‘Wing Kwai’ Chonburi Buffalo Racing Festival
The annual Buffalo Races are held around the 11th lunar month, which is normally in October. This festival has been held here for over 140 years! These large animals with rider can travel at some speed, which can be a bit of a surprise when you see an everyday water buffalo.
The races take place on the Ceremony fields in front of the Chonburi City Municipality Office with clouds of dust rising as the highly competitive riders and beast battle it out!
The Buffalo races are at a break neck speed, reminiscent of a stampede. The crowds go crazy, backing their chosen rider! This is a very popular event to say the least with local residents, people from out of town and tourists too! The races have even featured on international news programs and broadcast by CNN and the BBC. They say it’s a must see event if you are living in east Thailand or on vacation in the Pattaya area.
The riders and buffalo owners take the racing very seriously indeed, there are prizes for the first Buffalo nose past the finish line. All racing animals are kept in tip top condition and following a strict training program leading up to the event.
The races are split into 3 categories, for small, medium and large buffalos. You can also see other contests too including best dressed buffalo, which is divided into two categories, one being beautiful and the other is funny! There’s also a prize for the healthiest buffalo. It’s a bit like Cruft’s Dog Show in the UK, except you get to race with your animal over a 100 metre dash!
There are also other activities for visitors around the race course. There’s a fair with stalls selling food and drinks, handicrafts, authentic Thai cuisine, snacks and sweets making it a full weekend for the whole family.
There’s also rides for kids, Thai folk music and a beauty contest! It’s quite an honour to win the Miss Buffalo contest, even if the title is a little unusual!
So if you want to see one of Thailand’s most enjoyable spectacles, put ‘Wing Kwai’ Chonburi Buffalo Races in your diary!
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