Yi Peng Lantern Festival - 10 days

FROM USD $2,249

Join us at the spirited and always lively Yi Peng festival of Chiang Mai to witness the timed release of thousands of beautifully coloured, candle lit Lanna-style lanterns into the sky and local river. Kicking off in Bangkok, we see the famed Emerald Buddha before visiting the River Kwai, Sukhothai, Chiang Rai and watching elephant’s bathe along the way.

Day 1: Bangkok
Saturday. 01 Nov 2014. Welcome to Bangkok, the ever-alluring capital of Thailand. Arrival transfer to our hotel where our Welcome Meeting takes place later in the evening. Overnight - Bangkok
Day 2: Bangkok City Tour
This morning we visit the spiritual and religious heart of the city - the striking Grand Palace. Topped by golden stupas, the complex has been the site of royal coronations and is home to the legendary Emerald Buddha. We’ll also visit the House of the Reclining Buddha, the Original Thai Massage School and the 24hr Flower Market before boarding longtail boats to explore the city’s canals. Known as khlongs, the canals enable surface water to make its way to the sea and have long been a way of getting around Bangkok. On our journey we’ll glide by curious stilted houses and gleaming temples whilst old men fish and children folic about on the waters edge.

Our boats drop us off within walking distance of Khao San Road, popular with backpackers and hippies. Late afternoon offers free time for you to enjoy the many bars, restaurants, street performers, market stalls and tailors - that will measure you up for a new suit, that line this vibrant road. Overnight - Bangkok (B)
Yi Peng Lantern Festival - 10 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
See the Bridge over the River Kwai on a Thailand tour.
Day 3: River Kwai
Bangkok - Kanchanaburi. It’s an early start today as we drive 2.5hrs west of the capital to the small town of Kanchanaburi. Here we pay our respects to the thousands of Allied POWs who perished in the area under the hand of the Imperial Japanese Army. After pausing at the Allied War Cemetery we continue to the infamous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’, immortalised by the film of the same name. You have a chance to take pictures before you board a train for a 2 hour journey that crosses the bridge before following the tracks dug by the POWs and locals some 75 years earlier.

Disembarking at Nam Tok we have a short drive to ‘Hellfire Pass’ where the POWs dug through a mountain often using only their bare hands. A fascinating museum at the entrance details the region’s history.

After our day’s sightseeing a leisurely longtail boat ride leads us to our fabulous floating jungle raft hotel. To the beauty of a hundred softly glowing lanterns and the sounds of the tropical forest and cool water flowing by we enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening on the deck. Overnight - Kanchanaburi Floating Hotel (B, D)
Day 4: Sukhothai
Kanchanaburi - Sukhothai. Leaving Kanchanaburi we follow Thailand’s lifeline - the Chao Phraya River, where we pass the confluence where four lesser rivers form the ‘Mother River’. After stopping for lunch we continue to Sukhothai, the country’s first capital city dating back eight centuries. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax by the hotel pool at or treat yourself to a famous Thai massage. Overnight - Sukhothai (B)
Buddhist sculptures swathed in orange robes in Thailand
Day 5: Temples of Lampang
Sukhothai - Lampang. This morning we explore the UNESCO-listed Sukhothai Historical Park with monuments dating back to the 13th century that illustrate the beginnings of Thai architecture. The entire complex contains 193 ruins spread over 70 sq km of land with a city wall forming a neat rectangle.

We next proceed to the city of Lampang, a sedate urban centre with elegant mansions and impressive Lanna-era temples. Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is one of the city’s finest examples of Lanna temple and after our visit we take a horse drawn cart around the old town passing the old market. For a glimpse into the opulent life of historic wealthy landlords we visit the Baan Sao Nak, a teakwood house and museum. Overnight - Lampang (B)
Visit an Elephant Conservation Centre on a Thailand tour.
Day 6: Yi Peng Festival!
Lampang - Chiang Mai. After breakfast we head to the nearby Thai Elephant Conservation Centre. Founded in 1933 the centre is home to over 50 Asian elephants in a beautiful forest and visitors can watch the daily bathing session before enjoying a ride through the forest on one of these magnificent creatures. Bidding our new animal friends goodbye we continue north-west to the provincial capital of Chiang Mai, arriving on the eve of Loi Krathong and Yi Peng.

