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Kite Flying

Since the Sukhothai period, flying has been a popular past-time. According to the annals of history, kite-flying over the Royal Palace was once forbidden by an imperial edict during the Ayutthaya era. Today, however, it is both common and entertaining to see "kite-fighting" during Hot Season months, particularly March and April. During such occasions, opposing teams fly male "Chula" and female "Pakpao" kites in a surrogate battle of sexes. The small, agile Pakpao kites tries to fell the more cumbersome Chula while the male kite tries to ensnare the female kite and drag it back into male territory.


This sport is traditionally played by a loosely formed circle of men who use feet, knees, thighs, chests and shoulders to acrobatically pass a woven rattan ball to each other, endeavoring to keep it airborne, and eventually kick it into a basket suspended above their heads.

Swan Boat Races

Long Boat Races have been popular in Thailand since the rivers became a main medium for transport in the country. Regattas are featured in many country fairs, which celebrate the end of the annual Rains Retreat. The long narrow, low-slung wooden boats are festooned with flags and flowers, manned by oarsmen and raced with great gusto. The most noteworthy boat races are at Nan, Phichit, Nakhon Phanom, Surat Thani, Ayutthaya, and Pathum Thani.

Thai Boxing

Developed during the Ayutthaya period between 1350 - 1767, "Muay Thai" is a style of boxing unique to Thailand in which combatants use elbows, knees, bare feet, and gloved fists to batter each other into submission. A martial art before it was a sport, Muay Thai has a long tradition and is still surrounded by much ritual. The fights are usually fierce and furious though the best boxers display remarkable skills, as well as great fitness. A good contest is decided by application of technique rather than brute force.

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