http://www.inspirepattaya.com/pattaya/burapa-bike-week-2018-9-10-february-2018/ The New Year festivities isn’t stopping just yet!
While we were too caught up with the New Year and Chinese New Year festivities, the year’s shortest month has quietly approached us. As we know, February is the month of love but let’s not limit ourselves to just that, because these 25 reasons are why you should be in Asia this month, even if you’re not celebrating Valentine’s Day!
1. Attend a colourful annual Hindu festival, Thaipusam
A religious ceremony celebrated by the Hindus, the Thaipusam festival is filled with colourful unorthodox costumes and loud instrumental music that’ll have the whole of Singapore’s Little India liven up! Witness devotees carrying kavadis – headpiece and spears worn as “burdens”, in a way to worship the Hindu God of War, Lord Murugan – take a 4km walk from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple during this 2-day festival that can easily top the list of Unique Festivals In The World!
2. Experience Singapore’s largest street performance, the Chingay Parade
Started in 1973, Chingay is the largest street performance in Singapore and Asia, and consists mostly of floats and dance performances by various local community groups and schools. And with every following year, the Chingay Parade just gets bigger and better, not to mention even more colourful! Expect a mix of pretty much everything – cosplay, floats, a lot of firecrackers and even go-karts – at this must-see parade in Singapore!
3. Run for a good (wildlife) cause at the Safari Zoo Run
Probably the most kid-friendly marathon in Singapore, the Safari Zoo Run is held annually at the iconic Singapore Zoo, where families and friends can come together for a fun run alongside friendly wildlife. This year’s theme focuses on raising awareness for wildlife conservation and participants can choose which animal team they’re supporting – Ah Meng the Orangutan, Chawang the Asian Elephant, Canola the Manatee or Sunny the Hornbill – to raise awareness for!
There are four categories for the run, and whichever you choose, competitive or not, you’re bound to have a good time saying hi to the animals along the way! For more information on the teams and registration, click here.
4. Test your physical limits at the Viper Challenge
This year, one of the nation’s biggest obstacle event returns to the sunny island, at the scenic Sentosa. With over 15 obstacles across a 10km course, participants can test their mental and physical strength at what is also Viper Challenge’s only beach event for the year! Participants can choose to run solo or in a team, and either way, be sure to get plenty of rest and give your body all the energy it needs! For fees and registration, click here.
5. Learn about the history of space exploration at the ArtScience Museum
From the first time mankind stepped foot on the moon to the kind of food they eat in space, the ArtScience museum’s latest exhibition is guaranteed to get every space-junkie excited. Marvel at more than 200 replicas and artifacts – including stories of those that have travelled to space and back – at the NASA: A Human Adventure Exhibition, going on all the way till 19 March!
6. Attend one of the most important festivals of Buddhism
Held on the third month of the Lunar calendar, the Makha Bucha Day, celebrating the veneration of Buddha and his teachings, is one of the most important festivals in Buddhism and is always celebrated differently across different countries.
In Thailand, several bars and restaurants and closed and most aren’t allowed to serve alcohol. The Thai Buddhists will then take part in a candlelight procession in the evening that takes place around the prayer halls of the different temples. Truly a solemn ceremony, the Makha Bucha festival offers visitors a more in depth look at Buddhism in Thailand!
7. Celebrate love underwater
Back for its 21st time, the Trang Underwater Wedding Festival is truly one of its kind and takes place at what is commonly referred to as one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand: Ko Kradan. Conveniently held during the month of love, this festival will have couples saying “I dos” and signing their wedding certificates underwater while donning oxygen tanks and goggles!
The wedding ceremony will also include traditional Thai customs such as the pouring of lustral water ritual as well as Buddhist practices! Even if you’re not the ones saying “I do”, witnessing a unique wedding ceremony like this is definitely bucket list-worthy!
8. Experience Thailand’s very own Coachella
Picture Thailand’s very own Laneway Festival or even Coachella and the Wonderfruit Festival will come to mind. Nope, the festival has little to none association with fruits. The Wonderfruit Festival is held in Pattaya’s Siam Country Club and was actually postponed from its original dates in December 2016 to respect the mourning period for King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Guests can expect food and retail vendors, live music performances from international and local artistes, art installations, workshops and so much more. Also, be sure to look out for a stage that is made completely out of harvested rice!
