Study Trip

A visit to participate in the unique “Boon Hae Malai Khaow Tok Festival” in the Northeast and Exploration of Thailand’s best-preserved prehistoric rock art in Pha Taem National Park

Saturday, 16 to Monday, 18 February 2019
Leader: Dr. Weerachai Nanakorn, Leader of the Natural History Section & Khun Kanitha Kasina-Ubol, Managing Director


Boon Hae Malai Khaow Tok or Beautiful Popped Rice Garland Festival

The Thai calendar is liberally sprinkled with festival days on which the population is ever-ready to indulge its penchant for celebration. Many of these days are intimately related to events in life of the Lord Buddha and provide a perfect opportunity both for merit-making and for merry making. They are for the most part nationwide occasions, but not always public holidays and not always unique. Nonetheless in the Northeast a few of them feature special events that have deservedly become widely known such as the rocket festival (Boon Bang Fai) in Yasothon and the candle procession held in Ubon Ratchathani to mark the start of the Buddhist Lent (Khao Pansa). One of the festivals marking an important event in the life of the Lord Buddha is known as Makha Puja. This occasion is regarded as the most miraculous event in the history of Buddhism. Makha Puja commemorates the spontaneous gathering of 1,250 disciples of the Buddha who came to hear him preach. It was said that each of these monks attained the saintly level of Arahant by being personally ordained by the Buddha. In the evening of this gathering, the Buddha delivered his last major sermon, known as the “Ovadha Pitimokkha Patha”, before passing into nirvana. He gave his disciples the “Patimokkha” - the rules all members of the Sangha must follow. He also foretold his coming death, three months hence. It is a day on which many people like to pray at the temple and to perform other merit-making acts.

At Ban Hua Muang, Maha Chana Chai district, Yasothon province, Makha Puja Day gets more festive with the traditional Garland Procession and dances. Popped rice and flowers, used as offering to the Buddha, are stringed into beautiful garlands and paraded across the villages and towns. The procession take places one day prior to actual Makha Puja Day. This spectacular tradition has long been practiced by local people and is believed to be the only one in the world. This unique tradition of “Boon Hae Malai Khaow Tok” procession and various performance will be held in Maha Chana Chai district on Monday, 18 February 2019. This yearly event is very little known to outsiders.

Under the leadership of Dr.Weerachai Nanakorn leader of the Natural Hisrory Section and Khun Kanitha Kasina-Ubol, Managing Director. The Siam Society is delighted to offer its members the opportunity to participate in this little known festival and opportunity to visit Thailand’s best preserved prehistoric rock art in Pha Taem National Park and historical sites in Ubon Ratchathani and Yasothon provinces from Saturday, 16 to Monday 18 February. Members will depart from Bangkok Don Mueang Airport to Ubon Ratchathani Airport on Saturday, 16 February by Air Asia, flight FD 3370 at 07:40 a.m. and depart Ubon Ratchathani Airport for Bangkok Don Mueang Airport by Air Asia flight FD 3373 at 7:50 p.m., arriving at Bangkok Don Mueang Airport at 9:00 p.m. The details of activities will be advise later.


Your contribution of Baht 16,500 ( Baht 17,500 for non-member) will cover airfare by Air Asia (Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani - Bangkok), transportation, 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, accommodation for two nights at hotel in Ubon Ratchathani and at hotel in Yasothon (for two persons per room) (single room surcharge 1,550) entrance fees and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Please pay by cash or cheque payable to ‘The Siam Society’. Alternatively you can transfer the money to the Siam Society travel account at the Thai Military Bank, Asoke Branch saving account no. 053-2-18000-7. Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us. In case the tour has to be cancelled due to insufficient participants, a full refund of the will be made.



The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary. Seats are limited. Please book your place as soon as possible. For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert or Khun Supanut.