One of the most colourful and unusual festivals in Thailand is Phi Ta Khon which takes place every year in Dan Sai in Loei Province. The date is not fixed and usually takes place over a period of three days in either June or July. It is often called the Ghost Festival by the English language media due to the masks worn by the participants during the big parade on the second day. If you are planning on going, you need to book your accommodation in advance as all rooms in the area go quickly.
At the start of every academic year in Thailand, students come to school with flowers and jasmine garlands to give to their teachers. They do this as a way of paying respect to their classroom teacher, but also to gain merit or luck for the coming year. Older students often seek out their former teachers to pay them respect as well. The Wai Khru ceremony also takes place in Thai boxing.
Who says monks cannot enjoy themselves? Well, maybe they do need to show detachment to the pleasures of the world, but that doesn’t mean that the young novices monks cannot have some fun. After all, in many cases they are only ordained for a short while during school holidays. I captured a picture of this young novice monk enjoying a water fight on a hot summer’s day.
For rock climbers, the limestone cliffs in Krabi are like a paradise on earth. Many people head for Railay Beach which has become famous worldwide for this extreme sport. You can climb here or at a number of different nearby beaches. There are a variety of different climbs that are good for complete novices and the experts. Ask at your hotel or guesthouse about hiring a guide.
This is a common sight seen throughout Thailand. It’s a blind beggar with a speaker hanging around his neck. In his hands are a microphone and a donation box. Sometimes they have a “minder” helping them along. Often that person is handicapped in some way. This man was alone as he walked along a street market in Chiang Rai. I don’t normally give money to beggars because of the worry over trafficking. But, I made an exception for this man. Technically, he is a street busker.