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CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR 2020 IN THAILAND

We are one week away from Chinese New Year (January 25th, 2020) and despite a lot of mail and detailed information requests from various Tourist Offices in several cities, I unfortunately did not get all the details that I would have liked about Chinese New Year festivals in Thailand. But here is the information I was able to collect.
2020 chinese new year program in thailand

CHINESE NEW YEAR IN BANGKOK

As usual, it will be in Chinatown Chinatown and more particularly in and around Yaowarat Road that most of the festivities will take place especially on January 25th and 26th.

chinese new year bangkok
Chinese New Year Parade in Bangkok, Yaowarat Road (photo: TAT)

Wat Mangkon (also known as Wat Leng Noei Yi will be the temple with the most people and animation for the occasion with in particular food stalls. In addition, it is practical because it is now served by the metro (see MRT metro map in Bangkok ) The big Chinese door next to Wat Tramit will be the other epicenter of the events.

The opening ceremony on Yaowarat Road on January 25 will be chaired by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn as well as senior officials from the Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports, TAT, and the Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism .

I did not manage to get the schedules of the parades and lion dances. Based on the 2019 program, it should take place around noon on January 5 but no certainty. In the evening, there should be cultural shows, masked theater, folk dances, concerts from 7 p.m. until midnight (see program for Chinese New Year in Bangkok last year ) .

Note that the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) will have a stand to distribute the commemorative coin of its 60th anniversary. The face of the coin is the image of the Wat Traimit Golden Buddha. The front is marked with the “zodiac sign of the Year of the Rat” painted by Mr. Han Meilin, Chinese national artist, as well as the inscription in Chinese wishing everyone a happy, prosperous and safe year. Because 2020 will be the year of the Rat.

Otherwise at Siam Square , there will be cultural performances (Beijing handicapped dance troupe, dance and musical) Jiangxi troupe, Shanxi acrobatic troupe, Henan Kung Fu troupe, Jilin dance troupe and dance dance troupe Inner Mongolia) at 5 p.m. on January 24 and from 24 to 26 inclusive, Chinese-style decorations with a lucky tunnel, altar with Chinese gods, cooking demonstrations, Chinese cultural shows, Chinese calligraphy workshops and Xiangqi (Chinese chess ) as well as Thai pop concerts.

Other notable events include an exhibition of signs of the zodiac by Chinese national artist Han Meilin, from January 21 to 27, 2020, at the Fashion Hall of Siam Paragon, and from January 20 to February 9, 2020 in China. Cultural Center in Bangkok.

 

CHINESE NEW YEAR IN CHIANG MAI

Despite two emails and a call to the Tourist Office of the city again this morning, impossible to more information than the dates (which I already had), from 24th to 26th January 2020, and the general content of the festival without any time schedule. So there too, I will rely on the programs from previous years, I think it should be quite similar for the 2020 edition of the Chinese New Year in Chiang Mai .

chinese dances new year chiang mai

The epicenter of the festivities will be near the Warorot market. While the end of Chiang Moi Road and Wichayanon Road will host a lot of street food stalls.

cultural show chinese new year

There will a stage hosting speeches, traditional Chinese shows, children’s and miss contests. It is also in this area that will take place each evening one or more evening dragon parades around 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. (if it is like in 2018 and 2019). Not to be missed, this is probably the most spectacular moment of the festival.

There will also be Chinese cultural shows and miss and children’s contests every night on the stage starting from around 7 p.m.

To give you a little overview, here is what it looked like in 2018 knowing that a priori, there will not be the morning parade this year (but again nothing sure).

There will also be events organized by shopping centers including the MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Mall but it will be much more interesting and traditional at the Warorot Market.

 

CHINESE NEW YEAR IN PHUKET

The big Chinese New Year festival in the old town of Phuket is organized almost a week after the actual Chinese New Year date. It will take place this year from January 31 to February 2, 2020. I don’t have any details either, but I hope to get them in a few days.

 

CHINESE NEW YEAR IN OTHER CITIES IN THAILAND

Suphanburi 2 hours drive from Bangkok should host a huge Chinese New Year festival on January 25 and 26 around the Dragon Descendants Museum.

In Pattaya , there will be cultural performances and lion and dragon dances on the Pattaya Central Beach stage. Walking Street should also host some shows.

Nakhon Sawan is also famous for its Chinese New Year organized at Pak Nam Pho on the banks of the river. There will be processions including those of Chao Pho-Chao, Mae Paknam Pho and Chao Mae Kuan-im (Guan Yin) and a series of superstitious rituals and sweepstakes. Also on the program are acrobatic shows, parades of dragons and lion dances, parades of angels and cultural shows from China.

