August 2018

Celebration Time

The Torch Festival is celebrated annually by the Yi people of Southwest China. During the festival, a torch is erected in front of each house and the Yi people can be seen singing and dancing in their colorful traditional clothing.

Shoton, also known as Tibetan Yogurt festival, is one of the most popular Tibetan festivals and celebrates the eating of yogurt. During the festival there are celebrations taking place in the streets, squares and monasteries in Lhasa. The residents of Lhasa will gather in the park and celebrate by eating yoghurt and watching operas.

Baliem Valley Festival in Indonesia sees the Dani, Yali and Lani tribes gather at this annual festival, dressed in their traditional attire to stage mock battles, perform traditional music and dance.

Tana Toraja Funeral Festival in Indonesia is spread over several days and quite unique in its events. The festival consists of fascinating and elaborate funeral rites that take place only after the harvest - and before the first sowing of the rice seeds. These rites are conducted to send the spirit of the dead to the afterworld and to prevent misfortune on the deceased's family.

Hoi An Full Moon Festival falls on the 14th day of every lunar month when this ancient town in Hanoi transforms itself into a performance venue for Vietnamese arts with brightly-colored lanterns hung above the streets.

Taung Pyone Festival is the most impressive Nat Festival to be held annually in Myanmar. Offerings and dances accompany the inflow of merchants and constant arrival of pilgrims while the intensive uses of loudspeakers continue day and night.

The Hungry Ghost Festival is one of several traditional festivals held amongst Chinese communities (especially in Hong-Kong and Singapore) to worship ancestors. Special ceremonies are performed to avoid the wrath of the ghosts such as putting the family’s ancestral tablets on a table, burning incense and preparing food three times on the day to feed the hungry ghosts. The festival is known as ‘Wandering soul day’ in Vietnam (the second most important festival in the country after Tet), Pchum Ben in Cambodia and Boun Khao Salak in Laos. The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated in Malaysia with staged opera performances and puppet shows at roadsides.

Indonesia Independence Day is a nationwide celebration of independence with national flags, featuring processions, traditional music and dancing taking place. This national holiday is celebrated throughout Indonesia with parades, community gatherings, and a multitude of cultural and performing arts festivals.

International events

The internationally famous Qingdao International Beer festival in China brings together tourism, culture, sports and business.

Yamaga Lantern festival in Kumamoto, Japan, takes place from August 14 – 15. The city of Yamaga is literally lit up with thousands of lanterns in a very scenic and beautiful festival. In a lively atmosphere, visitors can watch performers pass by in traditional 'yukata' as they dance gracefully to 'yoheho' music.

Weather Patterns

Similar to June and July, it is peak season in Indonesia (we therefore recommend booking your trip months in advance). Expect favorable weather in Malaysia, Central Vietnam and Tibet.

The Gulf of Thailand (especially Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan) still welcomes arrivals with excellent weather.

Southeast Asia and specific areas such as Sapa in Vietnam continue to grow lush green vegetation. Waterfalls throughout Asia (especially 4000 Islands in Laos and the mountainous regions of Thailand) are at their most prolific. The rise in water levels also benefits adventure seekers looking for rafting. Try an 8 km stretch of river rapids in Thailand’s Phitsanulok where a rafting festival takes place every year. Now is the best time to embark on a cruise between Mandalay and Bagan. It is also the only period when you can sail up the Chindwin River to the northern tip of the Irrawaddy River to see villages lost in time from the teak trade era.

The weather also permits for an excellent beach break in Japan – try Okinawa for an enticing blend of beach and culture.