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Phuket Vegetarian Festival program 2018

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Phuket Vegetarian Festival program 2018 | The Thaiger

The annual Vegetarian Festival is back and promises to be a big year for the annual nine day celebrations starting next Monday.

Some of the rituals are based around self-mutilation and daring acts of fire walking. A lot of the processions and ceremonies can be quite scary, especially for the young or squeamish. There will be lots of noise, lots of people and people going into trances before undergoing different levels of voluntary mutilation. These days there are medical staff behind the scenes should anyone drop out of trance and need medical help, a luxury not afforded the devotees in the past.

The Vegetarian Festival is becoming a popular tourist attraction but it’s also observed by younger locals and some tourists as well. Observers and participants avoid eating meat, seafood, poultry or dairy products during the period of the festival. The belief is that observers will have better health, purer mind, and gain merits from taking vegetarian foods.

You will see many restaurants with yellow flag, indicating that they provide pure, vegetarian food. This is your chance to try delicious new food as the streets will be filled with food stalls serving up vegetarian dishes.

The annual festival kicks off with religious rituals which are held at the main Chinese shrines on the island – Seng Ko Teng Thiao. The Lantern Pole is supposed to attract the 36,000 gods of the Chinese pantheon.

All shrines will raise their poles between 3-5.45pm, except for Sheng Leng Tong (which holds their ceremony earlier).

The opening night ritual of the Koteng lantern pole raising will be held at the Juitui Tao Bo Keng Shrine, the ancient Chinese shrine in Old Phuket Town. Apart from Juitui Tao Bo Keng Shrine, approximately 30 shrines around the island will conduct the annual ceremony including Bang Niew Shrine, Samkong Shrine, and Kathu Shrine. After the ritual, the Masong (people who invite the spirits of Chinese gods to possess their bodies) will be parading around.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival program 2018 | News by The Thaiger

Processions in Phuket Town

The daily processions are something you will unlikely see anywhere else in the world, at least not as intense as the Phuket parades – noise, music, fireworks, smoke, masongs in trances, body piercings and mutilations. The parades are a complete assault on your senses. Whilst there are many local children involved in the event, the western tourist, and especially kids, may find some of the activities quite overwhelming.

(Times listed in the 24 hour clock)

Tuesday, 9 October | Sapam Shrine street procession from 07:00

Wednesday, 10 October | Samkong Shrine street procession from 07:19

Thursday, 11 October | Ban Tha Rue Shrine street procession from 07:30

Friday 12, October | Bang Neow Shrine street procession from 07:00

Saturday, 13 October | Jui Tui Shrine street procession from 08:00

Sunday, 14 October | Kathu and Yokkekeng Shrines street procession from 07:00

Monday, 15 October | Sui Boon Tong Shrine street procession from 07:00

Fire Walking Ceremonies

Thursday, 11 October | Jui Tui Shrine Fire Walking at Saphan Hin from 20:09

Thursday, 11 October | Fire Walking at Sui Boon Tong Shrine from 21:00

Thursday, 11 October | Fire Walking at Ban Tha Rua Shrine from 20:00

Thursday, 11 October | Fire Walking at Yokkekeng Shrine from 20:00

Thursday, 11 October | Fire Walking at Sapam Shrine from 21:00

Saturday, 13 October | Fire Walking at Bang Neow Shrine from 20:00

Saturday, 13 October: Fire Walking at Samkong Shrine from 20:00

Saturday, 13 October | Fire Walking at Cherng Talay Shrine from 20:09

Sunday, 14 October | Fire Walking at Kathu Shrine from 15:00

Other Ceremonies

Friday, 12 October | Bladed-ladder climbing at Bang Neow Shrine from 20:00

Friday, 12 October | Bladed-ladder climbing at Samkong Shrine from 20:00

Friday, 12 October | Oil bathing and tying children’s wrist at Ban Tha Rua Shrine from 20:45

Friday, 12 October | Bladed-ladder climbing at Cherng Talay Shrine from 19:59

Friday, 12 October | Nail bridge crossing and oil bathing at Sapam Shrine from 20:00

Phuket Vegetarian Festival program 2018 | News by The Thaiger

Final Day of the Festival

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

If you’ve been ‘purifying your body’ during the festival then it will be time for you to cross the bridge of purification set up at each shrine. The devotees will be ‘rewarded’ with a stamp on their shirt as proof of their commitment to the nine days. The crossing of the bridge of purification is held between 6-8pm.

