Wai Khru Ceremony – the meanings and origin

Wai Khru Ceremony – the meanings and origin

Another informative Guest Blog by Josh Peatfield of Asia Backpackers – loads more info and festivals on this link


The wai khru ceremony (Thai: พิธีไหว้ครู) is an ancient Thai ritual first performed by students of martial and performing arts as well as those studying astrology and is still performed at their initiation as well as before each contest or performance. The rite is a show of respect and homage to both their teachers and the deities who patronize each of their arts. (Astrology still has an important role in Thai life with annual events such as The Royal Ploughing Ceremony, an ancient rite dating back over 2,500 years which heralds the start of the new rice-growing season. The event is usually in May, with the actual date determined by the king’s own Brahmin astrologers.)

wai khru ceremony  Thai welterweight Muay Thai kickboxer

wai khru ceremony Thai welterweight Muay Thai kickboxer – Buakaw Banchamek

Role on several thousand years and almost all of today’s school and further education students are expected at the start of the new academic year to take part in a wai khru ceremony. The ceremony is normally held on a Thursday which is traditionally the day of the Hindu God Brihaspati presides over, and is the day of other Hindu deities and gods of wisdom and teachers.


The rituals of wai khru are believed to have derived from ancient animistic beliefs, influenced by the spread of Brahmanism from India. This is evident in the wai khru ceremonies of traditional dance and music, where specific mention is made to Ishvara (a concept in Hinduism), Shivaga Komarpaj ( the central figure of Thai Buddhist medicine) and Narayana, (the Vedic Supreme God in Hinduism) along with other Vedic deitiesWai khru has for most of history existed as a folk tradition, passed on from generation to generation throughout the years.


Wai Kru ceremony

Wai Kru ceremony 2556 Faculty of Fine Arts Chiang Mai University





The wai khru ceremony in its modern form, originated as recently as 1941 at Triam Udom Suksa School, Bangkok. Today’s ceremony usually begins with a Buddhist prayer ritual, followed by the students’ recitation of the wai khru chant, which expresses respect for and gratitude to the teachers, and asks for the teachers’ blessing of their studies. Immediately after this, a select number of students, usually the representatives of each class will present the teachers with offerings of flowers, candles and joss sticks arranged on phan (traditional Thai pedestalled trays). This is usually followed by a speech by the head teacher offering the students guidance in their academic career and when the students may be presented with awards and honors they have earned in the previous academic year


wai khru ceremony CMU

Faculty of Fine Arts, CMU held every year at Lan Sak .






The traditional offerings to teachers have individual meanings, namely:

  • Ixora (khem, เข็ม) flowers, which while closed form pointed buds, symbolizing sharp wit
  • Cynodon dactylon (ya phraek, หญ้าแพรก or Bermuda grass), the rapid growth and resilience of which symbolize perseverance and the ability to learn
  • Popped rice (khao tok, ข้าวตอก), which symbolizes discipline
  • Eggplant flowers, which bow low when nearing fruiting, symbolizing respect and humility.




Thai culture tries to foster a deep respect for educators and this at times elaborate ceremony is the perfect opportunity start the academic year. The ceremony is normally very formal but does include a blaze of colour and music and after thousands of years it is still seen as a vital part of today’s Thai educational system. Long Live the wai khru ceremony.


Wai Kru ceremony

Wai Kru ceremony 2556 Faculty of Fine Arts Chiang Mai University



Posted in Thailand festivals. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Wai Khru Ceremony – the meanings and origin

Papaya Leaf Tea, Tisane or Infusion

Papaya Leaf Tea, Tisane or Infusion – experiments with making healthy herbal tisanes

Another guest blog from John Bickel from his Teas of the Ancient World series

Tisane experiments; papaya leaf, and ginger with herbs and fruit

Kind of odd for a tea blog to keep going on about tisanes but some recent experiments were interesting.  The idea isn’t to point towards a certain “herb tea” someone might want to replicate as much as describe that experimentation, which others may find of interest, or could take further in their own directions.

visiting tea friend on a Bangkok ferry

On the subject of tea (real tea) I did just visit a new local friend, and another friend visiting Bangkok I’d met before, and tried a nice Oriental Beauty that he picked up in Taiwan recently on a visit, and some darker roasted Tie Kuan Yin from there.  But somehow it didn’t seem to fit as context for a blog post, as well to only include as mention that I really am still drinking teas, and I’ll get back to those sorts of write-ups.

Papaya leaf “tea”

Somehow it seems unlikely most readers would take this in the direction I did, cutting off a leaf in the yard and testing out drying it.  I’ve ran across health claims related to papaya leaf tisane in the past, that it would cure cancer, which of course hardly seems worth considering, unless one has cancer, and then who knows, drinking it couldn’t hurt.  If it does actually help with cancer that’s an anomaly, given how such claims seems to go, random ideas that get repeated.

at the house, from 2013; took awhile to get to this

I wasn’t trying to improve my health, more just curious what it would taste like, and how “processing” would go.  I’d expect it to be a bit bitter, although there is always the possibility of adjusting that with oxidation or roasting steps (or trying to; more messing around).  The version I made was as simple as could be; I picked a papaya leaf in the yard, a medium sized one, cut it to small pieces, and dried in on low heat in an oven for just over a half hour.

I was surprised that the “tea” was actually good (seems too strange to say “tisane” or “infusion,” and awkward to avoid nouns).  The first impression was that it tasted a lot like pumpkin, at first like raw pumpkin, with a slightly roasted flavor that also resembled the pumpkin seeds taste.  I had expected it to be bitter but there was only a trace of that, a little like the taste of a dandelion leaf.

papaya leaf, fresh off the tree

The second time I tried it I re-roasted the tea to test the effect, stirring it in a slightly hot steel wok for a few minutes, careful not to singe the leaves too much.  I couldn’t bring myself to actually brown the leaves out of fear of ruining it, although the color changed a little, and it would be possible to go that far with such a step.

