5 Incredible Festivals In Thailand To Check Out Right Now

From culinary celebrations featuring delicious local cuisine to international music fests, these festivals in Thailand should be on your bucket list through August and September
The Phetchaburi ‘Walking Street’ market
The Phetchaburi ‘Walking Street’ marketUrban Napflin / Shutterstock

Thailand, known for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, is also renowned for its dazzling array of festivals that showcase the nation's rich heritage. From ancient traditions to modern celebrations, Thailand's festivals offer a unique blend of spirituality, colour, and fun. If you're planning a trip to the Land of Smiles, here are five incredible festivals you should consider checking out right now.

Phetchaburi Creative City of Gastronomy

Reflecting Phetchaburi province’s status as a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the category of Gastronomy, the Phetchaburi Creative City of Gastronomy event is a cultural and culinary celebration that will feature delicious local cuisine to enjoy, food demonstrations, free food tastings, cultural performances and folk entertainment, contemporary music performances, local craftsmanship demonstrations, and local product sales.

The  Guangzhou Floating Market, Kaeng Krachan, Phetchaburi, Thailand is a cultural conservation tourism destination
The Guangzhou Floating Market, Kaeng Krachan, Phetchaburi, Thailand is a cultural conservation tourism destinationSERDTHONGCHAI / Shutterstock

Amazing Muay Thai Experience

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is staging the "Amazing Muay Thai Experience" in Surat Thani, Nakhon Ratchasima, Uttaradit, and Lop Buri, which are the origins of the legendary Muay Thai Boran or ancient Thai boxing styles: Muay Chaiya, Muay Korat, Muay Tha Sao and Muay Lop Buri. In the four locations, classes and activities will highlight the Muay Thai Boran technique unique to each region. These include Muay Chaiya of the Southern region, Muay Korat of the Northeastern region, Muay Tha Sao of the Northern region, and Muay Lop Buri of the Central Region. These are part of a four-event series organised by TAT to showcase the unique styles of Muay Thai Boran or ancient Thai boxing, making it one of the must-experience festivals in Thailand.

The "Muay Chaiya" boxing style, known for its defensive techniques, was held at Naris Bridge on the banks of the Tapi River in Surat Thani. The second event highlighted Nakhon Ratchasima's "Muay Korat" fighting technique, known for its powerful kicks and punches and its wide-angle punch known as the "buffalo swing fist". The third event will present Uttaradit's fast and versatile "Muay Tha Sao" fighting discipline, combining Thai and Chinese martial art techniques. The event will take place from August 11–13, 2023, at Wat Yai Tha Sao. The last four-event series will feature the quick and evasive "Muay Lop Buri" ancient martial art form. The event is scheduled for August 18–20, 2023, at Phra Narai Ratchaniwet, or King Narai's Palace in Lop Buri.

As well as Muay Thai classes, each event will include Muay Thai fights, talisman tattooing, sales of amulets and talismans, Muay Thai-related interactive activities, Muay Thai art performances, and music concerts.

Muay Thai has gained international success as a form of self-defence, and as a culture of fitness.
Muay Thai has gained international success as a form of self-defence, and as a culture of fitness.Shutterstock

Road to Sonic Bang 2023

The Road to Sonic Bang 2023 international music festival will feature various genres of music, with Asian and international artists, including new generation Thai artists. It is definitely one of the most sought-after festivals in Thailand. The line-up includes Los Angeles American pop rock band LANY, Ontario indie pop band Valley, South Korean rock band ADOY, Japanese funk soul band Nulbarich, Thai indie-pop duo HYBS, and Osaka-based rock band Burnout Syndromes.

The Hungry Ghost festival (Por Tor) at old Phuket Town
The Hungry Ghost festival (Por Tor) at old Phuket Townnokhook / Shutterstock

Por Tor Festival

The Por Tor Festival, a month-long celebration honouring the dead, is an important event for Phuket's native Hokkien Chinese community. The Hungry Ghost Festival, as it is known locally, allows the island's Thai-Chinese residents to pay honour to their ancestors through various merit-making ceremonies. The festival celebrates a rich heritage in Phuket, with multiple activities taking place at the island's Chinese shrines.

At a parade during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival
At a parade during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival Shark_749 / Shutterstock

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

The nine-day Phuket Vegetarian Festival occurs during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, generally in September or October. With a strict vegetarian diet, street parades, displays of self-mutilation such as body piercing and fire-walking, and religious rites to purify body and mind, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival fascinate with its spectacle. Chinese Hokkien descendants around the island celebrate it for bodily well-being, spiritual cleansing, conferring good luck, and assuring prosperity and long life.

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