Trip Start Apr 09, 2006
148Trip End Jun 09, 2007
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Loi Krathong was still going on in Pai; the highlights were actually during my time there. The main festival coincides with the full moon and the skies were once again filled with large lanterns. The Thai believe they are sending away everything bad from the last year as they send them off. They also make small boats from leaves and float candles down the river.
We were treated with a huge parade after sunset...there were easily thousands participating in it. Every child in northern Thailand must have been in it and most were wearing elaborate uniforms and makeup. Unfortunately we kind of stumbled across it and I didn't have my camera with me. I've been bad about carrying my bag with me and will have to do better.
After the parade I spent some time walking through the actual festival grounds with Moshe, an Israeli guy that I've spent a few days with. The festival was like any that you'd see in The States - a million booths selling food, others had carnival games to win small prizes. There was a kickboxing ring with matches going on - not something you really see at home, but hey, it is Thailand. There were no carnival rides, per se, but the whole thing was quite festive and we had a good time.
After a few days in Pai I headed back to Chiang Mai briefly before heading on to Laos. Despite being well out of the rainy season it rained on us overnight in Pai. The ride through the mountains was quite foggy and the smells coming from the surrounding forests were wonderful. Leaves and pine and rain and...I don't even know...it smelled like Fall!
I also finalized some future plans while in Pai. After Laos I'll be returning to Bangkok to catch a flight to Jakarta via an extended layover in Kuala Lumpur. I decided to blow off Borneo and the Philippines.