HotelTravel.com's Top 10 Phuket Vegetarian Festival Magical Moments
Released on: October 04, 2010, 3:30 am
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is a cacophony of sights, smells and sounds a riotous assault on the senses rooted in history, bizarre rituals, great food and good fun. HotelTravel.com is celebrating this unusual event with unbelievable hotels deals right before the start of Thailand's high season.
PHUKET, October 4, 2010 HotelTravel.com is adding pizzazz to the Phuket Vegetarian Festival (held this year from 8 to 16 October) with amazing hotel deals right before the start of Thailand's traditional peak tourist season.
HotelTravel.com Chief Marketing Officer, Tom Racette, said: For nine days each year Phuket residents of Chinese ancestry observe a strict vegetarian diet and abstain from meat and sex to help them obtain good health and prosperity.
Our Top 10 Phuket Vegetarian Festival Magical Moments should help visitors get the most out of this spectacular event and also enjoy savings of up to 75 % off traditional hotel deals, he added.
We are not encouraging anyone to go through the series of religious acts that are as fascinating and eye-popping as can be found anywhere. Participants, who are ostensibly possessed by gods, pierce their tongues, cheeks and faces with metal spikes and rings; these gruesome body-piercing rituals are a primary attraction that actually draws thousands of visitors to the event. Ouch. Have your ears pierced instead.
Other sacred rituals involve displays such as walking barefoot over hot coals considered by some a kind of human barbeque juxtaposed with the meat eating abstinence that the festival is famous for. Participants walk on fire in a trance-like state; they claim that they feel no pain, so best to keep your shoes on.
When given a choice most people choose a simple ladder to scale heights, but not at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. Participants prefer to elevate themselves by climbing up ladders with bladed rungs made from very sharp knives or extremely large machetes. The rest of us mere mortals should stick to traditional step ladders thank you very much.
Visitors should of course take the opportunity to taste the fabulous vegetarian dishes on offer. Surprisingly, the food is spiced like traditional Thai tucker but soya bean and protein substitute products are used to replace meat. The meals are sold very cheaply, making it possible to have a full meal for a dollar or two. Look for the yellow flags with red Chinese or Thai characters to find vegetarian food stalls.
For hotels in Phuket, HotelTravel.com is highlighting deals at Patong Beach hotels, Kata hotels, Karon hotels and Nai Yang hotels as hotels in Phuket Town are often overbooked during the festival. Fortunately the timing is perfect to enjoy huge savings as the festival comes right before rates increase with the start of Thailand's peak tourist season on 1 November. For the very best deals on the island check out our exclusive promotions page for Phuket hotels available only from HotelTravel.com
The main Phuket Vegetarian Festival ceremonies take place around the six main Chinese temples on the island, most of them located in Phuket Town. The main temple is the Jui Tui Shrine in the city centre, which hosts the first event, the raising of the Lantern Pole. Of course they get crowded during this peak period but also because they look so cool.
Getting married is not part of this annual event nor is it a tribute to 1980s rocker Billy Idol's most famous hit. But dressing in white is 2010's sexiest look, and it's traditional attire for the Phuket Vegetarian Festival as most participants dress in white from head to toe (white fisherman's pants and cotton shirt). Plus it is easy to buy all white clothing in shops around Phuket Town.
Old Town Charms
The festival is centred in Phuket Town, the island's cultural heart and soul. It's a fascinating place, with amazing markets and intriguing shops tucked away in little lanes and alleys. The street layout of this bustling small city is totally confusing first time visitors always seem to end up travelling in circles but it's always worth visiting especially for the fine examples of colonial Sino-Portuguese architecture.
Thousands of people line the route to take in this rather gruesome procession, which is marked by firecrackers and blaring music. It is a sight combined with a sound level that most people will never forget. Don't forget to bring along a pair of ear plugs, especially if going temple hopping during the opening ceremony.
Follow the Leader
To get the best view of the processions, find a place near the market in Ranong Road in Phuket Town. It's very convenient, because this is also the terminus for the busses from the beach resorts. The street gets pretty packed, with thousands of locals and camera-toting tourists trying to get the perfect view. The best advice is just to go with the flow' and move along with the procession.
HotelTravel.com provides the inside track for the best value online hotel deals. Its brand statement, 'Real Service, Real People, Real Choice', is the keystone of the company's customer centric business culture and its core value. HotelTravel.com has set the global standard for worldwide hotel bookings since 1999, constantly updating its multi-lingual website published in eight languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Korean. Its 24-hour service centre is staffed by highly trained professional native speakers in each language, guaranteeing only the very best customer experience with each hotel booking. HotelTravel.com is proud to remain privately owned and operated, employing over 300 staff in its offices in Thailand, Malaysia and China.
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