The island of Koh Lanta, in Krabi province, has an amazing mix of cultures—all of whom simply seem to get along. This is particularly evident during the Laanta Lanta Festival, which happens each year on the first full moon in March (this year scheduled to fall on the 12th). The island’s Old Town is transformed during the 3-day festival, and during the evenings bamboo lights are erected over the main road, giving the area an incredible warm glow. All along the main road you will also find stalls selling Thai arts and crafts and clothing, as well as authentic food stalls with lots of local cuisine and drinks.
The elephant is one of the most enduring symbols of Thailand. In 1998, Thai authorities decided to formally recognize the significance of the animal, thereby creating National Thai Elephant Day. Over the course of this day various events take place in zoos and elephant parks throughout the country, with many parks treating their elephants to huge banquets of fruit and sugarcane. In some cases, Buddhist ceremonies will be held with the aim of bringing good luck for the elephants and their mahouts (handler).
In Muay Thai, the first thing all boxers must do is to perform the Wai Khru, or respect paying ceremony, which has long been observed until this day. This ceremony shows the boxer’s regard and gratitude for his parents, various sacred objects, and the masters who have taught him in the past. Each year, in Ayutthaya at the World Heritage Site, Thai boxers from around the world participate in the Thai Martial Arts Festival and Wai Khru Muay Thai Ceremony and show their appreciation for the beautiful art of Muay Thai boxing. The event also includes many activities for visitors.
This festival celebrates March 23, 1906—when Trat was liberated from France. During his reign, King Rama V made a treaty with France in exchange for French troops’ manoeuvres off Chantaburi Province. The King granted Pratabong, Siem Reap, and Sri Sophon to France in exchange for Trat Province and the islands and towns on the right bank of the Mekong. During the fair the King Rama V Commemorative Parade is held, as well as an exhibition showcasing the history of Trat. Local agricultural product markets and lively cultural performances are also part of the 5-day celebrations.
Did you know that Hua Hin will be hosting a fantastic jazz festival this month? Some of the greats from the international music scene, as well as some amazing local acts, will be taking the stage over the course of two days during the True Jazz Festival, taking place at the True Arena (52/52 Petchkasem Rd).
On Friday March 24th The Bangkok Brass Band kicks things off at 7pm, followed by the Thailand All-Stars Jazz Orchestra, the Benny Golson Quartet featuring Joris Teepe, and headliners Cory Henry and The Funk Apostles.
On Saturday March 25th, the infamous Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band starts things rolling at 6pm, followed by The Yellowjackets, Soul After Six, and a very special appearance by Al McKay’s Earth, Wind & Fire Experience.
Tickets are B2,000 per day, or you can get a two-day pass for B3,500, and tickets are available at www.thaiticketmajor.com.