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

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 (OR YEE PENG?) AND LOY KRATHONG

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

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!

A MYSTERIOUS HAIRCUT

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!

ANOTHER EMOTIONAL REUNION

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