The Fire Performers of Thailand
When I am in Thailand, one of my favorite things to do is to sit back on a soft cushion on the beach with a cold Chang in my hand and watch the fire performers. Fire performers show off their talents all over the islands of Thailand, performing for the tourists in front of beach bars as the sun goes down. According to a Chiang Mai tattoo artist and fire performer, it takes a very long time to excel at the art of fire performing. Two summers ago I had the opportunity to attempt to learn a few of the movements involved in working with the fire balls, minus the fire of course. I was told that if taught properly, it can be up to six months before they even attempt to light the balls on fire. After being hit in the face, arms, and legs numerous times in a five minute span, I understood why. Fire performing is an art and a talent that takes a lot of time and dedication to develop.
During my time there this past summer I spent the majority of my nights on Koh Tao heading down to the same bar to watch a group of three young Thai men perform. They would be on the beach at the Lotus Bar every evening for hours. I could easily sit there all night long watching them in fascination. The fire spinning around and around is hypnotizing and an hour can pass without even realizing it. It was only an added bonus that the three men were adorably good looking.
For your viewing pleasure, here are a few videos. Please excuse my horrible video-taking skills. I had likely had one too many buckets.
Video number one was taken at Koh Tao’s Lotus Bar.
Video two was taken at Koh Phi Phi’s Stones Bar.