Yi-Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, one of Thailand's top three popular festivals, celebrates the heritage of Lanna culture under the essence of religious respect and cultural celebration in an atmosphere illuminated by the full moon.
Pokémon GO, a mobile game app developed by Niantic, will join the excitement of this year's Yi-Peng Festival. Pokémon GO trainers will discover special "routes" created in collaboration with the local Chiang Mai community to celebrate the festival of lanterns and lights. When following these "routes," trainers will explore and uncover vibrant, iconic places in Chiang Mai that come alive during the Yi-Peng Festival.
Niantic's mission, "To inspire people to explore the world together," aligns perfectly with this initiative. The collaboration between the Yi-Peng Festival and Pokémon GO has brought this mission to life.
These routes aim to enhance the travel experience for players visiting Chiang Mai during regular days and the Yi-Peng Festival. There are a total of 6 routes where tourists and players can enjoy themselves while collecting special Pokémon GO rewards available exclusively during the Yi-Peng Festival. Here are the details.
Route 1 - Hidden Street Arts ชุมชนควรค่าม้า
The community walking route begins at Wat Mo Kham Tuang, a Lanna-style temple renowned for its exquisite beauty and ancient Buddha statues, some of which are approximately 700 years old. This temple is considered a sacred place, and visitors often have their wishes granted when they pay their respects. As you continue along this path, you'll come across the charming and serene Khuan Khama community, where both Lanna people and Tai Yai (Shan people) coexist harmoniously. This community actively engages in various cultural activities, such as music performances, art exhibitions, and local businesses, which contribute to the economic well-being of the community.
Moving through the community, you'll arrive at an area filled with colorful graffiti and artwork on the walls, doors, and fences of the houses and buildings in the neighborhood. These artworks are created by both renowned artists, including Thai and international talents, as well as the creative contributions of local youth. The streets and alleys are brought to life with vibrant and lively paintings, creating a dynamic and energetic atmosphere in the community. This walking route is certain to leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Moreover, during the Yi Peng Festival, these communities frequently organize events that showcase the traditional culture of the Lanna people, a heritage passed down through generations. Therefore, if you happen to be in Chiang Mai during the Yi Peng Festival, don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the art and culture of these communities while participating in their activities.
Route 2 - Lanna traditional market กาดกองเก่า
Travel route for relaxation and local art appreciation, concluding with Thai dining or Thai massage services for relaxation during your journey.
Wat Lamchang is a small temple with beautiful architecture that dates back over 700 years. It is known for its sculpted elephants, symbolizing the temple, as it was once a place of elephant training, a royal mode of transport. After visiting Wat Lamlamchang, continue your tour to explore the street art in the alleyways that intersect. You can stroll through and enjoy the many stunning murals along the walls. Immerse yourself in the local community's way of life and visit various eateries, coffee shops, and homemade goods stores. At certain times, you can leisurely walk to Kad Kongka, the old town market located on the main street of the city center. It's a charming community market offering a variety of both traditional and contemporary Thai dishes.
During the Yi Peng Lantern Festival, the temple is adorned with lanterns, and some streets are decorated to fit the festive atmosphere of Yi Peng.
Route 3 - Center of Lanna วัดเจดีย์หลวง
The Route to admire the beauty of architecture, which is a place of reverence for the people of Chiang Mai, steeped in truly delightful history and art of the city.
Start your exploration at the Three Kings Monument, located in the heart of Chiang Mai. It's easily accessible and a great place to pay respects, receive blessings, and learn about Lanna's history before embarking on your adventure. Not far away, visit Wat Inthakhin Sadue Muang, an ancient temple with a rich history that used to be the city's central pillar and was highly respected by the people of Chiang Mai. Continue your journey to Wat Pan Tao, where you can experience a tranquil and serene atmosphere that soothes the soul. Conclude your route with a visit to Wat Chedi Luang, located in the heart of the city. This temple was once the center of governance and, at one point, housed the revered Emerald Buddha, the guardian deity of Thailand.
