The Night of Magical Lanterns
Everyone knows what it is to be hungry right? When you are so hungry that you start to get angry, you start snapping at people and you are grumpy because you need to eat immediately?
Well last night I experienced it for the first time ever, being both scared and excited at the same time - scaexcited? Or excitscared? I'll come back to thinking of a name for it later but anyways... Today in Thailand, there is a festival going on to give thanks to the river, and to also apologise to the river for any wrongdoings. It is called "Loi Krathong" or "The Festival of Lights." To celebrate this, people send beautiful lanterns down the river that are made out of banana leaves, flowers, and sometimes even ice cream cones. They have to be sure the lanterns will fall apart and break down and even become food for the fish so as not to pollute the river. There are also paper lanterns that are lit and released into the sky (just like in the movie Tangled!!) and I have been wanting to light and release one since I saw Tangled and discovered it was a real thing. So although I'm bummed we won't be here tonight to celebrate the actual festival, last night was still pretty cool.
We went to the night market for dinner again and there was a parade going on while we were there. They were selling the floating river lanterns and the sky lanterns everywhere you looked. We all agreed to meet on this bridge at 9 o'clock to set them off and I was soo excited! You can buy a few different sizes and some are even shaped and coloured to look like animals. We all stuck to the plain ones and we all gathered in a circle and lit them up. You have to make sure you hold them open long enough for the heat from the candle to fill the lantern with enough hot air just like a hot air balloon. Then when it's ready you close your eyes and make a wish, and when you're ready you let it go and watch your magical little lantern float away into the sky. It was so beautiful and I was so happy I swear I almost cried. I was standing there smiling like an idiot staring up at the sky watching them all drift away. Now at this festival you can also buy firecrackers, fireworks, and many other similar things that I don't even know what they're called. So this is where the fear came in, here I was standing all giddy and then BAM! Someone from our tour group decides to causally throw firecrackers at people's feet which sends all of us off running in fear. There was this weird thing that you light and then spin it around and throw it into the sky, and some people can't throw to save their life, so suddenly there is one flying towards us instead of away from us. So I was very excited watching the lanterns but also very scared to be burned by some flying firework therefore I was "scarxcited."
All this happened while we were staying in Pai, and we stayed at a beautiful resort there where we got to sleep in bungalows! Technically some people already got to sleep in bungalows way back in Koh Tao, but this was my first experience and I was very excited for it (I'm sure you've gathered by now that I am excited by most things and this is in fact very true.) I opened the door to ours, and walked into a room with two single beds, each with their own mosquito nets and a window above each bed with no screen, you just push it open and let nature in. At first I thought there wasn't a bathroom until I found a set of double doors that opened to an outdoor bathroom! Once again I was so excited at this point I yelled out quite obnoxiously to my sister Leanna "Check out our bathroom!" Pretty sure everyone heard me. There was a huge shower with a rain head shower head and of course a sink and a toilet but the roof wasn't fully attached to the walls so it was very close to an outdoor bathroom, I loved it. The restaurant at the hotel had some really really good food and their pool used all natural water. There was also a nice little shelter that had hammocks and reclining chairs to sit in and stare out at the landscape. There were mountains in the distance and a big white Buddha statue on one, plus farm fields and some cute cows. A lot of people really enjoyed this place. Another cool thing was that it was actually colder here so we had to layer up a bit which was such a nice change from sweating and being hot all the time.
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