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Fah Thai Magazine May-June 2017

HAPPENINGS THAILAND

HAPPENINGS THAILAND PHUKET / KRABI SPOTLIGHT We Gather Here Today... Phuket will again play international matchmaker and bring together business operators in the wedding industry from around the world. The Destination Wedding Planners Congress (DWP) meets at the Banyan Tree Laguna Phuket from May 2 to 4. More than 400 delegates from 60 countries will be in Phuket for the major event organised by QNA International and hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Benefiting are couples from all over the world who are looking for exclusive and high-end wedding arrangements since Thailand is where luxury wedding planning is in great demand globally. The industry event is relevant in bringing together experts in related fields and finding potential clients. Against a perfect background of Phuket’s sun, sand and sea, the three-day congress offers the most unique destinations, extravagant accommodations, wedding suppliers and creative partners. Expect the presence of wedding couture designers, photography representatives, furniture rentals, jewellery partners, cake designers and hoteliers to share their experience and knowledge with one another and lay the groundwork for many nuptials in the future. destinationweddingcongress.com FLOAT ON If you want to learn more about sea gypsies, don’t miss this rare opportunity during the Loi Ruea Chao Le Festival (literally Floating Boats of the Sea Gypsies). It happens on Lanta Island only twice a year. Usually held on the full moon night of the sixth and eleventh months of the lunar calendar, the festival this year will fall on May 10 and October 5. A ritual is performed by the sea gypsies on Lanta Island in Krabi province, as well as those living on the seas in Phuket and Satun. On the night of the festival, the sea gypsies will gather, dance, and sing Rong-ngeng songs (a southern traditional performance) around their beautifully decorated boats, and then float them out into the sea. It is believed that the sea sweeps away bad luck while those participating will receive good luck in return. If you want to see the behind-thescenes of the ritual, be on the island two days before the festival. By that time, men begin repairing their shelters in the morning while women start making sweets as offerings to their ancestors. On the morning before the festival, men will go into the forest to cut wood to make their boats and women start to sing and dance around the decorative boats and prepare them to float. The afternoon before the ceremony takes place, there will be a ritual to make sure the boats make it to the sea, instead of returning to the beach. tourismthailand.com C M Y CM MY A RUN IN PARADISE Runners who love the beach, get your gear and ‘outfit’ ready and mark your calendar for “Run Paradise” at the Laguna Phuket Marathon. Unique for its landscape, the race loop will start at Laguna Phuket and take participants through local villages, pineapple and rubber plantations before taking everyone back to the starting point. Designed as one of the most family-friendly marathons, the 12th edition of the Laguna Phuket Marathon will be held all weekend. The 2km Kids Run (for children up to 12 years old), the 5km community walk and 10.5km race for novices (for participants aged 13 and up) will be held on Saturday afternoon, while the half marathon (for runners aged 16 and higher) and full marathon (for participants aged 18 onwards) will be on Sunday morning. The 5km community walk welcomes everyone. the naka_HPH.pdf 1 12/2/16 4:52 PM The marathon has its own theme song ‘Run Paradise,’ to encourage the harmony of runners and local communities and welcome guests who are part of the ‘good deeds’ marathon. Since 2009, part of the proceeds go to the Laguna Phuket Foundation to support the educational and social development of local communities, marine and the natural environment conservation and an emergency relief fund. It’s been over a decade since the marathon began, gaining in popularity and drawing in runners from around the world. Last year, about 6,000 participants from more than 60 countries joined in the race. June 3 and 4, phuketmarathon.com CY NATURAL HEALING You haven’t truly arrived in Phuket if you haven’t gone to a spa. And the “sand spa” at Haad Mai Khao is one of a kind. Unlike the original practice that involves immersion in mineral-rich water or seawater, this one instead requires being pampered in a pool of beach sand. The beach locally known as Haad Mai Khao is home to a mix of delicate, rough and coarse varieties whose unique qualities have turned into quite an advantage. The locals believe the coarser sand in the area has made it possible for healing and drawing out toxins. By being buried in a sand pit at Haad Mai Khao, locals believe the practice could heal joint pain and improve on any form of paralysis, gout, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Make an appointment with Manote Saithong, Mai Khao village head, at +66 (0) 81 895 4833. CMY K 98