Culture, Art, and Love

By Richard James Jan 5, 2014
The secret to getting the very best travel experience is to check the festivals calendar for your chosen destination. For Thai people, festivals are a part of everyday life, and unique events can be found at different times all over the country. But some festivals are exceptional, and Krabi’s Andaman Festival clearly falls in this category. The Andaman Festival, held in November each year, started in 1991 as a way to give welcome to its visitors from around the world. It has since grown from strength to strength and is now a shining gem for travelers seeking cultural and artistic fusion in their travel experience.

The Festival is officially billed as an opening to the region’s tourist season, but this festival generates as much excitement for Thai people as it does for foreign travelers. The synergy couldn’t be more dynamic. This festival has everything. For travelers seeking to taste authentic southern Thai cooking; or be moved by the soul-stirring song and dances of Thai, Melayu, Moken (Sea Gypsy), and Thai-Chinese people; or witness folk arts like shadow play performances (nang talung) and manora drama-dance; or just fill your bags with jewelry, batiks textiles, natural products, and other hand-crafted gifts; you need to get to this festival! Oh, and I forgot the art and photography exhibitions, and the food-making competition. Oh so arroy!

But this is not all… each year the organizers arrange special events for Festival visitors. Events include water sports, climbing, kayaking, boat races, visits to fishing villages, and viewing the mangrove ecosystem. And if you’re single, you might attend the ceremony in Rai Ley to be blessed in love by the spirit of the princess goddess, PhraNang. (If you’re already in-love, then you can still get blessed!)

For readers new to the southern Thailand experience, you will find the Krabi region teeming with mountains, forests, hot springs, panoramic views, and unspoiled beaches. To add to this, the Andaman Festival is timed around the end of the rainy season, when clouds start playing eye-stirring color games with the photons. Visitors and especially travel photographers will be over-the-top with mother nature’s spectacle that plays right into the Festival’s ambiance.

The Andaman Festival is a three day event. Typically the daylight hours are reserved for special events, and the evenings are spent around the performance stages along with all those mouth watering delicacies to massage your taste buds. With a selection of stages, one can choose between traditional folk (rong ngeng), contemporary Thai, or international music genres.

The Andaman Festival is a rich showcase of southern Thailand’s cultural diversity, artistic expression, hospitality, and charm. On the Festival calendar, this one gets high marks!

Note: Krabi’s International Airport has direct flights from various transit hubs including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok. Content Content Content

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