Long Tail Boat Racing for HM Kings Cup - Khao Tao Reservoir 2011

I’m a big fan of dragon boat racing and have been a paddler on a local university team. I’ve been hoping to be able to take in dragon boat festivals while away on vacation in other parts of the world so when I heard that the Long Tail Boat Races for HM Kings Cup would be taking place at the nearby Khao Tao Reservoir on December 24 and 25th, 2011 I was ecstatic!  Long tail boat racing is an old traditional sport seen in many provinces in Thailand.

I didn’t know what to expect so when we were dropped off by our tuk-tuk driver, I was surprised to see a huge festival atmosphere underway - loads of food stalls lining the roadway along side the walkway surrounding the east side of Khao Tao Reservoir. Crowds of people milled about - some lining up at the food stalls while others were searching for the best viewing spot under the cover of tents lining the edge of Khao Tao Reservoir.

A poster contest was held in celebration of this two-day event - this lovely and colourful posterwon 1st place and was posted at the race site! Poster Winner at Kings Cup Khao Tao_02298.jpgA look from the south end of Khao Tao Reservoir with the race lanes marked. Covered viewing tents line the walkway on the right. The race has small, medium and large sized boats. You have to see the large boats to believe it!Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02257.jpg

Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02256.jpgRacers look on as competitors race to the finish line.Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02235.jpgI was utterly amazed at the size of these boats. The dragon boat I’ve paddled on had twelve benches. Some of the boats had 30+ benches!Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02247.jpg

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Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02244.jpgOne of the teams heads out to the starting line.Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02229.jpgThat’s one incredibly long boat!Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02237.jpgWhat also amazed me was the speed at which these boats travelled. Sometimes the paddles would just be a blur - what incredible fast rhythm. Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02231.jpg

        

A battle to the finish line.Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02263.jpgThis was truly an amazing long tail boat race by two incredible teams.Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02270.jpg

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Long Tail Boat Race Kings Cup Khao Tao_02273.jpgA fun day spent with the wonderfully friendly people of Khao Tao and area - food and boat racing - what a great way to spend a day while on vacation!

The sun sets on Khao Tao Reservoir as the lights of our approaching tuktuk flicker in the distance. Sunset at Khao Tao Reservoir_02296.jpgA big thank you to the wonderful residents of Khao Tao vilage!

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Welcome to my travel photo blog. Photography has been a part of my life for a long time – back in the day the Pentax Super Program was always near at hand. But it wasn’t until I started travelling around the world that photography became a vehicle for me to show others about the absolutely amazing and complex world we live in. My hope is to share with you glimpses of what I’ve seen. Enjoy!

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