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How to Best Experience Yi Peng Lantern Festival 2023 in Chiang Mai, Thailand

How to Best Experience Yi Peng Lantern Festival 2023 in Chiang Mai, Thailand

By CindyUpdated Sep. 27, 2023

Have you seen pictures or videos of thousands of lanterns floating up into the night sky? That is Thailand's famous lantern festival, called Yi Peng or Yee Peng, celebrated annually in Chiang Mai. Attending the festival is on many people's bucket lists. If you want to enjoy the magical experience to the utmost, this article will help you.

When is Yi Peng Festival 2023?

Yi Peng Lantern Festival takes place annually on full moon evenings in month 2 of the Lanna lunar calendar, and the Gregorian calendar date changes from year to year. It usually falls in November.

In 2023, it will be celebrated on November 27th and 28th.

The mass sky lantern release event organized by Chiang Mai Arts and Design (CAD for short), named Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lantern Festival, is one of the largest and most visually stunning events in Chiang Mai and is worth a visit once in a lifetime.

Would you like to participate in this grand event? Book a ticket right now.

Tickets for Chiang Mai CAD Yi Peng Lantern Festival 2023

Limited tickets are available – reserve your spot today!

Since 2019, we've proudly held the position of Premium Partner with Chiang Mai CAD, and in 2023, we're thrilled to be the EXCLUSIVE SUPPLIER of premium tickets.

With our exceptional tickets, you'll enjoy unparalleled festival access and exclusive perks, ensuring an unforgettable experience. Join the 10,000+ clients from around the world who have trusted us to make their festival dreams come true.

Notably, Chiang Mai CAD does not have an official website, and all ticket sellers are agents, with us proudly being the largest among them.

Asia Higlights team at Chiang Mai CAD

Here are the prices for the three kinds of tickets:

  • Premium ticket + transfer + dinner: US$ 199 (ONLY with Asia Highlights)
  • VIP ticket + transfer + dinner: US$ 179
  • Standard ticket + transfer + dinner: US$ 139

Premium tickets are most recommended, as you will get closest to the stage and the chanting monks, receive priority shuttle transport with a business van and have a buffet dinner all-you-can-eat pass for a special food zone.

Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival 2023 Ticket Booking

Transfer and dinner are included in the ticket prices. Click to see more on the celebration timeline and questions you might have about experiencing Yi Peng Festival.

Chiang Mai CAD Yi Peng Festival 2023 - Secure Your Exclusive Tickets Before They're Gone!

Select Date

Select Ticket Type

Premium ticket booking for the 27th is closed. However, we've reserved tickets for those booking our Lantern Festival Tour. We highly recommend our Lantern Festival Tour to secure a premium ticket for November 27th.

Select Quantity

Adults and older children (8+ years old)

Children under 8 years old enter free; 8-year-olds and above are charged the same as adults. You can buy a ticket for your child under 8 if you would like her or him to enjoy the same provision.

Total price: $122

Please provide correct personal information for your ticket booking. Double check.

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What's the Difference Between Yi Peng and Loy Krathong?

When you research Yi Peng, you may read about another Thai lantern festival called Loy Krathong or Loi Krathong, and you may feel confused about the difference between the two.

Although the two festivals occur almost simultaneously, the main difference is that they involve the release of different lanterns.

Yi Peng is a Lanna (Northern Thai) tradition celebrated only in Northern Thailand, with the biggest events being held in Chiang Mai. It involves the release of sky lanterns to send away bad luck and usher in good fortune.

yi peng festival Yi Peng Festival

Loy Krathong, on the other hand, is celebrated throughout Thailand, including the north. It features water lanterns offered to the river gods for a bountiful harvest and an apology for water pollution.

Loy Krathong Festival Loy Krathong Festival

One thing to note is that they're celebrated at around the same time but not exactly. In 2023, Yi Peng will be celebrated on November 27th-28th, while Loy Krathong will be celebrated on November 28th. If you plan your itinerary well, you can experience both festivals. Chiang Mai is the best place to experience the two festivals.

How Are Yi Peng and Loy Krathong Celebrated in Chiang Mai?

There are a ton of activities every day and night in Chiang Mai starting several days before Yi Peng. Activities in Chiang Mai city include street parades, religious services, cultural displays, and fireworks.

For Loy Krathong, the main event is releasing your floral lantern (krathong) onto the river. You can simply go to the popular Ping River in the evening and release your krathong. No tickets are required.

yi peng festival
yi peng festival

For Yi Peng, the main event is the lantern release. Chiang Mai CAD (Culture, Arts, and Design) and Yi Peng Lanna International at Mae Jo are two famous mass lantern release events in Chiang Mai.

Since 2020, it has been forbidden to release sky lanterns in the downtown area. If you want to see the sight of a sky completely full of flaming wish lanterns, you need to book a ticket for a lantern release event.

yi peng festival

What to Expect for Chiang Mai CAD's Yi Peng Lantern Festival in 2023?

