Si Sa Ket Rocket Festival!

Discussion in 'North-East Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by Ian Bungy, May 31, 2009.

  1. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    We went to this event a few weeks ago but I just found time to post it :shock: Sorry Marco I couldn't find your post to add to that :? Anyway here goes:

    A few Weeks ago I had the Chance to Go to the Si Sa Ket Rocket Festival in Thailand. My Mate Jeff ( Pikey ) Kindly asked Me to Join Himself and His Wife who comes from there to Join them so I couldn't Miss the Opportunity. This is a Yearly Event in Easarn to Celebrate the End of the Dry Season and Make Merit and hopefully Bring Rain. Anyway it is a Spectacular Event and I asked a Couple of Friends along as well and ended up Driving the 1000 km Journey each way with a Full Pick up. Well Worth the Effort and had Lots of Fun and Laughs along the Way. I took lots of Photos along the Way so here is a Photographic record of one of the Rockets Journey!!!

    This is the Rocket Being Primed By the Local Guys who made it. ***Note the Number of Layers of the Thick Plastic Pipe that make up the Casing.


    The Front of the Rocket. You can See how they Capped the End and it’s Size!


    Here the Rocket is at the Base of the Launch Tower. It is then Hoisted Upright!


    Rocket being Strapped to the Launch Tower. Safety First Guys???


    Once Completed the Rocket is Ignited By an Electric Cable. It has a Bulb near the Tower which Lights up to Signal the Ignition then WOOOSH!!!


    It makes a Hell of a Noise and a Tremendous amount of Smoke and takes a little While before it actually Lifts Off, Then it really Launches Fast!!! “Lift Off”


    The Acceleration and Noise is Incredible and I can Only Imagine what it must be like to See a Space Shuttle Launch!!! Truly Amazing!!! Off into the Wild Blue Yonder!!!


    I have No Idea how High they Actually Go But it is Really Hi and I am Guessing Easily Thousands of Feet!!! And I actually Witnessed the Spent Rocket descending back to Earth. I am Sure there has been Considerable Damage done in the Past by this happening? Our Entire Trip went without a Problem and I never Witnessed any Rocket Failures so they are Pretty Spot On with Their Construction and Launch Methods. But once we Returned to Chiang Mai "SilverHawk" kindly Forwarded this Article to me from a Thai News Paper, Thanks Mate:

    SAKON NAKHON: A man had his head blown off while watching an annual homemade rocket festival in this northeastern town on May 11.

    The victim and his friends chose to have a drinking session in a cordoned off area where rockets were landing at the time of the incident.

    Police were called to the scene in Village 3, Tambon Dong Mafai, Muang District, at 3:30 pm.

    After pushing through a large crowd of villagers, they found the headless body of 29-year-old Prida Wongnatal lying next to a pond. The stump of his neck was blackened with powder burns.

    Near the body, police found the rocket that had decapitated Mr Prida, who was a native of Tao Ngoi District.

    The projectile was about three-meters long, its head made of PVC piping three to four inches in diameter.

    Rescue volunteers who dived into the pond to recover Mr Prida’s head were only able to find small fragments.

    Sakda Duangsupha, who witnessed the tragedy, said the rocket that killed Mr Prida was the third one launched at the festival. The first two had shot up into the air, but the third took a horizontal trajectory towards Mr Prida and six or seven friends who were sitting drinking about 50 meters away from the launch pad, located by the edge of the pond.

    As they saw the rocket screaming towards them, the youths dived out of the way, but Mr Prida was not quick enough. After the impact, he fell back into the pond.

    Pulling him out, his friends were shocked to discover that he had no head, Mr Sakda said.

    The area where Mr Prida and his friends were drinking had been roped off because of the danger of rockets passing through. With a sense of invincibility typical of youth, the group ignored the warnings, Mr Sakda explained.

    Police are now investigating to determine whether Mr Prida’s demise was a case of death by his own negligence or whether the festival’s organizers were responsible.

    Rocket festivals are held annually in towns across the Northeast to mark the start of the rainy season. This is not the first, and no doubt not the last, tragedy at such festivals. In 1999, five people were killed at the Yasothon festival, the biggest and most famous of them all, when a 120kg rocket exploded immediately after takeoff.

