Lanterns away at Loi Krathong / by Thomas O'Malley

I wound up in Chiang Mai for the double festival whammy that is Loi Krathong (floaty river offerings) and Yi Peng (hot air balloon type lanterns) in November. Although the authorities insisted that there would be absolutely no fire lanterns, there were. Fleets of them.

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It was all a bit impromptu but lanterns filled the sky like stars and the full moon was shining brightly. I had my camera with me so dashed out of a restaurant to shoot some bits of video (forgot the sound so I've spliced some Daft Punk over the top) and photos. One can understand the caution of the government each time a faulty lantern plummeted back to Earth in a raging torrent of flame.

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On the Ping River, folks were floating offerings of white flowers and candles over the water. The bars and restaurants on both banks were packed, and for once the strict licensing laws were eased off a bit. Fun times.