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On The Go Tours / Thailand / Festival Tours / Yi Peng Lantern Festival 10 Days

Yi Peng Lantern Festival

10 days  |  Starts/Ends: Bangkok  |  from USD $2,269  |   Guaranteed Departure 

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, Erawan Falls, Chiang Rai and watching elephant’s bathe along the way.

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Day 1

Friday 20 November 2015. 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  |  Breakfast

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  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4

Kanchanaburi - Ayuthaya. This morning we travel on to the beautiful Erawan National Park, to explore the rivers, waterfalls and trails on foot. The park boasts a stunning tiered waterfall and there’s time to take a quick dip in the crystalline waters before we visit an elephant centre to enjoy a ride through the forest. Our final destination today is Ayuthaya, the former capital of Thailand.
Overnight: Ayuthaya  |  Breakfast

Day 5
Temples of Ayuthaya

Ayuthaya - Bangkok - Chiang Mai. Ayuthaya was sacked by the Burmese, leading them to abandon the site and relocate the capital to Bangkok. All that remains are the stone and brick temples from the era. Today we explore Ayuthaya’s famous ruins, visiting the magnificent stupas at Wat Phri Sanphet, the giant Bronze Statue of Buddha and iconic Wat Mahatat where the head of a damaged Buddha statue has slowly been embraced and lifted by a nearby tree. This is one of Thailand’s most religiously significant places.

Departing Ayuthaya we board a cruise ship on the mighty Chao Praya River, for a scenic cruise back to the Bangkok, enjoying lunch on board. On arrival there’s time to explore the nearby shops and bars before heading to Bangkok’s main train station to catch our overnight express sleeper train (2nd class A/C sleeper cabins) to Chiang Mai.
Overnight: Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6
Yi Peng Festival!

This morning we arrive into the picturesque city of Chiang Mai, nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand. This afternoon we take a trishaw ride and explore the old city of Chiang Mai before driving up to the majestic Doi Suthep, standing like a sentinel overlooking Chiang Mai. The tranquillity of monks chanting as the sun slowly heads to the horizon is a highlight for many. In the evening we head into the night market to explore many of the street foods on offer and perhaps try our hand at haggling. This evening we begin to enjoy the festivities 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

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  |  Breakfast

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  |  Breakfast

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  |  Breakfast

Day 10
Bangkok - your way

Sunday 29 Nov 2015. 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.

Yi Peng Lantern Festival on other tours

Our Yi Peng Lantern Festival arrangements are also offered on our Thailand Temples & Tribes, Thailand & Angkor Temples and Bangkok, Beach & Beyond tours departing 20 November 2015. Arrangements are noted in the Go Guide of each tour. A small festival supplement applies.

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Accommodation on Tour

For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.

Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.

Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.

Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.

Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.

Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!

Royal Benja Hotel, Bangkok
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The Royal Benja Hotel provides homely accommodation in the heart of Bangkok city with a large outdoor pool to enjoy after a long, hot day sightseeing. Benjamas Restaurant serves a wide selection of local and international cuisine whilst drinks and live music are offered at the Buddy Pub.

River Kwai Jungle Rafts, Kanchanaburi
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Mid Range Lodge

Classic Kameo , Ayuthaya
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Imperial Mae Ping, Chiang Mai
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

In the heart of Chiang Mai, the Imperial Mae Ping offers excellent modern accommodation. Guest rooms are bright and well furnished with the upper rooms affording fantastic views across the city. Complimentary wi-fi is available throughout and an outdoor pool for a refreshing dip and to relax by. The buffet breakfast offers a wide range of Thai, Chinese and Western dishes – you may have to go on a hunt for the eggs and bacon though – generally kept in the courtyard – just outside the dining room! Well located just a few minutes walk from the night market and all Chiang Mai has to offer.

Trip Highlights

Bangkok - Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Original Thai Massage School, Flower Market and Khao San Road
Sukhothai - UNESCO-listed Historical Park - filled with some of Thailand best ancient temples, monuments and statues
Thailand Elephant Conservation Centre
Cruising on the Kok River in a longtail boat
Chiang Rai - Karen (Longneck) tribe village, frontier town of Mae Sai, Chiang Saen in the ‘Golden Triangle’ & the Opium Museum
Yi Peng & Loi Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai. Watch on as thousands of colourful lanterns are released into the Ping River and into the night Sky
Kanchanaburi - Allied War Cemetary, Bridge on the River Kwai and ‘Hellfire Pass’
Ayuthaya - Former capital of Thailand, ancient ruins including iconic Wat Mahatat
Chiang Mai - night market and free time for optional activities from spa treatments to canopy ziplines
Wat Rhon Khung - the ‘White Temple’
Crossing the border into Burma to explore the small town of Tachileik (optional)


