October is a great time to come to Thailand for a holiday as there are plenty of colourful festivals throughout the kingdom. It also marks the end of the rainy season. Rivers are at their highest levels so there are often floods. It does rain but not all the time. Certainly not enough to spoil your holiday. Most festivals during this month are set by the phases of the moon so the dates vary each you. The two festivals pictured on this page take place one day before the end of the three month long Buddhist Rains Retreat which is Friday 18th October 2013. I usually go to both of these events each year as they are very photogenic.
One of my favourite festivals in Thailand is the Rub Bua Festival in Bang Phli, Samut Prakan. In English, the festival translates as “Lotus Receiving Festival”. However, it has another name in Thai which I think describes it more accurately. This is “Yon Bua Festival” which translates as the “Lotus Throwing Festival”. This is basically what happens as countless thousands of local people line the banks of Samrong Canal to throw lotus flowers onto a boat carrying a replica of the famous Buddha image Luang Poh To. You need to be there by 6:30 a.m. if you want to find a good spot on the banks of the Samrong Canal.
As soon as I have finished with Rub Bua, I drive straight down to Chonburi. Probably one of the most amazing festivals in Thailand has to be the Buffalo Racing. Picture this. Five buffaloes with skinny Thai men riding bare back. Both sides of the course is crowded with locals and tourists who cheer on the buffaloes and riders who race to the far end. You may think that it is more exciting to stand at the finish line to watch the buffaloes coming charging towards you. But really, most of the action is at the other end at the starting point. This isn’t anything like a horse race. These buffaloes are not very cooperative. There are many false starts which delays each race. Sometimes the buffaloes will race riderless to the far end only having to be brought back to try again.