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The Yi Peng or Yee Peng (local name) is part of the festival of lights in Northern Thailand to show respect to Buddha. This date usually coincides with Loi Krathong which is celebrated everywhere in Thailand releasing floating lights on water.  Yi Peng  is different in the way that lights are floating in the air and not on water.

It is something I was impatient to live, and it was not a hazard if I am in Chiang Mai at this date.

The hardest was to find the right spot to be and enjoy it as much as possible.  Of course there is the main event which is taking place outside the city at the University but that was with entrance fee and everything was sold out already since long.  So between all of us we tried to gather information to find out where we should go.   It looks like all along the river was the best spot.

I am already on my way when Valérie and Kenzo join me.  It is still early so we decide to have a drink in a bar to wait for Axelle and Amandine who arrived a little bit later.

As we are all there we decide to follow the crowd to reach the river.  As we arrive to the bridge, it is packed with people, It is really a major event.  Ok I think there were more foreigners and tourists then real Thais but it was just amazing.  Our only deception is that we could not find any lantern for us to release.

I cannot describe my feelings in front of this spectacle.  It is just beautiful and very intense.  All the sky is covered by lanterns with the full moon in the background, and it never stops.  We arrived at about 8PM and until the end of the night this amazing ballet of light was dancing in the night. Wherever you were looking, rising your eyes it was full of lanterns.  It was not only on the river side, but everywhere.

Axelle managed to get a lantern, or at least to share it with a nice American couple. As she asked them where we could get some they offered her to share theirs.  So Axelle could make a wish and see it join all the others already high.




After Axelle released her lantern we headed back towards the centre walking in the streets still trying to find some lanterns for us.  Suddenly we see a bunch of people all around a table, it seems they sell lantern so we go there.  As we arrive to the table we see a big animation, people behind the table telling us no no we don’t have lanterns, nothing here, nothing here…. disappointed we walk away and suddenly we see half a dozen of police officers arriving behind the table searching underneath it, all around, opening boxes… wow.. it looks like it is not really authorised to sell lanterns…. but where are all those lanterns coming from then….

We continue our walk towards the centre trying to find a place to sit down and have a drink.  We arrive in the main street of the night market and one of the side street opens to a big place.  We get into this large open space where many little bars and kiosks are surrounding a place covered by people sitting on the floor, all looking at the sky and in direction of the stage where a band will probably play live at some point.



We enjoy the moment with what was supposed to be the best mojito in town ( if it is true I don’t want to taste the others… )

As we cannot sit properly we decide to move and go back to our “snake bar” we left last night which is not too far away.

On our way between the street shops of the night bazar, a guy is there hidden in the dark and it looks like he has lanterns…. we reach out to him and ask if it is for sale.  He says yes and gives us his price…. OUFFFF that was not what we expected….. so we started the negotiation….  🙂 at the end we managed to buy 2 large lanterns for the “regular” price which was told us earlier.

We now cross the entire city with our 2 lanterns… we first stop to the bar as decided, have a few drinks and then we get to the city centre.

There it is my turn to light my lantern and make a wish

But don’t think it is that easy… I needed the help from Valérie and then from Kenzo before I could release it and make it fly….

After mine was gone with my wish far away in the sky, it is the turn of the Belgian couple to release theirs


All our hopes are now in the sky.

We finished the evening on a roof terrace enjoying the view of the non stop ballet of lanterns.  It was an extraordinary moment I lived, I am so glad I could see it.


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One Comment

  1. Finalement ça prouve bien qu’on ne peut pas réaliser ses rêves tout seul 🙂
    Quelle belle histoire que ce groupe à la recherche de lanternes.

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