FUN, FOOD, FRENZY, FESTIVITIES, FIREWORKS & FINESSE
RITZ|March 2020
Thailand’s Elephant Boat Race and River Festival saw a spectacular adrenalinefilled weekend of paddlers, singers, music, food and tipple lovers, and some celeb spotting too.
NAMITA GUPTA

Boat racers at their competitive best in artistic elephant-themed sculptures soaring from the bow of the vessel, paddle slicing through the water in perfect rhythm, guided by a mesmerising drumbeat. There was sheer revelry in the air, as they were cheering each other with gusto to triumph over the other one. Festival goers caught all the enthusiasm from their champagne tents, while sipping on their bubbly. With beer, wine and champagne pouring around and Thailand’s top restaurants and Bangkok’s favourite chefs, dishing out diverse culinary offerings, at pop-up stalls and mini food trucks, the second annual Elephant Boat Race and River Festival to celebrate Thailand’s majestic national animal - the elephant, on the banks of the mighty Chao Phraya River, next to Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort was clearly buzzing and how.

The inaugural day kickstarted with an adrenaline-packed frenzy as various boat racers jostled at the races for the winning spot. On the river, the final four teams – Raja Navy (Royal Thai Navy) – Citi, Thailand National Sports University Lampang Campus – Casillero Del Diablo; Samut Prakarn – PWC Thailand; Pradu Thong Goddess – Keith&Kym; went head to head in the thrilling finale, but it was last year’s winners, the Raja Navy that blitzed the race and claimed the final glory for the second year running. The Royal Thai Navy won the royal trophy graciously granted by His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua.

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