This year, Loy Krathong takes place on Wednesday, 25 November — the full moon of the twelfth lunar month. Commonly associated with the practice of launching lotus-shaped “boats” (krathong) in the city’s many waterways, Loy Krathong expresses reverence to the River Goddess Khongkha, acknowledging the life-bringing qualities of water. Here’s where to celebrate this lively, and very pretty, festival in Bangkok.
1. Nagaraphirom Park – This lovely park by the Chao Phraya River, near Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, is a great vantage point for the Loy Krathong festivities taking place on the river, including illuminated boat processions and firework displays. The park will also host various Tourism Authority-sponsored cultural acts, including Khon performances and a puppet show.
2. Asiatique – Another wonderful spot to watch the activities on the river, Asiatique will feature their own Loy Krathong ceremony and krathong-making workshop, various traditional craft demonstrations and other cultural displays.
3. River Festival 2015 – This popular cultural extravaganza, from 4pm to 10pm on 21 to 25 November, is packed with activities, such as night-time temple visits, an outdoor cinema, various performances, and a Loy Krathong celebration. Seven venues hosting the festivities include Wat Pho, Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), Wat Prayoon, Wat Kalayanamitr, Maharaj Pier, Yodpiman Riverwalk and Asiatique. Free shuttle boats are available. For more information, click here.
4. Wat Saket (Golden Mountain) — This traditional Thai temple fair offers rides, games, theatrical performances, food stalls (including the famed Jiraphan grilled chicken) and more. Beginning at dusk and running for a week, culminating with Loy Krathong on the last day, 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 is extremely crowded and may not be ideal for babies and younger children.)
5. Public Parks – The lakes of Lumpini Park, Benjakitti Park, Benjasiri Park and Chatuchak Park are good places to float krathongs. These parks are also easy outing choices for those with young children. Bring a picnic dinner or enjoy the ample selection of street food available, and soak up Loy Krathong’s colourful, fun-loving vibe. Alternately, from 6pm onwards on 25 November, Dusit Zoo will open its doors, free of charge, to Loy Krathong celebrants.