4. Take your best leather jacket and be a biker chick for a week
2017 officially marks the 20th year of the Pattaya Bike Week, an annual festival organised by the Burupa Motorcycle Club. Popular amongst the motorcycle fans as well as rock music lovers, the festival is packed with the roaring sounds of motorcycles from start to finish. In fact, the festival kicks off with a ceremonial ride through the streets of Pattaya and Jomtien, all the way to the National Sports Arena!
Expect thousands of motorcycles that will be at the centre of attraction during the festival, including old-school choppers and plenty of Harley Davidsons!
10. Marvel at straw art in the form of bird sculptures
The Chai Nat Province is commonly referred to as the “Rice Bowl of Thailand”, so it isn’t a surprise that this humble province will be organising a festival that entirely consists of big rice straw sculptures of birds! The 10-day event will take place right in front of the Chai Nat Town Hall and guests can admire the meticulous handiwork of the locals, take part in the straw-bird making contests, or even purchase a sculpture of their own!
Additionally, the Straw Bird Festival will also include a bazaar, an amazing lights and sound show, a food fair and so much more!
11. Gear up for some head banging fun
Happening from 24 – 26 February, the Dragonland Music Festival is one of the biggest music festivals to have ever happened in Hong Kong, featuring world-renowned pop acts that will give you a pretty reasonable reason as to why you NEED to be in Hong Kong for these 3 days. Not kidding, with performances from The Black Eyed Peas, Zedd, Steve Aoki, Carly Rae Jepsen and more, this concert will be a perfect place to be for every EDM and Pop lover.
And with a lineup that impressive, you might want to secure your tickets ASAP!
12. Take part in Hong Kong’s biggest marathon event
Probably the biggest marathon event in Hong Kong, 2017 marks the 21st year of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon and participation rates continues to increase, which can be due to the impressive prizes that soar up to 10,000 USD! There are even training classes and tips available on the website as well!
From half marathons to a 10km wheelchair race, this marathon might be your best reason to fulfill that new year’s resolution to keep fit, especially after all of the CNY can’t-say-no goodies!
13. Celebrate CNY again, because January isn’t enough!
The Hong Kong Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, which is also the first full moon night, and the last day of the CNY celebrations.The theme this year is “Blooming Love of Phoenixes” and guests can expect large-scale lantern displays, traditional performances, lantern making, bazaars and so much more!
Also, we must add that the lantern festival boasts a unique tradition – singles are said to find love on this festive day, clearly explaining why it is also called the Chinese Valentine’s Day!
14. Up your selfie game by taking selfies with over 100 celebrities!
It isn’t too late the start off the year with your favourite celebrities, and where best to do so than at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong! With over 100 celebrity wax figures, you’re sure to want to empty a little bit of space from your phone for the amount of selfies that you’re going to take! Aside from heartthrobs, boy bands and political figures, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong boasts their newest gallery – the Yayoi Kusama gallery.
Famous for her polka dot artworks and mirrored infinity rooms, this 87-year-old Japanese artist has won the hearts of exhibitionists across the globe, and Madame Tussauds Hong Kong is finally housing her wax figure, which is also the first of its kind outside Tokyo!
15. Get on board Disneyland’s very first Marvel-themed ride
Ultimately, we can all agree that the best place to be in Hong Kong, no matter the month, is of course, Hong Kong Disneyland. Also, its newest ride might just be the reason for your next trip here. Since its debut in January 2017, the Ironman Experience is the first Marvel-themed ride in Disneyland and features a Hong Kong-based storyline. Be prepared to be immersed with top-notch visuals at this multi-sensory immersive motion experience!
16. Attend one of Macau’s biggest worshipping festival
Tou Tei, or God of Earth, is an ancient myth that is widely worshipped throughout Macau, from statues in shops and homes to temples named after him. During the festival, worshippers can be seen following the lion dance leading to the Tou Tei Temple in Praia – which is also the most famous Tou Tei Temple in Macau – to pray. Apart from that, you can expect a whole bunch of celebrations that consists of multiple whole roasted pigs, Cantonese opera performances and so much more!
17. Take a spin on a Ferris Wheel
February is the month of love and when it comes to Macau’s most romantic places, it’s almost impossible to leave the iconic Golden Reel Ferris Wheel out. The world’s highest figure-8 Ferris Wheel not only brings sightseeing to a whole different level (well, landscape views from 130m above the ground IS impressive), it also serves as a must-have for any romantic to-do list. Also, the number 8 is a lucky and auspicious number to the Chinese, so getting on board this Ferris Wheel can serve as the last-minute auspicious thing to do during CNY!
