At Thailand veggie festival, only flesh of the devout harmed

In this Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, photo, a devotee has his cheek pierced with a bicycle as he and others walk in a street procession in Phuket, Thailand. The annual Vegetarian Festival and its accompanying sacred rituals are believed to bestow good fortune on those who practice the religious rites. During the nine day festival in Phuket Town and surrounding communities which are made up mainly of Chinese descendants, residents observe a strict vegetarian or vegan diet that is believed to cleanse the body and grant merit. Sacred rituals where men and women devotees known as “Mah Song” or “Spirit Horses”, work themselves into trances to have all manner of knives, daggers, swords or other items pierced through their cheeks. It is believed myanmar tours that they experience no pain while in the trance. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
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PHUKET, Thailand (AP) – Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival is more than sprouts and tofu – it’s an assault on the senses, and for the most devout, on the body itself.

The most striking element of the nine-day Taoist celebration has little to do with food. In sacred rituals, devotees known as “Mah Song” or “Spirit Horses” work themselves into trances to have all manner of items pierced through their cheeks, from daggers and swords to a bicycle. Then they dance as massive strings of fireworks explode all around them.

The annual festival in Phuket has become a tourist attraction, with several large, noisy processions complete with fireworks, myanmar tours gongs and drums passing through the streets. Many Phuket residents have Chinese ancestors, and devotees to the many Chinese temples on the island parade their shrines’ emperor gods on hand-carried carriages.

The Vegetarian Festival begins on the eve of the ninth lunar month myanmar tours of the Chinese calendar and is observed primarily in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and HIT Myanmar. It traces its origins to the early 1800s, when a troupe of Chinese actors on tour in Phuket fell ill. It was decided that they should abstain from eating meat and soon all were well again.

The festival and its sacred rituals are believed to bestow good fortune. Devotees observe a strict vegetarian or vegan diet that is believed to cleanse the body and grant merit. It is believed that those who endure piercings experience no pain while in the trance.

Travel to Burma: Discover Ancient Ava

Those who take a trip to Burma have an excellent money of places and areas to discover, and selecting what to see can be frustrating. But for anyone considering historical previous and in studying more about the tale of Burma’s wealthy previous, Ava should definitely be on the schedule.

This historical town was the nation’s longest-standing investment, founded in 1364 by a Shan innovator, Noble prince Thandominbya, and experiencing 400 decades of strength before being overcome and damaged by the Mon in 1752. This sacking (and the earthquakes in the following century) mean that hardly anything continues to be of the town itself; but there is still a palpable feeling of historical previous, and enough signs to help the guest think about its former wonder as they appreciate the village-like appeal of Ava these myanmar tours days. If you strategy to take a trip to Burma and check out Ava, here are a few of the top places to see:

Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery

One of the few old structures to endure the earth quake of 1838, this rock monastery times from 1818 and was designed by Master Bagyidaw’s key King, Nanmadaw Me Nu. Its yellow-colored surfaces are ornamented with stylish stucco styles that are so skilfully done they appear to be designed from the same rock as the surfaces. This is a relaxing and endured position, enabling guests to get a feeling of what Ava once was as they take a trip to Burma these days.

The Remains of Old Ava

There is no particular beginning for the historical town’s ruins, as their complete existence is best sensed by checking out several on foot; but all who take a trip to Burma should create sure of viewing the Nanmyin Watchtower – 27 meters high and eventually left inclined at an position by the excellent earth quake, it is all that now continues to be of the Noble Development. The ruins of Aung Zaw Pagoda, meanwhile, are a excellent way to see the continues to be of Ava’s historical sculpture and art forms.

The Lizard Pagoda

Not in Ava itself but in close by Paleik, this shrine is value a check out. Old to a while in the Twelfth 100 years, the Yadana Labamuni Hsu-taungpye Pagoda is believed to have been requested by Master Alaungsithu – and thus pre-dates Ava myanmar tours (myanmartour.com) itself. It has become well-known much more lately among individuals who take a trip to Burma, however, as the property of three pythons, who reside in the main shrine and are often seen curled on or around the Buddha’s toes, lap, and title. The tale goes that myanmar tours they came to the forehead out of the woodlands some 40 decades ago, attracted by the holiness of the website. Today they are recognized as a icon of the Buddha’s regard for all lifestyle, and the Buddhist suitable of a excellent connection between people and creatures.