The taste change after brewing it was amazing; it tasted almost exactly like roasted tomatoes.  Anyone that cans tomatoes would be familiar with that, or it’s a great way to start on making a fresh tomato sauce.  After a few light infusions the taste shifted a bit back towards the earlier, non-roasted version, more like pumpkin.

For another experiment I might try oxidizing the tea (not that I actually know how), trying out crushing the leaves a bit and allowing more air contact before a heating step, and maybe adjusting roasting.  There is a good bit of papaya growing in the yard so I can keep borrowing leaves for the experiments, and this is the one way to know if something is really organic, to live with the plant.  In researching the health benefits (the next point) I ran across this how-to guide for drying papaya leaves for “tea,” and it said just to hang them in a dark place, for weeks, and to let them dry like that.  Sounds a bit odd, really, although maybe related to the curing process for tobacco, which I’m also not familiar with.

oven drying chopped papaya leaf

I might mention a little about health benefits, while I’m at it.  A dedicated website lists out lots: cancer prevention, good for skin health and digestion, anti-parasitic, and it’s a diuretic that support detox (somehow would sound better if they’d skipped that last part).  The Livestrong organization supported the anti-cancer claim, and mentioned an actual study related to it (although it’s common for people skeptical of such claims to pick out flaws in study parameters or linkages).

Ginger with herbs and fruit

Due to having a cold I tried making a home-made ginger tea.  I can’t say online claims suggest that’s a good idea, that it works as a remedy, but somehow it made sense to me.  I should look up what is supposed to help since I’m getting colds too often lately.  I just read an article on the health effects of herbs (“The Healing Properties of Spices,” really) and per that cardamom is supposed to help with colds, based on running down the standard claims related to masala chai spices.  I did add cardamom, just probably not enough to make a difference.

This seems a good place to mention that I don’t put a lot of faith in the standard health claims for teas or herbs or spices but I don’t disbelieve them either.  I’ve done some research for some tisanes in past posts and good references on health claims is hard to turn up, but trustworthy nutritional content references that suggest there is measurable nutritional value that would possibly help in some isn’t so hard to find.

same general approach as recent masala chai trials

Related to just consuming ginger, when I was younger we would “juice” it, mix it with other vegetables ran through a juicer.  It’s quite spicy but it doesn’t take much milder vegetable base to offset some flavor, and probably best with a bit of apple to cut it further.  Dosage might refer back to what online research says is good for a cold, or how much ginger to use if that supposedly is, but we never added much.
Lately I’ve been making masala chai and experimenting with a Christmas blend (without any ginger), so messing around with tisanes is sort of a continuation of that instead.  I initially prepared this version to be like a tea-free masala chai:
-ginger:  1 1/2″ of one substantial root, very thinly sliced
-cinnamon:  a good bit of one stick, freshly hand ground
-clove:  spice powder (I didn’t have cloves handy in whole form)
-cardamom:  spice powder (I do have cardamom pods on hand but that takes more messing around)
-mulberry leaf:  sort of a base used to replace tea
-rosemary:  dried spice version needles, just a bit to round out flavor
-salt:  just a dash
It occurred to me when tasting this that making a real tea-free masala chai would be tricky, and would require more working through that base flavor and structure.  It’s hard to imagine how to really replace tea but I think cocoa could work to cover some part of that range (but then it wouldn’t be caffeine free, although I would expect that the caffeine in cocoa is pretty limited).
After trying it the tea still needed something, so I added half an apple, ground with a hand grater.  I don’t know if the resulting blend actually helped my cold but it was nice, interesting.  I didn’t boil this version, though, just brewed it a lot of times to make quite a number of cups of “tea.”

Making a masala chai last time I noticed an unusual thickness to that tea.  It wasn’t a thick, full feel as some high-mountain oolongs have–or other tea types, in varying degrees and expressed differently–but a really substantial viscosity change.  This tea had that too.  Any ideas which ingredient was doing it?  I could imagine someone finding thick tisane / herb tea disgusting but it was just interesting to me.  But then I live in Asia, where one really can’t be too squeamish about odd textures, or even about random smells encountered walking the streets.  I’m not into squishy textures enough to love most types of dim sum but I really do enjoy the Chinese desert of mixed beans, jellies, palm seeds, and lotus root over ice.

Both tisanes and versions of black teas are also native here but in the popular form Thais drink tisanes as single ingredient types, mixed with lots of sugar, prepared in jars and sold over ice in a separate part of food courts.  That blend I just described wouldn’t ring a bell, and I’ve never heard of anyone here making a tea out of papaya leaf.

Excuse the plug but if anybody is looking for Thai Mulberry Tea then we supply via our online store with FREE Worldwide delivery

Mulberry Tea by SiamSpain Herbal Health

Mulberry Tea by SiamSpain Herbal Health

Posted in Thai food and recipe. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Papaya Leaf Tea, Tisane or Infusion

76 districts nationwide facing water shortages

76 districts nationwide facing water shortages

Water Shortages

Water Shortages

AS MANY as 76 districts in various provinces including Bangkok are facing the risk of water shortages over the next few months, Agriculture Ministry meeting documents revealed yesterday.

Bangkok’s Nong Chok district would lack about 58 million cubic metres of water from February to April.

The districts facing the prospect of water shortages are located in 28 provinces including Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Chaiyaphum and Ubon Ratchathani.

Sombat Meelaksanasom, a senior irrigation official in Chaiyaphum, said more than 60 pump stations under his agency’s supervision in the province did not receive adequate raw water from a river in the area to supply tap-water services anymore.

“A drought crisis is imminent if significant rainfall does not arrive soon,” he said.

While the country’s rainy season usually starts in April, several experts have warned that the wet season may come late this year. Government assistant spokesperson Colonel Taksada Sangkhachan tried to downplay concerns about the drought.

“The country’s current water supply for consumption should last till early August. It’s just that people should help save water,” she said.

She urged farmers to grow crops that use little water and are drought resistant.