Then, grab your ear plugs and don’t wear anything flammable – the last part is just NUTS! After 9pm all shrines join together in a mega street parade in Phuket Town. This is the Nine Emperor Gods Farewell.

Each shrine involved in the festival has their own Emperor God. The procession accompanies each group to Saphan Hin, from where the gods will depart Phuket (no Immigration queues!).

This three hour cacophony of noise, smoke and fireworks borders on dangerous so should be attended with an escape route in mind, safety goggles (really) and patience. The crowds are massive and YOU are part of the parade – there are spectator stands.

Then, on Thursday, October 18, each shrine will hold their own Lantern Pole lowering ceremony which usually run from 3-5pm.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival program 2018 | News by The Thaiger



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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

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Food Scene

Thong Dee, the Kathu Brasserie loved by foodies and Phuket locals

The Thaiger

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Thong Dee, the Kathu Brasserie loved by foodies and Phuket locals | The Thaiger

The Thaiger was invited to a special ‘taster’ at one of our favourite restaurants on the island of Phuket, Thong Dee. As usual, the food spoke for itself – no fuss, classy, so so tasty, eclectic. The Thaiger was a guest of the hosts Patrik and Ponchan for the evening.

Thong Dee – The Kathu Brasserie, located in Kathu in a quiet soi less than 15 min drive from Patong or Phuket Town has become a popular go-to foodie destination, away from the hustle and bustle of Phuket. The atmosphere at Thong Dee is certainly friendly and relaxed but also chic and stylish. The restaurant offers open-air dining where locals and visitors comfortably sit and watch the tiny world of Kathu go by.

The restaurant is currently ranked #1 on TripAdvisor (April 2019), undoubtedly a favourite for foodies looking for quality in a breezy brasserie which doesn’t burn their wallets. But the journey to finding this perfect balance was certainly not a smooth one.

Established on the 25th December 2010, married couple Patrik Lundgren, from Sweden, and Phonchan Chiarram, originally from the Buriram province, opened “Thong Dee Restaurant & Bar”, literally meaning “Good Gold” in Thai, a colloquial expression that better translates as “Good Quality”.

Thong Dee began as only a dream for the two. Phonchan already owned her own bar at only 21 and Patrik always considered himself a devout foodie. He was the one to make the bold decision to become restaurateurs. With the help of Patrik’s mother, the couple, with their love for F&B and strong entrepreneurial spirit, made that dream into reality.

“I consider myself a genuine foodie and always had a huge passion for food. I rather have a big bill from a fabulous restaurant then a trendy nightclub” – Patrik

Phonchan never had any formal training as a Chef but with Patrik’s belief in her skills and Patrik’s mother’s training, Phonchan started in her own restaurant as the cook. Here she not only had the opportunity to develop her delicious family recipes but began experimenting with Western and European cuisine.

The menu opened with 80 % percent Thai food until Patrik realised it was an already over-saturated market. “We had to be different from that “green curry” you can eat anywhere in Phuket”. Over the next 6 years the restaurant went through huge changes, both in layout and in menu.

Through the first stages, they enlisted the talents of André, a young chef who worked in France & Scandinavia at Michelin fine dining establishments, most notably, at Restaurant Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen. It was from him that Phonchan learned the fundamentals of fine dining, such as mise en place and creating stocks and sauces.

He also taught me about the art of plating and classic dishes from French cuisine as well as fusion creations” – Phonchan

In 2016 they partnered up with an experienced Irish chef, from whom they learned about the strict operations of running a restaurant and creating a positive flow in the kitchen.

“He also taught me a lot form the European and English kitchen, such as the Sunday roasts, chicken liver parfait and desserts” – Phonchan.

The couple found their groove through their own culinary explorations, research and development combined with the knowledge of experienced chefs.

“…almost all of the dishes on our menu are different from how I learned from the start, both in Thai cuisine and European. I discovered in the world of cooking, all dishes can be made from the chef’s own interpretation.” – Phonchan

Patrik describes the cuisine at Thong Dee in detail as – European with French, English & Swedish influences in addition to authentic Thai dishes with premium main ingredients.

You will find Patrik at the front of house being the charismatic host, paying close attention to detail and customers’ every need. Thong Dee’s client’s range from local expat families and friends looking for a taste of home, and tourists looking for finer Thai food and good wines to match. Thong Dee has also become a favourite spot for local F&B industry management staff.

People flock from around the Island and even globally to experience Phonchan’s signature Thai duck dishes, even stews and Swedish meatballs. The also offer ever-changing weekly specials. Their Sunday Roast is also a drawcard, that attracts playful groups and families looking for a wide variety of succulent roast meats.

