It’s back, one of the highlights of Koh Chang’s social calendar, the Loy Krathong Fair at Klong Prao temple. Five nights of what amounts to a large market plus various live shows in the temple grounds. Some not as popular as others – as the photo above illustrates
Over the years the fair has morphed from one mainly for locals into one mainly for Cambodian labourers. But it is still a place where you can watch a live soap opera / drama unfurl before your very eyes on stage. Gorge yourself on sticks of processed BBQ’d meats washed down with copious amounts of E number enhanced soft drinks or cheap booze. Chase tiny fish around a paddling pool with a net. Dance the night away at the disco stage in the primary school playing field next door. Or simply enjoy an old guy belting out his favourite tunes for no apparent reason. And if you want more then there’s a bouncy castle and a stall that sells, amongst other things, Toyota Vigo headlamps and buffalo skulls. You can’t find them at Tesco.
The temple fair is on every year during the Loy Krathong festivities – the November full moon. There is a point to it, other than giving Cambodians something to do in the evening, and that is to raise funds for the temple. You can buy roof tiles or bags of mortar and write your name on the tiles. Or make a donation and have your name on a golf leaf that will hang from an overhead string lattice for visitors to see. There’s even an elderly monk on a pedestal who is on hand to give blessings to those making donations.