18. Experience fine dining accompanied by landscape views of Macau’s skyline
Macau Tower has always been at the top of the most romantic places in Macau. What with the countless proposals, love declarations and movie filmings happening, we can see why. It’s 360 Cafe also offers breathtaking views of Macau’s skyline that will most definitely make your #Valentines2017 a night to remember.
Plus, with the restaurant’s wide range of delicacies, winning your way to his heart isn’t much of a feat after all!
19. Be wowed at a one-of-a-kind magic show
Taking place at the recently opened Studio City – also home to the iconic Golden Reel Ferris Wheel – the House of Magic is a one-of-a-kind theatre performance that is sure to thrill the young and old, and a trip to Macau isn’t complete without watching this performance!
Follow the mysterious storyline as world-renowned magician Franz Harry takes you through the world of magic with the use of three different theatres, guaranteed to have you at the edge of your seats!
20. Discover Rome in Macau
For the ones looking to take a good photo for the ‘gram, Macau’s Fisherman’s Wharf is the place to be. With architectural gems that date back to the 1600s, this place probably the most famous landmark in Macau, and also the best backdrop for any photo taken with your S.O. this Valentine’s! Not to forget, the 2,000 seater replica of the Roman Amphitheatre, the Colosseum, which is the main star of this attraction!
Fisherman’s Wharf is also filled with an abundance of retail, entertainment and dining options, including restaurants that offer amazing V-Day deals!
21. Celebrate a 2,000-year-old Vietnamese legend
Taking place in Hanoi, the Co Loa Festival happens on the 6th – 16th days of the first lunar month and the day normally starts with flags and flowers decorating almost every road and alley of Hanoi! The festival was organised as a tribute to a legend that dates more than 2,000 years ago, to King An Duong Vuong, said to be the man behind Co Loa’s history.
The festival centres around the Co Loa Temple and guests can expect rituals, as well as cultural and sport activities like Cai Luong (Vietnamese theatre), wrestling, cooking competitions and more!
22. Attend a Vietnamese lantern festival
Tet Nguyen Tieu, or the “First full moon of the year”, is a lantern festival held in Ho Chi Minh City and takes place shortly after the Vietnamese Chinese New Year or Tet, and believe it or not, this festival actually originates from China! This festival however, isn’t shy with its Vietnamese influence, from food to festivities, Tet Nguyen Tieu gives tourists yet another way to experience the Vietnamese culture.
And of course, the main star of the festival would have to be the colourful lanterns that line up the streets of Ho Chi Minh City’s District 5. Definitely a sight not to miss, the lanterns in this festival are mostly handcrafted by the locals and are nothing short of gorgeous!
23. Honour Vietnamese female heroines!
The Dong Nhan Village festival is held on the 5th day of the first lunar month to honour the Trung Sisters – also known as Vietnamese heroines from the 40- 43 AD who led an uprising against the Han invaders. It was also on this fateful day that villagers recovered the statues of the two sisters from the Red River!
Apart from the festival rituals such as bathing the statues and sacrifices, the festival also hosts a lineup of exciting activities that include cultural performances, dancing displays and even a human chess game!
24. Take part in Vietnam’s biggest pool party
The Saigon Soul Pool Party is probably the hottest place to be in Vietnam on weekends. Happening from November 2016 – May 2017, Vietnam’s biggest pool party is held at the New World Hotel from 10am – 10pm every Saturday.
Featuring a lineup of local and international DJs, amazing drinks and good vibes, is there really a reason to NOT be here? Be sure to be there early to secure the sunbeds before it gets crowded!
25. Explore a coconut prison in Phu Quoc
Located in Phu Quoc’s An Thoi Village, the Coconut Prison offers visitors a sneak peek into the dark side of Phu Quoc’s past, which centered around the 1946 – 1954 Indochina War. What is today a heritage site was once home to 40,000 Vietnamese soldiers who were tortured and during the war.
Visitors will walk into an outdoor prison setup containing barb wires, tiger cages and mannequin prisoners, depicting what it was like back then. A trip to the Coconut Prison is sure to give you a history lesson of Phu Quoc like no other!