1. Enjoy Spectacular Cultural Shows and Performances

Before the lantern release, you can get an immersive cultural experience at the Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lantern Festival. This includes various cultural shows such as the fire show, traditional northern Thailand dance, and a Thai orchestra.

There are also mini-shows by local hill tribes around Chiang Mai, such as the Hmong, Karen, and Akha peoples.

yi peng festival

2. Taste Cuisines from around Thailand

While exploring the culture of the northern Lanna people, get a taste of delicacies from all over Thailand. You will also find a wide variety of local fruits, snacks, and drinks.

Furthermore, most of the menus are cooked on spot! Enjoy the cooking demonstration and try the freshly cooked food with no limits.

yi peng festival

3. Experience a Once-in-a-Lifetime Mass Lantern Release

In your ticket package, 2 sky lanterns and 1 krathong each are included. The highlight of the event comes from the beginning of the countdown to when the sky lanterns slowly lift into the sky. Make your wishes and release your lanterns into the sky together with all the guests creating a most magnificent moment in the festive night.

Before or after the sky lantern release, you can float your krathong at Loy Krathong Floating Zone. It is also enchanting to see thousands of water lanterns floating downstream.

yi peng festival

Schedule for Yi Peng Mass Lantern Release 2023

04:00 pm- 04:30 pm: Pick up at Maya Shopping Center and transfer to the CAD Cultural Center Lanna Ethnicity, On Klang Subdistrict, Mae On District.

04:30 pm - 06:30 pm: Arrive at the Venue, present your e-ticket to register your ticket at the main entrance. Take part in captivating activities, including the traditional Loi Kratong ceremony.

06:30 pm - 07:30 pm: Enjoy authentic Thai Lanna Buffet Dinner, snacks, desserts, non-alcohol beverages. (Veggies food available)

07:30 pm: Enter the ritual area in from of the great pagoda. Witness an awe-inspiring display of drumming, candlelight shows, religious ceremonies, and monks chanting.

08:15 pm: Launch lanterns and enjoy the breathtaking spectacle.

08:45 pm: End of the celebration, transfer back to Maya Shopping Center.

This schedule is for reference only, and it is subject to the venue arrangement of the festival day.

How Many Days to Spend in Chiang Mai?

2 full days (Nov. 27th and Nov. 28th in 2023) in Chiang Mai is a must for experiencing both Yi Peng and Loy Krathong.

Even though mass lantern releases will take place on November 27th and 28th, we recommend doing the mass lantern release on November 27th. Then you can attend the folk activities, which are only held on November 28th (the day of Loy Krathong), such as the parade in the city center near Tha Phae Gate, the candle ceremony at Wat Pan Tao, and the release of krathong ('floating lantern') on the Ping River.

Chiang Mai is a city full of various unique experiences. You may want to spend more days there to do these activities:

  • Visit an elephant sanctuary in the jungle to have a close encounter with elephants
  • Take an evening tour of Doi Suthep mountain and visit the sacred Wat Phra That temple
  • Have a Street Food Tour, exploring Chiang Mai's colorful night markets
  • Have an extended trip out to the remote Thai border area of Chiang Rai, etc.

We have especially designed several tours including Yi Peng Festival. Our tours include tickets for the Chiang Mai Sky Lantern Festival, unique Thai cultural experiences, and the best sights of Thailand from the northern hill tribes to sunny southern beaches. Check the following exclusive mini-group or private tours, or more Chiang Mai tours for inspiration.

Enjoy both Yi Peng and Loy Krathong Festival celebrations as well as plenty of beach relaxation and culture exploration in 10 days:
Make Thailand’s Lantern Festival part of a unique proposal, honeymoon, or anniversary celebration
Take advantage of the most competitive tour with an awesome sky-lantern-release experience and Chiang Mai highlights

Yi Peng Festival Travel Tips

1. Plan early.

The Yi Peng Festival is so famous that it's best to get ready for it as early as possible. Book your tickets and hotel accommodations months in advance. Tourism doubles during the time of the festival.

Tickets for Yi Peng Festival 2023 are on sale now. You can reserve tickets for 2023 now with us and get early-bird prices.

2. Follow the dress code for the event.

No shorts, sleeveless tops, or miniskirts are allowed. We recommend you get dressed up in Lanna style with a longyi as bottoms and top that covers your shoulders.

3. Bring your camera and phone for pictures.

It's a challenge to get good photos in bad light and with a lot of people. If you want to have dramatic pictures, you can book a professional photography service in advance.

4. There's no alcohol at the event.

Alcohol drinking or selling is not allowed at the celebration.

5. Ask for help to release your lanterns.

A traditional Lanna lantern is big in size, and it usually takes two people to launch. You will find some volunteers at the venue who will be happy to help you out.

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