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Flower for Vassa

The annual Tak Bat Dok Mai, or Flower Offering festival, returns to Wat Phra Phutthabat in Saraburi tomorrow to mark the beginning of the three-month-long rains retreat.

More than 3,000 Buddhist monks, mostly from Phra Dhammakaya temple, are expected to attend this year's event. The festival celebrates the bloom of the local flower known as Dok Khao Phansa at the beginning of Vassa. The offerings start at 6am. Saraburi is about one hour and a half's drive to Bangkok's north.

Mad for mooncakes

Celebrate the mid-Autumn Festival with an Okura mooncake. The Okura Prestige Bangkok is marking this year's festival with a new range of mooncakes that are on sale at the hotel's specialist bakery outlet La Patisserie. The mooncakes feature six classic fillings: durian, lotus seed, red bean and chestnut as well as jujube and mixed nuts mooncakes made with salted egg yolk. The mooncakes will be available from August 1. Chinese-speaking communities worldwide will celebrate the mid-Autumn Festival on September 8. Call (02) 687 9020 or visit www.OkuraBangkok.com.

Adding an "X" to Japan

Low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia X adds Tokyo and Osaka to its list of destinations after launching Bangkok to Seoul, the airline's first route with a flying time of longer than four hours. Flights will operate daily between Don Mueang International Airport and Tokyo International Airport in Narita and five times weekly between Don Mueang and Kansai Airport in Osaka. The fare will be 15-20 per cent cheaper than the full-service airliners. Visit www.AirAsia.com.

Marathon for all

The annual Pattaya International Marathon returns to Thailand’s famous resort town on July 27 and offers something for everyone, no matter how high (or low) their fitness level. You can tackle the full 42-kilometre course or putter along for 10km, and there's a route for people in wheelchairs too. The starting times are staggered from 3.30am on Pattaya Beach Road. Find out more from the city administration at (038) 253 129 or visit www.Pattaya-Marathon.com.


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