One of the most picturesque festivals in Bangkok is the evening of Loy Krathong, when people gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing beautiful lotus shaped rafts, decorated with candles, incense and flowers onto the water. Every year, Loy Krathong falls on the night of the twelfth lunar month (usually in November), at the end of the rainy season when the full-moon lights up the sky. The sight of thousands of Krathong’s, their flickering candles sending a thousand pinpoints of light far into the horizon is a truly magical site, and there are plenty of places in Bangkok where you can get involved with the festivities.
We experience this in Bangkok. We were staying at the Chatrium apartments and thought we would be clever, so we caught the shuttle bus to Asiatique and asked the driver to drop us at the Chatrium River side, where we hoped to sneak onto the Terrace and watch all the Rafts float by.
The first mistake was the traffic. The usual 20 minute drive took an hour. When we got to The Chatrium we found the Terrace was shut off and unless you had booked very expensive tickets to eat on the Terrace there was no way through.
Disappointed but not disheartened we decided to walk to Asiatique which is about 20 minutes as long as you don’t stop for a drink and watch the action from there.
The walk was worth while as there were stalls all along the road selling beautiful hand made Krathong’s of all shapes and sizes. Some were made from coconuts but all seemed to have banana leaves woven around a central core with Marigolds as decoration and at least one candle. They were priced at about 40 -60 Baht each.
After about 5 minutes walking we noticed lots of local people were turning off the main road and going down an alley so we decided to follow and we were rewarded for our bravery. This turned out to be a Ferry Boat Pier at Wat Worachanyawas.
This was an amazing find. There was a live band playing, food stalls, a large covered market which was now closed but would have been buzzing by day and a reclining Buddah.
People were launching their rafts onto the Chao Phraya river using a long pole with a sort of paddle on the end.So, we bought two rafts , got them blessed, made our wish (mine was to stay in Bangkok for ever) and grabbing a spare pole, launched our little dreams into the dark swirling waters where the candle quickly went out. (Hope thats not an Omen).
This was a much better way to experience the festival than sat in a Posh Restaurant surrounded by tourists. We were the only Westerners on the Pier and people were obviously happy to see us there.
Invigorated, we came out and found what was becoming our regular road side restaurant and ordered food and some drinks. Sat on the side of the road eating Noodles, with a Full Moon over head and the sounds and smells of the street. i couldn’t have been happier.
I love Bangkok.
Is she already Married I wonder?