In Udon Thani , the festivities will be mainly concentrated on Prajak Sillapakom Road. There will be a series of superstitious rituals of good fortune at the Chinese temple Wat Sunthorn Pradit but it is a whole part of the city which will come alive. Other activities include a spectacular parade of lion dances, the China Town Kids talent contest, the Miss Udon Thani China Town beauty contest, and street stalls selling Chinese food.

In Korat au, being the name of Nakhon Ratchasima, the heart of the festivities will be Chomphon Road (from Chompho gate to the Suanmak night bazaar).

In Ratchaburi , it will be at the Raj Pracha Pattana dam.

In Ayutthaya , the festivities should mainly take place on Naresuan Road.

In Trang , it will be the circle of the Trang clock tower which will host the festival.

In Koh Samui , it seems that the biggest celebrations will take place in Nathon. At the Hainan Temple, in town and at the port . There will also be celebrations at the Chinese temple of Maenam and at the great Guan Yu Shrine but I do not have the details or the schedules.

And of course, wherever you are, go see the Chinese temples.

Do not forget to regularly check the events in Thailand page for the dates of upcoming festivals in the country.


Chanthaburi Miracle Christmas, biggest Chirstmas festival in Thailand

I spent the night of December 24th to 25th at the “Miracle Christmas” in Chanthaburi in eastern Thailand. It is the largest Christmas festival in a buddhist country that has few of them. Here are some pictures of the event…

christmas festival chanthaburi thailand

CHRISTMAS CAROLS

If the festival begins each year on December 21st, it is obviously on the evening of the 24th that it is most interesting and big. The epicenter of the festivities is Chanthaburi Cathedral , the largest one in Thailand.

On the program: Christmas carols by children first then adults, interspersed with the famous 3D mapping on the facade of the church, a sound and light show which is played several times each evening.

We start with the children (almost only girls, there was only one boy;)) dressed as Santa’s elfes.

christmas in thailand chanthaburi
christmas chanthaburi thailand
Christmas in Thailand

FOOD, RAFFLE AND ILLUMINATIONS

To the right of the cathedral, you have a night market with many food and drink stalls, and light tunnels. There was also a big raffle. I won… a nail clipper 😉

feter noel in thailand

The street along the river on the bank opposite of the cathedral becomes a walking street and also hosts many stalls to eat.

 

SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW

Throughout the evening, the facade of the cathedral is nicely lit but it is during the “3D mapping show” that it is most beautiful.

Christmas in Chanthaburi Thailand
chanthaburi noel in thailand

The show is given several times a night. THere also is, as for the release of a hollywood movie, a teaser of a few minutes.

miracle chirstmas chanthaburi

The show lasts 15 minutes and tells the story of the birth of Jesus from the Annunciation to the visit of the Magi.

christmas thailand festival
christmas announcement thailand
thailand christmas show
thailand christmas festival
birth jesus thailand
feter noel in thailand
Christmas party in Thailand
christmas festival in thailand

On December 24th, there are 4 representations of the 3 mapping show on the facade Chanthaburi cathedral. The last one ends with a countdown to midnight followed by a fireworks (it’s the only evening of the event having a fireworks display).

celebrate christmas in thailand
fireworks christmas thailand
noel a chathaburi in thailand
celebrate christmas in thailand
miracle christmas festival thailand

I will try to publish a video of the complete show on my Youtube channel hoping that it will not be muted like the short extract that I published on Facebook.

 

VISIT CHANTHABURI

Chanthaburi is an interesting province and a stopover that I recommend on the road to the islands of Koh Chang, Koh Kood or Koh Mak. You will find on the website a list of suggestions of places to see in Chanthaburi .

Next edition of Miracle Christmas Chanthaburi will be held 21-24 December 2020 and do not forget to consult the ” Events in Thailand ” section for the dates of upcoming festivals.


Where to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020 in Thailand ?

I will obviously not be exhaustive, but here is some information about New Year’s Eve festivities across Thailand.

New Year’s Eve in Bangkok

fireworks new year bangkok

The biggest fireworks will be shot at the ICON SIAM shopping center, Central World and Asian The Riverfront will have great evenings with free access , the city’s rooftop bars organize specific evenings and the Mahanakon Skywalk too, but for a very high budget.

I will put more information in my coming post about NYE 2020 in Bangkok.

 

New Year’s Eve in Sukhothai

new year 2020 Sukhothai

In Sukhothai, there will be 3 evenings in the central part of the historic park, a fabulous setting for a New Year’s Eve party without glitter but with bright lights, stalls of Thai food and obviously a big fireworks display. This is probably where I will be going on December 31.

