The most awaited trip of the year has finally happened. Attending and participating at the Yee Peng Festival was almost a year in the making as I booked my flights to Bangkok as early as December of 2015.
The Yee Peng Festival or Yi Peng Festival is a festival celebrated by the Lanna in Northern Thailand every full moon of the second month of the Lanna lunar calendar. For 2016, the full moon fell on November 14.
I first saw it in the Disney movie, Tangled.
But seeing it in real life was magical. Lanterns illuminated the dark sky at Doisaket, Chiang Mai.
The Lanna people believe that releasing the khom loi (lanterns) to the sky would drive away one’s misfortune or bad luck.
For several years now, Thailand has been the destination of choice for holidaymakers looking for some much-needed sun and intrepid travellers interested in discovering a different way of life.
Whether you want to experience traditional Thai culture in the rural countryside or dance the night away on one of the country’s party islands, there is something to suit every individual. From stunning Khao Lak holidays and Phuket beaches, to Bangkok nightlife and Chiang Mai temples, here are five of the top destinations in Thailand.
Any trip to Thailand would not be complete without spending a bit of time hanging out in the energetic streets of capital city Bangkok. While seasoned travellers may advise against spending too much time here, certain attractions and activities are simply unmissable.
For a taste of authentic Thailand, be sure to sample some street food along Thong Lor and have a drink in a local side street bar. Popular tourist sights include the Grand Palace, Wat Po and Lumphini Park.
Although this area was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, the community has rebounded and rebuilt a fantastic holiday destination, with several secluded beaches and tranquil settings.
If you want a little more excitement than just relaxing in the sun, scuba diving in the Similan Islands is certainly an one-off experience.
A favourite among newly-weds, Phuket still has enough smooth white beaches and indulgently warm waters to please anyone.
During the day, head to the Old Town for a cultural tour of the Shrine of Serene Light or hunt amongst the market stalls. When the sun sets, check out Patong for a lively and somewhat chaotic night out.
While Thailand predominantly attracts visitors wanting to spend their time by the shore, the country’s inland locations still deserve a visit.
Nestled in a valley between mountains and partly surrounded by an ancient moat and old city walls, Chang Mai is home to over 300 temples, all of which are as stunning and unique as the next. The city’s perfect blend of traditional culture and contemporary civilisation is a delight.
Popular with Bangkok residents, Hua Hin is a small and picturesque beach town with close links to Thai royalty and is less than three hours travelling time from the capital.
This former fishing village remains a tranquil getaway, and it’s worth wandering the streets, browsing the upmarket tailored clothing shops and enjoying the many quality seafood restaurants.