The Vegetarian Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events on Bangkok’s calendar. Running from October 12 – 20 2015, it’s one of the most colourful festivals held in the Thai capital and the Centre Point team will be on hand to assist you with our local knowledge of the best places in the city to experience this special occasion.
Expect to see plenty of yellow flags throughout Bangkok – the yellow flags indicate participation in the festival – and countless Bangkokians enjoying the vegetarian delights served up fresh at street stalls, markets and restaurants across the city.
A Short History of the Festival
Starting 150 years ago in Phuket’s Kathu district – Phuket’s population is 30% Chinese – the Vegetarian Festival started after Phuket was hit by an epidemic that claimed many lives.
When the Chinese realised they had failed to pay homage to Kiu Ong Lah, the Nine Emperor Gods, they began to follow the tradition of abstaining from sex, eating red meat and drinking alcohol, arguing and fighting during the first nine days of October.
The tradition has been observed every year since and has spread to Bangkok and other parts of Thailand over the years. While Phuket is home to the festival’s origins and the spectacle of men ‘possessed by the gods’ piercing their cheeks, tongues and other body parts, more people now attend the Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok.
The heart and soul of the Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok, Chinatown, or Yaowaraj as it’s known locally, is by far the best place to experience this exciting festival.
You don’t have to make your way to Yaowaraj every day to join in the festivities or try a variety of fresh vegetarian foods as the entire city celebrates the festival. However, it’s an amazing sight and you won’t want to miss out if you’re in Bangkok at the time.
All Centre Point Properties are convenient for travelling to Yaowaraj, National Stadium BTS is the closest skytrain station – you’ll need to catch a bus, taxi or tuk-tuk, or walk the rest of the way – while the nearest underground station is MRT Hua Lamphong.
If you’re staying with us and would like to visit Yaowaraj for the festivities, please ask one of our friendly staff members for their advice on how to travel to Chinatown.
Vegetarian Delights – What You Can Try At the Vegetarian Festival
There’s a wide range of food to try, some of which may be a little strange to Western tastes, but you’re certain to find more than a few which are to your taste buds’ liking.
Some of the dishes you’re recommended to try include po pia thod (fried spring rolls), pad pak ruam mit (mixed fried vegetables), pad Thai (Thai fried rice noodles), tom yam hed (sour & spicy mushroom soup) and pak thod (deep fried vegetables in batter).
Bangkok’s Vegetarian Festival is held from October 12 – 20, 2015. Don’t miss it!