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Traditional boats racing festivals season about to start in Thailand

Every year towards the end of the rainy season in Thailand, many cities and communities organize festivals around traditional long boat races. In this article, I give you the dates of the main longboat races festivals that will take place between September and the end of November for those who would like to attend… (see the end of this article)

traditional boat races thailand

Photos: tourismthailand.org

 

Traditional boat racing in Thailand

This is quite logically when the water level of the rivers is the highest that traditional long boat races take place in Thailand. Most of them are organized in September and October but there are also some of these festivals in November (like Phimai festival for instance).

It is one of the oldest traditional festivals in Thailand. It goes back more than 4 centuries ago. The longboats, made entirely of wood, can be up to 30 meters long. Long wooden boats ending in long decorated prows have also been used for centuries for royal processions. These royal boats can be seen at the Royal Barge Museum in Bangkok.

The boat racing festival consist in competitions with boats lined up with a crew of rowers more or less numerous according to the competitions. The most common distance for a race is 500 meters.

 

Where to see these boat races ?

The destinations where these very popular races are the most important are Phichit (near Phitsanulok), Phitsanulok, Nan, Chumphon, Buriram, Saraburi and Ayutthaya.

Personally, I recommend the Phimai Festival because in addition to the boat races, you will have a nice light and sound show in the Khmer temple of the city every night and other activities. And I really like this small town 3 hours drive from Bangkok. But obviously, it will depend on your travel dates.

Festival de Phimai

Festival de Phimai show in the Khmer temple

Here are the dates of the main traditional boat racing festivals in Thailand for those of you who would like to discover this tradition and live the fervor of these races little known by foreigners tourists.

  • Phichit: 1-2 September 2018
    On Nan River in front of Wat Tha Luang temple
  • Phitsanulok: 15-16 September 2018
    On Nan River in front of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (Wat Yai)
  • Phimai Festival : 7-11 November 2018
    On the Mun River. There are also boat races that take place on weekends, a whole festival with a nice sound and light show in the Khmer temple of the city.
  • Nan: 22-23 September and 2-4 November 2018
    The races take place in town at the Pattanapaknuar Bridge
  • Saraburi: 22-23 September 2018
    On the Pasak River, Saohai District.
  • Ayutthaya: 18-19 September (to be confirmed)
    On the river at the Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat:10th October 2018
  • Surat Thani Chak Phra Festival and Boat Races: October 2 to 10
  • Sakhon Nakhon: 16-24 September 2018
  • Buriram: normally the 1st weekend of November but I do not have an official date yet
  • Chumphon : No official date yet

You can find all the dates in the Events and Festivals section of the site. I will add those I miss today as and when. And as usual, I will communicate and remind a few days before on Twitter ( @MikeThailandee).


Ayutthaya Aquatic Phansa Schedule (July 27)

The Lat Chado community has settled along the banks of Khlong Lat Chado since ancient times, and a great bond with canal water has developed in their daily life, as evident from the boat that can be seen underneath every house. Khlong Lat Chado used to be a major channel of transportation to take the people everywhere including to make merit at the temple on important religious days, which gave rise to the Aquatic Phansa Festival. This local and unique waterborne candle procession has been observed and inherited from the past until present. This year, the Lat Chado Subdistrict Minicipality has scheduled for the 9th Aquatic Phansa Festival to take place at Khlong Lat Chado, Amphoe Phak Hai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province, on the full moon day of the 8th lunar month or Asalha Puja Day, which falls on Friday, 27 July, 2018. The Asalha Puja Day is another important religious day in Buddhism, which commemorates a day of 4 significant occurrences in the time of the Lord Buddha; namely,

phansa festival bougies ayutthaya

  1. The First Sermon given to the 5 ascetics by the Lord Buddha, which marked the discourse of setting in motion of the Wheel of the Doctrine.
  2.  The emergence of the Lord Buddha’s First Disciple, Annakondanna.
  3. The emergence of the First Monk, Annakondanna, who attained the first stage of holiness and became ordained.
  4. The first completion of the Triple Gem: Buddha – the Enlightened One, Dhamma – the Doctrine, and Sangkha – the Order.

For Buddhists, Asalha Puja is a significant occasion for them to perform worship in the
forms of both material things and practice. In practising, they will be required to follow the Middle Path, through the Noble Eightfold Path, which can be simplified as the practice of Morality, Concentration, and Wisdom. The Asalha Puja precedes the Buddhist Rains Retreat during which Buddhists go to the temple in their community to make merit, listen to Dhamma preaching, and offer candles and rains-cloths for monks to use during the 3-month period. This is a long-inherited tradition.

