Candle Festival Temple Tour of Ubon

Some of the biggest and most beautiful festivals in Thailand take place at the start and finish of the three month long Buddhist Rains Retreat. The start is called Khao Phansa and it is usually celebrated by donating beautifully carved candles to temples. One of the best places to see this is in Ubon Ratchathani in Northeastern Thailand. Towards the end of July, I teamed up with the guys from iTravel Channel to see some of the preparations for this festival at temples in Ubon Ratchathani

Date of travel: 23-25 July 2015

Good morning from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Today I’m flying to Ubon Ratchathani for a 3-day pre-Khao Phansa trip.

Good morning from Ubon Ratchathani. Breakfast at Sam Chai. I had Kai Ka Ta pan fried egg & Kuay Jub noodles.

Pha Taem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani. Fee is 400B/200B for foreigners & 40B/20B for Thais (20B/10B weekdays).

Sao Cha Liang, a sandstone rock formation in Pha Taem National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติผาแต้ม) in Ubon Ratchathani.

Aerial views of Pha Taem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani.

Pha Taem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani is on the border between Thailand & Laos, separated by the Mekong River.

Pha Taem National Park in Ubon is famous for the rock paintings that date back more than 3,000 years.

Eating a late lunch at Pae Araya restaurant along the Mekong River in Khong Chiam, Ubon Ratchathani.

Aerial views of Two Colour River in Ubon where Mun River runs into the Mekong.

Aerial views of Pagoda at Wat Phra That Nong Bua in Ubon.

Wat Phra That Nong Bua (วัดพระธาตุหนองบัว) in Ubon has a 56 meter high Bodh Gaya-style pagoda with a square base.

The Golden Buddha inside the pagoda at Wat Phra That Nong Bua in Ubon Ratchathani.

Many temples in Ubon are making giant wax sculptures for the candle festival next week. This one has taken 2 months.

Probably the best temple in Ubon Ratchathani to watch them make the wax candle sculptures is Wat Phra That Nong Bua.

As you can see from these pictures, the sculptures are not solid wax.

Dinner at Feeling Club & Restaurant alongside Nong Bua Kake in Ubon Ratchathani.

DAY TWO: Good morning from Ubon Ratchathani in Northeast Thailand. Forecast today partly cloudy with top temperature of 35C.

Wat Sri Pra Doo (วัดศรีประดู่) in Ubon Ratchathani.

Map showing 12 temples in Ubon City where you can see them preparing the wax sculptures for the Candle Festival.

At Wat Sri Pra Doo, they are using a wax pattern which they then stick on the sculptures.

The artisans at Wat Sri Pra Doo will have to be quick as the Candle Festival Parade in Ubon is next Friday.

Som Tum Kai Khem for lunch at Som Tam Jinda in Ubon.

The Candle Festival Parade in Ubon Ratchathani is on Friday 31 July from about 8:30am in front of Thung Si Muang

The City Pillar Shrine in Ubon Ratchathani.

The candle sculpture in Toong Si Muang park in Ubon is 22m high, sits on a junk & features mythical creature Garuda.

The latest attraction in Ubon Ratchathani is this long walkway across rice fields in Ban Chi Thuan.

Night shots of the pagoda at Wat Phra That Nong Bua (วัดพระธาตุหนองบัว) in Ubon Ratchathani.

Evening Walking Street in Ubon Ratchathani on Srinarong & Nakhonban roads from Friday to Sunday.

DAY THREE: Good morning from Ubon Ratchathani. The forecast for today is cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms this evening.

Wat Thung Si Mueang (วัดทุ่งศรีเมือง) in Ubon has a replica of a Buddha’s footprint & murals dating back to Rama II.

At Wat Thung Si Mueang in Ubon there is a wooden building on stilts above a pond which holds ancient scriptures.

Aerial photos of Wat Thung Si Mueang in Ubon Ratchathani.

Ubon Ratchathani National Museum is open from Wed-Sun from 9am-4pm. Admission is 100B. Exhibit signs are bilingual.

International Wax Sculpting Festival in Thung Sri Muang Park in Ubon until 26 July & then on display until 2 August.

Lunch at the very popular Wat Klang Noodle shop on Phrommarat Road in Ubon Ratchathani. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/p4uEmxfy92n4mCZt8

Time to leave Ubon & fly back to Bangkok. It’s been a great few days. I’ll be back again next week for the big parade.

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