Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Coming Soon - 2013 Poi Sang Long




There are many festivals here in Southeast Asia.  The festivals occur year round so there always seems to be something interesting going on some where.

Four years ago we drove over to Maehongson (Mae Hong Son) to attend a local festival. "Poi Sang Long".



I wanted to return some year to witness the festival once again.  This year seemed like a good time to go back.

Poi Sang Long is a Shan religious festival where young boys are ordained as Novice Monks.  I had previously written blog entries about our previous visit to the festival.

http://hale-worldphotography.blogspot.com/2009/04/poi-sang-long-ritual-day-one.html

http://hale-worldphotography.blogspot.com/2009/04/poi-sang-long-ritual-day-2.html

http://hale-worldphotography.blogspot.com/2009/04/maehongson-02-april-2009.html

http://hale-worldphotography.blogspot.com/2009/04/maenongson-03-april-poi-sang-long.html

The festival is held in Late March or Early April each year.  There are actually several festivals in the area with local Wats scheduling their celebration to suit their needs.  There are also Poi Sang Long Festivals held in Chiang Mai.

If you check the Internet you will not get specific dates for the festivals.

I had kept a Thai pamphlet regarding the Poi Sang Long Festival held at the neighboring Wats - Wat Jong Klang, and Wat Jong Kham.  I noticed that there were three phone numbers at the end of the pamphlet.  I asked Duang about them and she told me that they were phone numbers for the Monks.  Today she called the first number for me and the number was no longer in service.  However the second number was an active number for the head Monk.  From him, Duang determined that the festival for the two Wats will commence on April 2 around 14:00 with the cutting of the young boy's hair and shaving their heads.  This is not usually listed as the start of the festival but for me it is an integral part of the experience.  The three day festival will run until April 5th.

I had already done some research and discovered that it would cost $800 USD to fly round trip to Maehongson and once there we would have to rent a vehicle.  With that in mind, I had decided weeks ago that we would drive.  I had driven there on our last trip and for much less than $800 I can do it again.

This afternoon I made our reservations for our hotel in Pai and in Maehongson.  Pai is a good stopping point on our way to Maehongson and we have a cottage were we stayed on our last trip - Belle Villa Hotel $46 with breakfast.  We will be staying in Maehongson at the hotel that I have stayed at on all four of my previous four trips to the area - Imperial Tara Mae Hong Son Resort - $43 a night with breakfast.  Both are excellent facilities and definitely easy on the credit card.

The next few remaining days will be busy ensuring the truck and my photography gear is ready for the trip.



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