Original article from The Nation Thailand 26th February

Posted in News articles. Tags: , . Comments Off on 76 districts nationwide facing water shortages

Khlong Thom: where old mobiles get new life

Khlong Thom: where old mobiles get new life

Old mobiles get new life

Old mobiles get new life – Living Thailand

EVERY TIME a new iPhone is launched, people flock to the shops just so they can pay well above the odds for a brand new shiny one. In sharp contrast though, the other day, several people were seen on their hands and knees on the street looking for a working mobile phone in a pile of shabby old ones.

People check secondhand cellphones and batteries at a roadside stall in Bangkok.

“Only Bt40 per piece,” Somjit Pornpimon, a vendor selling old mobile phones, announced.

Somjit, 46, is among 10 other vendors selling used cellphones in Khlong Thom – a weekend flea market nestled in a narrow lane between five-storey shabby buildings.

She explained that typically she buys used or damaged mobile phones from ragpickers in different parts of the city from Monday to Thursday so she can sell them at the weekend.

She then piles up her purchases on the street to sell, with prices changing according to the time of day. For instance, on Saturday mornings the price is Bt50 per piece, but it drops to between Bt10 and Bt30 late on Sunday when the market is wrapping up.

Somjit, who has been doing business of this sort since she was 16, explained that there are three types of buyers.

“There are those who like antiquelooking phones, then there are the repairers – those who buy mobiles so they can fix and sell them – and then there’s the factory guys, who buy between 500 and 1,000 pieces in any condition to sell as material.”

More than a million cellphones are thrown away in Thailand per year. A survey by the Electronic Transaction Development Agency released last year showed that an average Thai changes his or her mobile phone every six months. The reason for this change can range from keeping up with the rapidly evolving technology to getting a device with better battery life, a bigger screen or just getting one that looks good.

Few people nowadays would even consider an old-fashioned Nokia.

“Can I have the same amount today?” a middle-aged man can be heard asking Somjit.

This is Pon, a regular customer who buys about 2,000 phones every time he visits.

“I’ve been doing this business for more than a decade now. Every week I purchase some 10,000 shabby phones before separating bits such as copper, lead, silver, gold and plastic. Then these parts are collected and sold to factories,” he explained, as he begins counting and throwing phones into a sack.

Then there was a man wandering around with different mobile phone batteries of different brands. He identified himself as Tee, saying he has been in the mobile-repair business for six years now. He usually buys old phones at the market and then looks around for similar models to use as spare parts. He then fixes the mobiles and sells them on the street for prices ranging from Bt100 to Bt1,000.

“I also repair phones earning between Bt500 and Bt4,000 depending on my luck. I believe this business is going to pick up as people often change their mobile phones. However, the only thing that concerns me is that this is a small market and will not be able to deal with the rising number of used phones,” he added.

So, if you wonder where your old mobiles go, maybe visiting the Khlong Thom market behind Klang Hospital might give you an idea.

Original article from The Nation 22nd February 2016

Posted in Bangkok. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Khlong Thom: where old mobiles get new life

Wat Khao Din Kanchanaburi Discover Thailand

Wat Khao Din Kanchanaburi

Photographer: Brian Hammond

Wat Khao Din Kanchanaburi


Kanchanaburi Explore Thailand

Wat Khao Din Kanchanaburi (Thai: กาญจนบุรี (pronunciationtion) is a town (thesaban mueang) in the west of Thailand and the capital of Kanchanaburi Province. In 2006 it had a population of 31,327. The town covers the completetambon Ban Nuea and Ban Tai and parts of Pak Phraek and Tha Makham, all of Mueang Kanchanaburi district, and parts of the tambon Tha Lo of Tha Muang district. Kanchanaburi lies 123 km west of Bangkok.


In the late 19th century, Kanchanaburi was established by King Rama I as a defensive outpost against possible Burmese attacks in what is now Lat Ya subdistrict. In 1833, the town was moved about 16 km towards the south-east along the river to its present site during the reign of King Rama III.


Wat Tham Sua Kanchanaburi. Kanchanaburi has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). Winters are dry and very warm. Temperatures rise until April, which is very hot with the average daily maximum at 38.2 °C (100.8 °F). The monsoon season runs from May through October, with heavy rain and somewhat cooler temperatures during the day, although nights remain warm.


Kanchanaburi, which is where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai Rivers converge into the Mae Klong River, spans the northern banks of the river and is a popular spot for travelers. Its location at the edge of a mountain range keeps it much cooler than the other provinces of central Thailand. The city has two major commercial districts: the downtown area consists of a grid of several streets with office buildings, shop fronts, and a shopping mall; and the riverfront area businesses are mostly further west along River Kwai Road. Once a year a carnival comes to town and is set up in the area next to the bridge. At night there is a small pyrotechnics display that re-enacts the wartime bombing of the bridge.

Travel Thailand

More about Wat Khao Din Kanchanaburi

Posted in Brian Hammond Photography Thailand, Thailand. Comments Off on Wat Khao Din Kanchanaburi Discover Thailand

Bangkok faces water test as drought looms

Bangkok faces water test as drought looms

Original article from The Nation Thailand 22nd february 2016


THE METROPOLITAN Waterworks Authority (MWA) will test lower-watervolume distribution for 24 consecutive hours in some areas this week as it braces for an imminent drought crisis.

The top of a submerged pagoda reveals itself near the riverside border province of Nong Khai as water level in the Mekong River drops unusually low.

The test will run from 9pm Thursday till 9pm Friday.

“We need to make preparations for any emergency and any water crisis during the 2016 dry season,” the MWA said.

The announcement explained that its waterworks facility in eastern Bangkok might have to cut its production volume in the face of declines in available water.

Affected areas during the upcoming test include communities along two parts of Nonthaburi Road: one stretching from Bang Toranee Canal to Rattanathibet Road, and the other from Rattanathibet to Fai Jia Meng Mill.

Also affected are communities along Bang Kruay – Sai Noi Road, Ban Kluay – Sai Noi Road, Bang Bua Thong – Suphan Buri Road, Kanchanaphisek Road and Highway No 9.

MWA services cover Bangkok, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi. More than 10 million people live in these areas.

