Kite Flying In Thailand (Part 1) Rss feed Twitter button Facebook button

Kite flying has been part of Thai life for over 700 years. Here, you'll find out about popular Thai kites, as well as when and where you can enjoy kite flying festivals and competitions round Thailand.

The Thai Word For Kite

When you're impressed with something, it's natural to say "wow". That's the same word Thais use for kite. The difference is that Thai people say it with a short vowel.

Thai Kite Flying Seasons

A Chula and Pakpao kite competition in Thailand

At Chula and Pakpao kite competitions, the Chula kite (on the right) is considered the King of single-line kites, while the Pakpao kite is the Queen.

You can watch kite flying during the Thai winter, toward the end of the year, and in the summer around March - April. This is because of the two monsoon winds that effect Thailand every year: the north-eastern monsoon winds and the south-western monsoon winds.

Thai Winter Kite Season

In Thailand, the north-eastern monsoon winds are known as kite wind. It blows from inland southward to the Thai Gulf, from November till February. This cool and dry air passes through the north and north-eastern part of the country. It's during that time rice farmers gather in open grounds to fly kites at night, when they take a rest from a long day of harvest.

Thai Summer Kite Season

After the kite wind has subsided, the south-western monsoon winds called Tapao wind travels from the ocean inland. It brings hot and humid air through the south, west and central parts of Thailand from February to May.

This is the other time of the year you can see kite flying, mostly in the west, south and central Thailand.

Thai kite competitions are accompanied by traditional Thai music
During the Chula and Pakpao kite competition, different Thai songs are performed with traditional Thai instruments.

Various Thai Kites

The most well-known Thai kites flown all over the country are the Chula kite and Pakpao kite.

In addition to these kites, people in the north-east and in the south build unique kites to fly during harvesting season. While the Aeg kite is typical to the north-east, the Buffalo kite and the Crescent Moon kite are native to the south.

The Thai <i>Aeg</i> kite makes a unique <i>dui dui</i> sounds as it flies.

Modern Aeg kites entering the annual Isan Kite Festival in Buriram in the northeast of Thailand. This fun event is held in December at the Provincial Stadium, Amphoe Huai Rat in Buriram.

Other popular kites around Thailand are Dui Dui kite, E-Loum kite and animal kites such as snake kite, bird kite, butterfly kite, sting ray kite etc.

Chula And Pakpao Kite

Thais have been known to be fighters since the Sukhothai reign. A good example of that is Muay Thai fighting. Thai kite competitions feature a fighting element between two kites: the male Chula kite and the female Pakpao kite. These are plain white kites that perform exciting maneuvers in the sky.

Chula Kite

The Chula kite or Wow Chula is in the shape of a star. This male kite is about 5-7 feet long. It's weapon is the bamboo barbs, attached to its flying line, used to snag the Pakpao kite back into Chula's territory. A standard team to fly the Chula kite consists of 20 people.

Pakpao Kite

The Pakpao kite or Wow Pakpao is approximately half the size of the Chula kite. The female kite comes in a diamond shape with a long tail, which is used to drag down the male Chula kite. A Pakpao kite team has 4-5 people.

Every year, you can watch major Chula and Pakpao kite competitions in Ratchaburi (April), Samut Songkhram (March), Sukhothai (December) and Satun (February). Please check with the local tourist office for current information.

The Thai Kite Heritage Group helped introduce the <i>Chula</i> and <i>Pakpao</i> kite competition internationally

The Thai Kite Heritage Group with the Chula and Pakpao kites at Berck Kite Festival in France in April, 2011.

Over the past 20 years, the Chula and Pakpao kite competition has been introduced at various international kite festivals overseas, thanks to the Thai Kite Heritage Group led by Ron & Baew Spaulding.

Follow this link to learn more about the Chula and Pakpao kite competition.

Here's the link to Kite Flying In Thailand (Part 2)...

Suggested Reading:   Muay Thai Interview   Thai Handicrafts

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