Loi Krathong, Thailand’s Floating Lantern Festival: Imagination vs. Reality

Ever seen photos of Thailand’s Loi Krathong festival, with thousands of lanterns floating up in the air or down the river? Well, I was in Bangkok this November and got a chance to experience the real thing!

Imagination (based on other people’s photos).
lanterns at Bangkok's Loy Krathong Festival

Me watching the lanterns at Bangkok’s Loi Krathong festival, sort of…

There are some amazing photos out there of this festival; mine are not among them. In fact, the closest I got to the event as it existed in my mind was at the airport, where they had an interactive panel, and I got my only real shot of the lanterns.
lanterns at Bangkok's Loy Krathong festival The website for the company that provided the ‘put yourself in the picture’ panel is www.sharetheworldpleasure.com.

Reality

After dinner we tried to take the ferry to Asiatique, supposedly THE place to view the festival. Every ferry that came by was filled to the rafters (literally) and they wouldn’t let us load. The scene was pure pandemonium.overcrowded boat at Bangkok's Loy Krathong Festival Finally a half empty ferry arrived and we were off. But when we went to land at Asiatique, there were queues of boats all trying to land at the same time, and huge waves, and on the land, a zillion people piled up on top of each other, all trying to get a glimpse of the festival. With all the waves the poor little lanterns floating down the river were almost immediately swamped  – nothing at all like the photos we had seen of the event.

the floating lanterns swamped by passing boats

the floating lanterns swamped by passing boats

And the lanterns in the air were really far away!

lanterns at Bangkok's Loy Krathong Festival

lanterns at Bangkok’s Loy Krathong Festival

Still it was a great evening, even though it was nothing at all like I expected.
For more on this challenge: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/photo-challenge-perspective/

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9 responses to “Loi Krathong, Thailand’s Floating Lantern Festival: Imagination vs. Reality

  1. An excellent take on the challenge 🙂 It sounds exactly like big events in London… its hard to get anywhere near enough to see anything! Best views are usually at home on the sofa

  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective | Light Words·

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Perspective – Climbing with Ivy |·

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