During a recent seminar, prominent water expert Assoc Prof Dr Seree Supharatid said the drought crisis would definitely hit the country. He noted that the volume of water flowing into dams was smallest in 2015-16.

“So, over the next four to five months, everyone needs to save water to help the country wade through this crisis,” he said.

Seree predicted that significant rain would not come to the country till late July or perhaps early August.

MWA governor Thanasak Watanathana is now calling on people to save tap water. To encourage people to lower tap water consumption, MWA has offered to give a discount of Bt100 to Bt200 on charges for users who can reduce water consumption by at least 10 per cent during March to April.

The Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) has also disclosed that 10 of its branches were now facing a high risk of a water shortage.

These branches are in Chachoengsao, Nakhon Ratchasima, Suphan Buri, Ratchaburi, Pattani, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nong Bua Lam Phu and Nakhon Sawan.

The PWA is closely monitoring 51 other branches too, due to concerns that they too may be hit by drought.

The threat has already become real in several provinces. In Ratchaburi, tap water production has faltered because of the lack of “raw water”.

In Tak, Tambon Walay Administrative Organisation’s chief executive Lt Chalerm Boonpornwong said the ongoing drought crisis in his province was the worst ever.

“I’d never found water shortage go this serious before. I am now seeking help from the provincial governor,” he said.

In Pathum Thani, the water level in Rahaeng Canal dropped so low yesterday the ancient floating market on the canal looked more like a land-based market.

In Phichit, farmers lamented that lotuses in their farms had withered due to water shortage. “We can’t earn any money,” Boonchuay Sa-nguannam, a local farmer said.

Senior agricultural officials have conceded that the low level of water supplies for the dry season at this point is not good.

“The situation is not quite good. Now we have far less water in our stock than last year,” Thongplew Kongjun, director of the Water Management and Hydrology Office at the Royal Irrigation Department (RID), said at the ministry’s press briefing.

In the Chao Phraya basin, water stored in the four major reservoirs, including the Bhumibol and Sirikit dams, would only be about 1,500 million cubic metres at the end of the dry season in April.

Senior officials at the briefing including Agriculture Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya tried to downplay fears of a possible water shortage, saying daily water distribution still strictly followed plans, but it could only serve two purposes – consumption and ecological preservation.

The RID is now only able to discharge about 18 million cubic metres a day. But the officials said this would last till August, if the plan was strictly adhered to.

Posted in Bangkok. Tags: . Comments Off on Bangkok faces water test as drought looms

Living Thailand March Festivals across Thailand

Living Thailand March Festivals across Thailand

This comprehensive list of Thai Festivals is brought to us thanks to Josh Peatfield of Asia Backpackers – loads more great blogs on this link

While the month falls in the middle of two New Years, with the Chinese New Year falling in February and the Buddhist New Year ‘Songkran’ taking place in April, March still does not let up and there are a multitude of glorious festivals right across the country to immerse your-self within. Listed here are details on what we believe to be the best from around the magical Kingdom of Thailand


Thai Lue Cultural Festival (งานสืบสานตำนานไทลื้อ)


Tai Leu Festival 2016

When an ancient people have the opportunity to show case their heritage

When: Annually beginning of March

Where: Wat Phrathat Sop Waen, Amphoe Chiang Kham. Phayao Province Northern Thailand

A Fantastic festival to highlight this ancient peoples past and as they look to their future. The festival is awash with colour and song and includes a parade and various cultural demonstrations, including the dangerous game of ‘Diu bao. Along with demonstrations of traditional games there will be cotton spinning and dessert making demonstrations along with performances of Lue singing and dancing including the Choeng or martial art dance. Throughout the festival the Lue people will be dressed in traditional clothing.

For more on this festival and why an ancient game can be so dangerous click here

The Kam Fa Festival (ประเพณีกำฟ้า) (or Boon Kam Fa Festival)




When: Second & Third day of the waxing moon in the third lunar month

Where: Phai Lio Sub-district, Don Phut District. Saraburi Province Central Thailand

The festival has its origins from the once rich history of the Phuan People. This annual event is organised to seek a blessing from gods and spirits who protect the Phuan and who can bestow both good and bad luck. The traditionally two – three day event is held across both Thailand and Lao traditionally on second and third day of the waxing moon in the third lunar month.
The festival is a combination of merit making, parades and the chance for the Phuan to wear their traditional clothes, play their ancient games, sing and dance to long remembered songs and enjoy delicious food all wrapped in a carnival atmosphere.
For more on this event and why the sound of thunder is so important to these people see our post Kam Fa Festival



Chumphon Marine Festival

Chumphon Marine Festival

When: 18-22nd March 2016

Where: The Chumphon Estuary, Hat Sai Ri, Chumphon Province Southern Thailand


This year’s annual Chumphon Marine Festival is as always the opportunities for this wonderful province to show case its pristine natural beauty. During the 4 day event you can expect to find marine exhibitions and photography displays. With lots of beach fun and games including competitions in sand sculpture and fishing, there of course will be the normal scuba diving, snorkeling and boat tour packages, for those that just love to play about on and in crystal clear waters.

For more on the 4 days, what to do and see click here


Thao Suranari Memorial Fair

Thao Suranari Memorial Fair


When: Annually 23rd March – 3rd April 2016

Where: Around the Thao Suranari Monument between Chumphon and Ratchadamnoen Roads. Nakhon Ratchasima City-Nakhon Ratchasima Province

In Memory of one of Thailand’s Greatest Heroines: The festival (billed as the biggest in Isaan) is filled to the brim with local cultural performances in song, dance and music, with the unique Khorat songs such as Phleng Khorat, played in the evenings. The song is a dialogue duet, singing tradition that has developed into a folk spectacle by the people in Khorat and traditionally uses only hand clapping with no musical instrument to accompany the vocals.

