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FESTIVALS OF THAILAND

Staying in Pattaya
Staying in Phuket
Staying in Hua Hin
Staying in Phi Phi
Staying in Chang Mai
Staying in Rnabi
Staying in Chang Rai
Staying in Koh Samui
Staying in Mae Hong Son
FESTIVALS OF THAILAND
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Asia loves a festival, and the festivals of Thailand would go down as some of the most colorful and fun loving. Here are some festivals that you might want to coincide your visit with.

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APRIL 13 - 15: THE SONGKRAN FESTIVAL.

Its the time of the traditional Thai New Year and is an occasion for merrymaking all over Bangkok and other parts of the country. It's a time also for many religious ceremonies and public festivities. If you are out on the streets you are likely to get a plastic bag filled with water thrown at you, it's the middle of the hot season so it's a lot of fun, remember to dress casual.If you are staying in Bangkok head down to Sanam Luang, fronting the Grand Palace, where the revered Phra Buddha Sihing image is displayed and bathed by devotees, Or check out Winsutkasat, They hold The Miss Songkran beauty contest there, there is a lot of other entertainment and fun to be had as well including the water throwing.

OCTOBER: VEGETARIAN FESTIVAL.

Many years ago Chinese came to the area of Phuket to work in the tin mines.In 1825 a chinese theatre troupe came to Phuket to perform for the Chinese tin miners. They all fell ill and it was believed to be caused by a failure to pay due respects to the nine Emperors Gods of Taoism. They adopted a strict vegetarian diet to appease their deities. The chinese community there have adopted this and every year they restrict themselves to a vegetarian diet for 9 days. The festivalt has many processions, temple offerings and cultural performances and ends with walking on hot coal, climbing knife-blade ladders, self-piercing the skin and so on.
During October Phuket islanders of Chinese ancestry commit themselves to a vegetarian diet for nine days. The festival's first day features a parade of white-clothed devotees and several ascetic displays.

OCTOBER: THE KATHIN PERIOD BOAT RACES.


The Kathin period is the end of the rainy season and so it is the time for many a fair, Thais love their boat regattas and Nan, 790 kilometres north of Bangkok, is famous for it. Also there are good regattas at Surat Thani, Nakhon Phanom, Phichit and Pathumthani.

FULL MOON NOVEMBER: LOI KRATHONG.

Under the full moon of november the rivers of Thailand become awash with lotus-shaped banana leaf boats called Krathongs. A lit candle, incense, a flower and a coin is placed into the Krathong and set upon the waters to honour the water spirits and to cleanse oneself of the past years sins.

THIRD WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER: THE ELEPHANT ROUND UP FESTIVAL.

At Surin in northeast Thailand. Medieval war elephant parade re-enactment coupled with elephant hunts, folk dances and cultural performances. The elephants show their strength and gentleness in a display that is truly magnificent.


NOVEMBER - DECEMBER: THE RIVER KWAI BRIDGE WEEK .

At Kanchanaburi, in western Thailand. The famous world war 2 bridge is lit up. There are historical exhibitions and archaeological displays along with thrilling cultural performances and train rides on steam locommotives from W.W.2

DECEMBER 5: THE KING’S BIRTHDAY.

Thai people love their royal family, and on his birthday Bangkok is spectacularly decorated. In fact all over the country buildings and homes are illuminated and displayed in reverence to the king on his birthday, and best of all it's a national holiday.

 

THAILANDS GEOGRAPHY

Thailand and France are comparable in size about 198,475 sq. miles and is about 12 hours by plane from England. It lies in the heart of South East Asia. The north is mountainous and heavily forested and relatively undeveloped, the north east has is large plateau country and it covers around a third of the country while the south is where the development has taken hold along the long stretches of beach in the Gulf of Thailand.

WATER

The water quality varies greatly in Thailand. If you intend to stay in the more upmarket hotel style accomodation then the water is most likely fine. However as a general rule, it's best to only drink and brush your teeth with bought sealed bottled water. The hotel can advise wether or not their water is ok for you to drink. If in doubt boil it, or drink tea or coffee. Be careful adding ice to your drinks and never eat raw foods and vegetables. When surfing in Thailand around the larger towns be careful not to take too much saltwater in your mouth. Some places can be polluted at times from sewerage and other water contaminents.

CRIME

In any country crime is a problem, and Thailand is no exception. Always before leaving your accomodation for the day make sure your valuables are locked in the hotels safe. Divide your money between your money belt, sock and pocket. Keep your cell phone hidden. Don't display your jewellery. Check that you have lower denomination bills easily accessible so you are not displaying your money belt. Travel with a wallet that has two note compartments and one has a zip, so you don't display all your money. When dealing with money be calm and swift, don't get hung up on a few cents worth. The whole idea is to not draw attention to yourself. A foreigner is easily spotted, even if he is from another asian country.However, it can be still be safer here than in many American cities. Surfing equiptment in Thailand is highly desirable so always keep it locked in your room if not in use. Since surfing in Thailand has become popular the one thing that is always in short supply is the surfing equiptment needed to pursue this watersport. What to do in Thailand if you find that your surfing equiptment has been stolen, call the tourist police on 219-878 and report it immediately. The chances are it will surface fairly soon. Have a photo of your surfboard so you can make identification easier.

MEDICAL CARE

Remember to bring your medications you may need with you.Though you can get most things but sometimes the quality may be a bit suspect. Make sure you are well insured before you depart in the event of an emergency. Many insurance providers offer emergency evacuation cover in case of a serious illness.
AIDS is a serious problem and has had a major impact on the Thai population. It is estimated that Thailand has between 200,000 and 400,000 HIV carriers. Chiang Rai Province in the north may have an infection rate as high as 15%, so take precautions or abstain from high risk activities. This is one souvenir that you don't want to take home. If you are engaging in surfing in Thailand or other possible risky sports check with your insurer for coverage of your surf boards or other equiptment you may be carrying.

Recommended Vaccinations for Thailand include

CLIMATE

Thailand has a tropical climate, it has an average rainfall of 60 inches annually with an average temperature of around 82°F although this varies considerably because of geographical variation.

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