On November 18, 2023, Mr. Ongkharak Thongniramon, Deputy Governor of Prachuap Province, took the helm in inaugurating the prestigious “16th Long Boat Battle for the King of the Water” a traditional long boat racing event held at Khao Tao Reservoir, Nong Kae Subdistrict, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. This event, organized by the Education Division of Hua Hin Municipality, in collaboration with the Public Broadcasting Service of Thailand (Thai PBS) and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, marks a significant milestone in the region’s cultural and sporting calendar.
Scheduled between November 18 and 19, 2023, the “Traditional Long Boat Race Project 2023” is a tribute to His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn, Her Majesty Queen Suthida, Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrasudhabimalalakshana, and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The royal initiative aims to express gratitude for the graciousness of His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, King Rama IX, towards the people of Hua Hin.
This historic long boat race boasts four categories, each vying for royal trophies graciously provided by esteemed members of the royal family. Notably, 16 long boats from various regions of Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic will participate in the thrilling competition, showcasing the unity and diversity of local cultures.
The competition categories include 30-rower Naga-headed long boats from Nan Province, 32-rower Khon Ching the Flag Long Boats from Chumphon Province, 40-rower metal long boats from Satuek District, Buriram Province, and 55-rower Friendship Boats representing Thai-Lao PDR. These boats will contend for prestigious royal trophies bestowed by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Her Majesty Queen Suthida, and His Majesty King Rama X.
As the excitement unfolds on November 18 and 19, spectators can also enjoy live concerts, explore activity booths, and visit the Hua Hin Municipality community shop. The event promises to be a vibrant celebration of tradition, camaraderie, and the enduring spirit of the local communities.
The organizational responsibilities were eloquently shared during the opening ceremony. Ms. Pailin Kongphan, Deputy Mayor of Hua Hin City, reported on the city’s participation in organizing the event, joined by Mr. Ongkharak Thongniramon, Deputy Governor of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, and Mr. Anupong Chaiyarit, Deputy Director of Thai PBS, who expressed the purpose of the event. Mr. Wisanu Srithawong, Chairman of the Social Power Network Foundation, and representatives from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation also detailed their involvement.
The event drew a diverse crowd, including members of the Municipal Executive Committee, Municipal Council, Municipal Permanent Secretary, Municipal Deputy Permanent Secretary, heads of government agencies, municipal employees, and representatives from government agencies, the private sector, and tourists. The Long Boat Battle of the Rivers promises not only a thrilling competition but also an enriching cultural experience for all in attendance.
Photos courtesy Andy Leech & Others