuals)
2. When to go?
The festival is held on the full moon of the Thai calendar’s 12th lunar month (usually mid-November). This is when locals “believe the rivers are filled to their fullest and the moon is at its brightest – the perfect time to ‘make merit’ and … make a wish for good fortune in the new year”.
3. What you should know about Yee Peng festival?
- Book your hotel or hostel, homestay in Chiang Mai with any time you could do this. Every accommodation can be out of room and the price can be higher and higher!
- Arriving to the Lanna Duthanka Buddhist Center in Mae Jo University early is a good idea to have a good spot. Although the praying ceremony and lanterns release will only happen in the evening, the place gets incredibly crowded. Around 4PM will be a suitable time for setting up your seat.
- If you can be there sooner, it waste a lot of time under the burning sunshine. Therefore, get your sun block, umbrella, food and drinks along. If not, you will have to move from your chosen spot to protect your health.
(Crowd is waiting for the festival opening)
- Traffic of this area is like a mad. Even using tiny motorbikes, you can still be stuck on the road. Don’t move by cars. It is available for shared public transportation. Hiring mopeds from the locals is a suggestion for faster moving (around $5/day).
- Songthaews (covered pick up trucks used as shared taxis) departing from Warorot Market in Chiang Mai to the event. Having an agreement with the driver about picked up time and spot for the convenience on the way back.
- Buying lanterns in the main venue, which are sold by organizer. You should not buy the lanterns sold outside because of security standards. But If you didn’t know this, don’t throw your outside lantern, you can use it for the next days for more fun in Chiang Mai!!
(Source: Instagram – mssbruno)
- At Mae Jo, lanterns usually cost 100 Baht ~ $3.
- Please notice that: this is a religious event. Be quiet during the prayers prior to the lanterns release (they last for about one hour) and dress appropriately too. There is a group of security guard looking at your garments by the passageway, so do not wear shorts and revealed shoulders. People dress in white to follow tradition. Amid the bilingual service, you’ll be requested to ponder your great activities from the previous year. So think about it seriously…
- One lantern for couples or group is not a bad way. It is very huge and not easy to lit up, I am sure that you need to have more than 2 hands. Be ready… as everyone is in serious thought to release the lanterns concurrently (yeah….. some people don’t…)!
- Remember to write down your messages and wishes on your lantern before release it… Its meant is bringing luck to you ^^
- The place is so worth for an amazing photo. However, please calm down and take your time for your lantern and enjoy the magnificent atmosphere. After that you can absolutely take some photos and have many time to choose the best one. Maybe that is moment what you expect.
- You can go to Chiang Mai’s city center if dislike crowd. Lanterns keep on being released over there as well by many people and you can see how the sky lights up as in Mae Jo University (best from the Nawarat Bridge above the Ping River).
- Use your creativity to decorate your lantern by colours or DIY picture like Kitty, Angry Bird, Doraemon, Elsa,…
- It is more fun and safe to avoid lanterns with firecrackers (or firecrackers all together) in the middle of such big crowds.
(Source: Instagram – Michaelkreuser)
These are some tips and information which we want to let you know to help you have a great trip to Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Enjoy your journey and don’t forget to explore more things to beautiful Chiang Mai!