Chak Phra in Surat Thani Thailand Travel Guide
Thailand Travel Guide Chak Phra in Surat Thani

Chak Phra in Surat Thani Thailand Travel GuideSurat Thani’s Chak Phra Festival is a unique annual celebration that is held at the end of Buddhist Rain Retreat. Chak Phra refers to processions, both on land and water, of Buddha images in Surat Thani. The procession along the Tapi river symbolises the Buddha’s return to Earth. This year, the religious festival runs from today until October 27. During Chak Phra, the locals decorate their boats and trucks with flowers, before adding Buddha images and joining the procession that is marked by the playing of traditional percussion instruments. The festivity also includes long-boat races along the Tapi River. The boats are manned by up to 50 oarsmen. It’s a merry scene as crowds line up along the banks to cheer on their favourites. Other highlights include cultural and music performances. For details, call 077-281-828, 077-281-818/9.

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Phon beating in Phattalung Thailand Travel Guide

Phon beating in Phattalung Thailand Travel GuideIn the local dialect of Phattalung, “Phon” refers to a small drum used to set the rhythm. Traditionally the beating of the phon drum was used to herald the “Chak Phra” Buddhist ritual, which falls on the first day of the waning moon in the eleventh month. This year, the event kicks off today and runs until Tuesday at the Provincial Hall and Saensuklampam Beach, Phatthalung. During this ancient ritual, Buddha images from various temples in the province are placed on a gilded open-sided throne with pointed spires called the “busbok”. This is carried through the town on ornately decorated palanquins in elaborate land and water processions. The beat of the phon drum sets the pace at which the procession proceeds. To make the rhythmic beating even more exhilarating, the phon has a different beat for each temple and even signals when the boat should pick up speed. Those who make the most rhythmic beats are named the winners of the Phon competition. For more information, contact 074-346-515/6 or 074-613-007

Surin Elephant Festival Surin Thailand Travel Guide

Surin Elephant Festival Surin Thailand Travel GuideAlthough it’s common to see elephants walking in the city, a journey to Surin during the elephant round-up festival is a far more spectacular way of admiring these mighty beasts. Surin’s Ta Klang village is the home of Kui people, the acknowledged experts in capturing, domesticating and training wild elephants. The Elephant Festival in Surin is a long-established tradition in Kui culture and has been organised for more than 40 years. This year the festival runs from November 9 to 20 at Surin Elephant Ground and Sri Narong Stadium in Surin town. However, the elephant round-up show will be only on November 15 and 16. Elephant shows take place on November 16 and 17. Tickets for the shows are Bt500 and Bt200. Advance reservations are available for the Bt500 seats. For details, call 044-512-039, 044-213-666 or 044-213-030.

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