Complete Guide to the 2024 Thailand Vegetarian Festival

While Thailand is already pretty vegan-friendly, being in Thailand during the annual Thailand Vegetarian Festival is a vegan foodie’s heaven.

2022 was the first time I attended the Thailand Vegetarian Festival dates.

Then I visited Bangkok again in 2023 primarily to catch the festival.

Here’s my guide to the 2024 Thailand Vegetarian Festival including what to expect, where to go, and what to look for.

If you’re not going to Thailand in October, here’s vegan 7-Eleven options you have to try!

Vegan Symbol in Thailand

Below is the sign for “jay,” vegan, or pure vegetarian (no eggs, dairy, animal-by-products, and generally no onions or garlic).

You’ll spot it throughout the festival dates:

A yellow square with a sign in red that looks like L7 that represents vegan in Thailand

When is the 2024 Thailand Vegetarian Festival?

The Thailand Vegetarian Festival lasts for nine days. In 2024, it will be from Wednesday, October 2, 2024 to Friday, October 11, 2024, though you’ll see more vegan options begin to appear days and even weeks leading up to it.

🎥 Watch my Bangkok Vlog during the 2022 Thailand Vegetarian Festival here:

Back in Bangkok 😍 - temples, malls, boats, concert, Thailand Vegetarian Festival vlog

Where is the Thailand Vegetarian Festival?

centralwOrld Mall Fair Bangkok Thailand Vegetarian Festival 2022

The Thailand Vegetarian Festival takes places throughout the country. The most popular being the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, which draws in thousands of people.

If you can’t make it to Phuket, Bangkok would be the second most popular city to visit for lots of Bangkok Thailand vegetarian festival activities.

I was in Bangkok during the festival dates in 2022 and 2023, and there were so many vegan events and options.

Still, you’ll find many cities, restaurants, and malls throughout the country celebrating the Thailand Vegetarian Festival.

History of Thailand Vegetarian Festival

The Thailand Vegetarian Festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival dates back over a century.

The festival originated in Phuket and is rooted in the Chinese Taoist belief system. Devotees of the festival observe strict vegetarian, or jay/vegan diets and ceremonies to purify their bodies and minds.

It’s believed that during the festival, the gods will bestow blessings and protection upon the participants and the community.

What to Look for During the Thailand Vegetarian Festival

7-Eleven

A yellow 7-Eleven menu in Thai during Thailand Vegetarian Festival

I went to 7-Eleven so many times when I was in Bangkok for both years. The vegan options at 7-Eleven double, maybe triple during this time.

The newly added items for the Thailand Vegetarian Festival will be marketed in yellow and will generally have the yellow jay sign for vegan.

Here’s some items to look for:

They have separate vegan menus for hot foods you can buy during the festival dates. Go early in case they sell out fast!

A yellow 7-Eleven menu in Thai during Thailand Vegetarian Festival with vegan baos

Spot the shelves lined with the yellow jay symbol. Most of these items may already by available year-round, but are promoted and marketed during the festival.

Two shelves of vegan items at a 7-Eleven in Bangkok, Thailand

Savory refrigerated options (you can ask staff to microwave it for you):

Savory Vegan Meals at  7-Eleven - Thailand Vegetarian Festival

Vegan breads. My favorite was the banana muffin (best one I’ve ever eaten!). I wish I hoarded more of these!

Sweet Vegan Breads at 7-Eleven - Thailand Vegetarian Festival

Turtle Shop Convenience Store

The photograph displays a retail shelf with vegetarian sandwich options, prominently labeled as "Vegetarian Crab Meat Sandwich" on spinach bread. The sandwiches are packaged in clear plastic containers for easy viewing. Price tags and promotional labels indicate a new product just for the annual Thailand Vegetarian Festival

Turtle Shop is a convenience store located inside most BTS subway stations. During the Thailand Vegetarian Festival they offer special vegan items, drinks, and ready-made rice and noodle meals.

I always got the vegan crab meat sandwich for about $1 USD. It was so flavorful and tasty!

Supermarkets

Most supermarkets like Lotus’s, Big C, Gourmet Market, and Tops Market will have a display of vegan products, whether newly added for the festival, or that were already there.

These are usually near the front of the store, or near the refrigerated section displays in bright yellow jay signs.

Stacks of vegan meats in yellow packaging in Bangkok Thailand supermarket

Malls

centralwOrld Mall Fair Bangkok Thailand Vegetarian Festival with streams of yellow jay signs

I visited a lot of malls during the Thailand Vegetarian Festival, and each one had either a whole fair like centralwOrld did, or a few stalls just for the festival.

This image shows a vibrant "Gourmet Market Vegetarian Food Festival" with bold yellow banners and Chinese lanterns creating a festive atmosphere. Various vegetarian products are on display, with promotional signs offering savings, suggesting a special sales event. The festival seems well-attended, with shoppers browsing through the assortment of ready-to-cook items and fresh produce, all under a warm glow of hanging lights.

