Songkran: The Thailand Water Festival – The Wettest Festival in Asia

The culture of Thailand is just as renowned as her lush natural beauty. Anyone who is familiar with Thailand or even Asia in general will be aware of the legendary Songkran festival.

What is Songkran?

This festival is associated with new beginnings and purification, which is why the country turns into a massive water-fight. During Songkran, Thai people also gently and respectfully wash the hands of their elders, and even wash Buddha statues with water scented with flowers. In the modern day, things are taken to the extreme with people taking to the streets with water guns.

 

When is it?

This iconic festival officially takes place over the course of three days starting on the 13th of April and concluding on the 15th. Many people take leave from work during this time and the duration of the festival usually ends up being extended to around six days.

The Best Places to Be

Extended festival celebrations usually take place in the more tourist-oriented areas such as Phangan. Resorts are aplenty in this region with many to choose from such as Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas, which means Songkran is particularly intriguing here.

Tips to Remember

Everyone excluding religious figures, royalty and pregnant women will be splashed. Since you’re guaranteed to get very wet, leave any electronic belongings at your place of residence/accommodation. Due to increased accidents during this time, it is recommended you do not ride a bike when Songkran happens.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan

The phenomenon of the full moon has become an integral aspect of folklore and tradition in many cultures for a multitude of reasons. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that there are a number of celebrations, events and parties that take place commemorating the full moon. While the full moon is of special religious significance to Buddhists, who engage in meritorious deeds and visit the temple during this time, the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon is another event of significance that takes place in Indiana in the United States of America. The Farmer’s Almanac also give different names to the various full moons that occur each month while the ‘Long Night’s Moon’ is considered to be the last full moon of the year. There are also a number of Hindu Festivals that are celebrated during the full moon.

Tourists who visit Koh Phangan during the full moon will be able to witness the vibrant celebration called the Full Moon Party. Having its origins in Haad Rin in Koh Phangan, this particular party takes place on the day of the full moon and lasts through the night. Its popularity is so great that nearby resorts such as Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas even have transport packages that allow guests to partake in the festivities. Tourists who opt for such packages often leave their accommodation early, grab a bite to eat at a Koh Phangan restaurant and make their way to Haad Rin.

On the eve of every full moon, anywhere between five thousand to thirty thousand tourists come together to celebrate the event until the rays of the sun make an appearance in the wee hours of the morning. It has become so popular that many tourists consider it a ‘must-do’ activity when in Thailand. Previously, other editions of the party, such as the ‘Half Moon’ or the ‘Quarter Moon’ party also existed but all these versions were banned by the Government in 2014. At present, only the Full Moon Party takes place.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.

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Thailand as a Business Destination – Corporate Getaways in Asia

Is Thailand all about the sexy beaches, intriguing restaurants and bars and day tripping all around the country? Amidst all these temptations for the ideal vacation, one might wonder if Thailand is still a business destination where you could have a company retreat or a mere business meeting with high-end clients who needs to be impressed.

Despite the intriguing vacation landscape of Thailand, the economy of the country has been through a tremendous amount of change and today, country bears favourable opportunities for foreign investments. As one of the largest growing markets in the world, and as a member of the ASEAN region and its unforgettable vibrant consumer base, the country attracts a large number of international investors.

Nothing says a “stress free business meeting” like a meeting in Pattaya. If you do not wish to be amidst all the hustle and bustle, you can always go for options such as AVANI Pattaya Resort & Spa where you can still have a conventional business meeting with great views of the bay.

If you organize your business meeting in the off-peak period you can benefit not only from cheaper flights but also from reduced hotel rates. A business meeting over a pint or a game of tennis does sound more appealing than in an air-conditioned hall! With prices slashed during the off-peak season, you are able to enjoy that business meeting or retreat that is also the ultimate relaxed getaway.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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Heralding the New Year – Songkran Festival

Although Songkran, celebrated in Thailand from 13 to 15th April each year is known as a water festival where spraying water on everyone seems to be the primary activity, it in fact heralds the Thai New Year. Coming at one of the hottest months, many people make this an excuse to get soaked and to have weeklong celebrations. Occupying a prized location, Citadenes Sukhumvit 16 Bangkok offers convenient access to important business and commercial locations and fun city activities.