Visitors to the Festival will have a chance to experience the canalside way of life, various aspects of Thainess and local culture that has been preserved along the waterway, folk fishing with a Yo fish trap, verdant rice fields, and particularly, a waterborne procession of colourfully decorated candle boats, canalside garden home contest, folk games competition, photo exhibition of the Lat Chado way of life, retro market atmosphere, and various forms of entertainment.

According to Mr. Kreangsak Pimpandee, Mayor of Lat Chado Subdistrict Municipality, this is the 9th year of the Aquatic Phansa Festival at Lat Chado Canal. Interested visitors are invited to experience this unique waterborne festival, partake in the preservation of Thai tradition and culture, trace the glorious past of this community that still maintains its beautiful canalside lifestyle, enjoy the procession of candle boats, contest, sports competition, and several other activities.

Mr. Essarapong Tansiri, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Office, revealed that the Festival has been publicised through various media channels and both Thai and foreign visitors are expected to join this annual event. Visitors may also visit other temples in the province to make merit on Asalha Puja Day.

 

Schedule of Aquatic Phansa in Ayutthaya

Programme “9th Aquatic Phansa Festival at Lat Chado Canal”
Khlong Lat Chado, Amphoe Phak Hai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Friday, 27 July, 2018
******************************

08.00 – 09.00 Hrs. – Registration of all boats at the Lat Chado Canal (in front of the
Lat Chado Market).

09.00 – 09.30 Hrs. – Local boat songs and performances by each of the boats in jovial
ambience.

10.39 Hrs. – Opening Ceremony of the “9th Aquatic Phansa Festival at the
Lat Chado Canal.”

11.00 Hrs. – The boats sail along the canal past the communities on the canal
banks, and the Lat Chado Chinese Shrine landmark where photos of
the boat procession can be taken.

11.20 Hrs. – The boat procession makes a U-turn and resumes its course from
Aunt Linchi Khrutthaphan’s house to pass the landmark again.

12.00 – 12.30 Hrs. – The boat procession floats past the Lat Chado Market once again for
tourists to capture impressive moments.

12.30 Hrs. – The candles are taken out of the boats to be given as offerings to
Wat Lat Chado.

13.30 Hrs. – Competition of Lat Chado local games.

Note: The programme is subject to change as appropriate.


Rocket festivals in Thailand

In May in Thailand, you have the opportunity to attend surprising festivals, the rocket festivals especially organised in North-eastern Thailand, also known as Isan, a region where almost all communities have their own rocket festival and Northern Thailand. Off course there are some places where the event is bigger and attracts more people but they all are very festive moments. 

yasothon festival des fusées

Rocket Festivals in Thailand

When I talk about rocket festivals, or Bun Bang Fai festivals (ประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ), don’t expect to see a big event about space conquest and ships to explore March, the rockets here are homemade black powder rockets.

The rocket festival marks the beginning of the rainy season in Thailand and aims to appease the spirits of the rain. It would ensure people will be blessed with abundant rain for their rice plantations. According to egends, the origins of this ancient tradition goes back to the pre-Buddhist era and the rockets have only been introduced in the 9th century when the powder became known in Southeast Asia.

The celebrations usually last 3-4 days and include music and dance performances, parades in the streets with dancers and musicians and floats on the second day and end on the third day with the launch of the rockets from the morning to the evening.

And of course, there is a rocket competition rewarding the one that went the highest and the furthest.

festival fusées thailande

rocket festival thailande

yasothon festival fusées

 

In this video (in French), I showed you, the Yasothon Rocket Festival 2017. Yasothon helds the most famous Rocket Festival in Thailand.

 

The main rocket festivals

The biggest Rockets festivals in Thailand take place in Isan. The most famous one, as I said before, is Yasothon Bun Bang Fai Festival. Otherwise, the most know are held in Kalasin, Roi Et, Sisaket, Mahasarakham or Nong Khai. I give you the dates and programs of the 3 events that are for me the most important.

 

Yasothon Rocket Festival (11 – 13 May 2018)

As said, the Yasothon Rocket Festival is Thailand’s best-known rocket festival.

