Royal occasions and riotous parties in Thailand
The Thai calendar is brimming with religious, spiritual and patriotic festivals. A highlight is King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s birthday celebrations on 28th July. Celebrations span the country, but are at their biggest in Bangkok, when fireworks fill the air and colourful processions parade down the streets. Sirikit Kitiyakara, the Queen of Thailand, is also a much-loved monarch. So, if you’re in Bangkok or Chiang Mai on 12th August, you’ll be able to catch her special birthday festivities.
You’ve probably also heard of Thailand’s hedonistic Full Moon Parties. These are held each lunar month to coincide with Buddhist holidays. Once considered a backpacker’s rite of passage, these events have morphed into possibly the largest, inclusive, most popular beach party in the world. Not for the fainthearted, prepare to let your hair and inhibitions down with thousands of other revellers on islands such as Koh Samui and the remote Koh Pha-Ngan. Dance from sundown until sunrise, and wave fire sticks in the air. At least you’ll have a boutique hotel to retreat back to, while other partygoers make do with sleeping on the beach.
Where to stay: Expect urban sophistication at its highest in Akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok. Or lap up the lush tranquillity in the landscaped setting of Koh Samui’s Bo Phut Resort & Spa.