Yi Peng & Loi Krathong Festivals Celebrated throughout the Kingdom on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, the Loi Krathong festival is named after the floating lanterns, boats and ornaments that are set adrift onto rivers during the celebrations. For some, floating a Krathong, especially when lit, are meant to honour Buddha. For most Thais, it’s a way to thank the Hindu Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha, for her help in providing the most basic of all human necessities. The practice is also associated with creating good luck and ridding oneself of anger and negative thoughts. Some will cut their fingernails and hair and add them to the Krathong, to symbolise the letting go of the bad elements of one's self.

In Chiang Mai, the ancient capital of the former Lanna Kingdom, Loi Krathong coincides with the Lanna (northern Thai) festival known as ‘Yi Peng’ where a multitude of Lanna-style sky lanterns adorned with good luck wishes and prayer are released into the sky.

Tonight, as both Loi Krathong and Yi Peng are being celebrated at the same time, we will see lanterns floating on the waters, strings of pretty lights hanging from houses and temples, and hundreds of beautiful lanterns floating by in the sky. Setting out on foot with our guide, we'll aim to catch the lantern releases and join the other festivities which usually include fireworks, boat racing on the Ping River and parades through the streets. Overnight - Chiang Mai (B)
Go elephant riding in Chiang Mai
Day 7: Chiang Mai - your way
Today is free for you to enjoy at your leisure or enjoy more of the Yi Peng and Loi Krathong festivities. With our guide, we head to the market to stock up on all materials needed to make our own Krathongs, then learn how to make them ready to be sailed this evening. There will also be a host of other festival activities that we can enjoy during the day. Not to mention activities unrelated to the festival such as cookery courses and flying through the jungle canopy on zip lines! Overnight - Chiang Mai (B)
Day 8: Kok River
Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai. Our journey today takes us through stunning karst and jungle scenery. Stopping for lunch at Ta Thon we board private long tail boats for a cruise down the Kok River watching rural life pass us by. Farmers work the land where oranges grow whilst men fish along the banks and buffalo wallow in the shallow waters. From our arrival point continue to the unconventional Wat Rong Khun Buddhist temple depicting scenes from modern movies including the Matrix, Star Wars and Superman! Proceed to Chiang Rai where we wander the night market for last-minute souvenirs and tasty street food. Overnight - Chiang Rai (B)
Local village children in Thailand
Day 9: Local Hill Tribes
Chiang Rai - Bangkok. The city of Chiang Rai is a great base for visiting local hill tribes and this morning we visit a Karen village where we may encounter the famous Long Neck tribe, so known for the neck rings that the women wear to elongate their necks. Continuing to the border frontier town of Mae Sai, we may have the chance to cross briefly into Myanmar and enter the Burmese town of Tachilek (optional). At Chiang Saen we stand at a viewpoint that lets us see both Myanmar and Laos. We take time to visit the Opium Museum before returning to Chiang Mai to catch our flight back to Bangkok.

On arrival in the city we transfer to our hotel arriving late in the evening - not really a problem in ‘the city that never sleeps’! Overnight - Bangkok (B)
Day 10: Bangkok - your way
Monday. 10 Nov 2014. Today marks the end of your Thai adventure. After breakfast and hotel check out we will transfer you to the airport in time for your onward departure flight. Your most welcome to extend your stay in Bangkok. If choosing to book post tour accommodation with us a departure transfer to the airport will be offered at the completion of your post tour accommodation arrangements. (B)

Yi Peng Lantern Festival on other tours

Our Yi Peng Lantern Festival arrangements are also offered on our Thailand Temples & Tribes and Bangkok, Beach & Beyond tours departing 01 November 2014. Arrangements are noted in the Go Guide of each tour. A small festival supplement applies.
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Bangkok / Ends in: Bangkok
  • Departs: 01 November 2014
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:9, Lunch: 0, Dinner: 1
  • Hotel Rating: 4 star & Special Class
  • Tour Guide: Yes, escorted by a tour guide
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