Bun Luang and Phi Ta Khon Festival

sHARE TO facebook twitter mail
expdetail

Phi Ta Kon parade participants. Image courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Majestic mountains shrouded in mist, wonderful Mekong River scenery, vibrant flower fields, and other escapes amidst the unspoiled outdoors, Loei offers a languid way of life in a beautiful rural setting that is yet known to many outside Thailand. However, the low-key northeastern province gets its share of visitors (and raucous partying) during its famous Phi Ta Khon Festival.

Part of “Bun Luang,” the Buddhist merit-making holiday of worshipping the spirits, Phi Ta Kon is held on the first day of the three-day celebration that takes place in June. And for anyone who doesn’t know anything about the festivities, it’s an unforgettable start. Locals suit up as scary spirits and put on ghost masks, colourful patchwork garments, bells, and phallus amulets.

They parade down the Loei farming village of Dan Sai, dancing, ringing their bells, and what might surprise newcomers, teasing the crowds by waving and thrusting the wooden phalluses at the spectators. The festival originates from the ancient story of Buddha-to-be Prince Vessandorn’s return after being presumed dead; it was said that the celebrations got so loud they woke the dead up who joined the revelry. The costume-garbed participants of Phi Ta Khon surely try to live up to the tale.

The second day sees another parade along with a dance and costume contest and a surprisingly fun rocket show. On the third day, activities take on a more sombre mood as villagers gather in different temples to listen to Buddhist monks reciting the sermons of Prince Vessandorn. Should you head off to Dan Sai, take note that the small town only has a few hotels so you need to book months in advance. Otherwise, you may need to stay in Loei town or nearby Phu Rua.


Artisan prepares intricately decorated Phi Ta Kon mask. Image courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.


Phi Ta Kon parade participants. Image courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

You Might Also Like…

For other, similarly evocative religious festivals, check out Laos' Boun Vat Phou Champasak; Sinulog Festival in the Philippines; and Kate Festival in Vietnam. For other festivals in the month of March, visit Vietnam's Elephant Race Festival and Cambodia's River Festival.


TOUR packages

View All
Jungle to the Beach, from Cambodia to Thailand
tour packages

Tour immerses its guests in Thailand and Cambodia's natural jewels: Kirirom National Park and Koh Kong in Cambodia, and T...

VIEW DETAILS
Borneo's Cultural Highlights
tour packages

Your tour begins late in the day, sampling Brunei's unique flavours at a restaurant in Bandar Seri Begawan. The lights il...

VIEW DETAILS
Thailand & Laos: Palaces, Temples and Plateaus
tour packages

What You'll Get On this 17-day, 16-night tour, you'll journey through Thailand and Laos and sample from their dive...

VIEW DETAILS

MASTERCARD'S PRICELESS EXPERIENCES

View All
Gaya Island Resort, Borneo
tour packages

PADI Underwater Digital Photography Class - A two-part introduction course to digital underwater photography centred around t...

VIEW DETAILS
The Quincy Hotel
tour packages

The Quincy Hotel Singapore, an exclusive stay where new experiences happen everyday

VIEW DETAILS
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
tour packages

A Unique Dining Landmark in Singapore Historic Waterfront Setting.

VIEW DETAILS

AIR AND CAR BOOKINGS

View All
The Best Way To See Asean
tour packages

Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...

VIEW DETAILS
Hertz Car Rental Deals
tour packages

Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% off

VIEW DETAILS

HOTEL DEALS

View All
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
tour packages

Stay and meet at Crowne Plaza® Changi Airport, named World’s Best Airport Hotel at the Skytrax World Airport Awards...

VIEW DETAILS
Ramada Hotel At Zhongshan Park
tour packages

The package will include a night’s stay at the 4-star Ramada Singapore At Zhongshan Park based on Best Available Rate, ...

VIEW DETAILS
Laman Green The Boutique Hotel
tour packages

http://lamangreenhotel.com

VIEW DETAILS