After a two day trek around northern Thailand which included staying in a local hill tribe village, our guide finally brought us on our last night to stay at the Akha village. Here, after he cooked us an authentic Thai dinner that was so out of this world, he said he had some gifts for us as it was our last night with him. He then proceeded to show us each how to light and release paper lanterns that he had got for us.
He said lighting and releasing these lanterns were symbolic of good luck and we should let our problems float away as these lanterns do.
We each proceeded to light and release them one by one - he asked us to also make a wish as we released our own lanterns. It was so beautiful and special because it was just me and my friends standing outside our bamboo hut, overlooking the mountains, and experiencing this aspect of the culture with our guide. That moment is forever etched in my memory.
You can get a lantern anywhere in Thailand, but to stay in the Akha village, please contact the guide, Addy at firstname.lastname@example.org> for such homestay experiences and he will also cook delicious Thai food for you.