For more on the event and details on the heroine of Korat and how she turned the tide on an invading army click here



Tha Uthen Pagoda Festival

 Tha Uthen Pagoda Festival

When: March (Dates to be confirmed)

Where: Tha Uthen district. Nakhon Phanom City. 734 km northeast of Bangkok and 378 km southwest of Hanoi, Vietnam on the Mekong River dividing Thailand and Laos

Where the lesser known ethnic people of Isaan get their chance to shine. Around the Chedi during the festivities will be a vibrant mass of colour and music from various native dancers from across this North Eastern province. Male and female dancers will perform their unique cultural dances accompanied by their equally unique musicians.

The area surrounding the dance performances will be alive with stalls and booths displaying the cultural heritage and way of life of people from the surrounding 12 districts (Amphoe), along with a multitude of shops and street vendors selling local hand crafts including ‘Mudmee’ clothes and musical instruments such as the Khaen, a local-style pan pipe. Intermingled with this dazzling sea of colour (it would not be Thailand if it were not) the whole area is also awash with the mouth-watering aromas from freshly cooked food and beverages.
See more on why offerings have to be made and what else has to be done for a particular dance to be performed, on why there are 8 Chedi representing the days of the week. How to get there and more


Songkhla International Balloon Festival

Songkhla International Balloon Festival

When: Annually in March (TBA)

Where: Jiranakom Stadium in Hat Yai district Southern Thailand

This wonderful  festival is held over 2 days and nights, with the day time sky filled with a mass of colourful and eye catching different shapes and sizes of hot air balloons, from all around the world. At night the balloons take on a life of their own as they fill the night time sky, accompanied by a thunderous combination of spectacular light and sound shows which pulls at your senses

Through-out the day there will also be a wide variety of events including music concerts, parades, marching bands and traditional music and dance shows, plus ‘Nang Talung’ shadow puppet shows and a traditional Thai fair including games and rides. Mingled in this mass of dazzling colour, strange and not so strange noises and aroma’s will be a mass of vendors selling traditional local handicrafts and most importantly a vast army of people selling both Thai food and beverages.

For more on the festival including directions, tips on how to save money, what local food to try click here


Trat Independence Day

Trat Independence Day

When: 23rd – 27th March every year

Where: Trat Provincial Town Hall Trat Province Southeast Thailand

When history comes alive with passion, gratitude and warmth from a grateful nation. During the event there will be a number historical plays performed, depicting the colourful history of the province, along with a traditional Thai Fare with folk games and rides. There are also sporting events and competitions, music performances and cultural stage performances.

The whole area will be alive with the sound of vendors selling all manner of local handcrafts and local produce and of course no festival would be complete without the aroma of freshly cooked mouth-watering Thai food sold from a mass of colourful food stalls. For more on the festival click here


Thao Thep Festival

Thao Thep Festival

When: 1-15 March 2016

Where: Various locations in the Thalang area, north of Phuket including Heroines’ Monument and Wat Pranangsang. Southern Thailand

A lavish spectacular to honour the two local sisters who gave their life for the people of Phuket. While the high-light of the festival is undoubtedly the Light and Sound Show with its huge historical performance, there are a multitude of cultural and sporting activities, through-out the two week festival. Plus a traditional Thai Fair with rides and games. In amongst all this fun and games there are also colourful processions from the Thalang District Office to Wat Muang Komarapat and a ceremony to pay homage to the two courageous sisters.

Sporting Events include: Mountain bike race along the historical route, a takraw tournament, (volleyball played with a rattan ball using the feet, knees, chest and head), a tug o’ war competition, sea boxing and a mini-marathon.

Cultural Events Include: Thai sword-dancing show, tradition dictates that this ceremonial dance be performed before combat, the sword dance involves dancers balancing several swords on different parts of their bodies and fighting off rivals. There is also a number of Nang Talung shadow puppet shows, or you could look in on a performance of traditional lullaby singing or traditional Thai dancers. The whole two weeks are filled with differing cultural events and shows including a genuine Thai boxing ‘wai khru’ ceremony.  If you are lucky you may also get a glance at the formal Buddhist Ordination ceremonies that are also taking place during the festival.

For more on what else is going on at the festival and more about the courageous sister’s click here


Sweet Grape and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Fair

 Sweet Grape and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Fair

When: March 2016 (Dates to be confirmed)

Where: Courtyard and waterside of Rat Charoen Tham Temple (Wat Sun) Damnoen Sub district Ratchaburi Province West/Central Thailand

A glorious mix of blazing colour, wet shirts and a Bloody Food Battle. Entwined in the 2 days of festivities will be a huge range of cultural and fun events from glorious displays of folk art and crafts featuring locally produced “Sin Tin Chok” cloth weaving, to Dragon jar making (Ratchaburi is known as “the city of earth jars”). There are also a multitude of cultural performances including song and dance by local tribal groups, including the Karen who live near the border of Myanmar, MonLawaLaoChinese and Khmer minorities.  But that’s not all there is also a hilarious “sea-boxing” competition and a number of formal and not so formal boating competitions, along with a beauty pageant.

For more on the event including the bloody food battle and how to get there incorporating a visit to the amazing umbrella pull down market click here


Chiang Mai International Balloon Festival

Chiang Mai International Balloon Festival

When: 4 & 5th March 2016

Where: Payap University. Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai

Visitor can look forward to another amazing event with balloons and pilots from all over the world. There will be lots going on with fun and games for all ages, along with International cultural shows and stalls featuring the local heritage and hand crafts plus food and beverages from the top hotels & restaurants in Chiang Mai. The annual Festival will for the first time feature the Lanna Orchestra performing original compositions by composer Ajarn Bringkop Vora-urai to the back drop of the spectacular ‘Night Glow Show’ which incorporates a light-and-sound show and finishes a spectacular fireworks display. The nights entertainment does not stop there as it is followed by entertainment from internationally famous artists performing live on stage.

A mass launch of balloons is scheduled each morning just as the sun greats the day at 06:00 – 07:00 and during the day guests can float to the sky in a tethered balloon rides, or watch the amazing displays of kite flying.


National Thai Elephant Day

National Thai Elephant Day

When: Annually since 1998 on the 13th March

Where: Across Thailand

If you have ever been to Thailand you will note the importance of this majestic animal to the people of this Kingdom, in both their daily lives and in the spiritual needs, images of elephants (Thai: Chang)are just about every-where.