New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai

new year's eve chiang may

Lots of things in Chiang Mai for New Years like every year with each big shopping center which will have its evening with live music or DJ and fireworks starting around 5pm. It goes from the Central Festival to the MAYA Shopping Mall via ONE Niman . Free admission.

The festivities organized by the city will take place at the Monument of the 3 Kings (see my schedule below) and there should be people who meet for the release of ascending lanterns at the Thapae Gate but no information about this for now. Probably because the sky lanternsmaybe prohibited.

schedule NYE countdown 2020 chiang mai thailand

new year countdown 2020 chiang mai

None of the places that had organized big sky lantern releases in the previous years has announced an event for the New Year’s Eve 2020 in Chiang Mai yet.

Many restaurants will also have special evenings with party menus, music, and fireworks. This will for example be the case of the River Market near the Iron Bridge but the list is long, too long to give it to you here 😉

On the religious side, evenings of prayers and Buddhist chants will be organized, from 10 p.m. in general, in several temples of Chiang Mai:

Wat Suan Dok, Wat Ched Yod, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep , Wat Chedi Luang, Wat U-Mong (the one a bit outside the city), Silver Temple (Wat Sri Suphan), Wat Jet Lin… the list is not exhaustive.

New Year’s Eve in Phuket

evening new year 2020 phuket

In Phuket , it will be on Patong beach that the biggest New Year’s Eve party should be held. It will start at 6 p.m. and the party will start on December 27 and will continue every evening until December 31 which will see the DJ Diego Miranda animate the evening.

new year phuket

The other big New Year’s Eve party in Phuket will be organized by the Central Shopping Mall on December 31 from 5 p.m.

New Year’s Eve in Pattaya

new year 2020 pattaya

In Pattaya, the big free evening will take place at Bali Hai Pier with the name of the city in bright colored letters in the background. There will already be parties on December 29 and 30.

Some other cities

I can not list every places of course but here are some other cities in Thailand where event or party will take place with free access.

  • Lampang: Tower clock
  • Lopburi : in front of the City Hall
  • Ratchaburi : along Pracha Pattana Dam (from 6 p.m.)
  • Kalasin : Kaeng Don Klang
  • Sa Kaeo: Indochine Shopping Mall
  • Phatthalung : Coliseum Intersection
  • Mae Sai (Chiang Rai): Thai-Myanmar Border Checkpoint
  • Udon Thani : UD Town Shopping Mall
  • Khon Kaen : Khon Kaen City Park

Generally speaking, if the city where you wil be on December 31 has a Central Festival, there is a good chance that they will organize something for the new year’s eve.

This article is here to give you some ideas not to list every events. There are too any !


WHERE TO CELEBRATE NEW YEAR 2020 IN BANGKOK ?

The days of 2019 are counted now and on December 31st, it will be New Year’s Eve and if Songkran, the Thai New Year, is mid-April, there will be big celebrations with fireworks in many places in Thailand and of course in Bangkok. Here are some events and tips for spending the New Year’s Eve 2020 in Bangkok.

BANGKOK’S BIGGEST FIREWORKS

I had already told you about it, the biggest  firework in Bangkok for New Year 2020 will be at the ICON Siam, a a big shopping mall installed on the banks of the Chao Phraya river.

new year eve  bangkokThere NYE event will start at 6pm with live concerts and end with the “Amazing Thailand Countdown 2020 Experience”  and its big fireworks showcasing the “Seven Wonders of Blessing”, illustrating the rich heritage of Thai history, prosperity kingdom, nation, religion, monarchy and agricultural abundance.

You will find all the information here.

BANGKOK CENTRAL WORLD NYE PARTY

Before the opening of ICON Siam last year, it was another shopping center, the Central World, which had the reputation of organizing the biggest party  for New Year’s Eve in Bangkok and of course, it continues to offer each year an event with live concerts and a big fireworks after the midnight countdown.

cetral world bangkok new year countdownTheir 2020 evening should offer an aquatic sound and light show in addition to the traditional concerts by Thai artists and fireworks marking the transition to the new year.

Many other major shopping centers will have live music and DJ nights on December 31st. I have put here only the most famous ones but many will have events.

 

NYE AT ASIATIQUE THE RIVERFRONT

Since its opening, the Asiatique the Riverfront has also each year celebrated the new year’s eve and it will be the case again this year. There, too, live concerts, the classic life of this big night market and its big wheel and fireworks on the first minutes of 2020 are on the programme.

NEW YEAR’S EVE IN THE HEIGHTS IN BANGKOK

Rooftop bars or skybars installed on high buildings are also very popular on December 31st  evening in Bangkok. All have a special events and it is better to book in advance in the most famous ones.

NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE TOP OF MAHANAKON TOWER

The Mahanakon Tower will offer Bangkok’s highest New Year’s Eve party and also one of the most expensive.

They actually have 2 formulas, one to “see the last sunset of the year” from 5 to 8 pm with DJ sets at the price of 4,500 THB with a glass of champagne included. And from 8.30 pm to 2 am, a more luxurious event with oyster bars, champagne, live artists, DJ and view on almost all the fireworks of the city for … 25,000 THB per person.

bangkok highest new year's eve party

It’s really expensive  and they have swelled the prices a lot compared to last year but I had to tell you about it anyway because I know you would have wondered if there was an evening at the Mahanakon Skywalk.

NEW YEARS EVE IN A SKY BAR IN BANGKOK

All the rooftop bars in Bangkok, from famous Sirocco Sky Bar at the top of the Lebua to  least known skybars will have a New Year’s Eve party. I listed below the most known and appreciated ones. Contact them for the prices but, even if it will not reach the price of the evening at the Mahanakon Tower, expect a substantial budget.

Sirocco and Sky Bar
Lebua State Tower
1055/42 Silom Road
Web: www.lebua.com/sirocco
Tel: +66 2624 9555

Octave Rooftop bar
Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit
2 Sukhumvit Road Soi 57
Web: www.marriott.com
Phone: +66 2 797 0000

Vertigo and Moon Bar
21/100 Banyan Tree Hotel, South Sathon Road
Web: www.banyantree.com
Phone: +66 2 679 1200

Zoom Sky Bar
Anantara Sathorn Hotel
Sathorn Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: +66 2 210 9000

Red Sky Bar
Centara Grand at CentralWorld 56F
Phone: 02 100 6255

Blue Sky Bar
24 / F, Sofitel Grand Centara, 1695 Phahon Yothin Road
Web: www.centarahotelsresorts.com/bluesky/
Phone: +66 2 541 1234

Cielo Sky Bar & Restaurant
Sky Walk Condominium, District W, Sukhumvit 69-71
(3 minutes walk from Phra Khanong BTS Station)
Tel: 02 348 9100 (15:00 – 24:00), 081 916 4270 (10:00 – 24:00)

Nest Rooftop Bar
The Fenix ​​Hotel, Sukhumvit Road, Soi 11
Phone: +66 2 255 0638

CRUISE DINNERS IN BANGKOK

On the evening of December 31, companies offering dinner cruises on the Chao Phraya River are also very popular. It’s a nice way to dine while moving to see the fireworks visible from the river.

I will not recommend any company to you in particular but with a search on the keywords “bangkok dinner cruise” you will find them easily.

 

PRAYERS IN THE TEMPLES

It is less known to tourists but there is a tradition also in Thailand for New Year’s night, of chanting prayers until dawn in some temples.

In Bangkok, last year, Wat Arun had one from 10 p.m. but I have no confirmation that this will also be the case this year. Wat Saket should also have something but also unconfirmed for now.

And there will be everywhere in the country, on the morning of January 1st, big alms offering ceremonies to the monks at dawn.

Note that Bangkok metros will exceptionally circulate until 2am.

I am obviously not exhaustive in this post but I tried to give you several types of different parties. There will be many evenings organized by nightclubs, some restaurants or hotels, other shopping centers that I have not mentioned but with the information in this article you already have quite a choice. And Khao San Road should also have its New Year celebration but every year, I can’t get any details about what’s planned there.


CHANTHABURI MIRACLE CHRISTMAS: THE BIGGEST CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL IN THAILAND

One of the best destinations in Thailand to find the Christmas spirit is clearly Chanthaburi, 250 kilometers in the East of Bangkok. The celebrations organize by the christian community living there have grown in the last year to become the “Chanthaburi Miracle Christmas Festival”. Here is the program for this year.

christmas in thailand chanthaburi

 

THE CHANTHABURI CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

Each year, the Chanthaburi Christmas festival is held from December 21 to 24 . The centerpoint of the celebrations is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the biggest one in Thailand.

christmas chanthaburi thailand

 

Chanthaburi CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL PROGRAM

The highlights of the Chanthaburi Miracle Christmas are the 3D sound and light shows projected every evening on the facade of the cathedral.

There will be every evening on December 21, 22 and 23, first a teaser at 8 p.m. then a show at 9 p.m. and another at 10 p.m. which will end with fireworks. On the 24th, the program will be a little different because it will have to last until midnight.

