Each November, Phuket joins the rest of Thailand in celebrating Loy Krathong. There are plenty of places around the island to join the festivities. Loy Krathong, also known as the Festival of Light, happens on the night of the full moon on the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar. This year, Loy Krathong is on November 11.
Loy Krathong is about paying respect to the water goddess and showing gratitude. It’s also about starting anew and asking for forgiveness and a better future.
Celebrating the festival
During the day many people get busy making their own “krathong”, which are floating vessels traditionally made with banana tree trunk, leaves, flowers, incense and a candle. The vessels are elaborate and beautiful creations, and if you don’t know how to make one you can buy one from a stand or shop along the road that day.
Avoid buying or making krathong made with Styrofoam bases or plastic flowers otherwise your lovely vessel will become just another water pollutant choking sea turtles and such.
As night falls, Loy Krathong celebrants head to the water, which in Phuket is the seaside, a lagoon or lake. Crowds of people with gather along the shore, holding their candle-lit krathong. In turn they’ll release the krathong into the water. It’s a romantic act for couples to launch their floating vessels together with the hopes of strengthening their bond.
We’ve seen signs around the island warning that lanterns are banned, but we expect many will still be released into the sky.
You could easily do your own ceremony by simply finding a beach or a lake to launch your krathong. But to experience the full festive flavour of Loy Krathong you’ll probably want to join the crowds at a busier spot.
Loy Krathong locations around Phuket
- Patong Beach, Karon Beach and Kata Beach (and most beaches along the west coast)
- Chalong Bay Pier
- Nai Harn Lake
- Saphan Hin Park in Phuket Town
- Suan Luang (King Rama IX) Park in Phuket Town
- Bang Wad Dam in Kathu