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Saying it with flowers

Khao Phansa - the Buddhist Lent - will be celebrated in a unique fashion at Wat Phra Buddhabhat in Saraburi.



While many temples opt for elaborate candle-carving festivals, it’s choosing the subtler way, with a flower-offering ceremony. Tak Bard Dokmai, as it's called, takes place at 6am next Wednesday, August 1 and thousands of local devotees and visitors will present their floral arrays to 3,000 Buddhist monks. Saraburi is a two-hour drive northeast of Bangkok. For more information, call the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Lop Buri office at (036) 422 768-9.

Racing for a cause

Drive to Hua Hin in middle of August, and spend a weekend the hard way. The Queen's Cup Hua Hin Triathlon takes place on August 19. Created to celebrate the Queen's 80th birthday, the triathlon is scheduled to start at the picturesque fisherman's village of Baan Tao Kao, 10 kilometres south of Hua Hin. The annual race is set to become one of the largest triathlons in Southeast Asia, with an expected attendance of 500 racers from around the world. Hua Hin, with its long crescent beach, is one of Thailand's best beach holiday destinations. Visit www.HuaHinTriathlon.com.

A jewel in Cape Panwa's 'Crowne'

The Crowne Plaza has just opened its first resort in Asia on Phuket's Panwa Beach. Nestled in the secluded Makham Bay in Cape Panwa, the newly opened Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach Resort is a mere 10 minutes from Phuket town and just 50 minutes away from Phuket International Airport. The resort boasts amazing views of the Andaman Sea and surrounding twin islands of Tapao Yai and Tapo Noi. Embodying the epitome of Phuket's heritage with its stunning architecture, the stylish property offers an array of striking and cleverly appointed guest rooms, complemented by thoughtful touches and impeccable service.

Nature takes a break

More than 65 National Parks across Thailand have announced their closure during the rainy season, giving nature a break from throngs of tourists. The periods and times of closing are approached differently in each park. Some sensitive areas of many National Parks, such as the outlook over Diaw Dai Cliff at Khao Yai and Tao Dam Waterfall in Khlong Wang Chao national parks, are off-limits to visitors from now until September 30. Visit National Park's official website (www.DNP.go.th) for more details.


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