Festival/Local Life

Wandering through the Talang Street of the old Phuket town it is impossible not to notice the many fabric houses lining half the street. If you are looking for a more cultural gift or just a souvenir then these fabric shops are the ideal place for a visit.

Mainly aimed for locals, these shops stock many types of fabrics used in the traditional Phuket outfit. Amongst the most colorful of these fabrics is the ‘Batae’, a type of Javanese printed or hand painted cloth using wax to make fine patterns before dipping the cloth into different colored dyes.      

The ‘Batae’ cloth has many uses, from home decoration as table cloth, or can be made into very chic pillow cases as well as playing a vital part in the traditional Phuket life.

In the olden days when at home, Phuket ladies wear the ‘Batae’ by draping the cloth as a sarong perfect for the hot, humid weather. Add a lace blouse and these ‘Batae’ sarongs are made instantly fit for a formal occasion, true Phuket style.

So if you’re looking for a souvenir that is going to reflect the real Phuket culture and its influences, then these relatively cheap, beautiful ‘Batae’ cloth must be taken into consideration! 🙂

No, this is not about Cannes or Hollywood. The red carpet we’re talking about is the carpet of red firecrackers left covering the streets of Phuket town during the famed Vegetarian Festival processions.

If you come to Phuket thinking that the sea, sand and sun are the only things there is to experience then you can think again. As apart from the attractions of a beautiful tropical island Phuket also offers many interesting traditions and festivals resulting from the diverse culture.

Amongst one of the most popular festival amongst excitement-seeking tourists is the Vegetarian Festival, a festival of Toaist Chinese origin now found only in Phuket and several bordering provinces.

The Vegetarian Festival was said to have started in Phuket when an illness spread across a village formed during the tin mining years called ‘Baan Nai Tu’ (now Krathu). At the time there was a group of Pekking Opera performers from China residing in the area, so when the members caught the illness they carried out ‘jia chai’ (Chinese) or the Vegetarian Festival in order to honour the gods ‘Kiew Ong Tai The’ and ‘Yok Ong Sone The’ and drive away the bad fortune. By retaining from the consumption of all animal products and eating only freshly cooked food under the rituals the illness subsided. The Vegetarian Festival is then adopted by the locals across Phuket and nearby areas and carried out yearly on the ninth lunar month in accordance to the traditional Chinese calendar.