Travelers, ahoy! There are plenty of events welcoming August with a bang throughout Asia. From music festivals to cultural ceremonies, special occasions are abundant for trekkers looking to experience authentic Asian enjoyment. Planning to spend the entire month in the region? The following events can make your back-to-back trip a memorable one!
#1. The Akha Swing Festival, Thailand
Taking place in Chiang Rai, the Akha Swing Festival commences after a week-long affair of celebrating hard-earned rice throughout the province. Symbolising the supposed descent of Akha people from the heavens, swings are built in each village in Chiang Rai every year to commemorate. Built by an elder community member called Dzoeh Mah, the swings then used for four days, before they are tied with vine ropes and left for next year’s rebuild process. If a village is devoid of this person-in-charge, celebration cannot commence!
#2. Summer Sonic 2017, Japan
For a whole weekend in mid-August (19-20), you can expect many tourists to crowd Tokyo due to this year’s Summer Sonic music festival. Held at the QVC Marine Field and Makuhari Messe sites in Chiba City, the festival’s lineup features world-known acts the likes of Calvin Harris, Sum 41, and Kesha, to name a few. The location is a half-hour train ride away from Tokyo Station, so there’s no excuse to miss out on it if you’re in town!
#3. Hoi An Lantern Festival, Vietnam
One of Southeast Asia’s most prominent cultural events, the monthly Hoi An Lantern Festival is set to take place on 8 August. This celebration happens on 14th day of every lunar month in the port town of Hoi An, so there is always a chance to experience it if you cannot attend this month (though we hope that you do!). If you can, then there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying the illuminating beauty of the locally made paper lanterns floating on the town river. When not in awe of the visual spectacle, one can bask in the provision of local food, music, and games everywhere in Hoi An.
#4. Saimdang, Her Garden Exhibition, Seoul
When in Seoul, enjoy Korean art. Taking up a small corner of Buam-dong’s Seoul Meseum is “Saimdang, Her Garden”, an art exhibition featuring the delicate artworks of the late Joseon-era artist, poet and calligrapher Shin Saimdang. She was a famed 16th-century painter whose life has been extensively tributed in the K-drama series, Saimdang, Light’s Diary. Not only can visitors enjoy the array of Saimdang’s inclinations toward clean lines and natural symmetry, they can also take delight in the beauty of other art popular during the Joseon era.
#5. Summer National Film Festival, Hong Kong
Those of you in Hong Kong second half of August will be in for a cinematic treat! The Summer National Film Festival (Summer IFF) is taking place from 15 to 29 August at various venues throughout the city. Presenting more than 30 films every year, the festival is a hit among movie lovers and reviewers. Expect to enjoy a multitude of screenings showcasing some of Asia’s best pop features, restored classics and award winners.
#6. Cirque du Soleil, Singapore
Care for some crazy, circus-y theatrics? Head on to Singapore this month to fancy yourself an enjoyment of Cirque du Soleil’s awe-inspiring show Kooza. Inspired by the Sanskrit word ‘koza’, which translates into ‘box’ or ‘treasure chest’, the production is a dreamy amalgamation of performances by 50 acrobats, singers, musicians and actors from the world over. The Kooza troop has been tickling the hearts of locals and tourists alike in Big Top at Bayfront Avenue since last 12 July, and is set to leave town, end of the month. Book your tickets now for an experience of a lifetime!