Bangkok, 18 December, 2015 – Visitors to Thailand are invited to enjoy two days of fascinating and thrilling races of swan boats and longboats to be held on the majestic Chao Phraya, the River of Kings between 19-20 December 2015.
The races are a very important reflection of the kingdom’s socio-cultural “Thainess” identity and highlight the historic significance of Thailand’s main river as a source of livelihood, trade and transport.
Known as the Greatest of Siam, the Thailand International Swan Boat Races 2015 and the 10th National Competition of Traditional Long Boats are organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) together with the Bangkok Metropolitan City, and the Rowing and Canoeing Association of Thailand.
For centuries, the Thai people have settled alongside the rivers, their main life blood. Dating back to the Ayutthaya period (approximately 600 years ago), the boat races were organised to celebrate the end of Buddhist Lent or Ok Phansa during the agricultural non-growing season when the river’s tide level was the highest. All boats are designed with a figurehead prow in the shape of a swan, claimed to be the only one of its kind in the world.
The Siam Boat Race is also mentioned in the documentary archives of the French King Louis XIV (1638 – 1715) as representing the Thai identity and its cheerful way of life as a mark of national unity and consolidation.
The challenging and exciting races cover three categories carrying total prize money of over two million baht: 1) large long boat races with 55 oarsmen for the King’s Cup Royal Award; 2) long boat races with 30 oarsmen for the Queen’s Cup Royal Award, and 3) international rowing boat races with 16 teams from 10 countries for the Prime Minister’s Award.
This year competing teams come from China, England, Hong Kong, Iran, Macao, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea.
Visitors are invited to take part in this event to continue the legend of the great Chao Phraya. Come join in the fun and cheer the rowing crews as they battle it out on the water.
For further information, www.thaifest.org
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
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