’s top 10 Phuket Vegetarian Festival Magical Moments


PHUKET, Thailand – is adding pizzazz to the Phuket Vegetarian Festival (held this year from October 8-16) with amazing hotel deals right before the start of Thailand’s traditional peak tourist season. 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 percent 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, 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 November 1. For the very best deals on the island, check out our exclusive promotions page for Phuket hotels available only from


The main Phuket Vegetarian Festival ceremonies take place around the 6 main Chinese temples on the island, most of them located in Phuket Town. The main temple is the Jui Tui Shrine in the city center, 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 Festiva,l 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.


The festival is centered 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 traveling 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.


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.

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