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Agoda in the News

Agoda.com celebrates Loy Kratong, Thailand's Festival of Lights

SINGAPORE (October 27, 2010)

Agoda.com, Asia’s global hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed priceline.com Incorporated, today announces special hotel deals just in time for Loy Kratong.

Known as the Festival of Lights, Loy Kratong is traditionally a time when Thais give thanks, forgive grievances and pray for good luck. All around the country, rivers, canals, lakes and the night sky light up on the night of the 12th full moon, which this year falls on November 21.

Agoda’s CEO Robert Rosenstein said the festival also marks the beginning of the cooler dry season which makes it one of the most memorable ways to start a holiday in Thailand.

"Loy Kratong is a fantastic time to be in Thailand. Hotels offer special promotions and host activities that involve their guests in Loy Kratong celebrations, giving tourists a unique and unforgettable experience of this special Thai occasion," said Mr. Rosenstein. "Staying in Bangkok by the Chao Phraya river or in the city center makes this celebration even more memorable.”

The tradition of Loy Kratong is steeped in history and legend but most scholars agree that it dates back about 700 years to the Sukhothai court when Nang Noppamas, one of King Phra Ruang's wives, made a small boat laden with candles and incense and floated it down the river to honor the goddess of water, Phra Mae Khongkha.

Regardless of its origins the festival has become entrenched in Thai culture. Every year millions of people across the country from all walks of life release their kratong – a small handcrafted float made from banana leaves and adorned with flowers, candles and incense sticks – into the rivers, lakes, canals and ponds. A wish is made when the kratong is released, to both pay respects to Phra Mae Khongkha and to usher in good luck for the year to come. As the festival symbolizes renewal, hair and fingernails are sometimes included in the offering as a gesture of spiritual rebirth.

Loy Kratong is an especially romantic time and many couples use the festival to renew their commitments to each other. If a couple’s kratong floats long enough to leave their sight, it means their love will last forever.

While most Thais make their own kratongs, stalls also sell them to visitors who want to take part in the ceremony.

In Chiang Mai in Thailand’s north, thousands of khom fai – sky lanterns – are also released. It’s believed these graceful constellations bring good luck as they drift out of view, taking troubles with them. In Bangkok, Loy Kratong engages the entire city – kratongs of all sizes are set adrift down the majestic Chao Phraya and fireworks mark the occasion in all parts of the city. Lumphini Park and Queen’s Sirikit Park near Asok BTS set the scene for two of Bangkok’s biggest Loy Kratong events.

Here are some of the latest, lowest hotel rates for Loy Kratong 2010.


Bangkok Hotel Promotions

Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Hotel – 4 stars
Agoda special promotional rate USD 120 per night. Enjoy 30% discount – valid until March 31, 2011.

Lebua at State Tower – 5 stars
Agoda special promotional rate USD 131 per night. Book a minimum of 3 nights and enjoy 42% discount – valid until December 29, 2010.

Ibis Bangkok Riverside – 3 stars
Agoda special Loy Kratong rate USD 37 per night. Valid until November 30, 2010.

Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa – 5 stars
Agoda special promotional rate USD 124 per night. Book at least 7 nights in advance and enjoy 19% discount – valid until December 29, 2010

Chatrium Suites – 4.5 stars
Agoda special promotional rate USD 87 per night. Book a minimum of 3 nights and enjoy 47% discount – valid until December 29, 2010


Chiang Mai Hotel Promotions

De Chai The Colonial Hotel – 4 stars
Special Agoda rate from USD 64 per night. Book at least 2 nights at enjoy 10% discount. Valid until December 24, 2010.

De Naga – 4 stars
Special Agoda rate from USD 88 per night. Book this rate and enjoy up to USD 29 discount per night. Valid until November 30, 2010.

Rimping Village – 4 stars
Special Agoda rate from USD 85 per night. Book this rate and enjoy 25% discount. Valid until November 30, 2010.

The Rim Chiang Mai Hotel – 4 stars
Special Agoda rate from USD 88 per night. Book a minimum 3 nights and enjoy 15% discount. Valid until December 20, 2010.


Ayutthaya Hotel Promotions

Ayothaya Hotel – 3 stars
Special Agoda rate from USD 24 per night. Book this rate and enjoy 10% discount. Valid until November 30, 2010.

Pludhaya Resort and Spa – 4 stars
Special Agoda rate from USD 78 per night. Book this rate and enjoy 30% discount. Valid until April 30, 2011.



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