I was there last year and I can confirm that the last 2 days are the most interesting with the big parade of floats, dancers and musicians on Saturday on Chaeng Sanit Road and rockets launched at Phaya Thaen Park on Sunday (from 8:00 am). There are also entertainment, traditional dances and food stalls near Yasothon’s  Giant Toad Museum.

crapaud yasothon

 

For more information and to have the detailed program, you can contact Ubon Ratchatani TAT office at +66 45 243 770.

 

Kalasin Rocket Festival (19-20 May 2018)

The festival is not held in the city of Kalasin itself but in the Kuchinarai district about fifteen kilometers from the city.

There will be parade and dances on Saturday (15:30 – 18:00) and Sunday from 8:00 am the rockets launch until 18:00. Kalasin is famous for its huge circular rockets that can go very high in the sky. Really impressive and a little scary I must confess !

 

Roi Et Rocket Festival (28-30 May 2018)

Here too the festival does not take place in Roi Et city but in the province. There are several events in fact, in Suwannaphum district and Phanom Prai district for instance. Here I give you the information about Phanom Prai’s festival.

  • 29 May 2018 at 10 am: Opening Ceremony at 10 am followed by the parade of dancers and musicians.
  • 30 May 2018 from 8am onwards, rockets launch in Ban Don Phran and results of the best rocket contest announced at 4pm

Rocket launches will depend on the weather. And be careful, don’t get to close as these homemade rockets can fall faster than expected or explode.

These festivals are an opportunity to discover Isan and the cities and provinces of the 3 main events that I quote in this article. You will find all the information to organize your stay in Roi Et or Yasothon on this website in the section “Cities and Islands” with accommodation or transportation search.

 

The nearest Rocket Festival from Bangkok 

There is also a Rocket Festival held near Lopburi in Central Thailand. It is the nearest Bun Bang Fai Festival from Bangkok and will take place on 12 – 13 May 2018. 

Here is the link to the exact location : https://t.co/gSeLLBeI1r

 


Schedule of Chiang Mai Songkran Festival 2018

Songkran, the Thai New Year is approaching (April 13-15) and Chiang Mai is probably the most popular and lively destination for this festival. I just got the official schedule…

songkran-2017-17

 

Songkran 2018 in Chiang Mai

The official program starts on April 1 and is quite busy with many ceremonies in the city temples but is is from April 13 to April 15 that the main Songkran events will take place. I also added the big alms offering ceremony the day before that will mark the anniversary of the city.

 

Program of Songkran celebration from 13 to 15 April

The most important moment of the Songkran celebrations in Chiang Mai is the procession of Phra Singh and other Buddhas images from many other temples. It will take place on April 13 from 1:30 pm and will go from the Sanpakhoi intersection to Wat Phra Singh. The procession of the Boddhi tree of the next day is also interesting.

The Three Kings Monument and Thapae Gate will be the two location of most activities.

  • April 12 from 6 am to 8 am: Big Alms giving ceremony  to mark the 722th Anniversary of the establishment of Chiang Mai city (Three Kings Monument)
  • April 12 from 10:09 am to 11:39 am: Salutation and Worship ceremony to the Head of Kabillapphrom (God of Songkran)
  • April 13 from 6 am  – 8 am : Alms Giving ceremony for Pee Mai Muang Festival 2018 (Songkran) (Thapae Gate)
  • April 13 from 8:09 am – 8:39 am: opening ceremony of Chiang Mai Songkran Festival 2018 (Thapae Gate)
  • April 13 – 15 from 10 am  to 10pm: Lanna cultural open space with Lanna tribute contest, activities for cultural area-food, local dessert, knowledge center, cultural performances. (Thapae Gate)
  • April 13 from 1:30 pm to 6 pm: procession of the Buddha Phra Singh and other Buddha Images while people pour scented water on them (from Sanpakoi Intersection to Wat Phra Sing)
  • April 14-15 from 7pm to midnight: election of Miss and Mister Songkran 2018 (Thapae Gate)
  • April 14 from 1:30 pm to 5 pm: procession of Holy Boddhi Tree and sand offerings to temples (from the Iron Bridge to the Thapae Gate with stops in the different temples).
  • April 15th from 7pm to 11pm: Songkran Kids contest (Thapae Gate)

On these three days (13, 14 and 15 April), there will be many people in the temples to pray and participate in two Songkran rituals: the bath of Buddha images which consists of pouring scented water on Buddha images and the sand pagodas on which everyone will add a bucket of sand and plant a pennant.

