Loy Krathong Phuket

Loy Krathong, the Festival of Light, is celebrated across Thailand on the night of the full moon in the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar. In 2018, the Loy Krathong festival is on November 22.

The main activity during Loy Krathong is to release into the water a floating vessel (the “krathong”), usually made with a banana tree stem as the base and adorned with leaves, flowers, incense and a candle. The vessels are sometimes made with styrofoam and plastic flowers, but this practice has fallen out of favour when ugly scenes of clogged rivers and polluted seas following the festival came to light. We’ve seen more eco-friendly krathong made with coloured bread and corn husks, too.

Romance and Candlelight

Loy Krathong is about paying respect to the water goddess and showing gratitude. It’s also about starting anew and asking for forgiveness. It’s a romantic festival, with many couples releasing lanterns into the sky or launching their floating vessels with the hopes for a bright future together. Most will add a few locks of hair or fingernail clippings to the krathong before it’s set off in the water.

Loy Krathong festival Phuket
Sky lantern release at Loy Krathong festival, Phuket.

The festival originated in northern Thailand, and if you want to see a full-blown celebration of Loy Krathong then it’s best to go somewhere like Chiang Mai or Sukothai. But fear not if you’re in Phuket — there are plenty of places to enjoy Loy Krathong festivities across the island.

On the night of Loy Krathong, people will gather and release floating lanterns and krathong vessels at nearly every beach, lagoon and lake around the island. (No rivers in Phuket, sorry!)

You could easily do your own ceremony by simply finding a beach or a lakeside 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
Loy Krathong floating vessels for sale at Chalong pier.

Loy Krathong locations around Phuket

  • Nearly all the west-coast beaches including Patong Beach, Karon Beach and Kata Beach.
  • 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

If you’re staying in a hotel, check to see if it’s doing any krathong-making activities, or it might have some ready-made to give you. Otherwise, all the main roads around Phuket will be lined with stalls selling krathong – some of these are really elaborate and beautiful, and priced for as little as 30 baht or so. Make sure you find a sturdy one so it doesn’t flip over in the waves as it floats off into the distance.

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