Numerous events take place across the Kingdom on this day, in zoos and elephant parks you will find elephants being treating to huge banquets of their favorite food such as fruit and sugar cane. Before these buffets can commence and early in the mornings you will normally find Buddhist ceremonies being held to bring good luck to both these former beasts of burden and their handler (mahout – mahout derives from the Hindi words mahout) known in Thailand as a kwan-chang

For more on the Day, including the importance of elephants to both Buddhism and Hinduism and more click here


Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival

Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival sak-yant_Museum


Where: Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom Central Thailand

When: March 2016 (Dates TBA)

Where faith meets mayhem – A combination of tattoos faith and dreams. Thailand has its fair share of bizarre and equally colourful festivals from the national watery mayhem of Songkran to the wacky Monkey Festival of Lopburi and to the equally strange but colourful Ghost Festival of Loei Province, but this event may just take the crown as the countries wildest, it is on this date each year when thousands of Thai’s and tourists attend the special ‘Wai Kru’ ceremony honouring the late sacred tattoo master, Luang Pu Poen. It is also a time for those that already have Yantra tattooing, to have their tattoos re-consecrated by the temples monks.

To see more on the festival including directions, plus more on Yantra Tattoo’s and their importance to Thai people including the magic that they process and a word of warning on  getting stopped from entering Thailand click here.


Satun International Kite Festival 2016

Satun International Kite Festival 2016

When: Late February/Early March 2016
WhereSatun Air Base, Muang District. Satun Province Southern Thailand

This is the 36th annual kite festival with teams from over 30 countries expected, including 100 teams from Thailand participating in this colourful extravaganza, with competitions in eight different categories, including Beauty, Creativity, High Flying, Sound, Marathon, native Kites, Giant and Student’s Kites.

The event also boasts a number of kite demonstrations and exhibitions along with a Miss Satun beauty contest, cultural performances featuring the diversity of the region’s population and live music concert from famous singers every night.

For more on the festival, how to get there, facts on kite flying and on the ancient southern Buffalo kites click here


Laanta Lanta Festival

Laanta Lanta Festival

picture by Steve Smith

When: Annually for three days in March (TBA)
Where:  Koh Lanta Old Town, Krabi Province Southern Thailand

The old town of Lanta with its teakwood-lined streets and the nearby stilted restaurants that stand on the water’s edge provides the perfect back drop to one of the Kingdoms quaintest of festivals.

There are two separate stages used during the event, the main stage hosts numerous cultural displays including Performances of Rong-Ngen, the traditional music and dance of the ancient Sea Gypsies. While the second beachside stage features nightly live music including jazz and reggae performances, which all adds to the laid back atmosphere of the festivities.

The  water’s edge becomes a third stage where you can witness an ancient ritual that is the ‘Boat Floating Ceremony’ conducted by the Sea Gypsy (known as the Plajan or Loi Ruea Boat Floating Festival) to protect the festival, promote peace and to cast bad spirits out into the sea.

Of course this would not be Thailand if there were not a multitude of stalls and vendors selling a vast array of mouth-water food and drinks that encapsulates the best of the islands cultural mix.

For more on the festival including details on the Sea Gypsies click here


Pattaya International Music Festival


When: 18 – 20 March 2016

Where: Pattaya Central Thailand

This annual Music Festival is in its 13th year and is reportedly the biggest and longest running international beach music festivals in Thailand and potentially Asia. It takes up all of 3 kms Beach Road Pattaya, Chon Buri. This remarkable fun filled extravaganza attract a good number of famous Asian and Thai artists covering a range of various music genres including pop, rock, hip-hop and R’n’B. All the groups and solo artists perform live on stages up and down the beach and play in front of huge crowds.

For more information, contact the Pattaya Tourism office at +66 (0)38-253128, or TAT, Pattaya Branch, on +66(0)38-427667, +66(0)38-428750 or (local short code only) 1337.


Turtle Releasing Festival

Turtle Releasing Festival

When: 1 – 10 March 2016

Where: Phang-Nga Southern Thailand

This annual event is held in March. Although sea turtles have lived on this planet for 130 million years, the 7 global species of Marine Turtles are all in serious decline throughout most of their range. Habitat degradation, pollution, egg poaching and over-fishing threaten to make them extinct. The aim across the world is to spotlight the threats and encourage even greater public support for these extraordinary marine creatures. Quite frankly they need all the help they can get. Here in Thailand you can join others in release the baby turtles back to the sea after being raised by the Fisheries Department. Visitors can get close to the new born turtles as they take their first steps to their natural habitat the There a range of activities over the course of the event including a parade, exhibitions about aquamarine life and sea turtles,  local sport competitions, and stage performances featuring the ethnic diversity of the province.


Bun Phawet Fair

Bun Phawet Fair

When: 4 – 6 March 2016

Where: Roi Et Northeast Thailand

“Bun Phawet” or merit making of the 4th lunar month, is one of the oldest fairs in this part of Isaan, and is in reality a Buddhist event.  “Phawet” is the corrupted pronunciation of “Phra Wes” (Phra Wessandon), name of the last reincarnation of the Lord Buddha before his birth as Prince Siddhartha. The festival incorporates the 13 episodes that are to be completed within a day and each is accompanied by a separate procession.  The event also has its own special cuisine; Khanom Jin, (Thai vermicelli or khao poon) and steamed sticky rice (khao tom mut) which freely offered to both visitors and monks. If you are lucky you can also take part in the Pha Laeng Party (Isaan Gala Dinner) and everyone gets to join in with the evening’s wonderful light and sound presentation


Kalasin Pong Lang, Phrae Wa and Red Cross Fair

Kalasin Pong Lang, Phrae Wa and Red Cross Fair

Mo Lam singers

When: 26 February – 7 March (dates to be confirmed)

Where: Kalasin City Hall, Amphoe Mueang, Kalasin Province  North East Thailand

The festival is organized around a number of colourful parades, featuring floats from each district of the province, which in turn are decorated with a gigantic-sized “pong lang”, (a folk vertical xylophone), flowers and mystical animals. The parade is joined by people beautifully dressed in traditional clothes.