Here is the official program for the last evening, December 24th, 2019 , translated from Thai:

7:30 p.m . : Raffle and dances
8:00 p.m .: Teaser 3D Mapping Miracle Christmas (short version)
8:15 pm: Christmas carols
8:30 pm: ceremony
10:15 p.m .: 3D Mapping Miracle Christmas (full show with light projections on the cathedral)
10:35 pm: Christmas carols
11 p.m .: 3D Mapping Miracle Christmas
Midnight: countdown and fireworks followed by a distribution of panetonne cakes and drinks

Besides finding the Christmas spirit in Thailand, it can be interesting to see how this holiday is celebrated in another country. And Chanthaburi is a charming city which, for me, makes a pleasant 2-day stopover on the road to the islands of Koh Chang , Koh Kood or Koh Mak.

Otherwise, the other very nice festival for Christmas in Thailand is the Christmas Star Parade in Sakon Nakhon in the north-east of Thailand I was there last year and I loved it !

You will find in the main part of this website all the information to organize your stay in Chanthaburi and many of the coming events on the page about festivals in Thailand .


BIGGEST NEW YEAR’S FIREWORKS IN BANGKOK

For the second consecutive year, the ICON Siam shopping mall located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River promises to organize the most spectacular firework display in Bangkok for New Year’s Eve 2020.

fireworks new year bangkok

NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS IN BANGKOK

Entitled “Amazing Thailand Countdown 2020 Experience” , the pyrotechnic show will focus on the “Seven Wonders of the Blessing” illustrating the rich heritage of Thai history, kingdom prosperity, nation, religion, monarchy and agricultural abundance.

fireworks bangkok new year

The seven acts of the fireworks will be display as follows (official description by the organizers):

Act 1 – The Glory: begins with golden showers of fireworks representing the glorious victory over the land and water and telling the world that this is the golden land blessed by the reigns of Thai Kings until the present time.

Act 2 – Health Giving: wishes the King a long life. The fireworks blast up into the sky and expand like a big tree spreading out its branches. This represents the loving kindness of His Majesty the King towards Thai people.

Act 3 – Way up High: points to the moral glorification of the religion. The fireworks that light up the sky can be compared to the enlightenment that leads the way to a peaceful life.

Act 4 – Joy to the World: felicity and peace. Colorful fireworks in thin and big lines spread through the sky with joy of happiness, representing the contentment of people at leading a happy life in this peaceful land.

Act 5 – Diamond in the Sky: wealth and the national resource called Suvarnabhumi – the land of abundance. The fireworks are like diamond flashes that scatter over the sky, resembling seeds that have been spread and will soon grow.

Act6 – Lucky Star: fortune and harmony. Small and large fireworks in various colours light up the sky on the New Year’s Eve and welcome the New Year as if bringing an auspicious blessing to the Thai people as well as their everlasting happiness.

Act 7 – Power of Love: divinity to protect the country. The red fireworks represent the power of love, care, and protection that will prevent the water from allowing evil to step on land.

 

WHERE TO WATCH THE FIREWORKS?

It will not necessarily be at ICON SIAM itself that you will have the best view on the fireworks.

The organizers indicated last year that the best spots were:

  • Sathorn bridge
  • Chaloem Phrakiat Park
  • Sathorn pier
  • Khlong San pier
  • Wat Suwan pier
  • LHONG 1919
  • Peninsula Hotel
  • Hilton Millennial Hotel
  • Shangri-La Hotel
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel
  • Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel

This should also be the case this year.

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE 2020 AT ICON SIAM

If the fireworks will be fired after the midnight countdown, the ICON Siam Shopping Center’s New Year’s Party 2020 will start at 6pm with live performances by several Thai artists including Chilling Sunday, Ton Thanasit, Two Popetorn, B5, Nont Tanont, Jintara x Tor x Ben, Twopee Southside …

I will write in a few days an article with more events and tips to celebrate the New Year’s Eve in Bangkok.


ANTICIPATED OR TOTAL CLOSURES OF BANGKOK’S GRAND PALACE IN DECEMBER

The Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok complex is one of the must visit places of any first trip in Thailand. The place being used for some royal ceremonies or tribute to the previous kings of Thailand and the clothes of the emerald Buddha being changed 3 times a year by the King in person, the place sometimes closes to tourists earlier or is completely closed a whole day. In December 2019, there will be three days when the doors will close at noon and one day when visiting Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) will not be possible at all.

wat phra keo
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha

EARLY CLOSINGS OF THE GRAND PALACE

On 4th, 5th and 7th December 2019, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew will therefore close to the public at noon instead of 3:30 pm in normal times.

early closure grand palace bangkok
grand palace bangkok closing noon
grand palace bangkok farm noon

If December 5, which was the birthday of King Bhumibol, father of the current King and also marks the date of Father’s Day in Thailand, will probably be the occasion of a tribute to the late monarch, I do not know the reasons for the other early closings.

