AROUND THE GLOBE: THAILAND WONDERFRUIT FESTIVAL
Posted on 03 March 2017
Most often when we think of a music festival, we immediately think of Coachella and Burning Man, but not many people will know about Wonderfruit in Thailand. And boy, are you guys missing out.
All photo by @tinkwong unless stated otherwise.
Early last year, Wonderfruit was brought to our attention by a few friends. The festival is hosted at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya, which is a few hours drive outside of Bangkok. Wonderfruit is a unique festival combining music, art, food and wellness. There is also a strong theme in sustainability, it's great when organisations care about the community too.
We spent a day and a half at the festival, but we managed to fit quite a few things in (more specifically food in our belly). In hindsight we should have spent at least 2 days and a half, at least we know better now for next time because we will definitely be going back!
Below are a few things which we thought was noteworthy and loved about the festival.
The Sharing Neighbourhood
You know what they say, sharing is caring. Greeted at the entrance by the huggable Yeti, the Sharing Neighbourhood is a place where you can learn to make jewelry, cook thai food and get artsy. We love that there is a tea bar where you purchase a cuppa while you channel your inner creativity or just get a tasting with compliments.
Under the blazing heat, even any seasoned festival goddess will need her hair and makeup retouched. At the Wonder Salon, you can get your hair did, face painted, henna on and also face or hair glitterflied. If you forgot your headpiece, you can also shop for an extravagant feather one here!
Molam Bus by Jim Thompson
The Molam Bus by Jim Thompson is sandwiched between the Solar Stage and Wonder Salon. Besides taking up another square on Instagram, it is also a great spot to catch the sunset while watching performances and enjoying the music drifting over from the Solar Stage.
We are down for the slow movement, especially when it is related to the arts. So when we got the chance to make a handmade scarf we jumped at it. The Archivist Project partnered with Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) to host workshops with screen printing. All the designs for the scarves were designed by local and international artists/designers. We will be wearing our Oat Montien every chance we get!
We admit we were skeptical about Gong Bath at first, but our friends' enthusiasm after trying a session got us intrigued. Martha Collard begins with a chanting mediation and follows with sounds from the gong. All you gotta do is lie back on a sea of pillows and let the good vibrations flow in. We didn't get a chance to participate in a session, but it is on the top of the priority list for Wonderfruit 2018!
A Taste of Wonder
Housed under the tent of A Taste of Wonder, was a great selection of clothing and accessories, both new and vintage, that fulfilled all our heart's desires. There was a mix of local designers and also store owners selling their own designs or found items. We loved the one of a kind headpieces from Chong Cheang and beaded upscycled pieces from I ❤️ DIY by Panida. We also couldn't stop ourselves from investing in a Fangophilia nail ring!
After a full day of walking around the massive playground, there's nothing better than lying on a pile of pillows, especially when there is a view. The Solar Stage is the brain child of Gregg Fleishman, whose creations are often found at Burning Man. Appropriate named, the sunset spot is constructed with a panel slot system where you can enjoy a live-set. With a view of the entire Wonderfruit premises, you can also comfortably plot your next move.
A charity with food is something that will have our support all the way. Egg Picnic was a concept by Pop artist Ong Kongpat and 2Magazine where they combined sustainable produce with art. All the rice and eggs were donated by Hilltribe Organics, an organisation that support farmers. Serving out of a revamped old truck which was crowdfunded, festival goers can purchase a plate (or more!) of Thai omlette rice Khao Kai Jiew. All proceeds went to SATI, a non-profit for underprivileged youth supporting housing and education.
This spectacular structure for the Farm Stage was constructed with bamboo and stalks of rice. It served as a stage for music performances as well as puppet theatre. The inspiration for the stage comes from the traditional celebrations Thai farmers partake after a successful harvest. When the sun goes down and the lights go on, it reflects beautiful shadows and colors, such a visual extravaganza! After Wonderfruit the rice from the stage was also harvest to share with communities!
Photo: WonderfruitTalking about visual pleasures, The Quarry was built with that in mind by design team Thor Kaichon. Situated away from the main grounds, festival goers have to trek towards the forest for a completely different sensory experience. A venue to visit after sunset, enjoy music from a list of DJs, the light projections and visual mapping. Even though we are not huge techno fans, the light shows were enough for us to stay a while. A forest worth getting lost in.