Loy Krathong Festival in Bangkok 2019:15 Best Places to Go
Loy Krathong is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful festivals you can experience in Bangkok, Thailand. Known as the Thai Festival of Lights, this celebration is a huge family event as well as a very important day in Thai culture.
Loy Krathong has frequently been often mistaken with the Yee Peng Sky Lantern festival because they coincide to take place at Chiang Mai every year. Many festivals-goers go to Chiang Mai for the Yee Peng festival every year. Secure a ticket for the massive sky lantern release show now.
Mostly Thai people and Indian Thais participate in this event, but all others including travelers are also welcome to join in on the celebrations. Loy Krathong's atmosphere has a habit of captivating those visiting the city when the festival is in full swing.
To help you to learn more about this fantastic festival, we have put together a detailed guide covering Loy Krathong in Bangkok. Here we will give you insights into this amazing holiday including the cultural background and the best places to go in Bangkok during the celebrations.
What is the Loy Krathong Festival?
Loy Krathong, also called the floating lantern festival, is a traditional Siamese festival that celebrates the goddess of water. In Thai, the word Loy means ‘float’ and Krathong means ‘container’. To celebrate the Goddess of Water, Thai people engage in a traditional ritual where they release candlelit floating Krathongs on rivers, lakes, and canals.
Loy Krathong is always celebrated during the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar. The full moon is one of the reasons that the festival is so beautiful because it brightens the night sky and reflects off of the rivers and lakes where people gather to celebrate.
This ritual of floating Krathongs always occurs at nighttime on the date of the festival.
If you are planning to visit Bangkok for this special event, then make sure to check the exact date it will be celebrated because it changes each year.
What is a Krathong?
A Krathong is a small and beautiful lotus-shaped raft traditionally made out of banana leaves and decorated with candles and colorful flowers.
Krathongs have an open area in the center where festival-goers can place some items for good luck and some to let go of bad luck as the lantern floats away on its journey down the river, canal, or lake it is placed on. The ritual of Loy Krathong is also a way to let go of all hatred and anger.
It is important to note that there are four main components to a Krathong. All four are symbols of Buddhism.
- Candles represent wisdom and knowledge
- Joss sticks represent sympathy and purity
- Colorful flowers represent the worship of Buddhist monks
- An item of worship is placed on the Krathong to honor ancestors who have passed
Where to Go for the Loy Krathong Festival in Bangkok
Loy Krathong is celebrated across Bangkok in various locations such as parks, riverside embankments, temples, and in tourist areas.
Below are some of our suggestions for the best places to visit in the city to celebrate this traditional Thai event.
During Loy Krathong in each location, you can expect it to be reasonably crowded with an upbeat atmosphere full of laughter and that famous Thai smile. This is one of the most important holidays of the year in Thailand and virtually the entire city will be out celebrating with their families.
1.Loy Krathong at Asiatique in Bangkok
Asiatique is a new shopping arcade/boutique market on the Chao Phraya River. It is very close to Sapan Taksin BTS station and not far from Silom. If you are traveling as a couple or as a family, Asiatique is a great place to go for entertainment.
Asiatique is also a great place to go to experience Loy Krathong if you are a traveler. As you make your way through the market, there will be many mini-performances and historical shows from the Thai Siamese-era to see.
You can also find a plethora of restaurants, bars, and entertainment including lots of fun activities for kids such as a carousel, kids cartoon cinema, and mini go-karts.
To celebrate the festival there will be plenty of shops and stalls selling various styles of Krathongs in Asiatique. A good way to join in the celebrations is to buy one then head to the river to release it.
Enjoy this special moment as you take in the view of the full moon above the river when it is covered in candle-lit Krathongs. At Asiatique, you will also be able to see fireworks from the nearby hotels lighting up the river in celebration.
Getting there: Go to Sapan Taksin BTS and get a taxi the rest of the way or walk to Central Pier underneath the BTS station where you can catch a free riverboat to Asiatique.
2.Loy Krathong Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River
Getting a ticket on one of the many dinner cruise boats that run up and down the Chao Phraya River for Loy Krathong can be both difficult and expensive, but well worth it. Loy Krathong is a very popular time of year for dinner cruises and many of the boats will put on a special show for the festival.
While on the dinner cruise, guests can wine and dine while watching the river as it is light by fireworks, floating lanterns, and the moon.
Certain cruises specifically say that they will be celebrating Loy Krathong which means that the boat will make a special stop. During this stop, you will be able to release your Krathong on the river. If you do not have a Krathong, don’t worry. Most dinner cruise boats will also have their own spectacular large-sized Krathong that you can participate in decorating.
Because of the popularity of dinner cruises during Loy Krathong, make sure to book your tickets well in advance.
Getting there: Make sure you research the various dinner cruises available and choose the one that suits your needs. If possible, ask for a hotel pick up and drop off so that you are chauffeured to and from the pier.
3.Loy Krathong at the Tha Maharaj Mall
It may not seem like the right time of the year to visit a shopping mall, but the Tha Maharaj Mall next to the Chao Phraya River is one of the few shopping centers that is well-known for putting on a great show during Loy Krathong.
Here, guests will have access to plenty of food, desserts, coffee, refreshments, and alcoholic beverages. The mall consists of seven buildings outside of which is an open-air community garden and walkways that lead down to the riverside promenade making it a great location for Loy Krathong.
During Loy Krathong, the shopping center is decorated with traditional yellow, white, red, and blue ribbons. It is also full of festive lights and in the open-air garden, you can participate in games or watch people performing Siamese-era dances while dressed up in traditional Thai costumes.
There will be various styles of Krathongs available for purchase here and plenty of people floating their Krathong on the river from the riverside promenade.
