One of the most iconic holidays in Thailand, Yi Peng more known as the Lantern Festival occurs on the full moon of the twelfth month of the Thai Lunar calendar during which people release floating lanterns into the sky.
Chiang Mai is a great place to experience the Lantern Festival and celebrations there usually begin one day before and extend one day after the holiday (November 2-4, 2017).
In general, the Lantern Festival coincides with Loy Krathong, a holiday where Thais prepare handmade decorations from the trunks of banana trees or from spider lily plants and take them to a river, canal or pool, make a wish and launch them in the water. This year, it will be held on the same dates as the Lantern Festival (November 2-4, 2017).
Celebrating the Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai is a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of real Thai culture. Make sure to head to Mae Jo University on the 3rd of November before 18:30 for the big release.
Here are also some of our favorite activities you must check out while staying in Chiang Mai.
1. Spiritual tour around Chiang Mai
Lantern festival is one the best time of the year to discover the spiritual side of Chiang Mai. Start your trip with getting up early to uncover Buddhist practices and rituals in this fascinating half day tour with a knowledgeable private guide. You will gain insights about Thailand’s rich traditions and beliefs and you will learn to meditate, offer alms to monks, and make an offering at a temple.
The cherry on top: Transfer from and to your hotel is included.
Duration: 4 – 5 hours
2. Half Day cycling tour around Chiang Mai:
Pedal around Chiang Mai and hop off to explore the beautiful ancient temples. This guided tour is perfect to know more about Buddhism and its significant role in Thai culture and society. You will also be able to see many places such as markets and temples on the same day.
You don’t need to be a sportaholic to join this half day tour, the biking difficulty level is 1 / 5 and it’s without a minimum age limit to join.
The cherry on top: Children < 5 years old are FOC and those aged from 5 to 11 receive a 20% discount
Duration: 5 hours
3. Private Mae Ping river cruise
Relax for a while and spend 2 hours gently cruising down the Ping River. A must-do activity to enjoy the ever changing river scene and be immersed in Chiang Mai’s authentic culture. Prepare to be blown away: From rural scenes of local children playing, to vibrant markets, not to mention encounters with buddhist monks as well as indulging in a bowl of Khao Soy, a traditional northern Thai noodle soup, your half day will feel like a whole week.
The cherry on top: Transfer from your hotel included.
Duration: 4 – 5 hours
4. Learn how to cook Thai food in an organic farm
After tasting the mouth watering Chiang Mai classic dishes, how about learning how to actually cook them like a Thai?
Here is a unique Full day activity to discover traditional agriculture styles and essential plants & ingredients in order to get started with the basic of Thai cuisine before mastering its amazing balance of sour, sweet, bitter and salty.
This Thai cooking class includes an authentic Market tour and a web photo album.
The cherry on top: The activity is dispensed in English, French & Chinese.
Duration: 7 hours.
5. One day ethical elephant sanctuary (CRUELTY-FREE & NO-RIDING)
A trip in Chiang Mai wouldn’t be complete without interacting with an elephant.
However, finding an ethical place that cares about and protects its animals in Thailand is no easy task, that’s why we recommend you this truly unique experience with rescued elephants. During this Full day activity, you will have time to hang out with the elephants by bathing them in a pong, participating to the preparation of their food and the making of their herbal vitamin balls. This unique experience is undoubtedly also the best chance for you to know more about their education and how to act with them (do’s and don’ts).
The cherry on top: Children < 9 years old receive a 50% discount.
Duration: 7 hours.
Discover the activity here.
6. Private helicopter tour around Chiang Mai:
Finally for memories that will last a lifetime, Hop aboard a private helicopter and take in stunning aerial views. This 30 minutes ride will take you soaring above some of the most spectacular sights of Chiang Mai.
During this scenic flight, you will see the defensive structures from the sky, ancient palaces and temples dating back to the Lanna period and cruise along Mae Ping River. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that only very few get to enjoy!
The cherry on top: The price of 1 booking for a group up to 6 person.
Duration: 30 minutes.