Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , November 23rd, 2018

Yi Peng lantern festival - Once Upon a Journey

If you have ever seen pictures of Yi Peng lantern festival in Chiang Mai, you are probably as enchanted as we were. Thousands of lanterns floating into the sky, all around you – just like that one scene in Tangled. Okay, admittingly, that’s how we found out about this festival in the first place. The idea of something so magical happening in real life was too good not to check out ourselves!

We dove deep into the web to find everything about this sensational event and unfortunately, instead of magic, we found a struggle. There is surprisingly little information on this increasingly popular event and the information that is out there is very vague… Our mission, aside from experiencing our Disney moment, became to collect the best information and tips for YOU to experience the magic!

A couple of days before the festival starts, we arrive in Chiang Mai. Surely locals can tell us more about the festival and where to go!


Yi Peng is also known as Yee Peng, the local name of the lantern festival in northern Thailand. Yee means two and Peng means full moon day, which relates to the night of the festival: during the second full moon of the Lanna calendar. Usually, this is in November. In 2018 it takes place from November 21*. This full moon is also the 12th full moon of the Thai lunar calendar, which means Loy Krathong is also happening: a 3-day festival celebrated throughout all of Thailand and surrounding countries.

The two festivals, Yi Peng and Loy Krathong, are celebrated simultaneously during the period of the full moon. Both are light festivals (see how this can be confusing?), but Loy Krathong means ‘to float a basket’ and is celebrated by lanterns on the water, whereas Yi Peng is all about sky lanterns.

By Roxanne & Maartje – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources


Magical Chiang Mai – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , May 12th, 2018

Chiang Mai - Once Upon a Journey

It’s a BIG day today! Ever since our departure, we have been looking forward to this moment: my dad and stepmom fly over to travel with us for two weeks in Thailand. Together we will experience the magical lantern festival Yi Peng! We are incredibly excited (and a bit anxious). We had arrived few days early in Chiang Mai, but saved the sightseeing for later. Before we go to the airport to pick up Frank and Hanneke, we move from our couchsurfing house to our new hostel. Yes, Frank and Hanneke wanted to experience the backpacker-life, how fun!


The big day starts with Maartje going for a haircut, all by herself. Normally we do everything together but I’m not allowed to join this time, how mysterious… I have no idea what’s going on but I decide to wait for the surprise! For lunch we meet up with Gretka and Nico, a couple we met in Malaysia! We inspired them to go to the lantern festival so here they are! We are really happy to see them again, they are so cute and Gretka is one of the happiest persons we have ever met. After lunch we get our bags, bring them to our hostel and travel to the airport. Of course we don’t want to be late!


We arrive on the airport and struggle to find the right arrival hall: the number of the plane changed. But luckily we find the right one and as soon as Frank and Hanneke walk down the stairs we spot each other. They are so happy to see us, we are afraid they walk out the doors without their luggage haha. It doesn’t take long before we can hug each other. It feels so good to see them in real life, instead of on a small screen!

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Globetrotter Girls – Temple Hopping in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: , March 11th, 2015

Dany at Globetrotter Girls - Thailand

When I left Chiang Mai earlier this week, all I could think was: This visit was far too short!

And short it sure was, just a whirlwind tour around the city in which I spent most of my time during my last Thailand stint, and for which I had big plans – they pretty much all involved food, eating my way through all my favorite eateries and check out new ones.

But instead, we spent most of our time temple hopping around the city (did you know that there are over 300 temples in Chiang Mai? And no two are alike!), shopping for gifts and souvenirs in the weekend markets, cycling around the city, watching lady boy cabarets, and we spent a whole day with the elephants at the Elephant Nature Park, which has been a highlight of my time in Thailand so far.

By Dany – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls | Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Off the Grid in Chiang Mai

Author: , August 16th, 2014

Chiang Mai, ThailandIf you’re hungry for variety in your travels, Thailand is your country. Visitors in search of big-city bustle, colorful produce and flower markets, and street food galore go to Bangkok. Partiers, backpackers, and sun worshippers head south to the islands. And outdoorsy types, and those simply in search of some fresh air and quiet, go north, to the mountainous region around the city of Chiang Mai.

Covered in both jungle and alpine forest — not a contradiction in terms — this area offers rice paddy-covered mountains, elephant sanctuaries, gilded temples (if you haven’t had your fill in Bangkok), and even opportunities to visit and stay with families via new community-based tourism efforts.

We recently spent some time in tourist-free Doi Inthanon National Park, which is about a two-hour drive southwest of Chiang Mai. Here’s a sampling of some things you can do and see in this area, all of which can be accomplished in a day trip with a rental car. Pay the 200 baht (about $6.25) entry fee; pack a sweater, comfortable shoes, and some rain gear; and you’re set for the day.

By Laura Motta – Full Story at Shermans Travel | Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Photo by Laura Motta

Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai

Author: , May 31st, 2014

Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai - Adam GroffmanHave you ever had a deja vu while traveling? A moment where you think, I’ve been here! It’s a strange moment — standing in a foreign country, thinking you’ve been here before. Of course, sometimes that’s because, in fact, you have been there before. That was my case when I showed up at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai last month.

