Pattaya Longboat Racing Festival
Pattaya Longboat Racing Festivals
Longboats are a unique feature of Thailand’s nautical culture, and they have been raced for centuries along the country’s rivers and canals. Longboats, sometimes called dragon boats, are manned by large teams of rowers that row with short oars in unison, creating an impressive spectacle of teamwork and dedication as these boats fly through the water.
In Pattaya, visitors can occasionally see longboat racing. There are a number of smaller races throughout the year, but these can be hard to find out about, as they are so overshadowed by the annual longboat racing festival in November. In this competition, rowers from Pattaya and the surrounding area, and sometimes competitors from other countries, row their hearts out in front of a large cheering crowd.
The festival of course brings out large amounts of locals and curious visitors, in addition to many stalls and stands selling food, drinks and souvenirs. The races last pretty much all day long, so many visitors might like to spend some time watching the races and then go browse the great items for sale. Visitors can also see the boats that are getting ready or have finished up close as their teams bring the boats to rest on the water’s edge.
The sport itself is steeped in tradition, and the preparation of the boats and racers includes many historical elements that are done the same today as they have been for hundreds of years. The boats themselves are elaborately decorated and make for great photos and give one a better appreciation of the ways old Siam is still alive today.