There are also cultural competitions, a beauty pageant. A Pong Lang bands’ contest, the pong lang  is a log xylophone, which has 12-15 wooden bars that are tied together with a length of rope, the instrument is generally played by two players, who each use two hardwood sticks. The lower pitch end is attached to a post or tree and other is hooked to the player’s toe. The two performers sit on either side, one playing the melody, the other playing drone accompaniment.

The music does not stop there it continues with live music and entertainment shows, North-Eastern style Mo Lam singers and the demonstrations and sales of local handicrafts and food products. Plus the Phrae Wa Silk exhibition

Contact: Kalasin province Tel. 0 4381 1695, 0 4381 1213


Flora Park Mist Festival

Flora Park Mist Festival

When: 1 November 2015 – 31 March 2016

Where: Wang Nam Khiawo District, Nakhon Ratchasima Northeast Thailand


Known as the Switzerland of Isaan the districts motto is ‘Cool climate town.’ At this time of year it is a mass of colour and in the early morning a sea of fog. The festival is held on an area of over 50 rai at Khao Phaeng Ma and you can expect to witness a carpet of blooms from more than 100,000 flowers of over 20 different species, along with the spectacular vertical garden. There will also be over 5,000 English roses of 400 species arranged beautifully across the landscape.


Phra Nakhon Khiri Festival – งานพระนครคีรี

Phra Nakhon Khiri Festival

When: Annually around the end of February

Where: Khao Wang and Around the City Limit of Phetchaburi Central Thailand

The event is also known as Khao Wang, taking its name from the hill the Kings palace was built upon, during the reign of King Rama IV. This annual event is in its 156th year and is about celebrating Phetchaburi’s long and colourful, cultural heritage. The event includes ceremonies to worship both the ancestral Kings and the city pillar/shrine.

Also during the normal 5 days of festivities you can witness parades featuring the procession of monarchs who ruled Phetchaburi during the Dvaravati and Srivijaya Periods, along with numerous exhibitions on Phetchaburi’s history, including many archaeological objects found within the province. This is all with the back drop of over 1200 temple trees that are normally in bloom during the event.

Running along-side this mass of cultural activities and natural colour will be; Cooking demonstrations of the province’s famous dishes and sweetmeats, a beauty contest, an ox chariot race plus all manner of contests and a traditional Thai fair ground.

To top it all off and running every night is a light and sound spectacular with lanterns and fireworks


Sweet Plum Mango and Nakhon Nayok Products Fair – งานวันมะปรางหวานและของดีนครนายก

Sweet Plum Mango and Nakhon Nayok Products Fair

When: Annually Feb – March

Where: In front of the City Hall. Nakhon Nayok Province. Central Thailand

The event is held to promote the locally grown agricultural products that thrive in this fertile region, along with a myriad of local handicrafts. This is the time of the year is when the Maprang (sweet plum mangoes) are ripe for harvesting, and they can be found on sale and display in all manner of succulent food and refreshing drinks.

The fair includes a parade of colourful floats, featuring the local agricultural products, along with numerous contests, exhibitions, cultural performances and each night there is live music

Maprang (มะปราง)  is a plum-like tropical fruit tree native to Southeast Asia The tree is related to the mango and is hence sometimes referred to as Plum Mango the young leaves of the tree can be eaten and are used in salads, the seed is also edible if a little bitter.


 Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony

Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony

When: 17th March

Where: Ayutthaya Historical Park 85 kms North of Bangkok

Ayutthaya will host a total of 800 Muay Thai fighters from 60 countries for this year’s 12th Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony, on March 17th, as part of the legendary ‘Nai Khanom Tom’ Day.

Muat Thai events are also held from March 15th – 20th at Wat Chula Mani, Wat Maha That and Wat Langkhakhao all situated in the Ayutthaya Historical Park as well as at the Ayutthaya Provincial Sports Stadium, there will be presentations and classes from various Muay Thai camps and gyms from across Thailand, demonstrating the finer points of this ancient art, including many different aspects of its long and colourful history. There will also be cultural displays in Yantra tattooing and Aranyik sword-making.

For more on what’s going on, how to get there and the legendary Nai Khanom Tom click here


Cha-am International Kite Festival

Cha-am International Kite Festival


When: Annually Normally late March (TBA)

Where: Naresuan Camp, Cha-am, Phetchaburi Province  Central Thailand

A colourful day and night time event with a more laid back feel than its bigger contemporaries in the North & South of the Kingdom. This annual festival gets better and better every year, with the residence of this once quiet fishing village adorning the streets with glorious and vibrant decorations. Now in its 12th year it again boasts a vast array of colourful kites in a multitude of colours shapes and sizes, with some as tall as a 4 storey building, while others take on the forms of animals and yet others are built in strange and wonderful shapes.

For more on this festival, how to get there and what else to see click here


Trang Food Festival (งานมหกรรมอาหารดี ศรีตรังบาน)

Trang Food Festival

When: Annualy 30 March – 3 April

Where: Somdech Phra Srinagarindra Park 95 (Khao Pae Choi). Trang. Southern Thailand

Southern Thai food is renowned for its spiciness. Much of the cuisine has its origins in Malay, Indonesian and Indian food. Favorite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman), rice noodles in fish curry sauce (Khanom Jeen),rice and vegetable mix with Voodo sauce (KhaoYam), pork fried with Dasheen and red tofu sauce (GoYuk) plus chicken birayani.

Trang also has a unique breakfast cuisine found nowhere else in Thailand Dim Sum, which can consist of; consists of; Ja Kuai (deep fried bread), Go pii and Pa Tong Ko (local sweet donut) all washed down with Go pii (black coffee served with sugar).

This annual festival is held to further promote dishes of Trang Province. Food stalls of Trang restaurants offer dishes at discounted prices. Additional activities are an eating championship and cultural performances.


