Taunggyi BalloonTunggyi Balloon
Taunggyi's Fire Balloon Feast | The Myanmar Times
Although Taunggyi is the main town of one of the most visited states in Myanmar, it is not on the route of most travel. Shan State's biggest town is often overlooked for a short stay in Nyaung Shwe when travelers travel between Inle Lake and the Bagan Reef.
Situated above the Inle Sea, this cold, hilly town is the major transport artery for Chinese and Thai cuisine. Downtown, Pa-oh ladies hang out tomato from the neighboring swimming pool in the Old Markets that lack the mess of those in Yangon. Walking through the disrepairing downtown square and on the stale escalator there are a variety of small stands with genuine Shan Khauk Swe (Shan noodles).
Tazaungmon celebrates the end of the wet seasons once a year and turns the town into a noisy pyromanic area. As it is called among tourist, the Fire Balloon Festivals are called. On Tuanggyi, ten thousand night owls are descending in the pre-full moons of Burma's eight-month full lunar calender to look at hand-made candles, firework and candles.
Celebration starts at the entry to the balloon launch area. It leads into a huge area where festivalgoers congregate on ceilings to see how the locally funded groups are sending their fiery creation into the nyctup. Whilst the ballons fill with warmth from a large incense candle, the contestants crawl with small pegs on the sides to suspend the candle.
Once fully bloated, the balloon shows pictures of Lord Buddha and Bogoyoke Aung San. Ballons often fight to escape as spectators take their breaths before they rise above the crowds and carry complicated candlesticks with them. Although pretty, they are used as a base for the more risky performances that take place later in the evening.
Minor air balls with large firecrackers are sent into the air - but if they do not ascend fast enough, the pyrotechnic shoots back to the masses of humans and sends them into the air. Balloon video that bursts into flame and explodes among viewers has become very much on YouTube. Because of the number of attendees during the event, it is best to reserve in advance and anticipate higher rates for rooms - Taunggyi has a somewhat restricted choice.