And by coincidence, the dates I've chosen to travel falls during the Loy Krathong festival.
I've read and seen so much about this festival and finally going to experience it. I did some research and found that there were quite a number of activities going on throughout the three days from 16 to 18 November.
And I'm not going to miss the floats procession.
Initially, I thought the procession is going to be the same for the three days. So I just need to watch it once and do something else for the rest of the two nights. But my Thai friend living in Chiang Mai told me that every day is different. So I planned to watch all 3 nights of the procession.
When I reached the site, it was bustling with activities.
There was a stage with performance. A small night market was just on the right side of the stage extending all the way to the back. The procession route was on the other side of the stage.
People were sitting around on the dividers and along the street. There were no barriers on both sides of the road where the procession will pass by.
The procession started and people were running to the front of the floats to take photos when they stopped. They were taking photos WITH the performers when they stopped. No one is stopping them from doing it.
There were street stalls lining the route. People were performing traditional music and cooking traditional food in the temple grounds. The monks were helping people to release lanterns into the sky in the compound. There were even food stalls in the temple.
While the procession is on, there were lots of people walking along side of the procession towards the Ping river. They were holding beautifully decorated floats to be released into the river. It was as if these people were part of the procession as well.
Closer to the river, thousands of people were sending lanterns off to the sky. The whole bridge and streets were filled with lanterns. Now, there's a skill to ensuring the lantern floats to the sky. You have to ensure there's enough hot air in the lantern before releasing it and make sure there's no wire to entangle the lantern on its way up.
People were posing with the lanterns before setting them off. Some of them wrote their wishes on the lanterns and some said a little prayer before releasing them.
When one lantern goes up successfully, you can see the happiness and excitement on their faces. When a lantern got caught in the wire, everyone started dispersing as it looked dangerous. Some lanterns dropped into the river and you can hear people going "Oh."
The whole sky is filled with lanterns whichever direction you look. It's magical and it's something you have to see for yourself. It's such an emotional event.
And down by the riverside, people were releasing their float into the river.
Everything is so impromptu and everyone is involved in some kind of activities. You can watch the procession. You can walk with the procession. You can release lantern or float. You can eat anytime anywhere. You can watch them perform traditional activities in the temple. You can do some shopping along the way.
That's what makes Loy Krathong so beautiful.
Can you create such an experience for your customers?