10/5/13

Khom Loy Festival

Floating Lanterns: Khom Loy Festival in Chiang Mai

There are hundreds of accounts and travelogues describing Thailand’s rich and diverse culture. In fact, Time Magazine depicted Thailand as the “the most visited city in the world by international tourists, according to the third annual Global Destination Cities Index.” While the list of Thailand’s wonders continue to grow as tourists arrive every day, the city of Chiang Mai has something more to offer than that of spicy Tom Yum Gum.

Khom Loy Festival

The annual festival in Northern Thailand, Khom Loi Festival (translated as ‘Floating Lantern’), is one of the main events in the country. According to Wishlantern, “Northern Thailand could well be said to be the world wide home of wish lanterns … In Thailand, like nowhere else, wish lanterns are widely used all year round for celebrations including breathtaking lantern festivals, and are a part of the fabric of Thai culture.”

More Than Just An Old Tradition

Khom loy is done traditionally to bring good luck, as many Thais deeply believe that letting lanterns fly away is a symbolic gesture of letting go of the worries and problems. As Skycandle described it, khom loy is a “tradition to offer the lanterns to Temples and monks, as givers believe they will receive enlightenment in return, as the flame of the lantern is said to symbolize wisdom. The lantern’s light shows them to the ‘right path’.”

Thais generally decorate their gardens, temples, and houses with handmade paper lanterns of different designs and forms. This widely practiced tradition in Northern Thailand became so popular that Thais integrated this yearly festival into the Loi Krathong festival.

08/16/12

Night Bazaar

Here is a map to help you find your way to Night Bazaar (double-click or right double-click on the map to zoom in or out). The old city of Chiang mai is a 1.6 x 1.6 kilometer square surrounded by a moat. The Night Bazaar is on Chang Klan road, between the old city and the river to the east.


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Near the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar area you will find many hotels and guesthouse ranging from 0 to 5 stars. It’s a good place to stay as you will enjoy shopping for souvenirs in the cooler evening hours. The area has also a choice of restaurants, food courts and bars providing entertainment for young and old.

The following photos give an impression of Chiang Mai's night bazaar:

The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

Fun shopping at Chiang Mai's night bazaar

Fun shopping at Chiang Mai’s night bazaar

Handicrafts for sale at the night bazaar in Chiang Mai

Handicrafts for sale at the night bazaar in Chiang Mai

Relax with a foot and hand massage at the nigh bazaar in Chiang Mai

Relax with a foot and hand massage at the nigh bazaar in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai night bazaar near the Irish bar and restaurant

Chiang Mai night bazaar near the Irish bar and restaurant

Artists draw your picture for a reasonable price at Chiang Mai's night bazaar

Artists draw your picture for a reasonable price at Chiang Mai’s night bazaar

A rotee is a tasty snack to enjoy while visiting the night bazaar

A rotee is a tasty snack to enjoy while visiting the night bazaar

A craftsman making silver handicrafts in Chiang Mai's night bazaar

A craftsman making silver handicrafts in Chiang Mai’s night bazaar

Fresh strawberry of fruit juices are prepared while you wait at the night bazaar of Chiang Mai

Fresh strawberry of fruit juices are prepared while you wait at the night bazaar of Chiang Mai

08/16/12

Warorot market

This map shows where to find Warorot market in Chiang Mai (double-click or right double-click on the map to zoom in or out). From the moat follow Tha Pae road until the river and just before the bridge turn left. You will first pass the flower market before reaching Warorot market after about 400 meters. Warorot market has a wide selection of almost everyting, especially fruits, vegetables and other food stuff, but also herbs, handicrafts, ceramics, wood carvings, household stuff, sunglasses, watches, textiles, silks, clothes, shoes, etc. It’s a relatively cheap place to shop, and for tourists it is a great place to walk around and take pictures.


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Warorot market is the main local market in Chiang Mai where many come daily to buy fresh food of good quality. It is one of the cheapest places to do your daily shopping.

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Used books

Chiang Mai has quite a number of shops selling second-hand books. This map shows a small street where you find a couple of used-book shops close together. It is a small street branching off Tha Pae road, just east of the moat. You will find a wide collection of books at a reasonable price. It’s a great place to fill your library with all the classic “must reads” or to find something you may want to read while waiting for your plane or bus. Most of these shops will also buy back the books you have already read.


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The used book shops in Chiang Mai are well stocked with a large collection of books; old and new. Just walk in and browse the shelves.

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Flower market

This map shows where to find Flower market in Chiang Mai (double-click or right double-click on the map to zoom in or out). From the moat follow Tha Pae road until the river and just before the bridge turn left. After about 300 meters you reach the Ton Lamyai Flower market, which has a wide selection of orchids, roses and other colorful flowers. Nearby is the Warorot market, where you can shop for vegetables, fruits and many other things.


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The flower market is also open in the evening and it’s just a couple of minutes away from the Night Bazaar.

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Ban Tawai

Here is a map to help you find your way to Ban Tawai or Baan Tawai Village (double-click or right double-click on the map to zoom in or out). Ban Tawai is a shopping area a few kilometers south of Chiang Mai. From Central Airport Shopping Centre take road 108 south for about 10.8 kilometer. Turn left and after about 2.8 kilometers you reach Baan Tawai. It’s a big shopping village so you will need at least a couple of hours to explore the various exhibits. If you decide to buy furniture or bigger pieces of antiques or statues you will find companies that can arrange packing and shipping to your home town.


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08/16/12

Umbrella Village, Bo Sang, San Kamphaeng

This map shows where to find Bo Sang, which is a village in San Kamphaeng a couple of kilometers east of Chiang Mai (double-click or right double-click on the map to zoom in or out). From the moat follow Tha Pae road until the river. Cross the bridge and continue east on Charoen meang road. After about 8.5 kilometer you will reach the Bo Sang village in San Kampaeng. This “umbrella village” is known for its hand-made brightly colored umbrellas and parasols. Many of these are hand painted with beautiful flowers or decorations.


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08/16/12

Street Market or Walking Street in the Old City

Here is a map to help you find your way to the Street Market which is held every Sunday in the Old City of Chiang Mai (double-click or right double-click on the map to zoom in or out). The old city of Chiang mai is a 1.6 x 1.6 kilometer square surrounded by a moat. The Street Market is on Rachadamnoen road and some side roads. At the west end of Rachadamnoen road is the Wat Phra Singh temple.


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When visiting Chiang Mai you should reserve the Sunday evening for a visit to “walking street”. This street market in Rachadamnoen road will keep you occupied all evening. Don’t miss it.

08/16/12

Saturday Street Market Wua Lai Road

Here is a map to help you find your way to a Street Market which is held every Saturday in Wua Lai road, just south of the Old City of Chiang Mai (double-click or right double-click on the map to zoom in or out). The old city of Chiang mai is a 1.6 x 1.6 kilometer square surrounded by a moat. At Wua Lai Road you will also find several shops selling silverware handicrafts, which make beautiful souvenirs. Also near Wua Lai road is the Wat Sri Suphan temple.


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When visiting Chiang Mai on a Saturday evening, don’t forget to pay a visit to Wua Lai road street market.