Magical lantern festival Yi Peng

mae Jo university

After moving to Chiang Mai, I was lucky to enjoy the best it can offer – Yi Peng festival!

A lantern festival is that type of event that ANYBODY in the world like, in my opinion. Really, how can you not? Just look at the picture!

I was really lucky to catch that festival, it took place just a week after I moved to Chiang Mai. Before I did not know that festival existed, but now I understand how much would I miss if I would not be here to the the magic happening in real life!

I will tell you all about it now. Basically, there are 2 festivals:

Loi Krathong is a festival observed yearly in Asia in various regions such as Burma and Laos. It depicts a floating basket derived from the culture of making buoyant and festooned baskets made to hover on a river. While releasing the baskets, participants make a wish to be lucky and their wishes fulfilled.

However, in Chiang Mai, this light festivity also known as Yi Peng lantern festival is unique. For instance, instead of using water vessel, people  release these lightened lamps in the skies as they make a wish.

This second one is way cooler in my opinion.

Here is why:

The atmosphere transforms into a superb and surreal sea of lanterns hovering away. It is simply a mesmerizing spectacle! The local festivity of Yee Peng is a Thai religious ceremony that seeks to pay homage to Buddha. Normally, the precise date is kept in a secret and never announced until it is few weeks leading to the occasion. In my case it was September 25th 2014.

The Loi Krathoung festival in its turn is made specially for tourists (so that they don’t ruin the sacred tradition of the first one I suppose ;)). Usually, it takes place a week or two after Yi peng and with a cost of 100$. (Wow, that’s super expensive for Asia! But the tickets are apparently sold out already). the only advantage is that the foreigners can understand everything  since the rite is in English.

Despite that I would definitely recommend to go to the real one Yi Peng (hosted by Mae Jo university yearly) – it is free and you can really feel the spirit, the original purpose of releasing all your fears, dark thoughts in the sky!


  • 1 Yi Peng festival chiang mai thailanAs the event is religious, dress appropriate – covered shoulders and knees.
  • You should know that there are numerous lantern sellers on the way to the field where the festival is held. They have different shape and colors and they cost very cheap (around 30 baht each). You can totally release it before, but remember, you won’t be allowed with those to the field! You will have to buy the classic shape lanterns there and it will cost you no more no less but 100 baht for one.
  • Remember the event is crowded –  people from all the places around come to participate. My advice – try to get there with your own motorbike (the rent of one day is maximum 200 bahts), otherwise getting back will be a nightmare.
  • Try to get there in advance, the main show starts at around 7 pm, but by the time there will be no place probably.
  • there are tons of food stalls everywhere, so you do not have to worry about food!

It is truly an unforgettable experience, try it out!

lanterns chiang mai        Lanterns festival Chiang mai


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  • if something breaks you will only have to cover the dealer price of the broken part, not more;
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If you are not sure which bike is perfect for you, the staff will help you choose the best one according to your needs

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Magical lantern festival Yi Peng Chiang Mai Thailand Misstouristcom

By | 2017-01-04T02:05:13+00:00 October 30th, 2014|Asia, Chiang Mai and the North, Thailand|2 Comments

About the Author:

Yulia is originally Russian but truly is a world citizen in heart. She was traveling around the world for over 4 years now. Her blog is created with the purpose to inspire people to travel more and to share her advice of how to travel "smart".


  1. Mel 09.09.2017 at 13:12 - Reply

    Hi Yulia

    I heard the lantern release in Mae Jo is now a paid event. Any tips about this? 🙂 we are coming this November. Hope to hear from you. Great blog!

    • Yulia 12.09.2017 at 13:02 - Reply

      if they didnt change anything in the last 2 years, there are two – one is paid, one is free. The free one is usually a couple of days earlier than the paid one.

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