 

CLOSED ON DECEMBER 12TH

On 12th December, Grand Palace and temple will be closed the all day.

Exceptional closing grand palace bangkok

December 12th will be the date of the procession of the Royal Barges and if for now no part of the ceremony has been announced as taking place in the Grand Palace or Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the end of the procession on the river will be close to the building so it is likely more a security measure.

I try to communicate a little in advance these anticipated or exceptional closures on my Facebook page but it is not always easy to have the information. I would like to thank Kunrawee who sends me updates regularly.


Loy Krathong Festival 2019 in Bangkok

Loy Krathong , November 11th, this year, is one of the most important festivals in Thailand and although it is not in Bangkok that the most famous celebrations take place, here are the main events, animations and some tips to celebrate Loy Krathong in the Thai capital city.

loy krathong 2019 bangkok

 

Festival near Khao San Road

After not being held for 2 years, the festival organized by the Tourist Authority of Thailand in the charming Santi Chai Prakan Park near Khao San returns this year.

loy krathong kha san road

 

It will be held from November 9th to 11th each evening from 4pm to midnight.

You will learn more about the tradition of this festival that goes back to the period when Sukhothai was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam. There will also be workshops to make your own krathong (small raft that people release on the rivers’ courses), fruit sculpture demonstration workshops, food and drink stands, traditional dance and music…

 

BANGKOK RIVER FESTIVAL

Another major annual event taking place in Bangkok for Loy Krathong is the River Festival. It will be held from 9th to 11th November 2019  from 5 pm to 10.30 pm.

Bangkok river festival loy krathong 2019

Like every year, the Bangkok River Festival will highlight the Chao Phraya River that flows through the Thai capital with entertainment and festivities at 10 locations:

  • at Wat Arun
  • at Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha Temple)
  • at Wat Rakhang Pier
  • at the Asian The Riverfront
  • at Yodpiman River Walk
  • at Tha Maharaj
  • at Wat Prayoon
  • at Wat Kalayanamitra
  • at Lhong 1919
  • at Iconsiam
bangkok river festival map

 

WHERE TO CELEBRATE LOY KRATHONG IN BANGKOK?

In Bangkok, Chao Phraya is the center of Loy Krathong festival. Like every year, the Rama VIII bridge will probably be the place that will attract the most people to drop their krathongs on the Chao Phraya River. The Nakarapirom Park in front of Wat Arun will also be very popular because offers a nice view with the temple illuminated in the background.

Phadung Krung Kasem Canal along Hua Lamphong Station, Rama VIII and Rama IX bridges and Lumpini Park complete the list of the 6 most popular places that night.

IconSiam, a titanic shopping center that opened a few months ago on the banks of the Chao Phraya River will also have its Loy Krathong celebrations as well as the Asian Riverfront (they both participate in the River Festival mentioned above).

New place for Loy Krathong in Bangkok last year, the Klong Ong An of Saphan Damrong Sathit Bridge near Charoenkrung Road to Saphan Phanuphan Bridge near Yaowarat Road is expected to attract many people again.

Otherwise, there will be about thirty public parks in Bangkok that will be exceptionally be open on the evening of November 11, 2019:

  • Lumpini Park,
  • Chatuchak Park
  • Wachirabenchatat Park (Rot Fai Park), Chatuchak
  • Phra Nakhon Park, Lad Krabang District
  • Her Majesty the Queen’s 60th Birthday Park, Lad Krabang District
  • Saranrom Park, Phra Nakhon
  • Rommaninat Park, Phra Nakhon
  • Santichaiprakan Public Park, Phra Nakhon
  • Nakarapirom Park, Phra Nakhon
  • Thonburirom Park, Tung Kru District
  • Seri Thai Park, Bueng Kum District
  • Nawamin Pirom Park, Bueng Kum District
  • Nong Chok Park, Nong Chok District
  • Benchasiri Park, Khlong Toei area
  • Bueng Krathiam Park, Min Buri District
  • Public Park in Commemoration of The King’s 6th Birth Cycle, Bang Kho Laem District
  • Santiphap Park, Ratchathewi District
  • Indra Ram Sports Park, Bang Khen District
  • Rommani Thungsikan Park, Don Mueang District
  • Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s 50th Birthday Park, Prawet District
  • Wanadharm Park, Prawet District
  • Thawiwanarom Park, Thawi Watthana District
  • Benchakitti Park, Khlong Toei area
  • Suan Luang Rama Park VIII, Bang Phlat District
  • Bueng Nam Lat Phrao Public Park, Lat Phrao District
  • Sirindhra Botanical Garden, Bangkok Noi
  • Public Park in HM King’s Commemoration of 80 Birthday, Bangkok Noi District
  • Public Park in Commemoration of HM the King’s 80 Birthday, Sathorn

NO SKY LANTERNS IN BANGKOK

Often, people associate Loy Krathong with the thousands of lanterns released in the sky but the tradition of this festival is to deposit the famous krathongs on the rivers ad ponds, the sky lanterns are a tradition of the Yee Peng Festival which take place in Northern Thailand at the same time, which probably explains the confusion.