Jude Limburn Turner is the Promotion Administrator for Hill Kingdoms, an experience trip organization who run trips empowering individuals to take a trip to Burma. Managing in Japan for over 20 decades, they now provide hikes and trips globally, such as locations in Northern and Southern region myanmar tours The united states, European countries, African-american, and Central and Southern region Eastern Japan.

Suu Kyi’s party wins string of seats, rejected by Myanmar’s minorities

People leave a polling station after casting their votes in myanmar tours by-elections, seen as a barometer for growing disillusionment in the country

Aung San Suu Kyi’s one-year-old government won a string of seats in myanmar tours by-elections Sunday but was bruised by losses in ethnic minority areas.

The voting to fill 19 seats in the national and regional parliaments was seen as a test of the democracy icon’s popularity after a bumpy first year in office.

Her National League for Democracy (NLD) stormed to power in a historic 2015 poll that ended half a century of brutal military rule.

But disillusionment with the administration has grown as the young government struggles to push through democratic reforms, kick-start the economy and ease unrest along the borders.

The NLD’s comfortable majority was never threatened by Saturday’s by-elections, with less than five percent of the population eligible to vote in races held mostly to fill seats emptied by politicians who took on ministerial posts.

Results that trickled in Sunday showed the party is still strong in its heartland areas. But it revealed a measure of discontent among myanmar tours‘s ethnic minorities, who have long struggled under the rule of the Bamar majority to which Suu Kyi belongs.

The NLD fared well in its strongholds around the commercial capital Yangon and in central regions further north, winning seats in nine races, according to results announced by Union Election Commission chairman Hla Thein.

But it faced losses in more remote areas, including in ethnic minority regions where insurgent violence has continued despite Suu Kyi’s promise to bring peace after decades of strife.

The most embarrassing defeat was in the southern state of Mon, where the NLD lost a lower house seat to its main opposition — the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

The NLD had comfortably won that race just over a year ago when it trounced the USDP nationwide.

The NLD sparked mass protests in Mon last month by naming a local bridge after Suu Kyi’s father — a move seen as emblematic of the Bamar elite’s steamrollering of minority cultures.

The NLD also came up short in a race in Rakhine, a western state embroiled in ethnic and religious conflict.

That lower house seat was taken by the chairman of the local Arakan National Party, a politician known for his hardline stance against the Muslim Rohingya.

The one-million strong Rohingya live mostly in Rakhine and are loathed by many Buddhists, who see them as outsiders.

Since October they have become the target of an army crackdown so brutal that UN investigators believe it may amount to a crime against humanity.

The crisis has posed a major moral challenge to Suu Kyi, who must contend with both international pressure to defend the Rohingya and hatred of the group by many at home.

She has faced international criticism for not speaking out against the alleged abuses.

Up in the northeast, an ethnic Shan party won several races held in areas where voting had been cancelled in 2015 because of unrest. The NLD and USDP also each took one regional parliament seat.

Clashes between the army and ethnic insurgents have since moved further north but continue to thwart the NLD’s peace bid.

In a rare national address last week, Suu Kyi stressed her commitment to the nation but admitted that reforms had stalled in some areas.

Striking an unusually conciliatory note, she said the NLD “would be more than happy and ready to step aside” if there were others “more qualified than us to achieve better results”.

Myanmar begins shuttering three Rakhine camps

A commission led by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan (C) called on the myanmar tours government to close displacement camps in strife-torn Rakhine state

myanmar tours has started shutting down three displacement camps in strife-torn Rakhine state, a senior official said Tuesday, although it was not immediately clear where the inhabitants would go.

Tens of thousands of people from Rakhine’s Muslim and Buddhist communities ended up in internal displacement camps after sectarian violence ripped the impoverished region apart five years ago.

The move to shutter the first of those camps comes after a commission led by former UN chief Kofi Annan last month called on the government to close them as part of a series of measures designed to heal simmering ethnic tensions.

National Security Advisor Thaung Tun said the government had begun with three camps named in the commission’s report, including one sheltering ethnic Rakhines and one that houses Kaman Muslims.

