Royal Barge Procession - 5 December

Organised by the navy as part of celebrations to mark His Majesty the King’s 85th birthday on December 5 and including a “kathin” ceremony, a traditional royal Buddhist rite to mark the end of Buddhist Lent, the Royal Barge Procession made its way down the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok this afternoon. Photos by Post Photographers.

    I had hoped to be in Bangkok for this beautiful celebration of the Kings' birthday but I wasn't.

    Maybe next time?

    Monkey Party Festival (25 Nov)

    image from thaitravelblogs
    No i do not understand this.

    There are countless monkeys throughout Thailand and at Lopburi they choose to give them a party. The local villagers will set up tables amongst the ruins and then these tables will be covered in food - the party begins and the monkeys eat all of the food.

    The local people believe that by donating food to the local monkeys they will receive good luck!

    View Larger Map

    Surin Elephant Round Up (24 - 25 Nov)

    images from Bangkok101
    This is an annual event and is based on the history of the Surin people who were trained as a Mahout.

    Ban Tha Klang is a small village near to Surin who are famous for these skills, initially the great animals were used for battle but the Kui tribe have since taught the elephants to do other things in their villages.

    What is most popular for this Festival though is the; acrobatic stunts, basketball, painting, football, polo and a plethora of other things

    Bangkok 101 have the full information here.

    Royal Barge Procession - 9th November

    This is certainly something which I would like to attend - anybody pay me to go there to cover it?

    This wonderful procession of Royal Barges is part of the celebration of the 3 month long Buddhist Lent period. It is from Rama VII Bridge to the Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun).

    I paddled the Chao Phraya River last Christmas with John Gray (of the World Respected John Gray Sea Canoe) which was fun and our family visited Wat Arun last month.

    More information from Richard Barrow - thanks again Richard. 
    He has even made a map.

    View Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok in a larger map

    End of Buddhist Lent Celebrations

    image from a previous post
    With all of the furore of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival I am sorry to say that I have missed a number of celebrations and I am linking my reader to another site - - for information about this festival.

    image from an interesting blog about phenomenon
    1. Tak Bat The Wo
    2. Naga Fireball 
    3. Lai Ruea Fai Festival 

    'Sart Duan Sib' - Festival of the Tenth Lunar Month

    image courtesy of Phuket Heritage Trail - permission requested
    I have to admit to have being so mixed up with the Phuket Vegetarian Festival that this important Buddhist Festival passed me by completely - thank you to Phuket Heritage Trails for reminding me.

    This is their text as well - 

    The most important Buddhist merit-making festival for Southern Thai people is the annual Tenth Month Festival, Sart Duan Sib, traditionally held towards the end of the 10th month of Thai lunar calendar (September/October).

    Buddhist Thais believe that spirits of their ancestors, particularly ones that have not yet reincarnated, and the suffering spirits with no relative called ‘Prate’ (hungry ghosts) will be released from the underworld, from the 1st to the 15th day of the waning moon in the 10th lunar month.

    This belief is fundamental to the practice of ancestors worship. During the 15 days, Thai family members and friends show their loyalty, gratitude, and respects to their ancestors by preparing sumptuous feast and making trips to nearby Thai temples to present ritual merit-making offerings. 

    For more information please click here.

    I might see something this evening.

    Moon Festival (30th September)

I visited the Moon Festival for 'Otter's Tales' - the blog for Cape Panwa Hotel and I enjoyed the Festival enormously - thank you.

After leaving we visited the Weekend Market opposite Wat Naka for dinner - sticky rice and Fried Chicken. The market seemed to be festooned with tourists I did not realise that it had become such an attraction!

    As we were driving home we were suddenly surprised by sounds of fireworks and chanting - there was a Dragon Celebration in a little known Chinese Shrine called 
    Jor Soo Kong Naka.

    The atmosphere was electrifying - so much so that Jemma would not let go of me when we first entered. We were immediately bombarded with the noise of cymbals, shouting, a dragon dancing and much more.  I believe that the Head of the Village (Or Ba Tor) was here at first to welcome the dragon by placing a red (that colour again) in the mouth of the dragon.

    After much cheering the dragon danced around and sprayed water from it's mouth onto all of the onlookers - I imagine that this a blessing. Following this the people who were watching gathered underneath the dragon and walked to the front of the dragon where they received a blessing.

    Then we moved away from the furore and we watched a smaller (more traditional dragon) dance in front of others and receive a small donation.


    View Chinese Shrines in Phuket in a larger map

    Nakhon Phanom Fireboat Festival (23 - 31 Sept)

    Image from
    Thailand are good at this spectacles - one very good reason to visit of live here

    "The festival, significant for Buddhist people in Isaan, is best known for the exquisite, ceremonial boats and the night-time ceremony to pay respect to the Lord Buddha, make merit with the Khong Kha or goddess of water, and to burn all bad luck and evils away with fireboats.