If you visit during the Yi Peng Lantern Festival, you'll witness the illumination of various locations throughout the route, especially at Wat Pan Tao, where lanterns are lit, and the grand projection mapping show continues the grand illumination at Wat Chedi Luang.
Route 4 - Tha Pae Walking Street วัดดวงดี ท่าแพ
Discover hidden gems in the heart of the city and immerse yourself in the architecture and the lively atmosphere of Tha Pae Walking Street, filled with local products, handicrafts, souvenirs, and street food.
Start your journey at Wat Duang Dee, where upon entering, you'll encounter a striking white pagoda, the centerpiece of the temple. This pagoda is a masterpiece of Lanna art, adorned with five golden umbrellas following the Lanna tradition. Not far from Wat Duang Dee is Wat Umong Mahathera Chan, a well-known tourist attraction. It consists of structures that reflect the past prosperity of Chiang Mai, such as the Lanna ancient chedi and the Chiang Saen Singha Buddha. After exploring Wat Umong Mahathera Chan, continue your walk along Rachapakinai Road to reach Tha Pae Walking Street. This vibrant street is brimming with local products, food, and a variety of souvenirs. After indulging in local cuisine and shopping for souvenirs, continue your journey to Wat Muen Lan, renowned for its unique blend of Lanna and Burmese architecture. The temple is famous for blessings related to wealth. Before concluding your route, you can seek blessings for prosperity.
If you visit during the Yi Peng Lantern Festival, you'll witness the enchanting beauty of lantern decorations within the temple and the lively celebrations along Tha Pae Walking Street.
Route 5 - Khlong Mae Kha คลองแม่ข่า
The Mae Kha Canal is one of Chiang Mai's ancient canals, which originally served as an outer moat encircling the city of Chiang Mai and served as a drainage channel leading to the Ping River. It provides evidence of ancient water management and urban planning. However, due to the expansion of the city, the canal's water quality deteriorated. As a result, efforts have been made to restore and beautify the Mae Kha Canal, giving it a simple and suitable physical appearance for the modern era.
Along both sides of the canal, you'll find local community shops. These shops, mostly run from the front or back of homes, provide various services and products to tourists. You can find souvenirs, traditional clothing, and a wide variety of food and drinks.
Furthermore, during the Yi Peng Festival, the Mae Kha Canal is a must-visit location. It's famous for its beautifully decorated light displays along the canal, making it a prime spot for photography enthusiasts
Route 6 - Chang Moi cool district ช้างม่อย
The cultural fusion route offers an opportunity to encounter areas that blend traditional and contemporary cultures. These route, dotted along the distinctive and unique local store, infuse charm and vibrancy into the city's vibrant tapestry. Additionally, you'll come across renowned eateries and cafes to savor throughout the journey.
Once you've immersed yourself in the charm and uniqueness of Chiang Mai, you'll come across a large and renowned activity area in the city, namely Tha Phae Gate. This gate is considered a significant landmark, and if you visit Chiang Mai, it's a must not to miss the opportunity to take pictures alongside the ancient city wall.
Furthermore, by experiencing Chang Moi Cool District Route during the Yipeng Festival, you can witness the cultural fusion of the community, from its rich traditional heritage to new and exciting activities that unfold along the same path.
Niantic was founded in 2015 to create a global AR platform that would drive future generations of computer experiences in the world of augmented reality. Niantic originated from the team that developed Google Maps at Google. Niantic then partnered with The Pokémon Company to create the Pokémon GO app, which became a cultural phenomenon and a highly popular game, with over 1 billion downloads and players from more than 150 countries and regions.
Niantic's Lightship platform allows developers worldwide to create their apps using location-based technology and augmented reality. Niantic's game players have collectively walked over 38,000 million kilometers, mapping more than 75,000 cities and identifying over 16 million points of interest.
Pokémon GO, which became a global entertainment phenomenon during the summer of 2016, is now the most popular AR game in the world. Niantic pioneered the AR experience for consumers with Pokémon GO, and the game's popularity has continuously grown. The essence of Pokémon GO lies in the joy of discovering, collecting, and battling with Pokémon in the world of augmented reality.