Published On: Wed, Sep 3rd, 2014

Thailand Tourism: Royal Trophy Nan Boat Races 2014, the annual spectacle on Nan River

Nan-Boat-RacesNan, the charming mountainous province in the North of Thailand, is once again presenting the charming Thai-Lanna tradition that has been passed on for generations. The Nan Boat Races 2014, being organised by Nan Municipality and supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), is set to be held during 20-21 September and 24-26 October, 2014.

TAT Governor Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik said, “TAT joins the people of Nan in conserving this unique and charming Thai-Lanna tradition. This event has been the pride of Nan for generations and is set to be heritage for more generations to come. Local and international visitors should not miss the chance to witness this annual spectacle on the Nan River, where colourfully-painted boats made from whole tree trunks adorned with an elaborately-crafted naga head at the prow will be brought out just once a year for this important cultural and sporting event.”

History has it that the Nan Boat Races were initially organised during the local community’s robe presentation to the monks to mark the end of the Buddhist Lent. To-date, the event has become a fixture on both Nan’s and Thailand’s annual festival calendar that attracts thousands of spectators, both Thai and foreigners, and is normally held during September and October each year.

The Nan Boat Races is among the many boat racing festivals organised in Thai provinces where big rivers pass; such as, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Ayutthaya, Ang Thong and Pathum Thani. What makes the Nan Boat Races standout is that it has the most numbers of boats entering the races or about 200 boats from over 100 communities. Each boat can accommodate up to 60 oarsmen, all dressed in the same racing team’s uniform, in a double row.

The Royal Trophy Nan Boat Races 2014 will take place in two periods. The opening races will be held during 20-21 September and the final matches during 24-26 October at the Nan River in Nan Municipality. During the event, there will be a fair with booths selling food and drinks, souvenirs and local arts and crafts indigenous to Nan province.

As well as the spectacular annual Nan Boat Races 2014, there will be other boat races festivals held throughout Nan during the period, including the Annual Boat Races of Tha Wang Pha district on 6-14 September, the Boat Races of Wiang Sa district on 27 September and 7-8 October, the Boat Races at Wat Silamongkhon in Tha Wang Pha district on 9 October and the Nan Youth Boat Races on 19 October.