Phi Ta Khon Festival — Ghost Festival (4 days)

specialPhi Ta Khon, also known as the Ghost Festival, is held in Dan Sai, a north central region of Thailand bordering on Laos. The events take place over three days and the actual date is chosen by the town’s mystics according to the lunar calendar. A spiritual Buddhist festival, Phi Ta Khon is taken from the Jataka and welcomes Buddha back after he was presumed dead. Explore this rarely visited part of Thailand. Enjoy the processions and learn about the meanings behind masks worn made of rice husks and coconut leaves with streamers and wooden symbols. The festival culminates with a ceremony by village monks. Phi Ta Khon is your rare chance to participate in a local spiritual celebration.

Day 1 – Sukhothai
Upon arrival at Sukhothai in the morning, you will be met at the airport and driven to yur hotel. Visit the historical park.

Sukhothai, a name meaning dawn of happiness, was founded in the 13th century and became the kingdom’s first capital, overseeing a period known as the golden age of Thai history. The park contains almost 200 ruined chedis in remarkable condition. Explore the main site of the historical park. (Optional bike ride in the park is available) Dive back to your hotel, relax before enjoying the sumptuous local organic lunch which is served in traditional Thai style at the open Sala overlooking the rice fields.

Visit the seasonal orchid greenhouse; see the live demonstration of the ceramic making and textile weaving. Dress up in the distinctive indigo colored cotton Thai Farmer uniform and get the hands dirty in the organic rice farm transplanting rice seedlings, harvesting, or milling rice, there is also an opportunity to plough the paddies with water buffalo. Overnight in Sukhothai Heritage Resort (1 night) Meals: Lunch

Day 2 – Sukothai/Dan Sai
After breakfast depart from Sukhothai and ride along the mountainous way to a hidden charm of Loei, Dan Sai. Check-in to your hotel. After lunch at the local restaurant, visit Phra That Sri Song Rak, located on the bank of the Man River. This large Lao-style pagoda similar to that of Phra That Phanom houses relics of the Lord Buddha.

Stroll around the small town center and join with the colorful “Phi Ta Khon Festival”.

The Phi Ta Khon festival is unique to the Dan Sai district and reflects the local Isaan belief in ghosts and spirits. Held once a year, it is part of a grand merit-making festival known as the “Boon Luang” festival. The origins of the Phi Ta Khon Festival can be found in the tale of Lord Buddha’s last great incarnation before attaining Enlightenment. In Buddhist accounts, it is said that when Prince Vessandara, the Buddha’s penultimate incarnation, returned to his city, it was such a joyous occasion that the village spirits came forth to join the welcoming parade. This very colorful and vibrant Phi Ta Khon procession is the central focus of the celebrations. Overnight in Dan Sai — Phu Na Come Resort (2 nights) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3 – Dan Sai –Phi Ta Khon Festival
Breakfast is at the hotel. Gather of happy and fun-loving spirits today at “Phi Ta Khon Festival” as you see the colorful parade celebration and folk dance around town. Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon, visit Wat Neramitt Vipatsana, the beautiful hall and pagoda where both were constructed of laterite (red soil) by monks and novices. Overnight in Dan Sai Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4 – Depart Dan Sai
After breakfast, free time to enjoy the hotel spa or have the last bit of fun-filled Phi Ta Khon Festival. Depart from the hotel and transfer drive through spectacular mountain scenery to Phitsanulok.

Visit Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, his monastery commonly called by the inhabitants as “Wat Yai” is the most important monastery of Phitsanulok, the home of the famous Phra Buddha Chinnarat. The monastery was built in the reign of Phra Maha Thamma Racha I (Phraya Lithai) in 1357 A.D. It houses the Phra Buddha Chinnarat regarded as the most beautiful Buddha image in Thailand. Have lunch at a local restaurant and visit Cha Tawee folk museum. Continue to Phitsanulok Airport (or Sukhothai Airport) for a flight back to Bangkok, or continue to your next destination. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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Includes:• Accommodation in selected hotel
• Meals as mentioned
• English speaking guide
• Tours transfers by private air conditioned vehicle
• Entrance fees for mentioned visits

Does not include:
• Other meals than mentioned
• Other services than mentioned
• International and Domestic Flights
• Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
• Tips, Travel insurance