The annual Phimai Festival & Boat Race in Nakhon Ratchasima is an event that attracts more and more tourists every year. The highlight of the celebration is the traditional long-boat races, a competition that has been taking place here for many years. Other attractions include the spectacular light and sound performance at the Phimai Historical Park that tells the story of the glorious ancient period under the reign of King Jayavarman VII. There’s also a Korat cat competition, Khon classical Thai mask dances (presented by the Fine Arts Department), and a traditional arts and crafts fair.
Khao Yai Trail Marathon
This year’s Khao Yai Trail Marathon, presented by Tiger Balm, offers spectacular trail runs including a 3.5K Fun-Run (B400), 10K Mini-Marathon (B950), 21K Half-Marathon (B1,100), and a 42K Marathon (B1,100). Held in and around the mountain foothills of Khao Yai National Park, the courses are mostly flat but cover enough terrain to keep things challenging. And, as part of the concept ‘Run with Green’, there will be limited amounts of paper cups at each watering station so runners should carry at a water bottle. Register at: www.tigerbalmtrail.com.
Surin Elephant Round-Up
The annual Surin Elephant Round-Up & Elephant Show is one of the most exciting spectacles in Thailand. Surin Province, in the Northeast, is known as the “province of elephants”, and the people living here are known for their skills in rounding up wild elephants, and training them. More than 100 elephants take part in the festival, which begins with a wonderful pachyderm parade through the streets, and the infamous ‘Elephant Breakfast’. The performances include elephants displaying their grace, strength, and intelligence in games of soccer, log-carrying, and tug-of-war, as well as a dramatic mock battle.
Monkey Buffet Festival
Visitors to Lopburi province this month can witness the Monkey Buffet Festival, an event honouring the thousands of monkeys living in Lopburi. These Macaque monkeys are offered a buffet of scrumptious fruits and sweets—and even ice cream—all arranged on a large communal table where the public can watch them gorge. Local people regard it as a way of thanking the playful primates for the prosperity they bring to the town, as the Phra Prang Sam Yod (the ‘Monkey Temple’) is a major tourist attraction here. This simian celebration is held annually during the last weekend of November.