During this Taoist celebration, devotees walk on hot coals, jump over exploding fireworks or bathe in hot oil. What’s that got to do with being a vegetarian? Excellent question.

Traditionally, Thais with Chinese ancestry stick to a vegetarian diet throughout the festival for spiritual cleansing and good fortune. The daredevil stunts are in honour of the Nine Emperor Gods.

Why: To say this festival is spectacular theatre would be an understatement – you will get to witness extraordinary acts of bravery (or madness, depending on your perspective).

And gentler souls can just enjoy digging into all the delicious vegetarian dishes served up in the restaurants.

Do it because: You get to find out if it’s true that the ‘Ma Song’ (entranced horses), the people who perform the stunts – which include piercing themselves with fish hooks and bamboo poles – really bleed less than normal people. Don’t try it at home, though.

Phuket, Thailand
October 15-23


Image: Photo