8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Economy class flight Chiang Mai - Bangkok
Escorted by an English-speaking Thai tour guide
Train ride over the River Kwai and visit to Hellfire Pass
River cruise from Ayuthaya to Bangkok
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
7 nights 3 - 4 star & Special Class hotels, 1 night floating hotel in the jungle, 1 night overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Airport arrival transfer day 1 & departure transfer day 10
Guided sightseeing - Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayuthaya, Lampang and Chiang Rai
 Longtail boat cruise on the canals of Bangkok and on the Kok River
 Excursion to the hill tribe villages around Chiang Rai
Maximum group size: 24

Not Included

International flights and visa.
Entrance Fees: $70 - $75 USD
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 6 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: $40 - $45 USD

Tour was fabulous and covered so much of the country The lantern festival was magical and a highlight of the tour.

The only piece that didn't feel like it belonged was the horse and buggy ride and the visit to the teak house.

We will be booking with On the Go again!

Leslie Barker


I truly enjoyed this tour. There was a good contrast in locations and our tour guide, Lee was very attentive.

I especially enjoyed getting the opportunity to ride an elephant and getting to attend the Yi Peng Festival was truly unforgettable.

The only issue we had was when our hotel room was broken into whilst in Sukhothai and our belongings, including our money, credit cards and passports was stolen. Obviously this was very upsetting and we were extremely worried on how this would affect the rest of our tour, or if we'd even be able to get home.

Fortunately our tour guide Lee was excellent and she managed to co-ordinate the police and the tour company to give us the best care possible. She even managed to get us some cash in hand compensation from the hotel, which was extremely useful to use as spending money, so that our holiday would not have to come to a stop. This was very lucky as we had no money and no way to get more. Potentially this could have ruined our holiday.

I have nothing but praise on how this was sorted by the tour company, especially Simon who not only arranged everything in order to get us passports and home without disrupting our holiday, but also fronted us the money needed personally and made sure we were accompanied the whole time in both embassy's.

They made it very easy, efficient and stress-free, and I couldn't thank them enough for all their help.

I would definitely recommend this tour and this tour company for anyone interested in exploring Thailand to its fullest, but without giving up the security a good tour company can provide.


Pom was amazing! He was very knowledgeable and if we asked a question that he didn't know the answer to, unlike other guides I've had in the past, he would find out the answer; he went above and beyond to try and incorporate our asks into the program (i.e. ensuring that we saw the floating "balloon" festival; and his laugh and fun disposition kept everyone in a good mood.

The trip itself was absolutely amazing, and working with Sarah made setting up everything a breeze. She was very friendly and very responsive and was always there to answer our questions. The only 2 hiccups that we experienced at all with the trip were 1) we were supposed to be assigned to go to the floating market on the extra day that we tacked on to the end, but there was a disconnect somewhere and by the time Pom investigated it, we could only go by private taxi which was quite a bit more than we budgeted for and 2) on the On The Go Tours site to promote this trip, the banner was a picture of the floating "balloons" (the lanterns that float up into the sky). We found out early on that it was actually not included and most the people on our bus, and a few that we talked to on other buses were a bit upset about that, so we were going to plan our own trip to see them. Fortunately the guides managed to pull it off, but there was a bit of concern because for several of us, that was the primary reason we picked that week to go to that location.

Overall though, it was an amazing adventure...I just wish I had more vacation time to have stayed on and added the extended tour to our trip. I will definitely refer to OnTheGo Tours again for upcoming adventures. Thank you to everyone involved in making it an amazing experience!


Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

Single Supp.
USD $2269
USD $499
Single Supp.
USD $2269
USD $499

Supplementary Prices

Single Supp.
Pre Tour Accommodation Bangkok
USD $79
USD $60
Pre Tour Accommodation Bangkok
USD $79
USD $60
Tour Details
20 Nov 2015
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star
Local Payment
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Breakfast: 8, Lunch: 1, Dinner: 1
Tour Bolt-ons
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons

Tour was fabulous and covered so much of the country The lantern festival was magical and a highlight of the tour.

The only piece that didn't feel like it belonged was the horse and buggy ride and the visit to the teak house.

We will be booking with On the Go again!

Leslie Barker

Donald Barker
Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.
Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.