"Rocket Festival in Yasothon." Thailand Things to Do Tip by riproy

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by riproy

Nothing like it anywhere, i don't think. Homemade rockets launched toward.. well, anywhere, but aimed toward the sky. Prizes awarded for the highest launch and other superlatives. If you like airshows and the sounds produced, you might enjoy this. It is an incredible show of smoke and speed, but done in a way that almost totally disregards the safety of everyone! Coming from north america where regulations and precautions can be overdone and can take the fun out of events, this was raw. Drinking is rampant amongst the crowd and contestants who are carrying around rockets containing upwards 200 kg high explosives stuffed into PVC piping to the launch glorified vine trellises and setting off these homemade devices. Engineers? Right! This is seat-of-the-pants rocket making. The year before i went in (in 1999), 4 spectators were killed when a rocket instead of blasting off straight up, altered its trajectory and blew into the crowd. No-one wants this to happen of course. But these things leave their launch trellises like a bullet and there is NO way to get out of the way. There is a boundary where you are SUPPOSED to stay behind, but i feigned not understanding and went up close with virtually no protest. The year i went, organizers, if you stay behind the safe line (completely arbitrary in my opinion), offered an automatic 10,000 baht (around US$250) policy to the families of those who might be killed in due to errant rockets. Comforting.
I am not saying i would want these to occur at home, but it is thrilling to experience this utter lack of safety precautions once while it still exists.

Directions: Muang district, Yasothon province. Follow the crowds. Or the noise.
othercontact: On the 2nd or 3rd weekend of May

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 2, 2002
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