These are the Coolest Amateur Rockets I've Ever Seen

By Jesus Diaz on at

Bamboo rockets are really cool. They are wheels with a central rod full of solid fuel and nozzles that spin into the sky until they stop and fall back to Earth on a parachute. Or explode. It's a big thing in Thailand—so big that they celebrate festivals to watch them fly and broadcast them on TV.

Commenter Daisy Needs a New Turbo gives some context to the event:

These are part of the annual rocket festival held all over the northeastern part of Thailand. It's usually held early May to celebrate the end of the hot, dry season and usher in the rainy season. EVERYBODY fires rockets off, usually homemade bottle rockets made of straw and gunpowder (and often launched by hand).
But the big event is the rocket contest, where each village comes out with a homemade rocket and see who's rocket flies the highest. These are literally tubes of 2" PVC, about 3' long, stuffed with gunpowder and a teak "nozzle" (a hole drilled into a plug of teak wood). Lots of explosives, mixed with lots of beer and local moonshine makes for a pretty fun time.