I WALKED UP A LONG dirt driveway, past half submerged houses to a guesthouse in New Sukhothai. I had booked the last room in an overbooked town, a thin mattress laid on a tiled floor. Past the unattended reception, on a long wooden table, were piles of marigolds, banana leaves, and orchids.
The staff punctured foam with silver pins, sticking neatly folded leaves in intricate patterns along the edge. They handed me a base and invited me to join them. I wedged three incense sticks and some candles into the middle of the foam, surrounding them with haphazard yellow and magenta flowers. I finished my krathong with a circle of banana leaves.