There are a lot of new things, new experiences waiting you to explore in Thailand. The following are a list of 12 strange experiences you can only have in this country.
Being a mahout for a day
Mahouts are elephant keepers and are usually assigned an elephant at an early age and remain bonded to it their entire life. Some sanctuaries allow you to experience the life of a mahout for a day. Your tasks will include cleaning, feeding, bathing, and riding your elephant through the jungle. Warning: You will want to take your elephant home with you.
Launching your homemade rocket at a rocket festival
Call it an evolution of the rain dance, but this pre-Buddhist ceremony is one of the wildest festivals in northeastern Thailand, with music, dance, and processions that lead into launching homemade bamboo rockets as high as possible into the sky in an attempt to kick-start the rainy season and bring much needed water to the rice fields.
Releasing thousands of flying lanterns
Yi Peng is a festival of light that coincides with Loy Krathong in Thailand and is mainly celebrated in the northern part of the country. The main attraction during this beautiful event is the multitude of flying lanterns that are released into the sky, symbolizing the “letting go” of your worries as the khom loy carry your wishes to the heavens.
Interpreting Buddhist symbols at the White Temple
Straight out of the mind of the Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple, is a peculiar structure full of religious symbols. Located in the city of Chiang Rai, its entrance is guarded by menacing demons and monsters and features images of Superman and Neo fighting alongside traditional Buddhist icons (for real).
Attending Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival
Not what you’d expect from the name, this infamous event includes ceremonies of firewalking, body piercing, and other acts of self-mutilation undertaken by participants acting as mediums of the gods. Men go into trances and puncture their cheeks with knives, skewers, pipes, even bicycles. Definitely not recommended for the squeamish.
Getting soaked during Songkran
Songkran is the Thai New Year that usually falls in April. It’s also known to be 4 days of non-stop water fight. The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people and wash their “bad fortune” away. It soon evolved into the world’s most massive water fight with the younger generations and the arrival of tourists. Since April is the hottest month in Thailand, it’s also a good way to relieve the heat.
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