    We were Lucky!!! Well Worth the Trip and What an Amazing Experience not to be missed. All the Best.
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  3. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Just catching up and saw this - great pics mate and yes, we were lucky, especially as I think we were quite a bit closer than the 50 metres in the article where the guy had his head blown off! :shock:


  4. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

  5. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    Now this is ODD

    i type long story and and it shows in preview but NOT in posted reply :shock: :shock: :shock:

    ok lets try again using edit button in here


    i know i put ODD topic and not mention rocket festival so that why you did not find it.

    Here is 1st part with pictures and then i made 2nd part with video on it.

    some how 2nd video URL cant be pasted here,,if doing so whole topic will go blank again,,,Daaaaaviiiddd heeeelllppp

    any how the video part is under "The Golden Triangle Rider Forum Index -> Any message here and then 2nd page topic>>>>>GT-Riders ON FOOT,(Not ordinary ride report)55555
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Coming up...

    YASOTHON (not quite Si Saket)
    Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival
    May 11 - 15, 2011
    Yasothon Municipal Office on Chaeng Sanit Road and Yasothon Provincial Office
  7. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    I would be interested? Where is Yasothon???
  8. Fatlad

    Fatlad Ol'Timer

    Just before Si sa Ket.
  9. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    Nice report and I especially liked your sequence of photos showing the rockets prep and flight.
    Not so much the sad story of the headless rice farmer. Surely the area will soon be rife to more ghost stories

    I believe Yasothon may be the biggest of the rocket festivals. Seeing the event has been on my to-do list for a while.
    This year Yasothon will hold their event in mid-May and I hope to attend.
  10. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    I am going to ride down May 13. Anyone else as hotels should be booked now
  11. richchiangmai

    richchiangmai New Member

    I have the "bung fai" festival on my agenda for next month.Which one are you going to Si Saket or Yasathon?
    Will give you a call in the next day or two, will need accomodation Im picking up another bike on Tue(Ninja 650).
    Cheers Rich
  12. schackster

    schackster Ol'Timer

    A group of us also will be riding down to Yasothon. The main day is Sunday 15th May. Looks like a lot of fun.
  13. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Keep in Touch and We will See You there? Me and Hoghead will be in Yasothon on Saturday and Sunday!
  14. schackster

    schackster Ol'Timer

    Roger that , we will be there on the same days. Have already booked in at the JP Emerald Hotel , which I think is the only hotel there. Sure you wont be hard to find , you"ll no doubt be hanging off the front of the biggest rocket
  15. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    We are supposed to Be booked into the Orchard Garden Hotel ? I have never been there but will for sure catch up at Night!
  16. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    This is one of the few major community celebrations which I have yet to see.
    Having returned early from biking in Vietnam, I now have time to go to Yasothon.
    May is proving to be a high mileage/km month for me!
    Ah, Yasothon...probably the most boring town in Issan, other than during the Rocket Festival.
    I'll be arriving on the 12th and hope that a particular less known guesthouse I know of will
    have a room available...otherwise I'd better bring a sleeping bag and mossie spray for
    overnighting in a ricefield ;-)
  17. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Let's hope there is No Rain up there for this Weekend otherwise it will be like the Space Shuttle Launches, Delay after Delay! Besides the Fact I am Not fond of Riding around in the Rain, specially over the Distances We have to travel!!!
  18. schackster

    schackster Ol'Timer

    Nobody I know is fond of riding in the rain. On a positive note, this morning the sun is beaming so fingers crossed.
  19. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    But this festival, as the others held at the start of the rice growing season, is to remind the powers that be to send rain, so the rice can flourish. Apparently the sight of the rockets reminds the King of the Sky Paya Thaen, to send rain. Seems this year he has woken up a bit early, but the forecast is not that bad for the Friday and Weekend.
  20. Fatlad

    Fatlad Ol'Timer

    All well down here 6am clear skies, was in Yasothon yesterday pm bit off rain but seems to be later afternoon, have a safe ride down, will be there on Sunday with the Infinity Riders Club, may see you there.
  21. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    [ messsage deleted by poster}

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