In terms of parties, the full moon parties on Ko Pha Ngan are the biggest draws in the South, but you'll find tons of other parties on islands like Ko Phi Phi, Ko Tao, Ko Lanta and even lesser-known islands like Ko Phayam and Ko Muk. New Years can be a lot of fun on some of those lesser-known islands, when locals join backpackers for live music, partying, football and such. There are also major parties for Songkran in April, especially on larger islands like Phuket and Ko Samui.
If you like reggae music, try to catch Job 2 Do, a very talented Thai guy who headlines festivals and parties on all sorts of islands throughout the South. It doesn't look like his Facebook page has been updated, but you'll often see his events advertised and they they often include other bands and DJs. They can be a lot of fun and a good chance to meet both other travellers and locals.
On the more cultural side of things, every provincial capital celebrates some sort of festival (usually several). The most famous internationally is probably the Phuket Vegetarian Festival in September, when people pierce their cheeks with huge knives and swords as part of a jarring parade. Some larger Southern cities like Nakhon Si Thammarat put on large-scale parades and temple fairs for Buddhist holidays like Khao Phansa, but the Northeastern region is, I think, the more interesting part of Thailand for cultural festivals.
Oh and Hua Hin puts on a pretty good jazz festival in June.
#2DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,345
Awesome information as always, but I thought you might also include ideas on some of the fasting programs down south or even the meditation retreat at Suan Mokkh in Surat Thani. They'd make an interesting juxtaposition for the OP to the full out bacchanalia of the FMP. Cheers.
#3exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,821
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