Every year in the city of Chonburi, Thailand (between Pattaya and Bangkok), the Buffalo Races take place – one of the best known festivals in the region. This exciting festival is a Thai tradition that dates back hundreds of years and it draws many spectators. This year’s event will take place on October 7, 2014.
The origins of this festival date back a very long time, to when the farmers in the countryside would come to Chonburi City to trade their produce. One time, two of the farmers argued over who had the fastest buffalo. They decided to have a race to settle the argument and that is how the festival started.
The object of the festival is to pay homage to the buffalo, thanking them for the hard work that they perform for the farmers throughout the year. During the festival, the Buffalo are treated to a very good diet which includes beer and eggs – foods that improve their ability to run faster. There are attendees who take care of the buffalo, cooling them down with buckets of water.
The events of the festival include a buffalo beauty pageant for the most attractive beast, a beauty contest to determine “Miss Farmer”, a humorous buffalo costume contest, rides for children and live folk music performances. Also, there will be food stalls at the event, with delicious authentic Thai food, sweets and snacks. If you want to taste some authentic local food while you are travelling in Thailand, attending this festival will be a great opportunity.
Of course, the main attraction of the events is the Buffalo race itself. During this fast-paced event, the riders hang on for dear life to their buffalos as they stampede toward the finish line. There are prizes for the fastest buffalo, as well as for the best-decorated and fastest. It is challenging to ride the buffalo, as the rider needs to hang on without getting kicked off.
The races take place on a course that is around 100 metres long, located right in front of the Chonburi city hall. On the main race day, there are several events which test the balance, agility, speed and other skills of the buffalo.
How to Get There
If you want to experience the Chonburi Buffalo Racing Festival while you are in Thailand, you will need to travel to Chonburi City. There are regular buses from Bangkok and it will take around 2 hours. The bus fare from Bangkok is approximately 120 Baht. It is also possible to take a bus from Pattaya, which will take around 2 hours as well and will cost approximately 40 Baht. When you are planning your trip, make sure that you book your hotel in advance as this is a very popular festival and many people will be visiting the city at this time of the year.
Have you ever attended the Buffalo Races in Chonburi? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.