A Travellerspoint blog

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2022

(Vegetarian Festival)

I am fortunate to live in Phuket and one of my years highlights as a photographer is the Festival of the Nine Emperor Gods! Here not only can I participate in such a stunning public spectacle by being blessed by those "carrying" the spirits of the Gods inside them, but I get a great position in the parade en route.

Nine Emperor Gods Festival takes place in Phuket old town on the first nine days of the ninth Chinese month.

Its dates vary in the Gregorian calendar, but usually it falls around October. although if I remember rightly this one fell at the end of September.

The festival is extremely striking and exotic, with hundreds of spirit mediums competing in their efforts to mutilate themselves for the gods.

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is a colourful annual event held on the 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, usually in September or October. The festival celebrates the Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants will help them obtain good health and peace of mind.

The festival is famous for its 'extreme' celebrations. These include acts that invoke the gods, from firewalking to body piercing. Acts of self-mortification are undertaken by participants who act as mediums of the gods. These have become more spectacular and daring as each year goes by.

While the origins of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival are unclear, it is commonly thought that it was brought to the island by a wandering Chinese opera group that fell ill from a malaria epidemic. One of the performers was sent to China to invite the Nine Emperor Gods (known as the Kiu Ong Iah) to Phuket.

The Chinese followed the tradition of refraining from eating meat, drinking alcoholic drinks, engaging in sex, quarrelling, telling lies or killing. This was to ensure the purification of the mind and body. The opera group made a complete recovery and the epidemic ceased. Since then, the people of Phuket have continued to celebrate the festival.

The festival was meant to honour the gods and express the people's happiness at surviving what was, in the 19th century, a fatal illness. Subsequently, the festival has grown and developed into a spectacular yearly event in Phuket. It draws thousands of visitors each year, many of whom come from China and Asian destinations.

For the next few days, the local Chinese/Thai community brings their household gods to the temple, along with offerings of food and drink. It is assumed that the household gods will benefit from an annual injection of spiritual energy that fills the temple. You can observe and even participate in the lighting of joss sticks and candles, before placing them around the various gods.

Street processions often involve participants walking in a trance, running across a bed of burning coals, and climbing an 8-metre ladder of sharp blades. Apart from the visual spectacle of this festival, you can partake in vegetarian dishes, which are sold at street stalls and markets around the island.

Many of these vegetarian dishes aren't easily distinguishable from regular Thai dishes. Soybean and protein substitute products are used to replace pork, chicken or fish – they even look and taste exactly like meat. Look for yellow flags with red Chinese or Thai characters to find vegetarian food stalls.

The often-gruesome ceremonies during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival are definitely not recommended for the faint-hearted. Men and women puncture their cheeks with sharp items, including knives and skewers. It's believed that the Chinese gods will protect them from harm, resulting in little blood or scarring.

Even so, most injuries are usually sustained from the indiscriminate use of firecrackers. It's a good idea to stay well away from this deafening and sometimes frightening aspect of the Vegetarian Festival.

The ceremonies take place in the vicinity of 6 Chinese temples in Phuket. The main temple is Jui Tui Shrine in Phuket Town. The first event is called the Raising of the Lantern Pole, which notifies the 9 Chinese gods of the start of the festival. Once the 10-metre-tall pole is erected, celebrants believe that the Hindu god, Shiva, descends to bring spiritual power to the event.
These photos are from the Guan Nabon Shrine/Temple in Chalong near to where I live.

Posted by TheJohnsons 04:50 Archived in Thailand Tagged ##thailand ##culture ##tourism ##background ##phuket ##vegetarian ##chinese ##traditional ##festival ##china ##asia ##asian ##celebration ##thai ##vegetable ##red ##religion ##yellow ##vegan ##flag ##food ##symbol ##east ##buddhist ##illustration ##event Comments (0)

Stunning views from Wat Khao Suwan Pradit

Don Sak, Surat Thani-Thailand

Wat Khao Suvan Pradit (Wat Khao Suwan Pradit) It was founded by one of the respectable Buddhist clerics from Southern Thailand. The temple stands on top of a 45-meter hill. Driving up in the car wasn't as bad as some temples I have driven too and even the car park(which is large) this a great viewpoint in itself.

You can see the pagoda with relics. Although during my visit the temple was closed.

The temple stands on a Cape crane, so that there are incredible views of the area and the Don Sak River, flowing into Samese Bay. And at nautical breadth, of course. The two stilted viewpoints one each side allow you to almost feel as though you are over the sea.

Again the views are spectacular and well worth the visit, I could've spent all day there....

Posted by TheJohnsons 04:49 Archived in Thailand Tagged pagoda #travel #tourism #tourist #ancient #summer #church #green #buddhism #beautiful #thailand #landscape #nature #culture #buddha #europe #architecture #city #view #temple #mountain #sky #blue #asia #old #asian #traditional #landmark #building #outdoor #town #religious #religion #statue #house #famous #holy #white #thai #wat #pagoda #buddhist #worship #phra #hill #stupa #shadow #pray #pathom #village Comments (0)

Prince of Chumphon Shrine

Chumphon-Thailand!

