Wing Kwai is an annual festival that takes place after the end of the rainy season in Chonburi. This festival has existed for more than 140 years, originating from the farmers who wanted to express their gratitude to the animals who worked with them in the field. Before the festival takes place, buffaloes will be well trained on a model race to get acquainted. Locals think the festival will remind young people of the importance of buffalo to farmers. The event took place with the purpose of honoring buffaloes that contribute to Thai agriculture, the world’s largest rice exporter.

The buffaloes will be specially cared for and thoroughly trained before officially participating in the festival. The race is 100m long, and the race jockeys will have to take off the ceiling and sit on the back of the buffalo to race, trying to bring their buffalo to the finish line without falling off its back or causing the buffalo to run around. Participating buffaloes will be classified into 3 categories based on their size to ensure fairness.

Controlling these animals is not easy, and participants are provided with no other tools than a whip and a rope. The maximum speed that a buffalo can reach is about 50 km/h, so only experienced racers can control them.

In addition to the main activity of the festival, many other activities are also performed such as Muay Thai performance, buffalo makeup and beauty contest, fair, food stall, etc.

The event attracted tourists to Chonburi, helping it to become more popular. BBC and CNN have also covered this festival as one of the must-see events in the world.

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