The Thailand International Balloon Festival moves from one location to another each year and, this month, it sets up in Chiang Mai for the weekend December 7-8. There is a quiet poetry in the sight of the colourful balloons lifting of and filling the sky but the atmosphere on the ground is just as interesting, with a range of activities and performances to keep visitors occupied well into the evening. Tens of thousands flock to this annual festival – previously staged in Pak Chong, Ayuthaya and Nakhon Nayok – to enjoy paper balloon-building workshops, kite-flying, fire shows and live music. Thai-Russian-British singer Hugo will headline on the closing day. Tickets are B100 and the bucolic setting the Chiang Mai Gymkhana Golf Club, which is a short drive south of the city. See thailandballoonfestival.com for more information.