The Samoeng Strawberry Festival takes place each year across a long weekend in the middle of February. 2017’s festival was from the 10th – 14th February. 2018’s edition is likely to be from the 9th – 13th.
The Samoeng Strawberry Festival is – as the name suggests – a festival dedicated to strawberries! It’s definitely one of the more fun events on the Thai festival calendar. This fruity five-day extravaganza showcases the delicious and extensive strawberry-growing abilities of the Samoeng district, in northern Thailand.
The most spectacular highlight of the festival is the procession, which takes place on the Saturday morning, and features a series of ornately decorated floats. There are also multiple stages, which provide entertainment in the form of local music and dancing (there’s even a folk-singing contest, usually held on the second evening). The main stage is also home to a beauty contest each year, with the winner given the prestigious title of ‘Miss Strawberry Contest’!
As you’d expect, there are plenty of stalls where you can buy strawberries on their own, in jams or any other imaginable form including spectacular strawberry ice-cream. If you find yourself getting all ‘strawberried-out’, there are other stalls which offer traditional northern Thai dishes.
Samoeng district is famous across Thailand for its strawberry-growing prowess. Located in the fertile grounds of northern Thailand, its home to the largest strawberry plantations in the country.
The purpose of the festival is to help put the district on the map for this great reason. Despite being in Chiang Mai province, not many tourists currently make the trip out to Samoeng. By publicizing the event, and hopefully attracting plenty of tourists, the local government aims to spread the word about the locals’ excellent agricultural achievements.
The Samoeng Strawberry Festival promotes the locals’ produce in a fun way, but while you’re up there don’t just limit yourself to that event. Vast strawberry plantations are dotted all around the area. Like much of northern Thailand, it’s extremely picturesque, so you could pass a lovely day driving between the various plantations and sampling their wares. If you want to get involved (and don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty), you can even try picking the strawberries yourself.
Samoeng district is situated in Chiang Mai Province, to the northwest of the big city. The event specifically takes place in and around the Samoeng District Office, which is right in the heart of Samoeng. It’s around a 90 minute drive from Chiang Mai.
You can get a yellow songthaew there from Chiang Mai, for a reasonable price, from the Chang Phuak Bus Station. If you’d prefer to explore the area around the festival fully, however, a bike or car rental would be a smarter choice.
If you are after a better idea of what happens, check out the youtube video.