Photo: Manoon Pongpanpath for TAT
Photo: Manoon Pongpanpath for TAT

Horns 'n' hoofs ablur at Chonburi's Buffalo Racing Festival

Travel log September 25, 2017 06:00

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Get ready for high-speed antics at Chonburi's annual Buffalo Racing Festival...



Chonburi’s annual Buffalo Racing Festival is one of most exciting events held at the end of Buddhist Lent, or Ok Phansa, with a tradition that dates back over 140 years.

This Buffalo Racing Festival celebrates the exalted status buffalos enjoy as the uniquely Thai icon of Thailand’s agriculture and rural way of life. It gives local people the chance to come together and enjoy fun and good food. And as usual, the event is expected to attract large crowds of tourists looking to see something uniquely Thai.

However, with the increased mechanisation of Thai agriculture there is less work for buffalos in the fields. The Buffalo Racing Festival ensures these animals get sustained exercise now missing from their daily life. The buffalos race in three classes based on size, as trainers lovingly place their steeds on strict training and diet regimes in the months leading up to the competition.

Thai buffalos are often stereotyped as slow lumbering beasts; however, many visitors are surprised how fast they can run. It takes a very agile (and light) jockey to hang on for dear life and guide their beloved beasts along an often muddy 100-metre track to victory.

Other quirky highlights at the Buffalo Racing Festival include a ‘Ms Buffalo’ beauty pageant for the most attractive and ‘best dressed’, which lends to a carnival-like atmosphere of rides, concerts and food-a-plenty.

The Buffalo Racing Festival is held from September 28-October 4 on Chonburi. For further information contact the Pattaya TAT Office on (0) 3842 7667.