Associated with the practice of launching lotus-shaped “boats” (krathong) in the city’s many waterways, Loy Krathong is a festival that expresses reverence to the River Goddess Khongkha, acknowledging the life-bringing qualities of water.
This year, Loy Krathong falls on the full moon of Thursday, 22 November 2018. Here’s where to celebrate this colourful festival in Bangkok.
From 5pm to 10pm, from 21 to 24 November, this annual cultural event features night-time temple visits, a variety of performances, and a Loy Krathong celebration, with fireworks. The 9 venues hosting the festivities include Wat Pho, Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), Wat Prayoon, ICONSIAM, Lhong1919, Wat Kalayanamitr, Maharaj Pier, Yodpiman Riverwalk and Asiatique. Free shuttle boats are available. For more information, click here.
2. Public Parks and Spaces
Public parks, such as Lumpini Park, Benjakitti Park, Benjasiri Park and Chatuchak Park, are good venues to celebrate Loy Krathong with children. From around 6pm onwards, bring a picnic dinner (alcohol is not allowed though, sorry!), get dressed in Thai outfits, float your krathongs, and soak in the festive vibe. Srinakharinwirot University at the very end of Sukhumvit Soi 23 also hosts a celebration, with rides and activities for the kids. For a setting that’s more manageable with small children, head to Angoon Children’s Park in Thonglor, which has a little celebration on their grounds and around the pond.
3. Canal Boat Tour
Pandan Tours is again offering a special, family-friendly Loy Krathong Night Boat Tour on 22 November 2018, from 5pm to 9pm, starting at BTS Wutthakat Station on the Thonburi side of Bangkok. Cruise to a local canal-side temple to watch and join the celebrations, including trying local snacks and learning how to make and float a traditional krathong. The cost is 2,695 baht for 2 adults; kids aged 3 to 12, are charged 50% of this rate, while under 2s are free of charge.
For an more upscale celebration, many riverside hotels offer Loy Krathong dinner packages. In addition to elaborate buffet selections, you’ll have a good view of the festivities by the river, a private venue from which to float your krathongs, and some Thai music/entertainment and other activities. Some options include Anantara Riverside, Royal Orchid Sheraton, The Shangri-la, The Peninsula or Mandarin Oriental. Alternately, you can join a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River such as one offered by Loy Nava; kids ages 5 to 17 enjoy discounted rates and under 5s can come along free of charge.
5. Wat Saket (Golden Mountain)
Beginning at dusk and running for a week, culminating with Loy Krathong on the last day, this famed traditional Thai temple fair offers rides, games, theatrical performances, food stalls and more. The temple also attracts local pilgrims who will climb the 300-some steps to the top of the Golden Mountain to make offerings to Buddha images, ring bells for good luck and admire the views. (Note: The fair gets extremely crowded and may not be ideal for babies and young children.)