If it happens in almost all temples in Chiang Mai, it is at Wat Phra Singh that there should be the most crowed.

songkran thailande

Songkran est avant tout une fête religieuse

Rest of the official program

There are other events that last for several days, the time slots are wide so difficult to tell you what is the best time to go but here is the official complete schedule.

songkran 2018 chiang mai

And of course, there will alos be water fights in the street and it will be difficult to get out without getting wet.There will probably be a“Water fight zone”  in front of Thapae Gate also like last year.

I will write soon other posts on Songkran in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand and will share some photos and videos on D-Day. Keep in touch…


Air Asia Big Sale: domestic flights in Thailand at 261 and 390 THB

Air Asia Big Sale is back and put on sale 5 million air tickets on which you only pay taxes and ancillary costs is really cheap air tickets. And obviously among these 5.000.000 of places at broken prices, there are tickets fordomestic flights in Thailand. We arrive at domestic flights in Thailand from 261 THB.

big sale domestic flight thailand

Air Asia Big Sale

This “Big Sale” started yesterday and continues until March 11, so you need to book your flight tickets for this period for flights from September 3, 2019 to May 28, 2019. Yes, as with all Air Asia Big Sales, this is for travelers who plan their trip well in advance;)

-> Booking and detailed conditions on Air Asia website

 

Domestic flights in Thailand from 261 THB

Let us understand, the prices below (screenshot of the site of the company), are with a hand luggage alone and without luggage in the hold. For baggage in the hold, it will be necessary to add a supplement of the order of 300 THB as for each time at Air Asia.

domestic flights thailand fares

The cheapest rates are for flights between Bangkok and Chumphon, Surat Thani or Udon Thani advertised at 261 THB each way. Otherwise, all flights to or from Bangkok are 390 THB (10 €).

 

Additional costs

In the booking process, you will see the price go up once your flight at the chosen promotional rate. This is “normal”, by default an extra luggage in the hold of 20 kg will be added and insurance. You can withdraw them once you have entered your last name, first name, nationality and date of birth. Be careful, if you remove the extra baggage (300 THB or more depending on the flight), you will only be entitled to one piece of cabin luggage weighing up to 7 kg.

Only by removing these options will you be able to pay exactly the prices listed above.

 

Flights from and to Don Muang Airport in Bangkok

In Bangkok, the Air Asia company is based at Don Muang Airport, so if you have to fly with a flight arriving or taking off from Suvarnabhumi Airport, allow a margin to change airport (minimum 3:30). There is a free shuttle between Bangkok’s two airports (see the page on the shuttle bus between Bangkok airports). Otherwise, to reach downtown Bangkok from Don Muang by public transport (and vice versa), you have several possibilities:

  • the train, there is a footbridge that connects the airport to Don Muang station, it is the cheapest solution
  • shuttles buses about which I put you all the details HERE

Feel free to follow me on Facebook and Twitter to miss no information and no good plan to prepare your trip to Thailand and enjoy the best.


New Phuket bus to link airport to main beaches

Travelers arriving at Phuket Airport mostly immediately seek to reach one of Thailand’s largest island beaches. Phuket taxis are reputed to be the most expensive in Thailand, there also are minivans to the main beaches and since yesterday there are buses, “Smart Buses”.

phuket bus airport beaches

The new Smart Buses that connect the airport to the beaches of Phuket (official photo)

Airport bus to Phuket beaches

The first route of the Phuket “Smart Bus” was launched Wednesday. This line, the blue line, connects Phuket International Airport to Rawai Beach in the south of the island along the west coast and stopping at the most famous beaches. The trip covers a total of 56 kilometers. It’s a 2 to 3 hour drive to get from the starting point to the terminus.

I do not have the details of the stops, there are currently 11 and 25 are planned in the short term to finally have up to 52, but I can at least tell you the beaches served by these new buses:

  • Surin Beach
  • Kamala Beach
  • Patong Beach
  • Karon Beach
  • Kata Beach
  • Rawai Beach
phuket airport bus to patong kaon kamal rawai

(photo Facebook page PKCD)

After a trial period that began yesterday, March 1, 2018, during which there will be a bus every 45 minutes from Phuket Airport between 9 am and 5 pm, the service should intensify, start at 6 am and stop at 20h.

I will keep you informed on my Facebook page and on Twitter of schedule and frequency changes.

To board the bus, passengers will need to buy a “Rabbit x Phuket” smart card, on the bus or at more than 60 partner stores in Phuket. This card, based on the principle of the existing Rabbit Card in Bangkok, makes it possible to pay and obtain discounts in many stores such as Mc Donalds, Tesco Lotus, Family Mart ….

