Large crowds celebrate romantic Loy Krathong

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Hundreds of khomloys float up into the night sky from Pattaya Beach, as over 100,000 tourists and residents celebrate Loy Krathong, sending all their worries soaring away on the most romantic holiday on the Thai calendar.  Despite what international media might be proclaiming, Pattaya has not been inundated with flood waters and remains a great holiday spot.  (Photo by Martin Bilsborrow)

Luxury resorts including the Amari Orchid Resort & Tower, Centara Grand Mirage, Pullman Aisawan and Sheraton Pattaya held activities for the Nov. 10 water festival that carries on Thai tradition and introduces it to new generations of locals and visitors.

Hundreds of khomloys float up into the night sky from Pattaya Beach, as over 100,000 tourists and residents celebrate Loy Krathong, sending all their worries soaring away on the most romantic holiday on the Thai calendar.  Despite what international media might be proclaiming, Pattaya has not been inundated with flood waters and remains a great holiday spot.  (Photo by Martin Bilsborrow) Hundreds of khomloys float up into the night sky from Pattaya Beach, as over 100,000 tourists and residents celebrate Loy Krathong, sending all their worries soaring away on the most romantic holiday on the Thai calendar.  Despite what international media might be proclaiming, Pattaya has not been inundated with flood waters and remains a great holiday spot.  (Photo by Martin Bilsborrow)

A festive atmosphere filled all of Pattaya Beach with tourists and Thais from various regions purchasing krathongs. People sat on mats at beachside, partying in various restaurants, bars and other venues. Hotels held activities to have guests use banana leaves and lotus flowers to produce krathongs, which were judged in contests.

A young Nang Noppamas prepares to loy her krathong at Pullman Pattaya Aisawan Resort.A young Nang Noppamas prepares to loy her krathong at Pullman Pattaya Aisawan Resort.

Miss Noppamas contests were also held and with dancing and singing shows presented by hotels throughout the entire night, capping off festivities with fireworks.

At Chaimongkol Temple and its adjoining market in South Pattaya, vendors sold goods attracting citizens to the temple for merit-making, worshiping, and paying homage to religious deities.

The temple arranged a Likae show, a local tradition that drew a lot of attention from foreign tourists. Loy Krathong ceremonies were held inside the temple, giving people a chance to change bad fortune and pay respect to the water goddess.

Traffic on all roads leading to the beach were packed, particularly along Beach Road which was filled with traffic for hours, making for an enthusiastic city. There were male and female vendors, teenagers, selling krathongs and generating income as there was a continuous flow of tourists purchasing, boosting Pattaya’s economy.

A future Nang Noppamas contestant prepares to loy her krathong at the Pattaya Floating Market.A future Nang Noppamas contestant prepares to loy her krathong at the Pattaya Floating Market.

The Pattaya Floating Market held its Loy Krathong activities, offering various games for tourists throughout the day. Shows ran into the night, with the highlight being a Nang Noppamas pageant, with beautiful women all vying to become to the most beautiful of the evening’s water goddesses.

At Jomtien Beach, vendor Rudee Polngam said this year’s festival attracted more tourists than last year as many Bangkok residents have evacuated to Pattaya.

But Patracha Sae-Imm, another vendor selling krathongs in Jomtien Beach, said this year she couldn’t sell many krathongs to foreigners as they prefer to release khomloys and purchase fireworks. Therefore, those selling krathongs had to lower their prices in order to sell and generate income.

Revelry continued in the wee hours of the next morning, as  Pattaya’s hotel and bar workers finished shifts after midnight and headed to Bali Hai Pier and the beaches for more parties and fireworks.

Royal Cliff Hotels Group General Manager Joachim Grill presents Miss Liza from Russia with the award for winning the Best Traditional Dressed Guest competition at the Royal Cliff Beach Hotel.Royal Cliff Hotels Group General Manager Joachim Grill presents Miss Liza from Russia with the award for winning the Best Traditional Dressed Guest competition at the Royal Cliff Beach Hotel.

Nang Noppamas loy their krathongs at Sheraton Hotel.Nang Noppamas loy their krathongs at Sheraton Hotel.

A young woman from Russia makes wish before setting her krathong afloat at Nong Nooch Tropical Garden.A young woman from Russia makes wish before setting her krathong afloat at Nong Nooch Tropical Garden.

Krathong sales are brisk at Wat Chaimongkol.Krathong sales are brisk at Wat Chaimongkol.

Restaurants all over town were filled with customers enjoying their holiday.Restaurants all over town were filled with customers enjoying their holiday.

Feeling all romantic whilst releasing a khomloy into the night sky.Feeling all romantic whilst releasing a khomloy into the night sky.

Thai traditional dance adds to the exotic evening at Centara Hotel.Thai traditional dance adds to the exotic evening at Centara Hotel.

Locals and visitors dressed in Thai traditional clothes enjoy the festival in Jomtien Beach.Locals and visitors dressed in Thai traditional clothes enjoy the festival in Jomtien Beach.

Beautiful Nang Noppamas flash their winning smiles at Amari Hotel.Beautiful Nang Noppamas flash their winning smiles at Amari Hotel.