Experiencing the Fascinating Festivals in Thailand

The countdown to diverse year end celebrations has begun and Thailand renowned for its many unique festivals attracts new and returning visitors alike. Here are 4 remarkable destinations and with a well-planned route, you could experience all in a single year end visit.

Cradle of Thai Heritage

Sukhothai is located in the north of Thailand and was the first capital of Siam in 13th and 14th centuries. It is the cradle of Thai civilization and birthplace of Thai art, architecture and language. The Sukhothai Historical Park has been a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1991. Srisatchanalai Historical park, the sister city of Sukhothai also contains a number of historic temples, Wat Mahathat Temple, Wat Traphang Ngoen, Wat Sri Chum and Wat Sra Si. Combined with the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum and Sangkhalok Museum a visit to Sukhothai’s historical parks is a travel in time to the essence of Thai culture and history.

A Sukhothai highlight is Loy Krathong and Candle Festival where this tradition originated. Krathong are banana leaves folded into a lotus shape and floated in ponds, moats, and streams on November 11. There are processions of large krathongs from many Northern provinces, beauty pageants with traditional costumes and folk dances in the evenings all illuminated by the twinkling candle lights on the krathongs and overhead firework displays.

Naturally Spectacular

Located in the west, Kanchanaburi is the third largest province in Thailand, the terrain hilly and mountainous with tranquil rivers, numerous waterfalls, large reservoirs and lush virgin forests it is a perfect destination for nature lovers.

Kanchanaburi is a popular resort town with raft houses on the river and river banks and a relaxing base from which enjoy white water rafting, elephant trekking, caving, trekking and golfing.

Srinakharin Dam, Vajiralongkorn Dam, Sai Yok Noi Waterfall, Sai Yok Yai Waterfall, Erawan National Park are among the most visited attractions. From late November to early December the River Kwai Bridge Festival attracts visitors from around the world commemorating the destruction of the bridge over the River Khwae during World War II. A spectacular nightly sound-and-light show features a replica POW camp on the opposite bank of the river along with searchlights, fireworks and an old-fashioned train steaming across the bridge in a blaze of color.

Chiang Mai,
the Lanna Kingdom

Each year in November locals and international visitors alike will flock to Chiang Mai for the Yee Peng Lantern Festival and the Loy Krathong Festival uniquely celebrated together around the full moon of the 2nd month of Thai Lanna calendar. For Thai northerners at this time the rivers are fullest and the moon is the brightest, ideal for these 2 festivals. Yee Peng, meaning the full moon night, is the best time of year to make merit and wishes come true by releasing large paper Khom Loi lanterns into the sky against the brightness of the full moon.

Floating a Krathong, as in the Sukhothai tradition, gives thanks to the Goddess of Water and a wish for good fortune in the coming year. All of Chiang Mai, temples and homes alike are decorated with colorful lanterns at this time of year, a magical time to visit Thailand’s renowned northern city and ancient capital of the Lanna Kingdom.

Ultimately Urban

Bangkok is a fascinating, exciting and incredible city to visit. Like many other Asian capital cities Bangkok never sleeps, there is always movement 24 hours and always something to see, do and experience in the Thai capital.

The Loy Krathong Festival is also celebrated in Bangkok in city parks, on canals that thread through the city and primarily on the Chao Phraya River where this majestic river becomes a sea of floating lights on one night in November.

The celebration that Bangkok is probably most famous for is New Year Eve and the many countdown venues throughout the city. The vast area outside Central World in the city’s shopping district attracts revelers from around the world with massive live music performances, famous Thai street food and endless beverage choices. There are many other venues to choose from, along the Chao Phraya River, in the central business district of Silom and on the long stretch of Sukhumvit Road. For quieter celebrations, temples throughout Bangkok host religious services and merit making for an auspicious beginning to the New Year.

The entire month of December leads up to both the Christmas and New Year celebrations and there are few other cities that get into the spirit of the year end with endless shopping, entertainment and dining experiences to suit every taste and budget.

Fly THAI and Thai Smile to experiencing the fascinating festivals in Thailand. Book instantly at thaiairways.com and thaismileair.com