International Lantern Festival 2013 at Tha Phae Gate, Chiang Mai
Magical lanterns, beautiful dancing and the happiest little girl I've ever seen.
We just got back from a colourful evening at the Chiang Mai International Lantern Festival at Thapae Gate (map). If you're in Chiang Mai now, go. The last day is on the 29th, but the best celebrations will be tomorrow (Saturday 24th), from 6pm 'til 9.30ish pm.
Smiling zebra balloons.
You can wander around a dome full of different style lanterns from Thailand, Japan, China, Sri Lanka and India.... and probably more. You can look at the huge Famous Landmark Lanterns. You can hug a panda, an elephant, a British soldier or a Giant Inflatable Carpenter-Mario (best job title ever?). You can buy smiling zebra balloons - the best kind of balloons. You can play Pop The Lantern on a giant Kinect. You can get food at the food market, including 'ancient ice-cream', yum.
We saw Thai children and teens perform martial arts dancing with swords, fans and, strangely enough, rakes. Afterwards there was a diva man-magician with a little dog, dancing from around Asia and a Thai boxing demonstration by 'The Beautiful Boxers'. The female host certainly thought they were beautiful ;) The accompanying music was loud, dramatic and one of the best bits of the show. The hosts spoke Thai and English and told us some actually quite interesting stuff like the history of Muay Thai boxing. If they ask for a volunteer get in there for a freebie lantern - we were far too shy.
I saw a little Thai girl I wanted to steal.
She was supercute and found everything so exciting that she just couldn't help herself. She had to dance. Don't you wish you found everything that fantastic?
Tha Phae Gate (map)
22nd - 29th August, 2013 from 6pm till around 9.30pm.
Lots of food stalls.
Awesome and free!