    For this year, the event will be held during 23rd to 31st of October on the banks of the Mekong river near Nakhon Phanom City Hall. The procession of splendid illuminated boats will be a highlight of the night. Each boat, made of natural materials such as wood or banana tree trunk containing candles and other symbolic offerings, will be decorated in vary shapes and forms but mostly in traditional Thai designs, then will be lit up and floated on the Mekong River. The line of illuminated boats will light up the night with striking scenes."

    Museum Festival - Phuket

    Jemma and I decided to get the local bus into Phuket Town to visit the special Museum Festival in Phuket Town.  After visiting a Chinese Temple to give blessings we wandered through the back streets, along Yaowarat Road and then turning into Krabi Road.

    Along Krabi Road is the Phuket Thai Hua Museum - this museum celebrates the special relationship that Phuket has had with the Chinese people and the Museum investigates the humble beginnings of this relationship. (The museum will be written about in another posting - today we were collecting stamps).

    After this we then walked to the Phuket Thai Hua Club. Normally the Phuket Thai Hua Club is a small coffee shop and cafe but today there were a number of stalls celebrating the heritage of Thailand. We played with the traditional puppets and collected our second stamp.

     Now Daddy decided he need a coffee and Jemma wanted air-conditioning -
    Koffie Terrace was our next stop. After refuelling we turned down Soi Romanee and onto Thalang Road. 

    Here was where there was the Tourist Information of Phuket City Municipality - this was very busy so we did not spend a long time in here - but we got our third stamp.

    Our next stop was the Chalermraj Center (Baba Phuket) - (The museum will be written about in another posting - today was collecting stamps).

    In here we had a lot of fun - the staff showed Jemma the old toys that were common for children, we had a wonderful time - thank you.

    View Phuket Museums in a larger map

    Phuket Food Festival 14-22 Sept

    The Phuket Food Fair has (I think, a 15 year old history) - it is intended as a celebration of local foods for the locals and visitors to Phuket, there will be over 100 stalls to choose from

    Any excuse to celebrate food is a good excuse to have a party and the Thai people do know how to party - look at the agenda for the performers.

    BUT there will be no alcohol for sale, not that this matters, more interestingly is that there will be no styrofoam containers will be used, no 'old style light-bulbs' be used and the Festival Organisers have requested that no MSG be put into the foods.

    Visit and have fun.

    View Sapan Hin - South Phuket in a larger map

    Quicksilver Thailand Surf Competition 12-15 Sept

    image courtesy of  Phuket News
    There is a Surfing Competition on the way to Phuket:

    "The Quiksilver Thailand Surf Competition (sp) 2012 will include a surfing festival with a free rock concert, fashion show and other fun activities at the beach in Patong in front of Phuket Graceland. The venue is moving to Patong and Kalim Beaches from Kata Beach as it will become a much bigger event and a part of the international competition, the ASEAN Surfing Championship held in Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia.:

    There is a different reason visiting Patong now (sic)...

    Fingers crossed for the weather...

    image from Wind Guru
    Check out Wind Guru for the forecast.

    Por Tor Festival 2012

    What started out quietly did not end quietly.

    The Por Tor Ceremony is a special Festival in Phuket Town which is called "The Hungry Ghost Festival". 

    The Chinese Community (which is quite large in Phuket Town) believe that the spirits of their dead ancestors come back each year and so the cakes are made to feed them, turtles because they indicate a long life and red for prosperity. There are a number of postings which can tell you more if you are interested and I did visit Phuket old Town previous to this day.

    What was different this year was that there was a parade from Sapan Hin organised for the last day.  There were a great many girls dressed in Chinese costumes and after some fire crackers were lit it was time to leave. Thanks to the staff from the TAT in Phuket Town for their red turtle kanoms.

    We paraded from Sapan Hin into Phuket Town and we ended at Por Tor Kong Shrine - passing by more turtles for sale and people watching us.

    At Por Tor Kong Shrine there was unquestionably 
    'Organised Chaos'.

    Our parade (see pic at top) turned onto Takuathung Road, which in fact is a tiny little Soi. 

    As we approached Por Tor Kong Shrine I understood where all of those turtles crawled from - where do they go to next? On entering it was clear that there was a high level of cooperation between everybody but as a visitor it was fascinating.

    Fire crackers were litturtles everywhereofferings made and blessings asked for - the tables were covered in food and drink but I do wonder whether the offering of the Thai Whisky was... 

    Happy Por Tor for 2012

    View Chinese Shrines in Phuket in a larger map