Long boat rowing festival
Phon Phisai has several days of exciting dragon boat racing. They take place just a few hundred metres along the river bank from Thailand Painting Holidays.
My thanks to Mut Mee guesthouse for the following description, with more information on their website.
"From the middle of August onwards, at dusk along the riverbank you can hear teams practising rowing upstream. Their long chanting calls are used to coordinate the strokes of the oarsmen and are a distinctive and romantic feature of August, September and October evenings. Teams are more frequently made up of young men, though there are women's crews too. However, there are not normally mixed men's and women's crews.:
"The first competitions take place in early September as the flood waters in the Maekong River begin to drop, and when choppy waves of the early season can cause boats to sink. Though foreign crews are unusual, I remember vividly early one season, a team of Australian ladies from Laos entered a Thai-Lao event and promptly sank!
As the season continues the contests become longer and more intense and the cash prizes are larger. The biggest festival of the year will take place in mid October for Okk Paan Saa, the festival celebrating the end of Buddhist Lent... a particularly exciting time of the year here in Nong Khai"