Businesses and offices shut down and half the population of Bangkok leaves for their home towns for long awaited family reunions. Water splashing, besides being a fun activity, is a symbol of washing away the misfortunes of the previous year, beginning the New Year afresh. This is similar to cleaning out houses that is also part of the festival. Originally a small symbolic bowl of water was poured over relatives and friends but now buckets, garden hoses and water guns have entered the picture. The first day of Songkran is also National Elders Day. Young people sprinkle perfumed water on the palms of their elders and ask for their blessings. The second day of Songkran is National Family Day. Many families start the day by giving alms to Buddhist monks. Other Songkran rituals include bathing Buddha images in perfumed water at home and in temples and carrying out merit making activities according to Buddhist beliefs. In Sanam Luang a Buddha image is taken in procession through the streets for devotees to sprinkle water on it.

The wildest Songkran celebration takes place in Bangkok on a 5km stretch of street near Patpong. It is packed deep with Thais and tourists in holiday mood wielding water spraying gadgetry. Fire trucks stationed at intersections ambush the revelers with their powerful water hoses providing a respite from the scorching heat. Elephants too are used as water sprayers. Some Thai communities celebrate Songkran a week later than the rest of the country also with water splashing but tempered with cultural activities. Beauty pageants, food fairs and sand sculptures honouring the Buddha are also part of the Songkran festivities. As a highly rated Bangkok apartment hotel, Sukhumvit 16 offers comforts and conveniences to suit the needs of its diverse clientele.

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+

Asanha Bucha – In Remembrance of the First Sermon of Lord Buddha

for tourists visiting the Golden Triangle in Thailand, the tourism industry of the state has intelligently woven an idea of cultural heritage and natural beauty within the triangle. Nestled comfortably towards the northern most part of Thailand lies the city of Chiang Rai, a beloved destination of tourists with a vociferous appetite for the mystical cultures of the East, a mere fifty or so kilometres from the tripoint of the Golden Triangle which connects Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

Chiang Rai celebrates a multitude of cultural and religious festivals, and is ideal for the culture vulture in you. For those visiting at the beginning of the year, the King Meng Rai Festival gives travellers an insight into the national pride of the locals while the Flower Festival creates splashes of colour and natural splendour across the city. For those visiting towards the middle of the year, the Asanha Bucha event is one that allows for a tremendously valuable experience in terms of witnessing how the locals venerate their faith. The Asanha Bucha is celebrated with vigour in remembrance of the First Sermon of Lord Buddha.

Given the proximity of the city to the famed Golden Triangle, many opt to reside in Chiang Rai hotels and explore its surroundings during their visit to Thailand. Ideal for this purpose is Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort. This is one resort with an exemplary view of the beautiful jungles of Thailand that also overlooks Myanmar and Laos. Enjoy the precious feeling of being at one with nature and the serenity the surroundings invoke while basking in luxury.

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.

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Chonburi Festival in Thailand – Buffaloes to the fore!

An annual festival in the Chonburi festival of Thailand, the buffalo races are quite popular amongst not only the locals, but also the foreigners. While visiting, there are plenty of luxury hotel resorts in which you can seek accommodation amongst which Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas stand out from amongst the luxury hotels in the region. According to records, buffalo racing in Chonburi is an event that has been in continuation for 70 years during which King Rama VI has also been an ardent viewer. The event is usually held a day before the full moon day in October and is held in great festivity. The buffalos are colourfully decorated in vibrant cloths and garlands of flowers, a sight which is quite delightful to witness. The trick is to ride the buffalo bareback and guide it down the track using only the reins and the whip. The riders are from the local community and it is a test of balance as well as agility for the riders. Great prices await the winners at the end of each event which serves as a great motivational factor for participation.

 

Jayani Senanayake is a writer who dabbles in travel and all things exotic. Under the pseudonym of Calliope Sage, she writes of the allures that must simply be discovered. Google+

Songkran Festival 2014 in Phuket – Celebrate the thrills of the spills!