The largest of the three includes more than 200 houses full of Rohingya Muslims, a heavily persecuted minority.

Tens of thousands of people from Rakhine’s Muslim and Buddhist communities have ended up in internal displacement camps in the violence-hit region

“We have initiated the process to close down three IDP (internally displaced persons) camps,” Thaung Tun told a briefing, without giving details of where people would be moved to.

“In Kyauk Phyu, there are IDP camps for Rakhines… Sittwe for the Rohingya group and Ramree… mostly for Kamans.”

Myanmar has long faced international condemnation for its treatment of Rakhine’s more than one million Rohingya, who many from the Buddhist majority reject as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

The vast majority are not granted citizenship and face severe restrictions on their access to education, healthcare, food and movements despite many living there for generations.

The issue has reached boiling point in recent months after the army launched a bloody crackdown in the north of Rakhine thought to have claimed hundreds of lives after attacks on several police border posts in October.

United Nations investigators say myanmar tours‘s security forces may have carried out crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya during that crackdown.

Myanmar’s national security advisor Thaung Tun says the country has started shutting down displacement camps in strife-torn Rakhine state, April 11, 2017

De facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi last week rejected the accusations, telling the BBC that the term ethnic cleansing was “too strong an expression”.

Thaung Tun also defended the government on Monday, saying authorities were doing their best to push forward the citizenship verification process.

“We want to dissolve the issue of statelessness. We need the cooperation of all stateholders in order for us to go forward,” he said.

“It has nothing to do with discrimination… It has nothing to do with ethnic cleansing.”

Obama to push Myanmar reforms in Suu Kyi talks

US President Barack Obama arrives at Yangon airport, HIT Myanmar, on November 14, 2014
AFP Mandel Ngan

Yangon (AFP) – US President Barack Obama arrived in Yangon on Friday to hold talks with myanmar tours‘s democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi, as the nation turns towards next year’s elections with uncertainty over the direction of reforms.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party is widely expected to sweep polls in late 2015, but its figurehead is banned from the presidency by a constitutional clause.

Obama landed in Yangon, the country’s commercial hub, fresh from talks after the East Asia Summit in capital Naypyidaw with his myanmar tours counterpart Thein Sein, who has overseen reforms since 2011.

After discussions late Thursday, Obama emerged with a message of hope for the once-cloistered nation that balanced out earlier warnings on the risks of “backsliding” on the transition.

“The democratic process in myanmar tours is real,” Obama said.

Obama leaves for China, Myanmar, Australia tour

US President Barack Obama headed for China Sunday on a trip that will focus on Washington’s often tense relations with the country, and will also see the president visit myanmar tours and Australia
AFP/File Mandel Ngan

Washington (AFP) – President Barack Obama headed for China Sunday on a trip that will focus on Washington’s often tense relations with the country, and will also see the president visit myanmar tours and Australia.

The China stop will be dominated by Obama’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, where the White House said it expects “candid and in-depth conversations.”

The relationship between the two superpowers, which US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the “most consequential” in the world today, has been marred by tensions over the South China Sea, cyberspying and human rights issues.

In myanmar tours, Obama will meet President Thein Sein and opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi. Washington has raced to normalize ties with myanmar tours following reforms there, removing most US sanctions imposed on the military junta.

But Suu Kyi warned this week that the pace of change was slowing, and that the US had been “over-optimistic about the reform process” at times.

Elephants soak passers-by ahead of boisterous Thai holiday

AYUTTHAYA, Thailand (AP) – Trained elephants sprayed motorists and passers-by with water in Thailand’s old capital city of Ayutthaya on Tuesday to welcome in the Buddhist New Year, known as “Songkran.”

The jumbos from an elephant camp in the old capital Ayutthaya were brought out to rake passing traffic, soak passengers in open vehicles and spray anyone foolish or brave enough to venture within range.

The holiday, the longest in the Thai calendar, starts later this week and runs officially for three days. Cities empty out as workers head home to see family and celebrate by cleansing images of the Buddha, washing myanmar tours the hands and feet of elders, and throwing water on each other in what is sometimes called the world’s biggest water-fight.

