More akin to an international music festival, but still preserves traditional values and specific – culture activities, not too sleepy and meditative, Taunggyi Balloon Festival is one of popular festival of Myanmar. If you want to get a first-hand experience a true festival Burma-style, the festival is a great bet for you.
Taunggyi Balloon Festival, known as Tazaungdaing Festival is held on the eighth full moon according to traditional Burmese calendar (from 1st – 6th of November) in Taunggyi which is the capital of the Southern Shan State.
Annually, the Taunggyi Balloon Festival mesmerizes hordes of people from the surrounds and trickles of foreign travellers by a series of amazing activities including the balloon competitions, procession, and firework performance which occur all day and night. The air balloon competition is divided into 2 parts: the daytime competition and the Big Night Balloons. At night, colorful balloons in variety of shapes such as elephants, horses, buffaloes, birds, parrots, pigs, fish, and owls (a symbol of luck) are fired in the twinkle night sky. Nothing is better than marvel at night sky illuminated by hundreds of balloons. After the festival, the association of the festival gives the prizes to the participants. Besides, tourists can relish lively traditional Shan music and eye-catching dancing performance.
Travel tips in Taunggyi
Where to stay:
Due to the lack of accommodation in Taunggyi during the festival, Inle Lake is the ideal bet for tourists. Inle lake located 30 km far away from Taunggyi, offers a good selections of accommodations from bare-bones cheapest to high-end hotels, resorts.
What to eat:
Taking part in the festival is a golden chance to feast on the traditional dishes of Shan people such as rice with pickled ribs, and sweet and sour noodle in the restaurants or from vendors in Taunggy.
What to buy:
Browse through endless alleys of stores with a sea of souvenirs including haversacks, traditional costumes or kinds of garment woven by the Intha, Pa-O and Shan artisans in Taunggyi.