While Thailand is officially in a mourning period in remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Ministry of Tourism and sports (MOTs) along with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai people want to assure foreign visitors and tourists that the population remains as warm and hospitable as ever, with cultural attractions and facilities for tourists all in place. Furthermore, most cultural, traditional and MICE events will still go on with some adjustments for appropriateness. Otherwise, it is business as usual with the mourning period having no impact on travel plans and tours.
As part of the strategy to get the message out, Mrs. Kobkarn welcomed ambassadors and diplomats from 34 countries as well as representatives from 10 chambers of commerce to “An Afternoon Tea with the Minister of Tourism and Sports.” This was aimed at spreading the word that “life goes on” in Thailand and that visitors will be welcomed with open arms and all events and festivals are going ahead.
- Loi Krathong Festival 2016 adapting to show respect to late King Bhumibol Adulyadej
After talking about cancelling completely Loy Krathong in many cities, low profile festivities will now take place across some of the most important destinations.
Bangkok – At Santi Chaiprakarn Park in the heart of the old city, visitors will learn about the history of Loi Krathong and see performers and characters in traditional Thai costumes taking part in traditional activities against the glorious backdrop of the Rattanakosin temples. There is the chance to make krathongs, try traditional food and enjoy the atmosphere of the charming riverside park. The event will take place on 14 November, 2016, from 17.00-22.00 Hrs.
Chiang Mai – The Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival 2016 will be held from 12-15 November with the old Tha Phae Gate being the centre of action. This year, there will be a giant krathong parade contest to win the trophy of the Prime Minister. Other activities include floating krathong contests, krathong-making contests, religious rituals, and several other traditional Lanna-style ceremonies as you would expect to see in Chiang Mai.
Sukhothai – In many ways this is the spiritual home of the Loi Krathong Festival in Thailand. The Sukhothai Loi Krathong and Candle Festival 2016 takes place annually in the Sukhothai Historical Park. This year, the Park will light up the historical ruins of old Sukhothai, allowing visitors to enter and float their krathongs on 10-14 November, from 09.30-24.00 Hrs. and there are 9,999 censer candles at 18.00 Hrs. daily.
Tak – This year, Tak will organise “Loi Krathong Sai Floating 9,999 Lanterns in Remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej” by floating a thread of glittering krathongs made from coconut shells on the river from the banks of the Ping River on 14 November.