From the Archives: The real Phuket – Tom Vater reports on the Vegetarian Festival for Fortean Times
Another golden oldie, that old chestnut, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, which I covered in 2005 for Fortean Times and several other publications.
Never mind the flash resorts, sleazy bars, high rise condos and MacHolidays on offer on Thailand’s largest and most overdeveloped tourist island. Phuket also has culture. Every year, men and women have their faces pierced with a frightening variety of implements to commemorate the visit of a Chinese opera troop to Phuket some 180 years ago.
Not for the faint-hearted. Not for the tourists either, most of whom make sure they stay on the beaches while mayhem ensues in the picturesque island capital Phuket Town.
So if you happen to be on the island this week, get off your deck chair and discover a little of the real Thailand. And for those visitors who don´t find bloody self-mutilation appealing, there´s a huge variety of excellent vegetarian food on offer.