We are celebrating Chinese New Years in Thailand,
on the island of Koh Samui
It's the sort of place where we have our own little cabin
right on the water,
And fine dining is served each night by candlelight
right on the beach.
We are here for the last week of our honeymoon,
concluding our month-long stay in Thailand.
Their flower art here in Thailand is unbelievable;
this greeting was created using all individual flower petals.
This island is sort of the new Phuket, which Mr. C read was a less desirable destination at the moment due to some sort of local unrest or uprising.
It's very restful and romantic.
It so happens that tonight they are celebrating Chinese New Years with a special dinner on the beach, complete with Thai entertainment; and concluding with the lighting of huge lanterns that are released out over the waters of the Gulf of Thailand, taking with it your wishes for the New Year.
The dinner is typically Thai, but they throw in a few Chinese dishes, too, like the Peking duck (which you might notice is whole, and is served head and all).
This guy is making what is being referred to as 'fondue', but trust me on this, there is no chocolate anywhere in sight.
Basically, the idea is for you to choose some of these dumplings (some familiar, like shrimp, some not-so-much, like pork liver) and tofu-like pieces and he will cook them for you.
But there's wonderful chicken and shrimp and skewers, also.
They even let me help ~~ mmmmmm, crab is my favorite!
We have a bit of music from the 'orchestra',
and the traditional Thai dancers, all very nice.
Then we see they are starting to light and release the lanterns.
It's ever so beautiful as they waft into the night sky.
But it gets better. We are all invited to come down by the water where we get to participate ~ making our wish and lighting our own lantern, sending it on it's way out to sea.
What an unexpected delight! Of course I am struck (once again) by the difference in another country vs. back home, where the fire hazard and regulations and probability of being sued for setting the grass huts on fire would prevent any such thing. So for tonight, I'm glad I'm not back home.
They have assistants on the beach which help light
and instruct us on holding the lantern just-so,
So that it slowly fills with air heated by the flame,
And then, once it's buoyant, they let us know when to release it.
It's truly magical as they start to lift off and float away,
drifting out to sea and into the night.
I've never seen anything quite like it.
What a special and memorable Chinese New Years this has been!
Click here to see the video