SHRINE TO PRINCE OF CHUMPHON (SADEJ TIA)

He may not be well-known to people outside of Thailand, but Admiral HRH Prince of Chumphon (also written as ‘Jumborn‘) is the man who is referred to as the ‘Father of the Royal Thai Navy’.

The prince has a fascinating story that involves military prowess, medical skills and magical powers and his enduring legacy means that he is still widely revered amongst Thai people today.

This beautiful and aptly shaped "ship" shaped shrine is not only on a beautiful and stunning part of the coast but a fun and family friendly place to visit.
you can see the super decommissioned Ship

• Prasae Frigate Me... which sits next to the shrine in its own dry dock for people to explore!

Posted by TheJohnsons 04:32 Archived in Thailand Tagged #travel #tourism #clouds #ancient #square #beach #history #green #beautiful #thailand #landscape #nature #culture #architecture #city #mountain #garden #park #sky #landmark #building #light #celebration #route #morning #monument #tower #statue #structure #famous #boat #stone #military #forest #tree #detail #gold #historic #material #rock #shrine #hill #memorial #prince #chumphon #navy #province #songkhla #man #january Comments (0)

Nong Yai Tang Chang Public Park

& Nong Yai Train Track Wooden Bridge- Chumphon-Thailand 2023

On my road trip in December 2022/23 I visited Chumphon, this beautiful park has an interesting history and many Rusa Deer, as you will see they were very cooperative in having their photos taken but are essentially wild deer.

Nong Yai Wooden Bridge, Nong Yai Development Project Community, Chumphon - Kaem Ling or Monkey’s Cheeks project is one of many royal projects created to control flood and preserve water. Nong Yai Wooden Bridge spans almost 300 metres over a large money’s cheek reservoir created to buffer the great inundation of Chumphon back in 1989.

The park came about following the devastation caused by Typhoon Gay back in November 1989. 529 people were killed, 160,000 became homeless, with 7,130 km2 of farm land destroyed.

Under Royal Initiative a system of flood control measures were implemented. The story of the Kings visit is depicted on a series of stones found on a mound in the centre of the park. The main flood management system is a diversion canal running from the Tha Taphap river in the west of the park to the Phanang Tak river in the east, which is near the sea. In times of heavy rain, water can be diverted through the canal preventing/reducing any flooding in the area around Chumphon town.

At the western end of the pond is another bridge known as "Saphli Train Track Wooden Bridge" or "Nong Yai Train Track Wooden Bridge." This unique bridge was originally a railway track that has been transformed into a pedestrian bridge, offering a picturesque view of the surrounding countryside and rice fields. This has been installed to allow visitors to see Javan Rusa deer. These were a gift to the people from King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The story of the Kings visit is depicted on a series of stones found on a mound in the centre of the park.

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Baan Nam Rad Pool

Surat Thani-Thailand

During my road trip onto the Thai Mainland in December 2022- January 2023 I visited this lovely cool pool in Surat Thani province.
I remember the water being utterly clean and clear, we had a wonderful time there, as did many others.

The Surat Thani Emerald Pool, also known as Ban Nam Rad, is a popular tourist attraction located in the province of Surat Thani in southern Thailand. It is known for its stunning natural beauty and crystal-clear emerald-colored water.

The Emerald Pool is a natural hot spring located within the Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve, which is part of the Khao Luang National Park. The water in the pool is heated by geothermal activity, resulting in a pleasant temperature for swimming and relaxing.

The pool gets its name from the unique color of the water, which appears emerald, green due to the high mineral content in the surrounding rocks and vegetation. The mineral-rich water is believed to have therapeutic properties and is said to be beneficial for skin conditions and muscle relaxation.

Apart from the Emerald Pool, the surrounding area is also home to several other natural attractions, including hot springs, waterfalls, and jungle trails. Visitors can explore the lush rainforest, take a dip in the hot springs, or enjoy a picnic by the poolside.

It's important to note that due to the popularity of the Emerald Pool, it can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. To fully enjoy the experience and avoid the crowds, it's recommended to visit early in the morning or on weekdays.

Overall, the Surat Thani Emerald Pool is a beautiful natural wonder that offers a unique and refreshing experience for visitors looking to relax and immerse themselves in Thailand's natural beauty.

Posted by TheJohnsons 07:35 Archived in Thailand Tagged boat model clear pool forest destinations care rat thani #travel #tourism #summer #spring #green #tourists #beautiful #wildlife #thailand #landscape #nature #holiday #hiking #canal #pool #water #park #blue #popular #outdoor #attraction #clear #forest #tree #natural #environment #panoramic #surat #watershed #naturally #forested watersheds #recent #cristal #khiri nikhom #headwater #recently #restricted #control #plastic #viewed #swimming #plants #forestland #fertile #nation #take #activity Comments (0)

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