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+

Festivals in Trang – Excitement and celebration

Trang – a beautiful southern province of Thailand – is a world in its own to discover and there’s always lots to do, such as going to the late-night coffee shops or visiting the wet markets. However, the greatest delights are the multitude of festivals that keep taking place throughout the year that unfurl in joyful celebrations of colour and merriment.

The amazing traditional fairs and festivals are definitely phenomena to be witnessed and enjoyed. Full of life and constructed upon strong beliefs, these celebrations fulfill all religious duties in the most entertaining way. Some festivals are not even done for religious purposes; instead, celebrations are carried out for the sake of something worth celebrating.

The Cake Festival, for instance, is where a huge variety of frosting-free, different flavoured cakes are made by the people of Trang and sold to enthusiastic customers with raging sweet tooths. These talented individuals have been baking cakes for decades and they emply this particular skill through this festival, which takes place during the month of August. Some of the delectable flavours include coffee, orange, a blend of two or more flavours, and a lot more as bakers get deliciously creative with their options.

In the month of March is the Food Festival, for which Trang is renowned owing to the mouthwatering array of food on offer. Every type of regional cuisine along the likes of Thai, Chinese, as well as local creations, is sold in food stalls at the most affordable prices and food-eating competitions are held too. It is a true haven for foodies to treat their palates to some amazing culinary creations.

The Vegetarian Festival on the other hand is one where the Thais of Chinese in Trang become vegetarians for 9 days and is held in October, particularly on a full-moon night. These devotees dress in white for the duration of the 9 days and a medium who is believed to have the spirit in him, is given offerings that are kept at the front door of their homes. A procession bearing the medium is carried out in all out glory, accompanied by the deafening bang of firecrackers where the crowd waits expectantly for the medium to display supernatural powers. The blessing of the sprit, good fortune, and virtue are what the participants of this festival gain from it.

The Buddha Image procession and Trang Cultural Festival is to remind the locals of ancient customs and traditions and the importance of preserving them while also passing them on to future generations. These traditions present the quintessence of Trang and the festival commemorating it is held at the end of the Buddhist Lent period. Vibrant floats depicting images of the Buddha are constructed and a competition takes place to decide which is best. Concerts and performances brighten it up followed by local sports competitions. A great way to keep the customs going this Festival should not be missed. Other interesting festivals include the Taphao Shell Festival, Trang Roast Pork Festival (a delectable delight), Moon Festival, H.M. the King’s Birthday Celebrations, the Red Cross Fair, and the list goes on.

If you are looking for a luxury Trang resort that offers easy access to all these amazing cultural events, the Anantara Si Kao Thailand is one possible option. Its gracious hospitality and charming surrounds make it one of the best Krabi resorts to host your adventures in the city.


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.


Festivals in Koh Phangan – Soak in Thailand’s island culture

Take a well-deserved break on the beautiful island of Koh Phangan, nestled in the sparkling blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand, and indulge in some of the intriguing events and festivals happening throughout the year. To make the best of luxury by the sea, superb options reside in the beach resort town of Hua Hin, home to a premier range of Hua Hin Hotels. One of the finest Beach Hotels Hua Hin Thailand has to offer is the Anantara Hua Hin Thailand Resort, a perfect place to relax and unwind in the lap of luxury after fully absorbing the sights and sounds of tropical island culture. Koh Phangan, located to the South of the Thai mainland, hosts some vibrant festivals for the culture vulture. The party-heartiers better think twice about leaving before sampling the exciting half-moon festival held twice a month every month, with a decadent dish-out of pounding beats and pumping rhythms to propel the party-hoppers out of this world. A fun-soaked experience comes in the form of the Songkran Festival, the Thai New Year, which is heralded by water fights featuring super-soakers, water guns, hoses, buckets of water, basically anything that can make a splash! The water signifies the washing away of negativity and bad luck, so grab anything you can find, fill it up and get soaking! For the independent soul looking for something more “meta”, Koh Phangan is home to the Phangan Film Festival, which offers a range of interesting independent films with a focus on nature and spirituality for viewing and appreciation. Whatever one’s brand of fun, you’re sure to find something to tickle your entertainment bone in Koh Phangan.

