On July 8, the Lat Chado Municipality in Phak Hai district, Ayutthaya province, will host a candle procession on the Lat Chado Canal to mark the start of Buddhist lent.
There will be a parade of candle-carrying boats, a waterside house decoration contest, a photo exhibition on the local way of life, local sports, cultural performances and several other activities in a retro atmosphere at Lat Chado Market.
This tradition is annually held a day after Asarnha Bucha Day, which falls on the Full Moon day of the eighth lunar month. It is the start of Buddhist lent initiated about 2,600 years ago. The Lord Buddha prohibited monks from travelling and staying overnight outside their temples during the rainy season to prevent them from stepping on growing rice, plants and animals. During lent, Buddhists make merit by presenting robes and candles to monks. This year, the procession is, however, held on Asarnha Bucha Day due to convenience.
Call the municipality on 035-740-263 or the Tourism Authority of Thailand's Ayutthaya Office on 035-246-076/7.
Until the end of August, the "Queen Of Dry Deciduous Dipterocarp Forest Festival" takes place at Play La Ploen Flora Park in Khu Muang district, Buri Ram province. Visitors will be able to see more than 10 types of krajiao (a type of curcuma) and pathumma plants, including Siam Tulip or krajiao bua, learn how to grow this kind of plant, and taste and buy fusion food and Thai desserts prepared from dok krajiao.
Highlights are the specially mixed varieties of krajiao and pathumma, such as White Mont Blanc, Jasmine Pink, Rose Red, Wichian Red, Chiang Mai Pink, Parrots' Beaks, Flying Swan and Chocolate Green.
Some of the 100,000 such plants have been grown by local school students under the park's "Siam Tulip For Kids" project to buy Siam Tulip plants from students raising funds for their lunch programmes. Some of the plants will be sold at the Emporium shopping complex in Bangkok in August.
According to the park, dok krajiao is one of the country's most exported flowers.
Visit www.playlaploen.com or call the park on 044-634-736/8.
Biking in Loei
On June 17, the "Tour of I-san Loei Classic" race will be held on the 52km Loei-Chiang Khan route in Loei province. Under the eco-tourism, conservation and slow life concepts, cyclists will enjoy riding their bikes and doing creative and fun activities.
Registration begins at 9am at Wat Sri Sutthawat in Muang district. Participants will later clean the temple compound until noon and have lunch. At 1.30pm, the race begins. Cyclists can take a break at Rai Somboonsap Coffee Shop at 3pm. All of them will reach Chiang Khan Cultural Ground at 4.30pm and have dinner, watch cultural performances and join fun activities by the Mekong River from 5-6pm. After that, they can stroll Walking Street. If they stay overnight in Chiang Khan, they can enjoy a ride to Phu Thok the next morning to see the sea of mist at dawn.
Admission is free. However, the maximum number of people is 300. Each participant will receive a free T-shirt and be protected under an accident insurance package. The trip is inclusive of snacks, lunch, dinner, fruits and drinking water.
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Siam tulips. Photo: Pichaya Svasti