20 Photos of Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok

By Mark Wiens 28 Comments
Vegetarian Festival in Thailand
There was so much amulet and good luck decoration in this taxi that I actually feared for the drivers visibility

1. Decorated Taxi

Unlike last year, when I was able to eat exclusively vegetarian for the entire festival, this year I simply had too many things going on to commit to the 9 day challenge.

However, I was able to get out a few times in Bangkok’s Chinatown to take some photos, two videos that you may have already seen, and to eat some vegetarian Thai food.

Here are 20 of my favorite photos from Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival 2012. Most of them are from exploring the temple near on the banks of the river.

Vegetarian Thai Food
A cart full of steaming peanuts, sweet potatoes and pods flowers

2. Steamed Snacks

Thailand Vegetarian Festival 2012
We arrived at about 7 am to see many monks collecting their daily food

3. Monk on the Street

Chinese temple in Bangkok, Thailand
One of the main temples where festivities in Bangkok took place during the festival

4. Chinese Temple in Chinatown, Bangkok

Thailand Vegetarian Festival 2012
Within the temple, one is only permitted to wear fully white clothing

5. Inside Chinese Temple

Vegetarian Thai Food
Awesome street restaurant packed with vegetarian street food

6. Vegetarian Restaurant in Chinatown

Vegetarian Festival
One of my favorite vegetarian Thai dishes is stewed bean curd

7. Dishing Up Bean Curd

Vegetarian Thai Food in Yaowarat
First vegetarian meal during the festival

8. Vegetarian Meal

Bangkok vegetarian festival 2012
Some people that participate in the festival purchase huge sticks of incense to burn

9. Giant Torches

Thailand vegetarian festival 2012
Similar to buying incense, others light giant candles within the temple

10. Lighting Candles

Thailand Vegetarian Festival
There’s a crew on standby waiting for people to buy candles or torches and these guys do all the sweaty work setting things up

11. Temple Workers

Thailand Vegetarian Festival 2012
Thailand Vegetarian Festival 2012

12. Crew Member

Lighting incense within the temple
Lighting incense within the temple

13. Lighting Incense


14. Candles and Lady

Hard labor and near flames, it's not easy work
Hard labor and inches from flames, it’s not easy work

15. Setting Up Torches

Vegetarian Festival 2012 in Bangkok
This guy made rounds clearing out the old incense that had burned through

16. Cleaning Out the Incense

Bangkok vegetarian festival
Sticky, crunchy, and filled with mushrooms and cabbage, these fried dumplings were delicious!

17. Fried Dumpling Stall

It was extremely tasty!
It was extremely tasty!

18. Fried Dumpling

Using wooden hammers, these guys alternate taking hits to crush peanuts into peanut candy
Using wooden hammers, these guys alternate taking hits to crush peanuts into peanut candy

19. Pounding Peanut Candy

One of my favorite vegetarian Thai dishes during the festival was this plate of stir fried tofu with holy basil
One of my favorite vegetarian Thai dishes during the festival was this plate of stir fried tofu with holy basil

20. Stir Fried Tofu

The annual Thailand vegetarian festival is most famous in Phuket where you can see rituals of self-flagellation, but in Bangkok there are still some interesting (and less violent) festivities and food to eat.

If you missed the vegetarian festival videos watch them here!

28 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Tamil dhool

    10 months ago

    That appears to be excellent however i am still not too sure that I like it. At any rate will look far more into it and decide personally!

  • Cabenuva

    2 years ago

    Thanks so much for this information. I have to let you know I concur on several of the points you make here and others may require some further review, but I can see your viewpoint.

  • High Rated Gabru

    2 years ago

    I am glad you take pride in what you write. This makes you stand way out from many other writers that push poorly written content.

  • The Nomadic Vegan

    4 years ago

    I’ve been to Thailand several times but never managed to catch this festival. I really hope to experience it one day, although I’ve heard it can be quite intense with all the cheek piercing stuff.


    10 years ago


  • Nash

    11 years ago

    I missed last years vegetarian festival by a week, unfortunately I wont be visiting Thailand again this year. I will have to do the festival in 2014.
    Your photo’s are amazing, the food jumps out at you.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Thank you so much Nash, hope you can be there for the festival in 2014!

  • Malone

    11 years ago

    Good photos, but terrible English for the captions.

  • Katie

    11 years ago

    I wish I was able to make it there.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Hey Katie, I hope you can make it for future vegetarian festivals!

  • solo female travel

    11 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this photos such a great work. Fried Dumpling and Tofu look really good..love spices.This Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok is so cool..

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Hey, thank you so much for checking this out, and glad you enjoyed it. The food is the highlight for me!

  • Peter Lee

    11 years ago

    It’s interesting to see so many veg Thai dishes. I was thinking that it hard to find a vegetarian food in Thailand but you busted my myth. After reading your post, I am looking forward to visit this festival next time and want to enjoy all these dishes.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Hey Peter, well is during the festival when there’s lot and lots of vegetarian food, but during non-festival times, there are still some vegetarian restaurants.

  • Stephanie – The Travel Chica

    11 years ago

    A 9-day food festival? I love it!

  • Max Neumegen

    11 years ago

    Thanks mark.
    If you like to see what happened Tuesday night at the Chinese shrine for the festival closing, of the burning of all the offerings and the live Chinese theatre, photos are on my Facebook. No videos yet. The next morning ceremony of the calling of heaven to earth was just as crowded.
    Next year you may have to stay at the “river view guest house ” to so you can be there for the ending this time.

    The best part, was actually exploring the 200 year old houses around the area and videoing with the locals what life is like there.
    Max Neumegen.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Hey Max, thanks for sharing, I’ll go check out your photos on Facebook. I agree, that entire old area of town is fascinating!

  • Noel

    11 years ago

    Amazing photos! I didn’t know about this festival, and it looks interesting. The beancurb and fried dumpling look delicious!! yum…

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Thanks Noel! The beancurd was one of my favorite dishes this year at the festival!

  • Koren @ City Gal

    11 years ago

    OMG this looks SO good. I miss Thailand so much!! I love New York, but I can’t eat hot dogs and pretzels all day. Nothing compares to Thai street food!

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Awesome, thank you Koren! It’s a really interesting festival, and vendors do a great job of creating flavorful vegetarian snacks and dishes!

  • Arti

    11 years ago

    This looks just fantastic!! I would have a gala time sampling all the vegetarian dishes 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this yummy post Mark 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      No problem Arti, thanks for checking it out!

  • Angela

    11 years ago

    Wow that’s great, I would love to try vegetarian Thai dishes. Thai cuisine is so tasty and since sometimes it’s not exactly easy to find vegetarian options in Asia, except India obviously, this festival is not to be missed.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Thanks Angela, you’re right, it’s a great festival especially for vegetarians!