By The Nation
For plenty of Thais, Valentine’s Day isn’t just a time to express love – but to do it in style. Registering to get married is certainly not out of the question.
Folks in Chiang Rai were on Friday (February 14) getting high on romance with a “Balloon Love” event at Singha Park.
At last count, 25 couples had applied for marriage licences before boarding hot-air balloons to see the floral gardens from far above.
Of course, it helped that an international balloon festival was underway at the same time, with 33 entries from 13 countries competing. It features pop concerts and traditional performances by day and sound-and-light shows and fluorescent balloons by night.
That’s continuing through Sunday and there’s no admission charge. Proceeds from sales of goods and balloon rides are going to kids and schools in need.
Another 14 loving couples got their marriage certificates at Loei’s Prayai Skywalk in Chiang Khan, the thrilling, glass-bottomed observation point high above the spot where the Mekong and Heung rivers converge (with a wink to the future bride and groom).
They got another certificate too, formally recognising them as the first 14 pairs of lovers given the chance to hang betel palm leaves woven into heart shapes from the lookout and have their names carved on a commemorative plaque.
It sounds like a popular Valentine’s Day tradition in the making.
The elephants at Nong Nooch Botanical Gardens just outside Pattaya don’t seem to mind one annual assignment, which is carrying smooching couples on their backs while wedding registration forms are signed. More than 40 Thai and foreign couples enjoyed the romantic ride this year.
Back up North, in Chiang Mai, famous Warorot Market (Kad Luang) was packed with people buying flowers for loved ones. The prices were reasonable – Bt20 to Bt120 for a rose and Bt200 and upward for a bouquet of them.