Experiencing Loi Krathong and Yi Peng in Chiang Mai for the first time was something to behold. While I am sure that pilots flying in and out of the Chiang Mai airport weren’t so keen on it, we sure enjoyed watching the progression of lanterns floating in the night sky in the days leading up the full moon. The night of Loi Krathong was a bit surreal. If I had to compare it to something in the United States, it was a bit like the 4th of July combined with the atmosphere of New Years Eve. We, along with thousands of other tourists and locals alike, spent the evening on the east side of the moat near Tha Phae Gate. If this area wasn’t the center piece to the whole event, I can’t imagine what was.
Considering how many floats and lanterns were let go, we were blown away at how quickly the streets and surrounding area were cleaned up the following day. What the area lacks in municipal services was sure made up for with a collective cleaning effort.