As the holiday spirit kicks off in the west for the month of December, Thailand prepares for some of it’s most fun and exciting events throughout towns, cities and provinces. We recapped some of our fan favorites.
Eighty seven miles west of Bangkok stands the famous Bridge on the River Kwai in the Mueang District, Kanchanaburi Province. As a piece of the Japanese’s World War II “Death Railway,” this historic sight brings the past to life from December 6 – 15, 2013. Remembrance ceremonies are held at the Allied War Cemetery, which are followed by light and sound presentations around the bridge.
Audiences in the thousands come out to witness exciting battle reenactments with simulated effects of explosions, flying bomber planes, hand-to-hand combat and trains running through fire, which make the audience feel like they’re right in the middle of all the action. Other activities throughout the week long festival include cultural performances, historical exhibitions and selling of local products.sam
Launched in 2007 and held annually since, the Thailand International Balloon Festival is one festival visitors look forward to every year in December. The festival has been hosted by different districts and provinces since it began and this year it will return to it’s 2011 host site of Chiang Mai.
Each venue holds different themes every year with complementary activities such as the fire dancers and LED light shows for the “Glow” theme held in 2011. Dozens of pilots and their crews make their way to the host site to show off their navigation skills and beautifully styled balloons for one day; this year it will take place from December 7th to December 8th. This is one festival that will keep you going the whole day with activities extending well into the night.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991, this carefully preserved province gives visitors a fascinating snapshot of ancient Siam. Every year in December, the province teams up with local government agencies, small businesses and the province’s people to host a fair in celebration of the “World Heritage City.” The annual Ayutthaya World Heritage and Red Cross Fair brings you a fantastic colorful series of cultural highlights and entertainment; presentations of Thai art, demonstrations of traditions and the popular floating market always draw fun and exciting crowds.
Among other things, folk music and song contests go hand in hand with beauty pageants that compliment the festive ambience well. If you’re looking for OTOP products, the World Heritage and Red Cross Fair will have plenty of selections for you to take home. This year the fair will take place from December 13th to December 22nd, but be sure to book your tickets to the shows quickly before they’re all gone!
So If you’re looking for a warm destination for the holiday month, but want to experience something amazingly different besides christmas carols, rushing for last minute gifts and awkward family dinners, these three festivals will give you a taste of Thailand’s history and festive spirit.