Festivals in Bangkok – Splendid celebrations

Travellers based at luxury hotel resorts get to indulge in the finest comforts and luxury hotels such as Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas take the ultimate holiday experience to a whole new level. When in Bangkok, travellers are spoilt for choice when considering what to do. However, the region’s vibrant events and festival may make the choice for you. Some of the most interesting festivals taking place in the city are Nights at Wat Arun, Chinese New Year, Thai Kite Festival and Bangkok Songkarn Festival. Most of these celebrations afford a glimpse into the country’s unique cultural aspects whilst keeping you entertained.


Jakarta International Film Festival

The Jakarta International Film Festival is an entertaining annual event which usually runs for a week at the end of each year. It screens both local and international cinematic master pieces followed by a number of seminars, discussions and workshops conducted by the intellectuals in the industry on film- related topics. Every year, in Jakartha hotel accommodations are prearranged to facilitate the visitors who come to witness the event. Alila Jakartha is an excellent option for the ones who look for a luxury Hotel Jakarta .Jakartha International Film Festival is a must visited event in the international events calendar. 

Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show – a cultural extravaganza

There are plenty a place that showcase Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Shows. However, one of the best places to watch this show is at Tang Yue Gong also known as the Tang Dynasty Palace. It is located near the Xian city center and is regarded to have one of the finest cultural entertainment hub restaurants. It was constructed in 1988 and since then the Shaanxi Provincial Song & Dance Troupe has performed this vibrant cultural event. It has indeed become one of the most popular cultural events amongst foreigners who come to this town to experience the culture and practices of the East.
The performance is truly a feast for the eye and music to the ear. Additionally one can also enjoy a delicious meal at the Palace. The auditorium can accommodate as many as 600 guests at a time. The show commences at 8.30 in the evening and goes on till about 9.45. The address of the location is 75, Chang’an Road, Xian. For those who are staying at hotels in the municipality it is only a taxi ride away to have an enjoyable evening experiencing the finest of culture and entertainment and cap the night with a scrumptious meal. If one plans to take a bus here the route numbers to remember are Number K618, 216, 14, 603, K605, 36, or 507. One should get off at the Caochangpo Stop.

Xian Accommodation is comfortable and homely by design. There are several accommodation options available depending on the duration of stay and purpose of visit and one such form for long stay are Serviced Apartments in Xian. Places such as Citadines Central Xi’an  is in close proximity to a number of historic sites, shopping and entertainment areas.

Bophut Buffalo Fighting Festival – A Unique Cultural Event

A not to be missed event in Koh Samui, the Bophut Buffalo Fighting Festival gives visitors a chance to witness a unique cultural event involving duelling buffalos! Usually held on such special days as New Year’s Day, this popular event is noteworthy in the fact that the animals are not harmed; the buffaloes lock their horns with each other till one of them submits and walks or runs away. The remaining buffalo is crowned the winner to much fanfare! Ideal for those in search of a luxurious Samui hotel right on the beach, Anantara Bophut Koh Samui offers contemporary accommodation options that feature a range of modern comforts. This Samui resort also has its own spa where one can enjoy a variety of wellness treatments.

Exciting Raggamuffin Festival

The renowned Raggamuffin music festival in Rotorua is undoubtedly one of the premier events of its kind in the region. Featuring a sensational combination of reggae music along with elements of hip-hop, soul and funk this is one festival the music lover will never want to miss. Renowned New Zealand and international artists such as UB40, Arrested Development, Big Mountain, Billy Ocean, Marvin Priest, House of Shem, Chad Chambers, Three Houses Down and many more will be featured at the event in 2012.

When considering Rotorua hotel accommodation an outstanding choice would be the Millennium Hotel Rotorua. This excellent Rotorua hotel provides well-furnished rooms and impeccable service assuring a pleasant stay.

