We leave Phu Chasai reluctantly this morning and drive down out of the hills and head towards Chiang Mai, around 4-5 hrs away. It's a lovely scenic drive past lush rice paddies, and we'll make several stops for gorgeous photos. This will include a visit to Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple, one of the most famous temples in Thailand. The brainchild of celebrated Thai artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat, this all-white temple is ornately sculptured featuring many gargoyles and murals depicting masses of people seeking the pits of hell through their willful misdeeds.
After we arrive in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand's most famous small city, we check into our hotel and make a quick turnaround before we had out again at 2.30pm for the evening's events. This tour has been timed to fit in with the Yi Peng / Loy Krathong EPIC lantern festival in Chiang Mai. This is a very special time of year throughout Thailand, and the festival is celebrated more in Chiang Mai than anywhere else.
A rough schedule for the evening is shown below:
2.30 pm : Depart the hotel
4:00 pm : Arrive at Lanna Dhutanga : Receive souvenir / Enjoy authentic Lanna Thai snacks, desserts and beverages. Enjoy seeing a Lanna & hill tribe cultural exhibition by scholarship students sponsored by the foundation / take photos / use the restroom at your convenience.
5:00 pm : Opening Ceremony Speech by the President of Doungtawan Santipap (The Sun of Peace) Foundation and the organizing committee who welcome all guests to the event.
5:30 pm : Break for the bathroom
6:00 pm : All honorable guests and tourists enter the ceremony area. Ceremony regulatory announcement by MC
6:30 pm : Chanting and Meditation led by the chairman of the sangkha
7:00 pm : Circumambulation Ceremony
7:30 pm : Lighting Ceremony
8:00 pm : Dhammachai sky lanterns releasing ceremony to pay homage to the Lord Buddha.
8.30 pm : End of the ceremony
8.45 pm : Depart for Chiang Mai
9.45-10 pm : Arrive back at the hotel. The hotel is arranging a special festival Gala Dinner this evening, and while we will have missed the meal, if other events are still continuing you may join these as this is covered in your room rate.
- Tickets are non-refundable if the event does not go ahead
- Alcohol is prohibited
- Participants are kindly requested to dress in polite clothing.
- Please participate in religious activities with respect and peace for the sanctity of the ceremony.
- No drinking alcohol & No Smoking in the temple.
Photography: - You are not allowed to enter the ceremony area to take photos - You are only allowed to take photos from the seating area but not allowed to use selfie sticks, ladders, tripods, dolly equipment.
Tidiness: The highlights of this event are the Buddhist ritual including chanting, meditation and launching lanterns for peace. Please follow strictly to the instructions of the announcer for serenity and safety.