Thailand – The Lantern Festival

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8 Days / 7 Nights

$3,995 Adult / $3,795 Child

An unforgettable journey through Thailand during the sky & floating lantern festivals!

The Experience

Embark on an unforgettable adventure in the colorful Southeast Asian Kingdom of Thailand during the most festive period of the year. Our journey will take us through Northern Thailand exploring shimmering temples, lending a hand at an elephant sanctuary, learning to cook Thai food and making our way through the bustling markets. We’ll venture to the countryside to experience village life in the rolling green hills one day and dive into Thailand’s Buddhist traditions the next helping to create traditional clay amulets.

The experience will be built around two of Thailand’s most colorful festivals, the Loy Krathong festival of lights and Yi Peng sky lantern festival. Although Loy Krathong is now celebrated throughout Thailand, it’s believed to have originated in Sukothai, the first Thai capital. We’ll first experience the festival here in true Thai tradition, as this is the original home of the festival. We’ll then venture to Chiang Mai to participate in both Loy Krathong and the Yi Peng festival of lanterns. Enjoy an authentic experience complete with traditional Thai food as well as an opportunity to float krathongs in the water and release lanterns into the sky for good luck!

Endangered Elephants: Asian Elephants in Thailand

An Unforgettable Experience

Thailand literally lights up during the Loy Krathong & Yi Ping lantern festivals. Experience the best of this stunning Southeast Asian country while joining in on the festivities!

Thailand’s Iconic Lantern Festival

Loy Krathong, known as Thailand’s Festival of Lights, dates back nearly 800 years and is one of the biggest festivals in the country. Taking place over one or two days, the people of Thailand celebrate by making krathongs, small lotus-shaped boats traditionally made from banana leaves and decorated with flowers that are then released along waterways as an offering of thanks to the Goddess of Water. The festival also includes firework shows, kathrong building competitions, beauty pageants, and more.

In Chiang Mai, we’ll experience both Loy Krathong and the Yi Peng Festival on the same day. Dating back to the thirteen century Lanna Kingdom, the Yi Peng Lantern Festival was traditionally celebrated to mark the end of the monsoon season and beginning of the cool season. Many locals view the festival as a way to release negative energy and wish for good luck and fortune in the coming year. The most popular and recognizable practice of the festival in the launch of thousands of lanterns into the night sky, but you can also expect to see rituals of worship, decoration contests, parades, traditional Thai dance shows, and live music.

With Discover Corps, you’ll experience the best of both worlds by attending festival celebrations in two different Thai cities!

Where You’ll Stay

We’ve hand-selected two charming properties that reflect Thailand’s colorful local culture and put you at the center of the festivities. In Chiang Mai, stay at the Ratilanna Riverside Spa Resort, an exquisite centrally located 5-star boutique hotel complete with a refreshing pool with top sights and local markets right at your doorstep. While in Sukothai, the traditional home of the Lantern Festival, you’ll be treated to picturesque views at the 4-star Sriwilai Resort and Spa, designed with the sentiment of harmony and an added emphasis on green and eco-conscious practices.

Itinerary Overview

Land in Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai and settle-in with a Welcome Dinner at one of the area’s top restaurants. Explore the city’s iconic temples & markets via tuk-tuk and long tail boat ride before setting off to the historic city of Sukhothai. Dive into local culture learning to cook Thai food from a chef, learning about Buddhism and biking alongside ancient temples. We’ll also celebrate the most traditional Loy Krathong festivities in the place where it originated! Head

Endangered Elephant: Baby Asian Elephant at Thailand's Elephant Nature Park

back to Chiang Mai to continue the celebrations helping to release lanterns into the sky and floating along the river alongside locals. Our final days will take us to the rolling green hills just outside the city. Visit an elephant sanctuary and assist the mahouts, or elephant caretakers, in their daily routine then visit a distant hill tribe in the village of Mae Kampong. End the trip with a relaxing Thai massage and delicious Farewell Dinner before flying home or continuing on one of our post-trip extensions.

Traveler’s Journal

This trip really felt like something I couldn’t have done on my own because of the access to the festival and local people we were able to interact with. The mix between the city, neighboring villages, and the hill tribe villages found deeper in the heart of Thailand made for such a unique trip. The elephant experience was definitely a highlight for us as well as the kids in our group. I would recommend this to anyone interested in experiencing the real Thailand!
thailand vacation

Lauren T.

Danville, CA

Read More Discover Corps Reviews

Rating: 5/5 stars

Dates and Prices

Our trips are inclusive of all activities, lodging, transport and meals to make your experience hassle-free.

$3,995 Adult

$3,795 Child

  • Double Occupancy Price. Children’s pricing applies to travelers 16 years old and younger sharing a room with an adult
  • Single Room Supplement = $895. You are required to pay this SRS fee if we are unable to find you a suitable roommate.

What’s Included:

  • 5 nights lodging at the 5-star Ratilanna Riverside Spa Resort in Chiang Mai
  • 2 nights lodging at the Sriwilai Resort & Spa in Sukhothai
  • All transportation including roundtrip airport transfer
  • All meals throughout the trip except one lunch in Sukhothai
  • A schedule of exclusive activities around the Lantern Festivals of Loy Krathong & Yi Peng
  • Admissions and entrance fees to parks, historic sites and all transportation during the trip
  • A bilingual, licensed guide that will be by your side through the entire journey
  • $50,000 emergency medical evacuation insurance
  • Trip literature and pre-departure support from Discover Corps
  • 24-hour Discover Corps emergency hotline

What’s Not Included:

  • Tips for the Discover Corps guide and driver
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • 1 lunch
  • International airfare
  • Optional Zip-lining activity


Our intimate, small-group festival departures consist of like-minded travelers. Questions? Schedule a personal travel consultation with one of our expert Travel Specialists.

2024 Festival Date

November 11-18, 2024 FULL

2025 Festival Date

November 1-8, 2025

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Alumni & Family Discounts, Monthly Payment Plans, and More

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