Getting there: To reach the Tha Maharaj Mall, you need to take a riverboat to Wang Lang Pier (N10). From there take the river crossing boat to Wat Mahathat Pier and the shopping center. Another option is to go to Tha Chang Pier (N9) and then reach the Tha Maharaj Mall on foot.
Where Else Can I Release a Floating Krathong in Bangkok?
Aside from Asiatique and the Tha Maharaj Mall, there are plenty of other places you can release your Krathong in Bangkok. As this holiday is widely celebrated, if you visit any part of the city with large lakes, canals, or rivers you will likely see crowds of locals and travelers alike releasing their floating lanterns.
Some other great places to release a Krathong are located close to Asiatique so you could effectively plan to visit multiple locations in a single night.
4 Best Parks to Release Your Krathong in Bangkok
There are four main parks in Bangkok where travelers can join in the celebration of Loy Krathong. At each, you will find plenty of food, a large variety of Krathongs for sale, and a large lake on which to release them.
- Lumpini Park – Silom (Limpini MRT/Subway)
- Benjasiri Park – Sukhumvit (Asoke BTS/Sky Train)
- Benjakit Park – Sukhumvit (Asoke BTS/Sky Train)
- King Rama 9 Park – Sukhumvit (Taxi from Bang Na BTS)
6 Best Riverside Areas to Release Your Krathong in Bangkok
- Chatrium Hotel – Near Sapan Taksin riverside
- Asiatique - Near Sapan Taksin riverside
- Anantara Riverside – Silom area/riverside
- Mandarin Oriental – Silom area/riverside
- Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel – area/riverside
- Shangri La Hotel – area/riverside
2 Best Riverside Temples to Visit for Loy Krathong
1.Wat Saket (Near Khao San Road)
If you want to celebrate Loy Krathong as well as check one of Bangkok’s most beautiful temples off your list, then Wat Saket is a perfect choice.
This temple is chosen for Loy Krathong celebrations because it is large enough to hold week-long festival events and is also a traditional pilgrimage site for Loy Krathong.
Wat Saket is often called ‘Phu Khao Thong’ by Thai people. You may also see it called the ‘Golden Mount’ in travel guides because of the temple’s location on a man-made hill with a huge gold pagoda at the top.
To get to the top of Wat Saket, you need to climb up 300 steps. This is a fun journey and a good way to experience this very important part of Loy Krathong and Buddhist culture. All of your hard work will be worth it once you get to the top and see the incredible view.
Here, visitors can enjoy traditional Thai dancing and music performances surrounding the temple and play games with locals to try and win a prize. Travelers can also take a temple tour, make donations to the monks, and take part in traditional Buddhist rituals.
Getting there: The best way to get to Wat Saket is by taxi as there is not much public transportation available in this area.
2. Wat Pariwat (Rama 3)
This temple is not well-known by most travelers and is perfect for those who want an off the beaten track experience of Loy Krathong.
During Loy Krathong, Wat Pariwat has a temple party with games and a festival market selling anything from clothes to gadgets, and of course Krathongs. The atmosphere at this temple is very friendly and the Thai people love to see foreigners visiting their local temple and are likely to be extremely welcoming.
As the temple is located on the banks of the river, Wat Pariwat is a great place to release your Krathong with plenty of help from the locals who will show you exactly what to do.
One downside of spending Loy Krathong here is that most people will not have a high level of English. In fact, almost no one will speak English, but this just adds to the fun and authenticity of the experience.
Getting there: You can get to Wat Pariwat by BRT from Chong Nonsi BTS. The BRT is a yellow air-conditioned and modern rapid transport bus that travels in its own lane. It is easy to find Wat Pariwat on the list of stops when on the bus, so you can’t miss your stop.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi to Wat Pariwat Rama 3.
9 Fun Facts About Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand
- The date of the festival changes from year to year
- Loy Krathong also celebrates the end of the rainy season
- The date of the festival is during the 12th full moon of the Thai lunar calendar
- There are four parts to a Krathong and each of them has a symbolic meaning in Buddhism
- To cleanse oneself of bad luck, you can place items into the Krathong that represent what you would like to get rid of
- Coins or baht notes can be placed in the Krathong to honor ancestors or to bring prosperity
- Part of the ritual is to make a wish when the Krathongs are released
- Loy Krathong is very similar to the Yi Peng festival in northern Thailand
- You cannot drink alcohol in any Buddhist temple
Book Loy Krathong and Yi Peng Festival Tickets with Asia Highlights
If you would like to visit Bangkok and experience the Loy Krathong Festival, then please feel free to contact us at Asia Highlights. From the moment you arrive, we will have everything prepared for you including your transport to your hotel and your hotel bookings.
We can also arrange all your tours and trips to visit all the best temples and riverside locations to make your Loy Krathong experience the best it can be.
While you are in Thailand, we also recommend checking out the Chiang Mai Yi Peng festival at the Cowboy Army Riding Club on the 11th and 12th of November. Asia Highlights can take you to see all the incredible sites of Bangkok and then fly you to Chiang Mai where all your transportation from the airport to your hotel and from your hotel to the Yi Peng festival will be arranged.
The best way to see both the Loy Krathong and the Yi Peng festivals in 2019 is to stay in Bangkok on the 10th or 11th of November for Loy Krathong. Then fly to Chiang Mai on the 12th for the Yi Peng festival at the Cowboy Army Riding Club. Then spend the 13th in Chiang Mai to experience Yi Peng in Chiang Mai’s old town area.
You might also like to check our 8 Day Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Sukhothai Lantern Festival Tour. To learn more about Yi Peng and the Light Festival check out our Asia Highlight guide to Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival here.
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