Red Turtles and Hungry Ghosts to invade Phuket

August 2, 2017

Tired of spending all day on the beach? Visit this fascinating and slightly macabre festival which takes place across the island of Phuket during August and September.


The Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival, held at Chinese shrines and temples all over Phuket from August 22 – September 19, 2017 is an important annual merit-making event for the local Chinese. Special food dishes, flowers and candle offerings are placed on altars to “feed the ghosts”, which are restless and hungry after having been released from the underworld for the month. Two of the best places to see this event are the Seng Tek Bel Shrine on Phuket Road and the fresh market on Ranong Road, but it can be seen on a smaller scale at any other Chinese shrine on the island.

The offerings are meant to appease the hungry spirits and often come in the form of a red turtle cake. Turtles are symbolic of longevity so hopefully the person giving the offering will live a long life. The traditional merit-making ceremonies are accompanied by Chinese lion dances, magic shows, concerts, cabarets and, of course, plenty of delicious local food – what better reason to get up off your beach towel for a while.

See for more information.

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