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival – keeping a folk tale alive

For tourists visiting Hong Kong during the Tueng Ng Festival will no doubt get caught up in the excitement of this melting pot of a city. The summers in Hong Kong are filled with events, and taking centre stage is the Dragon Boat Festival.

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is not just any competition; it’s steeped in Chinese culture and is accompanied with a long history. This carnival is spread out across three days filled with entertainment, music, exotic foods and the perfect setting for a bit of healthy competition.

The competition takes place at the Victoria Harbour, at the Kowloon side of the harbour, each year. For first time travelers to Hong Kong, witnessing the dragon boats pushing through the water, side by side as the drums beat furiously; it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the excitement of it all, while watching international paddlers compete against one another for the coveted prize at the International Dragon Boat Races.

In China the Dragon Boat Festival counts for a day’s holiday, and it is part of a ceremony to commemorate the death of a national hero. Qu Yuan died by drowning himself more than 2000 years ago in the Mi Lo River. Folk legend has it that people who tried to rescue him began beating drums to scare the fish away, and food such as dumplings were thrown in the water to prevent the fish from feeding on his body.

It is from this tradition that dragon boat racing evolved. Today competing teams race in beautifully decorated dragon boats, while heavy drums are being beaten at the head of the boat. What make these boats distinguishable are the intricately carved dragon heads and a tail that appear at the head and bottom of the boat.

Each boat of over 10 metres in length has the capacity to carry a boat crew of about 22. The area where the paddlers sit is called the hull and it is decorated with the colours and scales of a dragon, with a bit of gold edging.

Paddlers who stand at the boat’s bow will often light crackers while tossing rice into the water to relive the legend of the search for Qu Yuan, which adds to the excitement. According to history dragon boat races were held between different clans and tribes and even different villages. The winners received prizes by way of wine and free food.

Paddlers in the dragon boat take the race quite seriously and practice tirelessly while seated abreast with another paddler. The drummer is at the front and encourages the paddlers by beating the drum and is supported by a steersman who is seated at the back.

Popular festival food includes rice and dumplings made using different types of meat, which is wrapped in a banana leaf. It is common thinking among the local community that during the festival days if herbs are collected, the preparations made using them will be more effective. Various herbs are boilt in water and people even bathe with this water believing that they will remain healthy.

For the adventurous travelers who lives off a backpack, a 4 Star hotel Hong Kong such as the Cosmo Hotel, will allow travelers to be centrally located and within walking distance to many attractions. A discount Hong Kong hotel such as this one offers guests a superior service.

Princess Theatre, one of Australia’s most beloved theatre venues

Regarded as one of Australia’s most beloved landmarks, Princess Theatre hosts world class stage dramas and musical productions like Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Mama Mia!, The Sound of Music and The Producers. This theatre is the second building in the same site that was used for entertainment for a period of 135 years. The first building was Astley’s Amphitheatre that was opened in 1954 and the present theatre was opened in 1886 with the name christened as Princess Theatre. The theatre has been refurbished several times after this period and today it boasts as one of the theatres with world’s first sliding roof and ceiling with state of the art electric stage lighting.
It is also said that the theatre is haunted by a friendly ghost named as Federici who died after a performance of the opera, ‘Faust’. As an honour a seat in the third row dress circle is kept empty since it is regarded as a sign of good luck to see him in the theatre. His appearance has been witnessed by many staff in the theatre. This theatre’s grand Victorian style elegant foyer and stairway is compared to that of the Paris Opera. The theatre has a seating capacity of nearly 1500 with other modern facilities for the visitors as well. This placed is also used as the venue for Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Visitors also have the luxury of dinning in the Melba or Marriner rooms before they visit to see a musical production that takes place in the theatre. While Princess Theatre is the ideal place for a perfect evening of entertainment, visitors also have the luxury of entering into a perfect mood of relaxation at a Spa in Melbourne. One of the best spas would be Chuan Spa Melbourne.