Bang Fai Phajanak

Things to do and places to see in Udon Thani.
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BangkokButcher
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Bang Fai Phajanak

Post by BangkokButcher » July 17, 2005, 1:40 am

Just reviving an old topic by Thai_1_on relating to the Bang Fai Phajanak

LINK EXPIRED

I have just watched the Thai movie, Mekhong Full Moon Party (Thai with english subs), and it was all about how the fireballs are made.

It's a really touching movie with lots of twists in it, especially at the end :roll: and would highly recommend that anyone who can get it gives it a viewing.

I just wanted to mention that I'm not talking about the Bun Bang Fai, which is more like a glorified firework display from what I have seen.

I have now established that the festival is held in Phon Phisai sometime, but I would really like to find out the approximate date that this event actually takes place each year.

It really does look like something worth seeing although my wife had heard of the festival, she never really had an understanding of it and just thought it was another firework display, but since seeing this film she want to go and pay it a visit given the chance next time we are over.

Does anyone have any information on it?

Thanks in advance :)

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Post by laphanphon » July 17, 2005, 12:08 pm

i think it's oct 17 is the full moon, coinciding with end of buddist lent. quite a few people show up, 100000 or more, the one year was a couple 100k, right ofter that movie came out. and on the first night, the weather turned very nasty with gusting winds and rain, oh course the local blamed it on the movie and the naga/buddhist spirits were upset, hence the weather, then the fireballs began. i have not seen them yet, maybe this year. went the one year, but was in the wrong spot. link below has viewing areas.

link for naga info

http://www.tatnews.org/emagazine/1611.asp

another link

http://www.mutmee.net/050060_maekong_fireballs.htm
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Post by BangkokButcher » July 17, 2005, 12:43 pm

Thanks a million LA, some good info on those sites :)

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Post by businessman » July 17, 2005, 2:43 pm

Certainly is a strange sight to see and there is a good atmosphere sitting on the river bank.

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Post by BangkokButcher » July 17, 2005, 9:51 pm

Do they actually have the fair that is onsite in the movie?

valentine

Post by valentine » July 18, 2005, 9:15 am

Yes the movie was a fairly accurate depiction of the real thing.Even to the extent of not being able to photograph the phenominom. I had a riverside view last year and used both a 35mm and a digital camera and despite the fireballs being clear and distiinct to the eye, neither camera captured the image.
I saw many round balls of coloured phosphorous gas emerging from the surface of the water, then rising several metres into the sky before dispersing. I was in no doubt as to what I saw and I wasn't drunk.
The origin of these balls and the likely cause, I wouldn't venture to suggest.
It may be of interest that last year they did not appear on the normal day but the next one, maybe a ploy by TAT to make people stay longer.
I was told , but I don't understand, by a local monk, that it was because last year had 13 months in it.???
It is very much a carnival atmoshphere, with decorated and illuminated floats depicting the story of the Buddha going back and thro on the river at night. A musn't miss experience to any visitor to Thailand.

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Post by laphanphon » July 18, 2005, 10:50 am

where did you view it from? the one time i went, i went to nong khai town, mutmee gh, without doing any research, and then realized there was no chance in hell i was going to see anything, that was the year before the movie, and the road to phon phi sai was a parking lot
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Post by Thai_1_On » July 18, 2005, 11:17 am

WOW this is so cool to hear that I'm not the only one that has heard about this! My wife tod me about this some time ago with a "mai pen rai" attitude. I will be in Udon Oct.10 and hope to meet as many of the local falangs as possable and if possable maybe we can make this a UdonMap group trip to see the"Naga fireballs".

Now if I can just get a few Johnnie Walker inspired street races started maybe get the monthly meeting started after I arrive then this well be a month to remember :D
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Post by Prenders88 » July 21, 2005, 6:14 am

"I saw many round balls of coloured phosphorous gas emerging from the surface of the water, then rising several metres into the sky before dispersing. I was in no doubt as to what I saw and I wasn't drunk"

I get a similar effect when I fart in the bath, after eating Som Tam... :wink:
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Post by Thai_1_On » July 21, 2005, 9:39 am

This is great Prenders88 can you tell me where you where you were at? I will be in in Udon in Oct. and from what I've read I will be there at the right time to see this event. I want to find the best location so to see this.
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Post by polehawk » July 21, 2005, 12:09 pm

:lol:

Prenders88 was in his bath tub, wasn't he? lol. Think he was quoting valentine (who apparently has changed his nom de plume from flywithme). Sounds like valentine has the real goods on where to view the phenomenon.

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Post by BangkokButcher » July 21, 2005, 11:06 pm

Valentine, can you recommend the best viewing area to see the 'show'??

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Post by Thai_1_On » July 22, 2005, 10:42 pm

Oopps didn't notice the quote :oops: Dont be shy Valentine a lot of looks like there are a bunch of us that whats to see it.
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valentine

Post by valentine » July 24, 2005, 7:50 pm

Sorry guys, not really shy, just been in a temple for 4 days to celebrate Buddhist lent(Cowpansar) No wine women or song, don't know if I can keep it up for 3 months though, getting withdrawal symptoms already.
Now getting to Phom Pi Sai, main road from Nong Khai all the way, when you enter town you will come to traffic lights, turn left, go straight on. On your left is the police station and amphur( town hall) straight across the small road leads to the riverside, cannot take car any further. Walk to the left, not far you will see the temple featured in the film. In front of this the river bank is built up in tiers to permit sitting to view the spectacular.The temple grounds are also used for a sound and light show in the evening. During the day many digniteries make speeches and in between local school kids put on dancing displays.
The whole street from the traffic lights down is a typical Thai market place with stalls selling everything and coconut shys etc.I don't recommend taking your car down there in the evening, parking is minimal and giant tour buses squeeze their way through the narrow streets.From the lights to river side is about 1-2 kms.
One tip is to view the setting during the day, take a Thai rush mat with you and stake out a place to sit at night. Make sure your mat stands out from all the others or you won't find it.
As usual plenty of food and drinks are constantly being hawked up and down all the time. Be prepared for the TV companies pouncing on you with the usual questions, where you come from etc.
Generally speaking there is no double pricing standards, small beers 25 baht etc.Can't give tips on accomodation though we stayed at a friends house.
I understand from the calendar that this all takes place at Ophansar which is 18th October this year.
One personal observation, the portrayals of the Naga, photos, statues etc, bear a striking resemblance to the Loch Ness monster in Scotland.
All that go, enjoy yourselves, don't tell the people back home, they won't believe you!!!My folks don't.

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Post by businessman » July 25, 2005, 10:21 am

Yep,best to get there in the morning to avoid the jams in the evening.Go for lunch at a restaurant called "soi sib bad" if you can.(the name is road 18 in English)Great food and not expensive either.Mid aftenoon get your beers in and plot on the riverbank as it fills by evening.Great family night out and the crowd goes mad when the fireballs appear.Kids love it.

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