Cultural Activities in Koh Samui – Paradise for Culture-Curious Travellers

Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort
















The marvels of the island of Koh Samui extends far beyond its sun glazed beaches, lush canopies, and swaying palms. It is also a melting pot of cultures, bringing to life a rich concoction of colour, history, and life. From the famous Big Buddha shrine on the northern coast to the mummified monk Luang Pordaeng, sights to visit are plenty in Koh Samui for the culture-thirsty traveller. One can truly indulge themselves in this flowing grace of Thai culture if one selects the right accommodation among the numerous Koh Samui resorts. If one seeks more than sights and environment, plenty of cultural activities are available for the curious traveller to visit and to sign up for. It’s always best to choose accommodation close to these tourist spots as then you can spend more time on sightseeing than travelling. For instance, the Big Buddha is situated close to a multitude of luxury resorts such as the Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort.

Descendants of Koh Samui’s original settlers – Chinese traders and Muslim fishermen – now live alongside their Thai families, giving rise to several distinctive cultures within this 88.3 mil2. A day visit to Laem Din local market with its fresh fruits, vegetables and meats; a stroll through Nathon fresh food market, a paradise for the street food lover with an extensive menu of Thai local street food from A to Z; and mingling with the locals in Hua Thanon fishing village, one of Samui’s last remaining traditional fishing fleets, are a few of the day excursions one can take to indulge in local Thai culture. If you dare to go one step further, sign up for a cooking lesson through your Koh Samui resort!

Plenty of festivals rich in music and overflowing with food are a staple feature of Koh Samui. February marks the Chinese New Year, while Songkran (Thai New Year) falls in April and Loi Krathong, the Festival of Lights in November. Apart from these key festivals, processions, temple festivities, food fairs, live performances and regular food and culture events are often organized by the Tourism Authority of Samui for the keen traveler.

Fermented with a deep-rooted religious history, the culture of Koh Samui is reflected in the relaxed, friendly lifestyle of its residents. Speaking of a culture loud and proud, this island is a portrayal of the harmonious beauty of vibrant cultural diversity.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

Songkran – Celebrate the New Year with a Splash!


By JJ Harrison ([email protected]) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the best and most popular tourist destinations of Southeast Asia is the city of Bangkok. Serving as the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world, and is home to a wide range of attractions and highlights. Thus, Bangkok promises to offer its visitors an exciting, exotic and truly memorable experience. There are many ways to explore the many amazing features of this city, but one of the most unique ways is by embarking on a Bangkok cruise tour with Anantara Cruises.

Each country has its own unique way of celebrating the dawn of the New Year, and the way it is celebrated in Bangkok and in most parts of Thailand is truly unique. Songkran is the name given to the New Year celebrations that take place in Bangkok. The festivities and celebrations are so popular that regardless of locals traveling back to their home-towns, Bangkok still remains crowded due to the mass number of tourists and visit Bangkok to partake in the celebrations!

Songkran is formally celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of April each year, but in reality the celebrations go on for a few days after the 15th of April as well. Much like many South and Southeast Asian countries, Thailand celebrates its traditional New Year on the 13th to the 15th of April. These celebrations are vibrant and colorful affairs and full of fun. The main highlight of the celebrations is the major water-fights that take place. That’s right; the New Year is celebrated in Bangkok with all-out water fights by both locals and tourists. In locations such as Shilom and Khao San Road it is common to see people frolicking by throwing water at each other, which is supposed to be symbolic of washing the evils of the previous year away. Other celebrations include religious rituals at temples, family meals, beauty pageants, street parades, and exchanging of gifts, making the entire Songkran experience truly amazing.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.Google+

Songkran, a joyous festival

The much anticipated Songkran Festival is an important celebration in the Thai calendar. Celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of April, the occasion is considered to mark the arrival of the New Year according to the nation’s traditional calendar. A national holiday in Thailand, this festival has evolved into a joyous and merry occasion when everyone joins in the fun and laughter. Even foreigners are welcomed to join in the festivities.
Today, the main festivity during Songkran is the enthusiastic splashing of water upon one another. Thais take the opportunity to wander the streets of cities armed with buckets of water, garden hoses and water guns. Groups of revellers will position themselves along roads and at intersections, enthusiastically drenching pedestrians, cars, taxis, tuk tuks and motorcycles alike. Police officers are not exempt from the fun and are a special target on this occasion. Additionally, a mixture of talc powder and water is smeared on the bodies and faces of passersby; this is considered as a kind of blessing for the coming year. Everyone takes part in the festivities good naturedly and no one gets angry or upset.
On the other hand it should be remembered that this kind of revelry was not always the focus of this occasion. Traditionally, Songkran was celebrated as an occasion to visit and pay one’s respects to elders, neighbours, friends and monks. Many Thais celebrate the event as a Buddhist religious festival, and visit their neighbourhood monastery to give alms to monks and pray. Another interesting ritual is the cleansing of Buddha figures at homes and monasteries by pouring fragrant water on them. This is thought to bring prosperity and good fortune in the coming year.
Additionally, Thais take the opportunity to make resolutions for the coming year, just as their counterparts do in Western countries. Since Songkran is considered to be a time for cleansing and rejuvenation, Thais often also clean their homes meticulously at this time of the year. Visitors from abroad will also enjoy observing the festivities at this joyous occasion.
If you are planning a visit to Thailand and are considering Bangkok city hotels to host your stay, an outstanding choice would be the Atrium Bangkok. This city hotel Bangkok offers provides fine accommodations in a convenient setting.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+