Food Stalls

An outdoor food stall with menu in yellow with vegan Chinese food

You can also find outdoor celebrations and stalls set up during the Thailand Vegetarian Festival dates in 2024, maybe even earlier. Look for the yellow jay flags set up.

Lots of Chinese vegan foods, fried foods, as well as wholefood snacks.

Restaurants

Special Bonchon Vegan Menu during Thailand Vegetarian Festival

Many popular non-vegan restaurants will offer special vegan dishes just for the Thailand Vegetarian Festival.

Keep an eye out on the Vegans in Bangkok group on Facebook for a full list of restaurants offering special vegan dishes during the 2024 Thailand Vegetarian Festival.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

I have not yet been to the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, so I can’t provide my experience, but this will be the most popular place to visit during the Thailand Vegetarian Festival in 2024. It draws in mostly locals as well as tourists.

Some of the main draws of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival are the street festivities and rituals, including the piercing of sharp spikes in the cheeks to discourage evil spirits and bring in good fortune for the community.

If you do go, expect crowds!

Bangkok Vegetarian Festival: Where to Go

Here are the places to check out in Bangkok that had the most festivities and vegan food when I went last year.

centralwOrld Mall

centralwOrld Mall Fair Bangkok Thailand Vegetarian Festival with bright yellow jay signs

centralwOrld had a whole fair of stalls offering lots of Thai vegan sweets, savory items, and snacks. All pretty affordable.

Chinatown

A bustling vegan street fair with vendors and banners, as a diverse crowd walks under strings of colorful overhead banners with Thai text. Some banners show logos, likely representing different businesses or sponsors. The setting appears to be in an urban area with buildings lining the street, and a clear sky above, in Chinatown Bangkok

Chinatown will be one of the busiest and most popular places to visit during the Bangkok Vegetarian Festival. There will be dozens of stalls on a long road serving full hot meals, drinks, and snacks.

The main festival will be on Yaowarat Road.

There will also be dragon dance performances.

Musicians in white shirts and yellow pants play traditional drums at a street event, with a focus on a large drum in the foreground. Spectators and performers, including some in vibrant yellow and red costumes, add to the lively atmosphere. In the background, a towering, ornate structure suggests a cultural or religious significance to the gathering.

These were from the 2023 Thailand Vegetarian Festival. There was so much vegan food to eat! Everything was quite cheap.

A street food stall displays an array of traditional Asian snacks, with skewered items and various vegan dumplings, some green in color, possibly filled with vegetables or herbs. In the foreground, square-shaped, green-topped patties might be a type of grilled rice cake. Vendors in white shirts work in the background.
This image showcases a street food vendor preparing ball-shaped vegetarian snacks, labeled as 'Vegetarian Crab Stick' and 'Vegetarian Squid' in English, Thai, and Chinese. The golden-brown delicacies are cooking in a specialized rounded griddle, while vendors in aprons use tongs to handle the food. Visible cartoon imagery on the stall suggests a playful or family-friendly environment.

EmQuartier Mall

The image features a colorful stage backdrop for the "Bangkok Plant-Based Fair 2023", adorned with festive bunting and playful illustrations of animals and food. The stage is set with professional lighting and sound equipment, and the event appears to be sponsored by various brands, as indicated by logos such as "Yofu", "Bitesnpiez", and "VegiYum". The fair seems to promote plant-based lifestyles, with a date marking the event for the 15th of October 2023.

EmQuartier Mall usually has a plant based fair during the festival dates.

In 2023 I went to the Bangkok Plant-Based Fair at EmQuartier with all-vegan food. This was their post for 2023 featuring some of the vegan dishes available.

I went twice and everything was delicious and most were from all-vegan vendors or restaurants.

I recommend following Root the Future on Instagram to see any new events added for the 2024 Thailand Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok.

Amazing J Festival

A street view of a sunny outdoor market with rows of yellow-canopied stalls, likely part of a food or cultural festival. Visitors stroll and browse, some carrying shopping bags, suggesting a lively atmosphere of commerce and community. A couple in the foreground shares an umbrella, providing a personal touch to the urban scene flanked by greenery and modern high-rises in the distance.

Amazing J Festival in 2023 took place at Suan Luang Square with dozens and dozens of vendors selling vegan food.

It lasted for about a week and I went twice. They offered lots of vegan Thai meals, street food, desserts, and vegan meat items.

If they have another one for 2024, I definitely recommend going to this one!

Is it Worth Traveling to Thailand for the Vegetarian Festival?

A fair stall selling vegan Thai pancakes in Bangkok

Again, I haven’t been to the Phuket Vegetarian Festival yet, so I didn’t get the full experience, but having even more vegan options than what was already available was pretty amazing.

I miss a lot of the vegan options at 7-Elevens that are only offered during the Thailand Vegetarian Festival (don’t skip the banana muffins!)

It was also nice to see so many people celebrating the vegan / jay lifestyle throughout Bangkok (whether temporary or not, it makes a difference).

If you do travel to Thailand during the Thailand Vegetarian Festival dates, have a great time and enjoy the food. I might just see you there!

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