Experience the thrill of Thailand’s famous long-boat racing

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Full of colour, culture, merit-making, fun and fast-paced boat races, there are events held in all four regions of the country to celebrate the Buddhist Lent.

Bangkok, Thailand – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) invites tourists to enjoy this year’s annual long-boat racing festival, an exciting time of colour, culture, merit-making and fast-paced on-the-water races, which is celebrated in various locations around Thailand to mark the Buddhist Lent or Khao Phansa period.

The thrilling long-boat races are an exhilarating sight to behold. Each year, they draw crowds of enthusiastic locals and tourists to cheer on the racers. The following races are listed region-by-region.

CENTRAL REGION

Nonthaburi Long-boat Racing Festival 2023
9-10 September 2023, Nonthaburi Pier (Tha Nam Non)

Along with long-boat racing featuring 30 and 55 oarsmen competitions, there will be a Royal Cup procession, traditional Thai long drum procession, and a focus on promoting awareness of conservation of the Chao Phraya River.

NORTHERN REGION

Phichit Long-boat Racing Festival 2023
September 2023, Phichit

These races feature five categories – large boats with 55 oarsmen, medium-sized boats with 40 oarsmen, small-sized boats with 30 oarsmen, general boats, and boat race teams within Phichit.

Racing schedules:

  • 25 August-3 September: Nan River, Wat Tha Luang
  • 20-22 September: Yom River (night races), Wat Tha Bua Thong
  • 23-24 September (the winner’s boat race): Yom River, Wat Tha Bua Thong.

Nan Long-boat Racing Festival 2023
16 September – 26 November 2023, Nan

Along with entertainment and product sales, these races feature five categories – large boats with 48-55 oarsmen, medium-sized boats with 35-40 oarsmen, small-sized boats with 25-30 oarsmen, antique boats, and boat race contests.

Racing schedules:

  • 9-10 September: Tha Wang Pha Racing Festival at Tha Wang Pha Phatthana Bridge
  • 14 September: ‘Slak Hor Khao Tum Din’ long-boat racing at Tha Wang Pha District
  • 16-17 September: traditional long-boat racing at Northern Phatthana Bridge
  • 23-24 September: ‘Slakphat’ charity long-boat racing (Wat Phra That Chang Kham Worawihan) at Northern Phatthana Bridge
  • 7 October: Nan Long-boat Racing Festival at the Ngaeng Boat Racecourse, Pua District
  • 14-15 October: Nan Long-boat Racing Festival at the Nam Pua Boat Racecourse, Wiang Sa District
  • 23 October: traditional long-boat racing Festival at Ban Tha Lo, Phu Phiang District
  • 28-29 October: End of Buddhist Lent or Ok Phansa Tan Kuai Salak Wat Bun Yuen, at Ban Pa Kluai Boat Racecourse, Wiang Sa District
  • 30 October: Tak Bat Devorohana Long-boat Race, Wat Sila Mongkhon, at Ban Tha Wang Pha Boat Racecourse, Tha Wang Pha District
  • 11-12 November: Nan Long-boat Racing Festival to celebrate the Royal Kathin Ceremony at Northern Phatthana Bridge
  • 25-26 November: Nan Long-boat Racing Festival at Khwang Klong Saui Nam Sai Racecourse, Pua District;

NORTHEASTERN REGION

Bueng Kan Long-boat Racing Festival 2023
1-10 September 2023, Mekong River, Bueng Kan

These races feature five categories – large boats with 50-55 oarsmen (general boats, and boat race team within Bueng Kan), medium-sized boats with 25-30 oarsmen (general boats, and boat race team within Bueng Kan), and small-sized boats with 10-15 oarsmen.

Since 1967, local boats and boats from neighbouring provinces as well as from Lao PDR. and Vietnam have been invited to compete in these races in the spirit of furthering connections with neighbouring countries that share the Mekong River. As well as the races, there will be fairs and trade shows and OTOP products from around Thailand on sale.

Racing schedules:

  • 1-3 September: large boats with 55 oarsmen, medium-sized boats with 30 oarsmen, general boats, small-sized boats with 10 oarsmen, and boat race teams within Bueng Kan. Race venue: Mekong River, Ho Kham municipality.
  • 15-17 September: medium-sized boats with 25-30 oarsmen (general boats, and boat race team within Bueng Kan), small-sized boats with 12 oarsmen, and a housewife boat with 10 oarsmen. Race venue: Wat Purima Pradit, Bung Khla District.

Kalasin Long-boat Racing Festival 2023
21-25 September 2023, Pao River, Kamalasai District

These races feature four categories – large boats with 55 oarsmen, medium-sized boats with 40 oarsmen, medium-sized local boats with 40 oarsmen, and general boats with 40 oarsmen.

Sakhon Nakhon Tao Ngoi Worship Tradition 2023
23-29 September 2023, Pung River, Tao Ngoi District

The annual ritual and dance performances to worship Phaya Tao Ngoi (turtle lord) – the symbol of Tao Ngoi district in the Northeastern Thai province of Sakon Nakhon. The tradition is held alongside illuminated long-boat processions and long-boat races, as well as many other forms of entertainment and consumer fair.

Nong Khai Boat Race 2023
13-16 and 22-23 September 2023, Kong Nang Municipality, Tha Bo District

Along with the long-boat racing featuring 55 oarsmen boats on 13-16 September and the night long-boat racing featuring 12 oarsmen on 22-23 September, and there will be music concerts, folk performances, and other entertainment shows, as well as local product sales.

Racing schedules:

  • 14 September: traditional ‘Hor Khao Pradab Din’ (Hor Khao Noi) long-boat racing featuring 55 oarsmen at Wat Pho Si Pier and Wat That Pier, Mueang Nong Khai district
  • 23 September: traditional ‘Klang Phansa’ long-boat racing at Wat Pho Si Pier and Wat That Pier, Mueang Nong Khai district
  • 29 September: traditional Tan Kuai Salak Pat long-boat racing at Wat Pho Si Pier and Wat That Pier, Mueang Nong Khai district
  • 6-8 October: boat racing featuring 12 and 55 oarsmen at Sri Chiang Mai district
  • 14 October: boat racing featuring 12 oarsmen at Sri Chiang Mai district
  • 29-31 October: End of Buddhist Lent or Ok Phansa Tan Kuai Salak Pat at Wat Pho Si Pier and Wat That Pier, Mueang Nong Khai district

SOUTHERN REGION

Narathiwat Ko Lae Boat & Long-boat Racing 2023
22-24 September 2023, Chaloem Phrakiat Park and Tha Prayasai Dam

The much-anticipated Ko Lae Boat and long-boat races exclusive to Narathiwat is held alongside the annual Narathiwat’s Specialty Fair. As well as different categories of boat races, there are exhibitions and showcases of Ko Lae boat replicas and other arts and crafts.

Chumphon Long-boat Racing Festival 2023
21-24 September 2023, Khlong Hua Wang-Phanangtak, Chumphon

The annual traditional long-boat racing is held alongside Chomphon’s specialty food fair, featuring over 200 shops and eateries plus fly board show and light-and-sound presentation.