It has been 5 years now that sky lanterns are banned in Bangkok.


Schedule of Loy Krathong & Yee Peng Festival 2019 in Chiang Mai

Here is the official program of Loy Krathong and Yee Peng Festival 2019 in Chiang Mai . It is surely the most beautiful festival of the city. I also give you a few tips and my favorite places as well as information on the big sky lanterns releases that will take place.

yee peng chiang mai

 

Official schedule for Loy Krathogn 2019 in Chiang Mai

Here is the official schedule that TAT Chiang Mai office sent me a few weeks ago. It is not complete, so I will and some events below.

loy krathong 2019 chiang mai

There wil also be the big Loy Krathong parade on Novembre 12th starting from Thapae Gate at 7 pm and going to Chiang Mai Municipality.

Two fireworks will be launched on the river Ping in the area of Chiang Mai Municipality on the same day at 7.30 pm and 9.30 pm.

Wat Pan Tao will held a beautiful candle ceremony around 7 pm on November 11th (and maybe the day before but I have no confirmation). But be there at least 1h30 in advance because there will be a lot of people coming early to have a good spot around the temple’s pond to take good pictures.

loy krathong chiang mai

Every evening but mostly on November 11 , on the banks of the Ping River or around the moat, you’ll see people putting their small rafts with a candle and 3 sticks of incense. To see also the religious side of this festival, I recommend you to go to Wat Chai Mongkhon which has access to the river and is only a few minutes walk from the Iron Bridge.

 

Release of lanterns (free) in the sky of Chiang Mai

The two most popular gathering points for the sky lantern release in the city are the little Iron Bridge near the Night Bazaar and the Nawarat Bridge. 

These releases will only be allowed on November 11th and 12th, 2019 from 7pm to 1am.

There will be as each year of great pay releases that personally I do not recommend more than that seen the rates charged (see below) .

 

Big simultaneous sky lanterns releases in Chiang Mai

The best-known sky lanternrelease event in Chiang Mai is organized by a very controversial Buddhist association so I will not tell you about it but there are now others. But none is free of charge. Count from 2.000 to 4.000 THB soemtimes including a meal or a buffet.

Yi peng festival

Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai

There will likely be similar nights at Wat Ban Den and Wat Phra That Doi Saket but for the moment, I did not found information. Note that the links of reservations that I put are there to help you, I do not get any commission and have no relation with these websites.

That’s it, I hope this article will help you to live an unforgettable Loy Krathong and Yee Peng Festival 2019 !


Where to go to celebrate Loy Krathong in Thailand ?

Held every year throughout the country, Loy Krathong is certainly one of the most awaited festivals in Thailand. This year, Loy Krathong will be celebrated on November 11th, the official date, and in some places, there is a whole festival with many shows and events. I list the most important and famous ones in this article.

 

loy krathong 2017 bangkok

 

LOY KRATHONG FESTIVAL

Loy Krathong is celebrated every year on the full moon day of the 12th lunar month, which falls on a variable date mostly in November. This year it will be November 11th, 2019 (official date).

If you will often see images of thousands of lanterns in the sky to illustrate or announce the event, the historical tradition of Loy Krathong, the one that gave it its name, has nothing to do with them. Loy Krathong’s tradition is to put small rafts with 3 sticks of incense and a candle on the riversn canals and ponds.

The lanterns in the sky came later and are more a tradition from Chiang Mai and its Yee Peng Festival which is held at the same time. But for some years now, these khom loy lanterns are only allowed in the North precisely and officially banned in Bangkok.

Yi Peng Festival
The Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai (see some places below) 

SUKHOTHAI LOY KRATHONG AND CANDLE FESTIVAL

The tradition of Loy Krathong was born in Sukhothai when the city was the capital of the Kingdom. For the occasion, every year, the central part of the historical park opens its doors for free in the evening for 10 days for one of the largest and most spectacular festivals in the country.