In the future, Thong Dee are considering to expand into Phuket Town, where the offering will be much more focused on classic European Brasserie cuisine, with starters, salads and steaks and a high value wine list and of course, the same friendly service in a stylish and relaxed atmosphere.

Thong Dee, the Kathu Brasserie loved by foodies and Phuket locals | News by The Thaiger Thong Dee, the Kathu Brasserie loved by foodies and Phuket locals | News by The Thaiger Thong Dee, the Kathu Brasserie loved by foodies and Phuket locals | News by The Thaiger Thong Dee, the Kathu Brasserie loved by foodies and Phuket locals | News by The Thaiger Thong Dee, the Kathu Brasserie loved by foodies and Phuket locals | News by The Thaiger Thong Dee, the Kathu Brasserie loved by foodies and Phuket locals | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Thai suki restaurant customer injured as gas cooker explodes

The Thaiger

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Thai suki restaurant customer injured as gas cooker explodes | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Facebook.com/สมพงษ์ เเก้วอาจ

A gas canister has exploded at a Moo Katha or ‘suki’  restaurant in the Ram Inthra area of Bangkok. Moo Katha is a very popular kind of restaurant around the country.

Thai Rath reports that Sompong Kaew-art posted on his Facebook that he had been near the restaurant when he heard an explosion. Passersby first thought a tyre had blown out somewhere. But later they found out that a gas canister, used to heat the pan on the table, had exploded.

Poh Teck Tung foundation medics treated a woman at the scene before taking her to hospital. His Facebook post has since been read 40,000 times with 27,000 comments as Thais warned their friends about the exploding gas canister at the restaurants.

SOURCE: Thai Rath

Thai suki restaurant customer injured as gas cooker explodes | News by The Thaiger Thai suki restaurant customer injured as gas cooker explodes | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Hyatt Regency open new Spectrum Rooftop Bar in Bangkok

The Thaiger

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Hyatt Regency open new Spectrum Rooftop Bar in Bangkok | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Award-winning Japanese architecture firm Super Potato tops off Hyatt Regency Bangkok

Bangkok’s newest rooftop bar opens its doors this week as a sparkling new entry in the list of Bangkok’s top-shelf night spots.

Designed by the Japanese design firm Super Potato, the Hyatt Regency Bangkok’s new Spectrum Lounge & Bar is a multi-faceted venue. On three different levels, the expansive lounge features a collection of really cool, intimate spaces.

“The inspiration behind the new venue is a jet-setting couple, who have created a soulful, welcoming space to entertain guests,” explained Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit’s GM, Sammy Carolus.

“This story is told through the design pieces on display, ranging from Thai art to musical instruments, and the variety of distinct areas within the venue, like you’d find in a luxury penthouse.”

Spread over three levels the journey begins on the 29th floor. Handcrafted basket-weave doors lead into a plush gathering space with marble floors and an open kitchen, surrounded by earthy wooden walls. The Thai influence comes through with a scene of the Chao Phraya River decorating one wall and backlit panels with local patterns shedding light over the space. An intimate study room with a shared table features a flat screen TV for presentations, and at night it metamorphoses into a private dining facility with a floor-to-ceiling outlook on the city’s skyline.

The spacious living room entices guests to linger with deep, cushioned chairs and wooden tables spread out over a velvety blue carpet. Above intricate Thai patterns etched into gold panels are an ode to the iconic gold Thai Buddha’s hand. The nearby indoor bar creates an edgier vibe with a sleek, black marble countertop.

A spacious alfresco terrace spans level 30 and 31, the eclectic area features a large open deck with seats for two and alcoves framed by trees with huge daybeds and private tables.

The overall lighting scheme is designed to create a warm and cozy ambiance, a feeling of being at home, with the functionality to change to several scene settings depending on the occasion. The study and meeting room also has its own individual stage control and the lobby space plays with a changing projection – that can be adapted to a particular event.

A selection of premium tapas such as smoked Scottish salmon & Russian caviar atop bagels, wagyu beef sliders, and crispy soft shell crab with tamarind sauce on a taro fritter, are available at the lounge & bar. Craft cocktails, wine, and a comprehensive beer selection make up the drink menu with concoctions such as Mad Mango, chili-infused vodka, mango puree, spicy mango, elderflower, lime, chili and salt; and Giant Pandan, a blend of vodka, Midori, grapefruit juice, pandan, lime, egg white & bitters.

With a total space of 280 square metres Spectrum can host 80 guests for indoor gatherings and 295 people when utilizing the indoor and outdoor spaces.

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