BANGKOK, October 14, 2008
Thailand's rivers, canals and night sky will all be glowing during November's Loy Kratong Festival. This traditional and romantic celebration falls during the week of Nov 8th– 12ththis year. Agoda.com, an online hotel reservation website has secured some hot hotel deals to celebrate this "must see" festival of Thailand.
Originating during the reign of Thai King Rama IV in 1863, the Loy Kratong festival is quickly becoming one of the most popular Thai celebrations, one in which both Thais and tourists can participate. Loi or Loy means "float" and a Kratong is a small raft made of banana tree leaves. The raft is decorated with elaborately folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, and incense sticks. After the incense and candles are lit, the raft is pushed out onto the water in a symbolic act of letting go of one's bad luck and at the same time venerating the Buddha.
Thai people also float their decorated Kratong to thank and apologize to the goddess of water (Phra Mae Kongka) for allowing them to use the water from rivers and canals all year long. In a romantic twist, lovers float a Kratong together with the belief that if it is still floating until it has left their sight, then their love will last forever.
Loy Kratong began in the northern province of Sukhothai, and is now celebrated throughout Thailand. Government offices in each province hold big events to celebrate the full moon, which falls on November 12ththis year. Different areas of the country celebrate their own versions of Loy Kratong. Chiang Mai celebrates a unique northern Thailand version with Yi Peng Lantern balloons while Ayutthaya, a historic city surrounded by the Chao Praya River, reenacts an ancient Loy Kratong festival in Bangsai with cultural performances, Kratong contests and even a Miss Noppamas beauty contest. All of Bangkok’s waterways, such as the ponds of Lumpini Park and the churning Chao Praya River will have celebrations underneath a night sky filled with fireworks.
Agoda's Vice President of Business Development, Mr. Wilfred Fan commented, "During Loy Kratong, hotels celebrate by offering special promotions, unique activities, festive food menus and decorations. Wherever you find a nearby canal, a lake or river access, tourists will be able to experience this mystical Thai tradition and staying at one of Thailand’s beautifully adorned hotels, will make this celebration even more memorable."
Agoda's hot hotel deals during Loy Kratong festival are:
Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa, Bangkok Rate starting at US$ 144
Enjoy a magnificent dinner at the Riverside Terrace restaurant, set next to the spectacular Chao Phraya River, with a complimentary Loy Kratong candle to float from the hotel's pier, and chances to win various prizes from the hotel. Alternatively, enjoy the ambiance of a Manohra Dinner Cruise with the special Loy Kratong set menu of Thai delicacies served next to a live kim (a traditional Thai instrument) performance.
Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok Rate Starting at US$ 179
Experience the grandeur of Loy Krathong at a prime location along the Chao Phraya River. The festival of lights is completed with traditional entertainment and an impressive fireworks display. By the Riverfront at the Poolside is a perfect tropical setting to enjoy great entertainment in a charming ambience. Guests can also join the Horizon Cruise along the river with a delicious buffet dinner and front row seats for the thrilling fireworks display.
Rati Lanna River Side Spa Resort ,Chiangmai Rate Starting at US$ 119
Experience a distinctively northern style Loy Kratong Festival with Kratong Sai (A traditional practice where one thousand coconut-shell Kratongs are lit before being released one by one down the Mae Ping river, keeping a consistent distance between one another) and Khom Loy (candle-lit lanterns which are released to float in the sky), all the while enjoying a traditional Lanna show with a backdrop of flashing fireworks over the glittering Mae Ping River.
Woraburi Ayothaya Convention Resort, Ayutthaya Rate Starting at US$ 36
The Pasak River plays host to a hotel cruise and dinner buffet with glimmering Kratong-floating under the moonlight. Guests can also experience a traditional Loy Kratong festival hosted by the Ayutthaya government office, located less than 50 meters from the hotel.
Sukhothai Heritage Hotel, Sukhothai Rate Starting at US$ 71
The latest boutique resort at the birthplace of Loy Kratong is located near to the Sukhothai Historical Park, where tourists can enjoy the Sukhothai Loy Kratong, Candle Festival, and the Kingdom of Sukhothai light-and-sound presentation.
Ravindra Beach Resort and Spa, Pattaya Rate Starting at US$ 104
Enjoy a Loy Kratong dinner on Jomtien Beach and float complimentary Kratongs out to sea. Guests can also experience a traditional Loy Kratong celebration given by the Ban Amphur Municipality, located just two-kilometers from the hotel.
Laguna Beach Resort, Phuket Rate Starting at US$ 223
Not to be missed is the traditional Kratong-floating on the hotel's tropical lagoon. A joint activity with the Chengtalay Municipality, the night is also accompanied by various forms of Thai entertainment.
Novotel Phuket Hotel, Phuket Rate starting at US$ 147
The hotel is very near Patong beach where there are many Loy Kratong festivities with a mix of locals and tourists. Additionally, there are events at the hotel such as Pool games in the afternoon, followed by a Loy Kratong Thai gala dinner.
For more information regarding Agoda, please go to the website at www.agoda.com or contact the Agoda team via via telephone at +66 2 625 9100 e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org