5- Buffalo Racing Festival (Wing Kwai) Chonburi – October
Buffalo racing, and the festivities that go on afterwards, make this one of Thailand’s best festivals. This tradition has been taking place for well over 100 years and now brings in the crowds – Thais and foreigners – from far and wide. The race course is around 100 metres long, located right in front of Chonburi City Hall. Crowds line the race course and cheer on the jockeys, who ride bareback on their trusty beasts. It is amazing to see how fast the massive beasts can actually run! Chonburi is quite easy to reach, around one hour away from both Bangkok and Pattaya. The buffalo racing is the main attraction, but there are plenty more bovine activities to enjoy, such as a buffalo beauty contest, buffalo decorations and muay Thai demonstrations. There’s a small fair with rides for smaller children, and other fete games – definitely look out for the greasy pole game, which asks participants to climb up the pole to win 500 baht (or try to, at least). While it doesn’t quite compare to the prestige of Ascott, the Melbourne Cup or the Kentucky Derby, Chonburi’s annual buffalo race festival is still a hugely fun day out.