Although the price of the trip is between THB 50 and THB 170, it seems that you have to pay at least THB 300 to acquire this card, which will be credited with THB 200 (so if it calculates well the card itself costs THB 100). But you do not have to go to Mc Do Swallow Big Macs to use your remaining credits, you can keep them for the return or to travel from beach to beach during your stay. You will be more comfortably installed than in the old local buses.

This “Rabbit x Phuket” card, once acquired, is charged. You can add money on Smart Buses or partner stores. Yes, a classic ticket would have been easier but you have to live with its time;) Let’s say that it is especially if you make a single trip that you will pay more than necessary.

Although, I do not know if it can be used to pay the bus for several people or if one card per passenger. If you buy the card on the bus, you can pay in cash of course but also by Visa card. The information provided refers only to this type of card, Visa being a bus partner. We can imagine that payment by Mastercard, American Express or other is not possible but it’s just a deduction from me that will confirm.

 

Why are they called “Smart Bus”?

No, no, the buses put into circulation have not passed an IQ test, it’s just that they will be connected buses with WIFI on board, GPS geolocation (you can follow the buses in real time on this link), CCTV cameras and a USB port at each seat. In short, buses that live with their time. These will be new Mercedes (Deutsche Qualität;)) buses ordered for the occasion and chosen in particular for their reliability and their good brakes, an important criterion when we know the topography of the island and in particular the descent to Patong, and because they offer more room for luggage.

They are also praised by the initiators of the project for their comfort and their large windows that allow to enjoy the view.

It has been a long time since a solution is studied to offer more possibilities of public transport to move to Phuket which is still poorly endowed with this side. A priori, it is a first bus line that should be followed by others.

But no information was divulged on any future bus lines in Phuket in terms of both route and set-up times. Wait and see …

But there is no doubt that the buses that have been circulating since Wednesday will find their public because such a service was highly anticipated. Having not had the opportunity to test and yesterday’s service, you have seen, I still have some small areas of shadows. I will update this post when I will get reviews from my followers.


0 USD flights from Bangkok to Krabi with Thai VietJetAir

Yes, the title is optimistic, I know, because of course, VietJetAir does not offer free flights, well not really… The passengers will still have to pay taxes and other fees but still it’s a very good deal!

cheap flight bangkok krabi

This offer should allow you to fly from Suvarnabhumi Airport from Bangkok to Krabi from 259 THB or € 6.70 at the current rate. Who says better ?

Flights to Krabi at 259 THB

It is to promote its new route from Bangkok to Krabi that Thai Vietjet Air airline has launched this aggressive sales campaign, offering a ticket to zero baht. This is not the first time, the airline offers such deals.

Like Air Asia who has already made this type of offer, the passenger will still have to pay airport taxes and other fees which should make the plane ticket to Krabi at 259 baht. A very good price !

I’m not sure if for this price you have the 20 kilos of luggage that usually allows the company with no extra charge, you will have to check when you place your order.

Obviously like all promotions on domestic flights in Thailand and on planes in general, not everyone will benefit the offer but those who will succeed will be happy !

How to benefit this promotion ?

To benefit this promotion on flights between Bangkok and Krabi , you must book your flight tickets now until March 5th on VietJetAir website between 12 pm and 2pm, Thai time.

The offer concerns only flights between April 5 and October 27 for a limited number of places.

VietJet Air expands its network in Thailand

The advantage of VietJet Air over other low cost airlines operating domestic flights in Thailand is that, like Thai Smile, Thai Airways low cost subsidiary, it operates in Bangkok from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

This airport is more easily accessible by public transport than Don Muang Airport, thanks in particular to the Airport Rail Link subway line and this also allows you to connect your international flight with an internal flight without changing airport while enjoying an attractive price.

Krabi will be the fourth destination in Thailand served by the airline from Suvarnabhumi Airport after Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Phuket. I take this opportunity to remind you that it also offers very convenient direct flights between Chiang Rai and Phuket.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter to miss no information and no good plan to prepare your trip to Thailand and enjoy the best.


Makha Purami Si Prachin Festival until March 2

On March 1st, Thailand will host one of the most important Buddhist festivals of the year, Makha Bucha Day. Widely celebrated across the country, it is the festival held on several days in Prachinburi province 130 kilometers from Bangkok that is the most famous. Called Makha Purami i Prachin Festival, here is the schedule.

