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Traditional paddlers back in Phang Nga Bay

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHANG NGA: To the excitement of local villagers, rowers are once again taking to the waters of Phang Nga Bay in traditional boat races.

Today is the final day of the second annual Phang Nga Bay Canoe and Long Boat Racing Festival, which started on Wednesday at Ta Dan Pier.

Koh Panyee Tambon Administration Organization (TAO) organized the event in cooperation with the Phang Nga Provincial Administration Organization and local restaurant operators.

Racing is divided into four classes based on the number of paddlers and length of the boats. The largest vessels are 30-meter, 55-paddler long boats, followed by 20- and 5-paddler long boats.

In the fourth class are two-man fishing boats in which the rear paddler is blindfolded.

Koh Panyee TAO Mayor Damrong Sinto said the event aims to improve the sense of community in the area and provide entertainment for older villagers.

Long boat racing is a traditional event and villagers love to watch it. Almost every villager comes out for each race and cheers because the boats do not belong to individuals, they belong to the villages as a whole,” said Mayor Damrong.

Besides, it is a chance for older villagers to get out and meet friends,” he said.

Mayor Damrong hopes to see the race formalized as an annual event with royal sponsorship.

Next year, I would like to ask the Royal Family to sponsor a trophy in order to make the event more attractive and hopefully bring more tourists to Phang Nga Bay,” he said.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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