day fifty-seven: november 25, 2015: yee peng loy krathong festival
We had lunch at Dash! again and ended up chatting with the chef of the restaurant. Noi grew up in Chiang Mai but moved to the states and went to culinary school there. Then, came back to Chiang Mai, built this beautiful teakhouse that her son owns and manages the restaurant out of. Jonathan said it was the best khao soi he's ever tasted and my phad thai was pretty yummy too! Noi even made us these awesome apple pie rolls with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel sauce. YUM! We wished we could have stayed longer but had to make our way to the lantern festival, but we did make reservations to spend Thanksgiving with her at Dash.
We were shuttled to Maejo University, which was about 45 minutes outside of the old city and where the massive lantern release would be. Dinner was included in our ticket which included pad thai and a bunch of amazing small eats that we're all laid out in one area of the venue. It was amazing! It was super organized and there were stalls that had different treats to try like, fried donuts with fresh soy milk, sticky rice roasted with banana, fried bananas and sweet potatoes, rice crackers, apple bananas, honey lime tea, fresh popsicles, etc! Once the sun went down, the ceremony began and we all participated in a meditation lead by monks and novices. It was cool because the meditation was in English so we were able to understand what was going on. Then, the big moment came, where everyone started to light their lanterns and all in unison we released thousands of lanterns into the sky. IT. WAS. UNREAL. It was a really beautiful moment to see the night sky lit up by all of these lanterns. This is something we definitely want to do again!
We made our way back to the city and went to the bridge to check out all the other lanterns and krathongs being released.