How to Spend New Years Releasing Lanterns in Chiang Mai, Thailand

How to Spend New Years Releasing Lanterns in Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

We went to the RISE festival outside of Vegas a few years ago, lighting lanterns and releasing them into the sky. However, Chiang Mai on New Years... they take it to another level! It was really hard to find any information on where people were gathering or where to go for New Years since they have another lantern festival about a month before. 

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - lanterns

 Not only is it a party in the streets, but lanterns are released everywhere ALL night long! 

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - lanterns

 After our long day with the elephants at the Elephant Sanctuary, we took a nap to gear up for NYE! As I woke up around 7p the sun had set and lanterns were floating in the air! This was our view from the De Chai The Colonial Hotel:

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - lanterns released

We made our way from our hotel to the Tha Phae Ancient City gate to which we found a mob of people. On the other side of the gate, there was a street fair full of vendors selling food and other merchant goodies.

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - Street market

Filled with wall to wall people and completely overcrowded, Rachadamnoen Rd was completely shut down, packed like a fish swimming upstream! 

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - street market

Vendors sold all sorts of things: shirts, wallets, chachkies, food, jewelry, wood carved animals, you name it - they had it! 

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - Street market food - squid

I couldn't stomach the street food and we ended up going to another restaurant near-by where we could watch the lanterns sail by.

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - dinner with a lantern view

LANTERNS IN CHIANG MAI ON NEW YEARS EVE

We found a truck parked in an alley that was selling lanterns 3 for 100 Baht and we also bought a lighter at a nearby 7-Eleven! PRO-TIP: The lighter is key! Everyone was asking to borrow ours! 

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - lantern lighting

The Tha Phae Gate (ancient city gate) has the largest gathering of people who are setting off lanterns all over the place! We found a spot around 11:30pm and did a test lantern to make sure we would be pros at midnight!

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - floating lanterns

As beautiful as they are, these lanterns are fueled by fire. So many people released them too soon like this one that we caught:

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - catching lanterns

Yes, I am wearing elephant pants that I bought for $2!

Many lanterns ended up in trees and I am so glad nothing caught on fire or anyone got hurt.

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - Floating lanterns in the trees

By the time midnight rolled around, we were ready to go. It takes about 3-5 minutes for these things to fill with air to take flight. 

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - launching lanterns

The New Years countdown began... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - releasing lanterns at midnight

See more video in our Chiang Mai Story on Instagram

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve floating lanterns at midnight

Amongst these beautiful lanterns, fireworks started to shoot off. I was officially in a Disney movie and the lost princess was saved (that is a Tangled reference with Rapunzel if you didn't catch that)!

Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - lanterns flying
Thailand - Chiang Mai - New Years Eve - floating lanterns

This night was truly breathtaking and one I'll never forget! 

Like I said in the beginning, it was really hard to find info for Chiang Mai on New Years. Please feel free to contact us on our Contact Page or comment below if you have ANY questions!


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How to Spend New Years in Chiang Mai - See the best place to go for New Years Eve in Thailand
How to Spend New Years in Chiang Mai - Where to spend new years in Thailand

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