While the adventurous trek to the opposite side of the city for Loy Krathong I (as always) opt for the easy option. Just a short motorbike taxi from my condo finds Benjasiri Park. Loy Krathong at Benjasiri Park is a quieter and less crowded alternative to the popular riverside locations. For directions to Benjasiri Park check here.
Buying a Krathong
Take your pick. Stalls surround the park with prices ranging from 60 baht to 500 baht. We go against the traditional banana leaf boat choosing a bright white and light pink heart krathong (100 baht). Easy to pick out amongst the bows of green. Other tempting krathongs include the fish and turtle-friendly bread krathongs.
The Central Lake
Life is as always in the Benjasiri Park. Locals perform Tai Chi, play Sepak Takraw, and just everyday evening park life. The central pond is where the Loy Krathongs float under the backdrop of the Emporium Shopping Mall.
Loy Krathong Traditions
A very Farang (foreigner) friendly event. Travellers, ex-pats and farang families all come to join tradition and celebrate the Loy Krathong full moon festival. Tradition pays respect to the Goddess of Water in thanks for taking care of life e.g. trees, plants, fish.
Before floating the boats, revellers hold the krathong to bowed heads and pray to the Goddess. Often a small coin is placed inside the Krathong. Sometimes nail clippings or a cut of hair is also added in the belief of sending away past bad from their body and in hope for good in return. Many krathong have three incense sticks and a candle which again is used to pay respect in the Buddhist religion.
Floating the Krathong
Having near slipped on my ear crossing the muddy embankments of the central pond I backtrack to the safety of the central pond’s small promenade. We mooch a light, say our prayers and launch the krathong on the pond’s surface. While others attempt to point out their own Krathongs we have no problem. Our Krathong kicks ass. Like a battleship powering through unfortunate upturned and flaming patrol boats.
The later hours bring larger crowds (7PM onwards). We get in early and avoid the crush. I find a park bench and sit back to watch the festivities and nibble on moo ping and sticky rice bought from street food hawkers out front. Despite a scene of mayhem, Loy Krathong is very relaxing. The smell of incense and fizzling sparklers, fireworks cracking above our heads. It isn’t until leaving we find the crowds. The main Sukhumvit Road is filled with vendors selling food, krathongs, balloons and flashing novelty items. When we arrive back at the condo we feel less lazy to find krathongs floating in the condo fountains.