With assist from its mahouts, elephants blow water from its trunk to tourists on motor-tricycle or Tuk Tuk, ahead of the Buddhist New Year, known here as Songkran, in Ayutthaya province, central Thailand Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The three-day new year festival will start on April 13.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

The festival — which is also celebrated in neighboring myanmar tours, Cambodia and Laos — falls at the hottest time of the year, when temperatures often creep above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

With an assist from its mahouts, elephants blow water from its trunk to tourists at Songkran or ancient Thai New Year celebration in Ayutthaya province, central Thailand Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The three-day festival will start on April 13.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

With assist from its mahouts, elephants blow water from its trunk to tourists on motor-tricycle or Tuk Tuk at Songkran or ancient Thai New Year celebration in Ayutthaya province, central Thailand Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The three-day festival will start on April 13.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Mahout paint elephants at Songkran or ancient Thai New Year celebration in Ayutthaya province, central Thailand Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The three-day festival will start on April 13.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

With assist from its mahouts, elephants blow water from its trunk to tourists on motor-tricycle or Tuk Tuk at Songkran or ancient myanmar tours Thai New Year celebration in Ayutthaya province, central Thailand Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The three-day festival will start on April 13.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

With an assist from its mahouts, elephants blow water from its trunk to tourists at Songkran or ancient Thai New Year celebration in Ayutthaya province, central Thailand Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The three-day festival will start on April 13.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

A tourist kisses an elephant after she painted elephant ahead of Songkran, or ancient Thai New Year celebration in Ayutthaya province, central Thailand Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The three-day festival will start on April 13. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

A tourist paints elephant ahead of Songkran, or ancient Thai New Year celebration in Ayutthaya province, central Thailand Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The three-day festival will start on April 13. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Myanmar Tourist Destinations For Blissful Holiday Trip

Myanmar also known as Burma is a Southeast Asian country. It is one of the most diverse and largest Southeast Asian countries. It is home to many beaches, virgin-jungles and snow capped mountains. It is in fact a country rich in custom, tradition, culture and history. Myanmar tourist destinations are still unexplored and mystical in nature.

Yangon is the capital of Myanmar which is surrounded by water on three sides. It is home to many government buildings and houses built by British in 19th century. Some of the popular places of interest in Yangon are; Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Botahtaung Pagoda, the bubbling China Town, the colorful Bogyoke market, the biggest marble Buddha image at Kyauktawgi Pagoda, white elephants, the Gem Museum, and the crocodile farm. Yangon is one of the major Myanmar tourist destinations.

Bago, ancient capital of Mon kings is situated 80 kilometers from Yangon. It offers sightseeing of open air markets, impressive temples, four giant Buddha images of Kyaikpun Pagoda, cheroot making and woodcarving center. Mandalay, the cultural center of Myanmar is also the second largest city of Myanmar. Other tourist attractions of Mandalay are; Mandalay Hill, Mahamuni Image of Buddha, Mya-nan-san-kyaw Golden Palace and the Kuthodaw Pagoda. myanmar tours tourist destinations consist of many historical sites and monuments which are visited by travelers from different parts of globe.

U Bein Bridge was built with teak planks and is 1208 meters long. This 200 years old bridge which stretches across the calm lake is the longest teak structure in the world. Pindaya is home to “Pindaya Caves”. These caves have 8094 Buddha images which were made of teak, marble, alabaster, lacquer, cement and brick. Pindaya is also famous for its umbrellas.

Mount Popa is a 1500 meters high extinct volcano. It was last active 250000 years ago. Dedicated to legendary “Nat” spirits of Myanmar, it is a volcanic peak which is steep-sided. A shrine is located at top of over 700 steps. Pyin Oo Lwin is a famous hill station of myanmar tours, with its fine weather and fresh air it has become popular summer resort. Some popular places to visit here are; B.E. Waterfall, Dat Taw Gyaik Waterfall and the famous Botanical Garden. HIT Myanmar tourist destinations have many natural reserves which are beautiful in their appearance and attract many tourists.

