From 20 to 28 of October, the vegetarian festival will be held in Thailand. The Tesagan Gin Je festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, is a religious event, originally from China. The story is that a Chinese Opera group came to Phuket to perform. When they fell ill with Malaria, they refrained from eating meat, and prayed to the Nine Emperor Gods. They made a full recovery and held a festival to honor the gods. Therefore, nowadays the belief is that by abstinence from meat and stimulants, the person will have good health and peace of mind.
On Friday November 3th, Loi Krathong is happening in Thailand. Loi Krathong is the festival of light. Loi means ‘float’ and krathong is the kind of lotus boat they use. The origin of the festival is unsure, some say it originated in Sukhothai, the old royal kingdom, others say it is an ode to the goddess of water. Certain is that it is celebrated on the night of the full moon of the 12th lunar month.
Thailand is an immensely diverse country, especially from a tourism perspective. Whether you want city life, culture, history, or a relaxing beach holiday, Thailand has it all. This makes the country wildly famous for tourists all over the world and most probably why you are reading this as well. While most countries you go to, you go for a specific destination and probably do not travel around much, here in Thailand you can see it all in one holiday. Therefore we will try to show you some different areas that the country has to offer so that you can experience all the different ways of Thailand in one big and adventurous yet relaxing holiday.
Let us begin with the centre of it all, Bangkok. For most people Bangkok is the starting point after which they quickly go onto the next destination, but there is so much to this crazy city as well with such a diverse atmosphere in this city of approximately 10 million inhabitants. Explore the modern parts of the city and go shopping in the many malls such as MBK, Siam Paragon, and CentralWorld. Here you can be surprised by the modern part of the city and potentially have a delicious fancy meal at one of the rooftop bars
Afterwards you can go to the historical part of the city and be amazed by its rich cultural and historical sights. Some of the world’s most impressive Buddhist temples can be found here, which will most definitely make for some beautiful pictures to show at home. Furthermore, the Grand Palace is a must see in Bangkok and cannot be missed on a trip to Thailand. We know that Bangkok is a busy melting pot of heat, people and traffic but enjoy the city because it definitely has something unique to offer!
If you are looking for a hotel in Bangkok, we suggest www.hoteldebangkok.com
The next beautiful destination on the list is the beautiful south of Thailand, with many areas to go to such as Phuket, Koh Yao, Krabi, and Koh Phi Phi there will always be areas that you simply do not have enough time to fully explore. Therefor we would suggest to go to Phuket and its surrounding islands such as Koh Yao. Phuket is a versatile island located at the south-western part of the country and it is the biggest island of Thailand. Offering plenty of beaches, culture, and delicious seafood, the island will most definitely not bore you the slightest bit.
If you are looking for something unique that you see on these beautiful pictures, the bounty islands with the beautiful beaches, warm weathers, and fresh delightful cocktails, then you should try one of the surrounding islands of Phuket and one of the many paradise-like resorts on them. These resorts provide you a unique experience on-par with the Maldives.
If you are looking for a resort around Phuket, we suggest www.paradise-kohyao.com
Hua Hin is located south of Bangkok as well but north of Phuket, in-between the two and is an upcoming beach destination to relax and enjoy the lovely Thai weather. The great thing about Hua Hin is the fact that it is located in the Bay of Thailand relatively up north and on the west side, which means that the weather is quite well all year round with less rain in comparison with other beach destinations.
Royal Paradise is another name for the city as the late King of Thailand used to reside in the palace in the city. Nowadays it is known for a great holiday getaway used by international tourists and Thai like. Bangkok is only about a 2 to 3 hour ride away, making it easily accessible for a few day trip. While the area is mainly known as a beach resort town, there is so much more to offer in the region. A few markets cover the area, the monkey mountain is close-by to the city as well, and there are many more attractions and things to do in and around the area.
If you are looking for a resort around Hua Hin, we suggest www.therockhuahin.com
Next up, the north of Thailand
Now you had an idea of the south of Thailand and possible places you could go to. Next blog will be about the north of Thailand, with beautiful cultural destinations such as the calm Chiang Mai and the historical Sukhothai. Thank you for reading and enjoy your holiday in the land of smiles, Thailand.
Wednesday the 10th is Visakha Bucha Day. This day is the most important Buddhist holiday and celebrated by Buddhists all over the world. Visakha Bucha is also publicly recognized as a national holiday in countries with a large number of Buddhist inhabitants.
The day commemorates the widely considered three biggest events in the life of Buddha: his birth, his enlightenment, and his death. These events are believed to have occurred on the day of the full moon in the sixth month of the lunar-based Thai calendar. While this generally puts the holiday in May on the Gregorian (western) calendar, it has been celebrated in June at times as well.
Birth of Buddha
The first event of the life of Buddha was his birth, which was approximately 2500 years ago in Lumbini, Nepal. Lumbini is now seen as a Buddhist pilgrimage site, housing a number of temples such as the Mayadevi temple. The place is now considered an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Buddha, was born as a rich prince but chose to leave the life of luxury in a search of wisdom. He went to the wise hermits that were living in the woodlands spread out through the region at the time. However, he felt disappointed and instead chose to meditate under a Bodhi tree. There he attained enlightenment, 35 years of age and formulated the basic tenets of Buddhism. At the same date but approximately 45 years later at an age of 80 Buddha died. According to Buddhist religion he then entered a state of ‘nirvana’ and thus escaping all suffering.
In Thailand, the day is a time for devout Buddhists to go to local temples and to “make merit”. While Visakha Bucha Day is definitely a time to make merit, it does not limit itself to that. There are many sermons on Buddha’s teachings and the devout will go to and meditate as well as recommit themselves to follow the five, or possibly the ten precepts of Buddhism as well as offering food to the temple workers. Some also set birds or fish free as a means of eliminating “negative karma”
The five biggest and widely known & followed precepts which to refrain from are
- Harming living things
- Taking what is not given
- Sexual misconduct
- Lying or gossiping
- Taking intoxicating substances e.g. drugs or drinks
Buddhist monks have ten precepts to live by, which are the 5 mentioned above and the following ones.
- Taking substantial food after midday (from noon to dawn)
- Dancing, singing, and music
- Use of garlands, perfumes and personal adornment like jewellery
- Use of luxurious beds and seats
- Accepting and holding money, gold or silver.
Experiencing Visakha Bucha Day as a tourist
The sale of alcohol becomes prohibited during the Visakha Bucha Day and thus many bars close temporarily. The most celebrations are private and of a religious background, but tourists can visit few of the many temples that become even more alive than normally during Visakha Bucha Day.
Wat Pho is the oldest Buddhist temple in Bangkok and dates from the 7th century. The ashes of King Rama 1 are enshrined inside the temple and the famed Reclining Buddha is also located in this temple. The reclining Buddha symbolizes Buddha’s entrance into nirvana at his death. Besides that, the temples architecture is extremely ornate, colourful, and complex.
Another great temple to visit is the Wat Phrathart Doi Suthep. At this temple a large pilgrimage takes place every year during Visakha Bucha Day. Led by candlelight, many devotees circle the chapel of the temple. They move in a clockwise direction while carrying incense sticks and lotus buds. The temple has a stunning view over the city with a panoramic view.
The tourists visiting Thailand during Visakha Bucha Day will see the country cheer up during the holiday with the temples being crowded with worshippers and tourists alike. Whether you join in on the festivities or just admire the architecture, history, and activities Visakha Bucha Day is enjoyable and memorable for everyone involved.