The Yasothon Rocket Festival takes place every year on the second week end of May. Basically, rockets are launched in the sky just before the rain season in order to get a good one for the rice culture.
Yasothon is a small city (about 25 000 people) located in the North East of Thailand (Isaan), about 500km away from Bangkok that gets crowded during the 3 days-festival. This year (2013/2556), it started on the Friday evening with many concerts; stages were located on the main road next to each others and were playing music (really loud!). On the second day – Saturday – many parades were going on showing different regions of Thailand and Laos with traditional costumes and music. Sunday was the last day and the “clou du spectacle” with the massive and impressive rocket launches.
I would definitely recommand anyone to join this festival if you are travelling around Thailand at this period of the year, it definitely worths it! The whole city becomes cheerful and local people are really happy to see the few foreigners visiting their regions, I never felt so much welcomed!
Where to stay?
There are few accomodation options in Yasothon but still you will find one within your budget. You can find here a list of recommanded places. With my friend, we stayed at the Baan Singha Tha Homestay located downtown for 500 Bahts per night. It is a good place for backpapers as you will share the facilities with 2 other rooms in the house. The owner who doesn’t really speak english is lovely and helped by his friend who does. On our first day, he did a tour for us for free! of the city and brought us to one of the city temple to meet monks (probably one of my best memory here in Thailand). So please, if you stop by Yasothon, don’t hesitate to try this charming homestay.
How to get there from Bangkok?
By bus from the Mo Chit Station (North one). One way will cost you less than 600 Bahts and take you about 9 hours (VIP Bus). Then just take a moto taxi to downtown.
To learn more about the Rocket Festivals in Thailand and other countries: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_Festival or http://www.tourismthailand.org/See-and-Do/Events-and-Festivals/Yasothon-Bun-Bang-Fai-Rocket-Festival–4586