Makha Purami Festival thailand

Makha Purami Festival until March 2

 

Makha Purami Si Prachin festival in Prachinburi

Combining meditation, hikes, offerings to monks and religious ceremonies, the Makha Purami Si Prachin Festival is held over several days between Wat Bang Khen and Wat Sa Morakot ( “temple of the emerald pond”) temples.

Every day the participants walk from one temple to another, meditate, sleep there, participate in offerings and walk with the monks to the next temple, sleep in the temple and so on day after day.

I imagine that if you want to make the whole pilgrimage, you can join it on any day. Or only attend one day, the most interesting day being Makha Bucha Day which is the penultimate day.

This year the festival will be held from February 22 to March 2, 2018 and will celebrate its 32nd edition.

makha bucha thailand

Ceremony at the night candle

 

Schedule of Makha Purami Si Prachin festival

Thursday, February 22, 2018

  • from 09:00: Registration at Wat Bang Khen (see map)
  • 18:00: evening – meditation
  • 8:00 pm: Orientation by Phra Pravit Vuwananuwat Pranao District

 

Friday, February 23, 2018 (hike in Ban Bueng District)

  • 4:00 Wake up
  • 5:00 Meditation
  • 07:00 Food offerings at Wat Bang Khen
  • 08:00 Walking, hiking to Wat Bang Toei, Bangyai, Ban Bueng.
  • 10:30 Food offerings at Wat Bang Toei, Bang Huay Tambon, Amphoe Ban Sang.
  • 15:00 10-kilometer walking tour to Bang Khen temple, Bang Kraee sub-district. Ban Bueng District (night at the temple)
  • 18:00 Ablutions
  • 19:00 Evening meditation / listening to the sermon.

 

Saturday, February 24, 2018 (hike in Ban Bueng District)

  • 4:00 Wake up
  • 5:00 Meditation
  • 06:00 Food offerings at Wat Bang Krabao, Tambon Bang Krang. Ban Bueng District
  • 07:00 Meal at Wat Bang Krang
  • 08:00 Hiking 6 km to Wat Bang Sang,  Ban Bueng Sub-district Ban Bueng District
  • 10:30 Food offerings at Wat Bang Sang,. Ban Bueng District
  • 15:00 9 km walk to Wat Pikun, Bang Phlu Tambon, Amphoe Ban Sang (overnight at the temple).
  • 18:00 Ablutions
  • 19:00 Evening meditation / listening to the sermon.

 

Sunday, February 25, 2018 (hiking in the District of Ban Chang and Prachin Buri)

  • 4:00 Wake up
  • 5:00 Meditation
  • 6:00 Offerings to Wat Pikun Tambon Bang Phlu Amphoe Ban Sang.
  • 07:00 Meal at Wat Pikun, Tambon Bang Phlu, Amphoe Ban Sang.
  • 08:00 Start of the 10 km walk to Wat Pho temple, Amphoe Mueang Prachin Buri
  • 10:30 Food offerings at the temple.
  • 15:00 Hiking 9 km to Wat Liap, Amphoe Mueang Prachin Buri (night at the temple)
  • 18:00 Ablutions
  • 19:00 Evening meditation / listening to the sermon.

 

Monday, February 26, 2018 (Walk to Prachin Buri and Si Maha Pho)

  • 4:00 Wake up
  • 5:00 Meditation
  • 6:00 Offerings to Wat Liap, Amphoe Mueang Prachin Buri.
  • 07:00 Meal at Wat Liap, Amphoe Mueang Prachin Buri
  • 8:00 Walk for a 7 km hike to Wat Hat Yang, Si Maha Pho.
  • 10:30 Food offerings at Wat Hat Yang, Hat Yang District, Si Maha Pho.
  • 15:00 Departure for a 9 km walk to Wat Mai Krong Thong temple (night at the temple)
  • 18:00 Ablutions
  • 19:00  Evening meditation / listening to the sermon.

 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 (trek to Sri Maha Phot and Si Mahosot district)

  • 4:00 Wake up
  • 5:00 Meditation
  • 06:00 Food offerings at Wat Mai Krong Thong. Si Maha Pho District Sub Si Maha Pho District
  • 07:00 Meal at Wat Mai Krong Thong. Si Maha Pho District Sub Si Maha Pho District
  • 08:00 Hike 11 km to Wat Ko Samo cemetery, Hua Wa Tambon, Si Maha Pho.
  • 10:30 Food offerings at Wat Ko Samo cemetery, Hua Wa Tambon, Si Maha Pho.
  • 15:00 3 km walk to the ruins of Sa Morakot Pool Ancient Pond (overnight at the temple)
  • 18:00 – Ablutions
  • 19:00  Evening meditation / listening to the sermon.

