The range of events, led by Chalong Mayor Samran Jindaphol, included “local fishing boat” races, kayak races and even washing tub races, as well as the crowd favourite “greased pole Muay Thai” fights held over the water.
“This is this the fourth time we have held these festivities in Chalong as a way of remembering local people’s traditional fun activities. The objective of this event is to preserve traditional local lifestyles,” Mayor Samran said.
“In the past, local residents in the area were dependent on fishing and nearly all aspects of their lives related to being on the water.
“But now Phuket has grown into a tourism city and most people in the area are dependent on tourism, and so we must try to preserve and remember our old lifestyles while supporting tourism to the area,” Mayor Samran explained.
“This event includes greased pole Muay Thai boxing, which is very rare now,” he added.
“The “washing tub” races (highlighting the “boat of last resort” for many poor rural families during floods) proved lots of fun for the participants – including many children – and spectators,” Mayor Samran noted.
Songkran festivities in Chalong tomorrow (April 13) will respect tradition and allow the modern water battles” that have become popular with tourists, Mayor Samran added.
“Chalong Municipality will have Songkran festivities at Wat Chalong in the morning where people can honour the age-old water blessing ceremony for elders, and in the afternoon there will Songkran ‘water splash’ play in Soi Ta-iad,” he said.
“This street very popular with tourists every year. I believe this year a lot of tourists join the Songkran festival in Chalong, which will make help the local economy by supporting trade with local hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. This will be make things better for them,” Mayor Samran added.