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Loy Krathong, Thailand and Laos

Gosh… it’s November already. And each November, on the full moon, Thailand and Laos are illuminated under a night sky as thousands of candlelit rafts or ‘krathongs’, are gently launched on Thai and Laotian waterways. It is a perfect time to visit not least as this colourful and picturesque festival really does captivate you, from the tranquillity of flickering candlelight on water to the warmth of the people.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Loy Krathong is a wonderful gentle festival, unlike Songkran (Thai New Year)when people go crazy and cause several hundred deaths each year.

    At Loy Krathong it’s quieter and more sedate. We went to the Hard Rock Hotel in Pattaya for an excellent Loy Krathong dinner. We sat outside overlooking their swimming pool. There was a lovely buffet of food, free-flow wine, and each table was given their own krathong – a small float made out of banana leaves, and flowers.

    After dinner we walked across the road to the beach, placed a few small coins on the float, and sent it on it’s way out to sea. This is said to float all your troubles away.

    If you participate in a busy place, like Pattaya, be prepared for the magic to be spoiled a little by guys in boats harvesting the krathongs for whatever coins they can find.

  2. I agree with kay. Loy Krathong is so wonderful. That is the perfect word. It is quite, not a “sshitshow” like Thai new years can be. And as usual, the Thai people make this amazing.

  3. Yes, these two Thai festivals are very different. But it’s easy to draw parallels between them and other Asian festivals. In India, for example, Holi is a riot of people throwing powdered dye over you – which isn’t very pleasant. And Diwali is a lovely festival of lights.

    Sorry, I forgot to say in my earlier comment that the krathongs have candles on them, which you light before you float them out to sea.

  4. Kay, your knowledge of Thailand impresses me. I see that you live there. I am very jealous! I have an extreme soft spot for thailand and thai people.

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