 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

  • 4:00 Wake up
  • 5:00 Meditation
  • 07:00 Food offerings at Wat Morakot, Khok Thai Tambon, Si Mahosot District.
  • 09:00 Dhamma Dhamma
  • 10:30 Food offerings at Wat Morakot, Khok Thai District, Si Mahosot.
  • 13:00 Dhamma Charoenjai
  • 18:00 Ablutions
  • 19:00 – Evening Meditation / Listen to the Dharma

 

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

  • 4:00 Wake up
  • 5:00 Meditation
  • 07:00 Food offerings at Wat Morakot, Khok Thai Tambon, Si Mahosot District.
  • 09:00 Dhamma Dhamma
  • 10:30 Food offerings at Wat Morakot, Khok Thai District, Si Mahosot.
  • 13:00 Dhamma Charoenjai
  • 18:00 Ablutions
  • 18.30 Ceremony around the Buddha footprint
  • 19:00 Presentation of the Miracle of Miracles by the monks and a circular ceremony around the footprint.

 

Friday, March 2, 2018

  • 4:00 Wake up
  • 5:00 Meditation
  • 07:00 Food offerings at Wat Morakot, Khok Thai Tambon, Si Mahosot District.
  • 09:00 Dhamma Dhamma
  • 10:30 Food offerings at Wat Morakot, Khok Thai District, Si Mahosot.
  • 12:30, honored and meditated at the ceremonial area.
  • 13:00 Candles and closing ceremony.

It’s translated from the Thai with the help of the questions I asked by phone to the city’s Cultural Office so there may be some inaccuracies in this program.

 

Map of the temples visited during the festival

 

Instructions for participating

If you want to participate in ceremonies, you should be dressed in white and in a respectful attire. If you want to go for hikes and spend nights at the temples, you will need to bring mosquito nets, cutlery and plates to eat and a bottle that you can fill with water. And of course, considering the walking and hiking, you have to be in good physical shape.

I am not sure if foreigners can participate but I would be surprised if they refuse but be aware everything will be in Thai. But you can surely attend the various ceremonies.

I have never participated in this festival yet but I must say that a spiritual retreat with hiking and meditating with Buddhists monk is something I am interested in. Maybe next year…

To come to Prachinburi from Bangkok, there are in regular trains (schedules ICI).

For more information, you can call the office of TAT Nakhon Nayok – Tel: 037 312 282.

You will find on the website dates and information about the main festivals in Thailand.


13 biggest Chinese New Year celebrations in Thailand

The exact date of the Chinese New Year 2018 is 16th February. There will be many celebrations throughout Thailand and will be held from 13 to 23 February. In this article, I list the festivities supported by the Tourist Authority of Thailand.

chinses new year thailand

 

Chinese New Year an important date in Thailand

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “With millions of Thais of Chinese descent, Chinese New Year has always been a time to celebrate with the family and togetherness across Thailand. This year, locals and international visitors are invited to join in 13 major official celebrations nationwide, each of which is home to large, established Chinese communities,with spectacular food and cultural performances taking centre stage.

 

Chinese New Year 2018 in Thailand

In Bangkok (15-17 February)

Highlights of the celebrations include a New Year greeting ceremony held with high-level ministers on 15 February, to further strengthen the strong relationship between Thailand and China. The ceremony will take place at the China Cultural Centre, and will be led by H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, and H.E. Mr. Yang Zhijin, Deputy Minister of Culture from the People’s Republic of China.

An official opening ceremony of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Yaowarat – the historic home to Bangkok’s Chinese community – on 16 February, will be presided over by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and will feature Thailand-China cultural exchange performances by 135 performers from nine provinces in China, including Fujian, Hainan, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, Heilongjiang, Zhejiang, Hunan, Shanxi and Hubei. Highlights include traditional Chinese dances and music, martial arts, acrobatic performances and Chinese opera puppets. The cultural exchange performances will then tour to Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Songkhla (Hat Yai) and Phuket.

