Yee Peng Festival #1

It’s the second of November 2017, we are in Chiang Mai and excited for the annual Yee Peng (or Yi Peng) and Loy Krathong Festival. We met a Scottish and an American guy in our hostel (Gonkaew Hostel Chiang Mai, very nice place with free tea, coffee and toast the whole day, they even have free breakfast) and spent the day with them.

During Loy Krathong, people build small floating boats and release them on the river. I even made one myself in our hostel, they taught us how to build these little boats out of a trunk of a banana tree, banana leafs, flowers, joss sticks and candles. The women at our hostel told me that adding a hair to your boat is supposed to save you from bad luck.

Yee Peng is the famous lantern festival where thousands of people release floating lanterns into the night sky. It is magical! There are actually two different „kinds“ of Lantern Festivals, one is celebrated in the city and the other one is at Mae Jo University.
The second one is especially for tourists they told me and it costs about 80-100$. The festival we attended in the city, was completely free (besides the lanterns of course).

We went to a ceremony with lots of lanterns in the city and later went to the East Gate of the city, in order to get to the bridge across the river, where most people release their lanterns. It was magical to see all the lights rising into the sky and thousands of people celebrating.
In this post I am sharing with you the pictures I took at our first stop, in the second post, I will finally show you the other pictures I took at the bridge.
Hope you enjoy ♥️

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Chiang Mai by Night

If you plan to travel Thailand, make sure you won’t miss out Chiang Mai in the north of the country. We took a night train from Bangkok for about 10€ which brought us to the beautiful city. The night train was more comfortable than expected and to be honest, a very cool experience. We booked the train a day in advance in our hostel and it was so easy to take the train.

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We arrived in Chiang Mai at around eight in the morning and took a red cab to our hostel. Travelling in Thailand was quite easy to be honest, there are always tourist offices and people in the hostels who will love to help you with your planning. Additionally, it is very cheap! Just make sure to compare the prices and don’t forget to negotiate a bit!
Our hostel was the „Eco Resort“ which was really beautiful.
However, there were almost no other guests and it was quite a ghost town.
The people weren’t really nice, since they accused us of towel stealing which was really unkind. My friend forgot her towel in the bath room and didn’t bring it back to the room. Consequently, they found only one towel in the room and thought that my friend’s white hoodie was missing towel and asked her to show it to them. I was so annoyed. They finally found the towel in the laundry but didn’t even apologise for the circumstances.

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„Downtown Chiang Mai“ is surrounded by a „creek“ which forms a square.
Inside of this square, you can easily get from one temple to another by foot, if you plan to visit Doi Suthep you need to take a cab.
There are different night markets, almost every evening – every night, another spot.
We visited one of these markets and were really impressed. There was such a big variety of fresh cooked foods. Thai food, vegetarian food, desert, fruits and smoothies. We totally fell in love with the Thai version of Crêpes with Mango!
After we had dinner, we had a look at all the different stands and bought lots of souvenirs.
They had everything one could wish for: sarongs, customised leather bracelets, platesand bowls, clothes, art, bags and more – I bought a petite wallet for only 10 Bath (≈0,25€).

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After having filled our bags with gifts for family and friends we discovered some beautiful temples and attended a ceremony in memory of the former King Bhumibol Adulyadej who died in October 2016, it was beautiful!
Looking back, I totally fell in love with this magic, bubbly city!

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I hope you enjoyed reading this, have a good week!

xx, Sophie

NYC #6 – Almost touching the sky

We bought our group ticket from a local tourist guide and decided to climb the Empire State Building on the spur-of-the-moment. It was 10pm and we were very excited.
Having arrived at the building, a woman guided us to a huge elevator. I was wondering how long it would take to get up onto the platform on the 86th floor.
The answer was, just a few seconds. My ears were aching, my heart sank into my boots – I was afraid.
As soon as we arrived at the 86th floor I became excited. My friend and I stood in front of the glass door which separated us from the terrace.
„Ready?“ she asked, „Break!“ I answered. (It’s an American Football thing, we used to play Ladies Football)
We opened the door, a strong breeze was blowing through our hair. We stepped out on the terrace and walked to the fence. What we saw was beyond words.

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