My fourth time to go to Chiang Mai for the annual Loy Krathong Festival, or as it is here called Yee Peng Festival. It used to be a real secret to come here and enjoy a few days of festivities but with online marketing and social media the word was out and it is now a mass-tourism event, sadly. A friend visited Laos during the same periond and told me that literally „everyone“ planned to go from Laos to attend the Loy Krathong festival in Chiang Mai.
The parade is one of the key events during the three day festival and the last time I attended was in 2016, just after His Majesty King Bhumipol had died. So the festival was all tuned down and they only featured a black and white parade to honor the King. I was very much looking forward to go back and experience a colourful and spectacular event. However, I was not prepared for such masses of people, mainly from the West and from mainland China. The parade turned into a big disappointment, as the organizers still don’t cordon off the parade route and they leave huge gaps in between the floats and performers. So masses of civilians walked in between or on the sides of the performers and most did not really care to watch the dancing. People were walking into every side of the parade, blocked the view of people who stood on the sides and even walked right in front of their camera, while there was enough space to walk behind the onlookers. Sad. Really. Probably my last parade to watch unless the organizers learn from other successful events (like the Octoberfest parade in Munich) how to cordon off the parade and make sure the huge gaps don’t happen. Maybe even put up bleachers for people to sit and watch (and pay!) the parade.