Thinking of heading to Thailand in the near future? There’s so much to get involved with in the Asian nation, but one of the most exciting prospects comes in the form of the many different types of festivals you’ll find hosted throughout the course of the year. Today, let’s take a look at five amazing festivals you simply have to visit on your travels of Thailand.
Sabtang Island is one of three inhabited islands of Batanes, the northernmost province in the Philippines. It is here where you can see traditional stone houses that Batanes is known for. It is also here where you can find the finest weavers of Batanes known for making the vakul, a traditional headdress worn by farmers in the fields to protect them from the sun and rain. While women traditionally wear the vakul, men wear vests known as kanayi and talugong, a traditional wide-brimmed farmer’s hat.
If the UNESCO World Heritage site Shirakawa-go is the starting village or hero’s hometown in a classic video role-playing game, Takayama is the peaceful yet bustling trading town you go to when you want to upgrade your gear and buy all the rare items.
Takayama is a city in the mountainous region of the Gifu Prefecture, about 2 hours away from Nagoya, Japan. It is home to a beautifully preserved Old Town with buildings and whole streets of houses that date back to the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the city still thrived as a wealthy town of merchants. Continue reading →
Most people equate Vigan with the historic Calle Crisologo. With its cobblestone streets, old Spanish style houses, horse-drawn carriages, and old world charm, it’s easy to see why Calle Crisologo is considered one of the most beautiful streets in the country. I admit, walking around here during one afternoon to look at furniture and souvenir shops is actually my only memory of Vigan from a previous visit some years back.
Most festivals in the Philippines take inspiration from a distinct product or industry of the town. This product usually dictates the theme for the activities, decor and street-dancing costumes, which seem to be a staple of every Pinoy fiesta. In the official Tourism AVP, it’s pointed out that, “we have rice fiestas, flower fiestas, giant fiestas, mask fiestas. We have one every day of the year. And everyone’s invited.” And because the country is blessed with so many products and industries, this has resulted in some rather out-of-the-ordinary fiestas as well. Here are five of the weirder inspirations for Pinoy festivals I’ve come across.
Our trip to Capiz coincided with the the Sinadya sa Halaran 2012 festival, which literally means “Joy in Sharing and Thanksgiving.” Held every December, this festival is a merging of the Roxas City Fiesta “Sinadya” and the Provincial celebration of “Halaran.” It is a commemoration of the feast of the patroness of Roxas City (the Immaculate Concepcion).
Zamboanga City’s La Hermosa Festival which was held last October 7-12 was one of the most colorful festivals I’ve witnessed in the country. From the hundreds of vintas with their rainbow sails racing on the sea in the annual Regatta de Zamboanga, to the festive flurry of activities, it was like a gigantic box of crayons just spilled over the whole city. Beyond the elaborate floats and vibrant costumes of the street dancers, it was great to see the community spirit as locals took part in the different festivities. Here are a few snapshots from the event.
If you are looking for a holiday break that offers beauty, relaxation, adventure and most of all fun, then you will do well to visit the Philippines. This Southeast Asian nation has some of the most varied landscapes around, as you would expect from the unique way it is made up from many different islands. When you visit this beautiful country, you will be enthralled by the idyllic rice fields, the towering volcanoes and the bustling large cities where you can find endless attractions.