Sunday, 11 January 2009

Buffalo fighting in Bang Makham, near Nathon

Buffalo fighting in Bang Makham, near Nathon

This is definitely a very 'Samui' style experience and actually a rather exclusive Southern Thai event. Even better, besides on Samui, the only other place it takes place at, is the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The big red sign makes it very clear what's happening but not the original sign on the top left of the red sign, with all letters pretty much gone!
There are a few fight stadiums on Stadiums on Samui. I know about this one in Bang Makham, near Nathon, there's one in Maenam there's another one in Lamai and there's one around the Ghost Road section at the crossing. Let's count this one towards Bang Rak. There may be one or two more that I'm not aware of.

The road leading up to the stadium. You didn't forget for a second that we're in Thailand, did you? Hence the food stalls on the way in, you can't avoid them. Snacks and food are just everywhere.

The cashier. It's rather expensive, 360,-THB for males and females and 100,-THB for children.
Most money however will change hands during the betting! Thais just love to bet.

The actual 'arena'. Before a fight, two buffalo's are put at each end of a white linen 'wall'. The buffalo's stand there, getting accustomed to 'their' territory. Once the linen wall is pulled away, they immediately face an intruder in their territory and will defend their territory accordingly. They lock horns until one of them runs out of the arena. This can last seconds, literally or a very long time. The locking horns part is also serious business and plenty of buffalo power, sweat and blood is spilled.

At 9.30 am, during the warming up for the first fight, a couple of 100 folks are already milling around on this Sunday morning. There are up to 3 fights during the day but sometimes the fights take place over various days and than there may be just one fight per evening.
The buffalo's are treated very well and are rather expensive.
If on Samui and you get the chance to witness a buffalo fight, it may interesting to go and watch it. The buffalo's are not killed after their fight, by the way!


Anonymous said...

Hi Camille I have not heard of this one before. Glad they don't kill the animals. I have witnessed cock fighting up here.

Do the audience bet on the outcome?

Camille Lemmens said...

Hi Mike,

The buffalo fighting is very exclusive to Samui and the province (Changwat) of Nakhon Si Thammarat and yes, they bet on the outcome.