The Vegetarian Festival: An evening walk in Kathu village
Kathu village is one of those quiet backwaters of Phuket that barely seems touched by tourism and development. Yes, there are some new houses and appartments around, yes you can see Mercedes and new pick up trucks outside some of the houses, but this is old Phuket. The Kathu area was the center of the tin mining industry which started in the 18th century. Many of the miners were Chinese, and they settled in this part of Phuket. And it was in Kathu that the vegetarian festival started many many years ago.
At this time of year, walking in the village in the area around the Chinese shrine, you can get a real time warp feeling. The firecrackers, the white clothes, the old shophouses, the shrine... I do recommend a visit. I took a walk around this evening with my wife to buy some vegetarian food and take some photos too! Tomorrow will be interesting as there will be "bladed ladder climbing" and bathing in hot oil at the shrine. See you there! Tonight I did not see any other foreigners. Hard to believe in Phuket, but as I said Kathu is a little off the beaten track, and yet the village and shrine are only about 5 miles from Patong Beach!
(above) local shops in Kathu village
Fireworks over Kathu shrine
The shrine was busy with devotees. We made a donation, kids were throwing mini fireworks left right and center, people were heading into the shrine to pray.. everyone wearing white. See you again tomorrow!