Discover the real Thailand in 2015

Thailand is bursting with festivals and cultural experiences. If you want to get off the beaten track and under the skin of this amazing country, then look no further! We’ve highlighted some of the key events throughout the year to help you uncover the true beauty of Thainess and explore the very best of what Thailand has to offer.

Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing, is an ancient martial art known for its combat skills and prowess. This month Thailand has arranged a grand Wai Kru ceremony, a sacred ritual where fighters from around the world will show their respect to the Muay Thai masters. Visitors are also welcome to join this once in a lifetime event in the Ayutthaya Historical Park, the birthplace of Muay Thai.

Marking the start of Thai New Year, the annual Songkran Water Festival is not to be missed. Celebrated by throwing water on one another, this act traditionally symbolises washing away the bad and celebrating the joy of peoples’ lives flowing together in harmony. Expect to get very wet, as locals and tourists join what can only be described as a big mid-summer water fight! But don’t forget to visit local temples to observe the traditional ceremonies seeing in the New Year too.

If you’re visiting Thailand in May, make sure you experience the Yasothon Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival from the 8th to the 10th of May. The spectacular event marks the start of the rice-planting season and rockets are fired up into the sky to encourage the Gods to send rain and a prosperous harvest.

Thailand is one of the world’s best shopping destinations and June is the perfect time to indulge in some retail therapy. The Thailand Amazing Grand Sale runs between the 15th June and the 30th September. Many of Bangkok’s famous retail outlets take part in the shopping extravaganza and offer exclusive discounts. Just be sure to leave enough room in your luggage for the flight home!

The AEC Folk Music Festival brings together the musical traditions of the ten countries in the ASEAN Economic Community. When all groups come together, you can count up to 40 different national musical instruments. Experience the musical exchange at one of the many events held throughout July.

Thai silk has become famous for its beauty and luxurious velvety texture. Used all over the world by young designers and major fashion houses, only authentic Thai silk will do. Local and traditional techniques such as colouring, weaving and design help give the silk it’s unique shine and make it one of Thailand’s most popular exports. Visit Khorat, the birthplace of Thai silk, to explore the rich history and wisdom behind the creation of such intricate work.

In September, towards the end of rainy season and when the weather starts to cool, Phuket will hold Thailand’s International Food Festival. Packed full of demonstrations by leading chefs as well as plenty of opportunities to sample the very best in Thai cuisine, the festival is a perfect stop for food lovers.

For those who are serious about cycling the stunning mountain roads in Northern Thailand offer exceptional views and surroundings. The Thailand Time Trial held in the province of Chiang Mai and Lamphun offers a thrilling ride.

Loi Krathong, also known as the Water Festival, has been part of Thai society for more than seven centuries and represents the importance of rivers in the country. Between the 24th and 26th of November, baskets made from banana and lily leaves are adorned with flowers and launched into the rivers, ponds or lakes. Sky lanterns are also released to create a spectacular sight.

Apart from being the world’s longest serving head of state, did you know his Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is also an accomplished jazz musician? To celebrate his Majesty the King’s birthday anniversary on the 5th of December, Bangkok hosts an impressive jazz event, where leading Thai and international musicians come together to honour the King.

What you’ve missed this year but earmark this blog so you can plan for 2016 as we update it!

2015 started with a bang with the launch of Discover Thainess, the beginning of a journey into the heart and spirit of Thailand, its people and everything the country has to offer. The annual event will include exciting events and festivals where travellers and visitors can find out more about the meaning of Thainess.

For centuries China and Thailand have forged a relationship built on a shared history. In February both countries join together to celebrate the Lunar New Year as well as the 60th birthday of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, also known as “The Best International Friend of China”. The Golden Kinship Celebration will take place on the streets of Chinatown in Bangkok and include spectacular performances held in the Princess’ honour.