This extraordinary event is held in Phuket yearly at the end of September or early October, the date is fluctuating from year to year and the exact timetable can be referenced at the Festival’s official website here: http://www.phuketvegetarian.com.
The Vegetarian Festival includes festive corteges and ceremonies, but taking part in them is reserved only for people following these strict rules: besides the normal humanistic “thou-shall-not-kill”, “thou-shall-not-steal” or “thou-shall-not-lie”, the participants must not swear, fight, argue, eat meat, drink alcohol, take drugs, smoke, gamble or have sex.
Pregnant women are forbidden from even watching the rituals - it is not surprising, seeing as such ceremonies have serious effect on the fragile psyche. The thing is, this Festival’s ceremonies are often followed by self-flagellating and self-inflicted torture - particularly when the Thai Chinese join the rituals. They often fall into religious trance, pierce their cheeks and lips with sharp things and cut their tongues with axes. These guys seriously believe that this masochism earns them special favor from gods, who will also keep them from getting really hurt during the Festival.
One look at these people with mutilated faces can be horrifying, however, this is what makes the Festival so popular - like a train-wreck you can’t look away from, this terrifying event gathers spectators from all over the world.
Extreme quad biking in the jungle will be a bright flash back of Thailand.How much: from 800 baht15Phuchada Safari Park
Find the flock of megabats and get the fruit snacks ready (their favorites are mango, papaya and avocado).How much: free22Phuket
You should see a large exotic Asian market and taste the local delicacies.How much: free11Night market
Make a custom photo shoot in the nude style with the famous photographer Ilya Bukowski.How much: from 7300 baht12Phuket
This is a wonderful replacement for conventional ice cream — the dessert is served cold, and looks like a real handful of precious stones.How much: price unknown6Phuket
Fruits wrapped in a fragrant freshly baked pancake and drenched with sweet sauce.How much: price unknown3Phuket
The slopes of Monkey Hill are the home for many wild macaques, to whom you can bring fruits, nuts and other treats.How much: free12Monkey Hill
Durian is considered to be a «king of fruits», but be prepared for the stark dissonance between its pleasant taste and terrible smell.How much: from 100 baht16Phuket
Tridacna is a giant clam that produces pearls, and will impress the most experienced adventurers with its outstanding size.How much: free13Phuket
Helping orphans is arguably the most important pursuit in one’s life. To hear a happy child laugh is the highest possible reward!How much: free4Orphanage Centre
After a busy day of hiking, be sure to check out the Thai foot massage — relieve your fatigueHow much: from 270 baht11«Oriental Massage» Parlour
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