Man in northeast Thailand pays 3.9 million baht dowry… for a buffalo

The owner of a “high so” farm in Korat, northeast Thailand, gave a “dowry” of 3.9 million baht – in cash – for a 22 month old male buffalo named Chaoboonterm from Khon Kaen province. The man said he wants to breed the buffalo, which he said is a “textbook” Thai beauty.

Supachai Winitphon, aka “Sia Noi” is the owner of a high-profile farm in Nakhon Ratchasima province. Not only was he willing to hand out a crazy amount of cash to acquire Chaoboonterm the buffalo, but he also arranged a spectacular hand-over ceremony at Piamchai Farm in Ubolratana district, Khon Kaen province, to celebrate.

According to Isaan tradition, the farmers performed a Bai Si and a Su Kwan ceremony for Chaoboonterm at his farm. The ceremony aims to tie the buffalo’s 32 khwan – or spirits – in place, so they don’t get lost in the move across Isaan. If any spirits did wander away, then Chaoboonterm might get sick, according to Isaan/Laos beliefs.

Sia Noi revealed why he was willing to pay so much money for the buffalo. The farm owner said he has bought buffalo from all over Thailand but has never had a love like Chaoboonterm. Sia Noi said he fell in love with Chaoboonterm the first time he laid eyes on him.

With beautiful horns, big legs, and good genetics, Chaoboonterm is the “textbook” Thai buffalo, said Sia Noi.

The buffalo enthusiast immediately began negotiating a price with Chaoboonterm’s previous owners. At first, the previous owner didn’t want to sell the buffalo. After two days, they agreed to sell him for a whopping 3.9 million baht.

Sia Noi said he is confident that if he breeds Chaoboonterm, a line of beautiful buffaloes will be born which he can sell for double the price.



Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.