The highlights of these evenings are the two sound and light shows. One with paying tickets at Wat Mahathat and one completly free closing each evening at Wat Sa Si and on the surrounding pond.

sukhothai candle festival
Paying show at Wat Mahtaht in Sukhothai 

This year the Loy Krathong festival in Sukhothai will be held from 2 to 11 November 2019 .

I told you the full program of the festival in this article about Loy Krathong in Sukhothai .

 

LOY KRATHONG 2019 IN CHIANG MAI

Chiang Mai is for me, the best destination in Thailand to attend Loy Krathon for the first time precisely because the festival is combined with the Yee Peng festival and its big release of lanterns in the sky.

There is alos a nice candel ceremonie around Wat Pan Tao pound (see picture below) and many other events.

loy krathong chiang mai
The candlelight ceremony at Wat Pan Tao 

Programme of Loy Krathong & Yee Peng Festival 2019 in Chiang Mai

loy krathong 2019 chiang mai schedule

Otherwise, for a Loy Krathong with less foreign tourists, you can go to Lamphun 25 km from Chiang Mai, at Wat Hariphunchai and the river banks just behind.

 

SOME OTHER FESTIVALS OF LOY KRATHONG 2019

LOY KRATHONG 2019 IN BANGKOK

The Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) will organize a small festival at Santi Chai Prakan Park which is near Khao San Road from 9 to 11 November.

There will also be the River Festival held in 9 locations along the river from 9 to 11 November 2019. Same location than last year (see picture below).

bangkok river festival

 

LOY KRATHONG 2019 IN AYUTTHAYA

In the former capital of the Siam Kingdom , 1h30 drive from Bangkok, Loy Krathong will also be celebrated with several events. There too, since the water is surrounding the city, it will be quite easy to attend and participate in the release of krathongs.

On D-Day, November 1, at King Naresuan’s Great Monument near Thung Phu Khao Thong, several activities including a krathong-making contest, beauty pageants, cultural shows, and a moon bath ritual to bring luck will be held.

ayutthaya loy krathong 2017
In Ayutthaya, there will be an event in front of the National Museum of Chankasem

But in general, for tourists, it is better to go to Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center and in front of the National Museum of Chankasem or in front of the Srisuriyothai Pagoda. I think, the events there are more interesting.

 

LOY KRATHONG 2019 IN TAK

Little known by foreign tourists, Tak also organizes one of Thailand’s best-known Loy Krathong festivals which is renowned for its long floating line of candles deployed on the river at Rim Sai Than Lan Krathong Sai at the foot of Somphot Bridge Krung Rattanakosin 200 Pi Bridge.

tak loy krathong festival

This year the Loy Krathong Sai Tak Festival will take place from 9 to 11 November 2019.

 

LOY KRATHONG 2019 AT SAMUT SONGKHRAM (AMPHAWA)

Another important festival in Thailand for Loy Krathong is taking place in Samut Songkhram, just over one hour’s drive from Bangkok. The most significant event is held on the Mae Klong River in front of Wat Phummarin Kudi Thong the day before and D day with 200,000 (figure announced for this year) small rafts with illuminated incense sticks released at the same time. I attended the event in 2018, difficult to photograph but impressive !

loy krathong samut songkram

The temple is near the Amphawa Floating Market but across the Mae Klong River.

loy krathong samut songkhram

The festival will run from November 9 to 11, 2019.

 

LOY KRATHONG 2019 IN LAMPANG

Lampang also organizes each year a big festival, the Lampang Ngan Sapao Chao Lakon. This is the only place in northern Thailand to still make ‘ong sapao’ or krathong like junk.

loy krathong lampang

The festival will take place 9-11 November at Ban Sing Chai Pier.

 

LOY KRATHONG 2019 IN ROI ET

The most important festivities in Roi Et will be held at Somdet Phra Si Nakarin Public Park and Bueng Phlan Chai on November 10th and 11th.

 

LOY KRATHONG 2019 IN PHITSANULOK

There will be festivities from November 7th to 11th in the Chom Nan Chaloem Phrakiat Public Park along the Nan River in front of Wat Ratchaburana and on the 10th and 11th in front of the big temple of the city, Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat.

 

LOY KRATHONG 2019 IN BURIRAM

This is obviously not the only event in the province, but two Loy Krathong parties will be held at Prasat Muang Tham , one of the most beautiful Khmer temples in Thailand on November 10th and 11th.

 

SOME OTHER FESTIVALS IN THAILAND

Loy Krathong is celebrated everywhere in Thailand and wherever you are, by going near rivers or ponds, you will see people kneelling at the edge of the water, make a prayer and drop their small craft raft. But there are other cities that organize a whole festival around. Here is a non-exhaustive list:


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