The best way to immerse yourself in local culture is through its people, customs and festivals. No matter how big or small, the experiences are often enriching, offering chances to bond with the locals and create holiday memories that last a lifetime. L+T is proud to present five cultural festivals across Asia worth travelling to, along with amazing packages from Amari, the hotel brand which celebrates the colours and rhythms of an evolving modern Asia.
#1 Chase the sunrise at Phanom Rung Historical Park Festival in Buriram, Thailand – 3 to 5 April
Witness the awesome spectacle of the rising sun as it shines through the 15 aligned doorways of Khmer temple, Prasat Phanom Rung, creating a perfect line of rays along its magnificent architecture. Revered by locals as the ‘gateway to heaven’, the traditional annual lunar festival is typically held at the beginning of April. Don’t miss out the spectacular sound and light show along with fireworks, as the park extends its opening hours to commemorate the occasion.
For some added fun, check out the packages at Amari Buriram United, Thailand’s only football-themed hotel. If you’d love a complimentary room upgrade, make a booking directly here.
#2 Splash your way to new beginnings with Songkran in Thailand – 13 to 15 April
Arm yourself with water buckets and pistols as you welcome in the Thai New Year with the locals. Also known as Songkran, it is one of the nation’s most anticipated festivals that can run across two to five days. Apart from visiting temples, revellers participate in ‘water fights’, where the throwing of water is seen to be a sign of respect, well-wishing, and the washing away of bad luck.
Can’t wait to check it out? Why not take advantage of the Good Friday long weekend and experience Songkran in Thailand’s vibrant cities with some of Amari’s amazing packages here.
#3 Unearth traditions with the Baba (Peranakan) Wedding Festival in Phuket, Thailand – 17 to 18 June
Bet you didn’t know that Thailand is also home to the Peranakan community, and strongly so in Phuket. Every year around the middle of June, the Phuket Baba Wedding Festival is held in honour of the community’s rich culture. With the vintage Sino-Portuguese mansions in the Old Town quarter as a backdrop, Peranakan brides and grooms will parade along Thalang Road in their striking traditional costumes accompanied by lion dancers and many more. Get your camera ready to snap the colourful magnificence.
If you’re looking to explore Phuket and more, Amari Phuket offers a package that includes a guided half-day tour of Phuket Old Town, along with a private Thai cooking class with more details here.
#4 Kick off the Bengali New Year in Dhaka, Bangladesh – 14 April
Celebrated by 150 million Bengali, Pohela Boishakh marks the first day of the New Year in the Bengali calendar bringing new hopes, vivacity, and well-being. The festivities begin at dawn with singing amidst an ocean of colourful processions and parades of cultural sculptures, along with fairs that offer traditional food, handicrafts, toys and much more. As part of tradition, locals feast on Panta Ilish, a popular dish that is served on a platter of leftover rice soaked in water with fried Hilsa fish, pickles, green chillies and onion – a definite dish to try.
Excite your senses with the city’s colourful traditions and rich culture, while enjoying a complimentary upgrade at Amari Dhaka when you make a booking here.
#5 Commemorate one of the bravest heroes in Yangshuo, China – 23 June
The sleepy town of Baisha bursts into life on the 23rd of June to commemorate Guan Yu, an ancient war hero celebrated for his loyalty and righteousness. Households light fireworks to pray for good fortune and health for the rest of the year, while a bustling parade takes over the streets with ethnic dances and ceremonial processions.
The townspeople also look forward to participating in ‘Qiang Pao’, a competitive game where teams try to grab a red ring shot upwards to the sky by the explosive power of firecrackers. Be prepared to be impressed by the sights and sounds!
Be prepared to be awestruck by the panoramic view of karst mountains and winding rivers as your daily backdrop with a stay at Amari Yangshuo in Guilin, Guangxi, that’s set to open later this year.
Packages start from 3,396 THB++ (approximately 131 SGD++), more information on Amari packages can be found here.
*Package inclusions and prices are subject to change, depending on location, room type and period of stay.