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Pins and needles were on parade at Phuket's Vegetarian Festival today

Phuket Piercing Parade: Impale If You Dare

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
IF BILL CLINTON came to Phuket, we can imagine him saying: ''Yes, I joined in. I got very close to the Vegetarian Festival. But I did not impale.''

Plenty of others did, and today some of Phuket's finest impalers were on display as possessed warriors from one of Phuket's largest Chinese temples - mah song or entranced horses, they are sometimes called in the Thai language - pranced through the streets of Phuket City.

Each day brings our Phuketwan photographer back to the office, expressing different degrees of amazement. Today's parade, from the large Bang Neow Shrine, raised his eyebrows, and the eyebrows of a few others.

That is, it raised the eyebrows of those who didn't already have scores of needles poking through them.

There were a couple more chaps who holstered their handguns through their cheeks, a man with a motorcycle wheel sticking out of his face, and lots more to make first-time onlookers wonder about the state of mind of some Phuket residents.

We can tell you they definitely were not behaving normally, but then this is Phuket, during the Vegetarian Festival.

While images of the festival have been bobbing up in the media around the world, those photographs are all of the most sensational kind. They show Phuket getting pierced.

What bystanders at the daily parades know and see is that as well as the warriors taking the pain of the world with their piercings, there are gentle moments of prayers and blessings, and kids on every street corner.

But then, that's Phuket. For those who know it, the island is a mixture of pain and pleasure, of the sensational and the sublime.

Bill Clinton actually did come to Phuket at least once, but he missed the Vegetarian Festival. One of these years, if he ever does make it, we suspect he will award the impalers a big, fat cigar.
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Thanks PW, I enjoy the photographs attached to the articles. It just makes one realise that this Phuket, love it or hate it. Let's all just be different, and respect that.

Have a good festival and good fortune to you all.

Posted by Robin on October 13, 2010 12:27


Was a huge procession this morning, huge and loud! I filled up a 2GB memory card with photos! And thankfully, a sunny morning at last.

Posted by Jamie Monk on October 13, 2010 12:35

Thursday July 29, 2021
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