SINGAPORE – Agoda.com, Asia’s global hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed priceline.com Incorporated, today announced special hotel deals just in time for Loy Krathong.
Known as the Festival of Lights, Loy Krathong is traditionally a time when Thais give thanks, forgive grievances, and pray for good luck. All around the country, rivers, canals, lakes, and the night sky light up on the night of the 12th full moon, which this year falls on November 21.
Agoda’s CEO Robert Rosenstein said the festival also marks the beginning of the cooler dry season, which makes it one of the most memorable ways to start a holiday in Thailand.
“Loy Krathong is a fantastic time to be in Thailand. Hotels offer special promotions and host activities that involve their guests in Loy Krathong celebrations, giving tourists a unique and unforgettable experience of this special Thai occasion,” said Mr. Rosenstein. “Staying in Bangkok by the Chao Phraya river or in the city center makes this celebration even more memorable.”
The tradition of Loy Krathong is steeped in history and legend, but most scholars agree that it dates back about 700 years to the Sukhothai court when Nang Noppamas, one of King Phra Ruang’s wives, made a small boat laden with candles and incense and floated it down the river to honor the goddess of water, Phra Mae Khongkha.
Regardless of its origins, the festival has become entrenched in Thai culture. Every year, millions of people across the country from all walks of life release their krathong – a small handcrafted float made from banana leaves and adorned with flowers, candles, and incense sticks – into the rivers, lakes, canals, and ponds. A wish is made when the krathong is released, to both pay respects to Phra Mae Khongkha and to usher in good luck for the year to come. As the festival symbolizes renewal, hair and fingernails are sometimes included in the offering as a gesture of spiritual rebirth.
Loy Krathong is an especially romantic time, and many couples use the festival to renew their commitments to each other. If a couple’s krathong floats long enough to leave their sight, it means their love will last forever.
While most Thais make their own krathongs, stalls also sell them to visitors who want to take part in the ceremony.
In Chiang Mai in Thailand’s north, thousands of khom fai – sky lanterns – are also released. It’s believed these graceful constellations bring good luck as they drift out of view, taking troubles with them. In Bangkok, Loy Krathong engages the entire city – krathongs of all sizes are set adrift down the majestic Chao Phraya and fireworks mark the occasion in all parts of the city. Lumphini Park and Queen’s Sirikit Park near Asok BTS set the scene for two of Bangkok’s biggest Loy Krathong events.
Here are some of the latest, lowest hotel rates for Loy Krathong 2010.
BANGKOK HOTEL PROMOTIONS
RAMADA PLAZA MENAM RIVERSIDE HOTEL – 4 stars
Agoda special promotional rate US$120 per night. Enjoy A 30 percent discount – valid until March 31, 2011.
LEBUA AT STATE TOWER – 5 stars
Agoda special promotional rate US$131 per night. Book a minimum of 3 nights and enjoy a 42 percent discount – valid until December 29, 2010.
IBIS BANGKOK RIVERSIDE – 3 stars
Agoda special Loy Krathong rate US$37 per night. Valid until November 30, 2010.
BANGKOK MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA – 5 stars
Agoda special promotional rate US$124 per night. Book at least 7 nights in advance and enjoy a 19 percent discount – valid until December 29, 2010
CHATRIUM SUITES – 4.5 stars
Agoda special promotional rate US$87 per night. Book a minimum of 3 nights and enjoy a 47 percent discount – valid until December 29, 2010
CHIANG MAI HOTEL PROMOTIONS
DE CHAI THE COLONIAL HOTEL – 4 stars
Special Agoda rate from US$64 per night. Book at least 2 nights and enjoy a 10 percent discount. Valid until December 24, 2010.
DE NAGA – 4 stars
Special Agoda rate from US$88 per night. Book this rate and enjoy up to US$29 discount per night. Valid until November 30, 2010.
RIMPING VILLAGE – 4 stars
Special Agoda rate from US$85 per night. Book this rate and enjoy A 25 percent discount. Valid until November 30, 2010.
THE RIM CHIANG MAI HOTEL – 4 stars
Special Agoda rate from US$88 per night. Book a minimum 3 nights and enjoy a 15 percent discount. Valid until December 20, 2010.
AYUTTHAYA HOTEL PROMOTIONS
AYOTHAYA HOTEL – 3 stars
Special Agoda rate from US$24 per night. Book this rate and enjoy a 10 percent discount. Valid until November 30, 2010.
PLUDHAYA RESORT AND SPA – 4 stars
Special Agoda rate from US$78 per night. Book this rate and enjoy a 30 percent discount. Valid until April 30, 2011.