Thailand’s night of love was filled with color and music as Pattaya celebrated Loy Krathong.
Beachside footpaths in Pattaya and Jomtien were opened to vendors for free to sell their floating flower, incense and candle krathongs and thousands flocked to beaches and lakes to set them free with wishes for romance and good fortune.
While rent was free, the vendors were required to clean up after the krathong mess and were threatened with fines of up to 2,000 baht it they didn’t.
Area police, Pattaya regulatory officers and civil defense volunteers were out in mass to make sure the krathongs stayed in the water, not flying in hot air kites that can lead to brush fires when they crash. Officers also were on high alert for illegal fireworks and firecrackers.
Traffic was bedlam in the area, both because of the earlier Pattaya Triathlon and the closure of Beach Road around Central Road for a free concert from folk music legend Carabao.
The city also organized free concerts from Ple Pratumrach at Lan Po Public Park in Naklua and by Labanoon on Jomtien Beach.
At Lan Po, dozens of colorful krathongs competed for prizes. All the entrants had to be made of natural materials.
At Central Festival Pattaya Beach, young girls competed in the annual Little Miss Noppamas pageant. Chanida Chomchalao placed first and also won the best Thai dress prize. Patwaran Rungrengthanawong won second and the Pattaya Favorite trophy. Parichat Sittikesorn won Most Talented.
Prizes ranged from 15,000 baht for first down to 8,000 for runners-up.
Area hotels also got into spirit. The Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort in Wong Amat saw General Manager Denis Thouvard host a Loy Krathong barbecue under the full moon. It featured cultural shows, flower and fire dances, and traditional Thai costumes.
Hundreds of Russian visitors flocked to Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens to witness the traditional celebrations there.