I first visited Chiang Mai in 2011 on my one month trip through Thailand. I spent five full days in the city then and came away with a less-than-stellar impression. Despite its relative affordability (an appeal at the time), I just couldn’t find much to enjoy the city. Massages and street food were (and still are) cheaper than in Bangkok, but there’s only so much affordable luxury you can enjoy before you lose that special oomph.

However, of the handful of positive memories I left Chiang Mai with, the cultural standout was a visit to one of the many temples in the Old City. I went on a particularly hot afternoon and remember walking through the Buddhist temples at the time. But it was in the nearby garden where my fondest memories come from. To hide from the sun I sat down at a somewhat shady bench where I was soon joined by a young Buddhist monk.

Authored by Adam Groffman. See the Full Story at Travels of Adam here.

See Adam’s full blog here.

Click here for gay travel resources in Thailand.

In the Clouds in Chiang Mai

Author: , March 16th, 2013

Chiang Mai, Thailand - Robert SchraderWat Phrathat Doi Suthep, or simply “Doi Suthep,” is at once the most-ubiquitous and least-understood of Chiang Mai, Thailand’s tourist attractions: There is no “official” story of how the temple came to be.

The legend goes something like this. During the time of the Sukothai kingdom (14th century or so), a monk called Sumanathera had a vision, which moved him to travel to the north of Thailand in search of a holy relic which, according to the same legend, was Buddha’s shoulder bone.

After some deliberation over what to do with the bone – the Sukothai king apparently told the monk to “keep it” – the bone magically split into two pieces.

Authored By Robert Schrader – See the Full Story at Leave Your Daily Hell

Click here for gay travel resources in Thailand.


GoThaiBeFree.com LGBT Microsite by Tourism Thailand

Author: , May 17th, 2012

GoThaiBeFree.com LGBT Microsite by Tourism Thailand  | GoThaiBeFree.com  |  After many month of joint work and collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, local hotels, tour operators and restaurants, and several visits to Thailand, which will always stay close and dear to my heart, I am happy and proud to share and announce, that the first ever official and fully dedicated Asian destination LGBT Microsite by a Tourism Board, is up and online. This shows the interest, respect and commitment of Thailand as a destination, toward the international Gay Travelers, in a true Buddhist spirit. You will find many of my photos and collaborations on the site, like one above on the main banner, of me seating contemplating Phranang Beach from my villa at the Rayavadee Resort in Krabi. Mai Pen Rai Thailand it has been a pleasure to work with you all along this six month, and thank you for trusting CarlosMeliaBlog.com and myself for this project – www.gothaibefree.com check it out. !!! your best source of information when planning your travel experience to Thailand. CM

(*) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, linking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest.

Gay Travel: Visiting Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: , December 21st, 2011

Queer life is always in season in Chiang Mai—out gays, Buddhist monks, ladyboys, “toms” (lesbians whom take on a male appearance and wardrobe), straight teens, and grandmothers all mix peacefully. Today is no exception, as the eagerly awaited International Horticultural Exposition Ratchaphruek 2011 begins. Dubbed Royal Flora, this temporary theme park celebrates all things horticulture from today through March 14, 2012.

At the pre-opening preview, a gay boy and his Tom bff excitedly snapped photos next to the Exposition’s mascots (one is bespectacled and nerdy, while another, grass growing on his soil head, looks a bit cracked-out thanks to a wonky eye), and a couple of fashionistas with green-tinted hair hopped a little train that rides past fabulously landscaped gardens, pavilions, sculptures, and attractions presented by international countries and other Thai regions (several sections emulated home styles and iconography from elsewhere in the country).

Full Story from Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Thailand.

GPS Carlos Melia with one foot on the plane to Bangkok

Author: , October 22nd, 2011

GPS Carlos Melia with one foot on the plane to Bangkok
 |  Thailand  |  Just checked in at British Airways in Heathrow – London,  flight BA09 with final destination to Bangkok.  Only 11 hours away to a full month exploring Thailand and all its wonders. I will be covering and reviewing Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Krabi, Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi. Stay tuned for a full month of luxury, adventure, culture and tradition by carlosmeliablog.com.  Thank you everyone for the concern and comment regarding the floods in Thailand, I will know more about. Anyhow, I am beginning my trip to South East Asia, with this simple phrase which sums up life in Thailand and the attitude there in general – Mai Pen Rai –  which literally means “no worries” or “its nothing“. More tomorrow from Bangkok. CM

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Gay Travel Thailand: Chiang Mai

Author: , April 8th, 2011

Chiang Mai, ThailandA Wat is Buddhist temple or structure including working temples or ruins in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia. In Chiang Mai, Brendan and I visited many a Buddhist religious structure are beautiful and awe inspiring when you walk around cities or towns in the region. These buildings are decorated from wall to wall with ornate hand carved and gilded woodwork or stone chiseled statues.

You cannot help but stare at the numerous Buddhist icons, statues and images and help but feel just a bit of the peaceful nirvana that Buddhists are always yearning for. In Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh one of the main Wats of the city is located within the city walls, dates from 1345 and offers an example of classic northern Thai style architecture.

It houses the Phra Singh Buddha, a highly venerated figure brought here many years ago from closeby and equally beautiful Chiang Rai. Visitors can also take part in meditation classes here and monks conduct Monk Chats where you can sit with a monk and discuss and learn Buddhist teachings.

Full Story from the Boy Butter Blog

Click here for gay travel resources in Thailand.