Bang Khla Food and Fruit Fair

Bang Khla Food and Fruit FairWhen: 23 – 27 March 2016

Where: Bang Khla District, Chachoengsao. Central Thailand

TAT states:  Farmers and growers in Chacheongsao will host their annual Mango Festival, where the delicious fruit and other produce will be on sale and display. The local TAT office will be helping to promote agro-tourism in the area by providing information on where visitors can visit mango orchards, fish, deer, and ostrich farms. Visitors can also take boat rides along the Bangprakong River to see various historical and natural sites.





Elephant Satoke Fair


When: 13 March 2016

Where: Lampang Elephant Conservation Centre, Lampang Province. Northern Thailand

This annual fair is held on National Thai Elephant Day to raise funds for the care and upkeep of Thailand’s favorite animal, the Elephant Fair has been organized by the Thai Elephants Conservation Centre every year since 1996. The Satoke banquet will feature a khantoke Northern-style meal in an exotic setting, with elephant shows and even concerts performed by the talented pachyderms. Other activities include the Satoke parade, the feeding of the elephants, cultural performances and folk music. Every ticket purchased comes with a coupon you redeem for bananas which you can feed to your favorite elephants

For more details, contact the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre at (054) 229 042.

For more on the National Thai Elephant Day, including the importance of elephants to both Buddhism and Hinduism and more click here


 Dok Lam Duan Flower & Four Tribes Festival

Dok Lam Duan Flower & Four Tribes Festival

When: 11 – 13 March 2016

Where: Princess Mother Memorial Park Si Sa Ket Eastern Thailand

This annual event (also simply known as the Dok Lamduan Festival งานเทศกาลดอกลำดวน), is two festivals for the price of one and contains cultural performances by four local ethnic groups, surrounded by a forest of lumduan (White Cheesewood) trees in full bloom. These intriguing cream-coloured and fragrant flowers are only found in this one province in the kingdom and only bloom in March

The cultural performances depict the culture and way of life of the local ethnic Lao, Khmer, Kui or Suay, and Yoe (pronounced Yer) tribal peoples in reenactments of Sisaket’s history. There is also a photo exhibition, drawings by local artists, a drawing contest and a great variety of engaging live demonstrations, and sales of local village products. Plus this is your chance to try true Isaan food such as som tam (papaya salad), kai yang (grilled chicken) and khaoniaow (sticky rice) plus a host of other local delicacies served in the food plaza


Prap Ho Monument Fair & Anou Savari Festival


When: 5 March 2016

Where: Ban Mo, Si Chiang Mai, Nong Khai

Prap Ho Monument Fair is held annually in March, at the Prap Ho Monument and incorporates the Anou Savari Festival.

The Anou Savari Festival is a special event held only in Nong Khai, from the 5th to the 15th of March. The event commemorates the defeat of the “Hau”, the ‘Punti’ speaking people of Yunnan Province southwest China who had rebelled against their own government and who swept into Thailand during the years 1884 – 1886 (Around the time of the opening of hostilities of the Sino-French War), these forces at one stage raided as far south as Korat. (Nakhon Ratchasima) They were eventually defeated by the Thai leader HRH Kromamune Prachak Silpakom and his Siamese army with the help of Lao, Chinese, Puan and a number of British fighters.

Located in front of the old city hall, the Prap Ho monument is a memorial to those who fell during the insurgency and contains their cremated bones. There are inscriptions in Thai, English, Chinese and Laotian on each side of the monument.

The fair has a number of stages to host numerous shows of the local culture, and musicians. While the noise maybe deafening, the fun is infectious, with games and competitions including the very quick and acrobatic Takraw, a kind of volleyball using the feet and a smallish rattan ball, along with a mass of stalls and booths selling all manner of food, drinks and local handicrafts


ASEAN Barred Ground Dove Festival

ASEAN Barred Ground Dove Festival Picture from http www.pnylink.com

Picture from http http://www.pnylink.com

When: 5 – 6 March 2016

Where: Khwan Mueang Park, Mueang District, Yala

Also known as the ASEAN Java Songbird Contest (งานมหกรรมแข่งขันนกเขาชวาเสียงอาเซียน), this annual event, now in its 36th year, is normally held on the first weekend of March. It is widely believed that Java Songbirds are good-luck charms that bring good luck to their owners, especially if the birds possess certain characteristics.

In this event, participating Javanese doves compete to make the sweetest and most melodious cooing sounds. The doves are judged by their melody; the loudness of their cooing, and the pitch. For a dove to be prized, its cooing must be resonant and rhythmic, and it must be able to sing for a relatively long time. Good cooing doves can command a high price in the market. There are other contests to find the most beautiful cage and demonstrations of cage-making, displaying the local wisdom of Yala.


 Sukhothai Historical Park Mini Light & Sound Show

Mini Light & Sound Show


For the past few years the Sukhothai Historical Park, former capital of Siam, presents a monthly free light & sound show.
Dates for 2016 have been announced.

The title ‘Mini Light Show’ does not do this event justice as while it cannot compete against the major shows staged at the same venue for Loy Krathong Festival in November, they are still a wonderful presentation of the former capitals glorious past.


Bangkok Red Cross Fair

Bangkok Red Cross Fair

When: Possibly 28th March – 4th April Normal hours are  14:00-23:00 (weekdays), 10:00-23:00 (weekends)

Where: Bangkok: The venue of the fair covers the areas and roads around the equestrian statue of King Chulalongkorn, Miksakawan intersection and Benjamabopit Temple.


The fair takes place every year to raise funds for the Thai Red Cross society. The fair is really in two distinct parts with one section dealing with the important things the Red Cross do for local communities and the other section of the event contains the fun bit, with a colourful and riotous traditional Thai Fair with its own big wheel and rides for all ages, along with a host of other fairground attractions. It is also here where you will find a mass of stalls selling delicious food and drink from all over the Kingdom

See more on what makes this fair so important to the people of Bankok






Posted in Events 2016, Thailand, Thailand festivals. Tags: . Comments Off on Living Thailand March Festivals across Thailand
%d bloggers like this: