1. Overview

Thailand is one of the most developed Southeast Asian countries today, but there are still long-standing traditional cultural values that have been maintained and developed. One of Thailand’s cultural beauties is most clearly shown in the annual traditional festivals of the “land of a thousand smiles.” In addition to the traditional Songkran New Year, The Thailand Lantern Festival in Yee Peng is considered the second biggest festival of the year for Thai people.

Yi Peng or Yee Peng Festival originates from the traditional culture of the Lanna people in northern Thailand. Yi in Thai means “number 2”, and Peng means “full moon day,” referring to the festival held on the full moon day of the second month according to the ancient Lanna calendar. They believe that worshiping Buddha’s relics during this time will bring blessings. Legend has it that Buddha’s relics are located on the highest level in heaven, so the Lanna people lit lanterns and released them into the sky.

In this Thailand Latern festival takes place in the northern provinces, but the most prominent is still the sky lantern festival in Chiang Mai. In Chiang Mai, the Yi Peng Festival is held over a few days and includes many different events, such as parades, musical performances, and fireworks.

Coming to Yi Peng, you will have the opportunity to see thousands of shimmering lanterns in the night sky. The lanterns are made of paper or white cloth and filled with hot air from burning candles. When released, they fly into the sky, creating a spectacular display of light and color.

See more in this video:

YouTube video

2. Main activities in Thailand Lattern festival

During the three days of participating in the Yi Peng Festival, in the morning, tourists can ride bicycles around Chiang Mai. This city has mild, cool air all year round, along with long-standing architectural works and natural beauty that is hard to match anywhere else. Therefore, this unique traditional cultural event will be an opportunity for you to visit and explore the city.

It can be said that the Yi Peng Festival only really begins at night. When the lanterns (called khom loi) are lit and released into the sky, they fly higher and blend with countless other lanterns like a school of giant glowing jellyfish. At this time, you can find a beautiful place to watch sky lanterns or go to Nawarat Bridge to release flower lanterns, painting the Ping River with a magical, shimmering beauty.

See more in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOElRCVKv1U

After the lantern-releasing ceremony, residents and tourists will spend the whole night together, enjoying the beautiful scenery created by countless lanterns suspended in the sky. At the same time, you can participate in special activities during the festival, such as the Miss Yi Peng contest, boat racing, or watching fireworks.

3. Yi Peng festival time

Yi Peng Lantern Festival is held on the full moon day of the second lunar month according to the Lanna calendar and lasts 2-3 days, meaning the exact date according to the international calendar will change each year. This is the time when the rainy season in Thailand ends and the cool season begins, making it very suitable for releasing lanterns.

The 2024 Yi Peng Lantern Festival will take place on November 15–16, 2024, immediately after the Loi Krathong Lantern Festival on November 16. The 2025 Lantern Festival will take place on November 5–6, 2025.

The lantern ceremony has religious significance; it was previously only attended by monks, but today tourists can attend by purchasing tickets, most of which are sold through licensed tourism agencies, authorization, and the price can go up to 300 USD. Ticket prices for the Chiang Mai CAD Khom loy Sky Lanterns Festival 2024 range from 126.55 USD to 176.07 USD per ticket.

4. Top 5 Best Places To Experience The Yi Peng Thailand Lantern Festival

Chiang Mai is known as the “mecca” of the Yi Peng lantern festival. On this occasion, all the roads and houses here are decorated extremely brightly and beautifully. The crowded, bustling atmosphere of Thai tourists and the interesting activities of local people also cover the whole city. Below, let Metta Voyage introduce to you some ideal places to immerse yourself in the Yi Peng Sky Lantern festival.

4.1. Ping River, famous site for Yi Peng and Loy Krathong festivals

Located in the east of Chiang Mai City, the Nawarat Bridge area across the Ping River is often the place where two Thai lantern festivals, Yi Peng and Loy Krathong, take place in parallel. Coming here, tourists do not need to buy tickets; you just pay about 2 USD to buy lanterns.

Some other interesting experiences that you can try when participating in the Yi Peng Festival in this area are taking a boat to explore the Ping River, visiting Chai Mongkhon temple, and enjoying Khao Soi, a traditional Thai curry dish in northern Thailand, etc.

  • Address: Nawarat Bridge, Charoen Mueang Road, Chang Moi Subdistrict, Chiang Mai Mueang District, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand.

4.2. Lanna Dhutanka

Located behind Maejo University, this is the location where the Chiang Mai sky lantern festival has been held many times, with a large space that can gather more than 3,000 people at the same time. Note: You need to book tickets before arriving because tickets at Yee Peng Lanna Dhutanka sell out very quickly.

  • Address: near Maejo University, Nong Han Sub-district, San Sai District, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

4.3. Three Kings Monument

This is where most of the activities during the Chiang Mai Sky Lantern Festival take place. In addition to releasing lanterns, here you can witness candle-lighting ceremonies and participate in Buddhist worship rituals.

  • Address: Three Kings Monument Square, Phra Pok Klao Street, Si Phum Subdistrict, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai

4.4. Doi Saket Hot Springs

Doi Saket is located about 30 km from from Chiang Mai city center, an ideal place for you to see lanterns in a peaceful rural suburb. The area here can gather more than 2,400 people at the same time. Ticket prices range from 90 to 150 USD per person.

  • Address: Pa Miang, Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand.
Beautiful Unfounded on Yi Peng festival and Loy Krathong day. Chiang Mai,Thailand

4.5. Cowboy Army Riding Club

Cowboy Army Riding Club is located about 10 km from Chiang Mai city center. This location can accommodate 3,500–4,000 people, attracting many local and tourist visitors to the festival. Ticket prices range from 90 to 120 USD per person.

  • Address: Don Kaeo, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai City, Thailand.

5. Transportation to Chiang Mai, the place of the festival.

Because Bangkok is about 700 km north of Chiang Mai province, there are 3 ways to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai that you can refer to below:

  • By plane: With this method, you can fly right after arriving at the airport in Bangkok, but it is best to book your ticket 3–4 hours before your arrival time at Bangkok airport to avoid delay.

  • Take the train: If you want to see the scenery, the train is a great choice, but the train ride from Bangkok (Hualamphong station) to Chiang Mai is quite long (11–12 hours). You can buy tickets directly at the station or order via the website. Note: When boarding the train, you are required to have a printed ticket and passport to present to the staff.
  • Taking the bus: This means of transport will be about 4 hours faster than taking the train (it only takes about 7–8 hours), with the starting point being Mo chit station (Bangkok). You can buy tickets on the day or book in advance.

6. Notes when participating in the Yi Peng sky lantern festival

To travel to Chiang Mai and enjoy the Yi Peng Festival to the fullest and in the safest way, you need to note the following things:

You should buy plane tickets and book a room in an area near the festival venue for 2-3 months to save on costs.

Buy tickets to the festival from the organizing committee or main distribution units from the organizing committee to ensure safety and avoid fraud.

Arrange your schedule to leave 30–45 minutes before the lighting ceremony. To easily choose the closest and most beautiful location to view lanterns.

When participating in the Chiang Mai sky lantern festival, you need to dress discreetly and politely.

7. Some common questions

7.1. What is the difference between the Yi Peng and Loy Krathong festivals?

Loy Krathong Festival is held throughout Thailand, with the main activity being floating “krathong” lights (like a raft made from banana leaves) on rivers and lakes. The Yi Peng Festival takes place mainly in northern Thailand, typically in Chiang Mai city, lighting “khom loi” lanterns and releasing them into the sky.

7.2. Can tourists release their own lanterns in the city?

According to the policy from 2020, self-releasing lanterns in the city are not allowed. To experience this activity, you can buy tickets to participate in the festival at locations guaranteed to be safe by the organizer, such as the Nawarat Bridge area of the Ping River, Lanna Dhutanka, Doi Saket, etc.

You can see some of our other Thailand travel guides below:

Culinary Delights – Top 15 Best Chiang Mai Restaurants For Visitors

The Top 12 Best Chiang Mai Food, Thailand

Top 10 Most Popular Destinations In Chiang Mai City Tour

Top 20 Experiences And Things To Do In Chiang Mai

Explore The 15 Chiang Mai Night Markets With Vibrant Atmosphere

Where To Stay In Chiang Mai: 9 Best Hotels For 2023 Revealed

Top 10 Must – Visit Temples In Chiang Mai

8. Conclusion

Above are the Top 5 Best Places To Experience The Yi Peng, Thailand Lantern Festival that Metta Voyage shares with you. We hope you will have an enjoyable trip when you come to Chiang Mai. Don’t forget to visit our blog to discover more fascinating travel experiences in Southeast Asia and Vietnam.

9. Contact us:

Website: www.mettavoyage.com

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