Get ready for some wet ‘n wild fun when you visit Thailand in the middle of April, and prepare to get soaked during the famous Songkran Festival, which features three full days of water-based shenanigans, so pack waterproof clothing and prepare to get soaked! Get out and join the fun (bring your own water pistol!) or retreat to a stylish Phuket resort to relax and unwind in style. In particular, consider checking into a Phuket Beach Resort such as the tranquil Anantara Phuket, Thailand. But if the fun demon within propels you to venture into Phuket during April 13-15, best come prepared, as no one is exempted from the splashing of their lives. You will see huge trucks that park alongside the main roads, armed with barrelfuls of ice water, primed to be launched at unsuspecting victims, mainly cops. Little kids transform into evil little water pixies armed with water pistols that will drench you at a moment’s notice, please and thank you! Don’t even think about driving a motorcycle as you’ll be unseated in a hurry by a deluge, and traffic crawls to a snail’s pace. These restrictions notwithstanding, it’s all done in the spirit of fun, joy, and ultimately blessing, as the water is believed to purify the victims of the year’s sins. So plunge in and splash with wild abandon!

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+

Joyous Thao Thepkasattri – Thao Sri Suntorn Festival

Many festivals in Thailand mark an important event in the history of the nation or a cultural highlight, such as a birthday of royalty or the dawn of a new year. The annual Thao Thepkasattri – Thao Sri Suntorn Festival which is celebrated in Phuket is no exception.
This particular event commemorates the heroic deeds of two local sisters, Thao Thepkasattri and Thao Sri Suntorn (also identified by the names Khunying Chan and Khunying Muk). According to local legend these two heroines rallied the local forces at a time when the island of Phuket was besieged by Burmese invaders. These events took place more than two centuries ago, but even today are fervently celebrated by the local residents.
The local city organizes many attractive celebrations to mark the occasion, and many foreign visitors to the island make it a point to watch the enthusiastic festivities which include dramatic presentations and sporting events. The celebrations are conducted at the city’s Thalang quarter, where you will see a monument dedicated to the two sisters.
The festivities begin with a number of typically Thai sporting contests. These include games of takraw – which resembles volleyball but in which contact is made with the feet – as well as bicycle races, a mini-marathon and a tug-o-war.
Visitors will be able to watch the elaborate play which is held outdoors and features no less than 700 different actors. This dramatic presentation tells the tale of the heroic siblings and the manner in which they spurred on the local forces to repel the opposing army. If you are in Phuket at the time of the festival you will be able to watch these enthralling celebrations which always captivate the viewer.

Thailand has acquired the status of a major visitor destination, drawing a steady stream of visitors from across the globe. Offering spotless beaches, cultural monuments and exotic nightlife, there is always something to do in the country. The idyllic island of Phuket is regarded as one of the nation’s most attractive tourist destinations.
Visitors who desire a quality Phuket resort will find an appealing choice in the Anantara Phuket Resort Thailand. This attractive Phuket beach resort offers comfortable accommodations with a selection of contemporary amenities.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+

Experiencing Colourful & Traditional Thai Weddings

A country rich in culture and traditions, Thailand has a proud heritage which can even be experienced when attending a traditional wedding ceremony. Couples looking to tie the knot in a truly unique way can consider heading to Thailand’s enchanting island of Koh Samui and staying at a Samui hotel which organises traditional wedding ceremonies. Set along a scenic stretch of beach, Anantara Bophut Koh Samui is one such Samui resort that gives you and your partner the chance to enjoy typical customs and rituals of this momentous occasion.

Traditional Thai weddings feature a variety of customs that will be quite unique for western travellers. One such ritual is the Khan Maak procession where the groom makes his way to the bride’s chamber. This lively and colourful procession is accompanied by music, generally the banging of drums. The couple dress in traditional Thai style clothing while it is customary to see the presence of Buddhist monks who offer blessings. Another part of such weddings is the Rod Nam Sang or Shell Ceremony when guests pour holy water from a conch shell over the hands of the couple. Another notable ritual is the Phiti Bai Sri Su Kwan or White Thread Ceremony where the wrist of the bride and groom are linked by a white thread.

Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+