Locals and international visitors can also enjoy a celebration of food culture. Fresh from cooking at the recent G20 Summit in Hangzhou, a renowned Zhejiang province chef from the World Federation of China Catering Industry will be on hand to create Southern Chinese delicacies that are fused with flavours familiar to Thai palates. A cooking demonstration will also be held to mark the beginning of the Chinese New Year, when families traditionally gather to enjoy food and being together.

nouvel an chinois bangkok

 

Chinese New Year celebrations all around Thailand

Here is the list of official Chinese New Year celebrations supported by TAT :

  • Photharam Chinatown Chinese New Year, Ratchaburi, on 5-14 February
  • Pak Nam Pho Chinese New Year, Nakhon Sawan, on 9-20 February
  • Chinese New Year, Phetchaburi, on 15-17 February
  • 16th Chiang Mai Chinatown Chinese New Year, on 16-17 February
  • Suphan Buri Chinese New Year, on 16-17 February
  • Chinese New Year, Trang, on 16-18 February
  • Chinese New Year, Nakhon Ratchasima, on 16-18 February
  • Udon Thani Chinese New Year, on 16-18 February
  • Chinese New Year, Songkhla (Hat Yai), on 16-19 February
  • Chinese New Year, Chon Buri (Pattaya), on 16-25 February
  • Ancient Capital Miracle Chinese New Year, Ayutthaya, on 17-22 February
  • Phuket Chinese New Year and Old Town Festival, on 21-23 February

I do not have the schedule of each celebration but I should be able to give you more details a few days before the event at least for the one in Chinatown Bangkok. I will then write an article here or post the information on MikeThailandee Twitter account.

Don’t hesitate to contact local TAT offices ti get more details.

Note that in Phuket, the festivities in the old city, will be held a few days after the CNY official date.


3rd International & Thai Martial Art Games and Festival (12-21 mars)

The Kru Muaythai Association (KMA) is the official association together with the UK Culture forum and Muay Boran Association; with support by the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. In association with the World Muay Boran federation (WMBF) and the World Muaythai Organization (WMO).

muay thai bangkok

Successfully organizing the International & Thai Martial Arts Games and Festival since 2016 with the shared aim to promote the best athletes in the World within their competing martial art categories as well as to promote culture exchange and friendship through competition and sport.

Also as part of the event, the spectacular World wai kru ceremony is held every March 17th, were by all competing athletes from the festival are able to travel free to Ayuthaya province and take part in the wai kru ceremony, led by famous fighters such as Buakaw Banchemek.

The first INTERNATIONAL AND THAI MARTIAL ARTS GAMES & FESTIVAL was held between the 12th-22nd March 2016 at MBK Center in the middle of Bangkok, Thailand. With more than 43 countries and over 500 athletes taking part.

After great success following the first games, the KMA was forced to move to a larger arena to host the next festival. The 2nd INTERNATIONAL AND THAI MARTIAL ARTS GAMES AND FESTIVAL was then held at Nimibutr National Stadium, next to MBK centre in the middle of Bangkok 2017.

The first two festivals included competitions in Muay Boran (Amateur) by WMBF, Pro-am and Professional muay thai fights by WMO, as well as, Dap Thai (Thai sword), Mae mai muay thai, muay keta (aerobics muay thai) and ‘Angel Warriors’ competition.

The festival also holds workshop classes and seminars for participants wanting to learn and develop their skills in Muay Boran, judge and refereeing, krabi krabong and much more.

 

Following the outstanding feedback and admission from participants from the games in 2017, the KMA had attracted the attention from other Martial arts requesting to take part in the festival.

Now the Kru Muay Thai association plans an even larger event for March 2018, hosting a spectacular martial arts tournament.

Competitions included in the festival:

  • The 5th Amateur Muay Boran World Championships (W.M.B.F)
  • Muaythai Pro-Am & Professional Championships (W.M.O)
  • Sport Karate Kata /Kumite, Dungle Championships (Bushiban)
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships (Carlson Gracie)
  • Amateur Kick Boxing K1-Glory Championships (W.K.A)
  • Jeet Kune Do-Tang soo do World Championships
  • 3rd Dap Thai (Thai Sword) World Championships
  • 2nd Boxing Under 19yrs and 1st Adult +19 yrs Sections (U.B.F)
  • Angel Warriors and Mr. Fitness warrior competition
  • Keta Muaythai (Muaythai aerobics)

All competitions will be held at Nimibutr, National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

Not only will this event host competitions, but many workshops and seminars in a variety of Thai and International martial arts.

Last, the 14th WORLD WAI KRU CEREMONY by The tourism authority of Thailand (T.A.T.) which will be held on the 17th March at the World Heritage site in the ancient city of Ayutthaya.

For more details, visit www.wmomuaythai.org.


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