The annual Top of the Gulf Regatta International takes place at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, located at Jomtien Beach, just south of Pattaya City. This yacht club has, over the years, grown to become the largest by boat number, and has helped establish this area in the Gulf of Thailand as one of the centers of boat racing in Asia (while helping to promote tourism in greater Pattaya at the same time). This international boat race and competition attracts various participants from various countries, who bring with them an array of sailing craft that include Keel Boat and Multihulls, beach catamarans, dinghies, and Optimists.
In the Kui village of Baan Ta Klang, Surin, home to Thailand’s largest mahout community, the annual ordination of the local young men about to enter the monkhood is marked with a grand parade on elephant back. This year’s procession—in the afternoon of the 14th waxing moon—promises more than 100 elephants travelling from Wat Chaeng Sawang to Don Buat (Talu Palace), negotiating the water of the Chi River along the way. The elephants are each groomed and exquisitely painted by their mahout (handler), and parade majestically from the village all the way to the temple.
The annual Bun Bang Fai Festival—held this year at the Phaya Thaen Park, in Yasothon province—is an ancient local festival in which the gods are asked to deliver rain for the rice crops. The belief is that the gods will hear the entreaties of the villagers if they make rockets, or Bang Fai, and send them zooming towards the heavens. On the festival day, many beautiful rockets are paraded to the launch site and fired one by one. The one that reaches the greatest height is declared the winner. This very “noisy” festival also incorporates lots of drinking, singing, dancing, colourful parades, and general mayhem.
Head to Kanchanaburi later this month for the 2017 Singha River Kwai International Trophy Adventure Race. This competition is the largest and most exciting race in Southeast Asia, and is a part of the Amazing Thailand Adventure Race Championship series. This marks the 12th edition of the race, which will start and finish near the world famous Bridge Over the River Kwai—with an expected attendance of 200 teams from around the world to mark this special occasion. Get ready for intense wilderness adventure, where teams of two will compete in mountain biking, swimming, and kayaking races.