Remember the Disney movie Rapunzel where they released thousands of lights in the sky in memory of the lost princess? Well apparently, you can find it right here in Asia - Chiang Mai, Thailand to be exact.
My partner and I went to Chiang Mai with the main purpose of seeing the FESTIVAL of LIGHTS, which usually happens in November on the night of the full moon. Locally the festival is known as Loi Krathong (which means water) or Yi Peng (which means releasing of lanterns to the sky). Apart from this, there are a lot of other sights to explore to help fill the time since the festival is in the evening after all. There are the renowned Elephant Camps to visit or even the Tiger Kingdom. Alternatively, you can visit the temple at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
There are different types of Elephant Camps; one would be where you can see elephants that have been trained to perform tricks, do sports, paint or even ride one for 30-45 minutes into the jungle. The Tiger Kingdom is pretty much in the same domain as this type of elephant camp, where you get to see and interact with tigers by petting or hugging them. Obviously, it's a big tourist attraction.
The other type of Elephant Camp would be where you get to interact with them while they eat, sleep, bathe in their habitat, which basically is geared towards the preservation of the natural way of life of these animals vis-a-vis elephant camps that "claim" to promote wildlife preservation. We would personally recommend you to choose the camps wisely and responsibly. It may be fun to see an elephant doing tricks but with the state of our natural & ecological world nowadays, it may be better to invest in camps that promote actual wildlife preservation.
Doi Suthep, on the other hand, is a temple that one must visit. It's actually named after the mountain where it's located and when you get to the top of the temple, you will be welcomed by a panoramic view of Chiang Mai - and it is stunning! Conveniently located on the path to the top are stalls where you can buy street food (buttered corn, banana cue, fruits, etc.), drinks, and souvenir items. It's about an hour and a half drive to get to the temple from old Chiang Mai. Just take note, when visiting the temple proper dress code and etiquette must be observed as a sign of respect.
PHOTOGRAPHY & POST CONTENT: Elle Abalos; EDITING: Aela Abalos