International Wax Sculpture 2010

Jul 1, 2010 - Jul 31, 2010

Event Details
Green season travel in the Northeast should include a trip to Ubon for its
famous candle festival.

The green season months of July to September are great months to explore
this less travelled region of Isan or Northeast Thailand. The dry Isan
plateau quickly transforms into a lush carpet of snooker-green rice fields,
lush forests and orchards as daily rainstorms sweep the region.

Typically, rain clouds roll from the southwest at the same time every day
providing a spectacular tropical downpour that moves on in less than an hour, leaving
the countryside fresh and a mite cooler for travellers to enjoy.

Probably the most popular area is lower Isan where travellers follow
a heritage trail through Buriram, Surin, Si Sa Ket provinces all the
way east to Ubon, just 100 km west of the border with southern Laos
marked by a meandering Mekong River.

Ubon is the commercial hub of lower Isan, a thriving town with a substantial university population, a bustling commercial centre and even department
stores of the size seen in Bangkok.

Standing on the banks of the Mun River, the town is steeped in religious
heritage and that is no more evident than in July when the town folk
gather for the annual candle procession.

Temple communities in the city spend months creating elaborate candles
from traditional bees wax. Their works of art are paraded through the
town’s centre on Asamha Bucha Day, 26 July and Khao Phansa that marks
the start of the three-month Buddhist lent, 27 July.

Rightly so, communities are extremely proud of their candle designs and
the painstaking work required before they can be displayed for all to see.
They vie for recognition from their peers who judge which one of the
temple candle sculptures will win the top award.

There are literally hundreds of sculptures many of the so large they
require an eight-wheel motorised float to carry them through the streets.
Musicians march, while classical dance troupes entertain the crowds that
turn out in their thousands for the two-day parade.

But if the itinerary cannot be tweaked to ensure you are there for the
actual parades, you can still admire the works of arts at the International
Wax Sculpture 2010, 1 - 31 July 2010 at Thung Si Mueang District,
Ubon Ratchathani. Now in its fifth year, the exhibition is part of
the celebrations marking Asamha Bucha and Khao Phansa, but it extends
for the entire month with candle wax sculptures presented by artists
from around the world.

The list of international artists who sculpture in candle wax and exhibit
in annually in Ubon is very impressive, especially the modern exhibits
sculptured by artists, worldwide However, for many visitors His Majesty
the King’s royal candle is the signature exhibit.

Artists participating in the exhibition stay in Ubon and attend the
exhibition until 11 July to discuss with visitors the finer points of
art and religious interpretation.

Ubon is 629 km from Bangkok and can be part of a fascinating self-drive
holiday starting in Bangkok with stops in Nakhon Ratchshima and Buriram
provinces to explore historical sites, the elephant village of Surin and
the fruit orchards of Si Sa Ket province on the way to Ubon.

By Bus
Buses depart from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal)
to Ubon Ratchathani every day. Contact Transport Co. Ltd at
Tel: 0 2936 2852-66 for more information.

By Train
Regular trains depart from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station to Ubon
Ratchathani every day. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20 for more information.

By Other
a)From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 to Saraburi and Highway No. 2 to Nakhon
Ratchasima, then use Highway No.226 and proceed to Ubon Ratchathani
via Buri Ram, Surin and Si Sa Ket, for a total distance of 629 kilometers.,b)
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 and Highway No. 2 unil arriving at Sikhio,
then turn into Highway No. 24 and proceed to Ubon Ratchathani via Chok Chai,
Nang Rong, Prasat, Det Udom and Warin Chamrap.

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