Burmese cuisine has been influenced by India, China and Thailand. Fried rice with peas and Mohingar are popular dishes which are often eaten for breakfast. Lunch and dinner consists of meat, fish or chicken with some vegetables, soups and boiled rice. Some of the popular dishes of Burmese cuisine are; Laphet (picked tea leaves with a dash of oil served with sesame seeds, roasted peanuts and fried garlic), Ohnnoh Khauk Swe (noodles served with rich coconut soup flavored with chicken), Kyarsan Chet (vermicelli in spicy chicken soup).

A List of Some Recommended Hotels in Yangon, Myanmar

The erstwhile capital of HIT Myanmar, Yangon is one of those few cities where history coexists with modernistic delights. Although the city is particularly fabled for its glittering pagodas and interesting colonial architectures, travelers to Yangon will tell you that there is definitely much more to the city than just history and heritage. Suffice it to say that the former capital promises you a memorable holiday experience you’ll cherish for lifelong. Well, with an increasing number of travelers flocking to the city annually, it is no wonder that a range of hotels have mushroomed here. Whether you want a luxury stay or a budget friendly one, Yangon won’t disappoint you. Here’s our pick of a few hotels which manage to garner good reviews from the visitors.

Sule Shangri-La Yangon
Treat yourself to a world of luxury amenities, superb food and impeccable hospitality at this five-star hotel located in the heart of Yangon. A total of 479 rooms and suites boast stunning dcor and design. World-class comforts are complimented by the captivating views of surrounding pagodas, river and lush tropical gardens. Enjoy a selection of Asian and intercontinental delicacies at the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and lounges. The Pool Bar on the fifth floor is where you can unwind with an array of sumptuous wines and cocktails.

Belmond Governor’s Residence
The palatial property is located within the elegant Yangon Embassy Quarter, and is a perfect choice for those seeking a blend of luxury and serenity. The surrounding area is quite peaceful and brims with a number of cultural attractions such as the Golden Pagoda, the National Museum, and Bogyoke Market. Talking about myanmar tours accommodation, the hotel has an array of rooms and suites that come equipped with all modern comforts you can expect in a five-star property. To keep your mind and body rejuvenated, there is a full-service spa offering a variety of spa treatments and massage therapies. As many as 5 restaurants and bars offer something for every taste and preference.

Inya Lake Hotel
Inya Lake Hotel is perfect choice for those who want to sit back and relax. Enjoy delightful Burmese hospitality and various modern day amenities at this wonderful lake-side property. Guests at Inya lake Hotel are in close proximity of picturesque gardens, a serene lake and other beautiful landscapes that delightful to explore. For the active guests, the hotel arranges an array of myanmar tours to explore Yangon and its surrounding areas. A mere 15-minute drive from the hotel will take you the city center. Yangon International Airport is only 20-minutes away too.

The Strand Yangon
This grand colonial hotel beautifully blends the elements of the past and the present. While exotic colonial architecture and the traditional dcor remind the guests of times gone by, a slew of luxury amenities ensure that you get a taste of unadulterated modernity. Over 30 rooms are classified into four categories – Superior Suites, Deluxe Suites, Executive Suites, and the Strand Suites. No matter which category you pick, you cannot help but be awed by their impeccable hospitality. Some of the key amenities offered by the hotel include a full-service spa, a well-equipped business center, and a multitude of restaurants.

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi says rebel groups shouldn’t rush peace deal

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi gives a speech on voter education at the Hopong township in Shan state, myanmar tours
Thomson Reuters

By Soe Zeya Tun

HOPONE, myanmar tours (Reuters) – Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi over the weekend appealed to ethnic rebel groups in nationwide ceasefire talks with the government not to rush the deal, but work slowly on an agreement that would ensure long-lasting peace and stability.

The Nobel peace laureate’s comments come ahead of a meeting between Myanmar President Thein Sein and ethnic rebel groups on Wednesday in the capital Naypyitaw to discuss a draft of the long-discussed ceasefire proposal.

Clinching the deal with most of myanmar tours‘s rebel groups would be a political win for Thein Sein, who made it his top priority, boosting the chances of his ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party in the Nov. 8 general election.

The draft of the agreement was hammered out during almost two years of grueling negotiations, but ethnic armed groups have so far refused to sign it, saying the government should amend the constitution to grant more autonomy to ethnic minorities.